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What’s The Worst World I Can Imagine

Author Interview
Natalie Hibberd Author Interview

Inside Out follows a young man and his friends as they see their dystopian world torn apart by Freedom Fighters and their government’s harsh reaction to them. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I began writing this novel over a decade ago – when I was twelve years old. I was quite an angsty teenager (I am now quite an angsty twenty-something!) I suppose the real genesis of this novel was asking the question “what’s the worst world I can imagine and what would the consequences be of that?” Worryingly, I think the premis has got closer to reality over time.

Zack is an interesting character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Inside Out has an ensemble cast – all dear to my heart – but Zack is one of my favourites! He has a very fierce protective streak in him and that gets more apparent as the story goes on. Without wishing to give too much away, that need to protect leads him to take some fairly extreme measures. Whether or not they’re sensible – I’ll leave the readers to decide!

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

One of the biggest themes I wanted to tackle was the destructive evil of prejudice. As a disabled woman, that’s something I’ve had to contend with all my life. It is such a pointless, baseless concept, and yet it ruins so many lives. I also wanted to tackle the fact that those who are in power are not always the best suited to it, and the lengths they will go to maintain their standing.

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

I am currently running final checks on the sequel to Inside Out. Hopefully, it will be released by the end of this year. I am so excited for my lovely readers to experience it!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In a divisive world of mistrust and murder, there’s only one thing that matters growing up: you’re either in The Inside or The Outside.
While the Insiders appear pampered and privileged, the Outsiders know only harsh realities. Believing themselves to be needlessly deprived of everything the Insiders have, the younger generation channel their rage into a terrorist group called The Freedom Fighters, a group intent on overthrowing the Inside at any cost. Now the Insiders must watch as the world they love collapses around them while the government resort to increasingly desperate tactics to try and contain the Outside threat. When the latest initiative catapults one of the young into the heart of the war, everything is pushed to breaking point.
Loyalties will be tested. Lives will be risked. Their worlds will change forever.

Space-Faring Sci-Fi And Epic Fantasy

Bobbie R. Byrd
Bobbie R. Byrd Author Interview

Lady Silver follows a warlock and a soldier who grudgingly join forces to prevent the multiverse from collapsing. What was the inspiration for the setup to your epic space opera?

To be totally honest, I really don’t know. I grew up on the original “Star Trek” and “Lost in Space.” Had a major pre-teen crush on Captain Kirk. Then came “Star Wars” and “Battlestar Galactica.” There was “Star Trek: Next Generation” and “Voyager.” I was, and still am, an avid Dungeons and Dragons player.

I think it was a combination of all of these factors, plus my voracious appetite for reading sci-fi, fantasy, and horror books, that formed the basis for the world I’ve constructed in the “Warlock Chronicles” series. I always thought it would be incredibly kick-butt if elements of space-faring sci-fi and epic fantasy could meld. So when I began writing the series, this is basically what came out.

I began writing this tale 30 years ago. It’s gone through multiple incarnations over the years with the final product the one you see in print today.

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

I wanted a strong male character who was not ashamed to be male. You won’t find Bastion in skinny jeans or sporting a man-bun. And I wanted to portray a woman who wasn’t afraid to be feminine, to embrace her feminine nature, but who also wasn’t afraid to be strong when she needed to be. I wanted her to grow over the course of the tale from something that society forced her to be to who SHE wanted to be and who she really is. I wanted main characters who weren’t afraid to demonstrate, “This is who I am and I will not allow society as a whole or any one individual to make me into something I’m not.”

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

I wanted to demonstrate how a woman could be a woman in the true and traditional sense while also being strong, independent, and a power to be reckoned with all on her own. The same for the male lead character. Men face just as much pressure to conform to society’s idea of “normal” as women.

It was also important to me to show that doing what is right isn’t always easy, it isn’t always pretty, and it isn’t always something we may want to do. Sometimes you have to fight your way through a lot of what’s not right before you can get to what is right. The ends don’t always justify the means, but sometimes they do. That’s just a fact of life.

This is book one in the Warlock Chronicles. What can readers expect in book two?

“INTO THE WELL: Warlock Chronicles, Book II” picks up the story where “LADY SILVER” ended. It continues the trek of the Maelstrom and her crew into Well space in search of the lost homeworld of the human and warlock races. In Book II, D’Isaac and Bastion must find a way to seal the breach in the barrier between dimensional layers before the multiverse itself unravels. There will be a Book III (“The Emperor’s Son”) and Book IV (“The God of Rycappa”) coming also.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The multiverse is unraveling.

When religious zealots resurrect the ancient technology that ripped open the dimensional barrier six thousand years ago, the galaxy faces another coming Cataclysm.

Warlocks and humans, sister races of the same evolutionary tree, are divided by millennia of enmity and ancient animosity. It will take the magic of the warlocks and the humans’ technology to heal the breach between layers of the multiverse.

Bryanna D’Isaac is an untrained, untried warlock with powerful magic who only wants to be left alone.

