Had to wrestle with myself on this one. I vowed from the first that if I didn’t like a book I wouldn’t write about it. Well, okay, I did like it, but with a serious caveat. I’m an old-school grammarian, you see – one who likes agreement between subject and predicate, words used according to their meanings, misspellings at a bare minimum (there’s always going to be one or two…), and logical sentence structure. If author Carl Lee ever did take basic high school English Comp, he must’ve slept all the way through it. Worse, this narrative showed no signs of an outside editor. (My editor would’ve totally torn her hair out.)
But maybe that’s just me. A Stone’s Throw Away has garnered, at last count, twelve rave reviews on Amazon.
And I’ll tell you why.
It’s one hellavuh story. It moves. It’s got a great premise. The science is credible and meticulously well thought out. There’s danger, suspense, and unexpected twists and turns all over the place. So even though I had to drop back a few times to figure out what the heck he actually meant, I couldn’t put it down.The blurb: Brian has just graduated and is trying to choose the least objectionable option from the few offered him: child-rearing, maintenance or research. What it’s come down to, on the earth 500 years hence, is living in secured communities of about 500, each dependent on a Dupe (duplicator) for their needs. Survival depends on providing the Dupe with sufficient raw materials to function. Beyond that…not a lot of opportunities.
Growing up at Installation 107 (always written “One-O-Seven”) was difficult for the brilliant but basically directionless Brian. He simply didn’t like being fenced in. And ultimately, via one frightening escapade after another, he achieves life on his own terms. More or less. And along the way he solves one of the most confounding technical problems of the age.
Best of all, I learned through his interview in Denise Alicea’s blog The Pen & Muse that we have the same writing M-O: we create our characters and just let ‘em run with it. And boy can they surprise you!So…even though A Stone’s Throw Away lacks editing and certain other normal publisher niceties, it’s a great read.