Category: Science Fiction

#PubDay Book Review | “Graphene: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material that will Revolutionize the World by Les Johnson and Joseph E. Meany

Posted Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “Graphene” direct from the publisher Prometheus Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I felt this title was pertinent to read:

I’ve been attempting to keep up on technologic advances for a select number of years – in truth, ever since I left high school over two decades ago! Mind you, the advancements occur at such a high frequency of discovery, I do not oft find everything before it becomes either super popular or has entered into the sphere of social discourse and study. I even love technology documentaries or showcases – such as the one I watched about robotics and automation – how we’re progressing towards a fully automated robot who is not only self-aware but he can synthesise his living environment in ways which decades prior would have been considered Science Fiction. Although, in truth – part of me feels we should be cautious about how far we take robotics and automation as we are on the brink of having a self-evolving robot which can process information on its own accord without human interaction or fail-safes in place in the event said robot chooses to live outside its protocols.

Similarly, I was wicked fascinated by the advances in prosthetics and alternative limbs – which also parlays into robotics as there is a ‘new’ smart limb system which has a metric system involved with its performance levels which is inclusive of Nanotechnology. It also unfortunately has too much high tech inside it to where hackers were making a muck of things trying to overturn its functions. I never did catch the follow-up if those protocols were restored or fixed.

When I read first the premise behind ‘Graphene’ it was both exciting to think we’re on the brink of a new technologic advancement which would improve our lives; yet part of me realised sometimes we broach into areas of technology which on one hand are revolutionary in their ability to aide us ahead of where we currently are now and on the other hand, might be seeking to take us into new dimensions of advancement we’re either not fully prepared to accept or shouldn’t be so willing to accept as commonplace in our lives.

Ergo, I was truly thrilled I could request to read this book and sort out for myself my thoughts on this new material which will soon be overtaking our lives. As despite this being a wicked intriguing book I honestly felt you could approach reading it two different ways: both as a cautionary tale how technology can get ahead of us without proper checks and balances vs how extraordinary it is there are other resources available which have unlimited potential – especially ones such as this which can be used across industries. I truly enjoyed the back-history of Science’s discovery in this material as well – in fact, it’s the History of its origins which first intrigued me whilst how it’s going to become applicable in our lives which proved both illuminating and a held a cause for concern (as they haven’t sorted out if it’s biologically averse to human touch or consumption; in effect if it could harm us in the long term).

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#PubDay Book Review | “Graphene: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material that will Revolutionize the World by Les Johnson and Joseph E. MeanyGraphene
Subtitle: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material that will Revolutionize the World
by Les Johnson, Joseph E. Meany
Source: Direct from Publisher

What if you discovered an infinitesimally thin material capable of conducting electricity, able to suspend millions of times its own weight, and yet porous enough to filter the murkiest water? And what if this incredible substance is created from the same element that fills the common pencil? That’s graphene - a flat, two dimensional, carbon-based molecule with a single sheet measuring only one atom thick.

In this layperson’s introduction to this revolutionary substance, a physicist and a chemist explain how graphene was developed, discuss the problems in scaling up production for large-scale commercial use, and forecast the potentially transformative effects of graphene to Silly Putty to make extremely sensitive and malleable medical sensors and compressing and fusing flakes of graphene to create a three-dimensional material that’s ten times stronger than steel.

This widely adaptable substance promises to change the way we interact with smartphones, laptops, information storage, and even condoms. It may also enable significant improvements to air purification, water filtration technologies, and drug delivery. This entertaining and widely accessible book offers a fascinating look into one of the most exciting developments in materials science in recent decades.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633883253

Also by this author:

Genres: Astronomy & Astrophysics, Current Events, Materials Science, Molecular Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Non-Fiction, Quantum Electrodynamics, Quantum Physics, Science, Science & Technology


Published by Prometheus Books

on 6th February, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 269

About Joseph E. Meany

Joseph E. Meany

Joseph E. Meany is a materials scientist and science communicator otherwise known as the Crimson Alkemist. He fulfills a lifelong passion for futuristic technology on the organising committee of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Meany’s research has focused on the development and manufacture of conductive carbon-based molecules in electrical circuits, a quickly developing subfield within nanotechnology.

About Les Johnson

Les Johnson

Les Johnson is a physicist and the author of numerous popular science and science fiction books. He works for NASA at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where he serves as the principal investigator for the Near Earth Asteroid Scout solar-sail mission that will launch in 2019. He has thrice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, and he holds four space technology patents.

