Steve Harrison's TimeStorm was published by Elsewhen Press as an e-book in August 2014. The printed edition was published in November 2014.
Information about Steve Harrison:
Steve Harrison was born in Yorkshire, England, grew up in Lancashire, migrated to New Zealand and eventually settled in Sydney, Australia, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
As he juggled careers in shipping, insurance, online gardening and the postal service, Steve wrote short stories, sports articles and a long running newspaper humour column called HARRISCOPE: a mix of ancient wisdom and modern nonsense. In recent years he has written a number of unproduced feature screenplays, although being unproduced was not the intention, and developed projects with producers in the US and UK. His script, Sox, was nominated for an Australian Writers' Guild 'Awgie' Award and he has written and produced three short films under his Pronunciation Fillums partnership.
Click here to visit the author's blog.
Information about TimeStorm:
In 1795 a convict ship leaves England for New South Wales in Australia. Nearing its destination, it encounters a savage storm but, miraculously, their battered ship stays afloat and limps into Sydney Harbour. Here, the convicts rebel, overpower the crew and make their escape, destroying the ship in the process. Fleeing the sinking vessel with only the clothes on their backs, the survivors struggle ashore. Among the escaped convicts, seething resentments fuel an appetite for brutal revenge against their former captors while, for their part, the crew attempts to track down and kill or recapture the escapees. However, it soon becomes apparent that both convicts and crew have more to concern them than shipwreck and a ruthless fight for survival; they have arrived in Sydney in 2017.
TimeStorm is a thrilling epic adventure story of revenge, survival and honour set in a strange new world of unfamiliar technology and equally unfathomable social norms. In the literary footsteps of Hornblower, comes Lieutenant Christopher 'Kit' Blaney, an old-fashioned hero, a man of honour, duty and principle, dragged into the 21st century... literally.
A great fan of the grand seafaring adventure fiction of CS Forester, Patrick O'Brian and Alexander Kent, and modern action thriller writers such as Lee Child, Steve Harrison combines several genres in his debut novel. The book was inspired by a replica 18th century sailing ship on Sydney Harbour and a question from Steve's brother, Tony: "What if that was a real convict ship?" TimeStorm explores that question in a fast-paced story as a group of desperate men from the 1700s clash in modern-day Sydney.
A REVIEW OF STEVE HARRISON'S TIMESTORM
Do you enjoy reading old-fashioned sea adventure novels? Are you interested in fast-paced action? Do you like time travel stories? Do you enjoy reading light entertainment? Or do you perhaps like all of these things? If you're looking for a novel that contains sea adventure, action, light entertainment and time travel elements, look no further - you've just found what you've been looking for.
Steve Harrison's TimeStorm is an entertaining combination of classic sea adventure, fast-paced action and time travel elements. It's an interesting adventure story about duty, honour, revenge, survival and love.
When I began to read TimeStorm, I quickly found myself liking it, because it turned out to be a very entertaining time travel novel. In my opinion TimeStorm is a first-rate adventure novel that offers plenty of entertainment to readers who enjoy reading adventure stories seasoned with action scenes and light science fiction elements.
TimeStorm reminded me of the novels written by C. S. Forester (Horatio Hornblower series) and Patrick O'Brian (Aubrey-Maturin series), because Steve Harrison has managed to create a similar kind of atmosphere and writes fluently about life at sea. It's possible to say that this novel is a modern equivalent to Forester and O'Brian's classic adventure novels.
Here's information about the story:
The story begins in 2003 when William is about to be revealed a secret by his father and uncle... Then the story skips to 1796 and to the Tasman Sea. HMS Marlin is headed towards New South Wales with convicts. First Lieutenant Christopher Blaney and Captain William Cross are in command of the ship. Blaney carries out the punishment of Rufus Redmond and wonders why the Captain has been so easy on the convict. Soon the ship and its crew are heading towards a storm. When the storm is over and the ship approaches Sydney, the convicts rebel and escape, and they also destroy the ship. Soon both the crew and the convicts realize that they have arrived in the future and the year is 2017...
This is the beginning of a fast-paced adventure that takes place in a near future Australia. The author covers a lot of ground from dealing with the policemen to the mayhem caused by the escaped convicts and he does it well. There aren't any dull moments in the story, because the story moves fast forward and the author concentrates on entertaining the reader with fast-paced action.
Here's a bit of information about some of the characters:
- Captain Cross has a frail health, but courageously he keeps the ship on its course and lets Lieuetenant Blaney handle the matters when needed.
- Lieuetenant Blaney is a good officer. He's dutiful, honest and respected by the men. He's a bit shy with the ladies.
- Rufus Redmond is an extremely dangerous convict. He has his own plans and he intends to escape and kill Cross.
- Watkins is a surgeon. He doesn't much like Blaney and Cross.
- Thomas "Tommy" Travis is a young man who's a midshipman. He's the youngest officer on the ship.
- Karen Jamison is an enthusiastic journalist who meets Blaney. She helps Blaney.
The author has a surprisingly good way of writing about the characters and their adventures. Some of the characters have more depth in them than others, but all of them are interesting characters.
Lieuetenant Blaney is a delightfully old-fashioned hero. He's an honest, dutiful and courageous man who has achieved a lot by working hard. He reminded me a lot of Horatio Hornblower (I think that all readers who have read C. S. Forester's novels will notice that there are similarities between Hornblower and Blaney).
Captain Cross is a man who has problems with his health. Because he isn't healthy, he has to rest as much as he can. The author writes fluently about him, his duties and his decisions. I can mention that what goes on between him and Redmond is intriguing and will be of interest to readers, because Redmond hates Cross.
The author writes fluently about the happenings from multiple points of view, because each point-of-view character brings something new to the story. Reading about the members of the crew, the convicts, policemen, reporters and other characters is genuinely fun.
Steve Harrison paints a vivid picture of life at sea and shows how the members of the crew work together. In my opinion he manages to create a believable vision of life on the ship, because he tells of how the men have different ranks and how commands are carried out by the officers.
The convicts differ from each other in many ways. Some of them have done almost nothing to earn a banishment from England to Australia, but others have done bad things. Steve Harrison writes unflinchingly about the punishments of the convicts and doesn't shy away from brutalities involved in the punishments, which is good, because life was harsh during the 18th century.
The rebellion of the convicts is handled admirably. It was thrilling to read how they escaped and what kind of brutal things they did. Their actions after the escape were also interesting, because they did all kinds of things, including a robbery to get guns.
The arrival of men from the 18th century to a near future Sydney is handled in a surprisingly entertaining and exciting way. When the men find themselves in the future, they wonder about many things, because lots of things have changed. The author shows how the men feel about their situation.
The crew members and escaped convicts have to face a new society in which new social norms, different manners and unfamiliar technology causes problems and difficult situations for them. They've all been dragged to the 21st century against their will. For example, telephones and televisions are totally new to them.
The relationship between Blaney and Karen is handled nicely. When Karen rescues Blaney, they become friends, but gradually they become fond of each other. At first Karen thinks that Blaney is insane, because it's difficult for her to believe his amazing story, but then she decides to help him. One of the reasons why she helps Blaney is that she's a journalist and she knows that she has quite a story to tell, but she's also a bit taken by Blaney.
It was interesting to read how Blaney was normally a bit shy with women and didn't know how to act around them, but found himself acting differently around Karen. Karen was so different from the women in his own time that Blaney was attracted to her.
The adventures of the crew members and the convicts around the city are thrilling, because the modern world feels strange to them. The author creates an absorbing story by writing about policemen, reporters, hostage situations, shootings, rescue missions, bodies etc. Although there are many happenings, the author manages to keep everything under control (in my opinion the author clearly enjoyes writing this kind of entertainment and wants to entertain his readers).
Because this novel is light adventure entertainment, the author doesn't concentrate on writing about scientific issues related to time travel. Whether this is a good or a bad thing depends entirely on the reader and his/her preferences in speculative fiction. In my opinion, in this case it isn't necessary to write about these issues, because the story is pure entertainment (writing about them might have ruined the entertainment values).
It's possible that there are readers who wonder if this kind of a novel can manage to keep up the reader's interest from start to finish. I can say to these readers that this novel is good entertainment from start to finish and the ending is satisfying to the readers.
TimeStorm is a perfect adventure novel for everybody who has read C. S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian. It's also excellent entertainment for all who enjoy reading fast-paced and exciting time travel stories.
Good and fast-paced time travel entertainment!