With the increasing wealth of ebooks, I have been thinking that we need several places that focus on a specific genre where self-published authors or small publishing houses with good stories can be found. Several are popping up on the web already. SF Signal is one that comes to mind. I want to be another.
Amazon does a great job, but the new writer or struggling self-published author gets lost in the algorithms that favor the traditional best sellers or the one day marketing wonders. Often these aren’t determined by the quality of the book, either. It’s hard to sell if you’re not on the best selling list and you can’t get on the list if you aren’t selling a lot. Rather a chicken and egg thing.
In addition, there are a lot of good science fiction eBooks out there that can’t be found on bookstore shelves or in libraries. So I want to occasionally highlight a new ebook author in the field of science fiction or fantasy. Bear in mind that I am writing my own series and reading new offerings from traditional publishers also, so this will be a carefully selected occasional thing in order to maintain my sanity.
But first, I want to give you a link to an amazing site that shows two timelines, one with books that have a science fiction concept (i.e. cloning) and then shows on the right time scale the reality of that idea. Fascinating. Take a look. http://visual.ly/fiction-reality-timeline
Having said all that, I want to introduce an ex-Seattle author and occasional Orycon panelist, Stoney Compton. Stoney has published with Baen books in the past, but has recently written an ebook “Level Six”, which sounded very intriguing to me. Plus it had an amazing cover. Check out his other offerings at Amazon.
He also claims to be a friend of Eric Flint. Awesome.
There are certain books that I particularly like. One is the story of an interesting alien culture and how humans interact with them. Level Six is such a book,
In Level Six, humans have spread out across the stars and the Coalition ship Magellan has come to the alien planet Kiana to study the current inhabitants and investigate their potential. The inhabitants appear willing enough to let the humans onto their planet, even to the extent that the humans establish a government, drive their machines all over, dig in the ground and spread their ideas and culture to the Kians.
The native Kian inhabitants are human enough, but there are differences. One is that they are covered with a pelt of short fur with unusual tattoos all over it. Otherwise, they have the usual human form, can speak and communicate and have a developed culture. They worship the goddess Ki and are amazingly docile, but intelligent. Their culture appears primitive and simple. There are no signs of an advanced civilization that contains weapons, powered vehicles or modern technology. As the story develops, it becomes apparent that they are hiding deep secrets concerning their origins, alien nature and past.
The story contains a variety of characters. From the human Danny Gordon who falls in love with a native Kian, to the arrogant ship’s captain who calls them “monkeys,” an intricate tapestry of relationships develops, both on board the starship Magellan and on planet.
Stoker Payne heads up that part of the human exploration team that tries to unearth the secrets of the past through archeology. He finds nothing until he reaches level six, and there a startling find holds the key to the history and unique powers of the Kian people.
Stoker Payne becomes romantically involved with Melanie Frasier, an astronomer, who is on board the Magellan. She gets kicked down to the planet’s observatory by a bad ass boss. While looking through the telescope there, she discovers an incoming comet. It turns out that every eight hundred years, an unusual comet sweeps in and alters the planet and the people…now it’s eight hundred years later and it’s coming back.
For me the story began slow as it established the various characters, human and alien, and initiating actions. As I read, things heated up and I couldn’t put the reader down. The story line is exciting, the characters well developed and the action builds to a climactic end.
If you like science fiction, interesting alien cultures and exciting apocalyptic events…then this one’s for you.
p.s. Don’t forget to check out my new book in the Alysian Series, Cosmic Entanglement. (see right panel) Available as ebook and paperback at Amazon. You met Richard Steele as the TimeMaster in the first two books, now here’s his childhood and how he came to run the Timelab. Plus, you meet his brother Braden who also makes his own mark.
Because I joined the Kindle Select program, tomorrow and Sunday, Cosmic Entanglements is offered free. If you are a Prime Member with a Kindle, it’s offered free for 90 days from March 1. So snap it up now!