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Archive for July 6th, 2016

John Stith is re-releasing nine of his stories throughout 2016 and 2017. The first book being released is Deep Quarry. Here is what John has to say on Deep Quarry:

DEEP QUARRY is a blend of science fiction and mystery with a touch of love interest. It’s set on a desert planet with one side facing the sun, where the city of Dallad is always at high noon. Ben is a private eye living among humans and three alien races. He is called Bug Eye by some, because he’s happy to work cases for aliens or humans.

After Kate, an archaeologist, calls Ben in to find out how artifacts are going missing from an alien dig site, Ben discovers something far bigger than missing artifacts. And far deadlier.

DEEP QUARRY was originally published by Ace Books.

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Deep Quarry by John Stith

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Ben Takent is a private eye on a hot, dusty world at the edge of the civilized galaxy. When he’s asked to find out who is stealing artifacts from a 10,000-year-old archaeological dig in the desert, he reluctantly takes the case. Then, when it becomes clear that the artifacts are pointing to an ancient alien spacecraft, the stakes in the case go up—way up.

John E. Stith

John Stith

Science-fiction author John E. Stith’s works include REDSHIFT RENDEZVOUS (Nebula Award nominee from Ace Books), MANHATTAN TRANSFER (Hugo Award Honorable Mention from Tor Books), REUNION ON NEVEREND, and RECKONING INFINITY (on Science Fiction Chronicle’s Best Science Fiction Novels list for its publication year, on the Nebula Award preliminary ballot).

His other novels are SCAPESCOPE, MEMORY BLANK, DEATH TOLLS, and DEEP QUARRY.

He’s the author of ALL FOR NAUGHT, which collects “Naught for Hire,” and “Naught Again” both first appearing in ANALOG. If you hear about “Naught for Hire” verbally, you might think the title is “Not for Hire” but it’s not. Check out the Naught for Hire website for even more info on the upcoming webisode series starring Ben Browder.

Book

My Review

4 stars

Ben Takent is a private detective hired by Kate Dunlet. Kate is running an archeological dig and has discovered that some small artifacts are disappearing. Then a space ship is discovered at the dig. Ben and Kate now have a lot more on their hands since the space ship is still occupied by some not so friendly aliens.

This story reminds me of a classic noir detective story but with aliens mixed in. I like Ben, he was the smart mouthed detective. The opening scene where he is putting callers on hold had me cracking up. I answer phones and you have no idea how many times I have wanted to do this to people.

This was a great story and one that I recommend everyone check out. The story covers several different genera’s and was one that I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next.

To purchase Deep Quarry make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and John Stith’s website.

I received Deep Quarry for free from Roger Charlie in exchange for an honest review.

Q&A with Author John E. Stith

 You’re re-releasing nine of your novels in just under a year! Can you share what inspired this decision?

Since originally published by Tor Books and Ace Books, most of these books were available in ebook form, but some haven’t been available in paper for more than a decade, so I felt it was time to correct that. ReAnimus Press specializes in bringing back SF that has been unavailable for a while (e.g. Jerry Sohl) and re-releasing works that have been in print all along (e.g. Ben Bova).

You write both sci-fi and mystery – do you have a preference for one over the other?

I love both. Some of my work even blends the two. Deep Quarry features a private eye. The protagonist in Death Tolls is an investigative reporter. Naught for Hire is a futuristic private eye tale, Reckoning Infinity is a space exploration and Manhattan Transfer deals with a very unusual form of first contact– kidnapping.

What are your initial thoughts when thinking about your book(s)?

I often start a book with a trio of concerns. First, is an emotional issue that’s currently important to me. Next is the kind of story I want to tell and then finally, I pick a setting that interests me and supports the first two elements. For example, while writing Death Tolls, personal responsibility was an important issue for me. I had been on a Dick Francis kick and thought it would be fun to use a mystery plot that echoed some of his plots. And finally, a lightly terraformed Mars seemed an interesting backdrop. Redshift Rendezvous centers on a hijacking. REUNION ON NEVEREND is set at a high school reunion in a space-equivalent of a small-town environment.

Any special research you had to do for these various titles?

I almost always wind up picking projects that require more knowledge than I already have, partly because I enjoy constantly expanding my horizons. Memory Blank necessitated knowing more about Gerard O’Neil-inspired L5 orbital colonies and Death Tolls required media and reporting research. Redshift Rendezvous also required research into relativity because most of the novel takes place aboard a hyperspace craft where the speed of light is ten meters per second. That means relativistic effects like redshift happen when people run. Flipping a light switch causes a room to slowly fill with light.

What fascinates you most about writing?

That it seems almost universal. When I worked in software engineering, people would ask what I did for a living. I’d run into some people already in the business, but many of the others had zero interest in the field. When I mention to strangers that I’m a writer, it seems like half the time I find they’ve written stories or want to write, and in many cases, have sold their work already.

Do you have a favorite author?

Robert Heinlein is really high on my list for several reasons–fun characters, interesting ideas, thoughtful speculation, and pure storytelling power.

How has your education, profession or background helped you in your writing career?

My degree is in physics, and part of what drives my efforts to make my stories convincing, not with quite the nuts and bolts aspects of THE MARTIAN, but closer to the ENDER’S GAME portion of the spectrum.

What do you hope readers most get out of your books?

Enjoyment, excitement, entertainment, insights and information. I love appealing to all the senses, including the sense of wonder and the sense of humor. I want readers to care about my characters and constantly wonder what’s on the next page.

How has writing your novels changed your life?

It’s brought me into a wonderful and diverse group of other writers, a few a bit cantankerous, but many generous, thoughtful people who have written more astonishing and uplifting books than I can hope to read in a lifetime.

Can you pinpoint your biggest influence?

My parents. They gave me values and a love of reading that eventually became a love of writing. And my brother, Richard, who is a fountain of love, support and good humor.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

My then wife of many years battled with cancer over a four-year period, during which I was her rock and made her final years as bearable as possible. I also did that for my mother’s last couple of years. When I suddenly found myself with a teenage stepson, I did my best to be a father figure to a young man who’s since grown up (either with or without my help) to be an outstanding adult.

Have you received any awards for your work? Book related and not book related?

My work includes a Nebula Award finalist, a Seiun Award finalist, a La Tour Eiffel Science Fiction Book Prize finalist, a Hugo Award Honorable Mention, Colorado Authors’ League Top Hand Award winners, HOMer Award winners, and Science Fiction Book Club selections. My work has also appeared on the New York Public Library Best Books for Young Adults list, Science Fiction Chronicle’s List of Year’s Best Novels, and the yearly Locus Recommended Reading Lists.

Any organizations you are involved in (in the literary world, or others that you are passionate about?)

I’m a past contracts committee chair for Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. I’m a past regional VP of Mystery Writers of America. I’m also a member of International Thriller Writers, Colorado Author’s League, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Any other new projects on the horizon after these re-releases?

I have a psychological thriller that should be out in 2017. A web series based on Naught for Hire is in development with Ben Browder to star. Another producer hopes to film a pilot of Manhattan Transfer to use to sell the series. In parallel, a number of audiobooks and short stories are in the pipeline, as well. “Simon Sidekick” and “One Giant Step,” both short stories,  should be available in ebook and audio form by July 1, 2016.

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