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Completely Out Of Place

Joseph Calev
Joseph Calev Author Interview

The Paramount Dimension follows a scientist into an alternate dimension where he must win the heart of his love and fend off impending disaster. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

It was honestly a challenge my son Nathan gave me: write a better book than Ready Player One. At the time, it was his favorite book, and when I stated I could do one better, he asked me to back that up. Today, The Paramount Dimension is still his favorite.

Jason and Raynee are intriguing characters with an interesting relationship. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted Jason to be someone everyone could relate to. He’s completely out of place in The Paramount Dimension and is frustrated by how complex that world is. This is something most of us feel. For Raynee, I wanted a countering force: someone completely confident and adept, who’s always one step ahead of Jason.

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

Neil Degrasse Tyson and Kip Thorne were huge influences here. In fact, the way wormholes and teleportation worked came straight from Kip Thorne, even though I ignored his statements that they’re both impractical. I also was moved by statements that our four basic forces could have been different. That made me think of which forces would have been cool to have instead, and so I came up with resonance, avalance, orasance, essonance, and cenosance.

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

I just released a new novel in Allen, King of Seattle. It’s closer to a children’s book, and is a lot sillier.

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Jason falls in love with Raynee almost the moment he sees her. She thinks he’s a turnip. What the heck? Turns out, he was.

After watching his home and the city of Seattle destroyed by an alien force, he’s tossed out of Earth and onto the paramount dimension, where strange forces capable of materializing objects, crossing dimensions, and seeing the past apply. There, Jason is stunned to learn that the Earth itself may have been but a class demonstration. Yet that’s the least of his concerns in a place where basic concepts like gravity and atoms don’t exist.

In this world where he meets a six-year-old expert in quantum physics, he’s not even smart enough to pass Kindergarten, let alone to enter Raynee’s school for the gifted. Yet even where black holes and supernovas are mere musical instruments, he’s the attraction as the only former-vegetable in history. Jason realizes that he has a monumental task in front of him to win Raynee’s heart, but first he has to learn how to walk and eat in this new world.

His chance of proving himself is made even tougher by the deadly nightmare hanging over the planet by the name of Mordriss, who might even be Jason’s father.

The Unknown In Human Society

Jon Gray Lang
Jon Gray Lang Author Interview

Secret Matilda seized by the Consortium while creatures invade and revolution ignites the edges of space. What were some sources that guided this novels direction?

One of the ideas that held fast to me was how would an oppressive government that had shortchanged its military handle an invasion and a burgeoning revolution at the same time? One of the more recent historical examples I researched was how the Chinese National government handled the invasion by the Japanese military during World War II, and how this fomented the revolution fronted by Mao Zedong. Another example I read up on was the Russian Empire during World War I and after for context. My story and characters are not an analog of these events, but they both made for good examples to work from.

Something else I had to research heavily and modify to fit my story was how would a nomadic people exist in such a ‘world’. An obvious example is the Romany people, but I also dug into the Sami people of Norway and Russia. Other pieces came from the gatherings of ancestral family groups where trade, marriage and the like would occur. Human history is rich with information, and I can never know enough.
On a more fun note, I had already done tons of research on tardigrades you know… because you do. To be honest, that was the part I was most looking forward to, and ‘Surprise!’ it was my favorite part to write.

What were some challenges you felt were important to defining your characters in this story?

Some of the challenges I wanted to showcase was how the crew of the ship each have their strengths and weaknesses and how those play into their decisions. How would each of them respond in a highly tense situation? How would each of them respond to capture or dealing with the unknown in human society? In the end, it was important to me to show how they truly work best as a team… as a family.

Equally challenging was how would Galena make sense of what is happening to her? She isn’t alone under the skin of her body or in the confines of her mind. This was easily the hardest part to write for me, but also one of the more interesting.

Another thing I wanted to highlight and give some precedence to was Jacquotte Delahaye. We’ve only come to know her a little bit, from being born on the Matilda and living her life onboard. But there is more to her. This book gave me the chance to flesh out more of her story.

What has been the most surprising reader reaction to your series?

One of the more interesting reactions to me over the whole story is how certain characters seem to resonate with different readers. It’s been a fascinating experience talking with readers and how some really like one character and not like another only to get the reverse from the next person! As the story has unfolded, some of the readers have warmed to the ones they didn’t like or at the very least, seem to understand them. I mean I love them all, and I know some of them are not very likable folk… at all. So, it was a lot of fun to learn this.

But one of my favorite responses is that moment when the reader realizes that all of the chapter titles and all of the book titles are song titles from Luli’s playlist. It makes me grin like a Cheshire cat every time!

What can readers expect in book five of the Matilda series?

What wouldn’t you expect? More action! More adventure! More mystery! Some answers! New tarnished bits of the universe to explore! And finally, the story of the Matilda will come to a close.

The real question is, with only Galena on Jacquie’s mind, will a dead engine stop her? Will the alien invasion get in the way? Will the revolution be a roadblock? Can anything stop her and her intrepid crew? I can’t wait to find out!

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Rebels. Crime Lord. Cyborg. Doctor. Prisoners.

Far off into the future in a distant part of the galaxy, the Consortium controls the human colonies held together by the jump gates. Where the Consortium doesn’t hold sway, crime flourishes. Through the use of a hellish engine that goes where no one should, the crew of the Matilda slips its way between the two. But it all went pear-shaped once the Consortium seized them.

Revolution ignites on the edges of controlled space. Nightmarish creatures invade other systems. All while Jacquie and her crew remain powerless under the boot of the Consortium. And the thought on everyone’s mind is, where is Galena?

What does the organism within Galena want? Is there a chance Jacquotte Delahaye can find her friend when no one knows where she is? With a shot-to-hell Matilda in lockdown, is escape even possible?

Burn your sublight engines hot and blast into the fourth book of the series, Secret Matilda.

When I Decided To Write A Fantasy

Ian Conrey
Ian V. Conrey Author Interview

Haelend’s Ballad is an epic fantasy novel that follows an ensemble cast that are trying to survive in a war torn land where fate conspires against them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Definitely history. Our own world is full of war and atrocities, and yet we often only see one side of the story. But when we look at these historical events from various perspectives, we see a much more complex (and often darker) reality. When I decided to write a fantasy, I felt that having a large cast from different backgrounds and perspectives would be the best way to reflect that reality.

Your characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

On one level, I simply wanted my characters to be real. I wanted them to be flawed, multi-faceted, and to sometimes just make really bad decisions. They needed to wrestle with their own sins and as well as the sins other against them, and that, in turn, should impact the choices they make. On another level, music was a big influence that helped shape each of my characters. I listened to a lot of early American ballads and classical composers, as well as more recent musicians such as Mumford and Sons, Radiohead, and Josh Garrels. Every character represented something that spoke to me in that music.

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

The biggest theme is probably suffering (how it impacts our worldview, the decisions we make, etc.). Other themes include the consequences of racism, nationalism, and political/economic corruption, as well as the power and freedom found in forgiveness, love, and self-sacrifice.

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

I’m currently working on a series of short stories that explores some of the mythology and other events in the world of Haelend’s Ballad. Also, I’ll be collaborating with my cover illustrator at the beginning of next year to create a series of illustrations for a hardback edition of Haelend’s Ballad that I hope to release at the end of 2022.

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“Some call me Murderer, others call me Lord. I’ve been called Savior and Enslaver. But no one has ever called me Child.”
A young man signs his own death warrant when he joins an already failing militia. A teenage girl is haunted by her childhood abuse and begins to crave the very things she hates. A childless mother finds herself on the run as a convicted murderer. Yet they are all unaware that their own fates are tied to a young orphan who has drowned and come back to life in a foreign land where he will be the death of everyone he meets.
Hælend’s Ballad is a tale about what happens when men and women from two colliding cultures realize they may not be on the right side. Heroes are villains. The persecuted are oppressors. And when rumors begin to spread that the world is dying, the darkness of their own hearts betrays them.

Tribes

Tribes (G.W. Morgan's The Enlightenment Protocols Book 1) by [G. W. Morgan, Don Ciers]

Tribes by G.W Morgan is an action packed space opera which follows the trials and tribulations of two empires and wars that encompass many worlds. We are first greeted with a very detailed introduction to the world in Tribes, showing how technologically advanced the civilization is and the various struggles faced by the empire. As the war comes to an end, one soldier of the alliance is about to start a whole other conflict based on a dislike for the empire’s actions. The book then takes an entertaining turn, driving us through a decently paced science fiction adventure that is full of twists.

This is an engaging and intellectually invigorating story with a detailed and compelling world that I feel we are only scratching the surface of. The book was engaging, relying on science fiction tropes many fans will recognize and appreciate if you enjoy classic science fiction.

The book is relentlessly moving forward. It is filled with war and conflict, making this is an action oriented story that utilizes its characters effectively to move the story along and serve readers a compelling plot rather than getting bogged down in character development. While I felt the characters were overshadowed by the fascinating and well-developed plot I still felt that the characers felt authentic and will resonate with readers.

Tribes tells a rich and thoughtful story that was entertaining to the very end. The novel leads the reader through some interesting wars and sets up a classic battle pitting one philosophy against another. Readers who enjoy space fleet science fiction will be engrossed in this vivid and intense story.