Published By: Prometheus Books (@prometheusbks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #Graphene + #MaterialsScience

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
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Posted Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 by jorielov in #FuellYourSciFi, #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Alternative Energy, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Asteroid Science, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Automation, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Chemistry, Environmental Science, History, Human & Computer Interfaces, Modern Day, Molecular Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Non-Fiction, Popular Astronomy, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prometheus Books, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Quantum Electrodynamics, Quantum Physics, Science, Space Science, Sustainability from Space, Vignettes of Real Life

#RRSciFiMonth Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “To Guard Against the Dark” (Book No.3 of the Reunification trilogy) by Julie E. Czerneda #FuellYourSciFi with Jorie!

Posted Thursday, 30 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was invited to participate in Julie E. Czerneda’s #againstthedark wherein I am continuing my readings of The Clan Chronicles where I left off last November. I participated in the #timeandstarstour on behalf of the seventh volume of The Clan Chronicles ‘This Gulf of Time and Stars’ and the #futurespasttour on behalf of the eighth volume: ‘The Gate to Futures Past’. I reached out to the author to sort out a way to read her entire series spilt between two trilogies: Stratification (the prequel) and The Trade Pact (inaugural trilogy) which launched the series as a whole. She offered to have DAW Books send me the series in paperback editions which I was blessed to receive. I have spent the past three years reading about the Clan and happily conveying my ruminated thoughts on behalf of the series.

This year, I participated on the third blog tour to conclude the series with a finale tour by featuring a guest feature wherein Ms Czerneda wrote such a wonderful topic for me to share with my readers and the followers of the blog tour itself. In the hours since her Guest Post went live, I’ve been spending time with the Clan one last time – sorting out my feelings and trying to understand how the truth of #whoaretheclan affects us all.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of ‘To Guard Against the Dark’ the final novel of the final trilogy of The Clan Chronicles known as Reunification; in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

On where we left off into The Clan Chronicles:

As I disclosed on my review of Reap the Wild Wind this is my first reading of the works by Julie E. Czerneda. This is my continuing journey deep into the heart of The Clan Chronicles whilst conversing on Twitter via the tag #whoaretheclan. Occasionally alternating with #TheClanChronicles and #againstthedark.

I cannot even fully put into words how difficult it was to finish reading The Gate to Futures Past because there are so many shifting tides erupting out of the flow of the narrative! You’re simply not expecting everything which happens ‘here’ to be the living reality of those characters you’ve left behind in ‘Stratification’. I think that was the hardest pill to swallow at the time; of realising how difficult it is to return back to a ‘beloved space’ of fiction – only to find it completely terraformed into a new ‘entity’ of existence. At least, this is at best, the most I can do to express what my reactions were as I read about the dichotomies of differences between ‘then and now’; to say more would spoilt it for you! If your finding yourself coming through the series – prequel to Trade and onto Reunification, you’ll gleam a bit of what I’m trying to say without really saying anything which would elude to much at all.

One of my favourite bits to The Gate to Futures Past is how alive Sira’s hair remains a vocal representation of her emotional state – the ways in which her locks invade her own murmuring thoughts for a chance to be ‘seen’ and ‘heard’ on their own is something which gives me a jolly jolt of the giggles because her ‘hair’ rarely shows tact in making its ‘points’! I even like how Morgan has grown accustomed to how the ‘hair’ likes to entangle itself around him – nestling close to his skin and re-affirming how much Sira loves him in the gentleness of its touch. I might have mentioned previously but this is also why I love the cover art for GATE because it electrifies the hair as a full embodiment of how Sira is a fusion of thought, power and emotion.

Whilst the intrepid few Clan colonists (as they embarked to travel where no Clan had previously visited) survived their ordeal, it was the waves of uncertainty in trusting their newfound ‘first responders’ who came to their aide after the Oud left them unceremoniously to live or die at their feet which gave them the most pause for thought. It was here where Sira and Morgan started to dissect their options and where the rest of the Clan started to sort out how they would move forward. No one felt entirely ‘settled’ nor ‘safe’ but they were being cared for and it was more than they could hope to expect.

It was the miniature Oud who fascinated me – how Tap Tap came to meet Sira and Morgan but also its demure size which was not to be overshadowed by its insight for Oud were never to be trusted as short-sighted in both knowledge or depth of understanding. There was something different and unique about this one – especially how the Hoveny acted around it and how Sira felt more than slightly unnerved by its presence & understanding of who she really was in the greater ‘scheme’ of things. My skin started to stand on alert as there was something most foreboding about this ‘place’ they had landed – ever since they first disembarked from the ship, I sensed it. Now, as they drew closer to engaging with the Hoveny who lived here – something inside me twitched.

Alisi Di on Brightfall was such a heroic character to be placed at this crucial timeline of the Clan; how she reminded me of Sira in her own right. She was a leader, bourne of instincts others didn’t have within them – not just to lead but to guide, to understand and to prevail. She saw the fuller picture when others only saw what was in front of them. I had hoped I’d see more of her – I would have loved to known her longer than the time she had to give the Clan.

