Book Review: Phoenix Without Ashes by Edward Bryant and Harlan Ellison

In an ultra-religious agrarian community known as Cypress Corners, young Devon has become an outcast not only for questioning authority, but also for falling in love with Rachel, a farmer’s daughter who has been betrothed to Garth, the local blacksmith. Garth and Devon had been friends since childhood, and since Rachel and Garth do not love one another, the blacksmith is all too happy to turn a blind eye toward the “secret”—and forbidden—romance.

While living out his temporary exile in the hills beyond the town, Devon survives on care packages brought by Rachel, who sneaks away from town after evening prayers. When his penance is complete, the town elders escort Devon back to Cypress Corners, expecting him to repent. Yet Devon remains recalcitrant and soon discovers that the Creator’s Machine, from which the Elders receive their instructions for leading the community, is broken. The Elders have since learned how to record their own orders into the machine and play them back at will.

After attacking the Elders and stealing the recording device, Devon tries to reason with Rachel and her parents, but they do not believe him. Knowing he will soon be arrested, Devon flees for the hills. While there, he discovers a portal that leads to a strange and wondrous place. Devon soon learns that he, and everyone in Cypress Corners, is aboard an ancient interstellar Earth vessel known as the Ark.

Upon finding a library computer, Devon learns that the Ark’s purpose was to transport millions of humans from a dying Earth to a new home across the galaxy—until an accident diverted the ship from its course and sent it on a path directly toward a star. If the Ark cannot be repaired and its course corrected, the ship and everyone aboard will be dead in five years.

This mysterious catastrophe, having occurred 400 years ago, also terminated communications between the thousands of communities aboard. As a result, no one in Cypress Corners is even aware of the other societies, or the truth about their very existence.

Can Devon convince the Elders of this new information and enlist their help in repairing the ship, or will they sentence him to a brutal end for his blasphemy?

Edward Bryant did an admirable job of adapting Harlan Ellison’s screenplay for The Starlost into the novelization. The chapters are brief, averaging about 5 pages, and the pacing is solid.

It would not be a Harlan Ellison book without an introduction as interesting as the story itself. This time, Harlan describes the debacle that ensued from the time he pitched The Starlost all the way through the ineptitude of the producers in marketing it, and their ignorance in utterly misinterpreting the series bible that they had pressed him into writing on an impossible deadline.

As a result of his experiences, and his dissatisfaction with the quality of the production, Harlan removed himself from the television project and demanded that his nom de plume, Cordwainer Bird, be used in the credits. Harlan was known to employ this pseudonym as a symbol of his objection to the mistreatment of his work by others.

 

Phoenix_Ashes-Ellison

 

Witches Day Out!

I realize that summer is not over yet (especially with a week of 90-degree days ahead in my area), but it seems many are already looking forward to Halloween–myself included!

To that end, I would like to announce that I will be appearing at Witches Day Out, an event to take place in Allentown, PA on Saturday, October 24. I will have copies of all of my books available to sell and sign.

Where: Historic Benner Mansion, 25 S 15th St, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18102

When: Saturday, 24 October from Noon-4PM

What: Come join the fun!

  • Dress in your best witches costume or come as you are!
  • Looking for Divine Guidance or a message from a love one in spirit? Visit one of our Physic Mediums and card readers.
  • Shop a variety of vendor products.
  • Tricky Tray ~ Chinese Auction.
  • Vote for your favorite costume.
  • Free admission & Door Prizes.

Witches Day Out

“Photos from the Attic” Audio Story – Part Two

Here is part two of “Photos from the Attic,” one of my paranormal tales from Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity. Firebringer Press and Prometheus Radio Theatre are happy to continue to bring you free audio content. If you enjoy this story from Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity and want more, please consider supporting small press authors by purchasing a copy of the book or eBook from your favorite online retailer, or encourage your local library to buy it for their collection.

Stay tuned as there are more stories to come. Thank you for listening!

After inheriting her deceased uncle’s home, Claudia Adamski finds a tattered box of old photographs in the attic.  As she and her daughter sort through the pictures, friends and family members begin dying tragically.  When her mother is nearly killed in a fire, Claudia soon finds herself facing a vengeful spirit who will only stop when a family secret is revealed…

Click here to listen to the conclusion of “Photos from the Attic.”

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

 

 

Shore Leave 37 Antics and Shenanigans

Another fantastic Shore Leave has come and gone in Hunt Valley, MD. One of the longest running SF conventions in the country, Shore Leave brings together not only actors, writers, and scientists, but also reunites like-minded citizens of fandom for three days of total immersion into the genres of SF and Fantasy.

These year, Shore Leave brought such stars as John Barrowman (Torchwood, Doctor Who), Jaime Murray (Warehouse 13, Defiance), Tony Curran (Doctor Who, Defiance), Daniel Davis (Star Trek: TNG, The Nanny), Jesse Rath (Defiance), David Nykl (Stargate: Atlantis), Rekha Sharma (Battlestar Galactica), and Roger Cross (Stargate SG-1, Continuum, Eureka).

I’ve been attending Shore Leave as a fan for 21 years and a writer guest for the past five. I am honored to be among such an august and growing list of authors including Steven H. Wilson, Bob Greenberger, Michael Jan Friedman, Aaron Rosenberg, Richard White, Susanna Reilly, David Mack, Dayton Ward, Kelly Meding, Keith DeCandido, Allyn Gibson, and many more.

See below for a gallery of photos from my wonderful weekend!

High Praise for By Your Side Audio Book!

I’m ecstatic about recent glowing reviews for the audio version of my second paranormal mystery novel, By Your Side, on Podiobooks.com! Here are just a few listener comments:

Holly Says: 

“This was great! I hope that you develope [sic] more stories with Miranda and her team. I was sad to [see] this end. Look forward to more from you. Now on to Testing the Prisoner. Thanks for making my workday better!!”

Corvus Says: 

“Absolutely loving this book. It draws the reader in straight away. Really hope you are writing more along this theme. Not finished it yet. Don’t want to .”

Debbie Says: 

“This book was Awesome! Loved it!
I listen to Podio books and Librivox while at work and this one was by far the best listen to date. I see another one written by you as well, can’t wait to start it. Look forward to many more – Write On! Deb”

 

By Your Side by Phil Giunta

“Photos from the Attic” Audio Story – Part One

For your FREE listening pleasure, part one of “Photos from the Attic”, one my stories from the anthology, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, published in 2014 by Firebringer Press!

After inheriting her deceased uncle’s home, Claudia Adamski finds a tattered box of old photographs in the attic.  As she and her daughter sort through the pictures, friends and family members begin dying tragically.  When her mother is nearly killed in a fire, Claudia soon finds herself facing a vengeful spirit who will only stop when a family secret is revealed…

Click here to listen!

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity