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World-Ending Scenario

David Gittlin
David Gittlin Author Interview

The Silver Sphere follows a writer who finds a derelict AI which is the beginning of a wild intergalactic adventure. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

The novella began with a wisp of an idea for a short story on my blog. I’ve done this before. In every case, the story stayed short. I presented it as a single blog post. For some reason, The Silver Sphere refused to be relegated to a single post. It grew into a seven-part novella.

This is a riveting novella that is just under 50 pages. What inspired you to break this story up into seven parts?

The story grew to five continuing blog posts. After the fifth post, I said to myself, “Wait a minute. Only your wife and daughter plus a few friends are going to keep up with the story. Why not make it into a book?” So, I did.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I’d say friendships and emotional connections. I believe the world-ending scenario had to come, at least in part, from the threats of COVID and extremism prevalent and lurking in today’s world.

What can readers expect in the next story in the series?

The next book contains fourteen episodes. It’s twice as long as the first. I’m introducing a third main character. I have a bigger canvas that allows for more character development. It seems many of the reviews I read asked for these enhancements. The new book is titled, “Cataclysm–End of Worlds.” I expect to release it in early October 2021. I’m being deliberately coy about including more details.

PS–The Silver Sphere episodes are no longer available for free on my blog (www.davidgittlin.com).

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Blog

Strolling on a moonlit beach, Jacob Casell contemplates the ending of his over-due manuscript. When Jacob stumbles across a shiny silver sphere, the artificial intelligence inside speaks to him telepathically. Jacob’s startling discovery is only the beginning of a real-life adventure that goes beyond anything his creative imagination has ever conceived. An apocalyptic event is hurtling towards the Earth at the speed of light, and there is no time to waste. The odds of surviving the catastrophe are shrinking by the second.

The Silver Sphere is a seven part story illustrated with colorful photos.

Antithesis

Antithesis: A Collection of Science Fiction and Other Short Stories by [Svet Rouskov]

What happens when an AI system in a manufacturing plant becomes sentient and chooses to find itself a body? How do you explain a former pilot now scared of flying planes catching wind of the calamity about to befall the flight he’s on? Can an unusual creature feeding on people’s memories and instigating their death be stopped? How will a no-nonsense space pirate protect her ship and government threatened by the people closest to her? How did humans get caught up in the war between stone-like space creatures and the descendants of the ancient Mars civilization?

Svet Rouskov’s Antithesis is a medley of riveting short stories, with some split into parts. Rouskov presents thought-provoking science fiction tales with shades of the supernatural. He packs so much tension and intrigue into various bits of flash fiction and each bit brims with relevant insights on life, humanity, technology, and more.

I love how some of the stories have dark undertones while others are just downright creepy. They also have enough futuristic elements to tickle anyone’s fancy and seem to balance the thrill they offer with ample conflict. From alien life to paranormal activities, Rouskov brings his A-game of fun mixed with spooky stuff.

What’s even more impressive is the author’s ability to evoke vivid images in his reader’s mind. His writing is descriptive and immersive. On top of that, the stories are fast-paced and keep you on your toes all through. Rouskov undoubtedly has a way with words. He combines his knack for choosing the right words with his storytelling skills to create beautiful prose and compelling storylines.

Speaking of storylines, as I raced through each story, one thought kept popping up like a flickering light bulb: “this can easily be a film.” And guess what I found when I finished the book? Apparently, Rouskov is certified in filmmaking and started producing feature films, web-based series and television shows before switching to literature. He’s a master storyteller with loads of experience, and Antithesis reflects this. This volume gets 5 stars from me, and I can’t wait to get my hands on volume two.

Pages: 282 | ASIN: B08VMT89SC

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Lost Universe

Captain Patrick and his team are out to find the end of the universe, and they believe they have arrived at their destination. But they are not prepared for what’s coming next. Upon arrival, they receive news from aliens that earth and all its inhabitants have been vaporized. It turns out the captain and his three crew members are the only humans left in the entire universe. Now the Federation must protect these people and help them start a new race on a new earth. But there’s more to all this than meets the eye. Humans hold a deep secret that affects every creature in the universe. Now different forces are jostling to lay hold on it. What’s this secret, and to what length would the powers that be go to extract it from the last known humans?

