Electric Blues by Shaun O. McCoy

McCoyElectricBluesWhere I Got It: Review Copy

Narrator: Gabrielle Olexa

Publisher: Sisyphean Publications (2013)

Length: 1 hour 13 minutes

Author’s Page


Arty is an obsolete model of personal assistant droid, specifically model PA3025. Employment has become increasingly difficult to come by as newer and faster models become available. So, he’s on the government unemployment which means he has a case worker, Knickers. And Knickers has a subtle plan to get depressed Arty back into the swing of things.

I stepped into this story not expecting too much. I figured it would be a light-hearted lunch listen. What I got instead is so much more. Most of the story is told through the droid’s eyes and it was very interesting to watch Arty go from an initial wish to switch off (or terminate) to a place where he felt useful and needed.

Knickers uses a parable to get some points across to Arty. Extra points to the author for mentioning the old computer game Galaga, by the way. In fact, the entire story, Electric Blues, is a parable for modern human life and anyone who feels obsolete. This is done in a very clever way. I was sucked into the story and the characters long before I saw what the author was doing.

Another crucial character is the aging Madeline. Arty takes up volunteer work, per Knickers direction, while he continues to search for a job. Madeline is his first stop and in her daft way she takes him on as a personal assistant. She doesn’t have much interest in modern tech and being able to interface with such tech through the very accessible and people-friendly Arty makes her life much easier. Through this relationship, Arty grows as a character.

Now toss in snippets of a court case that attempts to define sentient life and you have plenty to think about. These little snippets were well placed throughout the story providing little breaks between scenes and raising some pretty interesting questions about what constitutes legal, rights-holding life.

All in all, I was very impressed with this story. I hope that McCoy makes more of his work available in audiobook format!

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the narrator (via the GoodReads Audiobooks group) in exchange for an honest review.

Narration:  At first I wasn’t sure why the author picked a female narrator for this book as nearly all of it is told through Arty’s voice. But then I realized that Arty is an it, not a he or she, so it didn’t particularly matter. Gabrielle Olexa did a fine job sounding like a stiff PA3025. She managed to keep a monotone voice for PA Arty throughout the tale. She had a variety of voices for the other characters and imbued them with emotion when needed. My favorite voice was old lady Madeline.

What I Liked:  Raises some interesting questions about the definition of life; I was sucked into the story before I realized it was a parable; extra points for bring up Galaga; great to seen Arty work through his believes on being obsolete and come to realize that he is still useful; very satisfying end.

What I Disliked:  Nothing – I really enjoyed this story.

Interview: Josh Powell, Author of The Berserker & the Pedant

PowellTheBerserker&ThePedantSeason1Everyone, please welcome Josh Powell, who authored the very entertaining The Berserker & the Pedant – so worthy! You can check out my review of it over HERE. Today we talk about Josh’s kickstarter project, other fantasy authors, TV shows and plenty more. Enjoy!

If you could be an extra on a SFF TV show or movie, what would it be?

Oh, that’s a fun one.  If it’s a main character, it’s too easy – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous!  As an extra I’m thinking SG-1 as a Jaffa or Goa’uld.

Would you rather have a dragon, or be a dragon?

If the dragon can polymorph, be a dragon.  Otherwise, have a dragon.  Preferably a Pseudodragon or Pocket Dragon or a sarcastic Jhereg so I can bring them with me.

If you had to choose someone to rescue you from the jaws of certain death would it be a superhero, supernatural creature, or a space alien?

A superhero, the other ones might bite or probe after saving me.

Would you choose to live permanently in a fictional world, or visit as many as you liked but you couldn’t stay more than a few hours?

If I get to choose which fictional world, stay permanently.  If not, visit as many as I can.  There are some worlds you just do NOT want to live in :)

Myths and beliefs that we would consider fiction or fantasy in modern literature once upon a time shaped history (think of all the hunts for unicorns & dragons). Do you see modern fantasy fiction affecting human cultures today and how?

I see modern fantasy more as a reflection and recording of who we are and strive to be at the time it was written, rather than shaping who we are becoming.  Sci fi is the vision of what we want to become in the future and actively shapes it.

What has been your worst or most difficult job? How does it compare to writing?

Sitting at a desk working for the government as a programmer.  The people were great, but I could not stand being given two weeks to do something that only took 30 minutes. That experience is definitely reflected in my Sci fi writing.  Writing is the opposite of that, I have 30 minutes to do what should take two weeks!

If you were sent on a magical quest which other 4 fantasy authors would you take with you?

Totally different answers than if I was hanging out in a bar with them. On a quest I’d like Jim Butcher as the wizard for his creativity and magical knowledge, Larry Correia to be the tank and kill the monsters, Patrick Rothfuss to be the bard, and since I’m not sure who the cleric is, Anne Rice to be the necromancer and raise the dead.  Back at the tavern, I’d want Steven Brust and GRRM swapped in there somewhere.

Care to share an awkward fangirl/fanboy moment, either one where someone was gushing over your work…..or one where you were gushing over another author’s work?

I try not to gush, when I see someone I’m a fan of I prefer to valiantly hide on the outskirts of their vision, stalking them just out of range saying “Oh my god, is that…” while pretending to look at something else.  That’s what I did at Baycon with Amber Benson, I think I really pulled it off well.

Finally, what upcoming events and works would you like to share with the readers?

There is a Kickstarter to turn The Berserker and the Pedant into a graphic novel series.  Some really amazing talent, veterans of Marvel and DC, have lined up to contribute to the work.  The sketches and pencils for the first issue are in, and the artists are working on the inks and colors.  So exciting!  You can find the details at www.pedantpublishing.com

Also, Dragon Apocalypse, the sequel to The Berserker and the Pedant, is available to preorder and will be out in another month.  It’s only 99 cents until soon after it’s released.

PowellTheBerserker&ThePedantSeason1Book Blurb for The Berkerker & the Pedant:

Gurken Stonebiter, avatar of Durstin Firebeard, templerager of the Stonebiter clan, is in a pretty pickle.

He’s an axe-happy, grammatically-challenged dwarf on the hunt for blood. Thieves made off with temple property, sending him into a fit of vengeful rage. Seeing as he’s a Berserker, it’s in everyone’s best interest not to get Gurken’s hackles up. Gurken often dissolves into a fury of blood, lust, and carnage unlike anything seen in the age of men. When he finds those whom he assumes to be the aforementioned thieves, he is unable to control himself. Thus for our heroes, a master magician named Arthur and a girl-child named Pellonia, the blood flows until poor Arthur is hacked into pieces.

It takes all the temple priests (and all the king’s men) to put Arthur back together again. Imprisoned for their supposed crimes, Pellonia and Arthur aren’t willing to sit around the dungeon on principle, and so promptly escape. They return the following morning to join Gurken on a hilarious and dangerous adventure to the Mines of Moog to recover the sacred Orb of Skzd. Along the way they face gruesome deaths at the hands of enormous arthropods, an amiable Minotaur, and excitable dragons, making them wonder what exactly they’re doing on this quest in the first place.

Pellonia, for one, is much more than meets the eye, and although she has the body of a pre-pubescent girl, she is full of snark and knowledge beyond her years. Her past and fate become apparent as they meet mysterious denizens from her childhood. Arthur’s ability to frequently engage in death throes only to return once more is to be admired as well as puzzled over. Unfortunately, one too many dismemberments occur and some shortcuts are taken during the resurrection process, to Arthur’s utmost shame and revulsion. Gurken, with his brash temperament and willingness to confront anything that challenges them, though it be ten times his size, is both an enviable asset and a terrible curse along the way. The three companions come together to brave obstacles and solve puzzles hindering them from obtaining the goal of their quest.

