Reviews of Corr Syl the Warrior

Reviews of Corr Syl the Warrior

Corr Syl the WarriorRecent reviews:

  • “A beautifully written YA novel that will captivate environmentalists and sci-fi fans of all ages.”  Kirkus reviews (starred review). 
  • “It is an outstanding book. It’s one of those books you get excited over; that have you turning to the next page and reading more, even if it’s two in the morning.” Amazon Review by MaryAnn.
  • “Unique and highly original.  It drew me in and was difficult to put down.”  Goodreads review by BozBozo. 
  • “I found it refreshing, extremely unique with funny, laugh-out-loud moments, too.  It’s targeted at YA, but anybody who enjoys hard fantasy will like this book.”  Louise Wise at 
  • “This is undeniably a commendable story, one that sci-fi and fantasy fans will definitely love and talk about for a very long time.”  -Barnes and Noble Readers’ Favorite review at by Lit Amri.
  • “There is really nothing more you can ask of a story than is found here in Corr Syl the Warrior. The pace is brisk and keeps you engaged, the characters are so believable that Lactella gives me the creeps long after I’ve finished, and I’ll be glad to find what Corr and Rhya are up against in the promised sequel. ”  Amazon review by Paula H. 
  • “Three Words: Action, adventure, thrilling.  Age Recommendation: Whenever, it’s perfect for those looking for a thrill, no matter if your 9 or 99.”  Bianca Blossom,
  • “…a most unusual and interestingly told tale that elicits empathy for the characters as well as the conditions it describes.”  Amazon review by John H. Manhold.
  • “The truly hardcore, sci-fi fan will be delighted and entertained by the pace and deep thought involved in this novel. A must for the serious sci-fi reader.” –Barnes and Noble Readers’ Favorite review by Bill Howard.
  • “Part two was where the book really captured my interest with a very interesting and creative choice of villain.  I was hooked at this point and the story started to fall into place for me.  I started to notice a hint of humour in places and I found myself not wanting to put the book down.”  Amazon review by Chettsgeni.
  • “It has cool action scenes and a few interesting side plots to go along with it.  I really like how the writer makes an effort to explain the science and the way the Tsaeb work as a society in a way that makes logical sense.  I really enjoyed this book.” 
  • “Engaging and entertaining, it has all the literary ingredients of a successful novel. Indeed, this is more than just a story about a young warrior’s adventure but is also a reminder of how humans are abusing the environment.  This is a concern that has been expressed in very many ways but this one is certainly one of the most imaginative. -Barnes and Noble Readers’ Favorite by Marie Beltran.
  • “For a first novel, I have to say this book is as well written as any I’ve read, and I read a lot.  I liked it.”  Unpublished Review sent to author by Truman Burgess.
  • “An original story, great concept, I want more!  Rogers has developed an alternative Earth, where we are the invasive species!  An original approach to force the reader to evaluate how interconnected we are with everything alive on this planet.  Excellent presentation of the politics of conflict and a thorough understanding how even amongst like species there can be political agendas.  The book should be titled ‘Corr Syl the Negotiator and Strategist, Scientist, and Warrior’.  I read it in one sitting – I like that, when a book grabs hold of me, makes me see things from another perspective, makes me think – and then makes me want more when I put it down.”  Amazon review by Kristine Uhlman.

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Corr Syl is a Finalist in the AZ Authors Literary Contest

Corr Syl Finalist

Corr Syl the Warrior Cover

Corr Syl the Warrior is a finalist in the Arizona Authors Association 2013 Literary Contest.  Places will be announced at the annual awards banquet in November.  Wish me luck.


Kirkus Best of 2013Corr Syl the Warrior#GarryRogersWelcome to my blog about nature conservation.  I call it #EcoSciFi because I use science fiction as well as non fiction to express the blog’s underlying nature conservation theme.  Check out my new novel to see how I’m doing. Continue reading

Birds of Arizona–Update


Great Horned Owl chicks

Great Horned Owl chicks

Wild birds are seen more often than the members of any other vertebrate wildlife group.  Birds include more species than the other groups, they occur in more habitats than most of the others, and they are more active during daylight hours, and during winter when other groups hide or sleep.  Add the visibility of their colors, distinction of their songs, and variations of their flight patterns, and you will understand why bird checklists are more common than checklists for other species.

