Recently, I had the honor of enlisting the services of a freelance critic and literary enthusiast named Katy Sozaeva. After our initial meeting and some back and forth regarding what she does and what I write, she agreed to take on some of my work for the sake of giving it all a professional. Naturally, I volunteered my earliest stuff, the short stories that have been available online for some time: Source, Liability and Smartbomb.
Even though she was quite busy and had a stack of books a mile high, she swore to me she’d get to my stuff sooner other than later. Well, I had almost forgot about our discussion, being a man who clearly suffers from ADHD when it comes to my writing. And then, wouldn’t you know it, I happened to be checking out Goodreads and noticed she had reviewed all three in full and posted her thoughts! Here’s what she said:
“The Earth and its colonies are running out of water. The government, left with no options, decides to hedge its bets by creating a colony ship and sending off the best and brightest to colonize the stars, while at home strict rationing and a lottery system to decide who should live and who should die will be instituted. Millions will die, either of thirst or through violence. However, a scientist comes up with a daring idea in order to provide additional resources and keep humanity alive in the Sol system – reclamation. All bodies will be reclaimed for the source, providing fluids, minerals and other essentials. How will humans develop, at home and in the stars?
This was an interesting science fiction story, as well as showing the dangers of continuing to destroy the environment for short-term gains. To us, it seems almost impossible that we could ever run short on water, but it will happen if we don’t stop polluting the water sources and start paying attention. However, the book is not a sermon – it is also entertaining with an intricate plot and plenty of suspense. Fans of sci-fi should definitely check this book out. Williams also has some short stories, including “Smartbomb” and “Liability,” which I will be reviewing over the next few days.”
And sure as shooting, she did!
“With crime spreading out of control, and martial law proving ineffective, the US passes the Libertarian Act, which allows private citizens to become bounty hunters and earn a living by bringing in criminals, dead or alive. While the crime rate has dropped substantially, there are some who feel that this method infringes on their right to due process and an individual’s protection under the law. Now, with the crime rates falling, the bounty hunters don’t have as much work, and are looking for ways to maintain their lifestyle. What sort of solution will they come up with? And why are bounty hunters now disappearing?
I was interested by the idea of the Libertarian Act – I’m one of those who believes that people should have the right to protect themselves and that by making guns difficult or illegal to own, all that will be accomplished will be ensuring that only criminals will have them, which hardly solves the problem. I was interested in the fact that this situation was presented in such a way as to make the common hunter, as they call themselves, seem like a decent person just trying to do their part for community and country. A well-written short story that raises interesting questions – recommended!”
“The major alliances in the world have developed Smartbombs, bombs with artificial intelligence that are controlled by a Central AI and designed to carefully destroy only enemy targets while keeping civilians and architecture safe. However, a major crisis is arising and suddenly the Central AI has denied access to everybody. What has happened? Has it been hacked into? And what will happen to the armed forces without the protection of the Smartbombs?
An interesting what-if situation regarding the evolution of warfare and the evolution of artificial intelligence, this short sci-fi story packs a lot of pop into a short piece. Those with an interest in sci-fi, short stories, and the evolution of awareness should find this piece interesting.”
How nice! Glad she liked them, really glad she found the time to take them on. Speaking of which, another review has shown up for Source over at free-ebooks.net. I’ve been meaning to take it down that site, but wanted to keep it up a little longer. Good thing, because then I saw this one:
“Great read. Took a few pages to get into, but well worth it. Understand there is to be a sequel; however, still wish the ending had not been so abrupt. That being said, definitely look forward to the reading the continuation.” – J
And he’s right, I’ve been tinkering with a sequel to Source for some time, by the name of Fortress. I guess I’ll have to get on that now. Can’t disappoint a reader, even if it’s just one, dangit! But Source is definitely coming off soon so get your free copies while you can!
For those interested in more reviews by Katy Sozaeva, check out her site. No spamming please, I have a reputation to uphold ;)!
Katy Sozaeva at Livejournal
And of course, where to find my stuff: