My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Friday, March 29, 2019

Trumpet of Triton

Williams is a longtime fan of all things sci-fi and pulp fiction and was recently introduced to these two characters, Ravenwood and Moon Man, brought to life in the writings of author Frederick C. Davis in the 1930s. The best of classic pulp fiction lives on with these two science fiction short stories written by author Marlin Williams: Ravenwood Stepson of Mystery in Trumpet of Triton and The Moon Man in Mesmerized.
Ravenwood was one of the first characters, during the pulp fiction era, to possess psychic abilities. Orphaned after a plague claimed the lives of his mother and father, Ravenwood was raised by a Tibetan mystic known only as the Nameless One. As an unparalleled occult detective he was often called upon by Inspector Horatio Stagg when challenged by supernatural mysteries.
In Trumpet of Triton, Ravenwood is unwillingly forced to team up with one of the cities detectives, Leonard Kolchak, to investigate claims by city workers of being terrorized by a sea serpent. The clues lead them to explore the ancient storm sewers below the streets of Manhattan where they make a horrifying discovery and realize they have only a short time to stop the cataclysmic destruction of the entire city.
The second tale features the Moon Man character who was the Robin Hood of the 1930s and the alter ego of Detective Stephen Thatcher. Assisted by his sidekick, Ned "Angel" Dargan, an ex-prizefighter they steal from the rich and distribute the loot to the city's destitute during the Great Depression. In the mind of Lieutenant McEwen, Detective Thatcher's boss, a thief is a thief. That puts the Moon Man high on the most wanted list.
In this saga of The Moon Man in Mesmerized, during the light of day, Detective Stephen Thatcher works to solve the mysterious suicides and the major crime spree plaguing the city perpetrated by good law-abiding citizens while in trancelike state. In the dark of night, the Moon Man plots to drain crime lord Big Nick Martini's coffer of ill gotten money. But his plans may be foiled by other forces and lead the Moon Man into a trap. Will this be McEwen's chance to catch the elusive Moon Man?

Trumpet of Triton (Pulp SF)
By Marlin Williams
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN #978-1797402017
175 Pages
Price $9.95 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

This book contains two novelettes: Trumpet Of Triton, featuring Ravenwood, Stepson of Mystery & Mesmerized, featuring The Moon Man, two original characters created by Frederick C. Davis for TEN DETECTIVE ACES. In Trumpet of Triton, tablets are discovered from sunken Atlantis that has the ability of raising the Lost Continent to the surface once more. The trumpet, a conch shell, is the trigger that will cause the destruction of great cities or raise Atlantis. Darla Whitfield comes to Ravenwood for help, but her father, who knows more about the latest terror, doesn’t want him involved. But it’s up to Ravenwood and Detective Kocheck to discover the secrets and stop the Atlantiers from once more raising the island of power.
         In the second story we’re treated to a new Moon Man story. A German scientist has stolen Hitler’s hypnotic machine and brought it to America. He attempts to get it to an American agent, but mob boss, Big Nick Martini has it and is using it for monetary gain, and ridding his political opponents by making them commit suicide. Detective Stephen Thatcher is investigating the suicides while The Moon Man goes after Big Nick.
         These were fun stories in the old pulp tradition, and the author captures the characters in delightful new adventures. They come alive once more to rid the world of insidious crime while maintaining the dignity of the old. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson


Monday, March 11, 2019

The Last Shuttle Flight

Think NASA's last shuttle flight was the end of American technological space dominance?
July 21, 2011 might have been the final date of the Atlantis shuttle flight, but it sure wasn't the end of amazing discoveries.
In PART 1 of this fictionalized series of that flight, the crew comes into first contact with alien extraterrestrials who discover the Atlantis space shuttle as they are finishing their last few orbits around Earth.
If earthlings are stunned at this UFO sighting, the aliens are even more stunned. . 

The Last Shuttle Flight (SF/Alien Contact)
First Alien Contact Part 1
By J. Jack Bergeron
Independent Publishing Platform
Price Free (Kindle)
90 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

When the Atlantis Shuttle flight was preparing to leave orbit and return to the planet’s surface, no one expected what was to happen. An alien spaceship passing through our solar system recognized our space technology and followed the shuttle craft in to it’s landing at White Sands. Stuart Cobey is vacationing in the national park nearby with his girlfriend, and he was known for his articles on speaking with aliens of higher technology. He is whisked by helicopter to White Sands where he commences dialogue with the alien pilot.

This wasn’t a bad story, though it was a little presumptuous to believe an alien 40 millions years advanced of our technology wouldn’t be able to initiate dialogue without help. Didn’t we learn anything from Star Trek. The awkwardness of Cobey trying to teach the alien our language was a bit contrived. The story ends as a mother ship arrives to take the alien and Cobey to their home planet, so the rest of the story continues in future issues. The novelette was free, as is the sequel, I believe. And it is an interesting concept. Well worth reading, if you have a few hours to kill.

Tom Johnson


Thursday, March 7, 2019

You're Dead

Organizational psychologist Dr. Waters is a happily solitary guy with a few deep attachments, including to his boss Paresh Rajput, the owner of a thriving hi-tech aerospace company. Until something really bad happens to CEO Rajput, which throws Waters into a lunatic swirl of murderous stalkers, corporate intrigue, amorous female executives and crafty cops who see the inscrutable psychologist as murder suspect #1. Waters is hardly defenseless. A weight-lifter and former wrestler, ace poker player and master student of human nature, he takes it all on with surprising strength and determination. If they only knew. As with the connivers surrounding him, Waters has his own secrets. Autistic as a child, he lives with the consequences some blessings, others a curse. And a love affair that's hidden even more deeply, or so he thinks. You're Dead is a mystery/thriller, an adventure story, though in the context of the present zeitgeist the financial stakes of hi-tech ascendancy and flourishing commerce, corporate and personal venality, manipulations by the rich and powerful men and women and the ugly presence of base criminality that crackles around the fringes. It's about troubled and troubling minds, and institutions that struggle to assert relevance, but also how one man, single-minded and apart, can disrupt what the lead detective on the case calls, "Their clever-clever ways." Every writer has their themes and pre-occupations. For Knopf, it's the intricacies of the mind, the most complex organism in the universe. The aberrations, as well as the indefinable "normal". You're Dead is an action-filled examination of what happens when minds of all kinds collide.

You’re Dead (Mystery Thriller)
By Chris Knopf
The Permanent Press
ISBN #978-1579625665
Price $29.95 (Hardback)
Price $9.95 (Kindle)
Rating 4-Stars

Dr. Waters discovers the bodiless head of his boss when he goes home. He becomes the first suspect, and decides he needs to find the real killer before he’s arrested for the murder. The case becomes a fantastical investigation, as only the author can pen them, and would have been a first rate detective novel.

I’ve never cared for the author’s dialogue, but his fiction is certainly topnotch, if not a little beyond belief, but that’s why we read - to escape reality for a few hours in an action-packed mystery with beautiful women and hard men. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson


Sunday, March 3, 2019


It's not the end of the world - it's the start of something new, and its origins are both puzzling and terrifying.
A green fog descends over every major city in the world, and the populations disappear one by one. By nightfall, every living soul in every metropolis is gone. Earth grinds to a halt. Only a few stragglers are alive in the rural countryside. When Sam and his brother return from a mountain camping trip, they find only empty city streets. Alone, they look for any survivors to give them answers. 
The next day, lizards the size of Komodo dragons flood the city and attack the remaining humans. When these creatures are confronted by giant spiders, the two species fight each other for the remaining food supply.... with the humans caught in the middle. 

Earthweeds: Sons of Neptune Book 1 (YA/SF/Apocalypse)
By Rod Little
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN # 978-1547268566
356 Pages
Price $13.99 (Paperback)
Price Free (Kindle)
Rating 5-Stars

Brothers Shane and Sam have been camping in the woods when they discover a suicide. They decide to drive back into town to report the man’s body in the woods, but they find the town eerily quiet. It’s as if the whole town has been evacuated. Soon they meet up with other young people: Ken, Tina, Camila, Lucy, Lily, Mark, and Bohai Chen. It appears the town wasn’t evacuated, but that something alien has changed people into giant lizards. This same virus has also turned small spiders into giant spiders. The lizards are eating people and animals that survived, and the spiders are fighting the lizards. And the spiders want help from the young people. Bohai talks to animals and understands them, so the spiders work through him to recruit the others to help fight the lizards. Sam has a super hero ability, he can spark electricity and throw electrical balls at the enemy.

Okay, apocalyptic stories are not my cup of tea, nor is zombie viruses or viruses that turn people into lizards, but this story kept me turning the pages. And when I had to put it down for meals, I was anxious to get back to the adventure, that’s how interesting this story line is. It was well written, and the pace never slowed. It’s definitely aimed at the young adult, with a touch for the superhero crowd. There are some nice twists at the end of this yarn, and I see there is a sequel. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson