Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Writing Novels In English as a Second Language with Bruno Martins: Authors in Focus Episode 111

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.


We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new book, Mask of Guilt (Mask of Illumination Book 1), is out!

We all wear masks. Some of us to hide our guilt. Lady Foonauri, lost in the malaise of depression, finds purpose with a group of all-women thieves, the Cracked Gems. Intrigue, romance, betrayal, and adventure swirls around her in this epic fantasy tale!

Today, I’m joined by Bruno Martins Soares! He is the author of the post-apocalyptic novel Laura and the Shadow King! Check out his website, follow him on Facebook and Goodreads, and check out his books on Amazon!

Review: Someday I’ll Be Redeemed (The Chronicles of Lorrek 1)

Someday I’ll Be Redeemed (The Chronicles of Lorrek 1)

by Kelly Blanchard

Reviewed by JMD Reid

The Chronicles of Lorrek is a fantasy/sci-fi epic (yes, it is both). Ten years ago, Prince Lorrek vanished defeating a technological monstrosity attacking his kingdom with his magic. His brother, wracked by guilt, has given up inheriting the throne to search for him.

Then one night, Lorrek appears at the castle of another kingdom, a place where magic is frowned upon. That’s a problem for Lorrek since he’s one of the most skilled mages in the world. How has he survived? Where has he been? And what does he need?

Beneath a snarky and abrasive exterior, Lorrek is a man searching for redemption. He has made mistakes that wrack him with guilt. Now he seeks to do what he can to undo it, but is there ever enough to make up for his mistakes.

Lorrek’s story begins.

Someday I’ll Be Redeemed is all about loss. Each of the characters is dealing with someone missing in their lives. Whether it’s Lorrek brothers believing he’s dead, or other characters missing their dead sister, mother, or husband. They are all grieving in their own way. They are all trying to find their own way.

This story is an epic. Multiple kingdoms and royal families that all interact and conflict. Multiple wars threaten to erupt and those who seek to take advantage to seize power. The book moves fast, using magic to transport the characters across the world in heartbeats.

It also mixes in science fiction with one kingdom having advanced tech. It’s an interesting series. The characters are endearing. And once you’ve finished reading it, Blanchard has you aching to read the next book.

You can buy Someday I’ll Be Redeemed from Amazon.

Review: Sphere


by Michael Crichton

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Norman Johnson is a psychologist specialized in how stress affects group dynamics. He is often called out by the FAA to help survivors of plane crashes and their families deal with the aftermath. So when he’s escorted by the US Navy out to the South Pacific he assumes a plane has crashed into the ocean.

It turns out to be something far stranger.

Once upon a time, a younger Norman, desperate for grant money, wrote a report for the government about how to handle first contact with alien intelligence. He said abject terror would be the result when humans were confronted with the unknown. Now, he is about to put his hypothesis to the test. A thousand feet beneath the ocean, something has been found. A craft that has been down there for at least 300 years.

A team of scientists, recommended by Norman, and a group of navy personal are tasked with uncovering what is and, if anything is alive, how to communicate with it. Staying in cramped quarters, surrounded by the crushing depths of the sea where a small mistake could get them all killed, the pressures are incredible. Can Norman keep the group functional when the discover the Sphere lurking in the heart of the craft?

Crichton’s Sphere is an interesting take on the first contact with aliens story. It’s told from the psychologist point of view and it delves into many aspects of emotional reactions and Jungian’s theory of the shadow self. Personalities conflict and clash. The unknown lurks around them, affecting them all as they struggle to understand just what they have discovered.

And that’s before things start going weird. Cricton goes a great job setting up the mystery and how it affects the characters. The answers for the story are found if you read carefully. But that’s not what the story is truly about. It’s about how people handle stress and how they can rise to the occasion, or break beneath the strain. It’s about what people can do when they’re taken to their limits. The Sphere, the mystery of it, is merely the catalyst around which Crichton has penned this excellent character study.

One of my favorite Crichton novels, blending suspense, emotion, and wonder with a pervading miasma of dread hanging over everything.

On a side note, this is one of the worst book covers I have ever seen.

You can purchase Sphere from Amazon!

Review: Snapshot


by Brandon Sanderson

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Davis and Chaz are two detectives assigned to a very unusual division: the Snapshot division. Thanks to some sort of flobltinum, a psychic being can accurately recreate any day in the past. Davis and Chaz’s jobs are simple: to enter the snapshot and confirm details of crimes that have already happened to ensure the bad guys are caught.

Only catch, they have to keep their actions from altering the recreation. Everything they do has consequences, creates divergences. If they do too much, they might never figure out what happened. And today, the stakes have never been higher.

They have a chance to catch a serial killer who’s doing all he can to evade the Snapshot program.

This short story is why I love Brandon Sanderson. He is always coming up with new and exciting stories to read. He’s not locked into one fantasy universe or even one genre. He’ll write in them all to share his imagination with us.

And Snapshot is no different. This time, he delves into the murder mystery with his own style. He’s put that Brandon Sanderson spin on this tale and makes it wonderful. This is a great one that will keep you reading through its various twist and turns.

For fans of speculative fiction, this novella is a must read!

You can buy Snapshot from Amazon!