Saturday, 28 June 2014

First Book Review: Galaxy Billies by Michell Plested

In August 2012, Michell Plested successfully released his first professionally published book, Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero. It is a book about a 9 year old boy who wishes that he had superpowers after going to watch Spiderman at the local cinema. All he wants to do is be able to protect his small, home town.

Galaxy Billies, whilst still in the comedic genre, is more focused at the older members of this planets population and is firmly grounded (or launched?) in Science Fiction. Some people find themselves trapped in a single genre, usually by a successful character of whom the public demand sequel after sequel. Afters manage to switch between genres as if it is as easy as changing your a pair of pants (trousers for my North American readers).  Michell (pronounced Michael, not Michelle!) firmly sits in the latter category.

Before I start this, I should stress that Galaxy Billies is not yet complete. The avid readers out there will be able to catch up in relatively short order and will then need to wait for new publications as they are delivered by Michell. Serialis(z)ation of novels works very well for me, especially so in this case. I am definitely tuning in for future releases! So far, we have 37 chapters. I'm not all the way through yet, but I guarantee I will be finished soon.

So... enough of the waffle... Mmmm i love waffles, especially with lashings of butter and strawberry jam, topped off with some whipped cream if it's available. <ahem> What is Galaxy Billies? Well, as I mentioned above, it is a Science Fiction Comedy. Akin to the acclaimed Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, or Red Dwarf by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. Both massive influences for me and I am huge fans of both styles of writing (and TV production in the case of the latter). I'm sure just being mentioned in the same breath as the inventors of 'Don't Panic' and 'Smeg head' will be praise enough, but it is well earned praise.

Galaxy Billies follows the adventures of five human beings who have been abducted by a sentient ship passing by Earth whose previous crew died (from what we are not exactly told at the start). The ship cannot function without an intelligent crew of five to provide sufficient sentience to continue its forgotten mission. Very similar to the classic episode 'Legion' from series 6 of Red Dwarf. Now, the thing is, and what works so well in this setting, these human beings can only very loosely called intelligent. Well, they can only loosely be called human beings! They have been kidnapped from a small town in the Appalachian Mountains and all come across as being below average IQ and carrying a heavy southern drawl.

The result is a gripping tale that brings together interesting aspects of Science Fiction with well structured and intelligent humour. It works very well for and I have thoroughly enjoyed the read. I hope you choose to read it too and, if you do, that you enjoy it as much as I have.

My Rating: "Page Turner" (7/10)

Friday, 27 June 2014

Welcome to my Blog

Hi all, and welcome to my blog. Thanks for visiting and reading!

I'm a part-time writer, full-time industry worker and full-time father of one (almost two!). I have decided to write this blog to complement my writing. I will be reviewing books in printed and eBook format. I will read both represented authors and self-publishers from various sources such as KDP, and those I follow through Twitter. I will also review movies from time-to-time, with a particular focus on book conversions. Hopefully a bit of humour will creep in to make things a bit more pleasant to read.

I have decided to undertake some book reviews both of unpublished and published authors works to give something back to the community (authors) that have been so positive when asking for critiques, advice and assistance in promotion. The author community works well together in self-promoting and this, in a world of rapid information, is more important than ever.

I have written two novels and a smattering of short stories in the past. One novel is a sci-fi comedy, influenced by writers such as Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and the Grant Naylor partnership - I'd be foolish not to give all three a nod!

The second is a children's to YA novel following a young girl from the age of eleven to early adulthood. It is the first in a planned series, focusing on growth, change and morals and is set in a contemporary environment but with a fantasy element to it.

That's it for now. Hopefully will be back very soon with my first review!

Take care and keep writing!