Tag Archives: Science Fiction


New Fiction by Timothy C. Ward – Scavenger: A Sand Diver Tale

Hey, that’s my name up there. It is hard to imagine that the past six years of fully focused writing has only netted me two published stories, but I am glad to have waited until I had something I’m proud of. Scavenger is my Hugh Howey fanfic set in his Sand universe. You can read my story without have having read Sand, but I recommend you do both. I don’t mind if you read his masterpiece first, it is one of the best books I’ve read this year (Sand review).

This novelette is a complete story, but can expand into serialized long fiction if readers demand. I have a novel that is 2/3’s through edits, Order After Dark, and once I send that off to either a publisher or an editor, I can get back to this world. I’m inspired by what Hugh did with Wool, and will dream big even though the chances of repeating his success are minimal. I’d even take what some midlisters are doing with their serialized fiction. Michael Bunker recently released his Dunes Over Danvar 3, completing his Sand fanfic story. He has been at this for awhile, building up an audience via his off-the-grid blog, then serialized multiple books, Wick, Pennsylvania, and more. Michael was on the podcast back on Episode 249.

I suppose I’m one of many with hopes of publishing something that will help me get to the point of writing full-time, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try, and write as though this can.

ScavengerSo, what is Scavenger? It is about a sand diver who is grieving the loss of his son, and is given an opportunity to move on, but possibly in the wrong direction. The job he is offered could harden his heart enough to forget about his son, but it would also mean the final break between him and his estranged wife.

For me, this story is personal because I just had my first child. Scavenger gave me an emotional experience in writing that almost documents how I’ve grown as a human being since Kai was born, the new feelings I have as a father and husband. As a husband, I’m seeing how spouses can turn against each other when the baby creates tension. Coming from a broken home, my two biggest goals are being a great husband and father, but I also understand the temptation to push people away. I’m an introvert, and sometimes I form walls that exclude even those I love. Sometimes, I wonder if a worst case scenario is forming walls so thick that they become permanent, and in spite of my desire to have a joyful relationship with wife and child, I fail.

Scavenger is the story of someone on the verge of failure in that way.

You can purchase it at:

Amazon Kindle | Exclusive to Kindle for the next 90 days. Free to those in the Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Timothy C. Ward
Executive Producer

ScavengerTimothy C. Ward has been podcasting since 2010, first as AudioTim, and now with AISFP. His newest story, Scavenger: A Sand Diver Tale, is available on Kindle for $.99. His novel in progress, Order After Dark, is a Post-apocalyptic Fantasy set in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss. Sign up to his author newsletter for updates on new releases.

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Book Review: READY PLAYER ONE by Ernist Cline

Ready Player OneReady 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.

View all my reviews

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Book Review: vN by Madeline Ashby

by Madeline Ashby

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

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Tim and Rachel Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Into DarknessTim and Rachel Ward have been married almost four years. They are both a little geeky with their movie tastes. He likes post-apocalyptic movies with quality story and action, and she just wants the girl to get the guy in the end.

Other titles they’ve reviewed: TV show Touch (Season One) and movie John Carter.

SheriffTim: Going to see Star Trek Into Darkness, what were your hopes, expectations, and maybe fears? Continue reading

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AudioTim 48: New Authors Fellowship April Writing Update

AudioTim 1400I’m mixing things up a little from my normal schedule on AudioTim. First, I’ve donated the last three panels from Chicon 7 to Adventures in SciFi Publishing. “Disaster Response in Science Fiction” will post shortly. I’m giving them more shows than those three, so I’m not sure when the next episode will hit this feed. Maybe it will be next month’s NAF writer update, similar to this one. For the last, almost, two years, I’ve been a Feature Author over at New Authors Fellowship, blogging once a week about my writing journey. I’ve recently combined my desire to share my journey with other writers on a podcast, and this is it. This episode went a little longer than I anticipated, but since it’s the first one of this format, it made sense to spend a little time introducing ourselves, and two of us signed book contracts, so that was exciting news! Continue reading

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Quality Fan Fiction in Hugh Howey’s Wool Universe

Last PrayerLyndon Perry‘s short story, “The Last Prayer (A Silo Story) (The Last Silo),” is fan fiction set in Hugh Howey’s Wool universe… and it’s really good! I didn’t know what to expect, having loved Wool 1, but Lyndon surprised me with an emotional tale that creates its own set of problems and resolutions. I don’t want to ruin anything, so I’ll just say that I recommend this story to any fan of Wool, and cheers to Lyndon for writing such a powerful tale. Like Wool 1, it sets up its own epic problems with characters you’ll care about. I’m very excited to see this take off so I can read more in this silo. As Lyndon says, it’s a different silo, so while he captures the feel of Hugh’s Wool, he is free to build on his own timeline and surprise you as he wills.

Editor’s note: “The Last Prayer” is currently free on kindle. Hugh just wrote a new blog post mentioning another new wooliverse fanfic, The Sky Used to be Blue: a Silo story (Karma)
by Patrice Fitzgerald.

A different silo, a different threat. Continue reading

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AudioTim 46: Chicon 7 Panel “Quantum Physics Meets Magical Realism”

chicon 7Welcome to a recording of the World Science Fiction Convention, Chicon 7, panel, “Quantum Physics Meets Magical Realism:
The way in which Quantum Physics describes the universe seems more and more to enter the realm of the fantastic. Where does reality end and fantasy begin?
Tim Stoffel, Mr. Magic Realism/Bruce Taylor, Catherynne Valente

Previous Episodes:

AudioTim 45: Mark Tufo, Supernatural Horror Author of Zombie Fallout

AudioTim 44: Chicon 7 Panel “Conquering Writer’s Block”

More info on panel members and links mentioned in this panel: Continue reading

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Book Review: Second Shift – Order by Hugh Howey

Second Shift - Order Book cover ArtIn my review of First Shift, I debated the reading order between Wool 1 and First Shift, but Second Shift makes it clear that Wool Omnibus should be read before Second Shift. For this reason, I’m assuming that anyone looking to read the review for Second Shift has already read Wool Omnibus and the first two books of Shift Omnibus, all of which are so good that it’s doubtful you’re reading this to see if you should go on. If you haven’t read any of these, pick up Wool Omnibus and get ready for one of the best SF books out there.

This review will contain spoilers of everything except for Third Shift, which I haven’t read yet. I’m more interested in discussing with those who have read up to this point only. Continue reading

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Book Review: First Shift – Legacy by Hugh Howey

First ShiftFrequenters to my site know Hugh Howey is one of my favorite authors, ever since I came across his novelette, “The Plagiarist,” and quickly thereafter, Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 – 5) (Silo Saga). If you haven’t read Hugh yet, I’d recommend starting there. *** I waffle later in this review about whether or not reading this prequel first is better. ***

The intro novelette to Wool Omnibus, “Wool 1,” is permanently free on Kindle. My review of Wool Omnibus is spoiler-free, as are the podcast interviews linked within discussing Wool and Hugh’s publishing success story.

All that to say, I picked up First shift (now that the Shift Omnibus Edition (Shift 1-3) (Silo Saga) is available) with very high expectations. Waiting for the omnibus edition to arrive meant overhearing lots of positive reviews, many saying it was better than Wool, which is a tall order.

[My review of Shift Omnibus is now up at SF Signal.]

It may seem unfair to read a book with these kind of expectations, but it’s impossible to keep them out. I wanted Shift to be better than its predecessor, and thus every scene was seen through that extra critical lens. The good news is that First Shift held its own, and added a tremendous new level of interest into an already amazing series. Continue reading

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Looking Forward to 2013: As a Reader

sfsignal-Podcast-Logo-400x100As an aspiring author, I feel awful saying this, but as I plot out the books I want to read in 2013, there isn’t much room for new authors. This is one reason I’m taking my time on my debut novel, Kaimerus, because if I don’t have time to endure mediocrity, neither do you. I was a guest panelist on SF Signal Podcast, Episode 171, discussing what I look forward to in 2013, and here’s my side in writing, (and some I didn’t get to mention): Continue reading

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