Author Archives: James - Page 4

The Mother’s Dream [Write Club] [Fantasy]

The Mother's Dream is my story for the January 2021 meeting of Write Club Surrey, which had dreams as its theme. I chose to write a creation myth for Skyss, the world that I've my fantasy novel is set in. One inspiration for The Mother's Dream is my love as a child of a book of Australian aborigine myths called Dreamtime Heritage. The stories are how the world was formed and shaped in the dreams of the early people. The idea has stuck with me, even if I can no longer find the book on my shelves. Troll head and fist in the woods atop Mount Floyen, Bergen, Norway. An inspiration for The Mother's Dream. (Photo: James Kemp) Another source of inspiration for The Mother's Dream was me thinking about how to describe the trolls in Fierce. I read quite…
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Sonny’s Gift [Write Club]

Sonny's Gift was written for the September meeting of Write Club Surrey. The theme was mysteries, and I drew on some African folklore and religion, and also riffed off Neil Gaiman's American Gods. There was also a little bit of inspiration from the Black Lives Matter protests too. Shipping container being unloaded (Image by Hessel Visser from Pixabay) The mystery in the story revolves around a shipping container, which has been delivered to the front door of the local police station. There's a couple of competing points of view in Sonny's Gift, and perhaps the real mystery of Sonny's Gift is not who sent it, but how they knew what was needed months before Sonny even had his epiphany! The title character of Sonny's Gift is a black ex-cop. He rescued a woman from drowning when on patrol, and as…
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garden

On Resolutions, 2020 and 2021

For a number of years I've posted new year's resolutions on the Themself, along with reflections on how I've got on with them. I didn't do that last year, even though I was sure that I had.¬† Making Resolutions There's been a theme to previous resolutions, they've covered reading, writing and being healthier. The theme is about being a better person, although there's a level of subjectivity about what constitutes 'better'. On the whole being happier with who I am is probably the thing I should have 'm not going to make retrospective resolutions for 2020, the whole point of making new year resolutions is setting yourself some aspirations for the future. As I write 2020 is a few days from being history. Thankfully. Reflections on 2020 Global pandemic and massive recession aside, things haven't been all bad about 2020.…
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reviews

Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow [Book Review]

Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow My rating: 4 of 5 stars Attack Surface is the third in a loose trilogy that started with Little Brother. I've only read the first, Homeland passed me by. Attack Surface was readable and it stood well on its own as a story. Like the others, Attack Surface is a cautionary tale on how technology is being misused. Attack Surface The protagonist is Masha, a tech savvy woman from the bay area. She sold out and joined the DHS in Little Brother. Since then she's worked for private contractors providing surveillance know-how for governments. When we first meet her she's working both ends in Slovstakia, a semi-fictional former Soviet satellite state with a repressive regime. Her employer is giving the government technology to spy on its protesting citizens. Masha has adopted some of the protestors…
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reviews

The Great Traitor by Joseph Kassabian [Book Review]

The Great Traitor by Joseph Kassabian My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Great Traitor is the second book in the Galaxy on Fire series. It picks up where Citizen of Earth left off. It's much better than its predecessor, there's less of the random chaos, and is more about making sense of everything. The Great Traitor The title is a direct reference to the nick-name that Vincent has picked up from the loyalist survivors. His involvement in the last part of Citizen of Earth has been misconstrued, perhaps deliberately, and he is seen as the guy that destroyed the central committee and Earth. At first Vincent hates the nickname. Vincent thinks that isn't fair, because he was trying to stop the weapon being used against Earth. As the story moves on Vincent grows into using it to help him…
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