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.
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.”
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.
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
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
In spite of me supposedly being on a brain vacation after writing “the end” on my novel, within a week I have become the new Executive Producer of Adventures in SciFi Publishing. It’s surreal, because I’ve been a huge fan, and while this is a dream come true, I’m also kind of sad that I can’t be purely a fan anymore.
My goal is to still make the show as if the host is the biggest fan, so expect fun times and continued high quality production. This Parsec Award winning podcast, in the words of its creator, Shaun Farrell, “Has its best days ahead of it.” I will do my best to prove him right. Continue reading
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
A more formal review will go up on SF Signal soon, but for now, here are my thoughts.
I’m very impressed with this debut novel from Madeline Ashby. She excels at making her A.I. robot perspective feel real, sometimes in humorous ways, sometimes in scary ways and most enjoyably through their struggle to experience love, freedom and responsibility over loved ones. The layout for how the robots iterate (make copies) appeals to the love of technology upgrades and creating superpowers, reminding me of an adventure through a video game and leveling up my characters, but in a story that also touches the heart.
Another way the author impressed me was in how she layers unexpecting conflict after unexpecting conflict, like getting beatup by the Terminator, then Bruce Lee shows up to snap a few roundhouses across your face, and then when you think you can’t take anymore, Chuck Norris walks in and says, “Madeline’s not even halfway done with you.” Sometimes, as a reader, you think an author is going to wait until later in the story to make survival impossible, but this author found new ways to surprise and doom her characters, seemingly, on a page by page basis. Continue reading
Saturday, I got to write these words on the fifth draft of my novel, Kaimerus. This concluded the third rewrite and about 320,000 words that I’ve put into this project. Kaimerus is not done yet, I still need to go through and polish some parts that are first draft quality, but most of the plot holes have been fixed and the ending is what I want. Continue reading