authonomy comments 1

You writte well and the descriptions are good. Unlike other sci-fi that I’ve read it was easy to read not technical would made it more enjoyable. However, the chapters are very long, too long and repetitive. The descriptions of the implosion just seem to drag out. But then when they get to Earth you quickly run through a hundred years. I think with some editing this will be good.


Abby Vandiver wrote 71 days ago [send message] [reply]

You writte well and the descriptions are good. Unlike other sci-fi that I’ve read it was easy to read not technical would made it more enjoyable. However, the chapters are very long, too long and repetitive. The descriptions of the implosion just seem to drag out. But then when they get to Earth you quickly run through a hundred years. I think with some editing this will be good.


Shelby Z. wrote 219 days ago [send message] [reply]

Your images are very vivid.
The story has a lot of promise to it.
You are good at making things flow.
The cover is creative as is the title.
Good work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my pirate adventure Driving Winds.

LeonGower wrote 225 days ago [send message] [reply]

While reading your work I can see you have a deep love for science fiction, I respect that. Your mind works at a high speed and clearly the imagination is constantly pumping out brilliant story lines faster than i can decide on coffee. Oh how i wish to have the level of inner fire. you’re going to be great at this, once you’ve ironed out a few of the very common technical errors that are stopping you from being a far from common writer.

Now for a few of the learning curves and don’t worry we all do it. Re-read your work and look for repeats, if you use the same word more than once in a sentence then try to find another way of writing it. Heck, other than “and or the but” I try not to use the same word more than once in a paragraph. (present paragraph excluded)

I think these words should exist: Hehad and Asthe because people seem to use them next to each other way too often. Try to find other ways of saying “He had” or “As the” often you can leave them out entirely and the sentence will still make sense.

As an example look at what i’ve just written, “Way too often. Try to find other ways of saying “He had” or “As the” often you can leave them out. << it would actually read better if i left out the second “often”. The reader would mentally place the word there.

I’ve seen ; used a few times. It joins similar sentences and removes like terms, in maths it’s the () that helps collect like terms. it’s not a comma.
It was a rainy day; bleak. << this can be written as It was a rainy day. It was a bleak day. the ; reduces two sentences into one… that said once people know how it’s used they then tend to overuse it. I would think no more than 1 in a chapter is enough.

The first chapter reads almost as a short story in it’s own right.

It took a little longer than I expected for the characters to be introduced but it worked and i wouldn’t change that, nicely done.
Perhaps a good way to intro a main character a little earlier would be in quote.
“Space was ablaze with hellish brilliance as the death throes of a billion voices choked in flame.” By ………… << (insert destined to be famous character name here.) Lots of stories open with a famous quote so why not open with a famous quote from your own hero?

Think I’ll make a coffee.

Dean Lombardo wrote 236 days ago [send message] [reply]

Dear Owen,
This is very good–highly starred. Online reading is rough on the reader and you do an excellent job of overcoming this by keeping your paragraph sizes small. I particularly liked the observations of the schoolteacher as she watched helplessly as her classroom and students were incinerated — a tragic scene handled very well. I see you have garnered a lot of support on the site–my only suggestion is to shorten your authonomy chapters (or at least the first one) so you can maximize your success, as I believe it will be less likely to intimidate some readers.
Dean Lombardo

NerdGirl61023 wrote 261 days ago [send message] [reply]

Great start to your story. Wow! The writing is awesome. On my next shuffle I will shelve you for awhile. Starred for now.

David Southam wrote 277 days ago [send message] [reply]

Your story starts brilliantly; it’s full of impact, well-paced and avoids the needless and dull filling that most stories on this site fall down on.

I would be happy to back your book, but it seems my father-in-law has already done so on my computer, so I cannot! I wish you all the best with it though.

I’d like to offer some pointers for your pitch. Take them or leave them!:

“They came to earth; the last survivors of a shattered civilisation.”
Great line, but a semicolon should only be used to connect two independent clauses that would function as full sentences on their own. I would replace it with a comma or a colon.

“They could be your best friend, your neighbour, your boss, the bully at school but they protect us.”
Include a comma before your co-ordinating conjunction: ‘but’.

“…is burdened with the knowledge that something is coming; an evil that will consume everything in creation and that the last stand would be on Earth.”
Again, swap your semicolon with a colon.
I would include a comma after ‘creation’.

“Varran’s solitary guilt ridden life is shattered by three people, Michael, Tyran and Jacke.”
‘Guilt ridden’ is a compound adjective, so I would link its constituent words with a hyphen. Separate multiple adjectives like ‘solitary guilt-ridden’ with commas.
I would use a colon or dash to start a list rather than a comma.

“Brought together by chance, they face evil in all its forms; protecting Earth with little more than their wits and the weaponry of the Juggernaught, the craft that became the cradle for the last survivors of Xereba.”
This is great, but again, this is not a correct use of the semicolon.

“Their adventures will take them across time and space battling Bigfoot, the ghost of Jack the Ripper, inner demons, aliens hungry for flesh and Celts but something from the last days of Xereba is plotting revenge on Varran and Earth will pay the price.”
This is a very nice finish to your pitch, and hooked me to read on. I would include commas after ‘space’, ‘Celts’ and ‘Varran’. I would consider starting a new sentence after ‘Varren’: ‘Meanwhile, something from…’

Chapter 1:
I love your opening line. Just one niggle with it: voices don’t have death throes, people do. I would rephrase this, possibly dropping ‘the death throes of’. The meaning is clear without this.

I hope this is helpful.

David Southam
Author of The Keeper of the Sightless Eye

brerandall wrote 282 days ago [send message] [reply]

Wow. Okay I just finished the first chapter. Very fast paced, great premise. Extremely enjoyable read.
I really have nothing but good things to say about it! Loved it and excited to read more. Five stars. (:


MDS_SEK wrote 286 days ago [send message] [reply]

I like your work very much. The thing to watch out for are the typos and grammatical errors.

SciFi_guy wrote 286 days ago [send message] [reply]

Good book. Please give us more.

mdws77 wrote 291 days ago [send message] [reply]

Just finished the first chapter and that was a long chapter. So far, I like this book very much and will enjoy reading more. I like what you have done with the story. The only thing I saw some sentences that needed some grammatical work. One in particular was, “And he kmew that that world he’d seen, the one that he felt sure was a lifeline for them that held the key to their salvation.” Maybe you should change that to something like, “And he knew the world he had seen, the one that he felt sure was a lifeline for them, was the one that held the key to their salvation.”

marfleet wrote 302 days ago [send message] [reply]

Sci-Fi crit

I like the twists that time travel related books can offer and have used it in my book A Fatal Misuse of Time (although not in the usual way of going back to change something etc.). I enjoyed your opening description of the death of the world, which I thought very powerful. I may be an idea to cut the chapter in two, perhaps at “Except for one man.”
The speed slumps a bit after they are settled on the spacecraft and heading off to find Earth and again when they are on Earth and it may be worth revisiting to try and tighten up things. The story itself is well set out and the reader can see where it is heading but I came out of the first chapter without a huge kick start for the next so perhaps adding something dramatic here would help.
The grammar and sentence structure was a bit muddled at time causeing me to pause and re read and in the first chapter this would cause an editor concern. I have listed a few things here and hope I haven’t doubled up with other peoples comments too much. I am not an editor or proof reader so please view them just as personal observations.
I have you on my watch list and please feel free to request another read if you do any major editing.

Chap 1
- Rumours that the man… || Rumours about the man…
- …and who had shared no great love of each other. || ..and they had shared no great love for each other.
- ..where they had to find || …where they had to go || …what they had to find
- Problem was, …|| The problem was, … (and again a few paragraphs later although in the sentence referring to Earth people looking like them it wasn’t actually a problem)
- …in Earth calendars. || …by Earth calendars.
- …on as many different countries as possible. || in as many different
- With hours of hearing… | within hours of hearing…
- No Xerebans could not || double negative – need rewording
- He comforted himself at their blending in was a bigger task than they anticipated. || Unclear of the meaning
- “would trigger” || duplicated in this sentence about a gene triggering memories. If they didn’t know of their linage until 18 what would stop them mating (or getting raped) before then and ending up with kids.
- Verran had never seen any evidence of alien craft…… || But next paragraph he says he cleans up some alien mess.
- …their and Earth’s safety. ||… their Earth’s safety

All the best with it.
If you wopuld like a laugh and a bit of philosophy, please take a look at my book ;-)
A Fatal Misuse of Time.

liberscriptus wrote 304 days ago [send message] [reply]

First of all, I love that you tagged it as “sci-fi with a heart.” Too much sci-fi gets lost in the plot or the “message” and loses track of the people at the center of the story.

Read the first few chapters and wow, you really know how to write! The opening gripped me immediately, and it was both beautiful and chilling, with the descriptions and the personifications. However, I was a little confused as to what was going on when you switch to Varran’s present, and then later to another flashback, so perhaps using breaks would help clarify that.

Overall, I think this is a very enjoyable read, and you’ve got some really fascinating ideas here. I look forward to coming back for more!

Astral Sea: The Pandora Project

CGHarris wrote 304 days ago [send message] [reply]

I read thought the first two chapters and all I can think to say is “Amazing”! You had me hooked from the very first line. Each paragraph threw me into the next, making me want more. I just can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed it. I only have one suggestion. I noticed several places where you used a weak descriptor like desperately, defiantly, hopefully. I don’t think you need them. In my opinion you could just go through and delete them all. You work is so strong that they stand out and pull away from your obvious tallent. Thanks so much for the read. This one gets six stars for sure.

Petra Phillipe wrote 329 days ago [send message] [reply]

I would prefer shorter chapters, but I quite enjoyed it.

Scott Toney wrote 439 days ago [send message] [reply]

***THE TIME WARRIORS*** by Owen Quinn

The Time Warriors is a truly fantastic novel that teleports the reader away to worlds of fantastical creatures and civilizations reminiscent of the early years of Star Trek. It is vividly written, opening our minds to the book’s realm with Owen’s strong detail. He has built something here which I have yet to find an equal to on this site. His main characters have both depth and humor. In Varren I find a great mentor and in Jacke I find a character that I can constantly root for.

I have many favorite adventures that these characters go on but my favorite was probably when they were separated and their adversary’s got into their minds and tried to overtake them.

This book is unique, individual and a read well worth pursuing. The reader will not be disappointed and will be craving for more when they are on the last page. I bought this book and read it in paperback. Soon I will purchase its sequel.


Thank you for writing such an enjoyable book. There is something fantastic about what you have done here. It’s also a pleasure to know the author who penned this work.

- Scott J. Toney, The Ark of Humanity and Eden Legacy

Mach100 wrote 461 days ago [send message] [reply]

Hello Owen,
“…to a bull like head…” = ‘bull-like’
“…hell fire…” = ‘hellfire’
chapter ends in mid-sentence – very annoying when trying to assess the work
Ch. 3 also ends in mid-sentence – please try to rectify so that I can do a proper evaluation.
Best wishes, Charles Dyer (Mach100)

andrew DOYLE wrote 469 days ago [send message] [reply]

doing fine Owen….keep at it


Clive Bone wrote 472 days ago [send message] [reply]

A good read, I hope it does well. I thought that the chapters were too long but that’s easily sorted out. Clive

Mach100 wrote 473 days ago [send message] [reply]

Hello Owen,
You mention ‘crescendo’ of sound while the planet was exploding. Sound does not travel through the vacuum of space. Was this noise from the wailing of people on the Juggernaught or what? There might have been shock waves that rocked the space station but I’m not sure if they are physically manifested in a vacuum either. The only definite hazard would have been the debris.
“…under the notion…” should be “…under the impression…”
Solon should be Solos
“…Santos placed a comforting hand on his {word missing = shoulder?} …”
“…with hours of hearing it spoken.” Should be “within”
There are dozens of similar omissions and mistakes – you need to do a thorough edit.
Why didn’t Valla at least try to save his ‘love’ Vela by going back in time to prevent her getting on the river boat?
I like the basic premise of the story but somehow it doesn’t read too well. I don’t like the excessive use of one-line paragraphs that make it seem more like a telegram than a story. On the other hand, some sentences are too long.
The use of rivets on the spacecraft is out of place for a society that purports to be more advanced than present-day Earth and in any case a riveted vessel is unlikely to be airtight. The characters lack character – they need to show emotions (or a lack of them according to the species) and reactions to various situations besides the holocaust. For instance, Valla’s declaration of his guilt would have riled the crowd a lot more than you tell. The settings could do with more descriptions but the destruction of the planet, while well-described, needs to be broken with peoples reactions because it goes on for too long.
This chapter is much too long.
There’s too much telling and not enough showing – this makes it sound more like a technical report than a story.
The whole integration into Earth is too watered down. I feel that there is a complete story just in them arriving on Earth and seeing how they fit into the primitive society.
The story has great potential but it needs a lot of work for it to make the grade. I continued reading because you had me hooked and I wanted to see what happened but the above comments weakened the impact for me. I will read some more chapters and comment on them too when I get a chance.
I look forward to hearing your comments on ‘Accident’ and thank you once again for backing it.
Best wishes, Charles Dyer (Mach100)

Wow you have some size chapters, I loe the ideas and the plot for this book, but i found a little hard going in places, while others are pure brilliance. You def have some talent and there is nothing here that an edit couldnt fix. Worth while project and v glad I read it

Luciana House wrote 500 days ago [send message] [reply]

