Something Found: A coin

Something Found: A Coin, published copyright and written by Troy Aaron Ratliff.

The reader is introduced to Todd Freeman, a middle-aged man who leaves Ohio to drive down to Key West, Florida where he establishes a studio. He is a good artist selling enough paintings to support himself and his studio. He is recognized by the locals for this, but also as a ‘Good Samaritan’. When Todd is not painting, he loves to roam the beaches with a top-of-the-line metal detector. He finds a lot of odd metal, and a considerable number of small coins and an occasional piece of value. And this is the reason for presenting him with a humanitarian award. Rather than gaining money for the valuable piece found, this “Selfless Scavenger” attempts to find and return the item to the rightful owner. As the story advances, we discover more about Todd’s early developed talent, marriage and arrival of a son that required a better income than that available for a new and unknown artist. Apparently he has other talents as well, which develop into the type of success every one associates with the American Dream. However, this purportedly idyllic life is destroyed by a catastrophic event that has led him to his journey to find solace in his original love of art and the success he has achieved within the last three years. However, once again fate intervenes when he discovers a most unusual penny with his metal detector and he is forced to flee for his life. He is saved with help from a number of strange individuals he does not know and begins a search for the answer to a long existent and well known mystery that has plagued an area of the Atlantic Ocean for many years, a unique and deadly problem that extensive scientific investigation has not been able to solve.

Discussion: the author has offered a most fascinating introduction to another possible answer to this strange phenomenon that has plagued scientists along with everyone else for many years. For this reviewer, the writing contains unnecessarily long descriptions of the trip, terrain, et al of the trip to and from Miami to Key West, but apologetically this may result from personal familiarity. Overall, the author has provided a fascinating opening book to what could be entrée to series exploring an intriguing addition to those proposals already set forth.

5* First of trilogy proposing cause of long standing phenomenon.

 

 

Canvas of Time

Canvas of Time ISBN: 9798690817947 assumed published copyright and written by Amélie Pimont.

The story is a sci/fi fantasy/romance following the lives of two people, Sarah and Eli, who are consumed with eternally lasting love that surfaces again with each reincarnation. The reader first is introduced to the couple as they are picked up by a passing space ship in a galaxy far removed, find their true love and are brutally terminated shortly thereafter. They are reunited in Egypt where she is a thoroughly spoiled Princess and he her acquired slave. Once again fate steps in and the relationship is fatally terminated. More reunions follow in France during WW I, and again in WWII when their country is invaded, German soldiers are forcibly assigned to their home, and their fortunes again end unpleasantly. The last reincarnation presented occurs in Los Angeles where Sarah is a free-lance journalist whose photographs gain prominence while Eli is an extremely famous artist. Destiny again brings them together and they live a number of soul-satisfying years until one night while embraced in each other’s arms they fall asleep and once more ascend into the beyond.

Discussion: The author, originally a Parisian, now is living in Los Angeles where she is a free-lance film maker. I understand that this is her initial attempt at production of a novel. As such, it is commendable. Each plot is interesting, the characters are sufficiently fleshed-out to elicit empathetic reactions and the pace, for the most part is good, although slowed considerably in areas. The writing style is unusual, rather simplistic and almost stilted at times, possibly as a result of use of a second language?  There also is a considerable amount of redundancy and/or repetition of words. Some of these features are understandable because of the book’s basic theme. However, a considerable amount actually is disconcerting, if not exactly annoying. However, as a total presentation, the author has produced a most interesting story that deals with a subject that has fascinated people for years. Certainly, these individuals as well as fantasy devotes, will discover these stories to be ‘hard-to-put-down.

 

3* 5* Basic plot intriguing to most; -2* problems encountered for new writers

Moraturi Lost

Moraturi Lost ISBN: 9781679850080 published, copyright SupRes, Inc. South Australia, written by Marti Ward.

This is the 2nd book in this author’s Lost Mission Series based upon a relatively large series of sci-fi stories about the Paradisi Project whose basics she describes again in detail so it is possible for this volume to ‘standalone’ without having read Casindra Lost, its predecessor. After Solar Horizons, the public face of the ten Founders has decided to ignore further messages from Casindra, they decide to send a second ship to establish the first colony on New Eden. The autocratic leader Henry Thorndike and his specialties ‘authorities’, Dr. Abramov, an AI specialist in charge of Solar System Security (CIA type), Dr. Aditya Ganesh, Intelligence systems, and Medical Authority Dr. Sabina Gunther call in Captain Michael Evans and give him command of the Spaceship Moraturi. They explain that the Casindra is being abandoned because, although Commander Sideris journey through the newly technologically developed wormhole had been successful, he had sustained severe injuries in subsequent encounters with severe storms in the new galaxy leaving a top level 3 AI in command. Messages sent by this AI made them believe that he had turned rogue because at this time the Founders group back home are facing unexpected difficulties with a strike by different levels of AI’s to which legally they must respond because of a legal snag. Thus, their action is to disregard further messages and dispatch another ship on the same journey.