Pages: 434 | ASIN: B01HH2O77A

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Secret Matilda

Secret Matilda (Matilda Series Book 4) by [Jon Gray Lang]

The Matilda Series by Jon Gray Lang is the space saga that keeps on giving! Secret Matilda is book four of the series, and continues to be a riveting science fiction adventure and a page turner full of action that will satisfy the needs of every sci-fi lover out there. The book starts right in the middle of the action, setting the space-faring mood for the rest of the story. Chapter after chapter something new and exciting is introduced, the characters are always moving and the entire plot is incredibly dynamic. It is impossible to get bored while reading the story.

It’s so much fun getting to follow, yet again, the Matilda crew on their adventures and misadventures as they travel throughout Consortium controlled space. The bond between the members of the crew feels even more realistic as one can sense the worry and the love that they have for one another. Fans of the Mass Effect video games will enjoy this story as I felt the character relationships against a sci-fi backdrop were reminiscent of that game. This time, the characters find themselves once more in the middle of danger. Imprisoned and with Galena missing, they’ll have to figure out a way back to freedom to save their friend, having only worry, love and a need for survival uniting them on their quest. The characters are quite fierce and all around strong willed, however, as they deal with dreadful situations their vulnerabilities start to appear, a detail that is highly appreciated and has made them very engaging.

In this well-defined space opera we get to see a bit more of what could be happening with Galena Chadov, a mystery that has kept both readers and members of the crew on edge in the last books. With this though, new mysteries emerge and the plot thickens. Now, new possibilities are presented and the crew may have to encounter unknown dangers. Strange creatures seem to be creeping from remote dimensions, a serious threat that appears to be looming for the next books. The revolution against the Consortium is finally on its way as well, adding a new layer of complexity and intrigue to the story.

As with the other books, Secret Matilda has been brilliantly structured, with short yet gripping chapters that keep the story moving at full speed. The plot is quite complex, supported by unique characters with intricate motivations, and a highly creative setting that lets your imagination fly.

Author Jon Gray Lang has again created a captivating book filled with possibilities. The state of the Matilda perfectly represents all that the crew has been through, getting to escape each time just by luck. Is the end of the Matilda near? Will the crew find their friend Galena and save her? Will the revolution succeed? Or perhaps everything will be tainted by the appearance of these strange, yet highly intelligent alien creatures? These questions remain unanswered and one can only wait with lots of excitement for the next book of the series. Secret Matilda is a gripping space adventure whose characters will, with time, steal the hearts of readers.

Pages: 444 | ASIN: B09G5Y5YKS

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This Twist In His Psychology

Nassim Odin
Nassim Odin Author Interview

The Cure for Stars follows Al-Khidr through a wormhole with Hatathor behind him as they land forward in time in Egypt as it’s being invaded by Napoleon. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that differed from book one?

I want to write historical fiction. It was more like an experiment for me. Al-Khidr did not have the full knowledge of botany, but he had to find the cure. Hatathor, on the other side, was well versed in technology, but his capabilities too were limited because of battery issues. I liked to show the reader that technology doesn’t help much without electricity or power banks.

Further on, the role of artificial intelligence in language studies is far more critical than the amount of research done in these areas. In my opinion, all the human languages are connected, and in the future, humans should be able to construct algorithms that can connect ancient as we as new languages together. In this journey, I explored the ancient Egyptian language and found many words still spoken in Arabic but must have connections with the ancient Egyptian language. Like alien Lyrian disease, Mumut is a word in ancient Egyptian, meaning contagion, and in Arabic, the term “Mut=Mit” is a root used for dead or dying. This shows that Arabic has connections with the ancient Egyptian language. Similarly, I found many other parallels between the two languages.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

As mentioned above, I browsed through ancient Egyptology dictionaries, and I wanted to construct noun-based complete sentences based on the ancient Egyptian language. I am pleased that I successfully made some lines for alien language through this. Also crucial for me to understand the medieval Egyptian view on pyramids and Sphinx (unadulterated by Greek mythology or thoughts). I do not want to call the well-known statue of Sphinx – a sphinx as this is purely a Greek idea to call the figure by this name. Neither ancient Egyptians nor Arabs call the statue as Sphinx. For Al-Khidr’s character, building such elements was necessary, as Al-Khidr had the world view primarily based on 9th century Arabia.

This seemed like a fun book to write? What scene did you have the most fun writing?

I enjoyed writing about Hatathor more than the human. Perhaps because Hatathor’s character has multiple dimensions, he first considered himself a savior, and then he thought the earth was a cursed planet. This twist in his psychology needed detailed elaboration to understand his complex personality. So right from the wormhole, I showed what he was thinking and did almost minute details. Al-Khidr did not need all of that. As he was human, and we already know how he would react.

What can readers expect in book three in The Sphere of Destiny Trilogy?

