Graham  Keeler


 

 

 

Science fiction author

 

 

NEWS AND REVIEWS     


 

February 2015 - Book Promotion

     I have signed up with a useful website that promotes authors and their books and lists reviews. The site is called Ebook Universe and they carry a list of indie authors.

December 2013 - My first book signing at Barter Books is arranged

     Mary Manley has agreed for a book signing at Barter Books - 10 February 2014 at 7.30. The event will be combined with one of BBs regular evening talks. This one will be given by Gary Fildes - astronomer and FRAS and Director of Kielder Observatory. The observatory is based in the Kielder National Park, which is currently bidding to become the largest Dark Sky Park in Europe.

November 2013 - Possible book signing

 On Monday my daughter Liz arranged a meeting with Mary and Stuart Manley, the owners of Barter Books, to discuss a possible book signing event.

 Barter Books (http://www.barterbooks.co.uk) is one of the largest second hand book shops in Britain, housed in the former railway station in Alnwick, Northumberland. It includes a large selection of science fiction as well as historical novels and non-fiction that interest Marion, so a visit to Barter Books is a highlight of each visit to our cottage.

 Mary Manley was very supportive of my book and is in the process of setting up a signing session in conjunction with one of their regular evening talks, which will be fantastic.

 

January 2013 - Short Story Published

     I have just had my first short story published. Called "Alien Encounter", it is published in Jupiter magazine, issue number 39. The story has close links to the initial encounter from "Stowaway to the Stars" between Larry and Karen.

January 2013 - Book Promotion

     I have signed up with a useful website that promotes authors and their books and lists reviews. All I had to do was fill in details of my book on the book promotion page. Their 'review' of stowaway to the stars is now up on their website.

4 January 2013 - News item in the Bolton News

     The Bolton News have just published details of Stowaway to the stars here on 4th January 2013.

October 2012 - Press Release

     My press release regarding the publication of Stowaway to the Stars is available here.

26 September 2012 - Stowaway to the Stars is now published

     Netherworld have acted very quickly, and Stowaway is now published and available on Amazon, among other places

17 August 2012 - I have a publisher.   Stowaway to the Stars is to be published soon

     My big news currently is that Stowaway has been accepted for publication by Netherworld Books

25 July 2012 - G-AWFJ is gone

      My sad news is that we said goodbye to our light plane, Piper arrow G-AWFJ. I haven't flown this year, but we have fond memories of earlier trips.

June 2012 - I'm now fully retired

      After ten years as a part-timer, I have now finished teaching at Salford University

REVIEWS

1 RISING SHADOW , ALSO PUBLISHED ON AMAZON AS

 

A good and fast paced sci-fi adventure, January 13, 2013

Before I write anything else, I'll mention that Graham Keeler's Stowaway to the Stars was a positive and pleasant reading experience, because when I began to read it, I didn't expect it to be as entertaining as it turned out to be. I'll also mention that this book has a nice and fresh pulpy feel to it. I think it's possible to say that this book is almost like a tribute to old pulp sci-fi adventures.

Here's a bit of information about the plot:

Stowaway to the Stars is a story about Larry and Karen. Larry runs into trouble when he accidentally finds out about a Ziloni operation during an investigation of a planet. His trainee, Annek, is killed during the trip to the planet. He wants to find out why the Ziloni try to hide the fact that she was killed and gets into trouble. Karen loses her sister and begins to investigate what happened to her. She tries to find the man who murdered her. When Larry and Karen meet, it's the beginning of an exciting adventure...

One of the best things about this book is that the story is genuinely interesting, because the author knows how to entertain his readers. Everybody who has read fast paced and action packed sci-fi adventures will probably love Stowaway to the Stars, because there aren't any dull moments in it.

The characterization is the weakest part of Stowaway to the Stars, because the author concentrates mostly on fast paced action. Although there isn't much character development in this book, Larry and Karen are interesting characters, because both of them have problems of their own.

One of the best scenes in this book is the scene in which Larry and Karen meet each other. It was fun to read how Karen found it difficult to believe what Larry was telling him, because she didn't believe him at all. In my opinion the author has constructed this scene perfectly and uses gentle humour to highlight the happenings.

