The Veil of Light a Story in 100-Words

My 100-word story ‘The Veil of Light’ has been posted on Entropy Squared’s​ A Story in 100 Words. Thank you to Doc for accepting another story of mine to the website. Check out the story by following the link below.

The Veil of Light on A Story in 100 Words

There are also loads of other great stories for you to check out on the website. A couple of recommendations are “I Killed Him” by Lulu and “Write Story” by Kent V Anderson.

Happy Reading 🙂

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‘I’m Alive’ A Story in 100 words…

My 100-word story ‘I’m Alive’ has been posted on Entropy Squared’s​ A Story in 100 Words. Thank you to Doc for accepting my submission, it is much appreciated. Check out the story by following the link below.

I’m Alive on A Story in 100 Words

There are also loads of other great stories for you to check out on the website. Personal favourites of mine include, ‘Haircut’ by Debarun Sarkar and ‘TKO’ by Dan Slater.

Happy Reading 🙂

Cyberforce Rebirth Volume 2 by Marc Silvestri

Cyberforce: Rebirth Vol. 2 (Cyberforce (2012))Cyberforce: Rebirth Vol. 2 (Cyberforce by Marc Silvestri
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Cyberforce Rebirth Volume 2 continues straight on from the story that was started in Volume 1 and its climatic ending. Written by Marc Silvestri, the story is of the same standard of writing as the previous comic, so if you enjoyed Volume 1 you’ll enjoy Volume 2.

My main complaint with the story is the last chapter. It feels a bit rushed and a complete turnaround for the characters in regard tot he direction in which they were going in the previous chapters. If there had been more chapters then I feel we could have seen this change happen naturally, rather than it being so sudden. Especially as the ending, in regards to CDI’s plan, ended the way I expected it would. I think it just needed one more chapter to get the characters there too.

For the most part, I felt the dialogue was better than Volume 1, however, it did at times feel a bit lacklustre; cliche and run of the mill.

As I’ve stated before I tend to really like the art style used in these comics and this is one is no different. You can tell the difference between the individual artists who worked on this book as Chapter’s 5 and 6 have a slightly different style to issues 1 to 4. It’s mainly in the way the characters are drawn and this is due to Marco Turini doing the art for chapters 1 to 4 while Khoi Pham and Heubert Michael did Chapter 5 and 6 (6 was without Khoi Pham).

Much like the art the colouring was completed by several people. Arif Prianto worked on chapters 1,3 and 5 while Andry Troy did the colouring for 1 to 5 and Chris Northrop did the colouring for Chapter 6. Stjepan Sejic also added some final art polish to Chapter 1.

As the lettering was once again done by Troy Peteri, it followed the same patterns as with the previous Volume. Sans font, usually in black, with coloured backgrounds which sometimes changed to reflect the voice of the speaker. The Sound Effects were also easy to read in bold type and stood out from the action without making it feel crowded.

As standard with any comic book volume, there is a Cover Art Gallery at the back that exhibits the variations that were created for each issue. Most of the cover art variations were done by Marc Silvestri and Sunny Gho, however, Cyberforce #6 Cover B and C were done by Stjepan Sejic and John Tyler Christopher respectively.

This comic is for anyone who really likes the Cyberforce universe and Marc’s writing style. If you want a simple action comic then it does the job, just don’t expect a story of great depth. My main reason for reading it was to complete the story started in Volume 1 and to see where it goes, leading up to the events of the Aphrodite IX/Cyberforce crossover.

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Dracula by Bram Stoker

DraculaDracula by Bram Stoker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a classic piece of Gothic fiction that has been re-imagined and adapted many times over in film, books, comics, anime and computer games. It helped to make Whitby the infamous centre of gothic culture that it is today and it is often seen as one of the seminal pieces of vampire fiction. Published in 1897, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is as popular today as it was a hundred years ago.

The book tells the story of the titular character, Dracula, Count of Transylvania and his desire to purchase property in London. Jonathon Harker, the man charged with aiding Dracula in his acquisition of property, uncovers some terrifying truths at the castle, while back in England, disturbing incidents unfold; An unmanned ship crashes off the coast of Whitby, a young woman is drained of blood and an inmate at an asylum raves about the arrival of his master. As the story unfolds a determined group of men seek to find the truth and bring an end to the horror that has befallen London.

The story is told from the first person perspective of each character through their diaries, letters, journals and memoirs. There is also the odd section that details events via the means of a newspaper article. This was quite different to any other story I had read previously read so I found it quite unique and refreshing. It did, however, mean that I knew that whoever was narrating the current section would not meet their demise or else they would not be able to narrate it.

As well as the story there are several sections essays that may interest fans of the author and book. The start of the book includes a preface written by Christopher Frayling, an introduction by Maurice Hindle, a section on further reading (which covers Bram Stoker, Dracula and vampires), A Chronology of Bram Stoker’s life and a Note on the Text which explains a few minor changes made from the original. The appendix includes Bram Stoker’s correspondence with Walt Whitman, his interview with Winston Churchill, his essay on censorship and Charlotte Stoker’s account of the Cholera Horror in a letter to Bram Stoker.

I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who likes vampire fiction due to the undeniable impact it has had on the genre. But more than that, it is a great gothic tale that presents interesting ideas about life and death as well as the nature of insanity.

