Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reviews from Amazon

4 Stars ..  Really big retro sci fi... April 29, 2015
on April 25, 2015
Huge Galaxy-wide saga. Non-derivative and highly entertaining. Think Heinlein at his peak. 
Can't wait for the sequel.


5 Stars  ..have to say this is one of  January 18, 2015
Mike McManaway - See all my reviews

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This review is from: A Reluctant God (Kindle Edition)
..have to say this is one of the most imaginative scifi novels I've come across. Cant wait for more..


5 Stars  “great read, could not put it down!!,” July 23, 2014

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This review is from: A Reluctant God (Kindle Edition)
Loved all the intertwined historical, political and religious themes, let's not forget The one liners from JohnB. Excellent read, great work.


5 Stars  “that's smart (full of fabulous vocabulary),” September 7, 2014

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This review is from: A Reluctant God: 1600 PA (Post Apocalypse) (Paperback)
truly a page turner, that's smart (full of fabulous vocabulary), multi-ed textured and pure fun.


5 StarsFor SciFi fans........,” October 30, 2014

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This review is from: A Reluctant God (Kindle Edition)
A Reluctant God kept me engaged and interested. I really like the writing style. It's conversational and intelligent, with a bit of wry humor. Duff does a very good job with dialogue. I can think of a couple of writers who I couldn't read because their dialogue made me cringe. So I pay attention to it and I think he does it quite well.

I recognized some features from other science fiction books and it did not bother me. The worm from Frank Herbert's Dune. The mated energy beings who occupy humans in order to re-connect, from an episode of Star Trek Next Generation. A few other features. But this treatment was novel enough not to distract me from it. I have no idea if the science discussion was valid, but absolutely did not care. LOVED the use of Feynman as such an important character.

I ultimately found answers I had in the historian and Mencken pieces at the back of the book, such as discussions about the destruction and resurrection of the human race, how the AIs assumed so many of the subsistence functions, and the origin of the Dream Game. I recommend reading all the supplements at the back of the book before diving into the narrative.

All in all, a fast paced, thoughtful and engaging read. Recommend it highly.


4 StarsHard sci fi meets the New Yorker,” October 10, 2014
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This review is from: A Reluctant God (Kindle Edition)
Good characters, lots of science/tech/stuff way beyond my understanding, a unique blend of historical and literary references, and a lot of action. Even though I'm not generally a fan of hard sci fi or galaxy-wide warfare, this first novel was so creative, different and interesting -- and the hero so engaging -- that I highly recommend it. If you like mind-bending tech I think you'll love it!


5 Stars   “pretty much everything Roger Zelazny ever wrote,” August 8, 2014

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This review is from: A Reluctant God (Kindle Edition)
I have been reading Science Fiction for over 40 years. I was a huge fan of Saberhagan's Berserker series, The Dune series, Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Asimov's Foundation and Trilogy, pretty much everything Roger Zelazny ever wrote, and newer authors like William Gibson of Neuromancer fame. I loved virtually all of Gibson's work. Its hard to describe to encompass the depth of thought in this book in a short review but what I'll say is that it integrates the best of modern CyberPunk with the scale of books like the Berserker series and Ring World and incorporates a lot of hard science, epic political and sociological extensions.

Above all this book moves fast, has plenty of action, erotic romance, epic battles and a vast and deep study of some of the brightest and most compelling minds of the 20th century who take on roles as truly sentient artificial personalities as the reluctant God evolves in his interaction with them and massive quantum computers in with which he interfaces fully and symbiotically with in his epic struggle to overcome the ultimate nemesis. The book is a pager turner and frankly, I haven't slept the last 2 nights. If there is one more science fiction book you decide to read, read this one. I expect that any real connoisseur of modern Science Fiction will want to read this book at least twice.


5 Stars   Fantastic!, July 25, 2014
Sarah (DALLAS, TX, US) - See all my reviews

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Deep and insightful, incredibly imaginative, science fiction at its best!


5 Stars   “Great use of the English language and present and future ...,” August 3, 2014

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This review is from: A Reluctant God: 1600 PA (Post Apocalypse) (Paperback)
Very well done! Reminds me of the Sci-Fi of my youth (1950s). Great use of the English language and present and future scientific concepts. Truly a great read.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Story Bits

"What's this book of yours about anyway?"

