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Founders' Effect (War of the Second Iteration) (Volume 2) Paperback – March 5, 2013
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About the Author
I am a writer, amateur astronomer, and long-time fan of science fiction living in Tucson, AZ. I'm a transplanted desert rat, having come to the Sonoran Desert of the American Southwest many years ago from my childhood home in Illinois. I have a B.S. in plant biology from the University of Arizona, and have in the past worked as a laboratory technician for that institution. Among many other things, I am also a student of history, natural history, and backyard horticulture. I also cook a pretty good green chili pork stew. But most of all, I'm a writer. The art of writing is one of those matters that I find difficult to trace to a single source of inspiration in my life. Instead of an "Aha! This is it!" moment, I would say my desire to write is the cumulative effect of my life-long print addiction. My parents once teased me by claiming I learned to read before I could tie my own shoelaces. Whether or not that's true, I learned to read very early in life, and have as a reader always cast a very wide net. My bookshelves are crowded and eclectic, with fiction by C.J. Cherryh, Isaac Asimov, and Tony Hillerman, and nonfiction by Annie Dillard, Stephen Jay Gould, and Ron Chernow, among many others. It's no doubt due to my eclectic reading habits that I have an equal interest in writing both fiction and nonfiction. The experience of reading, of feeling what a writer could do to my head and my heart with their words, eventually moved me to see if I could do the same thing for others. I'm still trying to answer that question.
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..... Robert McGregor is lead pilot on the huge Commonwealth probe ship the William Bartram when it is dispatched to participate in humanity’s first contact with an alien species. Or is it? It seems someone else has gotten out there first and has started a war that now threatens the peaceful Commonwealth.
..... The second book, Founders' Effect (War of the Second Iteration, Book 2), deals with the aftermath of the events of the first. While it too is a stand alone novel, it would help to have read the first just for the background. New adventures await the characters introduced in book one and new characters are introduced and a mystery hinted at in book one grows in significance.
..... Book number three is The Plight of the Eli'ahtna (War of the Second Iteration, Book 3). John Knowles and Eb’shra Wirolen, whose ship suffered a jump malfunction near the end of the previous novel, become central characters, making startling new discoveries as their friends engage in an all out search and rescue effort. Other discoveries deepen the mystery hinted at in book one and sinister implications are inferred. A new threat to the Commonwealth (and everyone else) makes itself known.
I confess to being an action junkie, but these stories are more than that. They are not MIL-SF stories as such, with grand battles (though there are some), these are stories ABOUT war and its effect on civilizations and more personally, how it affects the individuals caught up in it. You get to know these people and feel for them. You laugh with them and cry for them as they deal with the situations thrust upon them. Most of all, you just keep reading. These are not good reads, they are GREAT reads.
This isn't loud and raucous Space Opera (which I also like), Watson’s style hearkens back to an era of SF when richly textured world building and storytelling with characters you can care for was king. The names Vance and Silverberg come to mind.
While each of these books has a satisfying conclusion of its own primary story, be warned that they are also parts of an overlying story arc, the significance of which grows on the reader with each volume. What starts as a mystery from the distant past evolves into something much less academic for our cast of characters and far more sinister. There is something going on Out There in Tom Watson's universe, and I can't wait to see what he has planned next.
Watson has a smooth, engaging, and professional style that pulls the reader in until they blink and realize that hours of reading pleasure have passed. This is some of the most engrossing, professionally written Science Fiction I have read in years. These books were a joy to read and (if you couldn’t guess by now) I recommend them wholeheartedly.
So, take care Thomas Watson. Look both ways before crossing the street. Pay attention to your Doctor, and take your nanomeds, because this reader selfishly wants you around for a long time to write more stuff like this!
The Luck of Han'anga (War of the Second Iteration, Book One)
Founders' Effect (War of the Second Iteration, Book 2)
The Plight of the Eli'ahtna (War of the Second Iteration, Book 3)
Get them now. It’s the GOOD stuff!
Book two is better written than book one as I had hoped. Now I will purchase book three if and when it is published. Good job Tom, then again I am easy to please reader, not a critic.
I also appreciated that the printing and binding is first rate. Already friends are lined up to borrow these books. Hopefully some them will get impatient and buy their own. This author deserves following.