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Showing posts with label DavidVining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DavidVining. Show all posts

Friday, 12 July 2019

Crystal Embers - David Vining

Crystal Embers
David Vining
ISBN 9781070434520
ASIN B07SCNX8JZ


Over the past year I have read five collections of short stories and a historical novel by David Vining. And I really enjoyed them. But this new novel from Vining is a masterpiece. As I was reading it, I kept expecting certain things to happen and they did not, and what did happen was such a surprising twist on an old tale that it completely blew me away. The skill showing in the writing of this novel amazed me. As much as I have enjoyed all his other available works, I truly loved this one. 

I would describe this story as a retelling of the tale of Saint George and the Dragon, but from a completely different angel. George has been released from his role in the military after a long and hard-fought civil war. He has been sent home, but home is his men, the battles, and the adventure. He does not know where he fits, and a quiet desperation keeps gripping him. His wife, Virginia, is lost in her own way. Her husband that returned from war is not man she remembers leaving or had built up in her memory. And she is no longer in charge or the lands and has a stranger sharing her bed. George is known as the hero who ended the war. She mourns the loss of her child, and it is a child he never met. They encounter a dragon on their land and both of them become enthralled by it. But everyone expects the hero of the war to kill the dragon. 

The two of them end up travelling through the countryside. They pursue the dragon. But not for the expected reasons. They travel and they search for new meaning. All they have is each other and the dragon they are following. Watching their strange sad reunion was touching. Following them as they rediscover each other is deeply moving. 

In many ways this story reminds me of A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin and Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. It is a classic fantasy story. The plot is very unique. The book was hard to put down. And I give it a solid 5/5 stars. It is a great read, give it a try I am sure you will enjoy it. 

My only wish was that I could track down a copy of his debut novel that is now out of print. But everything else he has written is excellent. 

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

...

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellit

...

Author profile and interview with David Vining.



Friday, 28 December 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2018

My total books this quarter is down a bit from last quarter, but my page count is actually up. Just variations in the length of material read. And I am finishing the year at just under a book a day with 359 books read over the year, down a bit from the 380 last year. The Quarter by the numbers: 

78 books read
49 received 5/5 stars
8 of those had been read before
25 were non-Fiction
24 were fiction

So here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the fourth quarter 2018. 

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:

1. Inspiration from the Saints - Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh
2. Father Damien's Letters - Joseph Damien De Veuster
3. Finding Our Way Home: A family's story of life, love, and loss - J Damon Dagnone
4. Footprints of the Northern Saints - Basil Cardinal Hume
5. Love In Action - Fernando Ocáriz
6. Overcoming Lukewarmness: Healing Your Soul's Sadness - Francis Fernandez-Carvajal
7. Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Pope Paul VI and Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
8. Call Him Father: How to Experience the Fatherhood of God - Fr. Edward Maritany
9. To Raise the Fallen: A Selection of the War Letters, Prayers, and Spiritual Writings of Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J. - Edited by Patrick Kenny
10. Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church - Peter Kreeft 

Top Ten Fiction Books:

1. Lives of the Early Christians in Rome Trilogy - Father Michael E. Giesler
Junia - Marcus - Grain of Wheat
2. Thanos Titan Consumed - Barry Lyga - MARVEL's Avengers
3. The Absence of War - Amy Welborn
4. Siege of Reginald Hill - Corinna Turner 
5. Treachery and Truth - Katy Huth Jones 
6. Ornamental Graces - Carolyn Astfalk
7. Charlotte's Honor - Ellen Gable - Great War Great Love Book 2
8. Guarding Aaron - T.M. Gaouette - Faith & Kung Fu Book 3
9. David Vining Short Stories Collections:
A Boy and His Satellite
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
10. Death by Airship - Arthur Slade - Orca Currents

If you give some of these a try I am sure they will be with the read! 

Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Author Profile and Interview with David Vining

Author Profile and Interview with David Vining


David M. Vining is an author I only discovered earlier this year. A novel of his was recommended by an author I respect and trust. But not willing to take the plunge on a historical fiction novel, I decided to try one of his collections of short stories. And within a few weeks had read his 5 collections of short stories and the novel. And now I eagerly await his net work to be published. As a budding author, David’s work is wonderful to read. He took time recently from the many hats he wears to answer 20 questions for the readers here at Book Reviews and More. So here in his own words is David.

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How are you nurturing that dream?

I started writing in elementary school. I remember loving to throw myself into every writing project assigned to me. I also developed a little comic book company with a few friends that last a grand few weeks.

My big early project was a piece of Star Wars fan fiction (which is thankfully lost to time), followed by a The Lord of the Rings knockoff I tried to begin in high school.

In college, I majored in English Literature, and I took more than my fair share of creative writing classes where I thought very highly of myself. It was about this time I started what would become my first completed novel (more about that a bit later).

I never took the work of writing that seriously, though. It was only a few years ago in late 2013 that I decided to make writing something I would pursue as full time as I could manage. Unhappy with my job, I decided that the only way out of "real work" was my writing, so I started a promise that has led to me writing more than 1500 words a day almost every day today.

2. Who were some of the biggest supporters of your writing?

That's easily my mother. As a writer herself, I think she enjoys to see one of her children following, somewhat, in her footsteps. She's always encouraged my imagination and, in particular, my reading. She's read almost everything I've written and been the one person to give me strong feedback regularly. I've learned to listen to her recommendations, even if I don't always agree with them.

3. What authors influenced your writing style and format?

For the longest time (through college), I imagined myself as the next James Joyce. As you can imagine, that led to a lot of confused writing without much mooring to anything tangible a reader could latch onto (what a pompous amateur with significantly less talent will generally create when aping James Joyce). Since, I've stopped trying to be flashy and have focused more on just trying to tell stories.

Cormac McCarthy was a strong early influence. I love his elegiac style (which I sometimes strive to mimic), but his intelligent use of violence in the service of story imprinted well with me.

Ultimately, though, I really try to just follow the two main rules of writing that one of my college professors (Robin Allnutt) passed along to me: Never be muddy. Never be boring.

4. In the back of your books one of your acknowledgements is: “and to my employer for designing a building with many small conference rooms where I could hide away for my lunch hours and toil instead of eat.” What is your current day job?

I work for a software as a service company that deals with health insurance for employers. Most of the year, the job is relatively relaxed with enough opportunities for me to peel away and find a small conference room to write in. I make a special effort to do exactly that everyday on my lunch.

5. Do you see yourself writing full-time for a living?

That's the ultimate goal, although how I'll finally get there is still a mystery. I've pursued literary agents but I've never been able to find representation, so for now, I'm trying to leverage independent publishing to gain any kind of traction that I can.

6. What does your writing process look like? Takes us through the steps from idea to publishing?

I always have ideas swirling in my head. If I don't have a set plan for the next two projects, at least, then I feel a little lost. Once I'm ready to take one of these ideas to the page, though, my process is actually fairly regimented. 
I have a pre-writing process that tries to hammer out as much of the plot and character elements I can before I start Chapter 1. My very first novel was done freeform, and it produced something less than ideal. 

After a bevy of outlines, character profiles, and other materials, I sit down to write the first draft. Once I begin that draft, I continue through until it's done. I never go back in the middle of a draft to change things, that's the job of the second draft. Once through, I set the draft aside and try my best to forget about it.

I'll go to another project (a third draft of something else, for example), giving me, hopefully, enough time away from the first draft to approach it as any reader would which will help me identify issues more objectively. 

My second draft includes a set process as well. I read the whole thing, write down my thoughts on the entire work, and then I go back through again. I'll then approach the book chapter by chapter, filling out a worksheet about what the chapter is trying to accomplish, how well it does it, as well as any other strengths and weaknesses, and rewrite as necessary. 

One other thing that I do is handwrite my first drafts for a variety of reasons, which means that at the end of my second draft, I have to type up the whole book, one of the most miserable experiences of the entire process. However, I keep it up because of my attachment to writing by hand, and this transcription forces me to look at the whole thing one more time.

Any subsequent drafts largely follow the same pattern.

7. You have published 5 collections of short stories and 2 novels. Were the collections of Short Stories written as collections? Or did you write a series of stories and then group them afterwards?

I wrote the short stories as an effort to create a bevy of content before I released my first novel (The Battle of Lake Erie). A little more than a year ago, I was considering the independent publishing route and decided to do it, but I did not want my first foray to be a novel that I had spent months and months on to be that introduction. I could imagine the anti-climactic response it would get. So, I made the conscious decision to write 5 short story collections, release them monthly, and then follow up with the novel.

