Category Archives: Science Fiction Books

$.99 Dystopian Book Feature and Interview: Lesedi by Roland Hughes

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Fiction, Dystopian, Science Fiction


Release Date: 2/14/17

Lesedi – in his country his name means ‘the light’ though he has never chosen to walk in it. A man who has been driven by duty to himself now finds he must carry out one final duty for a country which isn’t even his. He has finally learned the meaning of a phrase he had uttered much of his life “sucks to be you.”

This book is both stand alone and the middle work of the “Earth That Was” trilogy. “Infinite Exposure” and “John Smith – Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars” are the beginning and end. It was written in response to fans wanting a bit more of “the story in between.”

The first wave of nuclear attacks from both terrorists and governments has happened though the general public has yet to figure it out, most are too busy trying to survive to bother figuring it out. The predicted extinction of all life did not happen possibly because many of the first attack detonations occurred at our own nuclear power plants.

Follow his journey and those of the survivors he meets along the way to see if the Universe allows them a brief bit of happiness or chooses to squash them like a bug.

Buy this new release on Smashwords for only $.99!



“The morality of rational self-interest?” questioned Katie.

“Good,” said Lesedi.

“Good what?” questioned one of the boys from the back.

“She recognizes the two things are diametrically opposed,” answered Lesedi. “Rational self-interest is never moral. Many call it ‘Me and My Syndrome’ because your only interest is in yourself and your family, but, mostly yourself. It is exactly what you see right now. Looting, raping, and murder. Living for the moment and your own benefit without fear of consequences or consideration of any other living being. Are any of you aware of what the plaque on the Statue of Liberty says?”

“Something about your tired and poor,” said one of the boys.

“Huddled masses,” said the other.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door,” quoted Lesedi. He drove in silence for a while until Katie finally spoke up, “You memorized that?”

“When I arrived in this country I went to that island and sat staring in wonder at that statue every Sunday, weather and schedule permitting for the first year,” answered Lesedi. “Part of my job was to figure out how a country that had spent nearly two centuries not only living up to that quote but showing the world how to do things right could turn into such a piece of shit in a short span of time. Don’t get me wrong, my government had no intention of fixing the problem. They simply wanted to avoid it happening to our home. We have recently come out of Apartheid and could not risk a downward spiral into the septic tank America has become.”

“Could we stay on just one topic,” asked the boy sitting behind Katie.

“It is all one topic,” responded Lesedi after taking a drink of water. After another drink he said, “It just took me a long time to figure out. I’m not surprised you are confused. I had to spend a lot of Sunday afternoons sitting on an island staring at the Statue of Liberty to put it all together. The people who follow ‘rational self-interest’ shit on that statue with every breath they take. I’m sorry, but there is no polite way to put it. America became a septic tank because it is no longer run by Americans.”

“So you are saying foreign governments have taken over,” asked Katie.

“No,” answered Lesedi. “I’m saying America is no longer run by Americans. They were born here, but they are not Americans. For nearly two centuries America not only lived up to that quote, nearly every American believed it. Today, most people born here don’t even know the quote exists so they do not know ‘rational self-interest’ is diametrically opposed to being an American. I am told the followers of this belief think you should never give a meal to a starving man or child. You should never throw a coin in a beggar’s cup, and, most offensively, the government has no responsibility to ensure the welfare of its people.”

About the Author:

roland hughes

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the “Zinc It!” book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc.

A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome “The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer” which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there “The Minimum You Need to Know” book series was born.

Three years later he wrote his first novel “Infinite Exposure” which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of “The Earth That Was” trilogy:

When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.

The Minimum You Need to Know l Infinite Exposure l John Smith Book l Logikal Blog l Interesting Authors Blog l Lesedi


*Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?

I had a grandmother and a great aunt who encouraged me to write letters as a young child. We didn’t have personal computers back then. You had to use pen on paper then put a stamp on an envelop. That lead to writing a few stories in school. At some point early in my IT consulting career the bug bit me again and I wrote 2 geek books for a publisher, not an experience I would recommend to anyone.

Once I had been working in IT for roughly 20 years the writing bug bit me again and I wrote the first of “The Minimum You Need to Know” book series. Quite a few books into that I wrote my first novel, “Infinite Exposure” which is the first book in what has now become a trilogy.

*How many books do you currently have published?

Counting the 2 written for that publisher which are now no longer in print, a dozen.

*What has been your favorite book to write so far?

The one I’m writing now.


If that ever stops being the case it is time to stop writing for a while.

*Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?

Yes, I’m writing “The Phallus of Agile and Other Ruminations.” It is an offshoot of my “The Minimum You Need to Know” book series based mostly on the Ruminations chapters found at the end of those books. I plan on it being my next release but currently only have 120 pages completed so it will be a while. I guessed it would weigh in around 400 pages when completed but too early to tell. I thought my OpenVMS application developer book would weigh in around 800 pages but it tipped the scales around 800 when it was complete.

*What do you enjoy most about writing?

The satisfaction heard in the voices, at least with the fictional work. Every writer compelled to write fiction is just a wee bit insane. Characters appear in your thoughts and the ones which get written about are the ones which simply refuse to leave you alone until their story is told.

When it comes to my geek books the satisfaction comes from different places. For some, like the OpenVMS application developer book, it was the journey down memory lane. Reliving what, at that point, was a 20 year career on the platform and putting the important stuff in one place so even old age couldn’t take it from me. When I’m writing for a completely new area it is the journey of exploration. Those books are a natural result of the notes taken during the journey being organized into a coherent form.

*Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

I have periods when I do not feel like writing, but not writers block as most think of it. There are times when the thoughts are there but they fail in translation. By that I mean I have trouble keying them into a word processor. For that I have a simple solution. A stack of old and very different keyboards. They range from an original IBM PS/2 to Compaq to a rash of generics. The size of the return key, backspace, etc. are all a bit different as is the typing experience going from mechanical to membrane to whatever. The simple process of re-learning how to type on them gets the mental muscle working correctly again. Most of those keyboards I didn’t pay over $6 for. Many were free discards from client sites as they were tossing out old equipment.

*Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?

Always. I write the story as the characters tell it to me. I’m not an outliner writing to some preordained formula.

*Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?

I don’t really have a least favorite. I have bit characters who only had a tiny portion of the story to tell me, but I don’t have any I disliked writing about.

Of all the characters whose stories I have transcribed I think I liked John Smith the most, but not because he is a likable character. The Universe screwed him before he was born and he carried the burden. People who only lightly skim John Smith see a cranky old man who is an egotistical know it all, kind of like Gregory House of the House television series, but, without the endearing qualities. People who read the story closely realize by all rights, he should have been insane.

Perhaps it is simply because those characters are the most persistent voices, but I tend to write about characters who aren’t good people. They simply recognize a duty which is theirs and theirs alone to fulfill. To understand this you must have seen “Schindler’s List.” By any measurement Schindler was _not_ a good man. He just happened to be _not_ a good man at a time when the world was filled with truly evil men and now he is honored. Had he been a good man he could not have done what he did to save all of those people.

*So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?

The scene where Lesedi is lecturing the kids with him about the Statue of Liberty and what it is to be an American. Here is a survivor of Apartheid who watched our world from the outside lecturing people who were born here on what it means to be an American and the philosophy of bad people known as “rational self-interest.” There was such passion in his voice. I can only hope I captured that passion as well on the written page.

*What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?

The standard advice you hear is to read read read then write write write. While this is true as far as it goes, it is really a short step on a long road. You can also watch watch watch then write write write, but if you choose to either read or watch only the popular stuff, it won’t make you a better writer.

You can find truly great writing in some of the least known places. Watch the first 4 seasons of “Babylon 5” and really pay attention to the dialog and story line, not the characters themselves. “The West Wing” is an exception to the rule. This is one time where really great writing existed on a popular show. Again, you have to pay attention to the dialog and story lines instead of the characters to grow as a writer from it.

Most of today’s and yesterday’s popular television shows have really bad writing. I would put long lived shows like “Monk” in that category. Really popular shows tend to have one or two extremely popular characters. The writing team starts to serve the character’s popularity instead of the quality of the script or story.

When it comes to great social commentary one surprising show is “Barney Miller” from the 1970s. It was a comedy yet it had very deep social commentary which is just as relevant today as it was back then, sadly. I will never forget the story line about the man from the slums they arrested counterfeiting $1 bills. He would only counterfeit something like $146/month, the same amount he would have gotten on welfare, because he wanted to work for a living. Exploring the human condition in such a manner is a timeless and powerful thing.

*If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why?

While each of my novels can be read stand alone, if you want to follow the story from beginning to end:

Infinite Exposure

Lesedi – The Greatest Lie Ever Told

John Smith – Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars

*Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release,  a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?

No. The beauty of being an Indie writer is you get to tell the entire story and release it when it is done. The things you ask for are part of the large cut pile which happens when working with a publisher.

*Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?

I used to be an avid reader, but now not so much. During my youth I read “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” (first 3), “The Wheel of Time” and “A Song of Ice and Fire” but now I read sparingly, preferring to re-watch some of the greatest writing ever put to DVD. Having said that, I recently read both “Marsh Island” and “Blind Marsh” by Oliver F. Chase and they were fantastic. If you liked the Mickey Spillane stories or television shows about Mike Hammer then these 2 books are for you. I also read “Relic” and “Relic II” from Jonathan Brookes. Given the current news stories about cloning traits of woolly mammoths’ traits into elephants I found these books both well written and extremely timely. “A Dangerous Element” by Gregory Lamb was a great story about the Stuxnet virus. It has made me want to watch the “Zero Days” movie.

*What about television shows? Movies?

“The West Wing,” “Babylon 5” and “Battlestar Galactica” (the new one) for examples of incredible story writing.

“Downton Abbey” for examples of great character writing in a period. Normally I’m not a huge fan of writing which serves character, but, because this was a period piece and we all knew large portions of the history being covered it had to focus on character and the story of “common” people.

*Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?

We are the sum of our history. When our history is gone we are basically nothing. This was the underlying theme of “John Smith.” Survivors who could have continued as they were, but had a driving need to find out what they really were.

There is only one story I could point to which made me want to be a writer. Stephen King’s “Word Processor of the Gods.” It is a short, magazine length piece which set me on my path.

*Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions?

No. I am not drawn to those things.

* If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?

I listened to the characters and wrote down their stories.

$.99 Thriller Featured Book: ICE by Kevin Tinto @kevintinto

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Thriller, Romance, Science Fiction

ice by kevin tinto

Dr. Leah Andrews and Jack Hobson Thrillers Book 1

125,000+ Sales, 1,550+ Amazon Reviews, Amazon Bestseller Debut Selection: Prime Reading. Archaeologist Leah Andrews stumbles upon something inexplicable in southwestern New Mexico: inside a dark cavern lies an undiscovered, Native American cliff dwelling abandoned for 800 years. While twisting through one of the narrow underground passageways, Leah’s flashlight illuminates the remains of a violent massacre.

Ancient human remains—all slaughtered in a long-ago massacre—cover the cavern floor, along with a number of brilliantly colored, granite crystals. The rare crystals are native to only one place on earth: a frozen mountain range in central Antarctica.

Could Native Americans have traveled to the frozen continent of Antarctica 800 years prior to the first known human exploration? If so how? And why?

There’s only one person who can get Leah to those mountains in Antarctica: her estranged husband and climbing guide Jack Hobson.

At their destination they make a stunning discovery that will change history and science forever. But Leah’s team is far from the only interested party.

As her secret makes its way to the highest levels of government, a race to seize the Russian-claimed Antarctic territory brings the world to the brink of nuclear conflict.

$.99 on Amazon Kindle:

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Amazon CA l Amazon AU


Southwestern New Mexico


“Just one more step and you’re gonna get a real good look at the bottom of the canyon,” said Garrett Moon.
Dr. Leah Andrews pulled the binoculars away from her eyes and watched as the toe of her boot slid over the edge of the cliff. A spray of sand floated toward the green valley floor hundreds of feet below.
“I know where I’m standing.”
Sand and gravel cascaded down the rocky slope behind them, followed by a giant who wore his hair in a short ponytail over a three-day-stubble beard. Only a well-placed sandstone boulder prevented his 280 pounds from barreling over the cliff.
“Delicate as ever,” Leah said.
Juan Cortez wiped a mixture of sweat and dust from his face. “The coast is clear, but I’d wager those park rangers are sniffing around nearby.”
“What’d you expect?” she asked, grinning despite the risk. “We are trespassing illegally in the middle of a national park.”
“She smells a cliff dwelling,” Garrett said.
Juan looked over the ledge and shook his head. “A monkey couldn’t climb that face without modern equipment.”
Tall, anvil-shaped clouds began rolling in from the southwest, signaling the beginnings of a late-season thunderstorm. The winds preceding the storm kicked dust up in flowing red curtains.
“That’s a hint of things to come,” Garrett said. “You want to be dangling from a rope when that hits?”
“Speaking of rope, where’s our climbing expert?” Leah asked.
“Resting on his climbing gear near the top of the mesa, last I saw,” said Juan.
“Figures.” Leah hoisted her backpack into place. “I’ll wake Sleeping Beauty.”
Juan took another peek over the cliff. “You’d think a couple of relatively intelligent guys would have more sense than to rappel down a sheer wall in the middle of a thunderstorm.”
Garrett grinned and pushed strands of black hair away from his face. “Yeah, but who else would look after her?”
“Don’t let her hear that,” Juan cautioned, “or we’ll both be sporting black eyes.”
“You two better not be whispering about me,” Leah called back as she climbed the slope.
“We’re just a pair of lowly, underpaid archeologists,” Garrett answered. “Our discussions are purely of a scientific nature.”
Leah was still shaking her head when she came upon Marko Kinney leaning on his climbing gear, listening to audibly heavy metal through his ear buds.
Leah poked at the shaggy young man with the toe of her boot until he killed the music. “We’re checking out a wall crack.”
Marko looked up and pointed toward the billowing clouds. “Mr. Thunder Bumper’s headed this direction, and he’s looking worked up.”
“Meet me on the other side of the rock bridge with your gear.”
The rock climber shook his head in disbelief, then gathered his gear and chased her across the rock arch toward a gnarled but sturdy-looking pine tree growing near the mesa’s edge. He dropped the pack, pulled out a nylon-anchoring sling, and wrapped it expertly around the pine tree’s trunk. Marko secured the slings, removed two 165-foot climbing lines from the backpack, and tied them together with a double fisherman’s knot.
Juan and Garrett joined them while Leah fitted herself into a padded climbing harness and fastened the metal waist buckle. Marko fed the doubled line through a standard figure-eight descender, triple-checked all the connections, and patted her on the shoulder.
“You’re cleared to fly,” he shouted over the rising wind.
She nodded and stepped to the cliff face. As sloppy as Marko looked, he was a fanatic about safety. Because of his attention to detail, Leah felt at least some peace of mind. If her dad had enjoyed the same kind of attention, he’d have been alive today.
Marko climbed into his own harness and threaded another line through the anchoring rings. He’d feed rope as she rappelled in a classic belay technique taught at most climbing schools. If she suffered gear failure, he would serve to break her fall, at least in theory.
Garrett dug out his own harness, peeking over the edge at Leah’s descent.
“I know you guys are the experts at finding cliff dwellings,” Marko said, “but I’m not thrilled about roping down that cliff face with lightning cracking around my ass.”
“Chances are she’ll shine her flashlight into the crevice, find a dead end, and we won’t be climbing down anyway,” Garrett said.
The line slackened, and a moment later Marko felt three distinct tugs on the belay. “You were saying?”
Garrett glanced up at the sky. “I guess we’re climbing down.”
Marko yanked up the freed belay. “Okay, you’re next, G.”
A minute later, Marko had a hesitant Juan in his harness and ready to join the others. “They’re waiting for you, Juan.”
The big man hesitated, then took a deep breath and leaned over the brink of nothingness. All that separated his ample posterior from a three-hundred-foot freefall were two thin strands of high-strength climbing line.
“Down you go,” said Marko.
As Juan descended, an unexpected gust of wind twisted him around, causing his face to scrape across the sandstone wall, shaving skin off his right cheek. Thunder cracked in the distance as he attempted to gain position against the rock.
“Come on, Juan,” Leah shouted encouragement from the ledge below.
Juan pushed off and rappelled until his shoes touched the ledge.
“Was that so hard?” Garrett secured him to the ledge.
“Still gotta climb back up that mother.”
Marko slid spider-like down the line and noted with quiet satisfaction that Leah had already inserted a removable locking-cam inside a weathered crack in the cliff. He crouched to examine the narrow opening. “It’s less than a meter high. How are you gonna get inside?”
“Seriously, Marko?” Leah asked. “Lie down like you’re taking a nap.”
Garrett winked and patted the young climber on the back. “You’re doing fine. Don’t let her bully you.”
Leah pushed Marko aside and dug a small flashlight out of her gear bag. “If you want something done….” She slithered quickly through the scar-like blemish in the rock cliff. Once inside, she switched on the steel penlight and crawled along on her hands and knees through the confining passageway. Ahead, the tunnel opened into a larger chamber.
“Garrett,” she called back. “You got the big light?”
Garrett crawled in behind her and handed over the high-powered halogen flashlight. Leah fumbled with the switch and then lit the chamber ahead.
“Oh, my God,” she whispered.
A massive subterranean cavern at least 50 meters high stretched far beyond even the powerful beam. The light did a fine job of illuminating the pristine remains of an 800-year-old Native American city hidden in the depths of the Gila National Wilderness.

