Review of Quantum Leap Ep 9, “Fellow Travelers”

ql9

Scene from the Quantum Leap episode “Fellow Travelers”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

So, Quantum Leap is back with the January 2nd episode Fellow Travelers. I was wondering how “controversial” the return episode would be but as it turns out, not that much (although some). I guess that part is yet to come.

Ben leaps into Jack Armstrong (you’re kidding, right?) a bodyguard for famous pop singer Carly Farmer (Deborah Ann Woll) or is that Carly Simon (one of the hats she wears reminded me of her)? Carly’s going to be killed, supposedly by her drug addict sister Jamie (Karissa Lee Staples) and Ben has to stop it.

Continue reading

Book Review of “Progress Report” by Roman Lando

progress report

Cover art for the novel “Progress Report”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

Author Roman Lando contacted me not too long ago and asked if I’d be willing to review his science fiction novel Progress Report. I said I was willing and he sent me a file compatible with my old Kindle Fire.

I was in the middle of another book at the time, but finally got a chance to dig into “Progress” starting a few days ago. In print form, it would be only 239 pages, so not a long read.

In broad strokes, the first and last third of the book is an action, adventure, techno-thriller involving an unlikely hero (patterned very much after the author) who is working with an alien and a covert agent to stop other aliens from starting World War III.

Unfortunately, in the middle third, there was a very long, expositional data dump along with a great deal of pseudo-science and psuedo-philosophy that took most of my interest away. Everything is told from the journal entries of the protagonist “Art” and Art is extremely “wordy.”

Continue reading

2022: A Very Brief Summary

2022

© James Pyles

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

As you can see, compared to 2021 and before, my productivity this past year has waned considerably, at least of you count actual, published short stories and novelettes. Of course, I had two of those novelettes published in the same year by the same publisher for the 224-verse. Most of the other short stories, except for the one I have featured in “Shoot the Devil” were published the previous Spring.

So what have I been doing?

Continue reading

Book Review of “The Ringworld Engineers” by Larry Niven

engineers

Cover art for “The Ringworld Engineers”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

I decided to read The Ringworld Engineers (1979) mainly because I’d recently re-read my copy of Ringworld (1970) not long ago for the “jillionth” time. Well, maybe not that frequently, since I didn’t recall too much about the novel (I bought my paperback copy in 1976 and still have it. See the photo below).

It occurred to me after finishing Ringworld that I couldn’t recall reading any of the sequels. When I looked Engineers up, I didn’t recognize the plot. So I put in an order from my local public library and in due course, it became available for pick up.

Sure enough, the book was a stranger to me.

In Ringworld, Louis Wu is recruited by a Pierson’s Puppeteer named Nessus along with a twenty-year-old girl named Teela Brown and a Kzin ambassador to Earth called Speaker-to-Animals. They were to explore a then undisclosed space object in exchange for a ship that can travel far faster than anything humans or Kzin had.

Continue reading

Get “The Haunting of the Ginger’s Regret” for FREE!

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

From today, December 8th through the 12th. these digital books from Starry Eyed Press are absolutely free for download onto your Kindle device:

SKIN TRADERS: https://books2read.com/SkinTraders

THE HAUNTING OF THE GINGER’S REGRET: https://books2read.com/TheHauntingoftheGingersRegret

PEOPLE OF THE SPIRE: https://books2read.com/Spire

They’re all set in the 224-verse including my novelette The Haunting of the Ginger’s Regret.

Continue reading

Tomorrow! Free Books!

promo decIf you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

In time to be really cool Christmas gifts. From December 8th through the 12th. these digital books from Starry Eyed Press are absolutely free for download onto your Kindle device:

SKIN TRADERS: https://books2read.com/SkinTraders

THE HAUNTING OF THE GINGER’S REGRET: https://books2read.com/TheHauntingoftheGingersRegret

PEOPLE OF THE SPIRE: https://books2read.com/Spire

Continue reading

Better Late Than Never: Interviewed by Tina Holland

tina

Tina Holland as shown on her blog.

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

This is kind of embarrassing. I’ve suffered another memory glitch. Some months ago, I was asked if I wanted to be interviewed by my writing. Of course, I said yes and proceeded to answer the interviewer’s questions.

She told me when to expect it to be published and sent me a link via email. I swear I meant to get to it, but I must have been distracted.

I was cleaning out some old emails and came across the one from Tina Holland just a little while ago. The interview went live over two months ago.

Sorry, Tina.

But as I said, better late than never:

Continue reading

The Future of Quantum Leap and Other Stories

QL

Promotional image for the television show “Quantum Leap.”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you know I’ve been watching and reviewing the 2022 continuation series Quantum Leap starring Raymond Lee, Caitlin Bassett, and Ernie Hudson. As far as I can tell, the series was originally green lit for eight episodes but was recently given an extension for a full 18. We know the description for the already shown episodes of course, but episodes 9-18 remain undefined at IMDb.

This is probably good since the show has introduced a collection of mysteries such as why Ben (Raymond Lee) leapt in the first place, what his relationship is to the mysterious Janice (or Janis) Calavicci (Georgina Reilly), and the secret around the leaper from the future Richard Martinez (Walter Perez). All that and, in the episode O Ye of Little Faith, Janice shows up as a hologram to warn Ben about something, but he leaps before she can tell him what…or who to be worried about. Eight episodes is just barely enough to get all that started.

Continue reading

Book Review of Redux: the Lost Patrol, A SciFi Time Travel Novel

reduxIf you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

Some weeks ago, author Gregg Cunningham asked if I’d mind reading and reviewing his novel Redux: the Lost Patrol, A SciFi Time Travel Novel. To that end, he sent me a PDF formatted ARC copy.

I started to read Part One of the novel “War Pig.” I’ve read War Pig at least twice and so burned through it a third time. Then I hit Part Two “The Lost Patrol.” I was most of the way through Chapter 1 “Time” all the while feeling like I’d read this before. Then I checked Amazon and saw I had bought the book last May. Yikes.

I checked my reviews and I hadn’t published one, but when I checked the digital book on my Kindle Fire, I found my notes. I feel really dumb. I’d read Gregg’s book months ago, but never wrote the review.

Sorry about that, Gregg.

Well, it’s never too late so here we go.

Continue reading

Book Review of “Network Effect,” The Fifth Novel in the Murderbot Diaries

network

Cover art for Martha Wells’ novel “Network Effect”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

I finished Network Effect: A Murderbot Novel yesterday morning. It’s the fifth entry in the Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells. It’s also the first novel-length book in the series, with one through four being novellas or novelettes  (my reviews on the rest of the series can be found here).

It won the 2021 Nebula award and a bunch of other accolades and in this case, they were well deserved (In my experience, that’s not always the case). We continue to see Murderbot evolve becoming, in their/her own way, more “human” though I’m sure she would deny that.

Oh, even though technically Murderbot has no gender, I always hear her voice in my head as female, so I’m going to go with that. Probably has something to do with my knowing the author is also female.

Given the novel-length of the story, we’re able to go back and forth in Murderbot’s experiences. We start out seeing her as a fully autonomous SecUnit providing security for an archeological team, which definitely needs it. The story begins with a bang because we are then thrown into more back story on Murderbot and the supporting characters. This includes her close relationship (I hesitate to say “friendship,” although I think it is) with Dr. Mensah and interestingly enough with her teenage daughter Amena (relationships are confusing because this is some sort of “group marriage” where Mensah is Amena’s “second mother”).

Continue reading