Admiral Devon Bastion is career military, renowned for executing warlocks, who harbors secrets of his own.

Deadly events indicate a derelict area of space called the Well is expanding. The threat of apocalyptic events forces the warlock and the soldier together. By joining forces, Bastion and D’Isaac can save the galaxy—if they don’t kill each other first.

Can they learn to trust each other before the multiverse collapses?

LADY SILVER

LADY SILVER: Warlock Chronicles, Book I by [Bobbie R. Byrd]

Bryanna is powerful. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that she is more powerful than even she believes or understands. It is certain that others greatly underestimate the contribution she will soon make. A member of a race different in so many ways from humans, she is able to channel energy, perceive the feelings and internal cries of others, and maintain a shield of defense around herself and those she is bound to protect. There is an apocalypse on the horizon. Those who are responsible know not what they are about to encounter in Bryanna D’Isaac–the woman who is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Lady Silver: Warlock Chronicles, Book I, by Bobbie R. Byrd, is the science fiction masterpiece centered around main character, Bryanna D’Isaac. Byrd has created an engaging storyline for fans of technologically-rich novels. Cover to cover, Lady Silver delivers action and drama all the while providing readers with superb character development.

Right out of the gate, Byrd’s novel sets audiences up for quite the adventure. We are introduced to the determined Syndria and her intense focus on the mission she has been handed. There is a certain level of ominous doom surrounding readers’ first moments with Syndria. The feeling of building anticipation is addressed on nearly every page. Byrd never allows readers to lose sight of the characters’ missions and the imminent danger which they all face.

Science fiction tales can not stand alone on futuristic aspects–there absolutely must be characters with depth who snag my attention. Byrd absolutely provides that with Bryanna D’Isaac and Devon Bastion. There is something about the mixture of warlocks and space that gives Byrd’s book a special feel.

I truly love the combination of wizardry and science fiction in this novel. Characters Bryanna and Devon could not have been paired any more perfectly. I highly recommend Lady Silver: Warlock Chronicles to anyone looking for a new science fiction author/series to follow. This book contains no lulls, no breaks in the action, and packs a great punch. I look forward to reading more of Byrd’s works.

Pages: 344 | ASIN: B0997Y4T2B

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The Masters Of Sci-Fi

Author Interview
Svet Rouskov Author Interview

Antithesis is a collection of fascinating science fiction stories offering a variety of intriguing scenarios that explore humanity through different lenses. What inspired some of the stories in your collection?

I am a science fiction nerd who grew up reading and idolizing the masters of sci-fi; Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert just to name a few. I also loved science fiction periodicals and read many lesser-known voices who contributed their stories. Inspiration in general came from wanting to remind myself why I love sci-fi, telling stories with a nod to the past. But I also wanted to make the subjects and themes of the stories relevant and timely. In effect, social commentary masquerading as nostalgia.

I really enjoyed the diverse and interesting characters in the stories. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

My day job is being a screenwriter. Character in film, television and video games is what excites me the most about storytelling. If people love your characters (even the evil ones), they will go along for the ride and enjoy the experience. Now, diverse characters lead to differing points of view and unique perspectives, which will hopefully challenge the viewer or reader to examine their own beliefs. If a character has you questioning a preconception, then he/she/they/it has been well developed.

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

Though Antithesis has six unique stories, they all revolve around humanity and the human condition. I wanted to explore what it means to be human. Our strengths, our weaknesses, our flaws, and our beliefs. Even when looking at non-human characters, I wanted to use them as a mirror to our own world to show areas where we as a species were either excelling or failing.

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

I am working on volume two of Antithesis. It will include the continuation of three of the stories and a few new ones as well. Hopefully, it will be out mid-2022. I’m also working on an adaptation/novelization of one of my own original screenplays that was never produced. Antithesis is my first book, and I enjoyed writing it so much that I’m being drawn more and more to literature. Stay tuned!

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Antithesis is a collection of vivid and exhilarating science fiction stories, tied together by characters whose moral challenges offer windows into humanity and the human condition. These stories are cautionary tales, flights of fancy, terrifying psychological journeys, humorous romps, and even a space opera.

A speculative tale about humankind becoming obsolete from the perspective of the machines we created. The story of an airline pilot who loses his faith in the physics of flying as his rational and irrational mind fight for dominance. An ancient being born of human evolution that strips us of our memories, feeding on one precious reminiscence at a time. An audacious fable that explores a new galaxy, one where humans are irrelevant, but the conflicts of a class-based society are not. A novella-length saga about a mission to Mars, the origins of humanity, and an atrocity that stretches across time and space. And finally, a story that asks the question whether an unstoppable artificial intelligence would indeed be happier traveling the vast reaches of space, or back amongst the flawed beings who created it.

Escape into worlds unlike anything you have seen before, but some eerily similar to our own. Antithesis – where the opposite is to be expected.

Hidden Demon

Hidden Demon by Fish Phillips is a fast-paced crime thriller following Dee Johnson, a US Secret Service Agent who is shot in the line of duty, while trying to save the president of the United States. While healing from the wound, Dee learns she’s fired. The account of Dee going from government agent to civilian life becomes more complicated when she learns a comrade and superior sabotaged her career, and then cold-heartedly fired her. Now Dee needs to restructure her life for the civilian world and heal not only from a gunshot wound but from the betrayal of a trusted friend. 

Author Fish Phillips cleverly hides the demon among friends. He creates a military bond of secret service agents who trust each other explicitly. The action is gritty and hard-hitting, and the reader never suspects a mole among the group of trusted comrades because the characters all feel authentic. 

This is a detailed and fast moving political thriller woven with realistic action and dialogue. The novel begins in Japan, 2044, as an unsuccessful Secret Service mission is underway, where many soldiers die, and Dee is wrongly held accountable. Dee returns to Washington DC where she accepts another mission, but this time it’s a covert op. This request comes from a phone call straight from the President. I loved the setup to the missions and deep political intrigue embedded in the story because I always felt the importance of their missions, which ensures readers are completely invested in the characters and the storyline.

The narrative is concise and consistently moving forward. This is quite a lean novel, with a solid understanding of the path its forging for readers. However, though the novel is packed with exciting scenes, it took me a few chapters to get a grasp on what was going on because of the fast pace, but I’m sure other readers will enjoy how quickly things move.

Hidden Demon has readers questioning everything in this exciting action-adventure novel. Fans of complex but well conceived plots that come together in entertaining ways will have plenty to enjoy in this slick thriller.

Pages: 346 | ISBN: 9781733865630

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The War of the Cha’cict

War of the Cha'cict: Book 1 of 2 (The War of the Cha'cict) by [Terrence Scott]

War of the Cha’cict by Terrence E. Scott follows the story of Jared Connell, who enlists to fight against an alien attack against earth. Initially, his duties seem rudimentary, and he doesn’t feel that his contribution are impactful, serving as just one of many soldiers in this war. Once he understand the depth of his journey and how much his involvement will save humanity, things take a sharp turn, and Jared must make life-altering decisions before it’s too late.

This book is a quick-paced action story that takes the reader through some unexpected twists. It’s a great read that sparks a lot of nail-biting excitement and a thrill ride from start to finish. As Jared Connell soon discovers that his role is much more complex and essential, there’s a lot more to consider than his duties as corporal. He must face the detrimental effects of space and viral bioweapons resulting from the intergalactic war.

The author does an exceptional job of reeling in the reader and taking them through all the complex decisions needed in dire situations. Similarly, despite his low expectations of involvement from the beginning, the main character comes face to face with his own mortality and how vital his mission is. The emotional toll and impact on prioritizing what to do next weigh heavily on Jared, who inevitably becomes further saturated in an impossible quest that requires quick thinking and determination.

When you begin reading this tale, you won’t want to put it down. The pace picks up quickly while exploring all the psychological effects of facing life or death situations at every turn. Each decision or thought is another sequence in Jared’s mortality and will impact the safety and survival of the earth and possibly the universe.

War of the Cha’cict is the first of two books written by Terrence Scott, offering readers a riveting space opera that reads more like a science fiction action adventure story. It’s a great start to a two-part series. This is a book that will appeal to readers looking for a thoughtful space marine Sci-Fi story with an engaging narration and exciting plot shifts.

Pages:387 | ASIN: B09B6HJVBH

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Ninety-Five

Ninety-Five by [Lisa Towles]

Ninety-Five follows an average college student who uncovers a malicious criminal network that is scamming students and luring them into more and more crimes. He soon learns that this is only the tip of a dark and nefarious criminal network at work on the dark web.

The story starts with a new college student, Zak Skinner, who is stressed out by the usual things a student faces in their life; failed subjects, struggles with studying, and a search for opportunities to blow off steam. In Zak’s case, he went for an innocent drug trip, taking ayahuasca and getting high. What he did not anticipate was that he would be trapped in not only one but two illegal crime rings, unique and devious in their own way.

Author Lisa Towles’s writing style is perfectly suited for this crime thriller, and very detailed as well as graphic. I loved how she builds Zak up in a way that he deduces things on his own, because he is very smart and perceptive, but he also knows his own limits. This unique balance sets Zak up as a character that is intriguing and fun to follow. This is an engrossing technothriller with some cryptography in the story which reminded me of Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress. I love the science fiction aspects of the plot. We get to explore the dark web in some refreshing ways and are dragged through this dark underworld that has a persistent air of intrigue. A special mention of all the Harry Potter references; I laughed at each moment.

Ninety-Five is a riveting crime thriller that has a unique enough setup to stand out in the college fantasy genre. When I started the book I got the sense that the narrative was leaning more fantasy, but by the end it was a captivating mix of crime fiction and technothriller.

Pages: 244 | ASIN: B099SYTJWQ

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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.
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