The hardest revelation for Sira (and myself) was recognising the Clan had been categorically organised like a seed catalogue for a farmer! Their entire understanding of ‘identity’ and ‘ancestry’ were being flipped on their heels for a revelation they were not expecting to be ‘true’. It’s hard to think you’ve spent your entire life believing in a lineage of record only to find out the familial concepts you’ve cherished were invented by someone else for a purpose your still trying to understand. Yet, the most striking realisation came when Sira learnt the truth of who the Clan were and where they actually were from – a truth which held it’s own sacrifices and gutting emotions.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comNotation on Cover Art: Originally, when I saw the artwork for GUARD I can honestly say I didn’t quite understand it. Not until I reached the section in the novel which ‘explained’ what this was about – then, it seemed rather fitting to be featured! What I had trouble discerning from the image was what exactly was Jason Morgan holding in his hands?! I knew it was Jason – the key issue was what was he doing? This is the pivotal scene in the novel, the one where certain things ‘change’ and alter everything else which could have been going on – I will explain one thing which reveals nothing at the same time! lol He’s holding a giant bone and those hands? Those are Assembler hands – I should have sorted that bit out before I reached the disclosure in the book – mind you, Assembler’s aren’t my favourite aliens in the series,.. so, I suppose you could say I let the obvious pass right by me! I’ll let you chew on what Jason and these Assemblers could be up too!

#RRSciFiMonth Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “To Guard Against the Dark” (Book No.3 of the Reunification trilogy) by Julie E. Czerneda #FuellYourSciFi with Jorie!To Guard Against the Dark
Subtitle: A Novel of The Clan Chronicles : Reunification No.3
by Julie E. Czerneda
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Matt Stawicki
Source: Direct from Publisher

Synopsis on the Back Cover

Jason Morgan is a troubling mystery to friends and enemies alike; once a starship captain and trader, then Joined to the most powerful member of the Clan, his love, Sira di Sarc, following her and her kind out of known space.

Only to return, alone and silent.

But he's returned to a Trade Pact under siege, The Assemblers continue unchecked. Bowman hasn't caught the Facilitator. Worst of all, members of the First, sensing their time has come, conspire to change the balance of power.

And push humanity aside.

To Morgan, these are small concerns, for he knows there's more than this universe. Beyond the M'hir is AllThereIs, the true home of the Clan. Dwelling there are entities of instinct, able to reach into real space and destroy what they view as threat, as they ended the vast empire of the Hoveny Concentrix. Sira sacrificed their love and her life to prevent another wave of destruction, for the entities demanded the return of all Clan and no further intrusion.

But not all the Clan followed Sira home.

And some who live in the M'hir have plans of their own.

Jason Morgan will have to make a stand.

Little does he realise, he won't do it alone.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780756408787

Also by this author: Reap the Wild Wind, Riders of the Storm, Rift in the Sky, A Thousand Words for Stranger, Ties of Power, To Trade the Stars, This Gulf of Time and Stars, Julie E. Czerneda Interview (#futurespasttour), This Gulf of Time and Stars, Guest Post (Web Shifters series) by Julie E. Czerneda, Guest Post: Julie E. Czerneda (Clan Chronicles Finale Tour)

Also in this series: This Gulf of Time and Stars, This Gulf of Time and Stars


Genres: Science Fiction


Published by DAW Books

on 10th October, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 448

 Published By: DAW Books (@DAWBooks)
an imprint of Penguin Group USA

Cover art by Matt Stawicki | Site | Facebook

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Series Synopsis and Overview:

The Clan Chronicles is set in a far future with interstellar travel where the Trade Pact encourages peaceful commerce among a multitude of alien and Human worlds. The alien Clan, humanoid in appearance, have been living in secrecy and wealth on Human worlds, relying on their innate ability to move through the M’hir and bypass normal space. The Clan bred to increase that power, only to learn its terrible price: females who can’t help but kill prospective mates. Sira di Sarc is the first female of her kind facing that reality. With the help of a Human starship captain, Jason Morgan, Sira must find a morally acceptable solution before it’s too late. But with the Clan exposed, her time is running out. The Stratification trilogy follows Sira’s ancestor, Aryl Sarc, and shows how their power first came to be as well as how the Clan came to live in the Trade Pact. The Trade Pact trilogy is the story of Sira and Morgan, and the trouble facing the Clan.

Reunification will conclude the series and answer, at last, #whoaretheclan.

NEW Stories about Plexis | information via Julie E. Czerneda’s dedicated anthology UPDATE Site.

Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback and Ebook

About Julie E. Czerneda

Julie E. Czerneda Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

Since 1997, Canadian author/editor Julie E. Czerneda has shared her love and curiosity about living things through her science fiction, writing about shapechanging semi-immortals, terraformed worlds, salmon researchers, and the perils of power. Her fourteenth novel from DAW Books was her debut fantasy, A Turn of Light, winner of the 2014 Aurora Award for Best English Novel, and now Book One of her Night`s Edge series.

She began her first fantasy series: Night’s Edge with A Turn of Light, winner of the 2014 Aurora Award for Best English Novel. A Play of Shadow followed, winning the 2015 Aurora. While there’ll be more fantasy, Julie’s back in science fiction to complete her Clan Chronicles series. Reunification #1: This Gulf of Time and Stars, came out in 2015. #2: The Gate to Futures Past released September, 2016. Volume #3: To Guard Against the Dark, follows October 2017.

An award-winning editor as well, Julie’s edited/co-edited sixteen anthologies of SF/F, including the Aurora winning Space Inc. and Under Cover of Darkness. Her most recent anthology is the 2017 Nebula Award Showcase, published May 2017, a singular honour.

Next out will be an anthology of original stories set in her Clan Chronicles series: Tales from Plexis, out in 2018. When not jumping between wonderful blogs, Julie’s at work on something very special: her highly anticipated new Esen novel, Search Image (Fall 2018).

Biography updated November 2017
Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
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Posted Thursday, 30 November, 2017 by jorielov in #FuellYourSciFi, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Canadian Literature, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Hard Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Space Opera

#RRSciFiMonth Book Review | “The Last Day of Captain Lincoln” (a novella debut) by EXO Books

Posted Wednesday, 29 November, 2017 by jorielov , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book by: Last year for #RRSciFiMonth, I had intended to review this story and host the illustrator in an interview, however, due to certain circumstances and a family health crisis, I had to postpone my readings of the story. Although, I attempted to read this story during [2017] the timing never felt right to broach the subject matter within it’s scope, thereby, I pushed forward my plans until this year’s #RRSciFiMonth event in November, 2017.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Last Day of Captain Lincoln” direct from the author/publisher EXO Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I’ve been dearly keen on reading this lovely Sci-Fi Novella:

I was originally approached by Mr EXO to read this novella for the [2016] #RRSciFiMonth event, however, I was unable to complete what I had planned – as I wanted to not only read the story but to interview the illustrator of who had inspired me whilst browsing through the hardback copy prior to reading the narrative. These illustrations were so captivatingly honest and real – they illustrated the depth of emotional conviction whilst giving you a clear insight into what the character being illustrated could have been thinking at the time their portrait was taken. I felt these illustrations were an apt component to the story-line, of digging in even a bit deeper than where the context might take me as they visually were quite stunning to lay thought over on their own!

The main reason I knew in my heart I couldn’t read this story last [November] or even during the #SciFiExperience (which has served as a bookended event to my wanderings during Sci Fi November) – is due to the experiences I had with my Dad during his stroke, surgery and hospitalisation. I wasn’t entirely sure when I could alight inside another person’s ‘last day’ as I had come too close to realising the last ‘day’ of my father’s. Looking back on the past year has been an incredible year of healing and growth – of how the mind heals after the eruptions of stroke and how the man re-emerges back into his life whilst looking ahead to the future. It has been a difficult year for the most part but it has been a blessed year at the same time – it’s the year my Dad recovered from his stroke and I, took on the role of his caregiver.

What first caught my attention though – is how the story seemed to be told – from an introspective angle of insight into Captain Lincoln. I also liked the innovative approach and non-conventional publishing career of the author, of whom, goes simply by ‘EXO Books’ which is in of itself a clever moniker to have as an author/publisher due to the duality of it’s purpose.

As the [2017] #RRSciFiMonth event approached – I knew I wanted to do something quite special connected to reading the story, which is why I co-hosted a chat with Mr EXO on Twitter. You can read the recapture of the conversation as well as find links to to the Storified transcript and the books of rec’s via Riffle on this post. Perhaps, next year – I can converse with the illustrator and bring everything full circle!

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#RRSciFiMonth Book Review | “The Last Day of Captain Lincoln” (a novella debut) by EXO BooksThe Last Day of Captain Lincoln
by EXO Books
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Kimberly Hazen
Source: Direct from Author, Direct from Publisher

Captain Lincoln's last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780997590258

Genres: Science Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Space Opera


Published by EXO Books, LLC

on 20th August, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 133

Published By:  EXO Books

Available Formats: Hardback, Ebook

Genre(s): Speculative | Science Fiction | Futuristic Fiction

Space Opera | Introspective Fiction | Death & Mortality

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
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Posted Wednesday, 29 November, 2017 by jorielov in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Fly in the Ointment, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature