Monday, September 24, 2007

And another great review of The Mars Imperative

Here's another great review of The Mars Imperative, from Michael Southard, editor of Tower of Light fantasy magazine:

The characters seem alive and three-dimensional from the very beginning, which is what kept me reading despite the slow start. James and his friends Lim and Kim are very likable and often just plain fun to read about. In one passage, Lim playfully refers to the group as an exclusive club called the “Im-Crowd,” since all of their names end with “im” (Jim, Lim, Kim). Then, at times when they're lucky enough get together, they continue to joke about it and play on words with the prefix “im.”

The author doesn't disappoint when it comes to the science, either. His descriptions of space elevators, space travel, the conditions on Mars, and the possibilities of extraterrestrial microbial life are exquisite and well researched.

Personally, I was delighted that James didn't stumble upon an ancient Martian city hidden deep beneath the surface. .... What James does find might be more realistic in light of current theory, and might have almost as far-reaching an impact on humanity.

The Mars Imperative is a serious science fiction with excellent character work and dialogue, and a thrilling adventure into the not-so-distant future. It's easy to read and will keep the reader enthralled to the very end.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Tesserene Imperative is almost here!

I finally received the edits for The Tesserene Imperative last night. There turned out to be relatively few of them. I was able to go through the entire 287-page (102,600 word) ms in about four hours today. Most of the edits had to do with punctuation. There was very little rewriting needed, which was great, considering that this was actually my first novel (written a year before The Mars Imperative), even if it is being published second.

Given that there were only a handful of items that needed to go back to the editor for consideration, it shouldn't take long for the publisher to release the PDF file ebook version. Then other ebook formats and the printed book will follow. The printed book may or may not be out this month, but the ebooks certainly should be. We have the ISBN and the cover has been ready for two months.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"Parting Shot" now available on Amazon

My science fiction/golfing short story, Parting Shot, is now available on Amazon.

The story involves an aging golfer--a former phenom, a hotshot who pretty much wasted his career partying. Now, on the downslope of his career, he has one last chance at redemption.

I know this doesn't sound much like SF&F, but trust me, it is. The possible redemption is as a result of an extraordinary (supernatural, perhaps) event. There are no wizards or aliens or high-tech gizmos. It's a character study of a man and a golf tournament (the US Open). The story is told partly from the POV of the lead character and partly by the TV golf announcers.

If golf bores you, you wouldn't like the story. But if you have even a passing interest in the game, and like SF&F, you might enjoy it. And it's only 49 cents. (Did I mention how inexpensive the story is?)

Here are a couple of short excerpts from the middle of the story, to give you a feel for the story and the writing style:

After his latest par, a buzz insinuated itself into Gomez’s cocoon of introspection. Startled out of his reverie, he glanced at his caddy, who pointed at the scoreboard nearby. The leader, Steve Hawks, had just hit in the water and double-bogeyed. His score stood at even par for the tournament. Right behind him came Jay Collins, at one over par. Two other players lurked another stroke back, followed at three over par by four men, including…Tom Gomez?

What the hell? Fifth place? How did that happen?

Gomez chuckled to himself, accentuating the wrinkles around his mouth and the crows feet that seemed carved by geologic process.

Figures. I scratch and claw and fight for victories and keep falling short. The one time I tune out the world and say ‘to hell with it,’ I play well. So now what?

More of the same, I guess.

He tried to ignore the leaderboard, but that was like a drunk trying not to notice the bottle of whiskey on the table. It simply tugged at his mind until he was forced to look. Now suddenly in contention, Gomez became distracted by his internal tug-of-war. He hooked his approach shot to the fourteenth green and bogeyed the hole. That dropped him to four strokes behind, and back to ninth place, with four holes to go.

Too many strokes to make up and too many men ahead of me.
His shoulders slumped and he let out a deep sigh. That does it, then. Once again, I’ve managed to screw up royally.


Gomez’s career, his reputation—hell, his life—rode on this one shot. A ridiculously tough shot at that. The green sloped away from the bunker and slightly to the left. If he hit the shot too hard, it would roll forever. If not hard enough, it wouldn’t clear the rough separating the bunker from the green—assuming he even got it out of the bunker

Gomez wriggled his feet down into the sand for balance and waggled his club to loosen the tension in his arms.

Focus on the shot, not the consequences. Hit the ball. Follow through. Execute. You can do this.

He swung smoothly and hit the ball perfectly, just as he’d done thousands of times in practice over the years, spraying sand everywhere. The ball flew high and right at the pin. If it didn’t go in, it would land close.

The gallery roared. From that, Gomez knew he’d hit a great shot. I did it. Damn, I did it. I didn’t choke.

The ball landed softly on the green, four feet from the pin and spun toward it. Gomez hopped out of the bunker to watch the roll. The gallery held its collective breath and went silent.

Go, baby, go!

Three feet, two feet, one foot, it was going right at the cup, picking up speed. The crowd roared. This was history in the making.

It’s in! It’s in! It’s—