Sunday, May 5, 2013

Reviewing Time Assassins

Time Assassins
by R Kyle Hannah

During the late 80s and early 90s there were two television series that I found I enjoyed a lot.  Quantum Leap where scientist Sam Beckett keeps getting bounced around in time to correct things that have gone off track and Time Trax which followed a time cop name Darien Lambert around as he retrieved criminals who had escaped into the past to make their fortunes or just plain act psychotic.

Time Assassins goes about the timeline business from a darker angle and also seems to delve into the type of storytelling prevalent in the Watchmen.  An assassins guild in the twenty-third century takes in applicants much like the old Shaolin Monks did in the Kung Fu series with David Caradine.  The apprentices, if accepted, progress through years of study to become assassins or support staff that travel through time to tweak history by removing pivotal decision makers.

This describes the environment that the reader finds themselves coming to terms with as drama and action unfold.  There is romance, rogue operators, a secretive council that is answerable to no one entity and a very rich man who feels the world is his to do with as he pleases.

I enjoyed this excellent adventure which spans a large chunk of history and explore many might have-beens.  This would be a good book for age thirteen and up.

Time Assassins buy link.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Life for this blog Book Review

Babylon Confidential

A Memoir of Love, Sex & Addiction

by Claudia Christian with Morgan Grant Buchanan

"Ivanova is always right.  You will listen to Ivanova."  I was late catching the Babylon 5 bug but once I did I watched it in reruns and on DVD enough to make up for it and become fan worthy.  I am even more of a fan of Claudia Christian now after reading this memoir.  You are awesome and this will do a lot of good.

It is a chronological journey from child to present, from trauma to healing and from addiction to sobriety.  Yeah, that pretty much covers it.  Oh all right.

Claudia hits on disappointment or trauma to healing and victory multiple times in her life and the story rolls through this book in waves.  Naturally the lows are self-explanatory but the highs are not always what you would expect and they paint depth into the image of her character.

One bit that I especially found interesting and irritating was the casting decision made to replace her in season 5 of Babylon 5.  Turns out that was only one show in a varied career for her.  The B5 fan in me satisfied I learned of the other struggles to maintain a career and residences always at the whim of a fickle industry and numerous romances one of which with a namesake I will disown right now.

I celebrate the victory that is your book and journey to balance Claudia.. You are sure it's not the Cmdr. Sinclair method?

Zathros 'No, not the One.'

I recommend this book to anyone who is allowed to decide what they want to read.

Getting your copy

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Next You Universe book sale

For all the readers of the GrindingForward blog and the blogs that get reblogged...yeah that's it.  Prepare to enjoy some benefits.  Until 28JAN13 you can get all of my first three books at 50% off though Smashwords.  Just enter the appropriate code at checkout.

Legacy of Daddy:  TA97M

Next You Interstellar LLC:  FU64K

Having Nice Things:  GB63Y

All may be accessed by clicking on the book covers at Next You Universe

The fourth book Utopian Estates is available through the same.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Next Youi Universe: Procreating.

       The demented creator of the Next You Universe has spit out another work to make four books thus far.

Find them here

and at


Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Interview with Edward Frank, who interviewed me

Interview by Edward Frank
My questions are for Angus H. Day. His responses when completed can be found on his blog here:
1) I see you have three books available through Amazon Kindle listed on your Author's Page: All are science fiction. Do you consider yourself primarily a science fiction writer?
Yes I do.  I particularly am attracted to writing plots which involve how technology dependence can sometimes cripple our basic sense.  I avoided the use of the word common because that would imply that it is in abundance which I just don't see.  Science Fiction, as a genre, has motivated some of the most outstanding developments of the last century.  Some one has to keep that pipeline fed and it might as well be me.

2) How did you get started as a writer?
I got started writing novels as a form of therapy and as kind of a middle years checklist.  I wasn't getting younger and as I kept reading more books I would reflect that I could do that or my plot would have been.  Every body needs a creative outlet of some form and this seems to be mine.  In short I ran out of excuses not to write.

3) Are there particular authors or books that have influenced your writing style, approach to writing fiction, or subject material?
There are a lot of authors that deserve mention in this answer but I will keep to the most contributing to my delinquency.  Joe Haldeman, Phillip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, Peter Hamilton, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Harry Harrison, Douglas Adams, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlem, Frank Herbert, Ben Bova, Arthur Clarke and many others. 
For plot development I would have to say that I have learned the most from Star Trek tie in writers such as Dayton Ward, Kevin Dillmore, David Mack and Keith DeCandido.
A lot of my subject material comes from science as I am a scientist and this is science fiction.  Who knew?  I am a manufacturing synthetic biochemist.
4) What do you see as the role of sex in science fiction stories as opposed say to romance novels?
The role of sex in science fiction is to ground the character and make them more real.  The idea that someone can just run around shooting ray guns, planting cyber or real viruses, fight off hoards of blood thirsty aliens without taking a break every once in a while to get laid according to their preference would definitely convince me that I don't even want to visit that world.
In romance the whole point of that genre is to generate emotion in the reader and make them feel empathy for the main characters.  That is also the best use of sex in science fiction, it's just better for the genre if you remember to add some science.

5) How would you describe your writing process?
I start with an overall idea for what I want the story to be about.  I'll spend a couple of hours developing a mind map with all of the satellite ideas I would like to work into the story.  Then I begin writing with occasional glances at the map, maybe once every two weeks.  The story unfurls in my minds eye and I try to keep up with it.

6) What aspects of a science fiction story do you feel is critical to have in the story to hold the reader's interest? Or conversely what would ruin a story for you if it was present?
Subtle hints leading up to a larger plot work for me.  I like to tie in multiple plot lines.  What sometimes ruins it for me is the plot device known as the "Data Solution".  The situation is dire, we've run out of ideas, all is lost--In steps Cmdr. Data or Wesley Crusher with a solution so simple that all others involved should just be fired.

7) How has being a writer changed your life (especially now that you are rich and famous because of this blog interview series)?
Writing has given me something creative to look forward to doing.  I enjoy it and it gives me a sense of accomplishment to tell a story.

8)8) I am sure that as a science fiction author, you are at least casually familiar with Star Trek. What one guest character among all of the others stand out in your mind, and why? (If not Star Trek, a character use an example from some other popular series.)
I don't have the character's name handy but there was a Romulan Admiral who had defected and was fed false secrets to mislead the Federation in an episode of TNG.  I'm pretty sure he committed suicide because he had been made into such a fool.  For some reason that one sticks with me.

9) What is the most difficult hurdle or problem you have faced when trying to complete a book, and how do you overcome it?
My most difficult writing hurdle is balance.  As a self-published author you have to commit more time and effort to self-promotion.  This I am very inefficient at and it eats up a lot of the time I would prefer to use for writing.

10) What one question were you hoping I would of you ask during this interview and did not, and what would have been your answer?
"Why self-publish?"
I have waited very late to begin my writing career and I don't wish to wait to swim to the top of somebody's slush pile.  Self-publishing can be done well without bankrupting the author and the author retains control.

Bonus question for thirty points: I am handing you this metaphorical green rock and asking you "What color is this green rocK?" (Don't spend all of your points in one place.)
This green rock is not a rock at all but a baking potato that stayed in a moist environment for way too long.  Where are your glasses?

 You can find Edward Frank's blog at

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Reviewing the Work of Others

Reviewing the Work of Others
by Angus H Day

When someone creates a work in writing, artistic media, music or acting they have invested of themselves and followed their muse.  These are the sources of entertainment and the stimulators of imagination in our culture.  They deserve our respect and our gratitude for their effort to keep us thriving and open minded.
My point of view as an author and a consumer of fiction is that there is nothing to be gained from a negative review.  The old maxim of 'If you don't have something good to say, don't say anything at all' is not just to keep from offend someone else, it is to keep from injuring yourself.
When ever we offer up negative reviews whether they are justified or not they are inflicted upon the public and the artist of the work.  However politely they may be worded they are an attack based on their venue.  Attacks actually do harm to the attacker as well, in this form they punish the attackers ability to enjoy anything in the future without stabbing at it.
Bearing that in mind these are my reviewing rules, the ones I hold myself to:

1) Regardless of how tedious or wrong-choiced, once I have committed to review something I will finish it.
2) I will find two or more things about the work to celebrate and put some work into composing a well thought out review based on the things that I liked.
3) If I have a problem with something about the work, and feel strongly enough to take up the challenge, I will make the effort to contact the artist and express my view with respect.
4) I will not publish negative reviews, which does not mean that my reviews are dishonest, meaning that the attributes I do talk about are ones that I like.
5) I will always compose my reviews off line, proofread, then post.
6) Do not spoil the plot for readers who haven't read the work.

We do not have to be snobs to be quality reviewers of works of art.  Being considerate and respectful is the way to go in regards to the target and your own conscience.  For those who would state that 'I wish they had told me how awful that was' I would add that you would not want that to be for public consumption.

(Rating system as provided by the venue)
Two to three sentences minimum to describe and highlight the work without spoilers.
"I would recommend this to" or "for".

Review.  A simple and gracious act to thank the artist for their effort.  Not a venue for attacking someone because they are not your favorite whatever.