Author Archives: M. D. Benoit

Book Review: One’s Aspect to the Sun

One's Aspect to the SunOne’s Aspect to the Sun by Sherry D. Ramsey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From time immemorial, humanity has sought the secret to longevity and, ultimately, immortality. But what happens if you find that secret? Who does it belong to?

Sherry D. Ramsay’s novel explores that very subject with a compelling story that blends drama with ethics.

Luta Paixon, Captain of the starship Tane Ikai,is over ninety years old, but doesn’t look a day over thirty. Even with existing rejuvenation technology, this is extraordinary. Luta thinks she’s had a little genetic help along the way and that’s why she’s been looking for her biogeneticist mother, who disappeared when Luta was a teenager, as a source of explanation. Even if she’s been searching for fifty years without success, Luta is convinced her mother is still alive and could provide those answers.

When she hears a rumour that her mother was sighted on a distant planet, it leads Luta across the galaxy in yet another attempt to find her. This time, though, she’s accompanied by her dying husband and her resentful daughter and plagued by PrimeCorp who wants to study her. Her trek through the galaxy leads her to love, family, discovery and the big question: what would be the consequences if everyone lived forever?

Even though the subtext of the novel is weighty, Ramsay succeeds in leading us to the end seemingly without effort, thanks in part to her well-rounded characters. Luta, despite being a tough, no-nonsense ship captain, has the qualities and flaws that make her struggle with being a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a leader. The rest of the cast is interesting and real, each with a distinct personality and his or her own secrets.

The narrative flows smoothly, allowing the reader to focus on the people in the story, even though the technology sometimes seems a bit arcane for someone who knows little about space. The ethical questions she poses makes the reader think and takes this novel beyond space opera: this is speculative fiction at its best.

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Book Review: The Dirty Streets of Heaven

The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Bobby Dollar, #1)The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first in a trilogy about a “working” angel named Bobby Dollar (angelic name Doloriel) who is an advocate for departing souls against hellish representatives. But things go quickly askew: he’s stuck with an advocate-in-training he doesn’t trust, he lusts after a beautiful demon, the Countess of Cold Hands, souls are disappearing before they get judged, and a monster older than death is chasing after him.

Dirty Streets is a gritty, sardonic novel as entertaining as reflexive. It’s not an in-your-face contemplation of good and bad, or whether God, Heaven and Earth exist, but Williams has created a three-level world so bureaucratized you start to question the definitions of what is Heaven, and what is Hell, and, by the way, does God really care?

This is the first Williams book I’ve read so I can’t compare with others, but this one was great fun to read and compelled me to seek his other novels. Oh, and warning: there is explicit sex in it. After all, minions of hell are involved.

A highly recommended read.

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Can-Con in September

If you’re an SF reader, writer, editor, fan, comic book lover, etc., come to Canada’s Capital Can-Con this September. Can-Con is the Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature and is happening in Ottawa over the 21-23 September weekend. Lots of cool guests and panels. If you’ve never been to an SF Con, this is the place to start. It’s small enough not to be intimidating, but it’s full of dedicated, enthusiastic people who love every form of Speculative Arts and Literature. Check out the website regularly at http://can-con.org, and “like” the FB page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/canconsf/

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Travel Blog — Italy

My husband and I were in Italy –mainly Rome– for the month of April although we forayed into Umbria with a visit to Orvieto and went back to Tivoli, this time not to see the famous gardens but to amble through Villa Adriana, an amazing city-like complex close to two thousand years old and fairly well preserved. Read my posts on our travels there on my other blog, The Other Word.

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February: Zumaya Thriller Month Kindle Sale

From Zumaya Publications:

For the month of February, Zumaya will be placing Thrillers and other genre work with thriller elements on SPECIAL!

All the titles below will be listed at the low price of $2.99. A great way to try out these great authors and fill out your Kindle libraries.

Week 1 Feb 5 – Feb 11 – Science Fiction Thrillers

 
 
Blood Line by Lynn Ward – Sample
Unforced Error by Mark Roberts – Sample
Catalyst by M D Benoit – Sample

Week 2 Feb 12 to Feb 18 – Thrillers

 
 
Final Mercy by Frank J Edwards – Sample
Redacted by G L Rockey – Sample
Too Many Secrets by Linda Guyan
Resurrection Diva by Eva Batonne –  Sample

Week 3 Feb 19 to Feb 25 – Fantasy Thrillers

 
 
The Mirror of Yu-Huang by Christine Norris – Sample
Vassal of El by Gloria Oliver – Sample

Week 4 Feb 26 to Mar 3 – Mixed Thrillers

 
 
The Ugly Princess by Elizabeth K Burton – Sample
Dark Legend by Chris Stires – Sample
Murder Canyon by Joan Blacher
P.S. All these listed titles are actually on sale from 5 February 2012 to 3 March 2012. We just have certain ones features each week.
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