We would like to introduce all of you to an author that we ourselves have recently discovered: Taylor Kole. Daisy met him on Goodreads, and he was generous enough to share two stories and a novel that he had written. While we are not large fans of science fiction, his stories captivated me, and even his 300 page novel Virtual Heaven was a breeze to read. If anybody here is interested in reading his stories or novel, he has them available for free on his website, www.taylorkole.com, and he would greatly appreciate your reviews. He can also be found on:

Twitter – taylorkoleDOTco

37003314

Blurb:

Randy lives in a beat-up trailer. Teresa is a meteorite barreling toward Earth. Together they can improve the world, if Randy will risk his life.

Daisy’s Review:

4 **** stars

This is a sci-fi, apocalyptic short story. It is about a meteorite named Teresa, the hull of which “protected an inner layer through space, which melted away, dispersing trillions of alien particles, each the shape and size of a tic tac. These seeds absorb moisture from the air and rapidly bloom into pods with plant-like characteristics…” as one news reporter from the story put it. These tiny, golden pods rained down over the entire earth, and nobody knew what to do about them, what they were, or what they were going to do next. Things got especially bad when some lunatics decided “huh, why don’t I eat one?”, resulting in hundreds of deaths. The main character, a beer-gulping, conspiracy theorist, redneck Texan named Randy, decides that amidst all of this chaos, he has the perfect qualifications to be a leader. All he needs is a plan…

I am not a huge science fiction fan. However, since this story was a quick read, I decided to give it a try. I thought that it was very interesting, creative, and imaginative. It was reminiscent of classic B-movies everywhere. I thought that Randy was a stereotype incarnate, and I thought that the alien pods from a meteorite being able to spread over the whole world in such a short amount of time driven only by wind was unrealistic and beyond belief, but overall for a sci-fi story it was still good. I especially liked the ending, which I thought was strong and had just the right amount of surprise to it. I would give it four stars.

Blurb:

Alex Cutler accepts a job working on the world’s first Virtual Reality hub and feels blessed. What starts out as fun turns dark when a close friend and company founder dies while connected, unearthing bizarre and unnatural side-effects.

This captivating story of one man’s dream to entertain and comfort soon becomes a provocative thriller, raising questions about technology’s impact on morality, religion, and the limits of human potential.

Daisy’s review:

3 *** stars

Recommends it for: fans of The Matrix, Minority Report, and Total Recall

This is a science fiction novel taking place in what appears to be the near future. I would almost consider it apocalyptic.

The book is about a software specialist named Alex Cutler who is given a high-ranking, well-paid job working for a company called Broumguard, the actual purpose of which is known only to the elite. Alex discovers that Broumguard has developed a technology that is unlike anything the world had ever seen before… a four-dimensional virtual reality in which you could visit a plethora of virtual worlds, where you can taste, smell, see, hear, and feel your surroundings. You can take a walk through Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, become an elf in a LOTR-type world, or play football in a virtual Super Ball. The options are limitless. However, when a bizarre side-effect emerges, Broumguard is threatened. And so is all of mankind…

On at least one website that this book is sold on, it is advertised under the genre of “Christian” books. This is false; the book is as much Buddhist, Muslim, humanist, statist, atheist, and agnostic as it is “Christian”. As a matter of fact, all but one of the professing “Christians” in this novel (of which there were many) are insane psychopaths intent on “killing the heathens” before they killed themselves… The one “good Christian” in this book is a devout Catholic who is portrayed as being sweet but confused.

This book had a lot of political and religious messages mixed into it, so it was not the light and fluffy read that I was expecting and kind of hoping for. Science fiction’s main purpose is, in my mind, to provide an entertaining escape from reality. Ironically, this book is entirely about people seeking mindless escapes from reality. Also ironically, this book did not provide me with one because at every turn I was being bombarded with subliminal and not-so-subliminal messages.

I gave this book three stars, however, because it was creative, kept your attention, never had a dull moment, and I liked the author’s writing style. I liked the colorful way in which this book was written, and the interesting choices of words that Taylor Kole used. For example, I will end my review with one of my favorite lines from the book:

The previous week’s stress had sapped Alex and Rosa’s mood as effectively as if a psychic vampire haunted the condo, feeding off their comfort. And this, dressing up, going somewhere exclusive, preparing for important news, acted as a life-loofa, scrubbing away the past week’s grime.”

Blurb:

Scott Bailey dies and awakens to his Second Life on Salinge where, after the chaos and struggle of life on Earth, he is given a second chance to find love and explore the purpose of existence.

Daisy’s review:

** Two stars

This short story is a paranormal science fiction… romance, in a way. It is about a man dying of lung cancer who discovers what life after death is really like. And believe me; it is nothing like anything mankind has ever dreamt up before.

It took me about ten minutes to write those three sentences above. Why? Because after reading it, I found it incredibly hard to describe the weirdness and trippy-ness of what I had just read. I’m going to just leave it at that, because if I say anymore I will give away spoilers, since the book reveals different twists and turns as it progresses. This story was short enough that I didn’t have any problem finishing it, but I’m afraid that if it was any longer I might not have been able to. It was weird beyond belief! I’ll give it two stars. Maybe somebody who likes really freaky and bizarre science fiction will enjoy it more than I did, though. 🙂

 

“To inspire thought and spread wonder. Story is our greatest magic. Composed with respect for the reader, it can deliver the full range of emotions. Then, part of me wants to criticize the world.” Taylor Kole

Taylor Kole is offering readers to read his books “Teresa’s Gift”, “Virtual Heaven”, and “Second Life” for free…. go to his website and download them now! Happy reading!