Reviews of Free Sci-fi - K

Reviews of free sci-fi with titles beginning with K

Kindred Spirits – Ashanti Luke

**** sex = 5, action = 6, prose = 9

Once of the best stories I've come across in the free market, one of the top 5% of all time. An agent comes back from the near future (2026) to the recent past (1991) to try and change the course of history. In the time he came from America was under the control of a brutal theocracy (Shades of 'Dominion' again) and his mission is to save the life of the girl who has to kill the leader of that church.

It takes a while into the story before you know what his mission is, other than saving her life. It is not totally obvious at first that he comes from the future, except that his car has many devices that were only available to the military at the time. There is not a lot of info about the church either, other than its leaders are cynical, hypocritical and bent on total domination and brainwashing of their members. It seem like a pretty typical cult and the its specific character is not an important part of the story.

I was absolutely thrilled to see a story with intelligent and thoughgtful black characters who are not stereotypes. The polar opposite of say 'Black Girl Lost' by Peter Goins, a book that would set race relations back 100 years if it had a wider circulation. This is more like the blacks I know, my best English teacher, my mentor for tech writing, etc. All the characters in the book are good and believable. It is quite a ways into the story before you find out that the female lead is Asian. She seems very much the same person as Kessil in Antidote.

Most of the action is in the second half of the book. There are some car chases and fights. Some of it is a little unrealistic in that they should have died or at least become unconscious from the wounds, but it is still very realistic compared to comic books. The characters feel remose for the violence and the violence is there because of the story, not the other way around. There is one love scene which is as steamy as anything from Harlequin, but more romantic than pornographic.

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Knight Progenitor – Sharon L. Reddy

** sex = 3, action = 6, prose = 8

This is a collection of fan fiction stories mashing Star Trek II and Dr. Who, especially Commander Data of Star Trek fame. There is some fun here, but stories like this are a lot more fun to write than read. Stories like this means those in which the protagonists are all-powerful, push the enemies out of the way effortlessly, get mobbed by flocks of swooning beauties and have reputations that precede them wherever they go.

Now there are some scenes where the doctor gets captured (but never killed) and often seriously wounded. Those scenes are confusing when he is so all-powerful at other times. There are other things in the book that are confusing, like changing time, location and point of view without even a blank line to give you any warning. This author does that a lot, this book not as often as in some of her others.

The 'science' in this fiction is all comic book, no research into the actual laws of physics was done. There is technology as needed by the plot, but only a couple times does it pop up to save the day when nothing else could save them. The sex in the story is all implied, but there was probably quite a bit of it, more even than you would find on Kassidor. The people of Kassidor may be quick and direct, but they do not throw themselves at heroes en masse as happens many times here. There is the normal amount of violence but you don't see it. Much of it is euphemized around. Some people feel some remorse for the killings, and the doctor tries hard not to kill. The proofreading is better in this than in some of her others, but there are still some errors. Only a few of them are bad enough to make you have to go back and try to figure out what was actually meant. The missing blank lines are a pet peeve, but at least there are SOME in here, unlike some of her others where there are none at all.

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