Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Future Happens Twice by Matt Browne


Book 1 in the trilogy: THE PERENNIAL PROJECT
Paperback, 732 pages
ISBN: 978-1844018307
Date: June 14, 2007
Published by Athena Press, London

For decades scientists have dreamed of sending deep-frozen humans on interstellar missions. But until this dream comes true, they must settle for a much simpler technique available: the freezing of human embryos. However, long distance space travel of this nature poses other challenges, none more so than the management of artificial pregnancies and how to raise the children produced.

One viable solution comes in the form of advanced biotechnology and highly sophisticated androids, and a large scale project has been implemented to explore these options. To prove that it can really work, the project's scientists go a step further. Somewhere in the Nevada desert and well hidden underground, they conduct an eighteen-year-long experiment using a young starship crew unaware of their true environment. Surrounded by complex simulations, the crew believes they are approaching a distant star system, one that appears to host a planet suitable for human colonization. What they also don't know is the fact that their embryos had been split prior to the implantation in the womb devices.

The scientists' bold plan is to send the twin embryos on the real mission, pioneering the frontier of space. From both identical genes and an identical environment inside the starship, they arrive at the assumption that the future is a mere repetition of the present events. And indeed, about 42,000 years later the twins grow up with the very same android parents.

But then things start to drift away from the original plan. The real starship crew now faces a constant battle for survival. Only their fortitude and strong determination to land on the extrasolar planet averts a disaster. The reward is the new exotic world that awaits them, full of overwhelming potential.

Matt Browne's beautifully worked space epic explores the bounds of human hope and invention and plumbs the depths of human duplicity. Tender relationships between the budding astronauts are pitched against the disillusion they feel when an embattled President confronts them with their true origins and purpose, only to reveal the real culprit in the entire project - something closer to all of us today.

The author's fascination with the fields of bioengineering and information technology sustains the reader's interest all the way in this futuristic roller-coaster ride. And he asks a terrifying question. Setting aside man's inhumanity to man, what if Nature herself turns against us?

This gripping novel of epic proportions skillfully mixes elements of drama, medical thriller and science fiction. As the story unfolds, Matt Browne takes his readers on a breathtaking journey through vast stretches of time and space.


Matt Browne is a computer scientist with an M.S. degree from the University of Kansas. He works for a large, multinational company in the information technology division. He lives near Frankfurt, Germany, is married and has two twin children. In 1996 Matt Browne began his part-time writing career. Currently he is underway completing "Human Destiny", the second novel of the "Future Happens Twice" trilogy.

Find out more at my website at

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Tesserene Imperative by Mark Chapman


It was supposed to be a routine prospecting mission, but something went wrong.
With 43 billion souls crammed together on Mother Earth and using up natural resources at an unsustainable rate, the essential minerals that support human civilization are in desperately low supply. Tesserene, the mineral that makes starflight travel possible, is especially critical. Without it, humans are effectively imprisoned on their home world.

When prospecting ship Shamu is almost destroyed in a distant asteroid belt, Swede Johansen and rest of the crew of five is left with three days of air, little water, a smashed starflight drive, and no hope of rescue. It will take every ounce of ingenuity and stubborn pigheadedness they possess to find a way to survive.
Assuming they do find a solution, the ultimate jackpot awaits them in the shadows of a distant moon—if the galaxy doesn't kill them first.

Now available available from (paperback), (ebook), and other retailers. For more information about The Tesserene Imperative, or author Mark Terence Chapman, visit

Mark Chapman on Becoming A Published Author

Mark is doing something new on blog tours--a serial blog essay. Enjoy and check otu the rest on the other blogs.

My long, strange road to becoming a published novelist (Part V)
By Mark Terence Chapman

(This entry is a continuation of one on writer Suzanne Kamata’s blog. Click here to return to Part IV.)

Following the release of my OS/2 book in late 1995, I began thinking about writing a novel. (After a 20-plus-year layoff from fiction writing, most people would have started with a short story. I prefer to make things as difficult as possible for myself….) The problem was I had no plot in mind, just a desire to write something. I thought I had to have a detailed outline written before I started, laying out the major plot points. And for some reason, I was unable to sit down and do that. I just couldn’t think that far ahead.

So, I put off writing a novel. The next year, I put it off again. In 1997, I thought I’d take a stab at writing a children’s picture book. (You know, one of those books you read your kids to sleep with, with a page of illustrations for each page of text.) I ended up writing With a Name like Jeremy Hippenzoodle, about a little boy with a funny name that no one could seem to get right. The twist was that no one had a problem with Hippenzoodle. It was Jeremy they could never remember.

That got me thinking again about writing a novel, but I continued to struggle with the idea of needing a detailed outline of a story before beginning to write. This continued until November 2002. I heard about something called the National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal was to write 50,000 words of a story during the month of November. I found out about it in the middle of the month, too late to participate that year. But it got me thinking again about writing that darn novel. Finally, on May 8, 2003 (I marked it on my calendar), I finally had enough of procrastinating. I told myself to sit down and just start writing. Even if I didn’t know how the story would turn out, just…start…writing. Something, anything. So I came up with a simple premise: A small crew is trapped aboard their disabled spaceship, running out of air and water, with no hope of rescue. How do they save themselves?

I began writing with no more to go on than that. My only rule was that I had to work on the book every day. If I couldn’t think of anything new to write, I’d edit what I’d already written. I soon found that editing often jumpstarted my writing again. While editing, I’d think about what was happening to the crew and possible solutions to their problems and additional crises to confront them with when they got past the first one or two.

This system worked so well that 69 days later I had a finished first draft of 81,000 words. It needed a lot of work, both for polishing and to flesh out some scenes, but at least the worst was over—I had a complete story.

To find out what happens next, click here for the next segment of the story, on Ron Berry’s blog.
(510 words)

The Mars Imperative by Mark Chapman

It's the year 2174. With 30 billion people choking Planet Earth, civilization is near a breaking point. Too many cars, too many skyscrapers, too much of everything is straining Earth's ability to supply humanity with the raw materials needed to keep the machinery of civilization going.

The only way mankind can survive long term is to expand to the stars, but that's somewhere off in the future. Until then, we must find a way to mine the solar system for iron, copper, and the many other minerals needed in daily life. Thus far, Mars, Luna, and the asteroid belt are being explored and mined.

Enter James McKie, a recent graduate of the University of Manitoba with a degree in areology (Martian geology), on his way to his first job in space. Starry-eyed, he looks forward to making his mark on the Red Planet. But first he has to survive the trip there. A mysterious fire aboard his ship is followed by a crisis on the giant space elevator high above Mars.

If he survives everything, he has to brave the perils of Mars itself: rock slides and planet-wide dust storms that leave the unwary traveling blind in red-out conditions, unable to find their way home before their oxygen runs out.
And then there's the terrorist....

In the end, there's an incredible discovery waiting to be made: the key to terraforming the planet for human habitation—if it doesn't kill everyone first.

Now available available from (paperback), (ebook), and other retailers. Or visit my web site at or my blog at For more information about The Mars Imperative or author Mark Terence Chapman, visit

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Memsaheb and the Thief by Chandra Ghosh Jain

The ten tales in Memsaheb and the Thief are a collection of stories that make the reader travel from rural India, small towns and the great metropolis with ease.

In Memsaheb and the thief, life as a pampered daughter and wife had been easy for Simran. As a Memsaheb she is fond of Hindi film songs and sings one befitting each situation in her life. But somewhere along the way, she finds herself alone with only a thief for company…

Politics of the Virtuous shows us how the innocents are betrayed and misled…
The loneliness of a career woman is captured in the Net as Netting?

The allure of power associated with politics can undermine all relationships and loyalties as Kolya the hapless son discovers in the Cadaverous Chief.

The stories are often less than linear in structure; and they have a knack for the ungracious character - the one who gets kicked under the table, argued with, and often sighed over. The tales present such people in all their irascibility and mess, and then somehow like those psychologists who prove that pessimists have a more accurate view of reality than their optimistic and normal counterparts.

By the end the tales reveal the cranks' greater humanity and even make the "better" characters seem cardboard in comparison.

This is a collection of stories of anger and bitterness, love and loss, loneliness, change, oppression, grief, endurance, fear and death. They move one through a gamut of emotions but most importantly they move the reader to give a cry of recognition - yes this is what it feels like being a human in this way, time and time again.

Order It Here

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Review of Flashpoint by Frank Creed

Book One of the Underground
Author: Frank Creed
Published by Writers Café Press
ISBN: 978-1-934284-01-8
200 pages

Frank Creed pushes the boundaries of Christian fiction with Biblical cyberpunk—when he talks about "God in the machine," he's quite literal. He's been thinking and playing in the genre since long before William Gibson made it popular—and Creed can give Gibson a run for his money.

