Two More 5 Star Reviews for The Cronian Incident!

Two More 5 Star Reviews for The Cronian Incident!

I’m a happy man! While I wasn’t looking, two more readers posted their thoughts on my first novel on Amazon. And they were quite nice! Both were 5 stars and they offered some highly encouraging words to boot. Here is the latest:

“I didn’t realize how deeply I was drawn into this book until I was about halfway through it! It has a distinctive style, with a multileveled story, and a main character I connected with quite easily. Reminiscent of “The Expanse” – the TV show, since I have not yet read any of the books by S.A. Corey – but that same mix of future/cyberpunk/mystery that grabs my attention. Well done! Yes, I’m heading for the next in the series.”

Once again, someone has compared my work to the Expanse. While I initially didn’t like this comparison (funny story, tell you later), it’s one that my publisher certainly likes! And I’ve come to embrace it. If people think my work is reminiscent of a highly successful (and kick-ass) series of novels and mini-series, who am I to argue?

That review came shortly after this one, which was perhaps the most glowing review I’ve received to date:

“I just finished The Cronian Incident by Matthew Williams. My first impression was that this was a rock solid piece of literature. The writing was mature and well thought out. The vocabulary was respectable and different terms where well explained. I admit I was a bit hesitant at first as detective type novels have never ranked high on my personal preference however as I got into the book I found that it was hard to put down. Often I read by author and I will not miss out on reading the next book in this series. I would expect this author to go far with such talent. Writing of this quality is hard work and he certainly put the effort into it. The only downfall that I can see would be with people with poor reading comprehension, however avid sci fi will not have any difficulties. This has been one of the most well put together books I have read this past year.”

Seriously, that may be the nicest review I ever got. I mean they even said that the only downfall is that some people might not be able to get it. I seriously thought they were gearing up to say something about the pacing, spelling, or content – something they didn’t like, you know? Again, who am I to argue?

Thanks to the reviewers and I hope the second book (and fingers crossed, the third) will also

Looking for Advanced Readers for The Formist Series!

Looking for Advanced Readers for The Formist Series!

Hello fellow writers and readers! I come to you today with both a request and an offer. I’m looking for people who would be interested in receiving Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of my two (soon to be three) novels. They are part of a hard science fiction series set in the not-too-distant future that incorporates elements of conspiracy, intrigue, criminal investigations, colonization and terraforming.

As part of the deal, you’d get free electronic copies of each novel, and all that is asked in return is that you give an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads. They are published by Castrum Press and have received some rave reviews from readers. Here is what some people had to say (I used their initials to protect their anonymity):

“Compelling read in an immersive world!”- RU

“.. an exciting tale in this story. It was a very enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to seeing more..” – JJC

“A phenomenal debut novel. I really enjoyed reading this book.“- BTK

It’s good sci-fi, and left me itching to read the third book in the series, after I read the second, of course.” – CW

“ of the best science fiction novels I’ve read in some time.”- CWG

I didn’t realize how deeply I was drawn into this book until I was about halfway through it!” – mzbeastle

This has been one of the most well put together books I have read this past year.” – TV

These reviews, however, are ones I am happy to attribute. The first is from Heather Archuletta, a writer, science advocate and self-described “pillownaut” who worked for the NASA Johnson Space Center and took part in their Lunar and Mars research programs. Here’s what she said:

“The Cronian Incident, which I recommended to my audience as my top Sci-Fi read of the year, is a treasure of planetary science.

And then there’s these two that come courtesy of Professor Abraham Loeb, the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science and the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Harvard University. He’s also the founder of the Institute for Theoretical Computation and the Chairman of Breakthrough Starshot‘s advisory committee – an initiative to build an interstellar spacecraft that could make it to Alpha Centauri in just 20 years.

Here’s what he had to say about my first two books, respectively:

“An exciting science fiction adventure into the technological future. An exhilarating read for scientists and fiction lovers alike.”

“Exciting plot with a good foundation in science. This is not surprising given the author’s expertise as an excellent science writer for Universe Today. Inspiring ending. Highly recommended!”

Here are the links to the first two books if anyone’s interested in learning more about them:

The Cronian Incident (Amazon, Goodreads)

The Jovian Manifesto (Amazon, Goodreads)

Third Review for The Jovian Manifesto… and From Someone Famous!

Third Review for The Jovian Manifesto… and From Someone Famous!

My second novel, The Jovian Manifesto, recently received its third review. Like the previous two, it garnered five stars. However, this one was particularly cool because it came from Prof. Abraham Loeb, a man who I’ve had the honor of speaking to many times over the years (as part of my work with Universe Today).

In addition to being the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University, Prof. Loeb is also the Chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department, the  Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the Chair of the Breakthrough Starshot Advisory Committee. In short, he’s kind of a big deal!

Anyhoo, here’s what he said:

Exciting plot with a good foundation in science. This is not surprising given the author’s expertise as an excellent science writer for Universe Today. Inspiring ending. Highly recommended!

Second Five Star Review for The Jovian Manifesto!

Second Five Star Review for The Jovian Manifesto!

My second review has come in! And this one comes from my friend and colleague Rami Ungar. While we are friends and fellow-writers, I can always count on him to be honest. I tell you, I owe this guy several reads and reviews at this point! In any case, here’s what he had to say (like I said, honest!):

A deep and action-packed follow-up

I received an eARC from the publisher and was eager to read this book. I really liked the first book in the Formist series, so I wanted to see how the sequel held up.

Turns out, it holds up pretty well. It’s much faster paced than its predecessor and features some pretty awesome action scenes interspersed into a story involving a conspiracy and a plot to counter the conspiracy. There were also some great twists along the way, which I won’t give away here, and I really enjoyed the characters, who were diverse and well-developed. I do hope they show up in the sequel.

