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Forbidden Horizon

The human race has an ongoing debate about the existence of life elsewhere in the universe. But what if there was life outside of humans, and what if they already knew everything about us? The Xalin are just such a race. Having conquered what they considered to be human beings’ weaknesses for wars and destruction, the Xalin hatch plans to make themselves known to humans on Earth. They wish to show humans that great scientific advancements are possible, if only they could stop making critical mistakes.

Told in three parts, Forbidden Horizon by David Crane is about groups of astronauts and their adventures in outer space. Humans have already created a base on the Moon, and a group of astronauts are enroute to Mars. But when David Blackstone, the leader of the Lune One Moon base, is confronted with an out-of-this-galaxy opportunity, he has no choice but to take it.

Author David Crane’s extensive knowledge of science and space travel really shines in this intellectually-invigorating novel as the ships and methods of space travel are believable for a science fiction novel. The amount of detail about space in this sci-fi story is impressive and, at some points, a little dense. However, Forbidden Horizon draws the reader into the story so much so that you feel like you are standing inside the IMS Daedalus on your way to Mars.

Forbidden Horizon contains fascinating detail about outer space and space travel, making this an intriguing read. I would have liked more action or danger included in the story, but this still feels like a classic science fiction story, much like Isaac Asimov’s novels where the ideas are fascinating all on their own. Fans of hard science fiction will enjoy the attention to detail about space and technology and will surely be engrossed with Forbidden Horizon‘s plot.

Pages: 274 | ASIN: B0BH3HCKG7

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Retribution, Records of the Argos Book Two

Nicholas Hall, Nick to his friends, has done it. He’s completed his first official mission for the Allied Consortium. Now, finally, he’s ready to return to the deep reaches of space. His crew of four has turned into a family of six, and they are back for more in Michael J. Farlow’s newest book, Retribution: Records of the Argos.

As the second installment in the series, Retribution brings back all the characters we loved from Crucible, and I have to say I’m thrilled. While the writing is clear and easy to follow, the book’s best part must be the crew and their interactions. Nick, the narrator and resident human there to bridge the gap between his otherworldly crew and us. He brings readers quick quips and his stockpile of pop culture references. Then there’s Wizzy, the outgoing and outstanding AI of the Argos. Each interaction feels realistic. From banter to strategy all the way to politics, nothing about Retribution feels forced.

Moreover, this book brings more than just a quirky cast of characters to the table; Farlow has also graced us with a beautifully written plot. Unlike other sci-fi stories that rely heavily on action, Michael J. Farlow chooses to set his sights on something more: politics and strategy. While there’s no lack of fighting, Farlow makes it clear that sci-fi is more than just lasers and ships. Each mission and every action the crew takes is well-thought-out. Acting as peacekeepers and, some might say, heroes, it makes sense. What they do matters, along with what they say and even how they say it.

Retribution: Records of the Argos is a riveting science fiction novel that takes readers on an exciting adventure. Farlow’s ability to write realistic characters and a plot that’s more than just gun smoke and space. In addition, he does a fantastic job of bringing back old, beloved characters while introducing new ones. I, for one, can’t wait for the next entry in this series.

Pages: 358 | ASIN : B0BH41NKPW

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The Fight Is Never Easy

T. A. Bruno Author Interview

At the Threshold of the Universe follows the Castus family and their struggle for survival against a formidable enemy that will alter the course of humanity. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

This book was a long time coming for me. I knew what I had built over the course of the trilogy, and I knew how I wanted it all to pay off in the end. I was thrilled when I was outlining this novel and how well it was all coming together, which only works with deep, deep planning. I wanted to make something that was completely my own, and wrap it all up nicely. 

How has character development for the main character changed for you through the series?

There are a few characters I would consider as mains in this trilogy, and each has surprised me with their growth on the pages. Eliana comes from a place of deep trauma and finds a way to live with herself peacefully. She’s mostly alone in the start of In the Orbit of Sirens, but over the course of the trilogy, she forms a family and finds happiness. Denton Castus starts as a man who’s looking for a purpose, a new way of life on Kamaria. He is thrust into a situation that gives him both of those things, but not the way he intended. Both of them have to fight for what they have earned, and the fight is never easy. 

Were you able to achieve everything you wanted with the characters in the novel?

I believe so. I felt fulfilled with every plotline I created, and I feel like it all came together better than I could have hoped for. I still miss Kamaria and the days of writing this trilogy, it’ll forever hold a place in my heart. With a passion project like this, it means the world to see reviews like the one here on Literary Titan and know that I stuck the landing for some readers. I am very happy with this trilogy.

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

I am currently working on a world-hopping adventure set within the universe of the Song of Kamaria trilogy, but so loosely tied to it that readers are not required to read the trilogy to enjoy this new book. It’s a stand-alone. I am still knee-deep in writing out the first draft, so I won’t say too much, but I do hope to have it published sometime either early to mid 2023. I post regular updates on my website for readers looking for more information. I can’t wait to share more info!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

THE EPIC CONCLUSION TO THE SONG OF KAMARIATRILOGY.
ALL SONGS END.
War ravages Kamaria as an old enemy resurfaces from the depths of the ocean. Offering no support in the coming battles, the Auk’nai isolate themselves in their tightly guarded Nest. Outgunned and outmatched, humanity once again trembles on the edge of obliteration.

The Castus family is torn apart. Denton fights on the front lines, hoping to free Cade from a nightmarish foe. Meanwhile, Eliana and Nella set out on a path that will change everything they understand about the Sirens. The Song will end, but who will remain to hear its final verse?

The Flight of the Mayflower – Book Trailer

2080:The world is dying. Travel into the future to a time when nothing is certain. Where terrorist groups have joined forces with biohackers developing a deadly bio-engineered disease that marches across the continents like a conquering army, leaving millions dead in its murderous swathe. Where drought and famine plague an already overpopulated globe and massive waves of refugees stream across the planet, seeking sanctuary.

Meanwhile, some of the best and brightest minds on the planet are feverishly at work – constructing mega-gigantic Space Arks to shuttle hundreds of thousands of people to a colony on Mars. And it seems like there’s more good news: world leaders announce that a vaccine is ready – so roll up your sleeves and get on with your lives. It’s all good; it’s all returning to normal.

But the truth is very different. In The Flight of the Mayflower, the first novel in The Deneb Chronicles, Dr. Daniel Radu – project manager for NASA’s Space Ark Mayflower – uncovers a global conspiracy of immense proportions. World leaders and the elite are readying themselves for a one-way ticket to Mars, leaving the masses clutching at empty promises. Defiant and unwilling to become another casualty, Daniel cooks up a scheme of his own. Joined by a team of global experts, Daniel and his colleagues brace themselves for a journey of a lifetime as they trek across the galaxy in a quest for survival.

Literary Titan Silver Book Award November 2022

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and writing talent of these brilliant authors.

Silver Award Recipients

ZONT-2 and Beyond by Blair Wylie

The Parables of Chance by John Nicholson

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.

Fires of Fury – Book Trailer

Three nations. One planet divided. Will the survivors of the Space Ark Mayflower find their way when cultures clash and the fires of fury threaten to consume their lives?

Now masquerading as citizens of the Collective, the Mayflower crew has a new reason to fear. With the end of the Second Denebian War, Wesselan’s General Pallav Kóbor and his astrophysicist wife, Dr. Tara Kóbor, have high hopes that life will return to normal on Deneb7. Yet nothing can be further from the truth.

In a diabolical plot to erase the scars left by the Second Denebian War, warlord turned Wessel Head of State Gomalan unleashes a fiendish scheme to heal his nation’s wounds, while his top soldier, General Ravenna, falls under the spell of a seductive Fyjer agent intent on crushing their ambitions. Dragged into a brutal reality of terror and intrigue, can the Kóbors and warbird ace Fynn Vogel remain unscathed, or will the flames consume them and all that is evil on Deneb-7?

Find out in FIRES OF FURY, the third novel in the sci-fi adventure series “The Chronicles of Deneb”.

An Absurd Hero

Author Interview
Willem Indigo Author Interview

Only Afraid of Nothing follows a human and extraterrestrial who join forces to escape the planet and wind up in trouble on a rescue mission filled with danger and mishaps. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Initially, it came from the idea of an Absurd Hero. A person without rhyme or reason, for or against social norms, against emotional expectations, adding the notions of it not being the character’s fault, became a late change. Someone who can exist happily or, rather, contently with the bare necessities thrown into the outer wilderness forced to keep up with constant changes.    

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing, or did the characters’ personalities grow organically as you were writing?

Can’t say I’ve ever been a type for outlines. I’ll run through an outline in six hours in total and feel the story is told, and the spark for its detailed middles and ends fades to nothing. I enjoy the character growing with the story before they can grow because of it. Feels a bit more custom that way.

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

The utter randomness of exploration. Things don’t add up, nothing is planned, and prep work can be as important as the failure it leads to and vice versa. I wanted to express living for living’s sake, especially after a fresh start. They don’t happen so abruptly, nor can they be picked out in a fugue memory blurred by the inner monologue when the starting line ends up under your feet.

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

I have completed several projects with varying connections to each other. The Walter Fang Experiment is the one I’m most excited about, but I also have a Wolfgang continuation in the works and two exploring the colorful tales of Detective Alice Scarlett.     

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Space shows no mercy, and outer space has never heard of it.

