Chimera: A Dark, Suspenseful Tale Set Within an Original Sci-Fi Scenario


“Chimera” is a well-written science fiction tale wrought with tension, suspense and believable characters. Its scenario is original and captivating, i.e. that of a habitable moon elsewhere in the galaxy which serves as a debtors’ prison for Earthlings unable to meet their obligations. These prisoner/colonists are provided with their basic needs via automated exchange ships which bring food and other necessities, then return to Earth with ecomire, a valuable mineral which colonists either mine or retrieve from “the rim.” As the seventh generation of colonists reach adolescence, their debt is considered paid. However, their release from bondage is complicated by the fact that no exchange ships have arrived for a long time, not only jeopardizing the colony’s survival but begging the question regarding what is going on back on Earth?

The richness of this story derives from a variety of original elements. For one thing, the ship which brought them there in the first place, the Chimera, is being renovated in the hopes of returning to Earth but this is complicated by the fact that she has an element of intelligence that no one so far has been able to access. Then there’s the matter of its original navigator, “Stephen,” who had connected with her and ultimately went insane while at the same time spawning some sort of weird religion with him at the core. These details bring the story to life by defining the culture which these exiled individuals developed and demonstrate a deep understanding of human nature on the part of its author, which is actually three individuals who collaborated in a very effective manner to bring this fascinating story to life. It definitely illustrates the concept that “two heads are better than one” when it comes to conceiving and developing a rich, compelling tale.

The adolescent characters come to life within this carefully fabricated world in a convincing and engaging manner. Each has a story of his or her own, an intriguing background that has contributed to who and what they are. In preparation for the return to Earth, “the selection” is in the process of choosing which members of this seventh generation of colonists will be chosen to be the Chimera’s crew, including someone who can awaken her. Personality conflicts, differing motivations and abilities, as well as dealing with a drill sergeant from hell are skillfully embedded in the overall tension of the story’s premise.

While the primary protagonist is a young man named Theo, the other characters’ importance is clear. Among other things, this episode is a coming of age story for Theo and the others as well, particularly Marcus whose seemingly sociopathic tendencies are ultimately at least partially explained and Selena, who has spent her life in a mining ship “on the rim” with her alcoholic father. The only one whom I didn’t connect with was Meghan who was superficial by comparison, perhaps because her background was not sufficiently challenging which left her bland and judgmental.

This is the first volume of an intended series which definitely drags you into the characters and plot with just enough questions left unanswered to make you anxious to get your hands on the next episode which is due sometime in the summer of 2015. The characters have strong, distinct personalities which have already established the promise of conflict when they crew the Chimera. I was provided a copy of this story in return for an honest review and was thoroughly enchanted by this well-crafted tale which holds tremendous promise.

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More about Chimera & the team that comprises N.J. Tanger:

Interview with Fantasy/Science Fiction/New Age Author Martha Fawcett


Martha Fawcett is an amazing science fiction writer whose work is a unique combination of sci-fi, fantasy and New Age. Her prose is a delight to read, touching your imagination like an evening summer breeze ruffling your hair. It’s easy to tell her upbringing was enriched by generations of storytellers and she has clearly inherited that gift. Her latest book, The Permeable Web of Time, is now out and you can find it here:

Me: Your enigmatic biographical sketch on your author’s page ( suggests that the UFO culture in Ohio had a strong impact on your writing, particularly in choosing to contribute to the science fiction genre. Was there any particular experience that influenced that decision that you’d like to share?

Martha: In July of 1947, the Roswell Incident occurred. Whether an actual, alien spacecraft crashed in the New Mexico desert or, as some believe, the entire story is a colossal hoax, the possibility of such an event happening captured the imagination of popular culture. I was a small child in ‘47, but one of my favorite pastimes was hanging around the periphery of adult gatherings and listening to their conversations. I remember; the topic of Roswell was on the lips of many people.

It was a lazy Saturday morning and I was nine years old. My dad came into the kitchen and poured himself his usual cup of black coffee. Sipping the steaming brew, he stared out at the misty green lawns still covered with dew. I already had a reputation for asking too many questions and this time was no exception. “What would you do if a spaceship landed in our backyard,” I asked him. He did not try to assure me that no such thing could ever happen. Instead, my question initiated a conversation that would last all weekend, as we became enmeshed in the what-ifs and varying circumstances. I don’t remember if he ever answered my original question, but he lit a fuse in my mind. I was so excited that I barely slept that night. My vision of life changed that weekend as I realized that I lived in a vast universe waiting to be discovered.

Me: Apparently, you hail from a family of storytellers. What memory stands out the most from that heritage?

Martha: Several people in my family were good storytellers, my paternal grandfather, my father, and my brother. After a lifetime of listening to them, I realize they all had a good sense of “timing.” Storytelling, especially verbal storytelling is like music, the rhythm catches and holds the ear of the listener.

In my immediate family, we honor the art of storytelling by creating elaborate fantasies surrounding our dogs and felines. Our furry family members are constantly outsmarting us; Lyssa our sable Burmese has won several Nobel prizes. Shyya, our dog, was a belly dancer (She claimed that she was bred by Sultans for Sultans); and Cerebow, a chocolate Burmese is now a supermodel and actress. My son is married to a German girl and Martina has brought her myths into the family mix. As a result, the family canines and felines are fighting gnomes and protecting us from poison-tipped darts that gnomes throw our way. It’s great fun and a creative outlet for everyone, especially around birthday-card time, when the family pets send out more cards than we do as humans.

Me: The description for “Together” mentions a Tarot reading that has a strong influence on the protagonist while “Dance of the Warrior and Witch” sounds as if it fits the fantasy genre more than science fiction. How do you define the fine lines between these two genres?

Martha: The lines between different genera are somewhat muted for me. My books are a mixture of science fiction, philosophy, romance, and spirituality. I tell unique and intimate stories of individuals and if possible, I like to write in the first person. I categorize The Janaforma Trilogy, consisting of Alone, Together, and One, as science fiction because the settings are the future, space travel is common, and the problems they encounter galactic. Each book of The Trilogy is complete onto itself; yet, together, all three books deal with the ramifications of genetic engineering. My characters encounter phenomena unexplainable through today’s science and technology, but these characters have been especially bred to deal with the complexity of space travel. Biological beings are not static or ever complete. We are evolving, so what we now may consider fantasy, may be easily explainable in the future.

Dance of the Warrior and Witch is a prequel to The Janaforma Trilogy and is a book I longed to write. The plot involves involves two schools of philosophical thought, the Shardasko Warriors (a mind-oriented cult) and the Trinity Witches (a feeling-oriented cult). No matter the genera, what holds a good book together is the authentic interaction of characters. Their journey may be short or long, but they must communicate their empathy to draw the reader into the story. A major theme in my writing is the emphasis of the personal journey each one of us must make to fulfill our potential. This takes me into the minds and intimate interaction of my characters, their personal development and philosophies, the social issues of their times, and their spiritual experiences. I attempt to focus on better possibilities for the future, which is a natural seque into science fiction.

My involvement with The Tarot is an offshoot of meditation. I would mediate with my Mind to my left, my Feelings to my right and my Will directly in front of me. This was not a position I read about in a book, but something I agreed to do, in cooperation with my many chattering inner voices. When I personified my Will, Mind, and Feelings in this way, I created a stage for inner dialogue and cooperation. When I discovered the Tree of Life, I found that my meditational configuration could be superimposed on the Tree of Life. The only thing missing from my glyph was the top part of the Tree. As I began to study The Tree of Life, I discovered Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang. I understood very little of his book on the first reading, but soon bits and pieces began to make sense to me. I learned that The Tarot was our ancient Western mystical tradition that’s been reduced to fortunetelling at sideshows. The Tree of Life and The Tarot demonstrate how Archetypes moderate and makes palatable our energy from The Source.

Does it matter if my glyph may be wrong or a figment of my imagination? Hardly! Even those too afraid of breaking away from their rigid religious upbringing, trim and modify their religion to fit their needs. The important factor is I’ve created my own inner religion that suits my evolutionary process. My Aquarian goal always is to uncover better and better truths (to make the unconscious conscious); so, show me a better interior model, a truer truth, and I will humbly put my glyph aside and accept a new paradigm.

Me: Do you share your characters’ interest in divination or is it simply something you explore in your stories? If perchance you practice Tarot, do you have any interesting experiences you’d care to share? [NOTE: I’m a professional astrologer, Martha, so you’re in safe territory here. J)

Martha: I have a couple of dozen decks of tarot cards, but the only deck I use is the Crowley deck based on the Tree of Life. I use it very sparingly with people who ask me to read their tarot. I have a background in dream analysis and a long-standing fascination with myths, symbols, and archetypes. These are invaluable tool in doing a reading. My obvious reticence comes from the knowledge that I am fallible and The Tarot is a powerful tool. In my latest book, The Permeable Web of Time (which will be out in a few weeks.) The Tarot helped me structure the plot and characters. The protagonist, Sante, has been “playing around” with tarot cards. When each new character appears, Sante decides to randomly select a significator card for each person. The cards Sante pulls are the actual cards I pulled and the characters are based on their cards.

Me: What other interests or hobbies do you enjoy other than writing?

Martha: I have too many hobbies and interests. I often say, “If I could clone myself, one clone would be a gardener and another would be a gourmet chief. One would make jewelry, another would be a photographer, and one would wander the globe in search of the authentic. My rational for this particular fantasy, is that I would have more time to write.

I’ve enjoyed a life-long love affair with gardening. It’s one of those passions built into my genetics. My maternal grandmother, Viola Mae, always had cuttings in a jar, a tomato plant out back and I keep up that tradition. I have a large collection of houseplants, a perennial garden, and an herb garden. I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively in my life and photography always played a major role in my travels. A couple of years ago, I decided to put all my pictures on the computer. My husband brought a large storage box up from the basement, which contained slides, negatives, and pictures, telling me, “After you work through this box, there are eighteen more waiting for you.” For my birthday that year, I received Photoshop. I’m still working on this project. I’m crafty and like to make things with my hands. It’s a relief from the black and white world of words. I had nothing left to gold leaf in my house; so, I started making jewelry about three years ago and it turned into a passion. I would stay up until 3:00 AM creating a necklace or bracelet. My hands and fingernails were a wreck from wire wrapping. People began offering me money for my jewelry and I was tempted. I was on the verge of kissing my writing career goodbye when I received notice from Salvo Press that they wanted to publish my first book, Alone. So long hobbies! I am a writer.

Me: What are you currently working on and do you have a target date for its release?

Martha: As I mentioned above, The Permeable Web of Time, is complete. I’m now waiting for Duncan Long (check out his art at to complete his work on my cover. I have another book I plan to release sometime in 2015. It has the working title, The Zaqurlite Manuscript. [NOTE:– “The Permeable Web of Time” is now live on Amazon through the link below.]



The Permeable Web of Time:

Alone (Book I of the Janaforma Trilogy):

Together (Book II of Janaforma Trilogy):

One (Book III of Janaforma Trilogy):

Dance of the Warrior and Witch:

Together (Book II of Janaforma Trilogy) eBook only:







Amazon Author Central: