The Legacy Human – This Is Palpable Intelligent Fiction At Its Best, For Any Age Reader

The Legacy Human – This Is Palpable Intelligent Fiction At Its Best, For Any Age Reader
My review of The Legacy Human by Susan Kaye Quinn
thelegacyhuman With The Legacy Human, Susan Kaye Quinn is at the top of her speculative fiction game, mirroring the scientific discussion and activities of our world today to a future America where technology has allowed humans to Ascend to a mechanical, immortal existence, leaving behind the organic tethers of their physical selves for aesthetically superior machines. But not all Humans have Ascended, those that have not are Legacy. Eli is one of those. A prodigal painter set apart with other artisans to be given an opportunity to compete for the one prize that the Legacy Human’s most seek, Ascension. In order to attain immortality Eli must prove best in class at the annual games, impress the Ascended, and for that he and his loved ones will be granted immortality.

In this way, Eli follows the journey of the many heroes of the ancient Greek tales sent out to labor for the amusement of immortals. And we root for him, because, as any good hero, despite the great the desire to Ascend, he competes for those he loves.

That alone would make The Legacy Human a wonderful story.

The setting of the world of tomorrow is viscerally built though precise engineering and architecture that challenges me to question why we do not have the trains and craft and displays in use today, and the characters are developed to the detail that you will believe you know each of them; Eli’s trusted friend Cyrus, Kamali the Parisian dancer, and the Ascenders Marcus and Lenora, and so many more.

But it’s Quinn’s subtle use of societal and psychological reference that takes the story, Eli, and the reader farther than a mere race to the finish. As Eli meets other competitors, examines their viewpoints, and learns new realities of the world he thought he understood, the tale becomes one of his philosophical development.

We have all heard the quote “I think, therefore I am,” an off translation of the Latin phrase “cogito ergo sum,” which more exactly translated reads, “I am thinking, therefore I exist.” The Legacy Human takes this question further to let readers decide just what that existence is.

This is palpable intelligent fiction at its best, for any age reader. The premises set are neither declarative nor preachy, rather presented as an allegory in the most classic fashion.

What sets this story apart from others in the category such as Divergent and The Hunger Games is that the allegory is immediately applicable to every reader.

If a mind is immortal, what does that mean?

What does it mean to be me?

The answer, if there is one, is for the reader.

The Somali Deception – Ep III

The restaurant on the cover is a favorite of mine, Le Caveau du Palais in Place Dauphine. (Don’t worry – no terraces were harmed in the making of the cover)

The Somali Deception – Episode III – The Crystal Watanabe edited edition.

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Apocalypse Weird – Or – Something Weird Happened on my Holiday Break

I know, I know – I made some promises, the new Cameron Kincaid, Templar Force, the new Sci fi Novel, Plane Drifters, yeah, that’s in edit, and the Dystopian Fantasy Der Monde, I promised that too. But something weird happened during the Holiday Break.
AW_Transpaerent-LogoWhat’s that? You Say! Apocalypse Weird?

Yeah – Thats right. Apocalypse Weird is the twisted brain child of a few author friends of mine – Nick Cole (Soda Pop Soldier) and Michael Bunker (Pennsylvania) are two you may know.  They (along with some other talented artist friends) decided to create Wonderment Media to do something far out and experimental.  The Apocalypse Weird project is a collaborative endeavor.  Some incredible speculative fiction authors have been brought together to be ‘World Authors’ and each has their own slant on how their part of the world will end, some say in fire, some say in ice, it’s all golden good and it’s all weird.

redkingAnd over the Holiday break yours truly was invited to join the party. So it’s on. You can read about my contribution to the project -The Blue Prince – below.  But first let me tell you why I put Drifter and Templar on hold for this. You see each of these authors in the Apocalypse Weird Universe are ‘World-Building’ in their own sand box. Nick Cole (Soda Pop Soldier) started the party in Southern California with The Red King (available for free here),  Kim Wells (Mariposa) is wreaking havoc in NOLA and Forbes West (Nighthawks at the Mission) has had his way with the Florida Keys.  And these aren’t just different flavors of the same Apocalypse, OH NO, each has it’s own Weird Apocalyptic – WAIT – no spoilers.  Their novels are coming later this year along with a slew of others – my Apocalypse Weird novel – The Blue Prince – will be available in July.  But you don’t have to wait to start loading up on the Digital Destruction.

On February 23rd Five more novels are joining the party.