Several friends, clearly surprised that old Scoots has written a book asked me that.  Fair question.
So here is an outline.  Or summary.  Or something.
It's too long to be a quick answer, and I hope not long enough to give away the tale.

Title:  A Reluctant god by Scooter Duff

~360 pages

The central story is built around a young superman named Bobby. His sort are highly modified humans, but they are humans. He is one of a small group of custom built genetic wonders called “PsychFets.”  F.E.T for “field effect transcranium,” and Psych for the the top level of Fet complexity.   Their specialty is having direct brain-to-quantum-computer contact. Even among these there are occasional prodigies, and the most extravagant are assigned to pilot starships out on the search for Other Intelligences. This story is about one of the prodigies who oddly names himself “Bobby.”

We follow Bobby from conception through explosive transitions in his 40s. Even at a very young age, he is tagged a super star. His mental and physical capacities are completely outside the envelope. 

There is an eccentric side that also shows up young, but Bobby keeps it mostly to himself, even though there is at least one mental aberration that constantly haunts him. It has interesting implications as time goes on.

Bobby’s story starts about 1600 years in the future. We got from here to then like this: The Apocalypse happens 2056-2060 and wipes 99.999% of us away.  The .001% survivors build a new world and a small interstellar empire by the 16th Century PA (Post Apocalypse). It becomes so advanced there is no real “work” for almost anyone. A game provides an antidote.

Finding evidence of a long-gone but impressive civilization on one of their new planets, the government (the Emperor) starts preparing to meet the living intelligent aliens humanity will inevitably come across.  Therein lies the reason for the PsychFets.

When Bobby leaves the solar system in SearchShip Bobby (see cover), there is only one other human being aboard the giant vessel. She is in-the-flesh Cleopatra of old.  And there is love, found, lost and found.

There is a crew of a thousand. The other crew members are Artificial Personalities, APs.  These are meticulously reconstructed cyberfolk modeled on real - but dead - characters from pre-apocalypse times. Feynman, Belushi, Truman, Mencken, Dylan, Khan,Turing, etc.  They are convinced they are real, and Bobby eventually makes it so. 

Many and exotic alien intelligences become involved. There are super-psychics, nano-creatures, fungus giants, and wise Daddy Longlegs. 

The technological extrapolations include cross-time communications and cross-’brane power sources, weapons to die for (and of), instantaneous intersteller communication, super warp drive, life extension and robots that can suffer. 

Bobby is in the middle of all this. His adventures challenge him to expand his powers. Some say to god-like dimensions. You decide.

Among the many and exotic alien intelligences involved, one is the baddest baddy to ever become invincible. This is the main challenge. 

The outcome is always in serious doubt.The ending is quite surprising.  And very satisfying.

I would say that, wouldn't I?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Birth of a Cover


The ship was organic in shape and in the emotional impact it had on human observers. Poets and wags in the Dream Game described it as the head of an eyeless weasel with large, thorn-shaped horns growing from its nose, skull and neck, not the most flattering description, but once stated, the dominant one. The skin of the ship was platinum grey, with platinum’s ineffable depth.The ship’s keel was two kilometers and its nominal beam was 800 meters. The nine ‘thorns‘ averaged 600 meters, but were wildly different in size and not symmetrical. The shapes, size and placement of the horns hued to the spatial footprint of the highest power band in the mysterious spectrum of dark energy. The whole impact was of a large marine crustacean. Or a mutated spider. One expected the horns to writhe. (From A Reluctant God)





With these elemental metals, Bobby used his small fleet of space walkers to build a web not unlike the webs woven by earthly spiders, but fifty kilometers across, centered on the SearchShip, attached to the tips of the dark energy spikes. A ring of stasis force field generators was wrapped around the ship to hold the gossamer web in place as the ship accelerated. (From A Reluctant God)



You think that's odd; the editor of this tome is RORY McCLANNAHAN.  And Duff family lore has it that we were once the McDuffs.  But it could have been MacDuff, a whole different glass of Scotch. 

Check out the book on Amazon, SmashWords.  e-Books for all formats