Firstly, your short pitch is brilliant.
Whilst reading the first line, I tensed with excitment. What a great hook!
In fact, the first few lines at the beginning (until the juggernaut is introduced) are beautifully written. I could visualised everything you worte.
However, I kind of felt it paused a bit after that. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but it seemed a little over descriptive. I wanted the story to get moving. Some of your lines are really long, and need breaking up.
That said, it’s still a great piece of writing, and an intriging idea. All it needs is an edit, and hey, as long as the story has promise (which it does), the editing part will be easy.
You have some AMAZING lines in there that don’t need touching, for example…
Others screamed like their very souls had been ripped from them, desperate hands reaching for loved ones that were no longer there.
You are a talented writer, so I have no doubt that with a bit of editing, this book will be published :)

Luciana House
‘Burning Angel’

ShadowOfOsiris wrote 515 days ago [send message] [reply]

Hi Owen

I’ve read most of the first chapter. First off, I think the chapter is far too long – that is the reason I stopped reading; otherwise I would have continued.

The writing is mostly very good, with only a few things here and there such as a need for commas, hyphens and an odd usage of ‘that’ – for example you have soldiers THAT shoot people, rather than WHO shoot.

But the little things are nothing that – probably – a single edit couldn’t fix. The story sounds good – the only thing being that the premise had me thinking it must be a comedy, with Bigfoot and the ghost of Jack the Ripper in one sentence. But I suppose it depends how that’s written. What I’ve read is very well written, so I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about there.

The only thing with the writing itself is that occasionally it seems to go just a little bit over the top with the descriptions – in just one sentence, which I can’t find now, you have 3 iterations of ‘like a’, and it becomes a little much. There’s a also a little bit of telling rather than showing.

But as I said, overall, it’s very good, and I will back it :)

monicque wrote 564 days ago [send message] [reply]

I’m taking a quick look before I go to sleep tonight Owen!!!!
Your blurb looks great.
OMG! Only 1243 from 8 billion. how sad. Great opening to the story.
Excellent work. Your ability for description is excellent, however, in places, I felt it was a little over-done or wordy, and detracted from the general story.
I only got half-way through the first chapter.!! Sorry, I’m a bit tired. I think maybe you should shorten your chapters? That way, you need to make a hook every now and then that makes the reader want to turn the page. The dialog sections were really good, and I think the storyline and plot are engaging. Great work, I will rate you!

junetee wrote 569 days ago [send message] [reply]

Great title. Gripping first chapter. You have a winner on your hands.

PJ Qats wrote 572 days ago [send message] [reply]

Hi Owen,
I’m glad to have you as a backer to my book ODIN’S TOE so I thought I’d give your book a look and try to offer my comments. I’m glad to see it’s doing so well and the comments I’ve read cover some of my initial reaction. I’ve only read the first chapter but I will read more and comment more in the future.
In particular, I’m impressed with your descriptive talents but feel they get in the way of starting the story you mean to be telling. I like some of the other reviewers’ idea of starting at Earth and flashing back to the most eloquent highlights of the preceding text.
You do seem to settle in to overusing words such as: “like”, “as”, and “it”.
There are some spots that need hyphens: “manta(-)like station”, “touch(-)sensitive controls”, with his non(-)aging.
You appear to be guiding us through an epic story that you are quite confident with but I would like to experience it more through first-person narrative and dialogue. Perhaps that happens in later chapters?
This all seems like nit-picking for a story with such inspired writing. You have a great character in Varran whose quandary is of mythic proportions. The fantasy world of Xereba is well portrayed in spite of the fact that the story starts upon its destruction. Your cover art is fantastic.
I understand that this is a sequel story but it has to stand on its own so I will continue to read and comment on this.
I am hoping that your backing of my book indicates that you have read or intend to read some of it. That is what I’ve come to Authonomy for so please know that any critique will be well received.
PJ Qats

EddieTol wrote 582 days ago [send message] [reply]

A great opening. You put us right into a pivotal moment in these characters lives. I love the scene with the dying planet. I could literally see the chunks of the planet flying by and the oceans consumed by lava. Well done.

After that this seemed to drag a little. Part of this was the daunting size of this chapter. I don’t know the word count but it pushes the limits a bit. You might be better served to break this up into smaller and more manageable chunks. It was also due to amount of information you are telling us. Some of this could be trimmed. Look at the ships details and the history of its construction and decide what is really relevant to the story. If it isn’t then consider trimming it.

One thing I noticed is you tend to overdo the ‘likes’. They are a good device, but like any literary device, used too much and they start to draw attention to themselves. An example of this”

‘The universe exploded all around him, running like oil in the rain, solar winds shrieking in his mind like over excited children. He held his hands over his ears until the winds settled into a sound almost like a choir, a choir whose voices were so beautiful and moving it made the universes heart beat faster.’

Three ‘likes’ in such a short paragraph tends to draw the readers’ attention to them and away from the story.

