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Thread: Premium Independent Science Fiction

  1. #1
    Super Moderator rank = Hod (acknowledged Novice) Kodai Okuda's Avatar
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    Premium Independent Science Fiction

    Here is a list of the best that Independent Science Fiction publishers and self-published authors have to offer.
    This list is not a "top (insert number here)" type list and is based not only on grammatical basic editing criteria but also story content.

    Links will be provided to and/or Smashwords for all titles listed below.
    Forum members are encouaged to add their own suggestions provided the entries are science fiction (not fantasy or horror) and are quality (meaning they must have a minimum of good grammar, spelling, punctuation, and story quality).

    Last edited by Kodai Okuda; 09-27-2011 at 04:19 PM.
    All things in moderation...

  2. #2
    Super Moderator rank = Hod (acknowledged Novice) Kodai Okuda's Avatar
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    Book Review:

    The Stygian Conspiracy

    by Kate R. (Reprinted here with permission):

    The Stygian Conspiracy is a science fiction adventure that takes place over many years. The result is a grand story of epic proportions.
    The most striking feature of the book is the quality of the characters and their development throughout the story. Far from being standard, cookie-cutter characters, they are complex and very likable. The "good" guys have their flaws, and the "bad" guys are not purely evil and not necessarily easy to hate. I especially enjoyed the comradery between the characters, the children shouldered with great responsibility, and that there is very little (if any) whining in the dialogue of the book.
    The author's knowledge of politics, socioeconomics, and space science is obviously considerable, and he does an excellent job of melding science and metaphysics into an exciting tale.
    The flow of the book makes it very readable, not one to be put down easily. The horror elements are well-done, believable, and refrain from being "cheesy", which can be difficult for a sci-fi writer. There are also proper proportions of action/battle elements and dramatic/romantic elements, so that there is a good balance between excitement and drama.
    The storyline, dates, and ranks of characters are all consistent and mistake-free, which was probably a daunting task for a book of this size. The grammar and punctuation are impeccable, and I found no typos in the book.
    The theme of the book seems to be that man's trivial political ideologies would hinder his expansion into the cosmos. Humans could not be bickering over whose political theories should dominate when there are potentially dangerous alien powers out in space with massive numbers and higher technology.
    My overall impression of the novel is that it is a thoroughly enjoyable read that was clearly the product of much research and careful attention to detail. The book is complete in and of itself and can be read as a single novel, but ended leaving me desperately wanting to continue on to the next installment in the series.
    Knowledgeable readers will get the most out of the book because of the depth of the concepts and plot, but casual or young readers will still enjoy the basic storyline.
    I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages. Although I am not extremely critical when dealing with fiction, I am very picky regarding quality and can honestly say that I found nothing to fault in Mr. Okuda's novel.
    Available at
    & Smashwords:
    All things in moderation...

  3. #3
    Super Moderator rank = Hod (acknowledged Novice) Kodai Okuda's Avatar
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    Book Review:

    Rune Logic by Leslie Woodsdavis

    Review by Kodai Okuda:

    Let me start by saying that I rarely give reviews for a book, and when I do judge Science Fiction I do so using the Campbellian model.
    That model being the kinds of science fiction that John Woods Campbell of Astounding magazine published and/or wrote.
    In short, I determine whether it's Hard SF or not and will rate it accordingly.
    I dislike Soft SF (unless it is exceptionally done), and have a personal preference for Military Science Fiction, thus I give my rating based on how close a novel/story is to Hard SF verses Soft.

    Leslie Woods Davis' Rune Logic is a novel that meets most of the criteria for a Hard SF novel in my opinion.

    Here's a basic overview (no spoilers):
    The story takes place in a future benevolent-dystopian world that consists of two major countries: Hagal and Tyr.
    These countries are ruled by the "Runes" who are responsible for everything that happens within the world, even the weather is controlled by them.
    But all is not well within this "Utopia" as an Underground movement of "Sprites" has begun to rebel against the dictatorship of the Runes.
    With the destruction of an airbus, Greg Weaver/Physician Twelve, and his close friend and co-worker Paul Childers/Physician Twelve, find themselves sucked into the rising disturbance by the Underground.
    The death of a Rune at the hands of the Underground only escalates the situation.
    Matters get worse when Greg Weaver is called to the lair of the Runes to attend to a medical problem that starts a series of events which could bring down the whole of society in general and allow chaos to reign.

    My critique:

    The Good.
    Rune Logic reminds me of the movie Zardoz with the secret council using advanced computer technologies that control the lives of the population of Earth. For me this is a plus and makes the book very unique in its handling of a digitally controlled society. I enjoyed the computer interfaces, the futhoric language, the subtle manipulation strategies by the characters, and the overall plot of the story.
    The advanced forms of transportation, the drugs for both entertainment and medical use, the high-tech weapons of the Civil Sens, the contracts, and the general politics of the story are quite good. The characters are detailed, rich, believable, and not flat by any measure. The events of the story make sense, and the plot flows to what is the only real logical conclusion.
    The romantic elements are done quite well, and the dialogue is smooth.
    The writing overall is done with a gentle prose that is easy to read.
    Spelling and grammar are acceptable by my standards.

    The Bad.
    The sex.
    I don't like sex in Science Fiction stories at all.
    I have no problem with romance in a story, or the implication of sex, I just don't want to read the details about it in SF.
    For paper-porn I read Danielle Steel type stories.
    However, since this is a personal preference I cannot in good conscience hold it against this book.

    The Ugly.
    Not really anything other than the History of how the Runes came to power.
    Most military hardware (submarines, aircraft, nuclear launch facilities) are all "stand-alone" machines that operate within military intranets and are not accessible from computers on the outside world.
    The War Games scenario is not possible under current military conditions due to security doctrines.
    Perhaps at a latter date in the future they might be, but not yet.
    Available on
    & Smashwords:
    All things in moderation...

  4. #4
    Administrator rank = Hod (acknowledged Novice) Prime Administrator's Avatar
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    I'm going to sticky this thread to the top.
    If this thread gets spammed I'll lock it down.
    Please only post your comments, we don't need endless links to books that don't meet the criteria Kodai is setting up.
    In fact, if you don't have a review by Kodai of your book, don't post it here unless you're asking him to review it.

    -Prime Administrator
    The all seeing eye is always watching.

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