crucible

Crucible – Battles, Huge Insects And Politics in Deep Space.

I have already reviewed the first volume of The Epherium Chronicles” by T.D.Wilson in an earlier post (excitement-politics-and-big-business-in-outer-space/) and now I shall discuss the second volume in what I now know will be a long series of volumes over the next few years.

“The Epherium Chronicles – Crucible” is the name of this volume, in which we are taken into the deepest of deep space to discover what is happening to a spaceship full of colonists who departed the planet earth some 25 years ago on a journey to find a new home for humanity.

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The synopsis on Amazon describes this volume as follows:-

Book two of The Epherium Chronicles

January, 2155

Earth Defense Forces Captain James Hood is on the mission of his life. The Cygni solar system is just one space-fold jump away. One more jump and they’ll have reached the fledgling colony that Earth desperately needs if the human race is going to survive. But a plot to derail him has already damaged his ship, threatened the lives of his crew and cost him time. Time the colonists might not have.

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embrace

Excitement, Politics and Big Business In Outer Space

I have just read the first two volumes of “Epherium Chronicles” by T.D.Wilson, which are obviously the start of what I hope will be a long and complex saga.

The first one is called “The Epherium Chronicles: Embrace” and is mainly taken up with a long and very detailed setting of the scene for the volumes that are to follow.

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Took Time To Grab Me.

To be honest, when I started to read this book I wasn’t immediately grabbed by it, and was feeling that perhaps it wasn’t a book for me, but I persevered, and slowly but surely as the tale developed, I found myself being pulled into its world, and the worlds of the various main characters.  By the time I was about a third of the way through, I was completely engrossed by it, and began to feel for the various characters and the very considerable problems they were all trying to deal with – both the good  and bad  characters.

So should you have the same experience as I did, keep at it, it is well worth it as it is actually a very good and exciting read.

Real People Here…..

One of the many things about this book (and the following volume as well), is that none of the characters are simple 2 dimensional puppets.  All of them, are complex rounded individuals, with strengths and weaknesses, as real people have.  This is one of the aspects of these books that sucked me into their world – the fact that all it main protagonists were totally believable human beings, and not simply stiff totally evil or totally good creatures as is so often the case.

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The Freezer – Murder Most Foul In The Cold – Ebook Review

In this, the second of the Tanner books, author Timothy S. Johnston pulls out all the stops possible and gives us an extremely exciting, and claustrophobic closed room murder thriller. He is rapidly becoming the leader in the Sci-Fi form of this genre as his previous book (The Furnace) dealt with much the same sort of situation, only this time it is on Jupiter’s freezing (both literally and metaphorically) moon Europa, where all is not as it seems.

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2402 AD:   CCF homicide investigator Kyle Tanner and his girlfriend are on their way to Pluto, en route to a new life together. Just one little death to check out in the asteroid belt first. But when you’re as tangled up in conspiracy as Tanner is, a few hours on a case can change your life. Or end it.

The mystery is a strange one—one man dead, a cryptic message his dying breath. Still, Tanner’s ready to wrap it up until another gruesome murder shakes him to his core. The discovery of a microscopic bomb near his own heart offers the first faint clue, but the clock is ticking. He has four days….

A desperate search for answers takes Tanner to The Freezer, an isolated facility on one of Jupiter’s moons. With anti-CCF dissidents targeting the facility, a team of scientists conducting experiments the military would rather remain hidden, and a mysterious man in white hunting him on the ice, Tanner will have to choose his allies carefully. Putting his faith in the wrong person will leave him bleeding out in seconds.

So there you have the kernel of the plot in a nutshell.  A classic closed room murder story set in Space but essentially the same concept as all those murder stories where you know the Butler did it  – but here there are no Butlers, genteel country house people or similar, but a bunch of hard headed and disparate scientists and soldiers in an impossible situation, so who the murderer is is not at all obvious, or even if there actually is one murderer, or a number of them.

Not Simply a Thriller………….