Creed starts with the basics for both cyberpunk and Biblical speculative fiction: a dystopic world run by a totalitarian global regime, with a pretty wide division between the haves and have-nots.

Those who support the regime live a prosperous life, while those who do not are left to the squalor of a crime-riddled underworld at best and slave camps, or "reconditioning" at worst. True to the Christian angle, the government has established a watered-down "feel good" religion, and true Christians (dubbed "Fundamentalists") are forced to hide their practices or go totally underground by joining the Resistance.

Dave and Jen are our young heroes. When the government finds out their family is part of a secret home church, they are taken to the underground by their father to save their lives. Daddy leaves them in order to draw off the authorities and is captured with their mother. Meanwhile, Dave and Jen are taken in by the Resistance and discover they have amazing abilities. They receive cybernetic mind enhancements that enable them to become the kind of perfected humans God created, before we were damaged by Original Sin. Dave becomes a superhero with Matrix-style abilities, while Jen becomes e-girl, the computer wizard no cyberpunk novel is complete without. They join the Resistance; their first mission: Save Mom and Dad and the members of their home church. And as they fulfill their mission, they learn what it means to be part of God's army.

There's nothing especially spectacular in the plot, but the real magic is in the execution. Creed does a fantastic job of weaving in all the things that make cyberpunk an exciting genre to read: the melding of human capabilities with highly technological advancements, exciting scenes that deliver the adrenalin rush, earthy but clever repartee, cunning twists to the mundane, some well-thought-out fight scenes… But what about the Biblical message? Here again Creed shows his genius. He immerses you in the Word of God just as he immerses you in the cyberpunk culture—in thought, word and deed. The thing I personally love about cyberpunk is the complete cultural mythos, right down to vocabulary.

Creed does the same thing; in addition to some really fun slang, he's woven in Scripture and the ideals of his Christian "Army" so that as you read, you are neither preached to nor pulled out of the story. It's all part of the program—literally and figuratively.

Flashpoint is a fast, fun read, something I was comfortable in giving to my 13-year-old son, and which I wouldn't mind re-reading again. (My husband can tell you that from me, that's high praise.)

If you are looking for Biblical speculative fiction the way it should be done, you need to read Creed!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Flashpoint by Frank Creed

Persecution in Chicago has reached the Flashpoint.

In the year 2036, all nations are run by a one-world government.
The One State has but one threat:
Fundamentalist terrorists.
The One State has declared that Bible believing Christians are now terrorists.

But the One State has not yet encountered
Calamity Kid and
e-girl . . .

When peacekeepers bust a home-church in Ward-Six of the Chicago Metroplex, brother and sister, Dave and Jen Williams, are the only members who evade capture. Their only place to turn? A Christian ‘terrorist’ cell known as the Body of Christ.

In their shattered world, Dave and Jen adopt codenames and slip between the Underground cracks of the Chicago Metroplex. They must save their home-church before their parents, brother, and neighbors are all brainwashed by the One State Neros or worse.

Calamity Kid and e-girl fearlessly walk the valley of death, because He is with them.

But they’ll need every molecule of their re-formed faith to face down ppeacekeepers, gangers, One-State neros, and fallen-angels, in America’s dark Post-Modern Humanist age.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Doorman's Creek by Lea Schizas

Several months ago, I promised to tour Doorman's Creek by Lea Schizas. Sadly, the realities of life got in the way and then my HP Pavilion (aka the Lemon) crashed for the third time, taking my notes with it. I'm finally getting my act together and post this now with my recommendation and a review by The Book Pedler.

When Kyle Anderson and his two buddies decide to explore a cave hidden within Doorman's Creek, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton... and an unknown entity, throwing them right into the path of a serial killer.

Faced with a sudden gift of visions into past and present disappearances, Kyle must now track down who the murderer is before another family member gets killed.

Excerpt of review by The Book Pedler (link here to read the full review)

"Doorman’s Creek by Lea Schizas has to be one of the best books I have ever read, period. Part mystery, part paranormal thriller, Doorman’s Creek is an incredible read that starts with a bang and just keeps going. From the moment the novel starts, you’re taken on a whirlwind of secrets, murder, sacrifice and death that just gets better with every page."

See more of Lea's stuff at