Keith Brandon’s Lost Universe is a sci-fi novel that is brimming with activity and all of it is wrapped in an intriguing story line. Brandon sets up shop on extraterrestrial worlds. He takes us on a journey through the universe and tickles the imagination with accounts of aliens, spaceships, psychic powers, and advanced technology.

Keith Brandon builds his story around the common existential questions – who are we? Why are we here? And where did we come from? Interestingly, in his book, it is not man that’s asking these questions. In fact, it’s man who has the answers to them, buried deep in his subconscious. I find this interesting because it’s as if Brandon is saying if we looked deep enough, we’d discover the answers to these questions within ourselves.

Alongside the central theme, he also tells a story about leadership, unity in diversity, tolerance, and communal cooperation. Not to worry, all the convoluted conspiracies and cool alien tech transformed what would have otherwise been a snooze fest into a bubbling tale.

I like Brandon’s simplicity. It made the book easy to read. He also doesn’t try to cram so many details into the story. Instead, he keeps things concise and I could get through the book at a decent pace. With only a few grammatical errors here and there, the story was overall engaging. While Brandon weaves an engaging plot, I wanted to dig deeper into the exotic worlds he’s created in this book. Science fiction fans looking for a space opera brimming with adventure will have plenty to enjoy in this story.

Pages: 302 | ASIN: B07QWB8GJB

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The Pursuit of the Pankera

The Pursuit of the Pankera is a 2020 science fiction book by Robert A. Heinlein which is a parallel version of The Number of the Beast. The Number of the Beast and The Pursuit of the Pankera follow the same characters; Deety, Zeb, Hilda and Jake, who are ambushed by the alien called Black Hats, but escape in a vehicle that can travel through different planes of existence. When Robert Heinlein published The Number of the Beast in 1980 he created a parallel version of what would have happened if Zeb, Deety, Jake and Hilda were taken to another universe besides what had happened in the 1980 book and that story is called The Pursuit of the Pankera.

I have read many sci-fi books but nothing stands out as a unique continuation of a story quite like the The Pursuit of the Pankera. This book is an unparalleled science fiction thrill ride that is crafted to entertain the reader. Most authors write about parallel universes as an idea to begin a plot, but parallel universes are a part of the plot here and Robert Heinlein explores the idea vividly. He first wrote about a parallel universe and then went ahead and wrote a parallel version of the parallel universe story he had introduced to his readers. Which makes sense, I suppose, as this is exactly what the parallel worlds theory would suggest. Heinlein is able to imbue a feel of classic science fiction, propelled by action scenes, which the genre has righteously deemed ‘Heinlein-esque’. The feel of deep science fiction with thought-provoking theories and hard hitting action is on brilliant display here. Everything that made me a hardcore Heinlein fan so many years ago has resurfaced here.

The book was written in 1977 but published in 2020. The author wrote two parallel novels about parallel universe but released one in 1980. The two books share the same start but they diverge and the characters are transported to two different parallel universes. The Pursuit of the Pankera is a bold literary experiment and the results are astonishing.

Hardcore science fiction fans may rejoice, but all others must not fear, I found this book to be easily digestible considering the scientific ideas utilized throughout the book. A few bits of jargon, but I found them to be good mood setters. This is still a human story that builds up and tests some fascinating characters. A suspenseful and thought-provoking classic science fiction story that will delight anyone looking for a gripping space adventure.

Pages: 545 | ASIN: B082838YYY

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Beyond the Physical Realm

J. Elizaga Author Interview

J. Elizaga Author Interview

Penchant Revealed follows Miles as he discovers his superhuman anomaly after he protects his wife from a paranormal attack. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

I originally outlined a simple possession/horror story but it did not feel exciting or unique. Plus, I did not want yet another story showcasing an evil subject getting away with things. By chance, I watched a rerun of Ancient Aliens which speculated that alien DNA had been incorporated into human DNA. Suddenly, the idea that if nature finds a way, and alien DNA had been suppressed in human DNA, that it would manifest eventually– that is why there are seers who can see beyond the physical realm, or ghost whisperers who could speak with spirits–came to me, my Eureka moment I suppose.

Miles Penchant is an intriguing character that, I felt, continued to develop as the story progressed. What were some obstacles that you felt were important to the development of his character?

I wanted to introduce a superhero/superhuman who does not rely on any machines or lab-introduced enhancements, who was not aware of his power, and who has a biological weakness. You see his character change as the story unfolds.