Youtube Book Trailer:

About the Author:

kevin tinto

Check a movie trailer for ICE at

Kevin Tinto is based in Tiburon and Lake Tahoe, California. He has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Reno Gazette Journal, Bike Transamerica, Scuba Diver Magazine and more.

He is an avid mountaineer, skier, scuba and free diver, Private Pilot and adventurer.
Kevin is a Level II Certified Ski Instructor and you can often find him teaching at Northstar, California, when not testing the Palisades at Squaw Valley.

Editor-In-Chief of with more than 50,000 subscribers.
He is currently working on the final edit to the second in the Jack Hobson, Leah Andrews Adventure/Thrillers titled: ICE GENESIS! Due out fall 2016.


Free Science Fiction Book! The Archer’s Paradox – The Travis Fletcher Chronicles by Chris Devine @chrisdevine01

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Science Fiction

 the archers paradox

Book 1. Travis Fletcher is arrogant, brash, chauvinistic; the very embodiment of 1980s Britain. He finds himself paralysed and on life-support after a train crash that brings his efforts at reconciliation with his family to a tragic end. He is unable to tell anyone he is still alive inside his wrecked body, except for the two enigmatic and indifferent apparitions at the end of his bed.

The Xi Scorpii were an ancient and proud race that numbered in the tens of billions that once spread across the planets of five suns and strode across the galaxy in huge ships. Now reduced to less than a hundred million living in one city on a dead planet after a genocidal war and dying from the effects of a genetic weapon. Searching for a cure they find Travis Fletcher, primitive, broken and dying, and make him an offer – save the Xi Scorpii from extinction and become more than he was.

310 paperback pages / 106,868 words

Free right now on Amazon!:


$1.99 Science Fiction Feature and Interview: Full Circle by Chris Devine @chrisdevine01

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Science Fiction

full circle chris devine

The Travis Fletcher Chronicles

Release Date: 12/1/2016

Book four of The Travis Fletcher Chronicles.

It has been twenty years since the Hunab Ku last contacted Travis Fletcher and warned him that he will have to return home one day. Travis is now a confident warship commander and mercenary. The Arrow has a full complement of crew and has been intervening in interplanetary wars and disputes, making the crew very rich. His telepathic abilities now rival or even surpass those of Xnuk Ek’, his teacher and lover.

It is now time to take The Arrow and its crew on its most dangerous mission yet, and deliver a message from the Hunab Ku to the people of Earth… but things are never that simple.

What will Earth make of their first interstellar visitors? How can Travis convince the most paranoid and xenophobic planet in the galaxy to listen to what he has to say? He is still haunted by his breakdown and the birth of his alter ego at Spesota, and this is made worse when Xnuk Ek’’s dreams of her own death return.

The conclusion of The Travis Fletcher Chronicles brings the story full circle to the beginning of The Archer’s Paradox.

350 pages

On sale for $1.99!:

 Amazon l Amazon UK l iTunes l Lulu l Barnes and Noble l Kobo


Cat uncurled from her sleeping position and listened, not just with her ears but her whole body and mind. It was not her time to wake but something had prematurely interrupted her sleep cycle. It was like a sixth sense, an inbuilt alarm that warned of danger, but she could discern nothing specific or immediate. What did perturb her though was that she was picking up nothing at all. She stretched her senses out beyond the perfect dark of her cabin. The ship was too quiet and the air smelled wrong. She searched further. There was no incessant chatter from the non-telepathic members of the crew, and neither could she sense the shielded minds of the telepathic crew. It was as if The Arrow was deserted.

She reached out and retrieved her visor before telling the cabin to raise the light level. It was a routine she had acquired since first coming on board The Arrow so long ago, over twenty years by Travis Fletcher’s calendar, a few more by her own, and about eighteen by Xnuk Ek’’s. She had only forgotten once and had experienced a sudden onslaught of light on her unprotected retinas that had given her a headache for the rest of the day. She silently cursed those that had destroyed the delicate natural filters that protected her eyes from excessive light and allowed her to see perfectly in near darkness, but then she remembered with satisfaction the moment that her [untranslatable] knife slid effortlessly between the ears of the leader of the hunters and the look of surprise on his face as he died. It was still too quick to have given her full satisfaction, but she had learned to live with that.

