The Sin Soldiers

The Sin Soldiers
By: Tracy Auerbach

A dystopian sci-fi that blew me away. I fell in love with our four main leads. I came to know them so well, I knew their dress, their habits, and their personalities. My heart broke for them and the horrible situation they find themselves in, caged and forced to have no free will. Even though I didn’t agree with their actions all the time, it made sense for them. It was understandable considering all the trauma they’ve been through.

An absolutely incredible first book in a three part series, I was drawn in from the first few pages. Once I hit the halfway point, I simply couldn’t put it down! This is the first time I’ve had the privilege of reading Auerbach’s work, but it certainly won’t be the last. With familiar dystopian elements such as genetic engineering, a vague war between nations, and forms of recruitment that include kidnapping, as a fan of dystopian novels, this book was a joy. The Sin Soldiers contains hallmarks from some of my favorite dystopian sci-fi novels such as Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to read the next book!

Happy Release Day to A Beautiful Specimen

Every year I try to release a standalone short story that is more on the weird/bizarre side of horror. Sometimes it turns into a story about a woman out on the open sea trying to find answers to her mysterious past. And other times it turns into a horror scifi piece that definitely leans into the bizarre.

Inspired by the femme fatale stories I’ve loved and the disturbing science fiction stories out there, A Beautiful Specimen follows a woman with a dangerous secret.

A Beautiful Specimen

On one of the upper floors of an apartment complex downtown, Alice keeps a secret. It isn’t hidden in a closet or in a dresser drawer, but in a spacious bathtub. As she comes home from a long day of work and hangs up her keys, she hears it thumping against the porcelain in anticipation of her return.

Alice isn’t at all what she seems. Worse yet, she’s ready to move to the next stage.

Now available at your favorite online retailer for only $0.99.

Review: Eight Minutes, Thirty-Two Seconds

This was the first book I had read from my fellow Horror Writers Association member, Peter Salomon. He reached out to me back in January of this year asking for a blurb for his new book. I had never been asked to do anything like that before, but he enjoyed The She-Wolf of Kanta so much that he wanted to hear what I thought of this.

I didn’t know what I was getting into.

Finished: January 31, 2019

What starts out as a very stream-of consciousness style slowly pieces together as the story progresses. You get snippets of details as each person explores memories. You get insight, piece by piece, into what happened that led to this bizarre state of existence. You start to understand the mistakes, the terrible decisions, the consequences of being so very intelligent and untouchable.

After reading this book, I’ve started to keep an eye out for any of Peter’s other work because I binged this in two days. Yes, it’s a novella so it’s shorter than a novel, but the sun had gone down and I was sitting in the dark reading on my phone because I just couldn’t put it down and hadn’t noticed it was nighttime. I don’t usually do that, I can disconnect and pull away, but this book sucked me in entirely. Maybe it’s because it taps into psychology and cognitive science, two fields that I adore and almost went into in college. Maybe it’s because it explores teen abuse and neglect from highly intelligent individuals, something I haven’t seen much in YA fiction. Either way, I devoured this book.

This book is an intense, terrifying foray into a dark future where two survivors must piece together the end of the world through the jumbled memories of six abused teens. A wonderful read that I couldn’t put down by a writer who understands the biological, technological, and research worlds, this is one science fiction thrill ride you won’t want to miss! If you enjoy exploring cognitive science, AI technology, biological weapons, and a mystery of global proportions, this is definitely the book for you!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  • Is it a fun read? Didn’t even notice it was nighttime, remember? It’s a ridiculously fun read once you get on board!
  • Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely! Especially if they enjoy science fiction thrillers.
  • Does it stick with you? Peter’s writing gets under your skin in a good way. I’m reading another book from him now, and I just end up falling right into his voice again. So yes, it sticks with you. Like glue.

My overall rating: 5/5

PS. I’m reading another book by Peter now, Henry Franks, and I’m enjoying it just as much so far. It’s more of a straightforward horror rather than a science fiction piece though. Expect a review for that to come soon! He’s quickly become one of my favorite authors.

Drabble: Ahead of Time

Prompt: Ahead of Time

I can always tell when I’ve arrived too late. There’s a shift in the atmosphere that I can feel in my gut. In an ideal world, I could just leave and travel back again to an earlier time, but it isn’t that easy.

You would think that time travel would give you bucketloads of time, but it turns out it’s just the opposite. Let me assure you just how painfully aware you become of the time you’re losing. Every moment you take hyperventilating in an archway means seconds tick by, losing your nerve and wanting to run away adds a few more, and talking yourself back into this crazy profession gives a grand total of fifteen seconds.

Fifteen whole seconds.

When you steal from divine beings for a living, you really can’t afford to lose so much time. It turns out that the wrath of the gods is nothing to joke about. You see, they’re a greedy bunch, greedier than thieves like me by a long shot. They’re also real keen on keeping the enormous pile of gold and ancient artifacts in their possession. I swear when my fingers grip around the rim of some chalice, I can feel their wrath weigh down on me.

That’s why I always follow three golden rules: always arrive early, never chicken out on a job, and above all else, always trust your gut. They can mess with your mind and throw off your senses, hell they can even sick their pooches on you, but they can’t fool your instincts. If you start ignoring those, you’re as good as dead.

Originally posted on Typetrigger. Fiction in 300 words or less.
Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.

Parasites and a Moral Dilemma

Friday I got an announcement email reminding bloggers not only about the fact that NaNoWriMo was coming up at the beginning of November, but also a really neat idea about how to gear up for it. I wrote on my first NaNo last year, and simply fell in love with it. It not only gave me an excuse to devote time each day to writing, but also forced me to quite being so darn nit-picky about my word choices and simply get the ideas down on paper. Evidently that was really the impetus that forced me to action. I had written on a few Big Bangs last year, and being able to devote an entire month to writing original work simply seemed marvelous.

So naturally I’m planning on writing again this November. I’m settling in to do some outlining in just a few moments actually. But the part of the notice that really seemed clever was the idea to join Post a Day during the month of October to gear up for writing everyday in November. Well, I thought, I’ll be sure to do that! I post on my WordPress blog almost every day anyway!

Well… to make a long story short, that just didn’t happen yesterday. The first day and already my best intentions were fouled. Oh well, I’ve got to start somewhere, I suppose. So in true writer fashion I’ll begin this the second day of the month instead of the first, and try to give some updates as to my planning for next month. Maybe with a few ideas as well behind them. By the way, here is what prevented me from making said blog update yesterday.

When I woke up I was in the mood to bake. Now this is not in fact that strange for me. My fondness for baking is rather renowned among my friends and family (not that they’re complaining), and so I started in immediately. I made some orange rolls that had to rise twice before I could actually cook them. And I also volunteered to make pizza crusts for our D20 Future tabletop campaign we started last night. The bread machine made that so very easy too! (Between that and my mixer, it’s no wonder I bake so much!) Include the icing I made for the orange rolls and the marinara sauce for the pizza, and whoosh – time seemed to fly by. Then we piled all the goodies into my car to head over. As usual, the pizza was delish – not to mention so much more filling than your regular delivery pizza. Then it was on to the gaming.

Our campaign has a pretty fun setup. My character is a jazz lounge singer that’s taking her gig to Mars to try her hand at entertainment on another planet. She’s not exactly a fighter, but instead I’m turning her into an empath similar to Deanna Troi. Anyway one of the head leaders on the 1000+ passenger ship got a strange virus a week into the voyage. Upon further investigation of this passenger and five others, we learn that actually the infection is a parasite that turns into a huge black leech thing that pumps its dozens of babies into the host of the body and uses it as an incubator. To make matters worse, the leeches turn out to get loose on one of the decks and now we’re trying to decide if it’s salvageable. Do we kill the entire deck of people and parasites and write them off as a lost cause? Do we go through a slow and steady sweep and clean – risking the possible infection of our staff and crew? Do we notify the captain even though he could disconnect the passenger section of his ship and leave us all floating in space? Dang I love science fiction!

Anyway, that’s what was preoccupying my time yesterday. Don’t you love moral dilemmas?