8. Of the 25 published short stories across the 5 collections, which was your favorite to write and why?

It would probably be "A Question of Principles", the Star Trek Voyager pseudo-story. Out of all of the short stories in those collections, it had been the one in my head (in one form or another) for the longest. What gives me the most pride, though, was that I handed it a Star Trek fan friend of mine who read it and said that it felt like a real episode. Granted, it intentionally breaks with several of the conventions of the series, but he felt that the characters were well represented.

9. Across the 25 published short stories to date which character is your favorite and why?

I have a certain affinity to Matthew March, the protagonist of "Salut" in Old Magic in a New World. He's a slimy and entitled brat, but I find his cluelessness kind of endearing.

I also like Jacques Martin, the drunk Frenchman trekking through the Brazilian rainforest in search of a lost treasure, in "The Jewel of the Moon" in the collection A Light in the Darkness interesting as well. I find him to be an enigma, so much to the point that I still haven't decided what made him famous in the framing device, or whether he ever found the jewel itself.

10. Why did you publish the short stories as 5 collections of 5 compiled thematically instead of as a larger single volume?

It was purely an effort to extend the release over a greater amount of time and extend the amount of attention I could get for my work. Nothing beautifully artistic about it, just cold hard business strategy.

11. Your first novel, A Quest Through Winter Sleep, is now out of print. Do you ever see it coming back into print?

Never. 

I wrote this book over the course of about two years right after college. As I alluded to earlier, the book was written freeform without any strong plan. As such, I find it a meandering mess with little justification for the length. It has some interesting ideas and images, but in order for me to fix the book to my own satisfaction, I estimate that it would take me at least six months of hard work. 

I think it's better to leave my first effort as a "lost work" than to spend so much time trying to salvage it instead of pursuing ideas I find fresher.

12. You have a professed love of history, and specifically American history. Of the books that you have read on the topic, which ones would you consider essential reading?

Most of my reading of history I've decided to do through biographies of American presidents. I'm going in order from Washington forward. As of this moment, I've finished through Andrew Johnson (the 17th President) with two competing biographies of Ulysses S. Grant calling to me from my bookshelf.
Regarding your actual question, the two works that I find rather indispensable to understand the early days of the American republic are two six volume biographies of the 3rd and 4th Presidents.

Dumas Malone is responsible for the biography of Thomas Jefferson.
Irving Brant wrote the biography of James Madison. As a quick tangent, it was actually this biography that first introduced me to The Battle of Lake Erie as a one and a half page summary of the battle I read that description, fell in love with the event, and began a series of research that ultimately led to me writing the book. 

13. Some of your books are available in electronic formats but with that comes bootleg distribution. What are your impressions of eBooks and the distribution of them through torrents and other illegal means?

At the moment, I'm just not big enough to worry about it. I need new readers as much as dollars for my work.

14. Some authors monitor torrent sites and contact them to remove their content. Do you do so are have someone do so for you?

I did a quick search after I read your question, and I haven't found anything, but again, I'm just too small a fish in too large of a pond for that fight.

15. You mentioned on your site a love of movies. What are your some of your favorite movies?

This is a question that I've thought way too much about. I'm actually much more of a movie fan than a book fan. I have a top ten:

The Passion of Joan of Arc
Duck Soup
Casablanca
2001: A Space Odyssey
Apocalypse Now
Amadeus
Au Revoir Les Enfants
The Last Temptation of Christ
The Thin Red Line
The Lord of the Rings

The list above is chronological in order. I love many more movies, but if relegated to only ten for the rest of my life, I'd find the above to be much more than satisfactory.

16. What were some of your favorite authors in your teen years who helped shape you?

My teen years were spent reading Star Wars Expanded Universe novels and The Lord of the Rings. I could have spent more time reading Heinlein or Asimov (which I dabbled in), but ultimately those years were shaped by those two main sources.

17. What are some of your favorite books and authors now?

I've read Ulysses by James Joyce twice. The first reading left me confused, and the second reading left me enraptured. I read the Barsoom books by Edgar Rice Burroughs a few years ago as a source of light reading, and I've enjoyed them quite a bit.

I've been very slowly making my way through this list of English novels of the 19th century, starting at the bottom with The Wanderer (which I viscerally hated) and most recently having read Mary Barton (which I found to be two different books in one that weren't combined terribly well), but with Jane Eyre and Great Expectations at the top of the heap, I'm certain I'll find more greats along the way. 

18. I once had a university professor state that the true goal of a university education should be to teach one to learn how to think. What would you state should be the goal of higher education and why?

I remember one of my last classes was a fiction for children course taught by a woman who had never instructed the material before. She gave conflicting information about what she expected a children's story to be. For example, she championed Roald Dahl as an exemplar, but hated dark themes in the work we actually turned in. In the final week of class, I wrote an email to her explaining how I had met the requirements of the course, even if she didn't like my writing in particular. Once completed, I was quite satisfied with the email (which she never responded to), because I felt like I had argued my case quite well.

I'm not sure that was the goal of every single one of my teachers, to simply get me to a point where I could effectively argue, but I believe that my personal experiences in college led to that.

And argument really comes from the ability to understand. I think of St. Augustine and something he said in The Confessions about how education for him became less worthwhile when his teachers stopped teaching him how to think and started teaching him what to think.

19. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 10 books to read again and again, what books would you want with you?

Much like my movie list, I'd want a variety. I'd love to have Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, a Burroughs collection, The Lord of the Rings, Jane Eyre, and…

I'm not sure. Maybe I'll take some parachute drops of books from time to time, tossing what I don't want to keep me at or below ten.

20. What advice would you give to young aspiring authors and artists?

Writing is a job. Treat it like one.

I get the impression from those who want to get into creative fields but haven't yet, that they imagine the creative process to be akin to dancing through a field, tossing flowers in the air, and receiving inspiration from the universe. If there's anything like that in the real thing, it lasts for a few minutes as you develop the beginnings of ideas. Once that's done, then it becomes hard work to tease that idea out into something resembling a story, to populate that story with characters resembling people, and then to assemble it all into something resembling readable. 

That effort takes hundreds of hours for a novel, and they are the kind of hours that are the most thankless one can experience, turning that blank page into something filled with words. Turning nothing into something.

A second piece of advice is to learn how to critically read your own work. That doesn’t mean insisting that everything is terrible, but understanding what is good and what is bad. I find that a buffer of time is one of the best things that leads to me to begin being able to do that. 

Focus on finishing the first draft, and worry about rewrites later. It's easier to fix a first draft than to complete a first draft when you can't get past chapter 1.

Thank you, David for taking the time to answer some question for the readers. If you have not read any of his books yet I encourage you to give them a try. The short stories are amazing, and the novel is excellent.

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

...

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellit

...

Author profile and interview with David Vining.







Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Shoes for Two Soldier Sons - David Vining - A Collection of Short Stories

Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
A Collection of Short Stories
David Vining

ISBN 9781980891758
ASIN B07BZXHQ6D


This is the fifth collection of short stories by David Vining that I have read over the last 6 weeks. An author I appreciate recommended Vining’s novel, The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812. But not knowing Vining’s works I decided to pick up one of the collections of short stories. It was a wonderful collection, and before I had finished the novel I had all 5 of the collections of short stories loaded on my Kindle and ready to go.

The 5 books of short stories are:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellite

I left this one for last because it is described as:

“The American Civil War tore the nation apart. Brothers against brothers. Fathers against sons. 

Here are five fictional tales of how men and women navigated the many different facets of the conflict that rent America in two. 

A woman spy makes her way back through enemy lines to the Union. 
A young boy watches a battle from the perch in a tree and gets more than he wanted. 
A wounded soldier travels to a dead friend's home to deliver his final message. 

All and more in this special collection.”

Not being American, and not being a Civil War buff this collection had the least appear for me. The other collections focus on different themes such as: magic, Science Fiction, Mutiny, Light and Darkness, and this collection contains 5 stories about the American Civil War. All of Vining’s writings are good reads, this and one other collection garnered a solid 5/5 stars for the review and the other 3 wavered and ended up at 4/5. The stories in this volume are:

A Drink between Friends 
Making the 6:14 to Washington City 
Up a Tree 
On and Off the Carolina Coast 
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons

The stories that had the most impact upon me were the first and the last. But each of the 5 offered in this collection are masterfully written. The war between the north and the south has always been an area of study academically. The subject of much fiction, novels, TV mini-series, and movies. And even in this politically correct charged time, it is a subject that draws much attention. This is one of the best of David’s collections of short stories.

In a previous review I stated: “Writing short stories, or at least good ones is an art form unto itself. In a novel you have a lot more time and space to work things out. Great short stories need to be tightly written. David Vining has that skill. His stories are complete but often leave a reader wanting more of the story, or more stories with the characters. His stories remind me of the works of J.F. Powers.” This was a very powerful collection of stories. And though I do want more each story is complete and a great read.

This is a great collection of short stories, dive in and give these stories about the Civil War a read they will be unlike anything else on the subject you have encountered. 

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

...

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellit

...

Author profile and interview with David Vining.



Thursday, 1 November 2018

Mutiny! - David Vining - A Collection of Short Stories

A Boy and His Satellite
A Collection of Short Stories
David Vining

ISBN 9781980762898
ASIN B07BYZBH18


This book was the fourth collection of short stories by David Vining that I have read. And I have also read his novel, The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812. I find that I am approaching this work with mixed feelings. Part of me absolutely loves David’s wiring, but a different part of me is disappointed because after finishing this collection I only have one more collection of his stories and I have read all his published works. Before I had finished two of Vining’s works, I had purchased all 6. I was enjoying the writing so much I knew I would want to read it all. As is obvious by the title this is a collection of 5 stories about Mutinies. And the specific stories in this collection are:

Making New Orders 
View from the Brig 
Fishing off the Coast of Limnos 
Lashed 
A Question of Principles

The description of this book is:

“Revolution! 

It's easy, isn't it? Pushed far enough, a son will turn against his father. Pushed hard enough, old friends will turn against one another. Driven to the edge, young people will try to overthrow whole systems without understanding why they stand to begin with. 

Who will win? Who will lose? What will happen when it's all over?”

It is an intriguing collection, spanning from ancient maritime ships, to the far reaches of time and space as a vessel makes it way through the universe. The book will spark the imagination, and recall images popular in movies, television, and other books. From the story of a young man chafing under his father on the family fishing boat while his brothers get to go to way for Athens. To a story written in homage to Star Trek Voyager. All 5 stories are very well written, they are a great collection. But to be honest the first two stories are the cream in this collection. The first story ‘Making New Orders’ had such a twist that I went back and reread it after finishing it before going on with the collection. And the Second story ‘View from the Brig’ has a certain hook to it, I can still hear maniacal laughter just thinking about the story. 

Writing short stories, or at least good ones is an art form unto itself. In a novel you have a lot more time and space to work things out. Great short stories need to be tightly written. David Vining has that skill. His stories are complete but often leave a reader wanting more of the story, or more stories with the characters. His stories remind me of the works of J.F. Powers, who published numerous collections of short stories, but only 2 novels over his career. He was probably one of the best American short story writers of the last century. And yet even his novels, often contained chapters or sections that had previously been published at short stories. I have read, and reread Powers works many times, and I know the same will happen with Vining’s. 

Another great collection of short stories, dive in and give these five stories about Mutiny a chance, I am sure you will be captivated by them. 

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

...

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellit

...

Author profile and interview with David Vining.



Thursday, 25 October 2018

A Boy and His Satellite - David Vining - A Collection of Short Stories

A Boy and His Satellite
A Collection of Short Stories
David Vining
ISBN 
9781980760580

ASIN B07BYFYFL9


My introduction to the works of David Vining was the collection of short stories, A Light in the Darkness. I picked it up after his novel, The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812, was recommended by and author I greatly enjoy. I loved the short stories in that first collection and before I had finished it and the novel I had purchased all 5 collections of short stories that had been published up until that date. This was the third collection of Vining’s stories I have read and by far I consider it the best. It is a great collection of science fiction short stories.

The stories in this volume are:

A Trip to Bohn-96 
You Load 16 Bits, and What Do You Get? 
Halfway 

A Boy and His Satellite

Usually when you read a collection of short stories there is a favorite and a least favorite. This collection was a little different. Yes, there was a favorite story, A Boy and his Satellite, but there was no least favorite. Vining tackles some interesting themes in this collection. From the evolution of a religion on an isolated generational ship carved into giant meteors, to a man who has a cockroach teleported under his skin leading to some serious psychological issues. There is also the intriguing story, that takes place mostly in queue to prepare for a faster than light transport. But as mentioned the story that fascinated me most was A Boy and his Satellite, in many ways it reads like some of the shorter work of Frank Herbert or even Robert A. Heinlein. This collection is worth the price for just this one story. And to be honest I would love to see this story developed into a novel about the main character. The hints that are given in this story could be elements in an epic story.

As mentioned this is the third collection of short stories by Vining I have read. I have thoroughly enjoyed each of them. This was a fantastic read and I look forward to more from the pen of David Vining!

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

...

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellit

...

Author profile and interview with David Vining.




Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Old Magic in a New World - David Vining - A Collection of Short Stories

Old Magic in a New World
A Collection of Short Stories
David Vining
ISBN 9781980891956

ASIN B07C4JX2WB


This was the second collection of short stories by David Vining that I have read. It is a collection of 5 stories with some interesting variations on the practice of magic. The stories in this volume are:

Salut 
From Cork to Montgomery 
Sooner or Later 
A Witch's Counter 
Lessons Our Parents Taught Us

With any collection of short stories there is always a favorite, and by necessity a least favorite. In this collection my favorite was ‘Lessons Our Parents Taught Us’ I appreciated the backstory of Winston Gardner’s recollections of what his parents taught him, even as he treks across the country to get away from his parents and his six brothers and sisters. The unique ending of this story took me completely by surprise. And the magic in this story presents in a very different way than the others. The story ‘A Witch's Counter’ was my least favorite. Even though it gives a plausible explanation for the beginning of the trials in Salem. 

Each of the stories to some extent focuses around the theme of magic. But it is the theme of magic in the new world. Three of the stories also have an element of family interactions. Some that support and some that play key aspects of the plot. 

The description of this collection is:

“Magic and spells populate the world of history. 

See what happens when people gain the power to make others sneeze at will! When a man can make himself disappear from sight with a song! See what really started the witch trials at Salem, Massachusetts!”

But the story that has stuck with me most is: ‘From Cork to Montgomery’, It has come back to mind a number of times since reading it. The story is about a family leaving Ireland to not be renters and seeking their own parcel of land in America. But the further the family travels the lest the matriarch’s magic works. The daughter understands what is happening and how to counter it but the old woman can not give up her old ways. 

This was a very intriguing collection of stories. After reading David’s novel and a different collection of stories I had purchased all 5 of his current collections of short stories. David is a young author, but his works show a maturity and skill I have not seen in many with far more years than his. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and look forward to the next I will read. 

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

...

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellit

...

Author profile and interview with David Vining.




Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Battle of Lake Erie - David Vining - One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812

The Battle of Lake Erie: 
One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
David Vining
ISBN 9781718004528

ASIN B07G2RY6J8


I have not read a lot of books about navel warfare. The few I have I have appreciated. And I greatly enjoyed the few novels in the Aubrey & Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. This book combines the best of both worlds. It is a masterfully told story of the battle of Lake Erie. It is history brought to life. As a Canadian, I have encountered few American's who are familiar with the war of 1812. To read an account of one of America's most important victories of the war is intriguing from foreign eyes. 

The story follows the leadership of Oliver Hazard Perry over the American squadron on the great lakes. Oliver's younger brother, James Alexander, serves as a midshipman on board the American flagship. The story follows the brothers through this historic battle. 

Vining is either an amateur historian or an impeccable researcher. And maybe both. The attention to detail in the battles, life on ship, and navel warfare are exceptional. That is why the book reminds me so much of Patrick O'Brian. As such there is a great attention to details. But unlike O'Brian's writings this story is written from actual events. Readers will find themselves immersed in the battle. Now yes it takes some time for the set up, but that is part of the beauty of this work, the stage is set properly. And once the battle begins the reader is invested, especially with the midshipmen. 

As a first novel this is a fantastic read. The author has a passion for the subject, and his passion is contagious. His potential for excellence is clear. And I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

This book was recommended to me by and author whose works I love. I am always a little weary approaching new author, so I had picked up one of Vining's collection of short stories, A Light in the Darkness, to read first. It was an excellent read and I had picked up this novel and another of the collections of short stories. Before I had even finished this novel, I had purchased the other three collections of stories. That is how good Vining's writings are! 

An excellent read by a young author whose career I am eager to follow. Excellent for fans of historical fiction, for fans of navel warfare, or just for people who enjoy a great read!

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

...

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellit

...

Author profile and interview with David Vining.