This post is different from my previous ones because it deals with someone else’s novel rather than my own or things related to it, but this was too good to pass up. In December I saw a Facebook post about Eric Michael Craig’s book Legacy of Pandora. I was already a fan of his work, so I bought it. It was a series of his with which I was not familiar but because of the caliber of his work I expected it to be good. I was more than right, and was delighted to review it on Amazon. I have included that review at the end of this post.
I am posting this because this weekend is an opportunity to get this magnificent book at a discount. He is promoting it on a “countdown deal” from the 15th to the 19th of January with the lowest prices being the 15th, 16th, and 17th. I thought I’d pass it along. If you tell your friends about it, please don’t forget to also recommend Wake Turbulence and CATSPAW.
Below is my five-star review for Amazon:
Legacy of Pandora is the first book in Eric Michael Craig’s “Shan Takhu Legacy’ series. I had read one book of his previously and had another in the queue because the first was quite good. When my attention was called to this one, I downloaded it to my Kindle without a second thought and began browsing the opening pages. The one in the queue had to wait, because I couldn’t put this one down.
Craig has multiple strengths as a writer. His characters are fully three-dimensional and intriguing. His plots are complex and credible, and he presents them in such a way that you can quickly grasp their substance but haven’t a clue about their outcome. I admire his ability to paint a scene with rich descriptions of sights, sounds, smells and actions.
There was one exceptional aspect of the writer’s craft that I especially appreciated as I read Legacy of Pandora. I have always found it difficult to remember and keep track of characters and events in novels with complex casts and plots, and this one is definitely loaded in both categories. He solved my problem through the novel’s structure. Each chapter is a slice in time. Within each chapter are scenes, each of which is limited to a small number of characters and events such that I could easily follow who was doing what to whom, when, and usually why. When the scene changes, the new characters and events don’t require me to keep track of the details of the previous scene – just the connections in the overall plot line or lines related to that scene. Near the end, he pulls all the pieces together and simplifies them in a way that even I could follow by the time I got there. Thank you, Eric!
A great story beautifully written which makes for an easy and rewarding read.
My wife and I have the pleasure of learning and performing Improv at the Surfside Playhouse in Cocoa Beach. Recently, hurricanes Ian and Nicole took a toll on their roof. To help them recover the $50K it took to make the necessary repairs, I am making a $10 contribution to Surfside for every Alcubierre Metric Connection book purchased between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Here is your opportunity to support community theater while giving the gift of delightful hard science fiction to your sci-fi fan holiday gift recipients. If they are interested in time travel, they will enjoy CATSPAW’s unusual take on the subject. If faster than light travel is their forte, then Wake Turbulence is the book for them. Either way, the 4 and 5-star reviews suggest they will be in for a captivating read.
The working title of the sequel to Wake Turbulence is Collision Course. I spent most of the first half of 2022 doing research, but now I’m writing scenes and refining plotlines. There will be new characters, and some we’ve gotten accustomed to may not make it to the end. I don’t know yet. The story is already beginning to drive itself in unexpected directions.
I have mentioned in several descriptions of the series that the Alcubierre Metric Connection stories are plot driven. In preparation for writing this post explaining what that means, I Googled “plot driven stories” in order to see how others had defined the term and find a few sites to provide for you to compare other opinions with mine. The result was not what I had expected.
Although there are a wide variety of opinions about whether plot-driven stories are desirable, there is little disagreement as to what they are, and the first site at the top of my search list had an excellent post about the contrast between plot-driven and character-driven stories. If I were to have written my own description, it would have been remarkably like that one, so here is the link to it instead: https://www.skillshare.com/blog/a-guide-to-character-driven-vs-plot-driven-stories/
I have always been one of those who have preferred plot-driven stories, and the plot is what excited me when the idea for Wake Turbulence first erupted in my head in 2011. The story, of course, produced characters. They developed lives of their own and their lives became significantly character-driven, so in the end the book was driven both by its plot and by its characters. CATSPAW evolved the same way. I think that mix is essential for good novels regardless of which mode predominates, and I’m delighted that my characters made it happen.
An open access paper (which means you can download it for free) recently published in a peer reviewed physics journal is an amazing and gratifying coincidence. The lead author is Harold “Sonny” White who I acknowledged as having inspired Wake Turbulence with his 2011 seminar on the Alcubierre metric. The content has to do with generating that metric using the quantum Casimir effect which was the core of the plot of CATSPAW. Here’s the citation and link:
As the freighter Sensei Maru steamed eastward in the Indian Ocean, about 140 nautical miles southwest of Adelaide enroute from the Middle East to Melbourne, optical and radio telescopes over that half of the globe reported strong signals at wavelengths ranging from radio waves through light and even up to gamma rays. At each instrument, the recorded signal looked like a single, large pulse that decayed quickly. Globally, these pulses occurred nearly simultaneously.
At the moment the telescopes were seeing the pulses, Captain Takahashi was on deck taking a smoke and catching the breeze. He was startled by a sudden, brilliant apparition in the sky. The collision of two aircraft? Should he report it to someone? He went to the bridge and contacted his company. After a short discussion with a company officer, he was told that they would notify Australian authorities and he should make a log entry describing what he’d seen.
At 4:45 PM Central Australian Standard Time, Takahashi entered the following:
15 September 0703 UTC – a bright flash of light appeared in the sky to starboard about ten degrees down from the zenith, almost due south of our position, which I estimate was 36.925 S, 137.04 E at the time. The event did not last long enough for any attempt to measure its altitude and azimuth with an instrument. The flash was followed by oppositely directed streaks propagating generally easterly and westerly from there. The streaks faded and vanished in seconds. There were no unusual sounds during or after the event. I could not identify the source, but some sort of incident involving aircraft seems possible.
He hoped that the Australian search and rescue services could locate any survivors.
The eBook formatting is still in work. My interior designer should send me the file later this week. As soon as I approve the Amazon proof it will be available and, of course, a good bit less expensive than the paperback. Either format, it’s a story I expect you will enjoy!