This ship, the Moraturi and its journey, follows as the second book in this series. Captain Michael Evans as the commander of this new trip which advances to attempt actual colonization with 500 passengers, largely in various cryogenic states and, assumedly because of the problems in dealing with the disgruntled AIs, they provide him with a human crew, backed by mostly low level AIs. This journey also suffers severe consequences with damage to the ship besides injury and deaths to the entire crew, including Captain Evans. AND, these events occur before even reaching the galaxy. They are thrown out of the wormhole at a time now placing them more than thirty years from New Eden. There is no alternative other than for the passengers to step up, crew the ship, and attempt to figure out how they will run the ship and be able to extend the food, power and other supplies of necessities to allow them and their 500 passengers who must be brought out of their ‘sleep’ status in the very near future, to survive and safely arrive at their destination when the ship’s supplies had been arranged for less than a three year trip.

Discussion: This second volume perhaps is even more interesting than the first because of the interplay among the larger number of characters provided. It is aided also by the young ages of the principles and their abilities to grow rapidly with the situation. With inclusion of the quite lengthy description of the entire preceding events, this book, as stated earlier, can stand alone for new readers. However, actual reading of the first in the series before this one is enjoyable in itself and recommended,

5* Enjoyable new series for sci-fi devotees.

The Timekeepers War

The Timekeepers War ISBN: 9781939065643 Bedlam Press, copyright and written by S. C. Jensen.

This is an unusual fanciful thriller with the protagonist known as the ‘Ghost’ in that she, in some unimagined manner can find anybody, or any type of individual requested, for a price. This is a most important function in the world in which she lives. Civil wars of long ago have left a stratified population spread through three levels, a city of rubble peopled by hungry, desperate and dangerous individuals, a relatively well-constructed underground development inhabited largely by fishing villages along the underground river, and an upper city inhabited by the wealthy, living in another ‘city’ constructed by inter-connecting bridges providing all of the upper floors of the high rise buildings to function as one. Their servants are members of the lower city sold by clandestine traders as slaves to be used as desired by this upper city’s population. The Ghost’s younger sister, she believes, may be one of these slaves captured when very young, but she can find no trace until she is approached by Lynch, the legendary terrorist who says he can lead her to her sister if she, with her unusual ability of knowing the citizens of the city and underground villages, will help him put together a group of individuals that he intends to use to overthrow the ruler of the upper ‘high-rise’ city. The tale is about their attempts to accomplish this feat and of the part played by the ‘Timekeepers’.

Discussion: The impression one gains in the tale’s opening is one of wonder at where it was heading. However, it soon settles into an unusual and rather intriguing post-apocalyptic psi-fi story with interesting characters and abundant action. It leaves the reader with no closure per se, but rather a lot of thoughts and questions as to where the author intends to go with the next volume which one is given to understand will follow.

5* Rapidly moving, interesting fanciful psi-fi post-apocalyptic tale.

Casindra Lost

Casindra Lost ISBN: 9781708810108, first published and copyright by Supres Inc. written by Marti Ward,

