SPSFC Round 1, Part 5: Self-Published Science Fiction Contest reading

I’m beyond thrilled to be part of the first-ever Self-Published Science Fiction Contest! What is that? Check out the write up over at Red Star Reviews for an explanation. The first round of the contest for we judges is to whittle down the pile of books we’ve been given from the 30 (31 for our group!) to 10 that we’re going to read in their entirety. How do we do that? Well, we read 10-20% of all 30 of the books and then vote on whether we’d like to continue them. I’m going to blog about these as I go, and I want to know what you think! How do you like the covers? Have you read the book? Did my write-up make you want to read it? Let me know!

Detonation by Erik A. Otto

I don’t know what to make of this book. I read the first 15% and I just genuinely don’t understand where it’s going. It seems like it’s a kind of pastoral setting for a post-nuclear holocaust, but the action ramps up almost too quickly. I wasn’t able to get my feet under me on the new set of characters before they got thrown into intense peril and everything was happening at once. It looks like it could shape up into an interesting post-apocalyptic novel and does remind me a bit of Leigh Brackett’s The Long Tomorrow in that sense. I’m not sure where to go from here. I may read more of it myself. It’s a maybe.

The Trellis by Jools Cantor

I’ll admit it; I’m a sucker for the combination of science fiction and mystery. Here, Jools Cantor sets up an intriguing future with self-driving taxi systems, late stage capitalism, and more surrounding a murder mystery. There seem to be two primary plot threads: one, being a young woman seeking a job amidst corporate surveillance of the highest sort. Legitimately, the scenes with her make me think about how plausible and scary the future Cantor creates in this book is. The other scenes follow the future of detective work, and it’s bleak. I love this novel’s first 10%, and I am definitely putting this as a firm “yes.”

Golden Crunk of Cringle Ken Rudisill

A brother-sister pair are stowaways on a spaceship and go to steal various things on board. Lots of sexual fantasies, no small amount of what I took as sexist or homosexual language or use of terms, and even some jokes about incest started off the novel. I just don’t really get where it’s going at all apart from some artifact that sets off sexual fantasies or something, and it doesn’t feel compelling to me. This one is a no.

Round 1 Status

I’ve now dipped my toes into 15 out of 31 books. I’m now at 4 yes, 6 no, and 5 maybes. I’m definitely going to need to circle back to my “maybes” and revise that list down quite a bit. Want to know what other books are on the list? Check out Red Star Reviews’ post on my team’s list to see the covers!

Links

Science Fiction Hub– I have scores of reviews of Hugo nominees, Vintage Sci-Fi, modern sci-fi, TV series, and more! Check out my science fiction related writings here.

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SDG.