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Cyberforce Rebirth Volume 1 by Marc Silverstri and Matt Hawkins

Cyberforce: Rebirth, Volume OneCyberforce: Rebirth, Volume One by Marc Silvestri
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Released in 2013 following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Cyberforce Rebirth see the return of a Top Cow classic. Cyberforce was created by Marc Silvestri, with this volume being co-written with Matt Hawkins, who also wrote the Aphrodite IX Rebirth comics.

Carin Taylor has escaped from the corporation CDI and is searching for the one man who she believes can help to stop the end of the world. During her escape, she encounters a group of CDI escapees, but will they help her? Or turn their back on her?

To be honest, I felt little connection or interest in the individual stories of the characters, as they were fairly standard. However, I thought the overall plot and ideas presented in it were good and that’s what caught my interest. The idea that a powerful company discovered when the world will end and devise a plan to survive it through the development of humans that could, was interesting. Of course, there is a downside to the plan in that it may not include the whole species and even see many innocents die.

At times, I felt the dialogue was immature, mostly the insults and quips from the various characters, so if you like immature humour, then this will be perfectly fine. If not, then this may be a problem. There are also a lot of pop-culture references dotted throughout which I felt were a little forced at times. There’s a fine line between making references tasteful and including them for the sake of it. It isn’t excessive, but some just didn’t feel natural.

Like all the Top Cow comics I have read the artwork is on top form. Kho Pham penciled and inked the comic while Sal Regla also did inking and Sunny Gho did the colouring. Stjepan Sejic also added some final art polish to the pages. The pages

Colour coding is present for both narrated and spoken sections to show specific qualities of the voice or who is talking. This makes it easy to follow the dialogue, especially with the black coloured sans font that is used for all text. Troy Peteri did the lettering.

Although it has its flaws, I enjoyed the comic. The dialogue and characters are pretty standard, but the main plot and ideas behind the story are interesting. Plus it has great artwork. I recommend Cyberforce Volume 1 to fans of the Cyberforce and Aphrodite IX series as well as those wanting an easy to read Science Fiction Action comic.

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Neuromancer by William Gibson

Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)Neuromancer by William Gibson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published in 1984, Neuromancer is the first book in William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy. The book tells the story of a hot computer hacker named Case, who is crippled after double-crossing the wrong people and therefore losing access to the Matrix. Following that incident, Case lives in Chiba trying to forget his old life, until he meets a mysterious lady named Molly and an even more mysterious benefactor named Armitage. Case is returned to his old self following an operation paid for by Armitage, however, to ensure his cooperation in completing a dangerous job, Armitage implants poisonous sacs in Case, with the promise of them being removed once the job is complete.

As with most science fiction stories that involve hacking and protagonists who are “coerced” into a job, it inevitably becomes more complicated towards the end as the tension mounts and the mysteries are unravelled. There are several great concepts within Neuromancer, ones that are tropes of the genre by today’s standards, but at the time were relatively new. For example, the dangers of an artificial intelligence, extension of life and the difference between the physical world and the digital one.

William Gibson’s writing style is very easy to follow and does a good job of portraying the forts and emotions of case as well as the complexities of the story towards the end. Although there is some technological speak throughout the story as is generally the case with cyberspace focused Science Fiction stories, it never becomes too heavy for the reader and therefore doesn’t detract from the flow of the story.

Anyone interested in Cyberpunk and technology/computer based Science Fiction should definitely read this book. It’s one of the early progenitors of the cyberpunk genre and in turn had a massive impact on the development of the genre. I really enjoyed reading the book and picking out the ideas which have had a lasting impression on the genre, especially in relation to cyberspace.

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Horus Rising by Dan Abnett (Horus Heresy #1)

Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy, #1)Horus Rising by Dan Abnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anyone who has played the tabletop game, Warhammer 40,000 from Games Workshop, will know that the Horus Heresy was the pivotal moment in humankind’s history that led to the current situation in the 41st Millennium. Horus Rising is set at the beginning of this epic tale towards the end of the Great Crusade in the 31st Millennium. The Emperor has returned to Earth and left Horus, his favoured son, in his stead to finish the job of uniting the human race in all corners of the galaxy. However, will Horus’ promotion lead the Legions to glory or Heresy?

Dan Abnett is a household name amongst those familiar with Warhammer 40,000, and for good reason. His writing is perfect for military science fiction. It’s easy to follow and contains enough level of detail to bring the story to life. The story is well paced with a good balance between action and character development.

The focal characters of the story are quite mixed, ranging from Astartes in two different legions, human military personnel, civilian remembrancers and a couple of Primarchs. It’s nice to see the different perspectives as the human characters are the lowest in stature while the Primarchs are the largest, thus, you get a good impression of how each sees the other and their position within the Imperium.

At the front of the book, there is a list of the main characters with their role stated alongside their name and sorted by their affiliation. For example, Garviel Loken is listed as Captain, 10th Company and listed under The Luna Wolves Legion. This is quite useful when there are a lot of characters involved in a story as it means clunky introductions can be avoided, especially when the characters involved should already know who certain people, even if the reader doesn’t. It also has the benefit of allowing the reader to quickly check who a specific character was if they’ve forgotten at some point in the book.

This book is a definite read for anyone interested in the Warhammer 40,000 universe and its incredibly deep lore. At the time of writing this, The Horus Heresy series is 32 books long and still going, so it may not be a good read for anyone daunted by the task of reading such a long series.

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