Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Giveaway and Review: Remnant by Roland Allnach

Good Morning all my sci-fi lovers!!  Do I have a treat for you!  Today we have Roland Allnach's book the Remnant.  Let's take a look at the book details:
Title:  Remnant:  An Anthology
Author:  Rolnd Allnach
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press (November 11, 2010)
Length: 218 pges
Subgenres:  Sci-Fi /Fantasy
 A stirring, thought provoking anthology of three novellas within the speculative/science fiction genres. The stories are linked in theme by characters seeking self- truth, redemption, and their moral center.   The novellas, in order ofappearance, are: “All the Fallen Angels”, in which a convicted war criminal attempts to make peace with his past; “Enemy, I Know You Not”, in which a military officer that was captured and tortured tries to find his loyalty in an abyss of suspected betrayals; and “Remnant”, in which the survivor of a global pandemic is confronted with the prospect of making peace with hismemories when other survivors attempt to bring him back from self-imposed isolation.
…there she stands, among the whispers of ruin, caught between so much anger and hurt and betrayal. So dark, that night: the whisper of the wind, the patter of the rain, the steam of humid air; it had the feel of dissolution, of tears and loss and futility. And there she stands among it all, among the whispers, dehumanized, for what is her life—any life—but the lost murmur of whispers in the dark?
She was only nine. I shot her anyway.
The nightmare snapped away as it always did, stunning the mind of the man that had been held in its sway. He rose up in bed—not bolting, but more a slow, steady bend at the waist to sit upright, like some undead creature of old. The comparison, he thought distantly, was not all that off the mark.
He turned in the darkness to let his feet slide out from under the sheets of his bed. There was no curious glance over his shoulder to look upon his wife; he knew by now that she was a heavy enough sleeper, and that she had grown accustomed to his often troubled sleep. Yet it bothered him nonetheless, waking a petty notion in the lonely recesses of his heart, a petty notion of jealousy to sleep in apparent peace.
With a sigh, he departed the bed and staggered with the stiffness of his bad leg towards the little kitchen of their captain’s cabin. He moved with familiarity, not turning on any lights, yet still able to silently gather
his customary mug and the hot water to make his tea. Then he settled himself at the small table beside the portal of their cabin, one hand on his mug, the other on his com. He looked out to the cold points of starlight in the black void. He blinked. The sound of water, the soft tinkle of running water, came to him. He looked to the sink, but he had turned off the faucet.
He closed his eyes.
The com vibrated under his hand, startling him. His arm folded like an old mechanism to bring the little black communicator to his ear. He could hear the breathing on the other end of the call. He knew who it was, but not how she knew to call, and she always knew; she always called when he woke, but she never spoke. Too many bad things dwelled between them, he knew. Where does one start? When all that’s left is broken,
which piece do you pick up first, and more important, why that particular piece?  But then something changed: she spoke his name, her voice a thin rasp in his ear.
He blinked. His lips parted. He put the com down and keyed it off, but stared at it for several seconds, his face settling to stone. His eyelids slid shut, and when he opened them, he was looking to his side to see his wife standing by the teapot, arms crossed on her chest, her long blue nightshirt hanging to her knees. “Nightmare?” she said through a long yawn.
He stared at her.
She rubbed her face before walking around the table to hug him from behind, her arms wrapping around his shoulders. Her dark hair slid forward to brush against his cheek. He barely breathed. His eyes had not
moved, holding where he had seen her, as if she still stood there. He laid his hand over the com.
“It’s my burden, Pallia, not yours.”
“But it’s here, with both of us.” She let her breath go. “You took your pill?”
He shifted in his seat, uncomfortable at once, but nevertheless confessed to her. “Last two days. Something’s changed. I don’t know. I’ve been sleeping well for the last few weeks. No headaches, no nightmares,
no calls—”
She straightened, her dark hair trailing across his neck as she receded from him, but her hands remained on his shoulders. “Those pills are old, you know. Expired, I would think. Maybe you should see Piccolo
tomorrow. At least you could sleep then.”
He frowned.
She said nothing. After several moments she went back to bed, the only remaining imprint of her presence the sudden chill of his skin where she had touched him. He crossed his arms over his chest to lay his fingers
on his shoulders, sensing the dissipating warmth of her hands. He looked over his shoulder, but as he expected, she was gone. 
Enemy, I Know You Not Book 2
The dying fires of Tropico smoldered in the night, peering like little red eyes from the darkened face of the planet.
Sergeant Ellister frowned as he stood in the viewing lounge of his troopship. His gaze lingered on the planet, his mood sinking as the planet’s sun began to illuminate an arc of daylight across its rim. He blew out his breath and shook his head before thumping a fist on the bulkhead next to him. “So after everything, you’re telling me it’s a matter of trust?” He tipped his head. “All right, I trust him,” he said, his frown resuming its hold on his face. He looked to his side. “You know, this whole thing with Hovland, I thought it was Security’s business. It’s not up to me to clear him, so why bring me down here?”
Training Officer Sheffield, slouched against a bulkhead across the lounge from Ellister, shrugged. “This is the only quiet place to talk. Don’t forget, it’s celebration time.” He glanced at the planet beneath them. “The campaign’s over. This insurgency—this part of the rebellion—it’s over. We won. Time to cut loose.”
Ellister’s frown did not relent. “Then leave my platoon alone.”
Sheffield smiled. “As it happens, I’ve got replacements for your platoon.” He looked to Ellister. “Security says everybody’s a green light.  You too, by the way—you’re officially cleared, even though the papers
haven’t gone through all their channels just yet. I wanted to let you know. That was some little show you pulled down there,” he reminded the sergeant as he nodded his head to the planet.
Ellister looked away. “I was justified.”
Sheffield waved a hand. “We can justify anything if we try hard enough, but that’s a threat to our standards, and in those messy gray areas, that’s where questions and doubt live. Order—to maintain order— things have to be black or white. Clear lines, distinctive boundaries; it’s the only way to keep things sane. Remember that.” He leaned off the bulkhead. “I’ll go talk to Hovland. Now do yourself a favor and get drunk like everybody else.”
Autographed print copies:
Direct from publisher (All Things That Matter Press):
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About the Author:
Roland Allnach has been writing since his early teens, first as a hobby, but as the years passed, more as a serious creative pursuit.  He's an avid reader, with his main interests residing in history, mythology, and literary classics, along with some fantasy and science fiction in his earlier years. 
By nature he has a do-it-yourself type of personality, and his creative inclinations started with art and evolved to the written word. 
Since making the decision to pursue a career as an author, he's secured publication for a number of short stories, received a nomination for inclusion in the Pushcart Anthology, built his own website, and in November 2010 realized publication for an anthology of three novellas, titled Remnant, from All Things That Matter Press, followed in 2012 by his second anthology, Oddities & Entities, also from All Things That Matter Press. Both books have gone on to receive a number of national awards, including National Indie Excellence Awards, Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards, and USA Book News Best Book Awards.
His writing can best be described as depicting strange people involved in perhaps stranger situations. He prefers to let his stories follow their own path. His writing is sometimes speculative, other times supernatural, at times horror, with journeys into mainstream fiction, and even some humor- or perhaps the bizarre. Despite the category, he aims to depict characters as real on the page as they are in his head, with prose of literary quality. His literary inspirations are as eclectic as his written works - from Poe to Kate Chopin, from Homer to Tolkien, from Flaubert to William Gibson, from Shakespeare to Tolstoy, as long as a piece is true to itself, he's willing to go along for the ride. He hopes to bring the same to his own fiction.
- Social Media Links:
There were stories grouped together in this anthology, all of them unrelated, except perhaps the theme.  Even though the stories and situations were fantastical, they were all focused on the main character finding himself, or recovering and forgiving himself for past sins.  These stories spin a relative light on the darker and brighter sides of human nature.  In our first story, we learn about a man who tried to fix a planet.  To many things were going on down there with no one doing anything about it.  This planet held its own sway over the population due to a type of euphoria caused by the vegetation there.  It made people ignore what was going on around them and stay in a constant state of...almost like numbness to goings on.  All except for one man.  He was able to escape the effects and try to better the planet.  A tragic accident unseats this mans sanity causing him to lock down the planet, as per orders.  But he goes too far and attempts to make things right by undergoing countess hours of torture.  This is his story and his return trip to the planet in an unknown effort to right all the wrongs done there.
In the second story, we encounter an advanced line of soldiers.  They train through simulation, but in this instance the computer system locks up, and everything goes wrong..or does it?  This is quite a fascinating story of the soldiers taking a deeper look at themselves, and some startling discoveries.
Our third story was perhaps my favorite.  Its a post-apocalyptic look at one mans journey through surviving the world as it is now, and living with the situations he was forced to react to.  We have all wondered what would happen if this situation occurred, and what would happen if the end really did occur.  This is a look at man who struggles with morality and ends up finding that he is initially a good man.
This was an interesting collection of stories that aspire a deeper thought.  Its one of those books that have you questioning life and taking a deeper look inside of yourself.  I enjoyed this and recommend this book for book-lovers that like a deeper look.
There is a giveaway associated with this book!!  The author is giving away a $50 Amazon card and an autographed print copy of the book!  Just fill out the rafflecopter!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jbst said...

Congrats on a good review with many interesting points to the book.
It sounds like a very thought provoking good read.

strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

Naznin Azeez said...

When I read this : "His writing can best be described as depicting strange people involved in perhaps stranger situations", I was quite intrigued. I love authors like that. Now my question is, Why did you choose Science Fiction as the genre to write?. Thank you for this amazing opportunity to win this awesome prize!


erin said...

Congrats to Roland on the new release! Thanks for sharing!!

Nancy Allen said...

All three stories sound very intriguing. I love this genre and I love apocalyptic stories too. In the first book I keep thinking about him shooting the little girl and then he wakes up. I'm wondering although it is a dream did he actually shoot the girl and is having nightmares about it.

Great review and thanks for the giveaway.

Renald said...

A wonderful review and you can't go wrong with four star review. Good Luck.

V Hubler said...

What inspires you the most when writing a book?

Victoria Zumbrum said...

Sounds very good and interesting.

Jillyn said...

Is there any particular music that you listen to while writing?

Mer said...

This looks like an interesting collection! I'm a big fan of novellas, especially when a good writer turn out a tight, concise work that stays with you long after you're done reading. It's a nice change of pace, especially in these days of bloated trilogies.

magic5905 said...

I really like when short stories are linked. Looking forward to reading. Thanks.

Meghan said...

OMG… I love the sounds of this book! Love that cover, too ; ) I always wonder if the author has any life experience that they put into their books? I am also wondering if the author could choose ANY author to work with, who would they choose and why? This author can be alive or dead! Thanks for sharing with us and Thanks for the giveaway!
mestith at gmail dot com

VampedChik said...

Great review! I definitely need to read this one!

VampedChik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marissa Aldana said...

This anthology sounds great! :)
Thanks for the giveaway.

dv8 said...

Were the thematic links a result of serendipity or did you plan the novellas to have them?

Iris Pross said...

Your book sounds fantastic. The excerpt sounded very intriguing

angela0040 said...

The review makes the book sound very interesting and in the genres that I enjoy. Thanks for writing it!

Roland Allnach said...

Wow, thank you everyone for all your interest and kind words! Let me see if I can answer all these wonderful questions:
Linking the stories by theme was a byproduct of the general direction of much of my writing, my interest in creating an anthology that could be more than its parts, my attempt to set the book apart when I submitted it for publication, and my interest in appealing to the tastes of the publisher I wanted to be with.
If I could choose any ONE author to work with, I think I would go with Tolstoy. His character depictions are unparalleled, and this aspect of writing is what I enjoy most as an author. To be schooled by one of the greats would be an awesome experience.
I like to write sci-fi because I love the simultaneous challenge and freedom of creating a reality from top to bottom. From the writing perspective, it also allows for symbolic, metaphorical, and allegorical constructs to exist entirely in the context of the story.
That said, as far as my personal experiences making it into my writing, I prefer to use life experiences as starting points, and then fictionalize from there. I look at it this way - in hindsight, people are prone to reconsider things they did, so for me I exercise my hindsight by transposing what really happened into imaginary situations to see how things could have played out differently.
That's a bit of introspection, but I enjoy that. For me writing is about pondering the nature of the world outside me as much as the world inside me. So what do I like to listen to while doing that? I'm a fan of grunge and classical music. Both are very emotional, richly orchestrated, and have distinctive sounds. Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', Smashing Pumpkins, and Joy Formidable are my most common selections.
I'll be happy to answer anything else. In the meantime, I want to thank everyone once more for your interest!
Happy reading,
Roland Allnach

Roland Allnach said...

I realized I missed one thing (sorry, V Hubler)...what inspires me most? I like to keep a little inventory of ideas in my head, most of them driven by pursuing a particular item of curiosity with endless 'Why?' questions until I reach an interesting end point. The idea won't go anywhere, though, until I develop a character to mate with the idea, a character who can make an emotional connection to the idea, and so give it importance within the narrative. Once that happens, I sit down and go at it.
Happy reading,
Roland Allnach

Debby said...

How wonderful to have three stories in one. Do you map out your world?
debby236 at gmail dot com

Jen B. said...

What jumped out at me was the description the stories are about strange people. I am always trying to find new things to read and the fact that Roland Allnach writes speculative fiction really intrigues me. Maybe I'll find something new to love. jepebATverizonDOTnet

Sayomay said...

Im curious; Have u ever been to a creative writing workshop?
Mary G Loki

Christine Merritt said...

The book cover is exceptional; the story sounds intriguing. Thank you for introducing me to this author

Beautiful Disaster said...

Thanks for the review. This sounds like an awesome read for me. Enjoyed the excerpt/blurb.
Lorih824 @ yahoo dot com

vadeluna07 said...

Great excerpts. Looking forward to checking these stories out.

Kelly Powell said...

Congrats to Roland on the new release!!! Thank you for sharing :)

meryvamp said...

Oh, I'm a sci-fi geek. I definitely want to read this. Sounds right up my alley :)

June M. said...

I only realized a few years back that I like Sci-Fi but these stories sound really good to me. Thanks so much for sharing them with us :)

Nora Weston said...

Sounds really good! I enjoyed the review, especially how you pointed out this is a book that dives deeper into the human condition. :)

bas1chs said...

Thanks for the review and excerpt of this book. It really gives me a better idea of this new-to-me author :)

Stephanie said...

I really like the way the books sounds and I'm deff going to be adding it to my TBR pile :)! Thanks so much for such a great giveaway

Roland Allnach said...

Hello, everyone! I have to apologize in my previous posts for the one thank you I forgot to mention - thank you to Nikki for such a flattering review, and for stressing some of the 'deeper' aspects of the book.

In response to some more questions:
I've never been part of a fiction or writer's workshop. The closest I came was during college when I had a few chats with one of my English professors regarding some of the basics of narrative structure, but that was very informal.
In terms of creating a fictional setting for a story, I try to combine things that are familiar to human nature in settings that are new to the human condition. Humanity's trajectory through history can be characterized as humanity's struggle to maintain a sense of itself in the face of ever changing technology. There's always a bit of a conflict there, and conflicts make for rich opportunities to craft a story.

Once again, thank you all for your interest!
Happy reading,
Roland Allnach

Mary Preston said...

I haven't read any of Roland's work yet. A great place to start, or where would you recommend?

Roland Allnach said...

Hi, Mary. If you want to get a taste of my writing, I invite you to drop by my website. All my published short fiction is there as well as downloadable excerpts from both my books along with more reviews and interviews. Enjoy,
Roland Allnach

susanmp said...

This book sounds really interesting.

susanmplatt AT Hotmail DOT com

Cassie Polla said...

This book sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway!

latishajean said...

This sounds like a great book can't wait to read it. Thank you for the great giveaway!

Roland Allnach said...

'Remnant' was my first book, so it will always be my baby. I hope it lives up to everyone's expectations!
Happy reading,
Roland Allnach

Tiffany Drew said...

I love anthologies and hadn't heard of this one so I will most definitely be checking it out. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, I'm always on the look out for new reads!

Naznin Azeez said...

I loved reading your answers, Roland. Thank you for taking the time to answer all questions.

Roland Allnach said...

Like most authors, I'm happy to have questions to answer, Naznin. I'm glad you found my thoughts of interest, and I hope they help flesh out the various dimensions I try to weave into my stories. Happy reading,
Roland Allnach

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