A reader would find a complex Lyra. A place with new characters, new aspirations, new politics, and a new survival struggle. It explains how advanced societies changed into superstitious cultures.

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One man. Two worlds. A million reasons to say no… but at what cost?

Al-Khidr was inside the Hall of Stars, and now he was moving inside a wormhole—a cosmic tunnel that opened up right above the Hall of Stars was spiraling down through galaxies like a coiled serpent from planet Lyra towards Earth. He was unaware of the alien major General Hatathor who was also sucked into the wormhole due to his own act of charging sequence disruption. Where the wormhole was leading? None of them knew. But the one thing sure to the aliens was that the jump was going to happen both in time and space.

The Paramount Dimension

The Paramount Dimension by [Joseph Calev]

The Paramount Dimension, by Joseph Calev, follows Jason Bezna as he discovers an alternate dimension and finds out who he really is. This novel is a quirky science fiction story that takes the reader on an interesting journey. The book begins with a “turnip”, the name for humans, Jason Bezna dreaming about an alternate universe and the destruction of its people. He meets Raynee who is the girl of his dreams and from a different dimension, the dimension that he thought was only a dream. Jason is unlike any turnip she has encountered, and they soon find out he was not meant to be in the human world. Jason is placed in the Paramount Dimension and must adapt to his surroundings, figure out who he is, find his real parents, and try not to kill anyone in the meantime. Throughout this fantastic adventure Jason discovers the power he holds and what it may cost him.

Author Joseph Calev has a very informative and engaging writing style. The novel is based on real scientific principles with a mix of fantasy that makes the novel feel grounded even when it’s outlandish. The characters created in this novel were delightfully fun to follow. Raynee is a well-developed character and her background made her my favorite to read. Jason, although the main character, can be a bit aloof, making him a peculiar but unforgettable character.

I felt like this novel is a slow burn that takes its time to setup the plot and characters. If you are a reader interested in mathematics and physics then you’ll have plenty to enjoy in this book. The imaginative plot redeemed this book as it was a unique twist that I did not see coming. The last third of the book is where things really take off as it had so much depth and entertainment value that, by the end of the book, I was completely engrossed in the story.

The Paramount Dimension is an offbeat science fiction adventure story that takes readers in creative and unexpected directions with a payoff at the end that is well worth the buildup. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an imaginative use of science, a story with multiple dimensions, and a bit of action to tie it all together.

Pages: 241 | ASIN: B08W2C9175

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The New Cold War

The New Cold War : Defending Democracy From Russia's Secret Tech Weapon (Relevant Book 2) by [Peter Zaccagnino]

A war is being fought on a battlefield that’s separated by thousands of miles. The New Cold War, the latest entry in author Peter Zaccagnino’s thrilling The Relevant Series, finds Russia developing a technological superweapon that can destabilize the balance of power between the U.S. and Russia and create a new world order. Can agent Chris Hodge and his crack team figure out the complicated puzzle behind Russia’s quantum computer and accomplish their mission?

Throughout this riveting story every character has a unique dynamic that makes them very engaging. They are either witty, intelligent, or brave and they all serve to educate the reader about various political and technical matters through their unique points of view and knowledge of world affairs. Agent Hodge is skilled, punctual, politically savvy and a chess pro to boot. He will capture readers’ attention with his personality. As the novel’s only female character, Miss Valerie Mosier, exudes an autocratic, modern, and assertive female vibe that makes her an excellent character in a contemporary thriller. Also, an important character in the plot is Sergei, a brilliant and frustrated scientist, which I think serves as an example of how people allocated with the responsibility of advancement of a nation must have freedom of choice.

In an otherwise business-oriented atmosphere, the witty exchange of views between the tech-savvy and experts of the cyber security agency really elevates the intrigue in this novel. The chess tournament and matches between Hodge and other players are also what I believe to be ‘the knight’ in the story, a crucial element to the book.

This is an engrossing techno-thriller replete with technical jargon that will immerse readers in the quantum computing world. While I was a bit confused, as I’m certainly not an expert in quantum computers, I think it did feel authentic and led me to want to research a bit about quantum computing to make sense of the terminology. Nonetheless, as the story progresses, the author has done a great job including the character of Bond, a person who is less acquainted with quantum computing, so that the experts could explain it in layman’s terms to Bond and the reader.

With discussions of diversified political views and capitalism vs communism, the author has come up with a riveting story exploring the New ‘Cyber’ Cold War between the U.S. and Russia, and educates the reader about quantum computing while doing so.

The New Cold War is an intellectually-invigorating political thriller that is high in social commentary. Readers who enjoy crime thrillers or suspenseful espionage action novels will have plenty to enjoy in Peter Zaccagnino’s well-crafted page-turner.

Pages: | ASIN: B09J6GN127

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