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Fergus Ferry Launches Tablet and Smart Phone App

I was contacted yesterday by the Snowball Press with the press release below, which I thought might well interest those of you who have just given their very young family members a shiny new Tablet of one sort or another, and are now looking for suitable reading material for these lucky sprogs.

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AHOY! FERGUS FERRY LAUNCHES HIS OWN TABLET & SMARTPHONE APP!
“The star of 24 best-selling children’s books comes to Apple & Android for Xmas with an amazing free offer!

November 4 2013 – Great news for fans of the lovable Fergus Ferry, star of the popular 24 book series for children aged 2-6, as he now stars in his own app for the iPhone, iPad and Android!

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European Air Safety Folk Approve Use of Ereaders At take-off and Landing

A few weeks ago, the USA Air safety people announced that as far as they were concerned, we should be allowed to use our ereaders, Tablets and other electronic devices on planes from the moment we get into them till we leave   This ruling still excludes mobile phones (Thank God!!!) but will mean that if we fly in American planes, as soon as we are established in our narrow and uncomfortable seat, we will be allowed to bury our noses into our ebook until the glorious moment arrives when we clamber stiffly out of the plane at our destination.

Well, now the European equivalent office (The Civil Aviation Authority or CAV) have announced that they agree with their American colleagues , so that they are OK with us using all our electronic gadgets (I am glad to say still excluding the awful mobile phones) for the entire duration of our time inside the plane.

Why not mobile phones?

By the way, I am strongly against allowing people to use their mobile phones in planes as the idea of being stuck tight beside someone shouting into their mobile phone for the entire duration of a long flight gives me nightmares….

Not yet though.

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Win A Signed Copy Of Exciting Ebook – The Furnace

To mark the release of The Furnace by Timothy S. Johnston, eBookanoid is hosting a giveaway.  First place is an eBook of The Furnace (specify format please:  .epub or .mobi) and a signed cover.  Second and third places are signed covers.

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How to enter: 

To enter simply send an email to Timothy S. Johnston with your mailing address.  Make the subject heading of your email “Furnace Giveaway at eBookanoid.”  The draw will occur on December 23.  Good luck!  tsj@timothysjohnston.com

And what is the Furnace?

A very good question, and here is what I hope is a good answer, a review I wrote of this book:

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An enthralling Sci-Fi thriller, The Furnace by Timothy Johnston is a Space Opera with a difference. It is a case of Agatha Christie meets Issac Asimov with added Crichton for flavouring.

Before saying anything else I will quote from the author’s blurb on Amazon, which gives a broad idea of the actual story line, without giving away too much:-
As a Homicide Investigator working the solar system’s most remote outposts, Lieutenant Kyle Tanner has been involved in more criminal investigations and captures than any other in Security Division. He hunts his prey stealthily, tracking them through the trail of victims cast behind, and makes difficult captures when no one else can. He has seen the twisted remains, things that used to be human but are now barely meat. And he’s executed those who have done such horrible deeds.

His most recent case takes him to SOLEX One, a power-generating station that orbits precariously near the Sun. Among the fifteen inhabitants is a killer, a disturbed crewman who for some reason has mutilated his victim. But when Tanner arrives and begins the investigation, he’s shocked to learn that this is no ordinary murder. There appears to be no motive for the crime, and no reason for the mutilation after death. But what Tanner doesn’t realize is that something terrifying is amplifying among the station’s personnel … and if he doesn’t solve the mystery, the result could be the extinction of the human race.

THE FURNACE is a locked-room murder mystery, part techno-thriller, part horror, part detective story.

So, that is the basic framework of this book, but there is much more to it than the description above would lead you to think.   Timothy has taken the well known theme of a locked room detective novel, and carried it to a total extreme, the actors in this story are in a physical situation that allows absolutely no escape, so near to the sun that they can’t even go outside their space station for more than about 90 minutes without risking death from radiation, nor can they simply leap into a space shuttle and return to the relative safety of the main base on Mercury…  They are really stuck and it is in this claustrophobic atmosphere that the tale unfolds to its – to me at least – unexpected finale.

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