Within the Mines of Moog, the lurking creatures multiply in size, cleverness, and deadliness. Well, with the exception of a new knoll dwarf ally, who joins them as a healer to serve against future dismemberments. Kitten-sized ants, elven maidens, and others occasionally strive to assist our heroes on their oft-forgotten quest.

Gurken’s adventures run the gamut of the fantasy genre, taking us through the ridiculous to the mythological, passing through epic fantasy, and finally resting on fantastically improbable. The rapid, so-fast-you-might-miss-it pace of the short stories make for one incredible, bordering on the absurd, ride that will enthrall fantasy lovers everywhere. Fantastic creatures abound in these stories, and it takes a clever eye to catch all the different breeds and specimens from orc to elf. Blink and you will miss a flippant phrase or a clever beast of burden flickering into existence and going out. Gurken’s adventures have a cunning, dry, tongue-in-cheek style and quick-as-a-whip writing that will have fans of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride and Piers Anthony’s Xanth series begging for more.

Places to Stalk Josh Powell






Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

KristoffStormdancerWhere I Got It: Review copy

Publisher: Audible Studios (2013)

Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda

Length: 14 hours 47 minutes

Series: Book 1 The Lotus War

Author’s Page

The world is polluted and it is only getting worse. The Shogun Yoritomo rules with an iron fist, taking whatever pleases him. The Lotus Guild holds sway via their knowledge of mechanics and running the empire’s many machines. The black lotus pollutes land and people alike, choking out the wild places, tainting air and water, and providing a temporary, poisoned escape from reality to those who smoke it. Yukiko, a 16 year old young woman, is of the Fox clan and has a special gift, one that she must keep secret. Her father was once a mighty hunter and the Shogun has not forgotten his past feats. He is sent on a hunt to bring the Shogun a live thunder tiger. However, one hasn’t been seen in so long some now believe they were only ever myths.

Honestly, it took me about 4 hours to get into this book. I’m really not sure why. This book has so many things that I love about fantasy in general and steampunk/dieselpunk in particular. It did take me a while to get attached to Yukiko, our main character. Nevertheless, once I became caught up in the story, I did not want to put it down. In fact, there were some moments towards the end where a few tears (just a few!) might have been jerked out of me. If you’ve been waffling about whether or not to give this book a try, then I definitely recommend it. Just be prepared to let the story gain momentum.

First, this world is not quite like anything else I have come across. I know the description says it is steampunk but the Lotus Guild’s tech relies much more on petroleum products than on steam power. But many of the literary elements of a good steampunk are there – we have an airship (highly flammable!), a guild that is pretty darn secretive about their tech, and goggles. Can’t have a good steampunk-like tale without goggles. On top of the tech, we have a feudal Japan-like setting. There’s plenty of Japanese vocabulary and cultural references throughout the book. There’s a series of islands too, though this book focuses on Shima. No matter what sub-genre you stick this fantastical world in, make sure to also label it ‘Awesome!’.

We don’t meet the thunder tiger, Buruu, until perhaps 3 hours in. He and Yukiko do not start off as friends. Indeed, far from it. In fact, their meeting and subsequent need to survive together is rather harrowing. Yukiko has a secret power that only her father knows about which is the ability to Ken with animals – basically mindspeak with them. The point where Yukiko and Buruu start working together was when the story really started for me and I became fully engaged. I really enjoyed the sometimes banter between the two. Also, Buruu has a rather distinct personality and pretty much only 1 way to solve problems – kill it! He’s not one for thinking about consequences. Yukiko has to be the one to do that for the both of them and that forces her to grow as a character.

Yukiko started off as a pretty self-sufficient yet angry teenager. Her father is often drunk on lotus smoke and Yukiko has to fend for herself most of the time. This is a pretty standard character set up and perhaps that is one of the reasons I was slow to come to enjoy this book. Once she and Buruu end up lost together in the last remaining Shima wilderness, things change. Yukiko is no longer raging (internally or externally) at her neglectful father. She now has a purpose, albeit a small one of mere survival. That blossoms into a larger purpose once she meets some unexpected folks. One revelation after another leaves Yukiko hardened into a focused individual who has one goal in mind. The Shogun should be worried.

Yukiko also has another unexpected ally – Shin. He’s a young guildsman who was badly injured. Through his eyes we learn some awful secrets about the Guild and their purposes. Shin, like so many others, didn’t have a choice about whether or not to be in the Lotus Guild. However, once fully indoctrinated, it is nearly impossible to leave. The Guild is responsible for much of the environmental pollution, the slavery and continued attempt to conquer new lands, and the lotus smoke that both intoxicates and poisons the users. In short, they have much to answer for.

Once the story picked up for me, I quite enjoyed the plot. There’s plenty of well-written fight scenes that had me holding my breath. Also, there is deception, intrigue, and a touch of romance. Yukiko’s and Buruu’s friendship continues to grow. In fact, there was this intense scene where we learn just how fond Buruu has become of his young mistress. Ah! I was worried for our main characters at that moment. The plot has a few twists, most of which revolve around revelations of the past. As Yukiko learns more about the Shogun’s past ill deeds, the more she focuses on him as the evil-doer and the easier it is to forgive her father.

I’m very glad that I stuck with this book. I came to love the main characters and to care about the land and what will become of its people. While the ending (which was most excellent) closed the story arc for this book, it also left us nicely set up for book 2. I’m definitely looking forward to more tales of Yukiko and Buruu!

I received this book at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Narration: Jennifer Ikeda was most excellent in her performance of this book! She had a great voice for Yukiko and her fluid Japanese accent for many of the Japanese words and names really added to the flavor of the book. I totally loved her voice for Buruu. She really managed to capture the tone of an angry thunder tiger! There were plenty of emotions in this book and Ikeda did a great job of imparting those to the character voices.

What I Liked:  Yukiko grows throughout the book; Buruu also does a little bit of growing but I loved his character early on; the setting is quite engaging; the many, many mysteries of the Guild; revelations from the past; the ending was quite satisfying.

What I Disliked: This book started off slow for me, taking about 4 hours for me to get into it.

What Others Think:

The Book Smugglers

Dear Author

Fantasy Book Critic

Fantasy Book Review

Strange Horizons

SF Signal

Anne Manx: Birth of the Cat by Larry Weiner

WeinerAnneManxBirthOfTheCatWhere I Got It: Review copy

Adaptation: Todd A. Kaylor & Tom Dheere

Illustrator: Karl Waller

Publisher: Radio Repertory Co. of America (2013)

Length: 24 pages

Series: Book 1 Anne Manx graphic novel, prequel to the audiobook series

Author’s Page

Anne Manx is a rookie cadet at the intergalactic police academy. There, she meets Jean Richmond, who is a senior cadet. Fans of the audiobook series will also recognize other characters like Jack Reynolds.

Since I am already a fan of Anne Manx via the audiobook series, I was quite intrigued by this graphic novel. Here we have the origins of Anne and her law enforcement career. She’s young and has some self-confidence, but circumstances will harden her further into the tough, decisive private investigator I know and love from the series.

Jean Richmond, oddly, becomes her friend somewhat and also gives her some mentoring. This really explains some of the exchanges these two characters have later in the series. I really enjoyed this blossoming friendship as both women can be a bit bullheaded.

The plot itself was an exciting mix of character development, getting to know the police academy, and action. It’s law enforcement, so sooner or later we have to have some weapons play and hand to hand combat. I was not disappointed! Also, this was a great way to sneak in some future scifi tech, which I also enjoyed.

We have several male characters tossed in to balance the ladies. While Jean & Anne are the primary females, we see some others, mostly as background but all in academy uniforms looking professional. The men some times needed saving and some times did the saving. It was a great give and take balance that I so like about the audiobook series.

The dialogue varies between serious talk about the plot and sharp, sometimes cutting, humor. This book is an excellent origin story to the Anne Manx series. It really is a good fit, mirroring everything that I enjoy about the audiobook series.

I received this book at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Illustration: The cover art of the audiobooks reflects the faces of the voice actors for the major characters and I wondered if the art in this book would do the same. Indeed it does! Since I already have this idea of what Anne and Jean look like, it was awesome that the illustrator kept this going, perhaps smoothing the lines a bit to make Jean & Anne look younger. While both ladies are curvy, I didn’t feel they were two exaggerated. Also, both men & women at the academy where tight pants with big bulky jackets. While I appreciated that the uniforms were the same for both sexes, there were more backside shots of women than men. I personally would have liked this to be a bit more balanced – meaning that I wouldn’t have minded a few more backsides of men being on display. 

What I Liked: Anne’s earliest days in law enforcement; her relationship to Jean Richmond; unisex uniforms; illustration goes well with the audiobook cover art; good mix of action, character development, and academy life; by the end, Anne is a bit tougher. 

What I Disliked: This is a small criticism, but I would have liked a bit more equality when it comes to the occasional focus on buttocks. 

Audiobook Giveaway & Interview: T. W. Fendley, Author of The Labyrinth of Time

FendleySolarLullabyFolks, please welcome the talented T. W. Fendley to the blog! I have enjoyed a few of her short stories (The Mentor & Solar Lullaby). Today we chat about favorite SFF book series, remote viewing, how the Iron Man would fare in an obstacle course, and plenty more! Also, don’t miss out on the most awesome audiobook giveaway (Audible.com & Audible.UK) at the bottom of this post!

If you could, what book/movie/TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?

If I can only chose one, I’ll pick Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. The idea of psychohistory inspired me to learn about “real-world” cycles of all sorts, and to speculate on others. But I’d also love to read the Harry Dresden, Lord of the Rings, Sookie Stackhouse, Narnia, and Harry Potter series again for the first time—they were all so much fun, and in different ways, so I really can’t choose!

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you choose to do?

When I was in college, I had a hard time deciding between pursuing a career in art or writing. Journalism won out, and years later, I switched to writing fiction. I still enjoy painting, especially with watercolors. I’d also love to get more involved in scientific research because I think the world is an incredibly fascinating place.

FendleyTheMentorIn this age of publishing, self-promotion is really necessary for the author. What do you enjoy most about advertising yourself and your works? What do you find most challenging?

I like meeting people from around the world—especially readers, but also other authors. My blog, The Writers’ Lens, has helped with that. The most challenging part of self-promotion is linking up with the “right” readers. I feel the ones who connect with my particular mix of history, science, and fantasy are kindred spirits.

What do you do when you are not writing?

One of my favorite past-times is remote viewing, a scientifically based protocol that allows intuitive processes to flow easily. As part of the Applied Precognition Project, I help make stock and sport predictions, and have a lot of fun. I also host a website on Associative Remote Viewing: www.ARV4fun.com.

Which favorite fictional worlds would you like to visit?

I’d love to fly to Neverland with Peter Pan, Wendy and Tinker Bell (avoiding Capt. Hook and the crocodile, of course). It would be wonderful to meet Aslan in Narnia, and to play quidditch at Hogwarts with Harry Potter. It goes without saying that I wouldn’t turn down a trip anywhere with the Doctor!

FendleyZeroTimeWhat is a recurring or the most memorable geeky argument or debate you have taken part in?

In the remote viewing community, we talk a lot about retro causality – how the present affects the past — and quantum entanglement.

You have to run an obstacle course. Who do you invite along (real or not, dead or not)? Will there be a tasty libation involved?

Since I’m not at all athletic, I’d ask Iron Man to “help” me run the course. Then we’d fly to Stark Tower, where I’d fix us each a frosty Bellini (white peach puree and prosecco) to celebrate.

FendleyTheMentorBook Blurb for The Mentor:

This quirky, futuristic romp into extreme consumer activism pits time-traveling sentient giraffes and lions against each other in a society where corporations have total control. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

FendleySolarLullabyBook Blurb for Solar Lullaby:

Dr. Flare Haich offers the only hope for diverting a solar flare that will dwarf the 2012 Mayan Event, which killed her parents and a half-billion others. She must overcome the betrayal of one she trusted and launch Empress III to keep the Sun’s fiery message from scorching the Earth as One Imix—the time of new beginnings—arrives.

FendleyJaguarHopeBook Blurb for Jaguar Hope:

Two black jaguars become the symbol of hope for a race facing extinction when they accompany a dying traveler back to her home planet. JAGUAR HOPE, a novelette, tells of the ill-fated journey to Earth’s Age of Crystal in this action-packed prequel to my historical fantasy novel, ZERO TIME.

FendleyTheMotherSerpent'sDaughterBook Blurb for The Mother Serpent’s Daughter:

Four-year-old White Heron begins her journey as a master shaman when she arrives in Teotihuacan with her sister Quilla and Mama Couen. Her fledgling skills prove the only defense against a priest of the Lord of Darkness in THE MOTHER SERPENT’S DAUGHTER, a short story prequel to the historical fantasy novel, ZERO TIME.

FendleyTheLabyrinthOfTimeBook Blurb for The Labyrinth of Time:

Spending spring break in Peru with her grandmother isn’t sixteen-year-old Jade’s idea of fun. She’d much rather be with her friends at Lake of the Ozarks. Then she meets Felix, a museum director’s son. Jade discovers only she and Felix can telepathically access messages left on engraved stones in the age of dinosaurs.

Following the ancient stones’ guidance, they enter the Labyrinth of Time and–with a shapeshifting dog’s help–seek a red crystal called the Firestone. But time is running out before the First Men return on the night of the second blue moon.

You can find T.W. online at:








T. W. has graciously offered up not one, not two, but three audiobook giveaways! You can enter all three if you like. All are open to Audible.com and Audible.UK folks.

Giveaway #1: Jaguar Hope & The Mother Serpent’s Daughter. Giveaway #2: The Mentor & Solar Lullaby. Giveaway #3: The Labyrinth of Time.

To enter, do the Rafflecopter thing below OR answer these questions in the comments: 1) Are you Audible.com or Audible.UK? 2) Which books are you interested in? 3) Please leave a contact email (I promise not to do anything questionable with it). 4) What fictional worlds would you like to visit? Giveaway ends September 15, 2015, midnight.

Giveaway #1: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway #2: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #3: a Rafflecopter giveaway

The American Fathers: Swept Away by Henry Sullivan

SullivanAmericanFathersSweptAwayWhere I Got It: Review copy

Narrators: Adrianne Cury, Amy Montgomery, Deb Doetzer, Fawzia Mirza, Scott Duff

Publisher: Sullivan Serials (2015)

Length: 58 minutes

Series: Book 1 The American Fathers

Author’s Page

Set in a near future America, the world is a bit different. Powerful houses run the politics, and hence, the country, from behind the scenes. Sworn fealty to a powerful house can bring the average person a decent paying job in a world where society is scrambling to hold it together. Sheila, a smart lass from Tennessee, sees through this BS and is trying to open the public’s eyes to this power shift. Meanwhile, the Lebanese congressional correspondent Jasira agrees with Sheila, off the record. Yet, despite Sheila’s unarguable attraction to Jasira, she can’t help but question Jasira’s motives.

I stepped into this book thinking it was more near future scifi + politcs than romance + erotica. However, I couldn’t help but be caught up in the story. The author does a very good job of showing us, through Sheila’s eyes, the power structure and what Sheila believes to be wrong with it. The story opens with a hosted TV show on which Sheila and Jasira are guests. Through that show, they get to interact with a few members of the show’s audience, who have questions that leave the the door open for Sheila to comment on the politics of the day.