TexocalypseApocalypse Weird: Texocalypse Now by Michael Bunker and Nick Cole Click Here to Pre-Order

Central Texas. Mayhem, is orchestrating the hero eradication project. But he better look underground.  A gritty tale of survival in the Post Apocalyptic Weird West Texas Badlands where towns have become abandoned wastelands and “Hordes,” packs of feral, cannibalistic humans made so by a diet pill Slenderex, devour anything and anyone they can find in search of protein. A band of children, led by a boy barely a man, will stand against a rising tide of humans gone feral, greedy precious metal pirates and psychotic roving biker gangs to make a home for themselves atop a hidden valley. But when a member of the 88, a Man in Black simply known as Mayhem arrives in the badlands, Ellis and his small “family” of orphans and lost children will have to go underground into a mysterious system of tunnels to fight back and survive. Lord of the Flies meets Mad Max beneath the Apocalypse Weird.

ReversalApocalypse Weird: Reversal by Jennifer Ellis

Sasha Wood arrives at the international research station on Ellesmere Island to investigate the recent resurgence of Arctic pack ice. The polar bears have grown increasingly aggressive and crafty in the past few years, but the station caretaker, Soren Anderson seems more than attractive enough to make up for the dangers. An inexplicable and temporary blindness leaves three researchers lost in a blizzard, and leads to the escape of all the sled dogs. When everyone can see again, all of the station compasses and GPS units say north is south, the station has been cut off from the outside world, and giant craters filled with methane are starting to appear all over the island.

Sasha and Soren endeavor to rescue the dogs and find the other researchers and are pursued by demons, polar bears, and rogue researchers. When Vincent Robinson, the caretaker for the Antarctic research station, inexplicably arrives on their doorstep, they know the world has been turned upside down—literally and figuratively. Sasha and Soren try desperately to unravel the mysteries of the island and Sasha learns that Soren has secrets of his own. And all the while the only radio signal they can get is a woman named Helga Murgo calling again and again for all polar champions to go to a town in the desert.

1899408_10153079037223781_382397442280243940_oApocalypse Weird: Serenity Strain by Chris Pourteau

Houston, Texas: the epicenter of an Apocalypse both natural and unnatural. Three hurricanes wreak unprecedented devastation on the Texas Gulf Coast. Amidst the anarchy left in the wake of the storms, six prisoners–the genetically altered test subjects for a viral strain known as Serenity–escape the state prison in Huntsville. Their hunger for murder and destruction gorges itself on society’s survivors. One being of immense power and wanton appetites arrives to oversee the destruction of mankind and morality. Her name is Id.

Immunity_FT_FINALApocalypse Weird: Immunity by E. E. Giorgi

Scorched by fire and the longest drought in recorded history, survivors flee the Land of Enchantment in order to escape a mutated flu virus that turns ordinary people into mass-murderers. Only a few resilient scientists have remained, gathered in one of the last national laboratories still working on a vaccine against the deadly virus.

When the disease starts spreading among the military corps guarding the premises, the laboratory turns into a bloody carnage at the hands of the infected soldiers. Determined to succeed where her mother has failed, immunologist Anu Sharma pairs up with computer geek David Ashberg to find a cure and escape the massacre. Outbreak meets World War Z in the deserts of the Apocalypse Weird.

TheDarkKnight_FT_FINALApocalypse Weird: The Dark Knight, WYRD Book 2 (The sequel to The Red King) by Nick Cole

The Dark Knight continues as the survivors band together to build a modern-day “Castle” against an overwhelming tide of  dark  forces overrunning Southern California.  While  Frank and Holiday struggle for power, Ash ventures into the night to rescue a lost special needs adult who has unknowingly glimpsed a  horrifying future.   A future where man is on the verge of extinction and a new predator rules the planet.   The Apocalypse Weird is beginning and it might just be something bigger than anyone ever imagined… or feared.

Here are some important sites for more information and insight into the Apocalypse Weird Universe:

The Official Apocalypse Weird Web Site
Apocalypse Weird Facebook Fan Page
A list of other Apocalypse Weird Stories Releasing this Year and the Brilliant Authors creating them
+ Insights from the mysterious Doctor Midnite
The Apocalypse Weird Teaser Trailer
The Red King, the first book in the Apocalypse Weird Universe. Get it, it’s free!
An interview with Nick Cole, Apocalypse Weird visionary.
+ The artwork of M. S. Corley Apocalypse Weird Cover Artist.
+ The artwork of Ben Adams Apocalypse Weird Artist At Large.

