Story Structure Specialist

IMG_0165Discovering titles to read and actually obtaining them depend are certain variables. Easy access, pricing, and availability are a few factors.

Last week I read The Lies of Lock Lamora by Stephen Lynch first because it sat within quick reach on my night stand. It had been enthusiastically recommended by Powell’s knowledgable science fiction special, Peter, and I looked forward eagerly to reading it.

It delivered big time.The Lies of Locke Lamora

What surprised and caused me wild hope was that Lies was published in 2006 in Great Britain and I’m just now hearing the buzz about it from a local Portland bookstore and noting recent popularity on Amazon.

Eight years ago.

Maybe it takes some time for even a really good book to catch on…

That’s why I maintain optimism and consider myself writing for what they call the “long tail” (tale?) Fingers crossed.

Red Skies under Red SeadI enjoyed it so much that I’m currently reading the next in the series, Red Seas Under Red Skies and finding it also delightful and engaging.

Either way, my second book on my 2014 list to read is fresh out of the publishing house and was within fingers reach off the new book shelf at my local library.


So this week I’ll review The One Eyed Man by L.E. Modesitte.

But first, since I’m organizing and crafting the next novel in my series, I wanted to mention Larry Brooks who has published a non fiction book called Story Engineering. For anyone working on the writing of a story, I found his words of wisdom useful and would like to pass along his name.

I first met him at Orycon when he gave a lecture on structuring a story. Writers often get an idea and then start writing without any consideration of the way a story should be crafted or where they want it to go. For anyone who is writing, I suggest you consider his ideas…they may make your story stronger and give you direction on how your story should flow…because they are rules to the writing game if you want to succeed.

His blog, was voted top blog for writers in 2010 and still runs strong.

Here’s an interview on Utube:

Now for my second book on the 2014 list.

L.E. Modesitte is certainly one of the more prolific science fiction writers around. He has several series under his name that entertain significant popularity.

The One-Eyed ManThe One Eyed Man is a stand alone novel that opens with Paul Verano coming out of court after a nasty divorce that leaves most of his wealth to his cheating wife and ungrateful daughter.

Paul is a consulting ecologist with a PhD in ecology from the University of Bachman and has made a reputation for himself in the field. He is offered a lucrative contract to Sittara, a colony planet and chief source of anti-aging biologicals that extend life expectancy more than two fold for the wealthy residents of Bachman. So, invaluable.

For Paul, the trip will be relatively short, but his expected return will be 125 years later on Bachman…hopefully by then all problems and players will be distant memories. So the contract, while too good to be true, is compelling for him in his current situation.

Sittara is an interesting planet with such high winds that most of the population live underground and the dominant vegetation is a low growing purplish green grass. Foreboding whirling sky tubes roam the skies, but no one knows whether they are sentient or not.

The One Eyed Man is essentially a mystery that slowly our ecologist unravels. It explores the issue of human impact on an alien environment. True to form, politics and economic greed also create problems. Verano keeps insisting he is only there to measure and insure that the colonies are not hurting the environment, but no one believes him.

Some try to murder him. Most lie to him.

If you are a fan of Modesitte, you will enjoy this slow paced mystery. The alien world itself is intriguing. The egnimatic woman who wanders the planet with the mind of an eight year old and the age of an ancient knows more than people suspect. And Paul gains access and disrupts every big corp executive as he methodically measures air quality, chemical output and various parameters so he can complete his job properly.

Wild escapades, nonstop action and bantering dialog in The Lies of Lamora make an interesting foil for the more intellectual and thoughtful philosophical mystery of The One-Eyed Man...

But I liked them both.


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Filed under alien life forms, Alien worlds, Aliens in Science Fiction, award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, Political Science Fiction, science fiction, Science Fiction Detective Story, Science Fiction Mystery, science fiction series, Science fiction world building

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