I enjoyed reading about the aliens, because they looked exactly like human beings and their genetic make-up was identical to our genetic make-up. It was also interesting to read about how intelligent life had spread to different planets.

The scientific details are interesting and the author avoids info dumping. I think that the author's background as a physicist has helped him to write about scientific details.

Stowaway to the Stars isn't a perfect sci-fi book, but it's an exciting and fast paced debut book, which will appeal to experienced sci-fi readers and newcomers alike. I think that the author's fluent writing style will charm the readers, because he's clearly written this book out of love for sci-fi adventures.

I hope that Graham Keeler continues to write science fiction, because he's a promising new author and he seems to have interesting ideas.

In my opinion Graham Keeler's Stowaway to the Stars is a fascinating and well written sci-fi adventure, which offers fast paced fun to several readers. It's possible that this book will remind readers of how much fun it is to read fast paced sci-fi adventures. If you're looking for a new sci-fi book to read, this book is a good choice, because it's an entertaining book.

Good sci-fi entertainment!

2 INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Which is a relief as I should declare an interest; I have known Graham Keeler ( a member of the Manchester Branch of the IoP) on and off since we both joined the college “Interplanetary Society” in fresher’s week at Queen Mary College (as it was then) University of London. 

The story is a tale of two quests, one for justice by an inter-planetary explorer who stumbles on evidence of a military plot by a powerful planetary government (“Zilioni”) to disrupt the “Galactic Union” of which it is a member planet.  The Galactic Union is rather like the USA, a tight federation of states, with California plotting to secede by armed revolt cutting off vital trade.  In the ensuing escape his side-kick is killed.  The Ziloni response to the allegations is overt and covert pressure to frustrate investigation.   The quest is for Larry (the explorer) to get justice for his side-kick and clear the smear of incompetence from his name.  The second quest is by an Earth girl, Karen, for the killer of her sister, found dead in suspicious circumstances made to look like suicide.  The Police only conduct a perfunctory investigation; so, not content to let it rest Karen sets about finding the only unknown contact, a mysterious boyfriend.  In doing so, she follows a potential candidate; hiding in what she thinks is his high tech. mobile home. It isn’t, and she finds herself stowed away to eventually aid and abet Larry’s quest and he, hers. 

The story could be a Round-Table Knight searching for the Grail; Don Quixote; James Bond or innumerable others.  This one happens to be set sort of now, but Earth is a “Primitive” planet, so Larry’s technology is far in advance of current Earth knowledge – anti-matter hand grenades included – but that Graham is a Physicist shows through in his explanations (Larry to Karen) of what is going on – with more detail on the book’s website*.  The explanations are sufficiently good for any Sci-Fi fan like me to suspend their credulity and sit back and enjoy the excellent plotting, twists and turns and “now get out of that” situations cleverly resolved with great pace.  The only bits that grated whilst reading it were mixed units (lbs thrust, Newtons surely in an SI book?) and navigation in hyperspace! 

This is an action book, so the pace is not slowed by too much characterisation and introspection, but the emotional interaction is a key part of the plot and the characters are much better written than in many such tales, certainly well enough to be credible and likeable.

In summary, an adventure yarn in a Sci-Fi setting which should please all lovers of such stories.  Well worth reading.

3 BY  E, ON AMAZON

Graham Keeler is a new author, so I didn’t know what to expect with this story, but I was not disappointed.

 The review on the front cover says that it is the most exciting SF book for years, which is exactly right in my opinion. In a refreshingly modest length (200 pages), the story proceeds with gusto, and some of the best scenes are those where there is tense action.

 It also develops the sometimes complex relationship between, the two main characters. Larry and Karen dominate the narrative, because for much of the time they are isolated in a hostile world (or worlds, in fact) as they struggle to survive and carry out their mission.

 Graham’s author page describes him as a physicist, and this comes out in the attention to scientific detail. He doesn’t overwhelm the reader with technicality, but you feel that the science behind the story is believable, even where the author obviously has to stretch reality with his idea of the hyperspace drive.

 It made such a change to read a book that was not so heavy as to make your arms ache, and as a result the plot never dragged, yet the characterization was well-drawn. A thoroughly good read that I highly recommend.

