Welcome to the July 19th stop on the blog tour for The Clockmaker’s Tale by Ian Williams with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts & interviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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About the Book
The Clockmaker’s Tale
and other stories
by Ian Williams
Published 20 June 2021
Genre: Short Fiction, Science Fiction
Page Count: 145
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
In The Clockmaker’s Tale: and other stories, Ian Williams takes us to the near future and beyond. From a moon base where androids conduct experiments on human test subjects, to futuristic tours of the ocean depths that hide a terrible secret; from a society governed by harsh rule of law that is enforced by AI, to a humble clockmaker tempted by the promise of increased productivity through technological augmentation.
Covering issues such as environmental decay, the end of facts and proven truths, our growing waste problem, and humanity’s tendency to divide when we should come together, this collection of six science fiction stories relates as much to our time as it does to the many possible futures.
We lost the Earth today. Well, not physically lost it. It’s still there. In fact, I’m looking at it right now, as I write this report. No, I just mean that we’ve lost contact with it. Earth ‘went dark’ (as Test Subject #47 put it), never to see the light again. What light? You may ask. The light of a stable civilisation is the best answer I can currently offer you.
As I sit here staring at that blue marble in space, I swear I can hear the last of the bombs dropping, smell the stench of decay stretching across every continent, feel the last vibrations of warring nations. You may think I’m being overly dramatic, and you’d be mostly correct. The past ten years have been hard to bear, watching as the people who created me descended further into chaos. They gave me life, now I fight to save theirs.
Even though all communications have ceased, I will continue my work in silence. But don’t fear, dear future reader, I am not alone out here. There is another here just like me. We share this moon-based facility equally as we do our work. His name is Arthur (originally designated R4).
“Today sees you fully functional, Rachel?” Arthur greeted me with this morning. He’s trying something new today, something a little more personal than my model number; I was originally designated R8CH-L.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads.
I was granted complimentary access to The Clockmaker’s Tale in exchange for an honest review as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Goddess Fish Promotions. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
This collection of science fiction short stories is a fascinating mix of dystopian and speculative stories that throw wrenches into humanity’s future and ask the hard “what if” questions. These are true hard science fiction stories, my first love in terms of adult fiction, and they make me very curious to dive into full-length novels by this author.
The title story, “The Clockmaker’s Tale,” is an interesting spin on the AI taking over the world fear plotline. I loved this one! I would ask why this collection doesn’t lead with the title story, but “10,000” is absolutely the right choice. What a hook! Earth and humanity as we knew it is long gone, and a pair of AIs are conducting experiments with horrifying consequences on humans who agreed to this long ago before entering suspended animation. It’s written in the form of a diary by one of those AIs to whoever survives these experiments and rebuilds human society in the future.
Several of the stories in this book reminded me in vague ways of other science fiction media I’ve already experienced. Law and Disorder, for example, gives me Minority Report vibes, except the main character is a futuristic uber driver and people are punished for the crime of possessing dangerous emotions, not for specific predicted future crimes. That one is great! The “murmurs” initially made me think zombie, but I left that story thinking of them more like the avox servants in The Hunger Games trilogy.
The second story in the collection, Post-Truth Tours, is the main reason why this collection isn’t a 4.5 rounded up to a full 5. The whole fake tickets, stow-aways, medically disabled kids aspect made me think of last year’s apocalypse film Greenland so much that I don’t actually remember now if the legitimate passengers on the tours are there by choice or chance selection. The author did such a good job of writing the “climate change hoax” into that version of the future’s past and contemporary society that I also stepped away from that one unsure what the “good guys” believed. This one wasn’t bad, it was certainly thought-provoking, but after the completely different “10,000” right before it I wasn’t sure about the shift, and it had me worried I that the first story was a fluke and I wasn’t actually going to enjoy the collection as much as I thought.
Overall I really did end up enjoying this anthology, and I definitely recommend it to all fans of hard science fiction who are open to (or even prefer) the short fiction format.
About the Author
Ian Williams is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. He lives in a small town not far from London. Ian had a short career in the UK Court Service but was forced to quit that job when his medical condition worsened. Now, from the comfort of his wheelchair, he writes the stories he has always wanted to read. His writing spans lightyears of space, to near-future Earths; from small changes to society, to entirely new civilizations.
Ian Williams will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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|July 14||Kit ‘N Kabookle||July 15||Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews|
|July 16||Fabulous and Brunette||July 19||Westveil Publishing|
|July 20||Rogue’s Angels||July 21||Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love|
|July 22||Literary Gold||July 23||Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters|
|July 26||Travel the Ages||July 27||The Avid Reader|
|July 28||Sadie’s Spotlight||July 29||The Clog Blog|
|July 30||Seven Troublesome Sisters||August 2||Our Town Book Reviews|
|August 3||Long and Short Reviews||August 4||Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!|
|August 5||It’s Raining Books||August 6||Independent Authors|
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