If there were any issues, it’s that my copy had some typos in it. Just a letter or word missing here, some bad punctuation there. Nothing really glaring or book-ruining, but they were there. But that might’ve just been because I got an eARC and the actual book is free of these issues.

Anyway, if you liked The Cronian Incident, you’ll enjoy The Jovian Manifesto, so don’t hesitate to check it out and take a look.

Make that Ten (and Eight) Reviews!

You know, I seem to recall saying I was going to stop making announcement every time I got a new review.But in this case, it was three new reviews, so… yeah! In the past few weeks, The Cronian Incident has received two more reviews on Amazon (4 and 5 stars, respectively), bringing the total to ten. Meanwhile, on Goodreads, I picked up another 5 star review, bringing the total there to eight.
Granted, I am more excited about the latest Amazon reviews, mainly because my publisher has said that advertisers pay more attention to books that have ten good reviews or more. And while I am thankful for a good review no matter where it comes from, the Amazon ones also came with comments, which I wanted to share.
The first came from a user named Chris B, who gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I especially liked what they said in the last sentence:
I’ve enjoyed the world building as another reviewer has stated and am starting to warm to some of the characters. I really like how the action is taking place on various planets/moons of the solar system, and am eagerly waiting for further instalments of the story. For a (seemingly) first time fictional author it’s certainly well written.

Wow! And here I’ve been feeling self-conscious about my writing all along. When you know people are going to be reading it, you really begin to second guess your choices of words, your pacing, everything. Hearing a comment like this makes me feel a bit more comfortable with the writing process.

And here is the second and latest review, which came courtesy of Heather Archuletta. I bragged about her impressions in a previous post (which she posted on twitter) but I’ll let her speak for herself right here:

The Cronian Incident, which I recommended to my audience as my top Sci-Fi read of the year, is a treasure of planetary science. From bio-implants to solar system stations to the particular engineering environments in each planets’ system, this is a well-developed story with believable settings and characters. The author has a firm grasp of exobiology and extremophiles that will please scientists who enjoy ‘realism’ in their reading, but enough possible future tech that will also please the space-opera crowd. Don’t be afraid of methanogenic hydrocarbons — the hard science is never overwhelming, but neither does Williams assume is audience is dumb by over-explaining anything. A nice balance is struck, here. The novel assumes you know the basics of aerospace, but even if you don’t, you’ll follow the hero because you want to, as his reluctance transforms into purpose. The standout in terms of detail is the uniquely, culturally distinct planets and moons, which could only be done with competent research on each environment, and projecting the imagination into the framework of what it would truly take to colonize places like Mercury, Titan, or Callisto. Join the Interplanetary Accord.
The Interplanetary Accord. No spoilers, but that’s a reference to something mentioned in the text, and something I totally forgot about (to be honest). I better keep this in mind for future novels! 🙂
In any case, thanks to everyone who has left a review and know that your words of encouragement are what is making ths all worthwhile.

The Cronian Incident Named “Best of the Year”!

The Cronian Incident Named “Best of the Year”!

Good news, folks! First off, I apologize for the tardiness of this post. I meant to write about this days ago, but unfortunately for me, blogging about writing seems to take a backseat to actually writing. But I digress…

Heather Archuletta, a member of NASA’s Flight Simulation Research program, a STEM education advocate, creator of Pillow Astronaut (Pillownaut) and sci-fi geek (among other things) recently gave me the best review of my life! As she says in a Tweet posted on Dec. 8th, The Cronian Incident was the best sci-fi book she read this year.

Gifts! ADULT SCIENCE FICTION BOOK: Best I read and reviewed this year was “The Cronian Incident” by Matt Williams . Awesome hard sci-fi on multiple planets, with plot twists, available at Amazon.

Needless to say, I am very humbled and honored. I was also feeling pretty smug when I got this news to be perfectly honest! It certainly made me feel more motivation to get the sequel done too, which has just surpassed 70,000 words. For those looking to follow up on The Cronian Incident, the second installment – The Jovian Manifesto – it will be available in the New Year!

Eight (or Seven) Reviews and Counting!

Eight (or Seven) Reviews and Counting!

That title needs a little explaining, I realize. Since it’s release in September, The Cronian Incident has been accumulating reviews. And I”ve been monitoring them pretty closely. These days, and Goodreads are kind of the gold standard for online reviews. And between them, the book has eight reviews on one and seven reviews on the other.

The book has done far better on Amazon, where it has accumulated an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. I tell you, you can get greedy for 5-star reviews when that’s what the first few are. But so far, I’m very glad that no one who’s reviewed it on Amazon has rated it lower than four stars. Sure, there was some constructive criticism here and there, but that’s what’s good about a decent review that offers some pointers. You know that they liked it, but were still able to offer some suggestions on how it could be improved.

On Goodreads, things have gone a little less well. With seven reviews to its name, my book has accumulated an average ranking of 4 out of 5 stars. I’m still very thankful for that much, but you kind of get slammed when some people don’t like your work and say so! In this case, one person gave it a 1-star review and that brought the overall ranking down. Not going to name names, but I did look up what they had to say and found out that they didn’t like the book because it was: Cursing, icky vilence, slow.” (that typo is all them).

Hmm. I wish they had said “Cursing, icky violence and sex”. That one bad review would have sold a thousand copies! And, from what I understand, as soon as I reach ten reviews on Amazon, advertisers will apparently start taking me seriously. So if you’ve already read the book and have not found the time to make a review, that would great!