Zero by (the always exceptional) J. S. Collyer

Hi lovely readers 🙂

zero-cover

As most will know I’m a bona fide fantasy nut; give me a World full of magic, swords, sorcery and adventure and I can be gone for hours. However, there are times where even I will branch out my literary interests and diversify to broaden my knowledge; also, who isn’t completely in love with Mr Darcy? 🙂 My first understanding of sci fi came from reading my mothers books. She had a fabulous series by the late Anne McCaffrey called The Tower and the Hive series; the first book The Rowan. I remember being taken by such strong female leads in a World where science and technology runs on the power of the mind. I love creative and original stories along those lines.

To which, Zero is the début novel from my wonderful friend, and admittedly my writing hero, J. S. Collyer. It’s a literary slice of ooey gooey space pirate cake that leaves you not only wanting but needing to know more, especially after your damn lucky eyes have taken in the epic ending. This is a multi layered piece rife with exceptional writing, adventure, in-depth character development, adventure and oh yes, lasers; but did I mention adventure? I was lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy and my goodness all I can say is: as soon as the sixteenth of August gets here buy this book, you won’t be disappointed.

Kaleb Hugo is a Service man through and through; he lives, eats, works and breathes that life like no other. He’s positive he’s the best, most focused soldier… until one fateful day he ignores the commands of his higher ups and moves the ship he’s in command of to attack a perceived weakness in the War. What came over him? To the public face Hugo is disgraced, demoted and hated; but in secret he is promoted to Captain of The Zero, a beat up space ship concealing more than just a dented hull; it’s a ship that can get under the radar and accomplish things most Service ships couldn’t. Hugo has to act as a contact for the Service, keep an eye on the missions and report back to his superiors. He didn’t, however, expect to find those on the ship that were loyal, steadfast and perhaps the only friends he could remember having. What would await them in their coming missions?

I cannot begin to tell you all the things which are great about this novel, but I’ll give it a jolly good go anyway. J. S uses such literary diversity that simply pulls you straight into the Universe she has expertly created. I love the velvety feel of language such as ‘Hugo had admitted to himself long ago that Death was something he’d accepted into his life like a friend. Or a lover. It followed him like a phantom.’ Now before you ask yes this is from the first page. Heck it’s the first few lines. I didn’t want to give too much away about J. S’s stellar narrative. However, this is just a small example of what I love about her language use. Unlike many authors, she doesn’t try to make the language too archaic and stiff (don’t ask me why but some authors think stories are better like that) but she keeps it natural and flowing allowing the narrative to just slip into your subconscious and hold onto your interest for many hours before you even notice. She also has an uncanny ability to not alienate readers by being too scientific, if you catch me. She smoothly traverses into the science part of her science fiction in such a way that even someone as daft as me can understand it and thoroughly enjoy it. This is what makes her such a stunning writer.

The part of the novel I really liked however is that J. S. manages to reach into my chest and crush my heart into a million pieces (God how over dramatic does that sound?). I won’t give any details away but there is a part of the narrative that I’m not ashamed to admit brought a tear to my eye. The crew must endure a soul destroying time and the adversity which follows not only at the time but a year later as well. You can really feel the emotion in the writing which in turn forcibly drags your emotions to the surface and waves them in your face. It’s been such a long time since I’ve felt such a response to a book that it had me enthusing about its author. It’s incredible.

Please, please, PLEASE buy this book when you can. Not only will you be getting a jolly great read but you’ll discover a literary World you may never have experienced before. You’ll love every minute. I’m still going to buy a hard back copy of the book and beg J. S. to sign it, it’s just that great.

Thank you 🙂

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Where Am I? An Update and a Smile Go a Long Way

Good evening lovely readers 🙂

Right about now seemed like a good time to flesh out where I am with my writing. So many exciting things are happening at the moment that it felt right to post about it. As mentioned in the previous post, the new anthology for Dagda Publishing is available from Amazon. All Hail the New Flesh is a collection of thirteen futuristic stories with a dystopian feel and a general theme of ‘technology gone mad.’ In this I have been lucky enough to have my short story Requiem chosen for publication; it’s a great honour and has been wonderful fuel for my creative fire. As I got overexcited and bought the kindle version this morning, a full review will be posted shortly 🙂

Next some wonderful personal news. Today I have had confirmation that I can get my novel professionally edited. The wonderful people at Dagda Publishing have agreed to edit my draft so I have the perfect version to send to publishers. I cannot begin to say how much I appreciate this as they are very busy with bringing out their fabulous novels and anthologies. I would in turn try to submit my novel to Dagda but I’m a self proclaimed fantasy nut through and through; give me sword and sorcery any day 🙂

And now to the blog news. I have to say that I do have a lot of rough copies of writing on here that I have stored for future use such as my novel idea Frozen. I do fully intend to carry on with this initial idea but as the paragraph above states I am concentrating on my original novel I Cast Magic Into the Darkness and intend to take this as far as I can. So in the meantime I hope you enjoy any posts I put on here in the future and for now take them as they are 🙂 Keep an eye out for improvements in the future.

And lastly I have a new #FlashForFriday in the creating which will be posted on here on Friday. It’s in reply to a flash fiction challenge my friend told me about where you have to rewrite a fairy tale and include a sub genre that wasn’t in the original. I am so excited in writing this and can’t wait for you to see what I have done. I hope you like it 🙂

Thank you 🙂

Threads by Dagda Publishing

I am thrilled to be able to finally do a proper review of Threads by the wonderful Dagda Publishers. It’s a collection of forty two contemporary poems which range in genre and stylistic type. The poets contained within are radiant in their genius and have a wonderful ability to create mini Worlds of almost artistic pleasure.

Within its pages lie so many unique aspects and view points that it is very possible that there is poetry in here for every keen eye. The back cover quite simply puts the view of the collection into an eloquent speech: ‘Threads of experience, memory and dreams all weave and intertwine to create snapshots of life and the human condition. An essential collection for all fans of the craft.’ To be honest although I am reviewing it myself I could not have described it better.

Several of the poems had me pausing and re reading them; some so that I could digest the meaning to a greater extent, some so that I could enjoy the pure pleasure of well written creativity and some so that I could discover a different meaning than I had originally thought possible.

A poem that caught my eye was the wonderfully entitled ‘Ode to a Fractal’ which was written by the excellent Dylan Otto Krider. I found it to be a short burst of creative genius which allowed an almost beautiful view of perhaps an almost underrated subject. I love that in a short space he has addressed the almost monotonous subject and turned it to the sublime. My favourite piece of the entirety has to be,

‘…you found patterns in a Universe,

sporadic,

and brought beauty to

logic…’

Could there be a better way to describe finding beauty everywhere? Even the layout of the poem draws your attention to its significance; the single words placed on lines of their own seems to separate the subject from the beauty it creates. This is a wonderful example of poetry in motion.

Another of my favourites is the wonderful ‘Long-Lost Love’ written by Colin W CampbellFor me this poem was a short burst of both despair and thoughtfulness. I love the way it flows so well. Some who have read my posts may have heard me describing the flow of literary pieces, for me at least, must be like water. This poem seems to embody that and carefully creates the opposing views of the subject. You can almost feel the despair from the ‘Phantom from a far off place’ looking for that love which they cannot find; this to me has a literal and a figurative meaning. For the literal, we sense the loneliness of the soul and long to reach out to comfort it; for the figurative the phantom could symbolise any previous loves from our lives that we still have lingering regrets over. The message is clear; move on, be happy, there’s nothing left for you here. The thoughtfulness I mentioned seems to come from the voice of the poem, that aforementioned longing to reach out and provide comfort. I find it fascinating that in twelve lines the poet has managed to create astounding clarity in a World of such emotion. It’s wonderful to read.

My last example of wonder is the brilliantly entitled ‘The Sound Garden’ written by Ross McCooey. For this one I have to start off with an example of its creativity,

‘Sycamore leaves scab the ground

sodden and flaccid they lie

in coagulated messes of rain

surveyed by sullen skies…’

Tell me truthfully, how fabulous is that descriptive language? Throughout the poem we’re treated to such literary almost sinful description that you can’t help but feel like you’re rolling naked in the purest silk. This feeling ironically goes against the subject of the poem; we are treat to an imaginative view of negligence with the smallest ‘ray’ of hope appearing at the end. That’s not to say such wonderful description can’t be used for a dark subject; on the contrary we are given such vivid views through language use that you can’t help but be drawn there, into the poem. It’s a fantastic read.

Now the above is just a few examples of the wonder within this book that I myself picked out. However I would like to say that each and everyone is fantastic in its own way and should be celebrated on their own merits. I cannot say enough that this book is a must read for every literary enthusiast. It is so well created and from a fantastic publisher that has found its creative ground and will now only move ahead in its endeavours. Also, a wonderful twist to this fantastic book is that proceeds from sales go to the brilliant charity Shelter that helps those in need of homes and security. I am proud to say that I have already donated 🙂

 

Oh…

… and within the book is some poem called ‘Echo’. It’s ok, read it if you like lol 🙂

Dedication, Skill… and a Bloody Boat Load of Excellent Creativity

Tuned To A Dead Channel - Out 20th September!

On average, I tend to use this page not only to talk of my own attempts at creativity but celebrate that aspect in others also. I find creativity in all forms fascinating and love to share that with any I can. This time it comes in the form of a newly released anthology of short stories. Tuned to a Dead Channel is the new collection of short stories from the epic Dagda Publishing, a relatively new publishers that already has an impressive portfolio of work behind them. This includes both Tuned to a Dead Channel and the soon to be published Threads, an anthology of poetry.

Now anyone who has read a good number of my posts before will know about my friend Jex. Known publicly as the author J Collyer, she has been both a wonderful friend to me and one of my main inspirations for my own creativity. When attempting to write of a strong female character in a fantasy World (as I usually attempt to do 🙂 ) it’s good to have an influence in real life also. Jex is an exceptional writer, as can be seen on her own blog, and I can’t wait for her first novel to be published very soon. You can also have a taste of her brilliant creativity in the aforementioned Tuned to a Dead Channel. Her short story, Ash, is a condensed slice of science fiction wonder and a good indication of future writings to come.

However Jex’s story isn’t the only one in there. There are a total of fifteen dystopian future stories for you to sink your teeth into. Each one portrays just as much wonderful creativity as the last and gives many views to any future we could possibly face. I urge anyone to go out and buy this collection as you will not be disappointed in the slightest. I fully plan to review this collection once I can afford to buy it, of which I will post on here, and I am fully aware that I will not be disappointed either.

Oh, and I am still writing outside of my comfort zone and blummin loving it 🙂

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