Day: June 16, 2013

Review of “Manhattan Transfer” by John E. Stith

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Manhattan has been stolen! Not a person named Manhattan, nor the drink, nor some objet d’art with that unlikely name. No, the island – the whole freaking island of Manhattan – has been sealed in a transparent dome, dug up, and lifted off the earth.

When it reaches its destination (?), the people inside the dome can see other domes containing other cities. Then begins a frenetic effort to survive, determine their circumstances, and hopefully, escape.

John E. Stith’s Manhattan Transfer is science fiction in the epic style. With aliens aplenty, mind-boggling technology, and puny humans who must somehow prevail against impossible odds. Told from multiple points of view, Manhattan is a story shown primarily from the point of view of Matt Sheehan, a former soldier, who was riding the subway to his new job when the train was sliced up. He finds himself taking the lead in efforts to get out of the predicament the city’s residents find themselves in. After some searching, they find the abducting aliens, an arachnid-like race they call Archies. The question then becomes, are the Archies the dangerous predators they appear to be, or is there something else at work.

You’ll have to read the book to find out, and, I assure you that you’ll be shocked. This is sci-fi as sci-fi was meant to be. A story told on a grand scale through the efforts of individuals to make sense of their environment. Heroic deeds; and some acts that are less than heroic. The characters, even the aliens, are believable; the technology is described in a way that makes you want to believe; and, the action is consistent with the environment Stith has created.

If you like science fiction, don’t miss this book. If you’ve never read science fiction before, make this your introduction to this genre. You won’t be disappointed.

Review of “Ryann” by Paul Dorset

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Ryann, by Paul Dorset, is a pithy novella about Ryann, a slave, or sclava, in the castle of Lord Cala, who seeks to earn enough coin to buy her freedom. Taken as a sclava after her parents died, she must labor from dawn to dusk, and suffer the unwelcome attention of the lord’s evil son, Master Bramwell.

One-by-one, Ryann watches her friends die at the hands of Bramwell, a spoiled scion of the lord of the manor, who must struggle with his own demons. Finally, Ryann realizes that there is only way out for her, she must duel with Bramwell.

The action, as she prepares for her fateful encounter, is non-stop and the emotions are raw and nerve-jangling. Although written for a young audience, Ryann will also appeal to older fans of the genre. This is a well written short piece that can be read in one sitting, and at the end will leave you wanting more.