This book is filled with some fantastic paranormal and ancient alien sci-fi. What balance did you want to strike between realism and the supernatural?

On the setting, I picked a tropical and sunny location on the planet (near the equator) to show that evil exists everywhere, not just in dark and dreary locations. The characters have regular jobs and the usual differences. On the character of Lucifer, he was initially the standard evil being who possesses people on Earth. But religious texts mention that Lucifer was defeated in a battle and imprisoned for a million years. So how can he possess people on Earth if he’s imprisoned somewhere? In developing his character, I had to answer questions on where he came from and what turned him into the ultimate evil against humans.

Also, I incorporated real science elements in the story. For example, there is a chapter that alludes or pays homage to nuclear fission. 🙂

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am in the midst of finishing a new short story inspired by the story of Joseph Merrick, known as the Elephant Man, hopefully ready by winter. After that, I return to Miles Penchant and the continuation of his story. Now with the knowledge that he has superhuman abilities, what does he do with that power?

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookSmashwords

Penchant Revealed by [Elizaga, J.]Miles Penchant keeps a secret from his wife. But even he isn’t sure what his secret is, until he defends his wife from a paranormal attacker and a band of otherworldly beings discover who he really is. This short story reveals the beginning of Miles Penchant’s fate, entwined with ancient aliens and archangels.

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Penchant Revealed

Penchant Revealed by [Elizaga, J.]

Presented with a science-based and fantastical plot line, fascinating characters, and a world of artificial intelligence, J Elizaga does a wonderful job in writing about science entities in this riveting book Penchant Revealed.

As a spellbinding sci-fi, Elizaga stuns readers with creative writing and an imaginative story line in the recent eBook Penchant Revealed. A book full of secrecy, discovery, and supernatural ability, this book is ideal for anyone who loves a good sci-fi! As a reader, we see how the author intertwines artificial intelligence with humans and other worldly beings that captivates readers and keeps them hooked right to the end.

Right from the very beginning, we say hello to Miles Penchant, the protagonist of the book. From then, we are constantly questioning Miles’ character. “What is Miles Penchant’s secret, and why is the devil pursuing his wife?” The reader is left hooked by these secrets and will read on to find out the truth before Miles, his wife, and what is going on in the world around them. Secrecy and discovery are two key themes that are paramount throughout the book. Without giving too much away, worlds far from ours are constantly in battle to unravel the truths. Hell’s mastermind, Lucifer, also referred to as the devil plays a vital role in obtaining the reader’s attention, as well as keeping the plot line strong until the end of the book.

Elizaga’s attempt at intertwining a world of humans and AI is ideal for any sci-fi fans that enjoys a book that is unlike any other. J Elizaga demonstrates a clear focus and powerful imagination in this creation of fictional fantasy.

I can appreciate the author’s creativity, and I believe that the author has created a strong narrative, and provides the reader with intriguing characters and a good plot line.

“We advise you to take extra care of her [your wife]. She will be haunted by what she experienced. But she will be less fearful knowing she is not alone.” This eerie excerpt from the book clearly highlights key themes such as isolation, marriage, experiences, discovery, and fear. What more could you possibly want in a good book?

A triumphant, intelligent and artistic piece of writing brought to you by the author, J Elizaga. A noble attempt at intertwining the real world with multiple dimensions including hell, ancient aliens, and archangels. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who takes an interest in artificial intelligence, secrecy, and a longing for discovery and resolution.

Pages: 73 | ASIN: B07452QYJZ

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Violent Confrontations

Kimon Alexander Author Interview

Kimon Alexander Author Interview

Redemption: The Advent is a fantastic sci-fi-thriller set during present day where a police investigator becomes host to an ethereal being from a parallel universe. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

As a civil engineer with a master’s degree from a Canadian university, my career required me to travel and live in a number of countries among people with diverse cultural backgrounds. These differences often resulted in violent confrontations with grave injustices inflicted by opposing ideologies. At the same time our world is currently inflicted with two devastating plagues, the proliferation of drugs and religious radicalization.

The book tackles these topics by describing two contemporary adventures, interlaced with superhuman moral guidance. In so doing I wanted to demonstrate the vanity of materialism and the virtue of harmony and peace which can only be achieved through empathy and understanding.

The Valdorians have watched Earth and deemed humanity too far gone to achieve spiritual evolution. What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating the Valdorian race?

Although I adhere to no specific philosophy my deepest convictions indicate that there must me a superior intelligence underlying the whole of creation. The nature of this intelligence is unknowable. What is evident however is that harmony and understanding will bring peace to the world. This is the only credible behavior that will result in unity with each other and ultimately our creator.

James Baxter becomes host to a Valdor which leads to some very interesting conversations and confrontations. What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?

In a world where science and technology are advancing at breakneck speeds and greed appears to be the main driving force in human affairs, the spiritual meaning of the old systems that govern us is becoming increasingly blurred.

By imagining a race of beings that are immortal, it necessitates a different viewpoint to morality and the reason for existence. By the interactions outlined in the book some of our religious myths are intermingled and questioned. The interaction provides food for thought that will resonate with anyone who has ever pondered on the mysteries of creation.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

“Redemption the Journey” – Sequel to “Redemption the Advent” – It will elaborate on the trials and tribulations resulting from the Valdor intervention, as they attempt to create a Utopia on Earth.

I have already planned the basic outline of the novel but will only complete the narrative once the first novel proves popular.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads

Redemption: The Advent by [Alexander, Kimon]Two beings. One Body. And a critical mission to save the world. The Valdors, ethereal beings from a parallel dimension, have guarded the development of consciousness since the beginning of time. Humanity’s greed and fanaticism have derailed progression towards spiritual evolution, and the Valdor Council has earmarked Sol III (Earth) for annihilation. In one final effort, Balthazar is sent to Earth to redeem Humanity. When Bal connects with the mind of James Baxter, a seasoned police investigator, he must convince him to assist with his mission. Bal and Baxter have to share the same body. Using human effort and Valdor mental power, they combat a drug lord who has hijacked a mind-controlling microchip, and an Islamic extremist who plans to rule the world. Embarking on an adventure of intrigue and ruthlessness, Bal and Baxter’s journey exposes the weaknesses and triumphs of the human character as they struggle for Humanity’s redemption.

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Vatican Protocol

The Vatican Protocol

A mystery novel that tackles uncomfortable issues with a splash of adventure is what readers will find within the pages of The Vatican Protocol by Brian Gallagher. This book contains all the basics of a mystery: intrigue, conspiracies, subterfuge and best of all, aliens. Whether or not the aliens are real and what relationship they have to the story that is told is up to the readers to discover. It’s a grand journey that crosses over the Atlantic Ocean to Europe in search of answers. Almost Indiana-Jones-esque, this adventure will surely have readers turning those pages to discover just what the relationship is between these aliens and the ever esteemed Vatican church. The answer might just surprise all who pick this up.

We follow our protagonist, Sean O’Sea, as he begins his journey from his comfortable home to Europe where his life is placed in jeopardy several times. It’s not a good action story without some sort of armed confrontation. Sean seems like a regular man with very irregular friends as he pursues his latest obsession with alien theories and whether or not there is any truth to the stories that have been told. He’s a likeable character and his ‘everyman’ flavouring will allow all readers to feel a bit of them in him. This allows readers to connect with the story on a more personal level and demonstrates the clever wordsmithing at play. The cast of characters is easy to keep track of even if it may seem like there are a few more than necessary.

The small downfalls of this book is the dialogue and how convenient everything seems. There are points in the novel when characters are conversing between themselves and their words seem stilted and forced. As if they are speaking just for the sake of speaking. This detracts slightly from the overall tone of the novel, but it is easy to move past.

As for the convenience of everything, this could just be a story element to help solidify the conspiracy flavour of the book as a whole, but it seems contrived in some areas. Our protagonist just happens to have a summer home that is looked after by a man who just happens to have worked with the CIA on top secret missions. Our protagonist also just happens to make friends with some very influential people during his travels and just happens to uncover a massive plot while being an ordinary man. Perhaps this is what makes a great conspiracy tale, however it felt a little too easy. But these are minor and don’t take away from the joy of reading.

For readers who enjoy reading conspiracy theories that involve the church and global cover-ups, you will definitely find an enjoyable read in The Vatican Protocol by Brian Gallagher. This action story knee-deep in such a controversial subject is entertaining to read and the twist at the end will have all readers questioning exactly what transpired in the pages of the book.

Pages: 286 | ASIN: B01G0Y8ZFG

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