She pulled herself to the edge of the bed and put her feet to the floor, listening again, straining to pick up even the slightest disturbance. She could hear, smell and feel the ship breathing around her, but everything felt wrong. The ship should be in Hyperspace, which gave the air a particular smell and taste and made the ship resonate at a particular frequency, well beyond the range of human senses. Only the Arcturans, who had a connection with the universe and everything around them, understood exactly what she meant. The vibrations and smell of the atmosphere told her that the ship was not only in normal space but that all the engines had been shut down, which meant that they were drifting or docked, neither of which should be happening.

She called up a fresh jumpsuit and paused in front of a mirror before climbing in. She winced internally at the scarring and burn marks that covered her body. The permanent removal of her natural fur to look more like the apes that crewed The Arrow had almost killed her. Sometimes she debated with herself if her survival had been a good or bad thing. The answer usually depended on the mood she was in at the time.

About the Author:

chris devine

Everyone has a story to tell and this is mine. It has been banging about in my head for years in various forms until I found myself on a long and tedious contract and started writing as a way of keeping me out of the hotel bar. That would have been the end of it if my wife had not read the first draft of what is now the first five chapters of The Archer’s Paradox and persuaded me to finish it and publish. What began as a short story became a book which then exploded into 3 books and has now become 4.

I don’t profess to be anything more than I am, much like my main character. I am an IT Project Manager with a story to tell. I hope you take the time to enjoy books 1, 2 and 3.
Book 4 with the working title of Full Circle is half written and brings the hapless Travis Fletcher back to where he began although he is no longer the man he used to be.

Chris Devine lives in rural Yorkshire, England with his wife Julie. He has two children and one grandchild, so far. He is still an IT Project Manager and works freelance for major banks, financial institutions and government departments.

If my literary ramblings persuades one more person that they have a have a story that needs telling then, I will consider that a success.



How many books do you currently have published?

Full Circle is the fourth book I have published and it concludes the story of the main character, Travis Fletcher. I hesitate to call him ‘the hero’ because he would have difficulty thinking of himself as such.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?

My favourite book is always the one I am writing because I can’t wait to find out what my characters are going to do next.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?

I am working on two books – one with a working title of The Goexiun Conundrum, which is a couple of storylines I edited out of the main Travis Fletcher story because they had no effect on the main story arc and would have made the books too long.

The second is called Petra and follows the exploits of a teenage girl who wakes up from a three-year coma with no memory of her past life. She is haunted by nightmares and a second consciousness in her head.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Just letting my imagination run riot. I put my characters into situations and think ‘well, just how ridiculous could this get?’

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Frequently. If it’s not happening, never try and force it. Get a beer, glass of wine or G&T. Shut the laptop down for a few days if necessary. Inspiration will strike at the strangest times – in the shower, on the loo, halfway through that really boring meeting… Then I’ll be off again.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?

All the time. I don’t write a full synopsis or notes. I know where I am and I know where I want to be at the end. Life is full of choices and writing is just the same. Sometimes your characters make the wrong or strange choices and you have to go with that.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?

Difficult. I like Pax a lot. At first glance she is shallow, immature and driven by her libido. It’s only when you piece all the snippets of her story together you realise just how interesting she is.

I suppose my least favourite would be President Taillis. I needed someone with no redeeming qualities, enter the President.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?

BEWARE SPOILERS – I think the scene where an eight-year-old girl is having a picnic she has made with a 9ft tall alien. They eat apple pies and drink orange juice while being watched by Special Branch and SAS snipers. It’s was just the absurdity of the whole situation that amused me. Inspired by The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original film, not the terrible remake).

Also, I have to mention the scene where Pax seduces a very ‘stiff upper lip’ British army officer.

I can’t help it but the scene where the British PM is hiding a nuclear bunker and the army officer above informs him that there a spaceship on the lawn. I couldn’t help a Monty Python reference here.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?

If you’ve just written 120000+ words you will have made mistakes. Hire a proof-reader! Proofread, proofread and proofread again! I have read so many self-published books with good stories that I cannot finish because of lack or proofreading. Silly things like ‘their / they’re / there or to / too / two and grammar. They don’t come up in spell checks, you have to look for them and they are important. I read a book recently where a group or characters went to bar, ordered beer and then were drinking cocktails in the next paragraph. Character names that changed spellings between pages. My wife reads my books at least three times and we debate each paragraph before I send it on to Nat for proofreading. We read it again after Nat has finished and we still come up with changes.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why?

Start with The Archer’s Paradox – it’s the first book in the series and introduces the main characters with their back stories. I refer back to events in that book all the way through the series. It’s also a free download. ;)

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release,  a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?

