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A Distant Eden Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 331 customer reviews

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"The Short Drop" by Matthew FitzSimmons
Meet the assassin The Washington Post calls "a doozy of a sociopath" in this debut thriller from Matthew FitzSimmons. Available on Kindle and in paperback.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 490 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Lloyd Tackitt; 1 edition (March 24, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 24, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,552 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I was a military brat and then joined the Army myself in 1971. I was one of the seemingly few volunteer soldiers of the era, both of my brothers also went into the military after high school; it was a family tradition. After the Army I went to college and then launched a successful 30 year career in construction as a Project Manager. I managed multiple large projects, including several multi-million dollar water treatment plants across the country. This career path drove into me a pragmatic nature. You can't successfully manage construction without getting practical.

I began writing at an early age but did not begin publishing until two years ago. My web page has several of my short stories available for free reading. They range from humorous supernatural, experimental, to humorous slice of life stories. These stories are still in the rough stage, they all need to be edited. One day I will put them all together in one book; including several stories not on the web page, but before I do, they will be revised and edited.

A Distant Eden is my first book. The second in the series is being written now and should be available soon.

I also blog daily on fishing related matters at

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure I should write a review for this one. It falls into the "Meh" category as liking it, meaning I didn't really. On top of that, I noted that most critical reviews have a suspiciously high number of "not helpful" votes, indicating partisanship not in line with anyone accepting unbiased reviews. Nevertheless, I had to write it simply because of the mistaken impressions it seems that many who liked the book came under with respect to the advice and the attitude.

Overall, the story revolves around a fellow named Roman who, as our protagonist, ushers us through the events following a major solar flare that disrupts our modern life by frying our electronics.

For anyone who "toshes" that this can't happen, be assured that such an event can happen and has surely happened in the past to varying degrees. For the most part, we human animals wouldn't really note much of it and haven't been significantly impacted by it. With electronics, the whole game has changed and it would present a watershed of change that we would be ill equipped to deal with. In that respect, I also respect the author's attempt to help and do so in a manner meant to be entertaining.

But that is pretty much where my admiration ends for this book.

Some of the advice is downright deadly. Food is not just for calories, it is for a variety of nutritional needs that includes fats, vitamins and minerals and so on. Anyone who believes that old dry beans and corn will do, is in for a nasty case of scurvy, bodily weakness and other illnesses in the long run. Beans become hard with age...yes, even those #10 cans packed for Long Term Storage.
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25 Comments 292 of 322 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The basics: The technological, civilized, industrial world comes to an end with a giant Carrington event (solar storm). The author looks at the efforts of a small group of people, led by a man who planned carefully, to survive.

If I were rating this as a $9.99 novel, it would deserve one, at most two stars. However, the author is very upfront about his intentions: he wants this to be not simply a novel, but at least as much a guide that will both provide information on concepts he develops in detail, and inspire people to search out more information on concepts he sketches over lightly.

As a result (and to give him credit, he acknowledges this), he falls woefully short on sketching realistic characters, to say nothing of showing character development. For a presumably self-published work, basics like spelling, grammar and word choice are generally quite sound with only a few errors/quirks. His female characters are particularly lightly sketched, though no worse than some fairly big-name authors like Harold Coyle.

The author's style can most kindly be described as workmanlike. That implies a bit of stodginess, but it also implies competence. He develops the story in parallel threads, each reaching a climax of suspense/violence at the same time. A trifle cliche, but in his hands he makes it work reasonably well as a technique. The quality of his dialog tends to range from adequate to penny dreadful, with most of it being adequate. As noted above, there really is no character development, something the author readily acknowledges.

The temporal flow of the story feels somewhat forced: the author is clearly trying to pack in information and forcefully present some fairly abrupt (but rational) shifts in morality.
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10 Comments 164 of 179 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author says this is intended to be a combination survival manual and novel. Both are bad.

First, as a survival manual, there is a bunch advice that will get you sick or dead. As an example; "pasteurizing" water will NOT kill the spores of Giardia and, if you're in a warm climate, a whole host of other water-borne parasitic spores and eggs. Riding a bicycle without lights and full-speed on a moonless night on a road with unknown obstructions is an invitation to broken bones. Eating beans and corn as your sole diet will keep you going... until you develop scurvy in about a month. Example after wrong example; where did the author get all this?

Then I realized; it's all from books. The author read some books and became a survival "expert". Didn't check his sources, either.

It shows in the novel, too. One of the characters kills a poacher (who just killed a deer), then kills his wife and kid because "they no longer have their protector, it's the only merciful thing". After some doomsday philosophic babble, it's decided that it was the right thing to do. A few chapters later, it turns out that the protagonists have to go a kill "at least 20 deer" to thin the herd. This isn't only a moral issue (and bad moral judgments eventually have very bad consequences); these are the kind of people who are a danger to everyone. Another example: they go and attack a well-defended compound because they were spying on them and kill everyone (justification: they had slaves and were "bad"). No problems there, either; machine guns, military advice and a perfect defensive setup don't stop them because they have five SF super-soldiers who train them for a few days.
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11 Comments 150 of 169 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Get One of 10 Free Copies of Volume II of A Distant Eden Series by...
Hi Lloyd,
I Found out about your books from "Chip Monk" of the "Chip Monk Family Survival Podcast" program. I don't remember exactly which podcast it was mentioned in, and it wasn't a full-blown book review, but it was recommended. I;m eagerly anticipating your next...
Jul 19, 2012 by Heather Helmer |  See all 20 posts
Information on some of the survival techniques Be the first to reply
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