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The Nucleus of Reality: or the Recollections of Thomas P— by L. A. Davenport (Book Review)

The truth is all around you

Thomas P— is exhausted. He’s been travelling for work so much he barely knows where he is. And then, while waiting for a table at a restaurant, he sees someone from his past. Exactly as she was twenty years ago, when they first knew each other. Deeply shaken, he tries to carry on as if nothing happened.

But when it happens again, in a different restaurant, in a different city, Thomas’s world begins to unravel. Haunted by a magnificent black parrot and a past he wants to forget, he becomes paranoid, unsure whether he can trust himself and the world around him.

After he sees another friend he thought he had forgotten, he realises he is lost and alone, and afraid of his own mind. Then an enigmatic woman tells him he is not seeing things but rather his memory has been mined to create life-like androids that are replacing the human race one by one.

And then he is arrested.

Will Thomas resist the mysterious woman and get his life back? Or will he join her cult and take up arms in the fight to save us all?

The Nucleus of Reality, or the Recollections of Thomas P—, is the story of a man trying to remember why he ended up losing everything but himself.

 
 
 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 
I decided to write my review in the format of an acrostic poem using only the first four words of the book’s title, The Nucleus of Reality. I hope the snippets pique your interest and you purchase The Nucleus of Reality: or the Recollections of Thomas P— to figure out how everything below ties together. Trust me, you’re in for a mind-bending ride. 
 
These are not the droids you are looking for…
Hero?
Electrons
 
Neutrons
Unsure how to proceed
Conference audience goes “baa.” 
Let me look inside your mind.
Eyes are always watching you, Thomas P.
Under arrest
Save the world! 
 
Old Testament
Face the truth
 
Round-faced bald man
Eww, grey food.
Androids
Lucy?
I want to scan you. 
Typewriter
You are having the weirdest, most vivid dreams, Thomas P.

 

As I stated in my opening paragraph, The Nucleus of Reality: or the Recollections of Thomas P— will twist your mind up like a pretzel. I had no idea how it would end. That’s what I look for in a book — unpredictability. The Nucleus of Reality: or the Recollections of Thomas P— was far from predictable. 
 
Well done, L. A. Davenport. Well done indeed! 
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤  

 
 

 

 

L. A. Davenport is an Anglo-Irish author.

He sometimes lives in the countryside, far away from urban distraction, but mostly he lives in the city. He enjoys long walks, typewriters and strong black coffee.

L. A. Davenport is the author of the novels The Nucleus of Reality and Escape, the collections No Way Home and Dear Lucifer and Other Stories, and the memoir My Life as a Dog.

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The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris by Steve M. Gnatz (Book Spotlight / Guest Post)

Content Rating: PG-13. There is mild (romantic) sexual content and very mild profanity.

 
 
1776: Benjamin Franklin sails to Paris, carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence, freshly signed. His charge: gain the support of France for the unfolding American Revolution. Yet Paris is a city of distractions. Ben’s lover, Marianne Davies, will soon arrive, and he yearns to rekindle his affair with the beautiful musician.

Dr. Franz Mesmer has plans for Marianne too. He has taken Parisian nobility by storm with his discovery of magnétisme animale, a mysterious force claimed to heal the sick. Marianne’s ability to channel Mesmer’s phenomena is key to his success.

A skeptical King Louis XVI appoints Ben to head a commission investigating the astonishing magnétisme animale. By nature, Ben requires proof. Can he scientifically prove that it does not exist? Mesmer will stop at nothing to protect his profitable claim.

The Wisdom of The Flock explores the conflict between science and mysticism in a time rife with revolution, love, spies, and passion.

 
 

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Were Benjamin Franklin and Marianne Davies really lovers?

Benjamin Franklin was sent to France in 1776 at the outset of my book The Wisdom of the Flock to help secure the aid of the French in the American Revolution against the British.

But prior to the beginning of the book, Franklin had spent most of the past 20 years (1757-1775) in London, away from his wife Deborah. Ostensibly, this was because she had a strong aversion to sea travel and would not follow him across the Atlantic Ocean. Deborah, in fact, passed away in late 1774 at home in Philadelphia while Ben was still in London.

Franklin was, of course, famous as a ladies’ man. Historians have often wondered if he was up to any hanky-panky during those nearly 20 years in London.

In 1761, Franklin attended a concert in London. There Ben observed a lovely young musician named Marianne Davies performing on the musical glasses. Despite how beautifully she played, she appeared to be in constant pain from the activity. Franklin conceived of an instrument with glass bowls attached to a rod at their center and bathed in a tub of water. The rod was turned by a treadle mechanism, keeping the turning bowls moistened. The musician could then gently apply her finger to the appropriate bowl to produce the note she wanted – resulting in music without any pain. He named his invention a glass armonica and had the first one made for Marianne Davies. It has been suggested that this was an extravagant gift for the gentleman to give the lady.

In 1767, a young Philadelphia artist named Charles Willson Peale showed up unannounced at Franklin’s lodgings on Craven Street. While waiting to see the great man, Peale apparently observed (and sketched) Franklin with a paramour in the next room through an ajar door.

https://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-scandalous-sketch-of-benjamin.html

Some authors have suggested that the woman pictured might have been Franklin’s landlady Margaret Stevenson’s daughter Polly – but I believe this to be unlikely. While Polly would have been about the same age as Marianne Davies, and both women were much younger than Franklin, he generally considered Polly as a “surrogate daughter”. It seems unlikely that they would be openly engaged in such activity in her mother’s house.

There are very few, if any, established pictures of Marianne Davies – see my blog post on this issue here: https://stevegnatz.com/2020/10/why-are-there-no-pictures-of-marianne-davies/

There is not much help from the written historical record in terms of letters between Marianne Davies and Franklin. In The Wisdom of the Flock, I imagined that they had agreed to burn their private letters to each other – in order to solve this dilemma. It is historical fiction, after all! The only two letters known to exist in the real world are those that Marianne wrote in 1783 complaining that Franklin no longer seemed interested in protecting her “franchise” to play the glass armonica. Of course, in The Wisdom of the Flock, this is explained by Ben’s love interest having waned – and other actions on Marianne’s part that I will not reveal here so as not to spoil it for you.

I hope that you will enjoy the story of Benjamin Franklin and Marianne Davies love affair in The Wisdom of the Flock, even if it only represents the fictional part of historical fiction.

 

 

Meet the Author:

Steve Gnatz is a writer, physician, bicyclist, photographer, traveler, and aspiring ukulele player. The son of a history professor and a nurse, it seems that both medicine and history are in his blood. Writing historical fiction came naturally. An undergraduate degree in biology was complemented by a minor in classics. After completing medical school, he embarked on an academic medical career specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. There was little time for writing during those years, other than research papers and a technical primer on electromyography. Now retired from the practice of medicine, he devotes himself to the craft of fiction. The history of science is of particular interest, but also the dynamics of human relationships. People want to be good scientists, but sometimes human nature gets in the way. That makes for interesting stories. When not writing or traveling, he enjoys restoring Italian racing bicycles at home in Chicago with his wife and daughters.

connect with the author:  website ~ facebook ~ goodreads

 

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Anarchy Zone Time Yarns (Time Yarns Anthologies Book 2) by Erin Lale, Plus 4 More Contributing Authors (Anthology Review)

Print length : 52 pages

Contents:

Streamliners by Gordon Yaswen
The Anarchy Zone by Erin Lale
1400 Hours by Ian Miller
An Etonean Dilemma by Humberto Sachs
Host by Giampietro Stocco

Art Contents:

Hope by Alex Storer
At All Goes Away by Lisa Yount

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 


(review request submitted by Erin Lale, contributing author/editor, for an honest critique) 

 

(Story One) Do you love poetry? Do you love science?

If you said yes to both, you must check out Streamliners by Gordon Yaswen because, as you can probably surmise, Yaswen combines both. 

 

(Story Two) The Anarchy Zone by Erin Lale:  Since I love comic books, talk of mutants made me think of that world. I didn’t like people targeting them, but that’s a shared endeavor in stories with mutants – whether they have four arms or some other oddity. 

 

(Story Three) 1400 Hours by Ian Miller discusses Schrödinger’s cat – a hypothetical cat that can and can not exist at the same time depending on one more thing, opening a box to find out the answer. 

In 1400 hours, a man suffers this conundrum. He exists in one universe but is hidden in another. Linked together but also separated by an impenetrable wall.

Two universes divided by mere 1400 hours—a small amount of time to one person- an eternity to another. 

 Oh yeah, this is a scientific mind-bender, and I loved it! 

 

(Story Four) An Etonean Dilemma by Humberto Sachs: While there were some science fiction aspects to An Eternal Dilemma, this story felt more politically driven than anything else. While I can feel and appreciate how passionate the author is about the tension between two particular countries (names withheld on purpose), I wish he would’ve focused more on science and less on the political drama we face every day on the nightly news. 

 

(Story Five) Host by Giampietro Stocco mixed sci-fi with some horror-style imagery to create a brilliant short story. Plus, it spoke of events that could possibly happen in the future.

Comets could hit and destroy most of Earth.
New diseases could erupt because of it.
New weather and weather patterns would emerge.
Humans would go to any length to survive.

Science fiction meets plausible reality — oh yeah, Giampietro Stocco, I like your style!

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 

Gordon Yaswen, poet and college professor in California.

Erin Lale, Native American, inventor of technical processes in iDEN and CDMA wireless communications technology.

Ian Miller, New Zealander, inventor of algae based products and owner of Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd.

Humberto Sachs, from Brazil, co-designer of the International Space Station.

Giampietro Stocco, of Italy, winner of the Premio Alien per la fantascienza 2006 for his story L’Ospite (The Host) which appears in this anthology for the first time in English.

Alex Storer, science fiction and fantasy artist in the UK.

Lisa Yount, artist and jeweller in California.

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Cassandra’s Time Yarns (Time Yarns Anthologies Book 1) by Erin Lale, Plus 4 More Contributing Authors (Anthology Review)

Print length: 92 pages

Contents:

The End of History by Gordon Yaswen
Choice by Ralph Ewig
Noble Northern Spirit by Erin Lale
Testing Time by Tony Thorne MBE
The Artist Formerly Known as G-d by Erin Lale
The Beginning by J.L. Toscano

Art Contents:

Paradise Lost by Maria Arango
Mandalas by Lisa Yount

Kindle Purchase Link



(review request submitted by Erin Lale, contributing author/editor, for an honest critique) 

 


(Story One) The End of History by Gordon Yaswen explored TIME in the manners of science and philosophy. In doing so, Yaswen reached a broader audience. The more individuals who can debate/explore a topic = more readers, more press. That is the goal of most writers. To get people talking about their work! 

 

(Story Two) Space is majestic, but it also comes with obstacles and fears. Every time a person explores space and the unknown, they are essentially gambling with their life. If something life-threatening happens in space, there is no 9-1-1. You and your comrades only have yourselves to rely on and no one else. All of this was emphasized in Choice by Ralph Ewig.

 

(Story Three) Noble Northern Spirit by Erin Lale was vastly different from its predecessors in this anthology. Erin Lale did not venture out into space. Her adventures took place on Earth. Hers centered almost entirely around magic.

Through the fourteen chapters, Erin Lale mentioned witches, the mob, drug smuggling, Jesus, Satan, and (deep breath) THOR!

There were several mythical beings discussed, in-depth or in passing. She really threw everything into the story except the kitchen sink. 😀

Speaking of kitchen sink, if I had magical powers, I’d used them to tackle the dishes in my sink. 😛

 

(Story Four) Testing Time by Tony Thorne MBE could be plausible in one aspect. If any citizen created a working time machine or force field, the military would be all over them. They’d confiscate the tech and the person. 