At the end of book 3 (SPOILER ALERT) Pax leaves The Arrow to return home. I thought it would be fun for Travis to visit Pax’s home world and meet the parents. I am including it in The Goexiun Conundrum as an extra short story.

Here’s a few paragraphs from The Goexiun Conundrum. I’ve copied directly from my original draft so it’s not been proofread (see comments above) so apologies for any mistakes. I’ve also **** out the swearing J


“It is as I thought.” Xnuk Ek’ replied pointing at the display. She had a look in her eye that Travis had only seen a couple of times before. Something had triggered her scientific interest.

“What? What am I supposed to be looking at?” he looked around and saw that Cat was thinking exactly the same thing. Like Travis, Cat had never managed to completely get to grips with Xi Scorpii technology.

“There.” Xnuk Ek’ indicated a small dot on the display.

“What is it?” He was getting irritated and having to repeat himself. He could imagine the bridge being flooded with self-important diplomats all wanting to know why they had been so rudely woken from their naps and what the delay was. “Send a couple of your guys to keep our guests quiet and away from me.” He shouted across to Tshreshan who was helping another of the Arcturans to get the engines back on line.

“It looks to be some sort of unmanned vehicle.” The scanner operator replied.

“So?” Travis snapped irritably. “What’s it got to do with us?”

“It came through a hyperspace window.” Xnuk Ek’ added. “So close, we got caught in the turbulence.

“It what? Right on top of us? ****ing idiots! Mr Toaq,” Travis shouted up to the mezzanine level, when the weapons come back online, treat that thing to a couple of rounds from a pulse cannon and let’s get back on course. That’ll teach them not to check before opening a ****ing window on top of another ship.”

“No, wait Toaq Ghashil!” Xnuk Ek’ called, appalled at Travis’ suggestion. “We have to bring it on board.

“What! Star, no. We’ve wasted enough time already. Let’s just blow the **** out of it and get on our way.”

“To what end?” Xnuk Ek’ asked, gently.

“’Cos it’ll make me feel better.” Travis replied petulantly.

“No.” Xnuk Ek’ was adamant. “Look at it.” She was getting genuinely excited which was frustrating Travis even more.

“Ok, I’m looking and I still see a piece of space junk that could have killed us all.”

“No, look closer. The technology, it’s like nothing I’ve seen before.”

“A new race?” Travis raised an eyebrow.

“Not just that, it is, it is,” she hesitated, “it is…” she was trying to find words that did not sound condescending or belittling. “It is not sophisticated.” She said finally. “It almost looks as if it comes from Sol 3.”

Travis laughed. “You think Earth has suddenly discovered hyperspace technology since I’ve been away? Did you guys leave a spaceship behind last time you were there?” he jibed gently, nudging her with an elbow.

“No,” she smiled back at his attempt to apologise for his temper tantrum, “but I do think it is someone’s first attempt to create a hyperspace engine. We should bring it on board and examine it.”

“You want to pay them a visit, don’t you?” Xnuk Ek’ nodded vigorously. The chance to visit a culture on the verge of interstellar travel excited her so much she could hardy keep still. Travis smiled back. He felt her excitement rubbing off on him. “Ok but we have to drop off the cargo first.” He said, referring to their passengers. “This’ll probably be the first time I meet someone as backward as me.”

“Agreed,” she said, kissing him on the cheek, “about completing our mission first, not about…”

“I know.” He replied.

What are your favorite television shows and books? Movies?

I love Elizabeth Moon, especially her Vatta’s War and Heris Serrano books. I like Larry Niven as well – a real old school heavy duty SciFi writer. P C Hodgel as well. She wrote a series of books. The first two have been released under various titles. I have it as Chronicles of the Kencyrath but it’s also called The Godstalker Chronicles. Worth looking out and reading. I have to mention The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

As for movies – Love The Martian (from a self-published book). I like to veg out to Guardians of the Galaxy. Old movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Plant still resonate with me more than many of the blockbuster CGIfests Hollywood churn out now by the dozen (big budget / zero story).

Being British, I love British Sci-Fi. Dr Who (of course), Red Dwarf and Life on Mars (sorry but the US remakes of the last two were absolute pants). Ashes to Ashes was the British follow on to Life on Mars and worth checking out if you can get it. UFO was the most absurd series but I can’t stop watching it. Also love Babylon 5, Falling skies (first 2 seasons) and Fringe. My wife and used to buy red liquorice to eat while watching Fringe. The reboot of Battlestar Galactics was phenomenal.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?