After surviving a confusing episode, Wolfgang befriends an over sedated human-ish alien who’s looking to leave this retched, green-tiled nightmare. Discovering that she was not your average patient, they flee the psych ward to the stars since Zenu was late for work. Nothing goes as smoothly as he imagines, as he finds himself earning a foolishly manic reputation and earning a criminal status within minutes of being off planet. They steal a second chance by taking up the responsibility of returning Zenu’s kidnapped boss. They travel from port to bar to death sentence on a haphazard journey, if only they could only stay on course long enough to get the job done.

The team builds on, and the messes worsen, all the while tempting fate in a universe of zero-degree absolutes. Functioning on some unseeable absurdity, you may realize how fickle relationships can be where getting sucked into the blackness to be forgotten is at moments a chipped windscreen away. How might these spirits ever survive gallivanting around the wildest places inside and sort of outside of existence?

Women Working Together

Stella Atrium Author Interview

The Bush Clinic follows a doctor who is forced to support a hospital where she encounters tribal women fighting for their and their children’s lives in a war that does not value them. Where did the idea for this novel come from and how did it develop over time?

Thanks for asking.  I was so pleased to find reviewers who call THE BUSH CLINIC femme-driven.  Ha, ha, that was my intent. In all societies, women live in a network of women, although that practice is not dramatized in our novels or movies. For female heroes as far back a Angie Dickinson”s Police Woman, women characters operate in a world of men.  Where were her sisters, aunts, daughters, sorority sisters, female colleagues who held strong positions like judges or reporters?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071034/

Women working together is a novel idea in some writing genres.  Mostly we see a few forced together like in refugee camps, or the wives of men in leadership like in the church.

I started with the writing principle that the female characters drive the plots of my stories. Nothing happened except by their pushing. That’s in all my stories, but not so much LGBTQ+. I looked at women in combat zones and saw that they had no protection, no cover, no rights even to clean water. How did they manage to feed the children and stay clean?

Women were corralled together and could not resist abuse or separation.  My idea was that women talked among themselves and found strategies for how to respond to abuse and support each other, except some were ostracized.

In a free emerging democracy, women must secure the right to vote, the right to open a business, to own property, to choose when to have kids. Access to capital is critical for women to have a voice in business and in politics. Not a token woman on the board of a corporation, but a self-made woman who succeeds by the work of her own hands.

So I developed several of these types in a fantasy story set on another planet to see what obstacles they addressed, what bad behavior they indulged, and how much social power they could accrue. The fantasy series starts with THE BUSH CLINIC, and several novels follow our connected tribal women and intruders from Earth.

The male characters were not neglected. In fact, some get hero roles as militia leaders of generals in the peace-keeping corp. A woman is more interesting when an interesting man pursues her.

What were some of the emotional and moral guidelines you followed when developing your characters?

I feel that women compete and undercut each other. I feel that there’s a hunger among readers to see women who are generous in spirit and want the best for others, but that’s an ideal, isn’t it? Finding the oxygen for oneself is a daily struggle, so which woman has the energy to fight for the group? Unfortunately, altruism is learned behavior.

Just the same, women emulate some who they admire — either for looks or clothes or attracting men or the voice of outrage. The undercutting comes when a genuine position gained through effort is lost or not available. Women (and men) turn to other strategies. 

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

The solutions I found for women in a combat zone were partly about how to handle the children for education and guiding them into different expectations.  The tension between Dr. Greensboro, an offworld doctor with the bush clinic, and her growing native assistant Brianna Miller rang true, I believe, for the limitations of how women help women.

What is the next book in the Tribal Wars series about, and when will it be available?

In THE BODY POLITIC Brianna Miller returns to Dolvia as a grown woman with experience and the access to capital to make a difference among the savannah tribes. Her voice in the militia is strong because she contributes connections with offworlders and ideas for managing the kids at risk.

The tribal women who the reader has gotten to know in the first novel each come to the public square in Cylay and partake in self-torching, a protest act against the oppression of Rabbenu Ely. We feel the lost because we know each of the women as individuals.

Brianna Miller takes on an assistant named Kelly Osborn who is my heart’s favorite in the series.  Kelly is a poet and trying to find her place, betrothed to a warrior who she fears, but still relating her love of the savannah and the people in her published poems. The differences between cynical Brianna Miller and emotional Kelly Osborn are stark and tell us more about women working together.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A space colonization story about seeking independence and home rule in the face of corporate greed. Tribal women bind together in a war zone where they are discounted as not important enough to save or keep safe.

On Dolvia, Lt. Mike Shaw demands Dr. Greensboro’s doctoring skills at the hospital, forcing the closure of her bush clinic. She witnesses forced labor, forced migration, and the threat of an epidemic from bad water. She sees how tribal women–often wearing burkas–find solutions for saving the children in a conflict zone, and she commits to the their cause for Home Rule.

Brianna Miller is an isolated girl–a mixed-blood orphan–among the Dolviet tribes. With the lessons from Dr. Greensboro, the abuse from soldiers, the sisterhood among victims, Brianna prepares for a future she will choose for herself. But first she must travel offworld.
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