The U. S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center website (website link in References) provides 29 bird checklists for small areas around Arizona.  The lists include seasonal occurrence and other information.  The WildBirds website owned by Thayer Birding Software provides online field guides with songs and video.  The Arizona Bird Committee (ABC) provides printable state and county checklists.  The links are in the Arizona Bird Reference list below.

Numbers of Birds

World:  10,000
*North America:  1025
*Arizona birds:  548
Arizona birds at risk of extinction:  264
*Approximately 10% are introduced or of uncertain status

Arizona Bird Conservation

Naturalists sometimes think of birds as useful indicators of general environmental conditions; the ‘canary in the coal mine’ idea.  In 2011, the Audubon Society reported that the annual Christmas Bird Count records showed that many species were declining.  For example, over the past 50 years, sightings of Loggerhead Shrikes, a common species throughout Arizona, declined by 72 percent.  Our canary has begun to sway. Continue reading

Evil Characters in Science Fiction, #Writing, #SciFi

Evil Characters

Black Widow (CDC)Antagonist characters are often evil.  In fantasy, evil characters are born, but in science fiction and most popular fiction, evil characters develop with experience.  Authors don’t have to detail the experiences, but they probably should have them in mind so they can write coherent characters.

Evil can be mild or extreme.  Some of the familiar expressions of mild evil are envy, insult, jealousy, sarcasm, physical violence, and the selfishness that lets an individual place its interests above the interests of others.  At their least extreme, these behaviors are merely irritating.  At their most extreme, they are dangerous.

Experiments (e.g., The Stanford Prison Experiment) have demonstrated the “situational” nature of evil.  They have shown that circumstances can produce evil behavior with frightening speed.  Because of this, evil is commonplace.  Fortunately, evil rapidly induced, just as rapidly fades.  Hannah Arendt discussed how the “banality of evil” could cause ordinary people to produce something as extreme as the Holocaust.

Nancy Kress describes five types of villains in her book “Dynamic Characters.”  My evil characters are Kress’s ‘examined’ characters.  A term she uses to refer to characters whose experiences you must describe sufficiently to explain and justify the character’s behavior.  As always, Kress makes useful suggestions, and I recommend reading her comments as you build your evil villain.

Evil behavior is often permanent.  Fortunately, evil that is both extreme and permanent requires long bouts of extreme experiences and is therefore uncommon; serial murderers, arsonists, and so forth are rare.  I think of extreme cases of permanent evil as true evil.  Truly evil characters are pure.  They have no altruistic traits.  They will use you for security, fun, and food.  Since they have their own special moral code, they will not feel guilt for their behavior.  They will suffer a sinner’s remorse only if they let you escape or if they fail to make the best use of you.

Here is an excerpt from Corr Syl the Warrior that shows how true evil can develop:  Lactella (click the name then click the excerpt link on the page that appears).

Unlinked Reference

Kress, N.  2004.  Dynamic characters:  How to create personalities that keep readers
captivated.  Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH.  264 p.

Hashtags: #CorrSyl, #TheTsaeb, #RhyaBright, #GarryRogers

Hashtags Are Great

Hashtags help us sift through internet communications to find information on the topics we like.  When you see an interesting hashtag on Facebook or Twitter, click it to see more posts that include it.

Upon the advice of Laura Pepper Wu, I am introducing four hashtags for my fictional world of the Tsaeb.  The first, #CorrSyl, is pretty obvious.  It relates to the published book “Corr Syl the Warrior” and to the book in progress, “Corr Syl the Terrible.”  #TheTsaeb is cool because it refers to the fictional world of #CorrSyl, #RhyaBright, and many others.  Of course, #GarryRogers is there to catch comments on my writing.

Send Garry Rogers an email or reply to this post in the comment field at the bottom.

Nested Stories By Secondary Characters

Stories Told by Secondary Characters

NGarryRogers.comested stories are common literary devices.  Some writing texts advocate treating every chapter as a separate story with a beginning and an end.  Nested stories can be standalone chapters, but they are usually stories narrated by characters within the framework of a chapter.  A character within the main story might recall an experience, or they might tell a fictional story of their own.

I like nested stories; they are fine places to give readers glimpses of hidden themes and character motivations.  They can add evidence for the reality of the main story.  I gave an example in an earlier post about stories told by the protagonist.  Here is an example of a nested story involving secondary characters in the novel Corr Syl the Warrior (#CorrSyl).  The story provides support for subsequent actions within the main story.

News of Allon

As Allysen and two fighters trotted past a picnic area near the new military base, a Danog woman waved them over. 

“Hello.  Do you have a moment?”

Allysen focused.  The woman seemed worried, and she wanted help from Tsaeb.  Odd.  Allysen introduced her group and asked how she could help. Continue reading

The True Beauty of Book Covers

Book Covers:  Behind the Beauty

GarryRogers.comI only recently began to question the old line, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”  Having never really given the subject any thought, I always assumed that the sole purpose of a book cover was to attract buyers.  I thought of it as an advertising gimmick that served a commercial purpose and had nothing to do with the quality of the story.  I felt that plain covers might be more honest and desirable.

When I completed my first novel, “Corr Syl the Warrior,” my attitude changed.  I was concerned that since I had no reputation at all, there might be no readers.  I was confident that some readers would like the story, but I was feared that those readers might never stumble upon the book.  I decided that I needed a snazzy cover.

The only thing I knew about eBook cover design was that the fonts had to be legible at thumbnail sizes.  Other than that, I assumed a book-cover designer would create something attractive that would appeal to potential buyers.  I checked a few websites for examples, and chose a designer that had made some science fiction covers.  I provided a one-paragraph book description and a few pictures, and sat back to see what she would produce.

The designer did a great job with what I gave her.  She proposed a few options, suggested colors and fonts, and ended up doing a beautiful job.  Along the way, I thought more about book covers and realized that I had missed an opportunity.  I began looking closely at the covers on the books on my shelves and I realized that book covers could play a significant role in telling a story.

With shapes, colors, and text, a cover could set a mood and it could illustrate important story elements.  An author could use the cover to foreshadow important events within the story.  I realized that the cover could also help define characters, give a real glimpse of a setting, and give clues to the story theme.

The first book I read to myself, “Tarzan the Terrible,” has gone through numerous printings since its publication in 1921.  And it has had at least 20 different covers.  The covers range from simple text to images that seem unrelated to the story, and to images that illustrate important scenes and the story theme.

Tarzan the Terrible

Tarzan the Terrible

As a child, I often wondered what the image on the cover was.  I imagined several possibilities, and finally settled on one.  I think it depicts a particular scene in the story.  I could be wrong.  If you think you know what the image is, add a comment.

Book covers can be more than mere advertising, or even works of art.  They can be beautiful, informative, and suggestive all at once.  A cover designer might achieve all that, but a designer working together with the book’s author is more likely to take full advantage of the opportunity the cover provides.  If the author can describe what the cover could show, a good designer can probably put it together.

So, can you tell a book by its cover?  YES, if the author takes the time to help with its composition.

Send an email to Garry Rogers or make a public comment using the reply field below the email form.

Nested Stories told by the Protagonist #indieauthor #LitChat

Nested Stories told by the Protagonist

The protagonist in a novel often imagines or recalls events that are not part of the main story.  Nesting small stories within a story is a common literary device sometimes referred to as mise en abyme.  An article in Wikipedia discusses the many types of nested stories.  Here I am referring to stories narrated by a protagonist and nested well with a main story. 

Nesting self-contained stories within a larger narrative is probably as old a technique as story telling itself.  The storyteller often draws the story from a remembered experience, but sometimes tells a fictional story heard or invented.  A nested story may make up the bulk of a chapter; it can even stand alone, seemingly unrelated to the main story.  Steinbeck uses the latter in his depiction of the two boys in Chapter 26 in Cannery Row

Some books are composed entirely of stand-alone stories framed by a unifying plot.  Canterbury Tales and One Thousand and One Nights are examples.  Collections of children’s stories such as Winnie the Pooh are similar, but repeating characters, not the plot unite them.  One of my projects is a collection of children’s stories united by a single character whose excesses of ego and poor judgment, creates circumstances that form the plot for each story. 

Nested stories serve many purposes.  Steinbeck used them to give insights to his theme.  The stories can also show character motivations and they can reveal details of history and background for the main story.  Thus, they can support the reality of the main story. 

Here is an example of a nested story told by the protagonist in the novel Corr Syl the Warrior.  It is contained within a chapter, and it is obvious fiction.  It serves to elaborate on the background of the protagonist’s culture and his occupation, and it foreshadows a tragic scene involving the protagonist and a childhood friend. Continue reading