Probably Stranger in a Strange Land. It was the first book my wife recommended to me when we were dating as teenagers and I have read it seven times. I have to mention Ringworld by Larry Niven. You have to admire a writer who releases a revision because someone points out his mathematics are incorrect.

Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions?

None as yet.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?

If it’s not fun, then you’re doing it wrong.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?

The adage goes that everyone has a story to tell. I’ve written mine, it’s called The Travis Fletcher Chronicles. Yours might be an essay, a short story or an epic. If you don’t write it down, it’ll be lost forever. Even if you don’t publish it, get it printed. I didn’t start writing to make money, I did it to get the story out of my head and to see where it went. Sometime in the future, someone will find a dusty, faded book, point at the author and say “Isn’t that great great grandad’s name?”

Young Adult Science Fiction Feature: Age of Order by Julian North @jnorthauthorAOE

Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

age of order

Release Date: 2/6/17

Inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. All people are not created equal.

Daniela Machado is offered a chance to escape the deprivation of Bronx City through a coveted slot at the elite Tuck School. There, among the highborn of Manhattan, she discovers an unimaginable world of splendor and greed. But her opportunity is part of a darker plan, and Daniela soon learns that those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to keep power for themselves. She may have a chance to change the world, if it doesn’t change her first.

Age of Order is a novel that explores the meaning of merit and inequality. Fans of the Hunger Games, Red Rising, and Divergent will enjoy this world of deception and intrigue, where the downtrodden must fight for a better future.

“Both YA and adult readers will be transfixed by this novel” — Kirkus (Starred Review)

FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

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A gunshot pierced the night.

A hollow ring echoed in its wake. The sound was familiar: the bullet had struck the impenetrable armor of an enforcement drone. The noise declared that anyone within earshot should flee the tattered streets. Most of the denizens of the barrio heeded the warning. A few did not. I joined the tide of those that ran.

The machine rolled onto the avenue like a wolf among sheep. Flashing globes scrutinized the scene beneath the drone’s rotating turret, an artificial gaze seeing, recording, targeting. Caterpillar-tracked wheels dragged the metal monster’s alloy chassis across the cracked asphalt, its bulk brimming with spray guns, antennas, jammers and the devil knew what else.

“You are ordered to clear the streets and return to your homes,” commanded a reverberating voice. “The Five Cities Protection Authority has authorized the use of corrective force to restore calm to this area.”

Another machine appeared behind the first, a bitter twin of its companion. A dozen rays of light flickered from the monstrosities, forming a latticework of ominous crimson. A beam grazed my back. It caused a hint of heat on my spine, but a torrent of terror in my heart. The warning was clear: We know who you are, Daniela Machado. You are dead if we wish it.

I ran faster, cutting in front of the ragged shell of a man galloping beside me. He was a dweller of the barrio: hopeless eyes, gaunt arms, and a torn, sleeveless undershirt. I dashed across the street, putting his body in the path of the finder beam that had glued itself to my backside. I felt guilty about it. But people needed me. That was life in my part of the Five Cities.

“Puta,” he shouted when he realized what I’d done. He reached for my mane of ink-dark hair, its mass woven into a tight tail behind my head, but only his fingertips brushed against me. I was always fast—faster than anyone else on my school’s track team. Faster even than the boys. Long legs and a lean frame helped.

I dashed towards the dilapidated collection of storefronts hugging the fringes of the worn avenue, the rusted metal gates firmly closed, lean-to homes piled on their concrete roofs. Makeshift cardboard dwellings crowded the sidewalk. I ran for one of the lightless alleys between the buildings. Lurkers lived in those narrow corridors as surely as rats lived in the sewer, but I’d rather face them than the machines. I leaped towards the darkness.

A finder beam latched onto me as I sailed through the air, the comparative safety of the alley as tantalizingly close as candy in a shop window. I imagined the tight little dot on my leg, hot and hungry. I could almost touch the alley wall. But not quite. The hulking metal slave fired.

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About the Author:

julian north

I’ve been writing since I could grab a pencil (remember those?) Then I had kids. Not much time for writing anymore. Until they started school… in New York City. I’m not from here, and the tumult of that experience inspired me. AGE OF ORDER grew from frustration, anger, and hope. Now I write what I’m feeling, and let the rest flow from there. Join my mailing list at to recieve a free short story set in the same world as AGE OF ORDER.