#Blogtour Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order. Click here to subscribe to his newsletter

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit karldrinkwater.uk  

About the book

Welcome to Tecant. Nothing ever happens here. Until today.

Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.

Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower. He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity. Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero. And if he fails, he’ll be dead.

Review

This is the fourth book in the Lost Tales of Solace series. The books can all be read as standalone novels and yet they all connect on different levels. The same universe and systems viewed through the lens of individual characters and their experiences.

Interesting how the two parallels of the series, the technical and the human side, sort of come together in the character of Ruabon. He finds it difficult to connect to his colleagues and human counterparts. Instead he finds comfort in his drones, and creates a pseudo barrier of social interaction and connection  between himself and the inanimate objects by injecting them with their own personalities. He is very much the reluctant protagonist of this story. 

This story links into the Big Brotheresque nature of the surveillance noted throughout the series. In fact the planet itself, Tecant, is the link in the network of The Cordon. It’s what makes the planet so important.

The speculative nature of this genre bending and mixing series is intriguing, the creativity and vision is extraordinary. Interestingly the books have a variation when it comes to their centre of gravity, which swings between human element and inanimate object element. This time I took a moment to wonder about the greater picture, which possibly either goes undiscovered in the vast creativity of the plot or only exists in the perception of my own frame of reference.

Are there correlations to be drawn between the our reliance on and the advancement of AI,  the egotistical assumption that we are the only life, the surveillance we allow to dominate and control our lives  – on a more base note the relationships that bind, support and keep us going. Solace – the gift that keeps on giving.

Buy Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ Organic Apocalypse pub date 1 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Clarissa: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order. Click here to subscribe to his newsletter

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit karldrinkwater.uk  

About the book

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped. Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up. Now I’m a prisoner on this spaceship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going. I hate them.

And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us. My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old. And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.

Review

This is the third book in the Lost Tales of Solace series, but it is part of the bigger Solace universe – pun fully intended. It’s a bit like solitary planets having their own stories and yet being connected by the fact they are all part of one universe. For readers who have read the rest of or part of this series they will recognise the connection for instance between Clarissa and her sister Opal, who is featured in previous novels.

What begins as a story that seems to be one of a young girl being kidnapped and separated from her sister, soon wanders into an entirely different realm of fear and uncertainty. Clarissa doesn’t know why she has been kidnapped and her two guards play good cop and bad cop, but she knows enough not to let them know certain things. Like the fact she can see things they can’t or what they perceive to be innocent objects are actually a way to facilitate communication. They clearly can’t see what is coming straight at them – but Clarissa can.

It’s speculative science-fiction that really does veer off into worlds, scenarios and experiences previously unknown. The melding of genres, possible storylines, of science, space, travel and the unknown, then pushing the boundaries to see where it takes both the readers and the author – trademark Drinkwater. 

The result is an individual experience each time. As if the challenge were to envision and give the reader a different perspective each time. Not of the same scenarios or the characters, but of the speculative nature of the unknown. Definitely a series I would recommend, perhaps more so because you just never know where the story will take you each time. It’s creative and visionary.

Buy Clarissa at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Organic Apocalypse pub date 1 Jun. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Helene: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater

Today its my turn on the BlogTour Helene: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit karldrinkwater.ukBuy Helene

About the book

Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI. As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.

Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it’s not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.

On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality. Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?

Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.

Review

The Lost Tales of Solace are short stories set in the Lost Solace universe, this one occurs just before the events of the first novel in the series, Lost Solace.

Helene finds herself surprised by ViraUHX, who has been expanding her own horizons, despite the fact it shouldn’t even be possible. In fact Vira has thought a lot about what she can, can’t do and what she should keep secret, and therein lies the crux of the matter. The AI shouldn’t have the ability to hide, to think, to joke and go beyond the programming.

This is speculative science-fiction that wants to expand horizons and question evolution, especially when it comes to technology. Drinkwater draws you in with the debate of morality. When it comes to AI when does their right to existence start or even their right to have rights? When you create something that is supposed to not only be equal, but surpass human capabilities, and to do so the AI has to be given certain aspects or elements that are incorporated into humankind – where does AI stop and evolved humankind begin?

Or is that exactly what an evolved humankind is going to look like – an human enhanced with AI or vice versa? See what I mean about the dialogue and the author creating a conversation. The topic is really interesting, which when driven by a fictional scenario is even more so.

Buy Helene (Lost Tales of Solace #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.  Publisher: Organic Apocalypse; pub date 3 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at books2read.