(Long post, Wall-o’-text incoming)
[It’s important to note that this takes a bit of time to write and all numbers and placements are based on where everyone is when I write this. It may be different now but it should be close.]
Hey everyone, remember me? My name is @Joey Angotti , back when Inkshares did their last major contest I was the voice who brought everything together. Much like Batman, your siblings(hopefully) and apparently Inkshares contests - I show up when I’m needed. This Inkshares contest is a long time coming for most of us and is hosted by the wonderful people over at Nerdist(Shout out to Dan Casey, Chris Hardwick and Jessica Chobot whom I love from there!)
For those of you who weren’t around for the first iteration of The Story So Far, it is basically a weekly recap of what’s happening in the leaderboards. The last contest only showed the Top 10, this contest shows the Top 20 - so I guess I have my work cut out for me! Let’s get started on the first week! (I think we’re technically two weeks in but the first week I’ll be covering!)
(I understand some titles are tied, but I’m going to just post them in the order they appear on the leaderboards!)
Kicking things off is the Misguided Adventures: The Quest for Earth by Seth Greenberg. Mr. Greenberg is a hard-working family man who writes in his “spare time”(loved the quotes in his bio!) - the Misguided Adventures his own way of delving into his imagination. The entire vibe I get from the description at the top immediately connected me to Ender’s Game which is one of my favorite books of all time. Though there is no description in the About section yet, Mr. Greenberg has uploaded the first chapter and it is definitely a gripping one. We’re immediately introduced to Captain Ethan Nova, captain of “The Goodnight”(love the ship name too!) and his artificial intelligence in the shape of a holographic woman named Polly. Their relationship reminds me of Captain Hunter and Gideon from Legends of Tomorrow and it’s playful and fun from the moment the chapter begins. Reading on, I found this to be more like Firefly than Ender’s Game and I was totally OK with that!
I highly recommend reading the first chapter, it was a blast to read and Mr. Greenberg delivers on outstanding visuals, overall descriptions and amazing dialogue. Looking forward to the next chapter!
19. Forever Dreaming by @Chris Broom (2 Readers / Last T.S.S.F.’s Rank: N/A)
“Blade Runner meets Assassin’s Creed” - Are you hooked yet? You should be hooked already! I know that one sentence got my reader-senses tingling! Mr. Broom is already being active on his page and gearing up for a great campaign with his title Forever Dreaming which follows the story of Sam Morrison. Sam is a guy just trying to live out the rest of his days with his wife, Michelle, and put his past behind him. A past that includes the disappearance of his brother, John. Suddenly, Sam is sucked into a virtual reality-like world where the inhabitants are battling for the freedom that his missing brother supposedly promised them. Sounds intense right?
There are two chapters up on Mr. Broom’s page for the book and the first chapter opens with the fact that John has been missing for six months and mostly kept to himself. So we’re all a bit surprised, especially Sam, when he receives a call from Arthur Piddings, a local cop, about his missing brother leaving behind some things with Sam’s contact information. I don’t want to give away too much of the first chapter, but I can highly recommend it as a great read! Check it out!
Andrew Borck has been writing short stories since he was a kid and has a major in Creative Writing. The Greenhorns walks a line that has John Wayne influenced cowboys on one side and the sci-fi we all love on the other and then tosses the line out the window altogether and merges them into a fantastic blend akin to the likes of the aforementioned Firefly. This type of world building is peppered throughout the chapter that Mr. Borck currently has posted on the book’s page. This chapter introduces us to Wil, who has experience as a soldier and uses that experience wisely through this first chapter. I’m really looking forward to reading more as I really loved the first taste of this story Mr. Brock gave us and I highly recommend keeping an eye on this one!
Spiker’s Spiral by Zak Standridge already has 6 chapters up for our viewing pleasure and adds an interesting dynamic to this Sci-Fi contest. This story is brutal and follows more of a horror-type vibe that really makes it stand out. Every description Mr. Standridge provides is just enough to tease how interesting this story is and left me with a million questions that I need to read on to have answered. Having read through the first few chapters, I really enjoy the pacing of this story and how it feels like your heart is racing along with the pace(Especially the intro in the first chapter!). It’s important to note that this isn’t your typical Sci-Fi story and this one is gory and very adult. Not that that is a bad thing, I actual prefer stories like this and found myself getting lost in it. I highly recommend checking this one out! I can see it becoming a cult classic!
Jennifer Hart is a avid Sci-Fi fan who has been working on her debut novel, Project Skylark for 10 years. As someone who also worked on his debut novel for 10 years, I know the aftermath of getting your work out there is so satisfying because you know that what people are seeing are years of hard work and dedication and it shows. It really shows! If you read the first chapter that Ms. Hart has provided on her book page, you can feel it. You can tell she’s spent more time with these characters and more time imaging this world than the average writer. It was easy to feel like I knew these characters already, to feel immersed in the world Ms. Hart has created and I highly recommend checking this book out as soon as you can!
15. Maritime Expedition and Recovery by @Connor Johnson (3 Readers / Last T.S.S.F.’s Rank: N/A)
Before I even begin talking about this story, I *highly* recommend going and reading the description on the About page for Connor Johnson’s book, Maritime Expedition and Recovery. I was immediately interested in his story after reading it, the concept sounds so unbelievably cool and unique! You can tell that Mr. Johnson really thought this through and figured out exactly how he wanted this story to begin and how this new world on Earth would begin. Though it takes place on our Earth, the base of the story begins in space as his description explains that there is life out there in the universe and that life warns Earth of its inevitable demise at the hands of a particle wave brimming on the edge of our solar system and making its way towards us!
As if the description wasn’t epic enough, there are three wonderfully written chapters up on Mr. Johnson’s book page right now that are definitely worth your time! Do not miss this story!
Levi Brewer’s parents are abducted from Earth and he’s forced to join an alien crew on their ship, the Rising Nova, to go rescue them. That’s the basis for Levi Brewer and the Rising Nova by author Edward P. Land. Mr. Land intends for this to become a series and you can tell he’s carefully laying the groundwork now as you read the description and the two chapters that he has provided on his book page. The stage is set and it really sparks your interest as Mr. Land’s description points out that it wasn’t just Levi Brewer’s family that was abducted but there have been abductions happening all over the universe! I’m definitely going to keep an eye on this story and I suggest you do too as more of this mystery unravels before us!
13. Enter the Phoenix by @Joshua L. Covarrubio (2 Readers / Last T.S.S.F.’s Rank: N/A)
I love when the stories I read have magic involved and the author of our next story, Enter the Phoenix, looks to combine magic and science as he builds this universe for us to explore. Joshua L. Covarrubio, who also lends his skills towards horror and psychological thrillers, has a gift for descriptive visuals made apparent by his About page, the prologue and the two chapters he has posted already. I’m a huge fan of what I refer to as “Universe Writing” which looks to connect majority, if not all, of the author’s works together. I try to make sure all of my stories are connected to the same universe, so I’m a big fan when other writers do the same. Enter the Phoenix was the first novel Mr. Covarrubio began writing and has ties to his other works, “Tales from Mist Lake” and “Vast Land.” I read the chapters and really enjoyed them, I’ll touch more on them the next time I write about it, but you need to, at the very least, go see his About page for the cool visuals and descriptions!
Just need to drop this description here because I loved it:
“Use is a Gremlin detective from a parallel world charged with hunting down monstrous criminals that travel to Earth where they possess Humans which results in gruesome deaths.“
The description for Beast: Cottonmouth by Sarah Elkins tells me two things. One: Why isn’t this a book series already? I need this book. Two: I’m in for one wild, unique, ride!
Use Leid is a gremlin detective(I was already hooked at this point lol) who comes from a world called Sevet which parallels our very own Earth. Anyone able to travel from Sevet to Earth gains supernatural abilities, including the ability to possess human bodies. Only problem with that is that possessing a human is against the law on Sevet and the punishment is, well, death. So, naturally, Use needs to possess someone for her mission, which is to chase down the villainous Cottonmouth. This all sounds like a wild ride that’s backed up by some amazing artwork on the book page that features a whole slew of great looking/interesting supporting characters. I’m looking forward to reading more of this book and the concept just has me insanely excited. Check it out!
The Force Inherent takes everything we love about Sci-Fi and gives it a very real persona. There is a grittiness to this story that fills the first four chapters that Mr. James has provided on his book page. There is an inevitable danger pressing down upon the Earth and evacuation seems to be the only option left. In The Force Inherent, the protagonist, Vinny, is forced to constantly make tough decisions that will influence both his future and the Earth’s. The Death Cloud, a volley of mansion-sized rockets are headed for Earth at light speed, sent by the Scyphons - an alien race who already tried to wipe out Earth once before - and they are coming back to finish the job.
The way Mr. James describes this story had me on the edge of my seat and as I read through the first four chapters, I felt like I was there. Like I was there trying to make the choices Vinny was making. It helps that the story is told in first person, but it doesn’t change the volume of conflict nestled in this beast of a story. I loved every chapter and I’m looking forward to reading more!
Four chapters from author J. Rector kick off this Sci-Fi adventure and are currently available on his book’s page. Proxima, reminds me of the beginning of the newest Mass Effect then derails into something way more concerning from a human looking in. I don’t know about you all but if I was on my way to be the first among humans to create settlements in space only to be hijacked and potentially experimented on by an alien race - I would think that’s way more horrifying than just crashing on a planet and figuring out what happened to a colony. Traveling to that brand new settlement with your entire family almost makes matters worse. Luckily for the Greene family, they escape capture but unluckily for them, they are scattered across the universe. Now finding their way back to each other and preventing a war that could destroy the Earth has become their new mission. This is definitely worth a read, especially if you enjoy movies like The Fifth Element or are anticipating the upcoming release of Valerian and the city of a Thousand Planets.
9. Pre-Cognition by @Robert Trusardi (7 Readers / Last T.S.S.F.’s Rank: N/A)
I’m really excited about this next one as it blends a ton of the things I like. First of all, author Robert Trusardi wrote Cognition and the books around it as a screenplay first and uploaded it to the Black List Review Site where he placed #3 in Sci-Fi and #5 in Action and Adventure. If those credentials don’t excite you enough, he has a kick butt(keeping it PG here on T.S.S.F.) trailer on his book page that not only includes cut up footage from Transformers but also scenes from movies featuring Caity Lotz(Sara Lance on Arrow/Legends of Tomorrow) and Toby Stephens(Black Sails, Die Another Day) - who are two of my favorite actors so kudos to Mr. Trusardi for that!
The list of accomplishments for this potential Sci-Fi series are already piling up and I highly recommend stopping by his book page and seeing what else he has to offer as his page is probably one of the best put together in this competition thus far. Along with all of that info are a prologue and two chapters for us to check out and enjoy, so definitely head over there ASAP!
Far Flung by TCC Edwards tells the story of William Flynn, a man about to make the biggest career move of his life. In a perfect universe he makes it to his destination and becomes one of the first ever reporters outside of our solar system - but we can’t just have nice things, right? So William gets launched across the universe along with his team(that includes: an ex-military security chief, a navigator with a history of insubordination, and a young engineer eager to prove her worth!) where pretty much all hell breaks loose. Literally, there is no other way to describe it. William is one of the few who can communicate with the alien species they encounter and becomes pivotal in figuring out what’s going on. While William faces his own challenges, the rest of his crew faces their own as well. For example, security chief Dexter Holloway finds himself in charge of the ship after the captain is killed, struggling to keep peace among the frightened colonists. Each other member of William’s crew faces their own challenges and Mr. Edwards does a fantastic job of bringing it all together with his excellent use of imagery. There are 6 great chapters posted on his book page already with promises of more videos and chapters as preorders progress.
Check out Mr. Edwards story and drop by his discussion section for more info!
Artificial Generation by Anniken Haga has to be one of the most real feeling books in this competition as it explores women’s rights and the struggles they still face till this day in our world(which is still unbelievable to me!) while still full of Sci-Fi themes and content. Ms. Haga has quite the writing background as she has 3 books published in Norwegian(awesome!) and is now trying her hand at English publishing. Here is more about Artificial Generation in her own words:
“Artificial Generation is a book about finding yourself, judgment and survival. With action, science and steampunk, it makes for a fast paced and entertaining read.”
Mix that with an awesome young protagonist named Elena and we’re in for one heck of a Sci-Fi thriller. From just reading the first three chapters that Ms. Haga posted on her book page, I know this is one I’m going to keep a close eye on!
Mike Noyes is a busy person in the entertainment industry as he has written and directed several short films, the web series “Confessions of a Superhero,” writes movie reviews and participates in a podcast. His book for this contest, Seven Days, Seven Years, follows a soldier from the future and a young man from the present who must find each other across time to prevent the apocalypse. Sounds awesome? Yeah, it does! The soldier keeps popping up in the young man’s dreams. He thought it was coincidence at first before he realizes they’re all connected and he tries to piece together what’s going on. I don’t want to reveal too much of the first chapter that’s posted(please read it, it’s fantastic!) but I love the flip-flopping between the two characters and the jump from present to the future. Normally, this type of jumping around doesn’t really work or gets sloppy but if this first chapter is any indication then this story is going to be fluid, fun and exciting! I can’t wait to see what else Mr. Noyes brings to this wonderful story in the next few weeks!
5. 1000 Faces by @J. Graham-Jones (17 Readers / Last T.S.S.F.’s Rank: N/A)
Top 5 and some familiar faces(ironic, since it’s 1000 faces) for me! J. Graham-Jones book, “Witherfist,” that she entered in the last G&S contest right here on Inkshares was a book I covered in great length over that time so I’m familiar with Ms. Graham-Jones’ work. Unfortunately, she didn’t win that contest but she did finish in 8th place and eventually went on to have her book completely funded. Now she’s back and already making noise here in this Nerdist Sci-Fi contest with her book 1000 Faces that’s already in the Top 5.
1000 Faces is a horrifying and very realistic plot that really begs to ask the question: “Where are we going as a society?” Basically, the internet and all the information shared and carried online could potentially be exploited by hackers and terrorists - we’ve seen it happen before. Now take those situations and amplify by 1000(just seemed right to use this number) and there you go. Now you have a world wide(puns for days) epidemic that not only cause people to fear and back away from the internet, but also opens people’s eyes to the fact that “big brother is always watching.” It’s pretty scary and reminds me of when people were afraid that Microsoft was spying on them with the Xbox Kinect or when people put tape over the camera in their laptop to make sure no one is spying on them through that.
This will definitely be a good campaign to follow if Ms. Graham-Jones last campaign is any indication. Definitely check out her page!
Ever take a plane to a far off destination? Or just a plane anywhere? Ever fully appreciate the fact that we’re capable of doing that? Better question with an obvious answer: How interested in space and space travel are you? (Sci-Fi contest, so I’m going to assume your interest is pretty high if you’re reading this!) - What if an alien named Sylph just one day decided to take all of that away from humanity? Not only that but no satellites either which causes a whole bunch of problems. That’s the story behind Crow’s Gambit by Patrick Tebbe but where it continues to grow is through the main character, Cassie, who is a drone pilot who flies low and fast in violation of human law and alien weapons. She’s eventually approached by Peter Darrow, an eccentric billionaire hell bent on reclaiming humanity’s place among the sky.
There are currently 4 chapters up for our viewing pleasure and they’re definitely worth the read as it expands on this new world created by this limitation on something we didn’t realize we were taking for granted. Definitely check this out!
3. Mutants: Uprising by @Jane-Holly Meissner (22 Readers / Last T.S.S.F.’s Rank: N/A)
Top 3 time and it features Jane-Holly Meissner who is another familiar face for me here on Inkshares and in this contest. Ms. Meissner’s new title, Mutants:Uprising, is more of a Sci-Fi spin on the X-Men. It’s also written in second person point of view which you really don’t see too often so it adds a completely unique spin on an already interesting book. Here’s some info directly from Ms. Meissner’s discussion page:
“The story centers on Jane "Zombie" Meyers, a relatively new leader of an underground cell of the League of Mutants, a terrorist organization, who is trying to make a name for herself while rising above her enforcer roots. Along the way she uncovers a plot against the pregnant founder of a second-chance shelter for homeless mutant teens, and has to work hard to save her from harm, figure out what the ulterior motives of her enemies are, all while earning the other woman’s trust. Oh, and there are horrors from other dimensions trying to break into ours, and state governments who want to register all mutated humans "for the greater good." All in a day’s work.
See Jane. See Jane Save the Day.”
Sounds amazing! There’s two full chapters and 3 excerpts up on her book page now, so head on over and give that a read!
After reading through the entries, The Experiment Himself by Takim Williams has me really excited to see where this story develops and the type of campaign that Mr. Williams is going to run here in the Nerdist Sci-Fi contest. I really, really dig the concept of this story with ties to classic monster films and a near-future setting. The story follows the experiment of Dr. Jackal, which is basically the brain of a young boy connected to the internet, but the way it follows the story of this experiment is so expertly crafted in the first few chapters that Mr. Williams has posted that you need to go on over and do yourself a favor and give it a read. The reason you should is because my explanation doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of this story.
Thomas Brown, the boy experiment in question, wasn’t even meant to be born but they go on with the birth anyway in order to give Thomas Brown’s body to science. He has a twin brother born with him, but their mother, Aaliyah Brown, is not satisfied with just knowing that one of her son’s organs are being donated. She wants to know why, where to and what for. I think we can all agree she’s asking some important questions but as she delves deeper, she may not like what she finds out about her other son. I don’t want to spoil the amazing explanation(from Thomas himself!) on Mr. William’s book page so go read that before you dive into the chapters. It’s an insanely awesome concept and I hope we get to see this on store shelves some day. (It’d make a pretty sweet movie/TV show too!)
Last but certainly not least, we have Ferd Crotte’s Mission 51 which is sitting in 1st place with an already impressive 52 readers! Before I even get started on Mission 51 itself, I love Mr. Crotte’s campaign and book page so far. It’s already very polished and presentable with a lot of information and tidbits surrounding the book and his journey as a writer so far. If you’re in this contest or planning to enter one in the future, now would be a good time to look over Mr. Crotte’s page and see how he has it set up. It’s definitely the way to go for these campaigns!
Now, let’s talk about Mission 51! We’ve all heard about Area 51 in some way, shape or form before. This story follows an alien who crash lands on Earth in 1954 and is immediately put in a cage and questions and interrogated. The alien’s name is Mat and he’s mistreated from the moment he arrives on our planet, but he uses that opportunity to learn about humans and our way of life. I don’t want to give away too much here, so I’ll let the reading to you as Mr. Crotte already has 8 chapters up on his book page for us to digest. While you’re over there, make sure you stop by his discussion page where Mr. Crotte posts a ton of great stuff about the book(and alien pictures!).
*I’m not sure people who aren’t tagged are even reading this or slightly interested. Also, people not using the forums enough could not be seeing this as well. Any and all extra exposure of this forum post would be appreciated!(It’s a lot of work to not be seen by more people on the site!) - A mention on your books page or more comments could keep this afloat and make sure more people see this post - therefore more exposure and good things for your entry! Plus it might get more people involved on the forums which is good for Inkshares as a whole, imo.*
Shameless Plugs: My name is Joseph Angotti, I’m the writer and creator of the Soldier’s Crest universe and I just signed a publishing deal with The Polyethnic Publishing Company in January. My first book, A Soldier’s Crest, was self-published a while back but it’s going to be re-released under The Polyethnic brand in November. I’m currently working on an E-Book to (hopefully) be released in July and another one in September(if I can get it done in time!)
Here’s a link for the self-published version on Amazon if you’re curious: A Soldier’s Crest
If you’re all interested in keeping in touch outside of Inkshares(I check my DMs on here every day but still), you can find me on just about every form of Social Media:
I Youtube stuff sometimes: Soldier’s Crest
I livestream video games and writing sometims too: SynthroLives
If you’re interested in reaching out to me through Email, you can private message me on here or any of the above social media platforms for further information.
Lastly I want to thank Inkshares for making this site and giving aspiring authors like us a chance to share our stories. I also want to thank all the Inksharians, especially those in the Top 20, for giving me some interesting stories to read and write about.