Also, I believe your strength is also your weakness. You are good at descriptions. Your vivid and colorful descriptors really bring your narrative to life and put the reader in the scene. Sentences like, ‘Shards of planetary debris bounced harmlessly across its shields in little spots of color like oil on water, the mere tip of the iceberg.’, are beautifully done and paint detailed scenes. But, as with too many ‘likes’, too much detail can bog your story down and distract your reader. You need to find the right balance here, which is not easy to do.

This is a good start to an epic tale that has me interested. Don’t take my criticism as dislike as I am merely trying to help you make a good chapter better.

Good luck,

KFox -

Sherston wrote 583 days ago [send message] [reply]

Good stuff.
Could do with some trimming to keep the pace up in the opening chapter mostly, to really draw the reader in but aside from that, great descriptions and a grand story to boot.
Also, I would lose the ‘space station hanging in space’ bit. As you’ve already established that it’s in space.
All the best with it!

Lady Midnight wrote 594 days ago [send message] [reply]
Hi Owen. I’ve read the opening of The Time Warriors and really enjoyed it. I’ve outlined some thoughts below, which I hope are of use. I think this book holds a lot of promise and am happy to back it. Good luck.
The introduction to the story is pretty well done, giving just enough detail to entice the reader in.
Chapter 1.
The opening paragraphs, describing the planet’s destruction, are spectacular. You use colour, sound and movement to illustrate its death throes: Orange, blue, red and green danced like a kaleidoscope opera… The stars trembled in horror… The land screamed and shattered… Within minutes an eternity of evolution… All evocative, drawing the reader in, making them part of the story.
The moment the energy waves (had) begun rippling across the planet, every alarm (had) triggered… Although there’s nothing wrong with this sentence, I think a greater sense of immediacy could be achieved, by eliminating the bracketed word, e.g.: The moment the energy waves began rippling across the planet, every alarm triggered itself…
They (had) been well trained by General Solos and (had) acted swiftly. The same with this sentence: Well trained by General Solos, they acted quickly.
She sat weeping, cradling her head in her hands, as the looks on the (childrens’) faces played before her… The pathos contained in this sentence is beautifully done. The bracketed word should be: “children’s”.
…in (unfeeling) rage. Rage is an emotion, so unfeeling is perhaps the wrong way to describe it. Suggest maybe: in pitiless rage – something like that.
Repetition & typo: The Juggernaught’s manta ray glowed red and orange (as) hungry flame(s) licked at it like wolves (as) it carried away the survivors whose futures were (as) black (as) the space that bore them. Lost in their souls (as) well (as) life, they could only see solitude and death… You use the bracketed word quite a lot and it can mar the flow of the narrative. Suggest thinning it out a little along the lines of: The Juggernaught’s manta ray glowed red and orange, hungry flames licking at it like wolves, as it carried away the survivors whose futures were now the same deep black as the space that bore them. Lost in their souls, along with life, they could only see solitude and death… You’ve also missed the “s” off the word “flames.”

Nathan Maki wrote 598 days ago [send message] [reply]

Hi Owen,

Just a few thoughts on chapter 1. There’s a lot of telling here, and not enough showing. In one chapter you’ve tried to cover a long span of years, but the result is far too much scripting in details and not nearly enough character development. For instance, you continually allude to Varran’s love for Vela, yet you never once show us a meaningful exchange of dialogue between the two of them or any scene that shows their affection growing for one another. All of a sudden Vela is a love interest without us knowing anything about her beyond the barest description, and then just as suddenly she’s dead and we don’t feel Varran’s pain because 1) you don’t show it to us as readers, and 2) we don’t know why he loved her in the first place. As a reader, if I don’t get to know the characters and care about them pretty early on in a book I’m not going to continue reading it.

I think you’ve got an excellent premise here with a lot of potential. The opening hook description of the planet’s destruction is well done, but then there’s a dearth of description later on. The latter part of chapter 1 reads like a synopsis you would have written for yourself as an author to get overall plot flow more than a polished work of fiction. You’ve got the skeleton of the story here, but you need to take the time to flesh it out. I feel your driving motivation is chapter 1 is to get them to Earth and tell where they came from and give all the background, but at the same time it’s a long chapter and still feels rushed and packed with too much info and not enough actual action from the characters.

What I’d suggest is that if you want to get them to Earth and that’s where the real story begins, then just do a prologue of the planet’s destruction with a few important details of their journey to earth, and then in chapter 1 jump into the Earth plot with flashbacks (perhaps through the young people’s eyes as they turn 18) to their home planet’s destruction and the journey to earth. Make it a slow unfolding in various chapters and scenes throughout the Earth plot as they young people discover and deal with where they really came from.

Alternately, if you want to lay all the groundwork right up front just come to grips with the fact that it’s going to take more than one chapter to tell that story right. Take your time, show don’t tell, develop the characters, and make us care about the people on the Juggernaught. This one chapter could easily be 3-4 chapters to do it right.

Another small quibble: General Solos, General (Hans) Solo??

Dialogue, what little there is, needs a little bit of work. For instance, the engineer yelling “I know these engines like the back of my hand!” doesn’t seem like exactly the thing he’d say right at that moment. Doesn’t ring true for some reason.

Varran smiling “inanely” doesn’t sound right. Inane means lacking sense or substance, so smiling inanely would mean he’s smiling like someone who’s mentally handicapped or something. Obviously not what you’re meaning here.

They learn to speak a language “with(in) hours”.

You describe one school teacher being teleported away from her class, but don’t really describe anyone else’s experience…is she important to the story particularly? Because if not you’d probably want another one or two descriptions to capture various experiences. Not everyone presumably was angry or disturbed to be teleported to safety surely?

Another sentence that struck me as oddly worded was “Survivors were materializing all over the ship, but General Solos in his devious military genius had made the ship two-fold.” The two halfs of this sentence just don’t have enough to do with each other to be combined into one sentence.

Also, you mention the crew of the Juggernaught was trained by General Solos, so I expected he was in command and would be there as a main character, but he’s not, and no explanation is given about that.

Just a few comments to help you on your way. Writing is re-writing as I’m finding out, and I’d rather one genuine comment with a decent editorial opinion than a dozen pats on the back.



Intriguing premise and I got the hook in chapter one. Odd to have an exploding universe and the hero lying in the surviving space craft is the cause of it all. Perhaps too much description here and there. Some vivid imagery but one can drown in description. Move the story on, move the story on.

Sharahzade wrote 628 days ago [send message] [reply]

Owen Quinn

I read through the first two chapters. I plan to read it all for it is in the genre that I enjoy the most. I feel the real story begins in chapter two. All of chapter one, while it imparts a load of information, does not have the action and dialogue of chapter two. One reminds me of a well written synopsis. you do indeed “Tell” us what happens. In Two you “Show” us with plenty of things happening.

I am so intrigued by the situation of human-like characters coming to Earth and how they view their chosen place to settle after the disaster of their own origins. One can believe that this may have actually happened here on Earth and it is not too far from the realm of reality. The encounter with the other aliens just compounds the events and indicates even more possibilities. I can hardly wait to read on and see how you orchestrate this composition.

I thank you for backing A King in Time. Time travel is an exciting concept and one that may take place. It’s just a matter of time. Not a pun. A truth.

You have a great story here and I will gladly back you. I wish you a great deal of success in finding a publisher.

Best of luck.

Mary Enck

Patientman wrote 628 days ago [send message] [reply]

Maybe it’s just me but I really liked the poetic style of your writing. The idea of stars ‘trembling’ appeals. There are many nice lines within this and it felt pleasurable to read. The first chapter is very long though.

I write at the more comedic end of sci-fi, but I can appreciate this for the tale it is. It achieves, what I’m guessing, you intended and would sit in the fantasy section of a bookshop without concern. I would consider splitting up the first chapter, but aside from that I can only offer you good luck.

Medium_Al wrote 643 days ago [send message] [reply]

There is a good concept here. However, to be honest, I feel it needs some work. There is way to much “tell” here and not nearly enough “show”. There’s a planet exploding, a huge space station that can only hope to rescue mere crumbs of their existence, a huge confession, etc. These are moments that should be shown through one of the characters eyes. There’s some good prose here too. You just need to chisel away some of the over descriptive stuff so that prose shines through. I’ll throw out a thought here. Writing is subjective, so take it for what it is. Perhaps Chapter 1 should just be the point of view of the Captain. End the chapter after they escape, but include a lot more dialogue. Chapter 2, go with interviewing the survivors where you introduce Varran. With tightening and a better flow/breakdown of the elements you could have something.

2004carlt wrote 644 days ago [send message] [reply]

Owen, thanks again for backing Dark Dreams. You really have a sense for drama in your writing but I would have to agree with a previous comment that you have to watch out for certain things that may trip the reader. The ‘land screamed’ and the ‘stars trembled in horror’ may sound good but do they really work? For me, they didn’t as it felt as if I was reading about something being concieved throughout the writer’s own opinion, rather than an honest account of events unfolding. My advice is to use your time on Authonomy to improve the book as it’s not ready for a review from HC. Not unless you’ve read their SF imprint Angry Robot and see similar work being published by them? Good luck.

Cat091971 wrote 645 days ago [send message] [reply]

This is not the type of book I’m into but it’s well paced and draws the reader in. Backed and rated.

Lies & Love

RonParker wrote 650 days ago [send message] [reply]

Hi Owen,

It’s quite some while since I first looked at this story and you’s certainly cleared up most of the punctuation issues you had then – though there are still some.

But the first chapter is still far too long.

In the real book, a chapter can be as long or as short as you like, but for this forum, you need to split it into more bite-sized chunks if you want readers to look at it in any depth.

I’m glad to see though, that despite this, your book is doing well in the ratings.


Frank James wrote 652 days ago [send message] [reply]

Hi Owen,

As you well know I backed you under the old system of voting and here I am voting for you again. I liked your book and you have my best wishes for the future.

Frank James (The Contractor)

Roman N Marek wrote 654 days ago [send message] [reply]

Terrific start, vividly painted. There are some nice ideas here, the destruction of the planet, the escape to hide amongst us, the wacko Numarans. It all feels a little on the long side, though, and could do with some pruning and fashioning into a more coherent story. I wanted more of Varran and his struggle with evil, as mentioned in the pitch, than a series of episodes involving his chummy sidekicks. And perhaps the Xerebans and their technology are a little too Start Trekky. I was really puzzled by the start of the second chapter where we are told a lot of stuff we already know from the first. Maybe this is the ‘true’ start of Book 2, with the first chapter being a recap of what happened in Book 1? I did enjoy the joke at the end of the second chapter, though.
One thing that caught my attention was: “The third planet in a system of nine”? and then “It was a system of nine planets”, which I guess tells us about the Xereban take on Pluto’s status. The Darts are described as “Three metres long”, which sounds a very human unit of measurement.
Some typos: “myriad of” twice in Ch.1; “lead them” should be “led them”.

Eddy Gemmell wrote 657 days ago [send message] [reply]

You clearly like space operas and have some good ideas but I think this piece needs some polishing. Some of the phrases and description are either just wrong/don’t fit or are overwritten. e.g. -

In the opening line you say space is ablaze …not a planet, and yet reading on I found that that was what you meant. Having to go back to re-read a sentence or two in order to properly understand it is annoying to the reader. You need to be clearer.

‘Time held its breath as the land shivered …’ is overwritten for me.

‘The stars trembled in horror …’ is again trying too hard. Personifying objects is, in my opinion, never a good idea. The problem with this description is that the stars mentioned are surely light years away and so couldn’t possibly actually be moving in a way that could be personified as trembling so I just don’t see how that can work even as a similie or metaphor.

‘Within minutes and eternity of evolution died …’ – how can that be right? Eternity is forever. Nothing in the universe, so far as planets are concerned, have been evolving forever. So again, for this reason, it reads as overstated and adds to the flavour of the piece being overwritten.

Also, you describe Solos as a military genius but the plum has put the space station in harms way as great big rocks hurtle past it. Any one could smash it to pieces – that struck me a a little dumb of him especially as they only managed to save 1,243 people. Did they need to be that close to use the transporters? I don’t find it convincing that shields could stop a rock the size of, say, France.

Then there are some I really liked – ‘vomited its innards up as the waves shredded it mercillessly …’

I can see that you have had great fun with it but it’s all too Star Wars/Star Trek with shields, inertial dampers (a concept that Star Trek writers dreamed up), etc. It strikes me as a fanfic style homage with not enough thought or planning behind it and it’s spotted with too many cliches and well trodden ideas. It’s all description without much of a story and comes across gratuitous for that reason.

You can clearly write but I would hazzard a guess that you have watched more than you have read. Even space operas are far more sophisticated these days – see Peter J Hamilton for an example. His ideas are breathtaking.

Look for something new, different and fresh. Outside of franchised books (like Star Wars and Star Trek) I don’t see much scope for this type of novel.

curiousturtle wrote 657 days ago [send message] [reply]


I started reading your Opus and thought I would give you my cent and half:

The first thing that you do right is start with a landscape shot. There is a reason why 30% of a scy fy movie budget is blown on the first 3 minutes and that reason is the landscape shot. For, if you are to convince the reader to accept all the fantastic premises that scy fy carries with tit, you have to paint that world for him, so as to say….

…..come… is where you will be living for the reminder of the plot

…and that you do. Kudos for you

The language is action oriented and the plot moves through like Ferrari.

Some of my favorites:

“as hungry flame licked at it”

“her skin was like ancient parchment….
This is your best paragraph so far…wonderfully descriptive, with poetical undertones

“like oil in the rain”

“like watching heat bouncing off….”

“Tyron Scott was the youngest….”
another personal best but for different reasons, here you get into the nitty gritty of description; specific, on the ground, the kind that open’s a picture on the reader’s mind

Some Minor/Minorest/Minormost points:

I am usually a fan of spacing but here I think is working against your style
Because if what your are trying to do is create an action oriented frenzy then
why give a reader pause after pause?
doesn’t that defeat your purpose?

I also would have like to see more poetic language in your descriptions
now, obviously, you can do it (see favorites) the question is why not more?

for, the reader want’s not only to “see” the world you paint
he wants also, to fall in love with it.

and that is the realm of poetic language

Finally, I would cut the chapters into more manageable bites for, to give the reader breathing room

Let me know if that helps,

Overall, wonderful


Cherokeeknight wrote 661 days ago [send message] [reply]

A nice read. You do over use some words. Try to avoid this if at all possible. There are usually other words with the same meaning to take care of this problem. The story moves along very well otherwise. A few words are kind of iffy to me, but that is the writer choice. Make sure you say what you want to convey without contradiction. One of the better reads I’ve ran across lately so I’ll add it to my shelf for awhile.

mish1001 wrote 670 days ago [send message] [reply]

Excellent read, keeps you guessing . You deserve to have this published keep it up.

mish1001 wrote 670 days ago [send message] [reply]

Excellent read, keeps you guessing . You deserve to have this published keep it up.

JonathanCyborg wrote 680 days ago [send message] [reply]

Interesting, intriguing and compelling concepts!

Jonathan Fisher

LD Hilley II wrote 682 days ago [send message] [reply]

Very interesting premise. I look forward to reading more!

tomewriter wrote 686 days ago [send message] [reply]

Hello,Started reading your story and found a few discrepancies. Things like ‘unfeeling geysers’, can geysers feel?
a space station ‘hung limply in space’. Is it drooping, or doesn’t have any strength or power?
Spots of color like oil on water, is okay, but how did the ice burg get in there? And do you mean iridescent spots of color?
Sending soldiers Into battle stations? Kind of hard to send them ‘into’ battle stations, but you could send them ‘to’ battle stations.
Praying to the winds of ‘hopeful fate’ is an oxymoron.
‘They could not control it.’ Why couldn’t they control it? They’re on a highly technical space ship stationed in space and far enough out not to be effected by the destruction, and the ship hasn’t been damaged. Wouldn’t it be possible to beam a body aboard without difficulty? Maybe haven’t I read far enough to get to the reason yet. Okay, moving on.
Tears burned in their eyes. Who are you talking about? The soldiers that man the ship, or the Xereban’s being beamed aboard?
‘In hopes of beaming some of their loved ones aboard’. The chances of beaming a ‘loved one’ aboard is exactly what you stated, 1243 chances in 8 billion. Not possible, but they did have a chance to save some of their ‘fellow Xerebans or race’.

Well, I have to stop there. I would love to read this but it needs a ‘ton’ of editing and it makes me tired trying to muddle through. I suggest you start from the beginning and go through each paragraph. Delete or rewrite anything that doesn’t make sense, (remember it will make sense to you, but not an outside reader). Omit every adverb you can. Knock out: the, every, just, that, as, then, almost, thing, and so on. Watch your sentence structure and in general tighten, tighten, tighten.

Now, having written all this, I really do like the story. You started medium res, which gives it interest and planted back-story in the readers mind. Though I did not read much, I think you are on your way to producing a great piece of work.
Janell (tomewriter)

Scott Toney wrote 686 days ago [send message] [reply]


I just read Old Bob’s post. Please disregard his advice about introducing more dialogue in the beginning. It’s great the way it is. Have a great day!

- Scott

Jacoba wrote 689 days ago [send message] [reply]

This was recommended by wordmagic, and I can definitely see your skills as a writer. As I’m not a sci fi buff, so only read through the first chapter. I see you are doing well with this and have a solid fan base. I don’t feel I can offer any constructive comments as I don’t read this genre. When you begin to climb the ladder towards the top and need some help getting to the editors desk, let me know and I’ll put you on my bookshelf for a stint to help get you there. Cheers Jacoba

Old Bob wrote 691 days ago [send message] [reply]

Hi Owen. I’ve been through the first chapter of “TIME WORRIERS” this morning. I don’t read a lot of SciFi but this seems very imaginative and fast paced. I don’t usually comment on technical issues because I’m not really a trained writer. I think, however, ,this could be a much more powerful story if you introduced more dialogue between the characters. You’ve already introduced a lot of characters and their interaction seems good. Toi me, the use of dialogue would bring me more into the story and, if I associate with a character, I tend to want to read more. Just a thought. Your voice is very good and your writing is well done.


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