This book is part of the Last Missions Series of The Paradisi Series with acknowledgements first to “the effort and support of those who created and opened up the Paradisi Universe to all writers of whatever background, experience and genre” and to the author’s “teachers from science to philosophy, linguistics, to psychology, geology to biology, mathematics to neuroscience” and to her students “across these and all the Sciences, Technology, Mathematics & Engineering (STEM) disciplines.” The reference is to a relatively large series of sci-fi stories. The basis of the stories is about the imminent destruction of Earth. For too many years its population had been derelict in taking even nominal care of the planet and as a result it was on an escalating path to ultimate destruction. In 2025 ten men and women, all tremendously wealthy and powerful leaders in various areas of commerce, decided to become the Founders of the Paradisi Project. Because of anticipated interference from various forces on Earth, supposedly their activity was investigating the feasibility of establishing colonies on the Moon and Mars. Actually, they were setting up and colonizing New Eden, a Planet in the Andromeda Galaxy that scientists recently had discovered and deemed able to support human life. The colony was to survive and grow by the passing down of the basic goals from family to family, all acting in concert with the Council of Ten. This volume details the activities of Commander Jerome Sideris who captains the first intergalactic craft through a devised wormhole to the new planet and his exploratory activities. On its face, the project was an altruistic experiment to save the human race. Because of the secrecy and selective membership involved, the thought also might arise that it could be a conspiracy to save ten of the richest families on Earth – the Founders and their proposed selection of inhabitants of this new world. Henry Thorndike, was the autocratic leader that had gathered a group of authorities in their specialties. They were Dr. Abramov, an AI specialist in charge of Solar System Security (CIA type), Dr. Aditya Ganesh, Intelligence systems, and Medical Authority Dr. Sabina Gunther. Commander Jerome Sideris, a stalwart and probably the most knowledgeable of all of their possible selections, was given command of the first exploratory vessel and sets off. Regrettably and for undisclosed reason other than he was known as a ‘loner’ his only crew consisted of AI’s of various levels. However, Sideris’ main companion was the thoroughly trained top level AI he, as well as the Commander, referred to as ‘Al’ and an empathetic relationship develops. He also befriends a male and female cat who are part of the experimental selection of animals, birds and marine life that was incorporated in this exploratory event. Unexpected atmospheric problems ensue, Sideris is badly injured and ‘Al’ must assume command until he can be fully repaired by the on-board medical AI’s. Because simultaneously the Founders group back home are facing unexpected difficulties with a strike by different levels of AI’s to which legally they must respond, they misinterpret messages sent back to headquarters as demonstrative of ‘AL’ going rogue. So their action is to disregard further messages and dispatch another ship on the same journey. This ship, the Moraturi and its journey, follows as the second book in this series.

Discussion: The author has set forth an interesting sci-fi tale with abundant psychological overtones that provides the reader with an opportunity to see how people with little knowledge can make decisions and act authoritatively too quickly and especially without sufficient information. Regrettably such decisions all too frequently are made with dependence on a single purportedly authoritative opinion. One such decision, for example, Intelligence systems authority Ganesh’s apparent original decision to send a full ship with only one human and not even a backup Executive Officer in the chain of command on a three and one-half year, 2500000 light year mission would not appear to be a sound decision under any circumstances.

5* for sci-fi aficionados; fascinating psychological aspects.

Incite Insight

Incite Insight ISBN: 9780994439901 Tale Publishing, Australia first published 2015 written by Robert New.

The protagonist, Brad Thomas, is a young man who, in spite of somewhat lesser abilities to ‘read’ people, their expressions and body language, and postulate on possibly hidden agendas, manages to become a detective in one of the smaller cities of Australia. However he somehow manages to obtain a similar position in one of the large cities where he constantly is made to feel inferior. He has a certain personal charm, however, which provides some hope for the sergeant to whom he reports and she assigns him to a case where the victim suddenly succumbs from an apparent ‘melting’ of the brain tissues. Several more victims suffer similar occurrences and all are recognized as prominent members of ‘think tanks’ or the highly intelligent products thereof. Forensics provides basic information which allows Brad to discover a certain professor’s programs that were “designed to help its audience improve their understanding of the links between aspects of the so-called ‘human situation’. It aims to increase people’s working memory and awareness of what happens around them”; i.e. not simply make them more intelligent. There are several levels of advancement which they gradually can unlock but really need to work mentally to reach each new level. He is provided another young woman detective as a partner, and at the same time meets, and is attracted to Amy, a secretary he meets while following a prominent lead. The attraction grows as they both are studying the professor’s levels, he thinking it might aid in solving the case while her interest is a basic desire to advance in life. The tale continues as Brad engages in computer hacking to advance in the program, confers with the prominent head of an organization that provides programs for others to circumvent undesirable matters and discovers a world of secrete organizations with thoughts of world dominance they in no way consider unconscionable. Brad gains in self-confidence and makes progress with solving the mystery, but concurrently the tale assumes another, associated but somewhat different, direction to its climax.

Discussion:  Brad’s approach to solving the mystery employs an approach that is somewhat implausible and the multi-layers of the story and their juxtapositioning is a little perplexing. However, the story retains the reader’s interest, but somehow leaves, at least this reviewer, with a somewhat confused understanding of its direction from that initially provided for prospective readers.

3* Interestingly worthwhile, but somewhat confusing read.