HAPPY FATHER'S DAY WEEK! We're celebrating with eleven sci fi novels and short story collections on SALE free or super cheap.
I check out two of the novels below, The Windless Sky and Steel in the Blood.
Some readers LOVE your book; others HATE it. I realize we're all different -- different tastes, preferences, styles, you name it -- but still.
The whole love-hate divide in books is one of the most -- if not THE most surprising -- thing I've encountered in my later-in-life journey as a fiction writer.
Reading reviews on Amazon or Goodreads -- the one-star slams versus the five-star glams -- could result in whiplash, especially with big name authors like Colleen Hoover (her Verity comes to mind). Or super sellers like Where the Crawdads Sing. Seems like readers either love 'em or hate 'em. Middle ground is hard to find.
My only science fiction novel (so far), CRIMSY is also my only book (so far) readers either love or loathe (at least according to the reviews they leave).
I don't solicit reviews, don't give books to friends or family, don't sent out ARCS on platforms like NetGalley. The reviews I get are from perfect strangers.
Here's some LOVE from one perfect stranger:
"This was so real I could not put the book down. Michael Martin is a new giant in the field of science fiction. Extraordinary attention to detail and totally on pitch for dialog. This is a masterpiece!"
Wow! But wait: I'd better not count my Hugo Awards yet.
CRIMSY, says another reader, is "a book devoid of suspense, action, and interesting characters. Makes Unflavored Yogurt Sound Exciting."
(Imagine using that as your tagline: Crimsy, by Michael Martin. Makes Unflavored Yogurt Sound Exciting.)
Just when I'm getting discouraged, CRIMSY gets more love that says the opposite:
"Adventure the way it should be written. This story grabs you and won’t let go. So many twists and turns! So many hooks for possible follow up stories. Every character is strong and well drawn. The plot sizzles. As fresh as today’s headlines."
About the science in the book, some readers loved it, like this microbiology professor who reviewed on both Amazon and Goodreads.
"Extremely well written and enjoyable. It really captured the ups and downs of graduate student life so well I felt like I was back in graduate school. It was a pleasure to read the science, especially the familiar microbiology, but even the unfamiliar was rendered so creatively and realistically that it was a pleasure to read and imagine. A truly awesome read."
This "verified purchaser" liked the science, too.
"Crimsy is an excellent book. The science is right on (as of 3/2022) and if the reader doesn't know that much about the hard science they will still enjoy the book as fiction."
Not so fast, says this reader, a retired lawyer:
"...at about 10% in to the book, there were multiple scientific errors (I sure wish writers who pretend to do sci fi could remember the difference between speed and acceleration)."
Lots of passages about the speed of an avalanche on Mars or the rover trying to outrun a dust storm at barely one-mile-per-hour. But I couldn't find the passages she was referencing.
Another reader thought Crimsy -- short for Crimsococcus halocryophilus --
"should not have DNA if truly from Mars." Not sure where he got that idea. A bacteria like Crimsy could certainly have DNA -- a building block of life -- if it hailed from Mars, especially if it brought the first life to Earth.
Several reviewers loved the characters, including Jennifer, the grad student star of the book:
"The people are. real, have real problems. They use their brains and emotions to work things out. I like all of the characters, but Jen is the star."
But for the retired lawyer, characterization fell flat:
"I really did not know enough about any of the characters to care."
My favorite reviews are those that get at the book's underlying themes, like this one:
"From tongue-in-cheek humour to serious moral consciousness. Crimsy is sometimes thought provoking and often funny. A well-written story of space exploration, politics and the moral issues of scientific investigation. I'd happily read more from this author."
It's easier than ever to make up your own mind on the Crimsy: Love or Hate debate. Pick up your FREE copy this Father's Day on Amazon.
CRIMSY, ON SALE for 0.99 at Amazon, FREE in Kindle Unlimited
A mother's dying wish, a farmgirl's perilous journey
A farmgirl heads for space to fulfill her mother's dying wish in The Windless Sky, Michael Owens' novel about corporate corruption and government neglect at an ore processing plant built into the side of an asteroid.
Teenage Maisy goes to live with her Marine Corps dad on the asteroid, where she discovers space is boring. No alien princesses, no cool cyborgs, and complete control of daily life reminiscent of a bad pandemic dream.
The dream gets worse when the government decides it's too expensive to police an asteroid and evacuates security forces, leaving a mysterious corporation in charge.
Adults who complain about the corporation's strict controls start to vanish, making orphans of Maisy and other kids. When communications beyond the asteroid cease, and the plant's climate controls amp up the heat, Maisy and her band of orphans are forced to fight back. The corporation isn't planning any more evacuations.
Author Michael Owen is "a single mom who took an early retirement to live by the sea with my beautiful daughter and a random assortment of lazy dogs."
In The Windless Sky, Owen has written "a wonderful read that keeps you engaged from the start," an Amazon reader says. "A bit of a cliffhanger ending, and I can't wait to read book 2."
PICK UP YOUR COPY OF THE WINDLESS SKY, ON SALE THIS FATHER'S DAY WEEK.
(Click book covers for books.)
An innocent man, an intergalactic intrigue
In a desperate bid to prove himself innocent of treason, a devoted administrator for an all-powerful Empress must join forces with an ancient evil in
"In this sweeping debut novel, Narbutovskih tells a story of futuristic political intrigue set in a richly-imagined universe," says Dr. Mark D. Jacobsen, author of The Lords of Harambee. "The expansive setting, compelling characters, and fast-moving plot make for a great read."
"I would read the ever-loving crap out of a series set in this universe," says Dr. Nicholas Evans, author of The Ethics of Neuroscience and National Security. "It is vibrant, it has a deep sense of history to it, some mysteries, and some absolutely cool tech."
"Steel in the Blood showcases Narbutovskih's talent for wonder and lyricism set on a stage of high-tech adventure and intergalactic intrigue, says sci-fi author and laser researcher Christina Wott. "It is a story of epic proportions asking what it means to be human, to be loved, and how to find the strength to do the right thing."
PICK UP YOUR COPY OF STEEL IN THE BLOOD, ON SALE THIS FATHER'S DAY WEEK.
And finally this Father's Day week, check out these other sci-fi titles, deeply discounted at Amazon and FREE in Kindle Unlimited.
The Knot at the End of the Rope Leon Stevens
Quarry Elizabeth Noble
The Heir of the First Tower Nicholas P. Adams
Cresting the Sun Nicholas P. Adams
The Axe Vaughn Ashby
After the End Doug Troxell
ForeverQuest: A LitRPG Adventure Alex Maven
Dark Metamorphosis John Coon