Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Finders Keepers

This lighthearted science-fiction novel opens with an excerpt of the story from a way in where Theo Barnes, one of the primary protagonists, experiences a sensation like being sucked through the universe, effectively foreshadowing the trippy nature of the narrative. Author Russ Colchamiro dedicates the book to Liz, who is “forever his girl,” and prefaces the story proper detailing its disposition as a “definitive” edition in the way Star Wars creator George Lucas “remastered” the films in his series’ original trilogy. Finders Keepers was originally a standalone story, although the author allegedly finetuned it to make it part of a greater literary franchise.

The book features a style this reviewer definitely appreciated, with Colchamiro prefacing each chapter including the prologue with an indication of the setting and the time when they occur, the prologue itself occurring at the “Northern Sphere of Eternity” at the Cosmic Building Material (CBM) Training Center thirty-seven days, Eternity Standard Time, before the “official unveiling” of Earth’s Solar System. The foreword introduces the married couple Donald and Danielle, who fear wrecking their marriage, losing their jobs, receiving banishment from Eternity, and jeopardizing the Milky Way galaxy, handling the aforementioned CBM, the universe’s DNA.

The main chapters open with one of the primary Earthling protagonists, the American Jason Medley, riding with the middle-aged Englishwoman Jean, who takes him to Piccadilly Rail Station where he finds that his ticket to London is no good, despite being hellbent on getting to Rome, Italy. Jason does manage to buy a new ticket and catch a train just in time, transferring to a train in Paris en route to Rome. The book introduces its secondary protagonist, the New Zealander Theo Barnes, a few chapters in, prizing a mysterious jar supposedly pear-shaped, but seeming more traditional in illustrated section break within each chapter.

A few months prior, Theo discovered the enigmatic jar and chief MacGuffin of the story within his workplace, Waitomo Caves to the south of Auckland, New Zealand, making for trippy experiences. Back in the Northern Sphere of Eternity, Donald and Danielle make it a point to retrieve the missing jar of CBM, also the target of various adversaries such as a transgendered Dutchman named George, who goes by many other aliases, a girl named Lilly who befriends Theo early on, and two exiles from Eternity in the forms of a pudgy woman in Arizona named Emma and a dog called Lex.

Jason and Theo’s paths ultimately cross, with the aforementioned antagonists ultimately striking at the latter’s New Zealand abode, with the overall story definitely interesting, mildly creative, and with occasional popular culture references, although this reviewer didn’t really find it all that humorous, with a great amount of irrelevant filler in spite of the “definitive” edition’s alleged finetuning, as well. Some may find the excessive bouncing between various perspectives, given the brevity of most chapters, jarring as well. However, this reader definitely appreciated the indicators of time and location before each chapter, and would recommend the book to fans of works such as those by Douglas Adams.

Book Details:

Book Title: Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition by Russ Colchamiro
Category: Adult Fiction, 310 pages
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Publisher: Crazy 8 Press
Release date: October 17, 2018
Tour dates: Jan 7 to 25, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (A few f-bombs, and mild sex scenes + some casual drinking/pot smoking)

Book Description:

In the spirit of The Good Place, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, author Russ Colchamiro has gone back to the future to deliver his wildest, funniest novel yet--the updated Sci-Fi/Fantasy tale Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition.

When a jar containing the Universe's DNA falls from Eternity, bumbling backpackers Jason and Theo find their loyalties--and sanity!--put to the test. Unaware that a motley crew from another realm is chasing them across the globe to retrieve that radioactive vessel, these intrepid new friends are forced to contend with passion, responsibility, and their own mortality--and the fate of the Solar System, which hangs in the balance.

Traversing Europe, New Zealand, and the backbone of Eternity, Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition ultimately asks one simple question: Is the life you're living the life you actually want . . . or does the Universe have more to offer than you can possibly imagine?

To read reviews, please visit Russ Colchamiro's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

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Meet the Author:

Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space opera, Crossline, the zany SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself.

Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, and Brave New Girls. Russ is repped by The Zack Company.

Connect with Russ: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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Art of the Day, 15 January 2019

Aussie Rabbit
by jmg124 on DeviantArt

Art by Zerda-Fox


Monday, January 14, 2019

Art of the Day, 14 January 2019

by jmg124 on DeviantArt

Godzilla: The Planet Eater

Anime Godzilla 3.jpg

The third and final film in the anime trilogy, which is somewhat trippy at times, given the effects, but it wraps up the series nicely, and the visual style, as with before, is pretty.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Lost Colony

The Lost Colony by Vaughn Heppner

The fourth entry of author Vaughn Heppner’s Lost Starship series opens with Admiral Fletcher and Lord High Admiral Cook conversing about battles that occurred at the end of the prior book, with the former tasked with fighting the antagonistic New Men. The action then advances seven months later, with the New Men taking advantage of whom they term “sub-men,” with the Methuselah Man Strand and New Man Pa Kur further plotting, the latter leading a Seven, the New Men’s equivalent of a sub-man’s squad, and taking over a Commonwealth vessel.

The action ultimately moves to Captain Maddox, who is at a casino and confronts whom he at first suspects to be fellow humans, only to discover them to be androids, with this particular plot point prevalent throughout the story, the captain himself suspected to be an android. Maddox receives a holoimage communication from Professor Ludendorff, who tells him to visit the Xerxes System. Sergeant Riker, in the meantime, worries for his friend and superior, with the Adok AI of the starship Victory, Galyan, working on getting clearance to a restricted area Dr. Dana Rich is visiting, as well.

Riker too receives a holoimage communication from the professor, with Maddox imprisoned in an underwater prison facility below what used to be Greenland, damaged ecologically by nuclear warfare in the past. His companions plot to break him out and regain control of the Victory, with the protagonists eventually finding themselves far from the Solar System thanks to a wormhole, transported near a Dyson sphere that holds key to the mysteries of the Builders, an ancient civilization. The franchise’s secondary antagonists, the Swarm, also receive some elaboration, the captain eventually meeting the leader of the Builders.

An epilogue settles the fates of the characters after the book’s main events, ultimately accounting for a satisfying read with plenty of thrills sure to satisfy most fans of the science-fiction genre. As before, however, there are some parallels to the Star Trek franchise, such as the genetic supermen, and the author could have again named the hereditary superiors something other than “the New Men.” Many of the twists later on in the story also seem somewhat redundant and predictable, although this reviewer definitely enjoyed the fourth installment and would recommend it to readers who liked its precursors.

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle

Godzilla Anime 2 Poster.jpg

The second film in the anime trilogy continuing the intergalactic battle against the famous kaiju. As with the first movie, I definitely liked the visual style and wish American animated films would have similar artistic direction.