And here’s a bit about The Blue Prince – my contribution to the Apocalypse Weird Universe due out in July

In 1904 Nikola Tesla set out to prove that his three hundred foot Tesla Tower could wirelessly transmit power from the high cliffs of Shoreham, Long Island, to Manhattan sixty miles away, and then ultimately worldwide. The experiment began with a deafening hum, the walls began to vibrate, the odor of ozone soaked the air, and arcs of blue lightning streaked from the 50 ton steel sphere topping the towering electrical coil, ionizing the atmosphere, and triggering the birth of a mammoth deep purple super cell shelf cloud directly above. As the hum peaked to crescendo, the massive dark cloud sucked into itself and the power of the tower went dead, prompting those at the time to believe the experiment failed.

One hundred and eleven years later, the humongous deep purple super cell cloud materialized far above the Empire State Building, in a sky already darkened from an oncoming storm, and with it, the acrid odor of ozone, the arcs of electric blue lighting, like those that had emanated from Tesla’s Coil, and something more.

From the spire of the tall landmark building, a cascade of power bubbled, visibly rippled the air, and then with explosive speed, expanded, and sending a tremor through midtown, across the island of Manhattan, and into the Boroughs beyond, blinding everyone in its path and leaving in its wake, havoc on the electrical grid and physical infrastructure, founts of water erupting from shattered hydrants, throngs of blinded panicked tourists electrocuted by the flaring explosions in Times Square, subway trains derailed above ground and below, and blossoming beneath the huge saucer sized cloud, the East and Hudson rivers, and the Harbor, long monstrous tentacles. In the misting parks, hideous, primitive, giant slug like creatures appeared, and throughout the city, people blinded by the Event, are plagued by swarms of flying ribbon eels, with wide razor jaws.

Above ground the rain of the oncoming storm begins, and below, in the deepest, darkest, dankest, section of the city, large fist sized amoeba have appeared, that are hungry, hunting, and with each rat they consume, growing, slowly oozing their way up toward the devastated surface.

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Mrs. Johnson’s Blues – Let Mrs. Johnson be your Muse

Mrs. Johnson’s Blues – Let Mrs. Johnson be your Muse
My review of Mrs. Johnson’s Blues by Kim Wells
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 5.03.39 PMThis story is fine example of what can be done with a small canvas and the blossom of an idea – just who was Robert Johnson’s muse. Though the story is short, there are no wasted lines, the pace is quick, the language conversational. This work is an excellent sampling of Kim Wells’s southern tinged magical style. Within a few short pages, Kim Wells introduces an entire mythos that leaves the reader wanting for more tales of the Summer Queen. I read this story over my morning coffee with Robert Johnson strumming on the stereo and took pause to let my mind wander with the imagery Kim gave me. This is that kind of short – the kick start your creative heart kinda story – the kind that energizes the mind and incites the create process, and I highly recommend, let Mrs. Johnson be your Muse.

The Legendarium – A Modern Allegory

The Legendarium – A Modern Allegory
My review of The Legendarium by Michael Bunker and Kevin G. Summers
LegendariumBy combining magical realism, science fiction, and satire into one tome, Kevin Summers and Michael Bunker have delivered a powerful vehicle for metaphor and interpretation. The Legendarium is `a metaphysical library that exists at the nexus of the multiverse, at the point where all stories intersect.’ That means that every story ever conceived or that will be conceived, resides there, and if by chance a story is altered or removed, the timeline in all dimensions is in turn altered. And who do we have to preserve the Legendarium? None other than the imperfect creative writing teacher Alistair Foley, and the bumbling Bombo Dawson.
Not all is subtle in the Legendarium. The work is rife with blatant questions of aesthetics; What makes a work of writing literature? Does a traditionally published work out weigh an indie published story? Questions expected from two of Indie publishing’s best selling authors. Yet these questions are a bait to readers, to mask a greater message, and that is that stories, regardless of label, connect with readers, and without that connection, the reader is the lesser, and in turn the world lesser too.Legendarium Signed
As Bombo and Alistair stumble through the literary works of the Legendarium, we are given a view of a world that could have been. A moral lesson into why no story, indie or otherwise, should be swept under the rug. I give this story five stars, not because this is a great follow up in the Bombo Dawson franchise, (it is), and not because of the long list of literary name drops, (which it has), and not because of the impeccable language (because it has not). I give this story five stars because, through the eyes of two fools and a gentle poke at our literary heroes, we are reminded that throughout history stories have influenced the world, and touched us as well.