There’s only a touch or two of what you might call futuristic tech. Honestly, telling your sound system to play a certain selection of music is possible now with a swanky system. Still, it was nice to have these small reminders that this is a near-future story and not some alternate story of what Earth and politics might be today. I personally would have preferred a little more future tech.

This is a romance erotica and that part of the book is sweet. When Jasira turned on the charm, I melted. The sex scene doesn’t happen until the end and there is a very nice build up. We get a clear picture of who each of these ladies are – and they are both smart and savvy in their own ways. Plus there are those hints of hidden secrets and things rather not said for both ladies, giving the story that overtone of possible future conflicts of interests. By the time the sex scene arrived, I was thoroughly caught up in the characters and so wanted them to be happy with each other. The descriptions of the love making were detailed but not gauche. It was a very nicely done piece of erotica thrown into a larger story of political intrigue. As a side note, I really like that we have more than 1 ethnicity represented in this story. I will definitely be looking for episode 2.

I received this book at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: This was an excellent performance all around. Sheila’s character had a light regional accent that wasn’t overdone. The voice for Jasira was perfect – by turns clever and insightful, and then sexy and tempting. The rest of the character voices were distinct and well done. The production was smooth with touches of ambient sounds that never drowned out the dialogue.

What I Liked: The story’s setting; political intrigue; some intelligent female characters; we’re shown what the political situation is instead of being told; excellent sex scene; excellent narration & production; more than 1 ethnicity represented.

What I Disliked: A tiny quibble – I would have enjoyed more future tech thrown in.

Interview: Dean Warren, Author of The Pacification of Earth Series

WarrenAmericanRevoltEveryone, please welcome Dean Warren, author of military scifi and futuristic ecological disasters! We have a nice chat about his books, how humans affect the environment, and much more. Enjoy!

Why do you write?

For me, writing a novel or a short story is day-dreaming.  I pose myself a challenge or a circumstance and flesh out an alter ego and supporting characters to encounter it.  I’m intellectually consumed by science, so most of my plots involve that.  I wondered what would happen if we hard wired a computer to a man’s brain.  You’d have world-taming logic, memory, and information resources, allied with aggression and lots of negative emotion.  I called that novel Man Over Mind.  A second novel explores the results of a cure for age–which geneticists are working on.  That novel I called Growing Young.  And so on.  Currently, I’m consumed with humanity’s fate.  When I went to college, the world’s head count was 3 billion; today its over 7; the World Bank says by the end of this century it will be 12.  Desperate people are piling up on the shores of North Africa looking to roost and feed in Europe; we have Central Americans besieging our southern border.  Southwest Asia is brimming with refugees.  Billions exhaling CO2 and burning coal, wood, and oil in order to live.  The world is warming, the seas will rise, and violence will escalate.  We’re like the lemmings, en route to jumping as a species off the cliff.  I’m currently writing a fifth novel on that predicament.

WarrenLeavingEarthWhat now-dead author would you like to interview? What are some of the things you would chat about?

Arthur Koestler. He was publishing way back in my college, formative days.  He was basically a political writer, attacking Russian communism.  I, too, am political, although not nearly as profound, or successful.  I would ask him whether he thought there was hope for humanity, how should we concerned people behave.  Of course, he committed suicide.  I think he would claim illness rather than cowardice

Are minions/sidekicks just throwaway devices in a tale? Can they become more? Do they need to become more?

Minions are key in an author’s efforts to properly portray the human environment in which the action takes place.

WarrenTheBombAndItsDeadlyShadowIf you could, what book/movie/TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?

I liked G.R.R.Martin’s Game of Thrones‘ first four books.  Lots of skullduggery, action, good characters.  Intellectual fantasy.

Reality in my fiction: how important is it? Lengthy travel, cussing, and bathroom breaks happen in real life. How do you address these mundane occurrences in your writings?

I’m old fashioned, I guess, and try to get to the point, either action-wise or intellectual-wise, without delving into dull, dirty linen.

Places to find Dean Warren