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Indie Fiction for my Kindle...
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I've been trolling the blogs reading about self publishing for Kindle and other platforms, and found myself at a blog called Adventures In ePublishing by author Derek J. Canyon. Mr. Canyon has two self-published novels out, along with a resource for how to format your work to publish on Kindle. When the price dropped to 99 cents for the two works, I decided to try them.

The descriptions were interesting to me. The first, titled Dead Dwarves Don't Dance, is a sort of urban cyberpunk novel set in a future where genetically engineered beings exist and where the USA has sort of condensed into large megaplexes with much of the rest being taken over by "greens", or environmentalists. That's perhaps too simple a description of the world in Canyon's novel, but it gives you the idea. Anyway, in this story, some hired killers blow up a dance club which is frequented mainly by one type of genetically altered creature, dwarves.

The destruction is carried out to eliminate a specific target, but as an unintended effect, a dwarf mercenary named Noose is injured in the blast, and he makes it his mission to find out what happened there.

This premise had promise for me, and it lived up to it, in my opinion. Canyon gave me memorable characters and a vivid dystopian vision of a world extrapolated from our own world. I saw one review suggest that the dialogue was a bit flat, but I didn't really notice it. I thought everything was consistent. I'll probably fork out the full price for the sequel when it comes out.

The second book was a young adult story called The Elemental Odyssey, and this was a fairly original take on the "magical aliens coming to Earth" type of story. Well, I shouldn't characterize it like that, because I've never actually read another book about magical aliens.

In this one, two boys are sort of kidnaped (I say "sort of" because it isn't against their will), and shanghaied into a quest to find "elementals", which are needed by these aliens from Zura. These aliens actually look pretty much like animals from Earth, including raccoons (the book's main alien character Bozabrozy), bears, vultures, pigs, and tigers, to name a few. But they are intelligent, speak English, and apparently can use magic. (Canyon refers once to the Arthur C. Clarke quote about technology looking like magic to those who don't understand the technology.) Along the way they "pick up" two girls, an Indian girl named Veeksha Das, and a Native American girl named Susie Five Eagles. Each plays an important part in the quest to come as they visit many sites around the world solving riddles and searching for elementals.

The Elemental Odyssey just came out in trade paperback from CreateSpace, and Canyon lowered the cost of the eBook to 99 cents for a limited time. Well worth it, in my opinion.

Mr. Canyon has used the services of a professional cover artist and editor, and it shows. The books are pretty well written and edited, and the covers look as attractive as most of the books you'll find at your local B&N. His blog details the experiences Mr. Canyon has had in writing and publishing his novels, including tracking sales information and discussing his methods for designing and publishing these volumes. It's an interesting blog to me.

These are, in my opinion, very good early novels from a quality author. I wonder if we would have heard from him eventually had he decided to try to go the traditional route. I suspect not, even though there is quality here. Give 'em a look if you're so inclined.


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