Preview of New Marketing Images

New posts about to release for Nine Streams of Consciousness

I and my fellow writers from the Nine Streams of Consciousness anthology have written marketing blurbs for each of our individual stories in the book. I am in the process of creating images and art to go with them. The intent is to post the series one at a time on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and test if promotion of the individual stories in a series of posts over a number of days / weeks will be of more interest to potential readers than a promotion of the overall book in general.

I am releasing these six as a sneak preview
of those posts coming later this month.

Review of The Flight of the Aurora

The three books (so far) of the Augment Saga

This is Alan K. Dell’s second novella and third book in the Augment Saga. It takes several of the characters we met in the previous novel (From The Grave of the Gods) and sets them on a new adventure several years after those events. You’ll definitionally need to have read From The Grave of the Gods before jumping into this short story. As a novella, this book is a fast read. The character setup is minimal since we were already introduced to the them, and the back-history, in the proceeding novel.

The book was well written and the pace of this short story kept me moving forward through the chapters. I loved how it explored the idea of a first flight with faster than light technology in a very believable way. The orbital mechanics and other scientific references are used correctly, but not in a textbook fashion. I got a very believable feel of this fictional world but was not hit over the head with an exposition of technical details. The scientific underpinnings of the story were blended well with the adventure and dialog in a way that kept the story moving, but hinted at well thought-out mechanics behind the scenes.

The adventure had a very “first flight” feel. It gave a feeling of uncertainty about the technology and the risk of failure which the first astronauts who went to orbit must have felt. At the end of several of the chapters I was compelled to keep reading even though it was late at night and I had expected to put the book down for the evening. By the way Alan, you owe me at least one lost hour of sleep! The story develops and expands on some very well implemented hard sci-fi rules, and does not violate them. I can see how the technology is setup here will be used to tell a great adventure among the stars in the next novel!

As with most well written short stories, my only regret is that it was a fast read. I kind of wished the adventure would continue, but this story was wrapped up in a satisfying way. I see how this episode fit the format of a short story, setting the scene for the next novel-length episode in this saga.

Book Review:

Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds

I read this book on the recommendation of a friend who loaned me his paperback copy. The story is presented with a very steam-punk, sci-fi infused, space opera feel. I was initially wondering if I would like this book as it seemed to have some initial head-hopping and confusing scenes in chapter one, but the further I read, the more interesting the characters and their journey became to me.

The adventure starts with a dramatic escape from a strange city filled with danger and quickly turns into an adventure of discovery and purpose. After running from the initial treats, the main characters will eventually change their perspective and purposely return to resolve the larger mysteries and problems that are slowly revealed in the story.

I’m not very familiar with steampunk genre stories other than maybe the “Firefly/Serenity” TV series (which this in some ways has the same fun feel as this tale – although this has less of a directly campy “western” setting). Because of my unfamiliarity with the genre, some of the names of various groups, places, and terms used felt a bit “silly” to me at first, but the more I got into the book the more they did fit the steampunk feel of the tale and soon I accepted the world that Alastair Reynolds was presenting in this novel.

The climax and conclusion was also very interesting. It wraps up the issues of the plot, yet almost leaves it open for a future sequel, but I don’t think there is a sequel to this book. (as far as I know it’s a stand-alone novel) But the ending has a good conclusion which I felt wrapped things up as much as needed and left the possibilities of the future open to the reader’s perspective.

All in all, a very imaginative and fun read that I might not have chosen on my own. I’m glad my friend recommended it to me.

Review – From the Grave of the Gods

Alan K. Dell's Novels
The novella prequel The Re-Emergence and novel From the Grave of the Gods

From the Grave of the Gods is set in a current-day hard science fiction universe, which then takes you into an adventure of humanity’s first real contact with advanced alien civilizations – an amazing, full-length novel by new author Alan K. Dell.

It’s wonderful to find a great page-turner from a new writer. The deeper I got into this book the more I couldn’t put it down (I know that is cliche’ but very true, I read the last 50% of it in a nearly consecutive 6 hour binge!)

The prologue to the novel presents a sequence of Commander James Fowler’s memories in the format of a forced interrogation of his mind, by an unknown pair of alien tormenters. Some of them are very cryptic but I believe it’s setting up things for the future Augment Series novels. One of these memories leads into the first chapter of this initial novel.

The story begins with the first manned mission to Mars in 2025, a mission to investigate what is at first believed to be an unusual comet impact site. The adventure follows the crew members through the mission as it morphs into a mysterious and traumatic ordeal, and the conspiracies and conspiracies which follow them back on Earth after the mission.

The major characters are very compelling and my connection to the them continued to grow stronger as the plot expanded and the dangers of the adventure deepened. I found myself anxious and personally invested in the jeopardy that the characters faced.

The pacing of the plot shows the patience of a seasoned storyteller, keeping us in the action and also giving the reader time to rest and invest in the characters. The universe that’s set in motion by this story is compelling. I can see how the series has a lot of room to expand and become even more exciting as the future novels come out.

This novel is a wonderful read on its own, and ends with it’s own satisfying conclusion, but I anxiously await Dell’s future novels in this series.

The Re-Emergence

I just completed a short read of The Re-Emergence – a fun novella which wraps up its own short episode with adventure and gives the reader a taste for the background to the soon to be published full length novel (The Grave of the Gods).

This is Alan Dell’s first published work. I have been following his project with interest while he has been creating it. I look forward to the full length novel this short story sets up. It is a quick and enjoyable introduction if you would like to consider his future works. I like that this short story sets up some of the back history of the coming novel rather than coming into the next book without any background or having it given as a short “prologue” of a larger novel. This gave us a full story and characters to enjoy while setting up that pre-history in an interesting way.

You can get a copy at Amazon:

Discounts for the Holidays!

Just for the holiday season, my fellow authors and I who wrote the fifteen stories in the “Nine Streams of Consciousness” science fiction anthology, have discounted our book at Amazon.

The #scifi #anthology Nine Streams of Consciousness is on sale.

Kindle E-book is nearly 30% off
Paperback is 9% off (about as low as Amazon lets us go – I wish it could be more).

Get it as a gift for someone or, just get a copy to enjoy for yourself!

United States
United Kingdom

If you read it, please be sure to leave a rating and/or review on Amazon or It helps our visibility on Amazon a lot if people leave us reviews and ratings!

Book Blurb

Our collaborative team of nine authors who are working on the anthology project spent time this week bashing about ideas for the book blurb.. the sell… the eye catcher for the back cover of the book and the description for Amazon. This is what we came up with:

A New Home, A New Challenge.

There was nothing left we wanted to discover. Complacent, we turned inward. We had given up on our quest to learn our place in the universe.

Then our hand was forced by fate.
A calamity unforeseen.

In the struggle to survive, would we lose ourselves in myth and wilful ignorance, or seek the answer to the greatest question: Are we alone?


What do you think? Will it interest readers?