Category Archives: Books

Jen Flood

Flood Rising
(Jenna Flood #1)
by Jeremy Robinson & Sean Ellis (2014)


Fifteen year old Jenna Flood’s discovery of a bomb—ticking down from sixty seconds—is the first in a series of explosive revelations that destroy her understanding of the world and her place in it.

Jenna believes she is an ordinary teenager, busy with schoolwork and helping her father run a Key West charter boat. But when a team of killers show up, intent on erasing her from existence, she learns the unbelievable truth: she is not who she thinks she is.

Alone and on the run, betrayed at every turn, Jenna’s path takes her from sun-drenched Key West to the alligator-infested Everglades, the streets of Miami and the Caribbean islands. Along the way, brutal criminals, deadly assassins and the forces of nature conspire to end her life, unless she can rise to embrace an impossible destiny and unleash her own lethal potential.

Everything Jenna has been told about herself is a lie, and the truth is a secret that may destroy the world…or save it.

Another cracking fast paced read from  Robinson. It’s a more conventional thriller and most of the story is am exciting chase between Jenna and the unknown forces trying to kill her. Around the half way mark, things slow down for some backstory and exposition before heading off in an unexpected direction.




(Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
by Delilah S. Dawson (2017)


One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet.

This novel covers the backstory of Phasma, from a young girl to the warrior seen in Star Wars – The Last Jedi. Despite knowing that she will survive, this is a compelling read. Mainly told in back-story from the point of view of a rebel spy caught by the First Order.

I would compare the writing to Timothy Zahn. It moves at a good pace, but pauses to explanations and character insights.

A recommended read for Star Wars fans.


Fire & Fury

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
by Michael Wolff (2017)

With extraordinary access to the Trump White House, Michael Wolff tells the inside story of the most controversial presidency of our time.

This is being read on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration (20 Jan 2017).  Wolff is not an impartial observer. The book is an attack of everyone in the White House and those associated with them.

Not exactly entertaining, it is an insight into the working of US politics. And it’s a mess. Probably not going to be fixed until Trump leaves.



by Joseph R. Lallo (2016)

Philo Middleton wasn’t having a very good day. It began with him waking up strapped to a chair inside a strange, high-tech chamber. His mind was wiped clean, even his own name unfamiliar to him. And yet somehow things went sharply downhill from there.

The Author writes in his Intro (abbreviated)

Some ideas just don’t fit anywhere. Maybe they are too comedic. Maybe they bend the rules of a setting a little too far. Maybe, let’s face it, they aren’t very good. I’m sure plenty of people can just throw these ideas away and move on, but I’ve got a terrible habit of fixating on something until I get it written down.

To solve the “stubborn bad idea” problem, I started a Word document on my computer labeled The Bad Idea Exercise. I would jot down, or sometimes even flesh out, the awful ideas that I couldn’t get past.

I’d decided I’d scrape the best of them together into a patchwork setting and start putting them out once a week, unedited and free, for anyone who wanted to read them. I called the result Between.

The Bad Idea Exercise continued to grow, and eventually I realized I might just have the dots necessary to connect into a complete story. I hope you enjoy this, the literary equivalent of turning spoiled milk into tasty cheese, because it was a riot to write it.

What he has ended up with is a very long (203k word) novel that hangs together surprisingly well. It contains elements of science fiction and fantasy, but it all comes under the ‘imaginative fiction’ genre. So I’m not sure why he thinks this would be difficult to sell. It could be compares to Terry Pratchett or Simon Haynes. There is a lot of comedy in the story, especially between the main characters.

Philo is a human dumped in a strange land. Trixie  is a Demoness with attitude and Trill a three headed snake.  They eventually get to solve problems and try escaping.

The main problem is the novel’s length. With a good editor it could have been halved in length and would sell well in the ‘Comic Fantasy’ genre.


Apocalypse Machine

Apocalypse Machine
by Jeremy Robinson (2016)

A chain of sub-glacial volcanoes erupt in Iceland. The melting ice floods the countryside. Poisonous gas descends on Scotland. A tsunami devastates the Norwegian coastline. An ash cloud rises into the atmosphere, blotting out the sun across Europe, ushering in a new Ice Age. Dozens of nuclear power plants, flooded by ocean water, experience meltdowns. Millions perish. Many more are displaced. All on the first day.

Jeremy Robinson returns to the Kaiju Thriller, but this time it’s different. The first half of the book feels like a lot of his previous books. The narrative switched between first person (Abraham Wright) and third person to describe world-wide events.

Then, half-way through the story everything jumps forward 15 years. I wasn’t expecting that and it takes a few chapters before the story builds up steam again. Then character re-appear and the battle is on to save the world. Eventually things come together for a suitable exciting ending.

This is more science- fiction than thriller, but yet again a great read.


Morning After

No Morning After
by Arthur C. Clarke (1954)

First published in Time to Come, ed. August Derleth, 1954


Also published in the June 1954 issue of Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.


Another short and silly story about what happens when a alien civilization reaches out to humanity. Unfortunately the only person they can reach won’t take them seriously.



I Remember Babylon
by Arthur C. Clarke (1960)

This first appeared in the May 1960 issue of Playboy.

It appears to be a first person account of an encounter between Clarke and a person involved in launching the first communications satellite. In it, the story predicts the distribution of TV via satellite and how anything can be broadcast as it will be outside the jurisdiction of nation states. While that isn’t accurate, it does depict the tendency towards sex and violence in modern media.





by Arthur C. Clarke (1951)

It may be because this is a a longer novelette (19K Words) length, but here is classic Clarke. It’s the story of conflict on the moon between Earth’s government and independent settlers on other planets in the solar system. There is a lot a plausible science and and the tension rises to it’s devastating conclusion.

The story was expanded to a novel of the same name in 1955.

AC Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Tiger (1953)


First published in Fantastic Universe, June/July 1953 and collected in ‘Tales From Planet Earth’. Originally entitled ‘Refutation’, this story was re-titled by Sam Merwin, editor of Fantastic Universe, as a nod to Frank Stockton’s classic but now forgotten ‘The Lady or the Tiger’.

As it’s coming up to the anniversary  of Clarke’s birth (16 Dec 1917). So I’m reading some of the stories I missed over the years.

The first is a very short story (1.2K words)  based on the multiple universe theory:

‘Well, let’s be perfectly logical and see where it gets us. Our only assumption, remember, is that the universe is infinite.’

‘Right. Personally I don’t see what else it can be.’

‘Very well. That means there must be an infinite number of stars and planets. Therefore, by the laws of chance, every possible event must occur not merely once but an infinite number of times. Correct?’
‘I suppose so.’

It’s rather silly and in the end, everyone is eaten by a tiger.


Occasion for Disaster
by Randall Garrett (1960)

A very small slip, at just the wrong place, can devastate any enterprise. One tiny transistor can go wrong … and ruin a multi-million dollar missile. Which would be one way to stop the missiles…. (reprinted in 1963 as “Supermind).

This is a random read from the ‘Golden Age of Science Fiction‘.”

It’s well written, but the plot meanders around too much. I had the impression that the author started this without a plan. There are mildly interesting ideas, but with a weak ending it’s not surprising this has become obscure.