Authors Showcase: Beyond Science Fiction
April 25, 2012
The Book: SufferStone
The Author: Stella Atrium
The Story: On Dolvia the women of the savannah serve under the burka, but Kyle Le was denied that covering by tribal leaders. Only her gift of second sight and the mortgage on her father’s land protects her and her three sisters.
Working alongside Brian Miller from Earth, who manages a textile factory, and the warrior Cyrus, she labors against the mining enterprise that robs the savannah of its mineral wealth and leaves the tribes with only the scarred and suffering land.
From the Author: I was a great reader of science fiction as a young person, but I began to wonder why the protagonist in a sci-fi or fantasy story was always a man, even when the writer was female. Where were the stories that presented a woman as the problem solver?
A real heroine cannot call on armies to follow her, or pay assassins for special work. She may have children already, so adventure is out of the question, and family must be secure before she can enter the public square where she has no voice. I could find no books that started with this premise, so I had to write some. And that was my first reason to write.
Review: “SufferStone is definitely in the top ten of all I have read this year. Your use of the different belief systems and cultures was marvelous. Thank you for a very literate book and a great read.”
Review: “An intriguing tale. The struggle to overcome oppression, to preserve a way of life, to maintain compassion in a cold and hateful conflict, is always interesting and involving … Atrium has a flair for creating and maintaining an atmosphere of mysticism and mystery … she stays true to the situation, never slipping out of the frame she has set.”
Review: This book grabbed me right in the first paragraph and pretty much held my attention all the way to end; that really isn’t the end. But note that you are told right up front that this is book #1 of The Dolvia Saga so don’t expect a really great ending in this book. Still buy the time you get to the end you are ready for a break exhausted with all the suspense and work along the way. Although Miller talks about going to Montana to raise horses he is stuck in outer space struggling to find his niche and survive a Universe that isn’t all black and white.
“This is a person who works the angles and seeks out survival when it doesn’t seem possible; nevertheless he is one who will also ride a white horse for a good cause. Following him around in the frontiers of space and share the adventure and problems he gets into as he works with those being taken advantage of. It’s a fascinating read.
The Book: All Good Men Serve the Devil
The Author: Michael K. Rose
The Story: Agent Frank Allen is assigned his toughest investigation yet, the murder of a powerful politician on Earth. Was it a political assassination or was it personal? To find out, he’ll have to track down the killer, a man named Rick Sullivan.
This cat-and-mouse thriller follows Allen and Sullivan across the known galaxy to planets where life is cheap and law and order is non-existent. And Allen finds that Sullivan and the answer he seeks is more complex than he imagined.
Sullivan is not only fighting a war against the oppressive government of his home planet, he’s fighting a war against injustice everywhere. But in his righteousness, is Rick Sullivan only serving the Devil? And does Frank Allen serve the very same master?
Review: “It’s been a while since I’ve read a great sci-fi treat like this one. Author Michael Rose shows a real talent for effortlessly introducing his readers to a gritty, futuristic universe instantly recognizable despite its far-flung worlds and glittering spaceships. Moving along as smoothly as one of the author’s hyper-space engines that power his space faring freight-liners, the plot takes you quickly from the crime scene of a New York homicide to distant worlds, reminding you that this is indeed a science-fiction novella, one conforming to the highest traditions of its genre with plenty of action, space ships, and blaster-wielding heroes.
“At the same time there are elements of a classic mystery and detective thriller woven throughout, making for a truly absorbing story. The single flaw if one existed was disappointment that I had reached the end and could not follow the main protagonist Rick Sullivan to his ultimate fate immediately. Sci-fi fans will undeniably enjoy this one and like me. I eagerly await the next installment. Two enthusiastic thumbs-up for this one!”
Review: I am not a fan of hardcore science fiction, rather those stories that lead the reader slightly ahead of our time and, perhaps, slightly out of our universe. Bradbury and Clarke did this well, taking me to Mars or out beyond the moon in 2001/2010/2061. While my brother doted on the grand epics of Asimov and Herbert, I didn’t find myself drawn to them as much.
There had to be a middle ground.
Like a fist in the face, along comes Michael K. Rose and Sullivan’s War. Not only is the science in the science fiction understandable and believable, the political and sociological arenas are familiar yet distant. With sharp prose, delicate and –at times – stabbing dialogue, scene setting that is on par with the best of the fiction writers of the past, Rose delivers a one-two punch to the gut that makes this reader want more and more.