Thursday, June 23, 2011


I just finished Scott Niven's collection of short stories TWILIGHT CANDLEFLIES. I was first drawn to the book by the beautiful cover. It reminds me of a German Expressionist painting. And the stories inside, being dystopian sci/fi, have that same expressionistic feel--that somewhat odd but engrossing aura.

All three stories end on a somewhat ironic note, which flows naturally from the stories' plots and themes. So, all three stories, while whole and complete in themselves, leave you wanting to know more, more about this dystopian world.

The story I'll discuss in more detail is a perfect example. The title itself, "This Is Not Your Mother's Earth," sets up the tone of irony. Is the title directed at the reader or at the story's subject matter? It works either way, but with totally different meanings.

And what about the main character? He's an eighteen-year-old man who's life is filled with irony. Has he been bred to be what he is? Is this the fate of all boys on this planet? And who's in control? Chaos is an intregal part of his theme. Is chaos in control? It's doubtful, but maybe.

This is clearly a world without love, yet love is at the center of this man's life. Unfortunately, he can't have what he loves. And his love is drowned out by the roar of falsity. And the notion of what's heroic is definitely a lie.

There is much that can be said about this story and the other two as well. The writing is excellent. Scott has taken great pains to master his craft. I don't read much sci/fi or dystopian literature, but I think the quality of his stories places them at a higher level of performance than the average literature in this genre. If you like this genre, you will be enthralled by Scott Niven's collection.

You can visit Scott Niven and learn more about him and his writings at


Tim Greaton said...

Hi, Richard: I heard through the grapevine that you were having a problem posting on your blog (and likely others :-)) I found a solution a few weeks ago for the same problem. When you try to post, you will be brought to a Google sign-in screen. Enter your ID, Enter your Password. But DO NOT check the box that says "keep me signed in." As long as that box isn't checked, you should be fine. 'Hope it helps. I'm following your blog now, by the way :-)

Scott Niven said...

Hi Richard,

I just wanted to thank you for your review of my book. I appreciate you taking the time to review it, and I'm also glad that you enjoyed it!


Richard said...

Thank you both for your comments.

Karen Walker said...

Hi Richard, Nice blog here - thanks for your visit and comment on my blog. I'm a new follower.

Ann Best said...

Hi, Richard. I don't read much sci/fi or distopian either. But this story as you review it sounds very good. I'll look up Scott Niven.

I just read your comment on my WP blog that you tried to leave a comment on Sylvia Ney's blog (re my interview). Hillary also let Sylvia know that she couldn't comment either. So Sylvia has left a comment that she's fixing the problem. So keep educating the Bloggers!
Ann Best, Memoir Author

Tanya Reimer said...

Great review, and thanks for this find. I have so many ebooks to read now, my paperbacks are talking amongst themselves. hehe.

Pk Hrezo said...

I've been following Scott's blog but haven't had a chance to read his work yet. They sound great! Thanks for sharing a but about them!

Jolene Perry said...

Very cool - thanks for the review!

Tanya Reimer said...

Hi Richard, just dropped in to let you know that I have a couple sweet and versatile awards for you at my blog. Congrats. Later.