Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




Review Avalanche!

Yup, the last week or more has witnessed the appearance of a whole bunch of reviews of ma books. First up is a review of The Orphaned Worlds at Mark Chitty’s Walker of Worlds website:


Then there’s another review of TOW by Eric Brown at the Guardian Online:


Keith Brooke reviewed volume 1, Seeds Of Earth, also in the Guardian but for some reason they deigned to put it up online. However, courtesy of Mr B here is the text of his review:

“For an author who started publishing short fiction over twenty years ago, Michael Cobley has not been anywhere near as productive as his many admirers would have liked. The fact that his first three novels were buried away in the commercial fantasy shelves has made his work even easier to overlook for those outside the genre boundaries. With Seeds of Earth Cobley tackles more genre staples; this time there are merciless alien invaders, lost human colonies, mysterious secrets of the ancients… all the ingredients for a gripping science-fiction adventure that combines the traditions of the field with a deft contemporary touch. The novel opens with the invasion of the solar system by fearful alien invaders in what becomes known as the Swarm War; humankind’s response is to build three ships to send out to colonise the stars so that at least some will survive. A hundred and fifty years later, when contact is renewed between the colony world Darien and the rest of humankind, not to mention a host of well-drawn aliens, the scene is set for a tale of political scheming with just a hint of Indiana Jones. What’s not to like?”

And least but not least, a review in the British Fantasy Society’s Prism mag, by Ian Hunter. I only have a scan of the relevant page I’ll manually reproduce a couple of excerpts here for you;

“Not to be confused with Robert Silverberg’s The Seeds Of Earth, this is a totally different, and better book, so hold onto your jetpacks because here come the invaders. Yep, we are fleetingly in Starship Troopers/Aliens territory standing up against the alien invaders, and losing, so its off to the stars, as the only way to save humanity is to send three colony ships heading off in different directions. And is it me? But I was really interested in finding out more about how we got into this dire position: and more about the valiant stand against the invaders. And maybe even more about what happened in the 150 years that passed in the turning of a page or two…

“…in the meantime there is a distinct change of pace as we leisurely learn the fate of one of the ships, the Hyperion (get it?) as it has reached the planet Darien, and the colonists – a bunch of Scots and Scandinavians – I kid you not, have befriended the indigenous race, the Uvovo…Now is the time for revelations as a cruiser ship from Earth arrives to take the colonists back in the loving bosom of the old planet…Seeds Of Earth is a good, solid space opera with convincing world-building, multiple characters to drive the story along, a smattering of humour, info-dumping to skip over as quickly as possible, and intrigue, shenanigans and derring-do.”

Aw gee, thanks Ian, Mark, Eric and Keith. Youze are the guyz!

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Other Posts of Potential Interest:

  1. Seeds Of Earth Review: The Guardian
  2. Seeds Of Earth review at Walker of Worlds
  3. Seeds Of Earth Review at BookGeeks!
  4. Seeds Of Earth Review: Dave Brendon's Fantasy & Scifi Weblog
  5. Seeds Of Earth Review @ NextRead – And Other Matters

4 Comments already, do join in...

  1. David C Says:

    April 13th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Well I’m enjoying Seeds of Earth as well.As one of those guys quoted said it is nice that there’s not too much obtrusive info-dumping in the way which I struggle with in other works.

  2. rockitboy Says:

    April 13th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Glad to hear it, truly. As for infodumps, well, seems to me that at some point in the story you just have to sit down and do a bit of explaining – the trick is to keep it concise, interesting and crucial to the understanding of the reader. Thats what I aim at, anyway.

  3. Qatux Says:

    April 19th, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Even though 29th April is a while away. Ms Amazon says TOW is on it’s way to me – can’t wait. Gather I’ll need to get the grey cells in trim or maybe a note book, to keep pace with the multiple threads.

    Hopefully it won’t be coming by air… Most of my family are stuck in Bangkok, after my daughter’s wedding on Koh Samui. I flew back on the 14th. I’m jealous as hell. Can certainly think of worse places to be stuck.

    Mike, I’m surprised you’ve not mentioned the rise and rise of that nice Mr Clegg. Maybe his time has come. Momentous days…

  4. rockitboy Says:

    April 19th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I think I mentioned that the pub date for TOW was brought forward to the 22nd, ie Thursday! but copies will have already have been sent out to the various outlets and bookshops. As for Mr Clegg – yes, actually I`m quietly pleased that the LDs have attained a decent profile – which just goes to show how biased the press and media have been for so many years. Anyway, theres many a slip twixt cup and lip – the fat wummin aint sung yet.

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