Odd Men Out by Matt Betts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Review Excerpt: These characters’ journeys from outcast to hero set in a creatively-built playground made Odd Men Out an enjoyable read and Matt Betts an author to follow. The genre mashup between steampunk, alternate history, horror and monster-catching thriller excited me in their introduction, but often let me down as they faded offscreen for another genre element to show up. The focus of the story is clearly on characters becoming heroes, but the above genre elements felt too quickly used and discarded.
Full review: http://www.adventuresinscifipublishin…
(disclaimer, I’m changing my rating from a 3 to a 4 star because of a recent distinction I will make between the two. 3 Stars have elements I enjoyed, but not enough to make me buy the sequel. 4 Stars are books I will buy the sequel for, but which had areas that took them down from being a 5 Star. As I say in my full review, I want more Matt Betts books!)
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It’s Coffin Hop Web Tour time again, from now through the 31st. This is the only blog tour I do annually, partly because I have been to these blogs each year for three years now, but also because it’s fun to hang out with other Horror fans. There are giveaways on every site, as well, so that’s fun.
This year they have a Death by Drive-in anthology, which will have its proceeds donated to www.litworld.org.
Adventures in SciFi Publishing (which I run–literally, I’m jogging in place right now) will have daily posts, and each book mentioned in those posts will go into a “box” for two winners to choose from. So far, we’ve had my Top 3 Villains and a book review for Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu by Mercedes Yardley. So far in the box we have: The Wicked by James Newman, Fiend by Peter Stenson, John Dies at the End by David Wong and Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu by Mercedes Yardley.
On Monday, I’ll post the first of two podcast interviews with Ronald Malfi and Kevin Lucia, in which we just about mention every one of Ron’s books, so those will all go in the box too. You can subscribe to Adventures in SciFi Publishing on iTunes if you’d like a reminder not to miss it.
I finished editing Kaimerus yesterday. This was something like draft 6. Over four years, I’ve rewritten it twice, and this last pass through was a polish after the last rewrite. My plan going forward is turning it in to my editor, Joshua Essoe, in a few weeks and submitting to an agent that asked to see it when it’s ready. Before I go on to discussing other projects (will need another post for that), the two decisions of where to submit in the above sentence deserve attention.
First, hiring another editor. That’s right, another.
I hired C.L. Dyck last summer when my novel had just gone through a major rewrite Continue reading
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Took a friend’s advice to make this my Audible pick this month because of Wil Wheaton’s narration and am very happy with the outcome. Even though I am a decade too young to have experienced the 80’s in the way it is highlighted in this book, I still enjoyed the sense of a larger than life video game scavenger hunt with life or death stakes. Would I have liked it more if the nostalgia was focused on Nirvana, Final Fantasy III and Jurassic Park? Maybe a little, but not enough to indicate that the character’s enjoyment was lost on me. I was pumped up just like they were for every secret clue, every virtual battle, the solving of riddles and the like. The pacing moves along pretty quickly as our main character plays through a competition to unlock secrets within a virtual reality game before the evil corporation wins and ruins the game for everyone. I enjoyed its conclusion and left the story with a fond memory of the characters and their adventure. Top-notch job by the narrator.
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Buy on Kindle for $.99
My first short story, “Cornhusker: Demon Gene,” was accepted into a future anthology, but I self published it in May. I have written a handful of short stories over the years, but this one is my favorite, so far. That said, I know I’m still learning this writing gig, so I put this story out there knowing the feedback could be less than glowing.
While I’m grateful for every review, I’m pleased that most people have enjoyed my first story.
Here are some quotes from my reviews:
My first review, by Carl on SF Signal, said,
“Timothy C. Ward has taken that premise to explore the struggles of a young man whose destiny may put him on a path to destruction. As his protagonist Geoffrey balances normal teenage angst against the pain of losing one’s faith, the reader gets to experience standard horror tropes used in a different way. There is a lot of potential revealed in Ward’s debut short story and it will be a pleasure to see where he goes from here.”
REVIEW SUMMARY: The zombie apocalypse has never been more engrossing, heart-wrenching, or personal. I rooted for this hero with held breath.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A pair of drug addicts open their window to a zombie apocalypse, run for their lives and fight for what they’ll love more: sober life or death.
PROS: Front-to-back engaging; phenomenal ending; emotionally powerful characters; scary zombies; survivalist setting.
CONS: The sexual descriptions, while consistent with the gory details throughout, were more than this reader preferred.
BOTTOM LINE: Best read of the year. Best zombie book, ever. Masterful illustration about how painful and overwhelming addiction can be – over love, over family, and over being a good human being, even in the face of losing one’s life to a zombie horde.
Read the rest of the review at SF Signal.
Stay tuned for my podcast interview with Peter at Adventures in SciFi Publishing.
Free on Kindle
Now that I am running Adventures in SciFi Publishing, I have a website, Twitter and Facebook feed to focus solely on writing and where I’ll avoid political and religous commentary. Because of this, I feel free to use my website as a place to be more honest about my spiritual walk. It will be obvious from the titles of my posts whether they will cross into taboo territory, but will always be based on a motivation of love. Read on, if you like. Continue reading
The occasional twitch in my right eye may say it all. Since taking over as Executive Producer at Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast, I’ve posted a podcast about every five days, built a review team of four members, and spent about an hour or more each night just with scheduling/emailing/marketing. I am enjoying the perks of books I otherwise couldn’t afford to buy and knowing that the podcast interviews I produce are now reaching an audience ten times larger than AudioTim did. On top of that, I started sending out the first portion of my novel, Kaimerus, to beta readers, and am working hard to ensure I polish five chapters a week for them. In the evenings, I am trying to read, both as part of being a successful writer and for researching whom to interview. Did you hear my announcement at the beginning of AISFP 215 about my becoming a first time father? And lastly, I had another setback with my groin injury that is now seven months long. Physical Therapy can’t help stupid, as I missed the last step on our stairs and the subsequent jump re-sprained my groin. Continue reading
My book review for the anthology, Like Water for Quarks, went live on SF Signal yesterday, and with it came a pretty upset commenter. This person thinks I should leave my personal convictions out of my reviews, to put it lightly. I’d like to clear the air as far as my philosophy on religion and politics being included or excluded in my social media presence, including book reviews.
Twitter and Facebook:
To be blunt, I don’t include religion or politics in my Twitter or Facebook feeds Continue reading
My two part interview series with Zachary Jernigan is now up at Adventures in SciFi Publishing (Part one; Part two).
I recently complimented Zachary Jernigan, debut author of No Return from Night Shade Books, as being a breakout author. He was shocked by this, because he’s humble at times, but also because he doesn’t think he has sold that many books. I told him I don’t see a breakout author as having to have sold a ton of books, but who has leaped ahead of the pack, or at least my expectations. His book is shockingly well written, for a debut novel, and immediately places him among the top tier of the genre.
Whom would you say deserves to be called a breakout author, and why?
My book review of No Return