The interesting part of Testing Time came millions of (Earth) years later. I wished this section was explored more. Yes, I want about another 10-20 more pages. Why? Because there was so much more Tony Thorne could’ve said. Testing Time felt like it was just getting started when the story was (technically) wrapping up. 

Tony, I would love for you to expand this tale. I’d read it if you did. 🙂

 

(Story Five) The Artist Formerly Known as G-d by Erin Lale discussion of time travel, disruption of events, changing history, and warnings about when/where not to travel got me thinking. If I could travel to any period, where would I blast off to first?

I don’t know about Aunti Cassie and her opinion of her time spent with da Vinci. It might be an unforgettable experience to witness the creation of one of his genius inventions.

The only thing I know for sure…I would limit my time in any place which didn’t have indoor plumbing. I’m a bit spoiled in that way. 😀

 

(Story Six) The Beginning by J.L. Toscano would appeal to anyone who works in the sciences or is fascinated by science as a hobby. My hubby and his friends regularly discuss, and debate topics brought up in The BeginningThere’s also a theory that we (Earthlings) are merely puppets, and someone is pulling our strings. After reading The Beginning, you’ll wonder if this theory could be plausible. I’m sure many will debate this question. 🙂

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 

Gordon Yaswen, a college professor in California.

Ralph Ewig, from Western Europe, a rocket scientist at SpaceX.

Tony Thorne MBE, awarded a chivalric order by the Queen of England for advances in cryosurgery tools and carbon fiber furnaces, resides in the Canary Islands.

J.L. Toscano, a teacher at the Scarsdale Schools in New York.

Maria Arango, from Cuba, a woodcut artist.

Lisa Yount, from California, an artist and jeweller.

 

Erin Lale

Erin Lale, invented technical processes in iDEN and CDMA wireless communications technology.

Erin Lale writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc. She published Berserkrgangr Magazine, owned The Science Fiction Store in Las Vegas, was Acquisitions Editor at Eternal Press / Damnation Books, reviews books for Eternal Haunted Summer Magazine, writes an official blog for Witches and Pagans Magazine, and is the originator of the Time Yarns shared world universe. She lives in Nevada with her black cat, Happy.


Author website:  

https://www.erinlaleauthor.com/  

 

Author social media links:  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erin.lale  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinlale/  

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i-front/erinlale  

Minds: https://www.minds.com/erinlale/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/erinlale  

 

 

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Memory Reborn by Steven M Nedeau (Book Review)

At his new job at the memory storage facility, Darien Mamon is stunned to discover that he is the intended storage device, and has been all along.

Darien thought MemorSingular hired him for his brain. They did. They just don’t need what’s in it. After finding details of a century old knowledge retention program, Darien learns the company has been grooming the minds of new hires to be overwritten with the personas of their most valued employees.

An old classmate, Nancy, could be Darien’s only chance to escape MemorSingular before his mind is overwritten. Unfortunately, Nancy hates his guts, and if she doesn’t change her mind the company will change his.

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link

 

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

Memory Reborn twisted my mind up like a pretzel. Real – fake – it was hard to decipher what the heck was going on. Memory Reborn was a real thinker. It made me question everything and everybody. 

This book was a science fiction lover’s wet dream; however, I believe it will appeal to readers who enjoy mystery novels. Hacking, murder mystery, extreme VR, and a few other elements will capture and hold your interest until the final page. You might even find yourself going back and reexamining the clues, wondering if you could’ve predicted what’s happening in the silo before it’s unveiled for us. 

I had my suspicions. I was correct on a few essential items/people, but not on everything and everyone. Plot twists and surprise developments were the name of the game, and Memory Reborn had both! 

 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link

 

 

My website http://www.StevenMNedeau.com has a contact section that I pay attention to, but I can often be found playing on twitter (@StevenMNedeau), and a little less often at Instagram (@theleastinterestingmanalive). I almost always respond to my fans. You’re the people I write for.

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