4  BY AZOG, ON AMAZON(Kindle Edition)

This is a long book. Almost 10,000 Kindle locations. Don't know what that translates to in terms of pages, but I would have to say "a lot". On one hand, the length makes me wonder if it could be shorter than it is; on the other hand, I'd rather an author publish a big book, rather than drawing it out into several volumes. While I do like episodes or series, sometimes it's just nice to have a book that says "you're done!".

In terms of the story, some of the situations and solutions feel a little contrived. But isn't that the purpose of fiction? Yes, but as I mentioned above, perhaps some judicious snips here and there could have reduced the feelings of coincidence. I also found the dialog a bit stuff, but I am not sure if that is due to my American English versus the British English used in the book.

I did enjoy the book, as a three-star rating indicates, and read it from start to finish. It was the kind of book to pick up at night, to close my day with. I'm not sure I would revisit the book, or how memorable it will be, but it is a type of space opera, and as such, it does fit into that niche.

5 SELF PUBLISHER'S SHOWCASE

It’s always nice to read an author trying something different. I always like to make tortured food analogies when reviewing books and if Stowaway to the Stars by Graham Keeler were a food, it would be a marmite and yoghurt sandwich.

The traditional Science Fiction elements are its bread crust, add a dollop of yoghurty spy thriller, whisk in some romance and then add a dash of comedy. Like said mix, it has parts that work and others that leave a slightly nasty taste in your mouth.

The book has a dual perspective, from Karen, a woman who is seeking her sister’s killer and Larry, a space man who is on the run due to a conspiracy he stumbled across. Larry's plot is the meat of the book, as Karen mistakes Larry for her sister’s killer and accidentally ends up stowing away on his ship when he comes under attack and has to flee from his hiding place on Earth. From there, Karen slowly comes to understand the real scale of the universe she is in and ends up aiding Larry as he tries to clear his name.

First off, let’s start with the good. It’s an interesting universe that is set up in a good, quick and efficient way considering its length. It’s also a very efficient story as a whole, as a lot happens during its mere 200 pages. Larry and Karen are also interesting people that are nice to spend time with. Unfortunately there is some not so good too, for as written, Karen is a Mary Sue. Able to become brilliant at anything she takes her hand to, to a standard that rivals Larry, someone who has been a spy for years! That’s not necessarily a bad thing as I quite like competent female characters - It just seems a bit of waste of an interesting protagonist to make even the flaws in her character be something that the others treat as some sort of plus.

Also, Keeler seems to have developed a habit of changing perspectives to let us know that the one of our protagonists finds the other attractive, or that they are marvelling at them. It’s something that made the book feel a lot longer than it actually was when reading, sapping the tension in a few scenarios. For example, during a thrilling escape, the characters stop to admire how attractive they find one another.

Overall, I quite liked the book, but the flaws stopped me from loving it. I think if Graham had had a stricter editorial process and trimmed some of the fat of the tale; we could have lean spy drama about two people finding one another amongst intrigue, betrayals and a galaxy spanning conspiracy. The book as it is though had me almost losing interest by the end.

(Three Stars)

6 BY EMC2 ON AMAZON

Stowaway to the Stars
The story is a tale of two quests, one for justice by an inter-planetary explorer who stumbles on evidence of a military plot by a powerful planetary government ("Zilioni") to disrupt the "Galactic Union" of which it is a member planet. The Galactic Union is rather like the USA, a tight federation of states, with California plotting to secede by armed revolt cutting off vital trade. In the ensuing escape his side-kick is killed. The Ziloni response to the allegations is overt and covert pressure to frustrate investigation. The quest is for Larry (the explorer) to get justice for his side-kick and clear the smear of incompetence from his name. The second quest is by an Earth girl, Karen, for the killer of her sister, found dead in suspicious circumstances made to look like suicide. The Police only conduct a perfunctory investigation; so, not content to let it rest Karen sets about finding the only unknown contact, a mysterious boyfriend. In doing so, she follows a potential candidate; hiding in what she thinks is his high tech. mobile home. It isn't, and she finds herself stowed away to eventually aid and abet Larry's quest and he, hers.
The story could be a Round-Table Knight searching for the Grail; Don Quixote; James Bond or innumerable others. This one happens to be set sort of now, but Earth is a "Primitive" planet, so Larry's technology is far in advance of current Earth knowledge - anti-matter hand grenades included - but that the author is a Physicist shows through in his explanations (Larry to Karen) of what is going on - with more detail on the book's website. The explanations are sufficiently good for any Sci-Fi fan like me to suspend their credulity and sit back and enjoy the excellent plotting, twists and turns and "now get out of that" situations cleverly resolved with great pace. The only bits that grated whilst reading it were mixed units (lbs thrust, Newtons surely in an SI book?) and navigation in hyperspace!
This is an action book, so the pace is not slowed by too much characterisation and introspection, but the emotional interaction is a key part of the plot and the characters are much better written than in many such tales, certainly well enough to be credible and likeable.
In summary, an adventure yarn in a Sci-Fi setting which should please all lovers of such stories. Well worth reading and a great first book.

7 BY DEBBIE ON AMAZON

Graham Keeler is obviously a very clever man! This book is scifi through and through but it is never dull and never over explains or makes a luddites brain ache to the point you give up. It has the right mix of everything. I don't want to go into detail in my review because I hate spoiling stories for people and you can get all the information you need from the book info, let me just say it is a great story. There is fighting in space, there are dead bodies a plenty, there is even a well handled romance (unusual for Scifi!) and some wonderful characters. If you like your Ian M Banks etc, you'll love this.

8 BY AUTHOR ALLIANCE

As a fledgling author, I really want to take the time to read others’ work and help in the best way I can. It’s hard when I know my particular review can really make a difference in what people think as they consider the book, but I’m not one to placate to an author. I know I want to hear the honest truth of what someone thinks when they read my work and I try to do the same for others.

My biggest concern with the novel is the “telling.” I am a big fan of the phrase “show, don’t tell” in writing. There is a lot of time spent telling things instead of letting the reader see it for his/herself. At the beginning, when there was action, it was good, but starting even around page 17 all the reader gets is summary. I felt extremely disengaged from the characters. For example, when Rachel was dealing with the death of her sister, I was told me how hard it was for her to be dealing with the police, how unhelpful they were. Why couldn’t I see that? Why wasn’t there time taken to give me specific scenes, really show me what her emotions were and how much she missed her sister? The characters just felt so far away.

I think this story started too far in advance of the important parts. If it had started at the time when Rachel mistake Larry for Grant, then maybe it would have more of an oomph right from the start, and the background could be revealed moving forward. Everything between the deaths and when Larry and Rachel meet is kind of in the way. It was all exposition and I wasn’t drawn to the characters yet, so I got lost.

Larry and his piece of the story at the beginning is better than Rachel. The dialogue was integrated to help make the pacing work, to help the reader see more of the setting and what was happening in real time. I found Rachel’s portion to be frustrating. Not only way it significantly different in style from what I was reading with Larry, but it was so “telling” – she boldly walked to the counter, she got hit on, etc. I didn’t get to see any of it, or experience any of what she really felt. “Weeks passed” without anything happening or any changes to the struggle for her.

It’s not all 100% negative. I really do think there is a good idea for a story here. There is an interesting dynamic of two seemingly different events having a connection. The characters are good and the sci-fi world is well developed. This book just isn’t clean enough to really hook the reader – I know it didn’t for me. I wanted to put in a good faith effort to give a full review but, had that not been my objective, I doubt I would have gone past the first chapter

 

9 A REVIEW OF ALIEN ENCOUNTER IN JUPITER MAGAZINE

Graham Keeler’s ‘Alien Encounter’ was an adventure story about a rather naive girl from Earth getting picked up in a spaceship by Laren’hi Jalid Rasilii or Larry to his friends and their subsequent encounter in space. Not having a clue where she is, much of the story is involved with her process of enlightenment. This could be part of a much longer story with plenty of mileage. Good characterisation.

10 FINALLY, A PERSONAL EMAIL

Hi Graham
I hope you don't mind me messaging you
I'm doing a physics degree at Salford, and share a flat with another student.
He bought your book Stowaway To The Stars a while ago, and now I've finished my exams I'm reading it
I think it's amazing, one of the best things that I've ever read! I started it last night and am on Chapter Ten already
I just wanted to say that I think it's really brilliant; I love the writing style, the humour, the characters, the story... and I hope you write more! I can't wait to finish it, though in a way I don't want to
Thanks
E

 

 

 

Graham Keeler 2012
 
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