My Review of “The Blood Cries Out” by Karl Bjorn Erickson

Alec Merta Book Reviews 1 Comment

Before you read this review, you should hear my confession. I am a tad biased in favor of The Blood Cries Out, Karl Bjorn Erickson’s debut mystery novel. The bias has nothing to do with Erickson or his novel. Rather, it has to do with the setting he chose for the book. I love the Pacific Northwest. In fact, my relocation to the Seattle area was a near-certainty just a decade or so ago. The move to Seattle did not happen, but the experience of exploring that often-overlooked corner of America left me with an abiding love of the place. …

My Review of “Black Jade Dragon” by Susan Brassfield Cogan

Alec Merta Book Reviews, Fantasy Leave a Comment

I have become more than a little jaded in this era of teen-friendly pulp that focuses on vampires, werewolves, and the women who love them. That is my personal problem, but I think it highlights a larger conundrum faced by many an independent author. Namely, how does one tell new story within the fantasy genre while avoiding the production of yet another cliché? In Susan Brassfield Cogan’s novel Black Jade Dragon, the author accomplishes something quite remarkable. She weaves elements that should be campy and trite into an exciting and fresh story. Cogan has managed to write a great novel about dragons, …

“From Here to Nearly There” is Released!

Alec Merta Novels Leave a Comment

I am very happy to announce the release of my new novel, “From Here to Nearly There” on the Amazon Kindle Store! The new novel is the first book in the series “A Voyage in the Near Distance.”  Here is the Kindle description: Nicholas Carver began his day in Yorkshire. He will end it aboard an interstellar super yacht. Before he leaves Earth, Carver must race across England in a desperate flight from police and aliens. The police want to arrest him. The aliens want to do something far worse. All Carver wants is to survive. Join Carver, an English mapmaker …

Science for Sci-Fi

Alec Merta Science Fiction, Writing Leave a Comment

I hate to sound repetitive, but I am going to repeat myself. Writing science fiction is tough work. Among the many hurdles facing genre authors is the issue of inspiration. Every author needs inspiration, to be sure.  There is, however, a particular species of muse that needs to speak with authors working in science fiction. Her name is, predictably, science. Science can be the very heart of a story (viz. Neuromancer or Snow Crash) or it can be the framework around which a story is constructed (viz. the Expanse novels by James S.A. Corey). Reading any of these works means delving into a world of …