Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Reviewette – Q & A: Echoes of the Future © Burn - Aleksandr Voinov

Echoes of the Future

Authors: A.B. Gayle, Aleksandr Voinov, Jude Mason, Kate Cotoner
Publisher: Noble Romance
Burn by Aleksandr Voinov
Flight Lieutenant Chris Waters is the pilot of a cutting-edge unmanned SAD fighter drone that is used for secret government missions. Chris is cutting-edge technology himself: his neural network is upgraded with cyber-technology and software that makes him the interface of his combat drone.
Then, something goes wrong as he connects to his drone. Haunted by strange, disorientating impressions, a so-called 'ghost', he hooks up on leave with fellow pilot Cyril for a night. But Cyril is not the man Chris thought he is, and Chris soon finds out what the 'ghost' in his body really is, as well as the truth about his missions.
I was send this book a few days ago to review on the blog, I wont lie and say it would have been something I would have rushed out to buy, because I wouldn’t have.
I am not sure what made me decide to read it ahead of a whole pile of other books that I have in the queue, but I did and I was so impressed by it that I immediately send off a few emails to all the authors asking them if they wouldn’t mind answering a few questions for me.
Let me be clear right from the outset, if you are looking for a book with characters that exploded over the pages or humour or any of the stereotypical romance theme – this is not the book for you. ECHOES OF THE FUTURE is about concept, that little gem of an idea that all these four authors brought to life made of it what they will.
And they all certainly did bring something special to this anthology.
All of the stories are about what the (possible) future might be, whether it’s alien, advance tech, creation or even mixing the core element of human and tech – ECHOES OF THE FUTURE is something to get the juices flowing and if you like sci-fi or off world plotline or even if you don't, this will make you want to go looking and explore what else is out there.
One thing I must mention is that I thought all the stories were well suited to the title and it was a tightly managed set of books.

BURN starts off this anthology and it was a great opening story. Within these few pages Voinov manages to capture murder, mystery and mayhem and that was not even touching the futuristic concept that the book is all about.
Chris is a SAD fighter drone pilot, and the beauty of Chris is that he is human plus a little bit of a twiks (alot of twik to be honest). Chris is cutting edge as the blurb says and all is well in his world until he has an accident on the job (greatly condensing here).
Following his accident Chris makes the decision to take time off and sort himself out. Barely off base he meets Cyril, someone he thinks is a colleague and someone he is very much attracted to. They end up spending the night together but morning does not bring the morning after thrill that it should – it leaves Chris under the microscope and with more questions than answer.
The blurb does a good round up of the book – so I can’t  go any further without spoiling it for future readers.
What I loved about BURN is that little buzz that it left me with, I immediately wanted to know more about the technology, my thought process was all over the place – because the concept of what Chris is was possible, it had a logic to it that I could see it happening and in some way agreeing with.
BURN is not big on angst, there was not time for that – but the author I thought gave enough detail of the time, the very matter of fact ways of the people involved and mostly invested alot of time in describing the technology that is Chris and Cyril.
There was smut involved, the author didn’t leave that out but not the soft words and gentle touches sort of scene. This was slam again the door and as rough as they could get sort of action and I wanted more.   
Ready for something different – try ECHOES OF THE FUTURE.

Aleksandr Voinov
1. Can you divulge anything about the background behind the concept of this, and how long have you been wanting to write this book?
"Burn" started with a voice. All my stories start with a voice - I "hear" my characters talk to me before I make any notes. In this case, it was pretty much the beginning of the story, where Chris does the reality show. But the plot and everything else came out in one piece (I have a flow chart to prove it). I wasn't quite sure how the technology works (I considered genetic engineering), or where they are (I was thinking, for a while, on a foreign planet), but once I started I thought it all sounds "near future".
The concepts are fairly old - I do owe a massive debt to Joe Haldeman, who's my literary hero, and William Gibson, who co-invented the genre cyberpunk. Haldeman wrote about drone pilots (I read the story fifteen or twenty years ago, I would have to check, but it made an impact on me), and Gibson's immortal short story collection "Burning Chrome" has one short story with a pilot, which was another creative spark that led to the story.

2. What kind of research did you do for this book? In BURN your detail of the future of technology is so clear - I could see it happening.
The background is my fascination with military technology and how technology messes with and improves the human body and mind. I'm always reading articles on military technology and strategy. I'm a bit of a war geek, I suppose, but I've always been interested in war, warfare and its history. I could bore anybody to tears with crusader military strategy and technology.
The thing is, as far as the story is concerned, this is all stuff that is being discussed and part of it is being developed. The US has the most advanced drone fleet in the world, and there's the line about the mutinous Predator drone - well, that actually happened a short while ago. I wish I was making this stuff up, but I'm not really. I'm deeply uneasy about the technology and wish they'd put even a little of that money into fighting cancer or Alzheimers. When I write this, I see it and hear it - it's my own personal movie. It's great to share that with other people.

3. The main protags were barely introduced to me before the book was over - would you or will you revisit them in the future...

  • If yes - Where do you see them going from where you left them
Yes -
"Burn" is what I call an "idea story". I most often write stories about characters, but in this case I wrote a story about an idea and a technology. It's rare. At the moment I see them hatch a madcap plan to steal a fighter drone, go underground, and fight off other drone pilots trying to kill them, all the while having hot sex and getting to know each other. I think that might be another 20k words, so there might be a novella in there.
It depends a bit on whether people keep telling me they want the whole story - like with "Deliverance", my crusader story in the anthology "Forbidden Love", also by Noble Romance, where so many readers wrote in and said "give me the rest of the story! What happens?" that I'm now currently writing the prequel and the sequel, together with the fantastic Kate Cotoner. Truth is, even my short stories want to be novels - but I'm already working on three novels, so I'm happy for everything that stays short and relatively uncomplicated. But it might happen. I'm very easily influenced by feedback and reviews.

4. What do you hope the readers of this anthology will feel or experience from reading BURN?
I really only have one goal with my writing: I want to thrill and relax my readers after a long, dreary day, make them feel something, engage their intelligence and emotions, and give them an experience that we normally don't get. "Burn" is a short techno-thriller, readers of that like speculative technology, clever, fast paced action, and witty banter. Personally, I love the genre, so I wanted to try my hand on this. Ideally, the reader looks up from her screen and goes "woah" when she's done. I'd really like that.

image To find out more about Aleksandr Voinov check out his

Other books in the Echoes of The Future  Anthology
CONDUIT – Kate Cotoner + Q&A
RESCUE ME – Jude Mason + Q&A
REVERSAL – A.B. Gayle +  Q&A

14 Speak To Me:

Chris on 16 March 2010 at 17:11 said...

Hmm... This isn't one that I'd pick up normally, but I'm intrigued. It's been a long time since I read Haldeman or Gibson!

Smokinhotbooks on 16 March 2010 at 17:26 said...

I'm with Chris. My tastes usually run towards paranormal vs techno-thriller, but I do like to try-out other genres.

Great Review!

Jude Mason on 16 March 2010 at 17:38 said...

Hey E.H.,

A wonderful review. You really know how to tease a reader into looking at books they may not normally check out. Burn is an awesome story, as you said, and well worth looking for.

I am so looking forward to Thursday!


Heidi V on 16 March 2010 at 18:18 said...

o0o this sounds REALLY good, great interview! Thanks for the recommendation it sounds like my kinda book...

Elaine on 16 March 2010 at 23:38 said...

That was a great review and I love the interview idea. I've been putting off reading Burn because I want to save this piece for a cruise I'm taking next month. Reading your review is making it very hard for me to stick to the plan!

Erotic Horizon on 16 March 2010 at 23:48 said...


I am with you on the intrigue - it is worth picking up jsut for that..

I got to meet three new to me authors - and my creative juices are flowing again..

All it takes is the right book....


Erotic Horizon on 16 March 2010 at 23:50 said...


My reading taste is all over the place - I give myself little holidays now and again from certain genre - but this one is telling me Sci-fi and other possibities are calling me....

I am already scouting books..

My poor TBR pile..


Erotic Horizon on 16 March 2010 at 23:51 said...


I can't thank you enough - this was a great book and Burn is really good...

Thursday will be here before you know it..

Thank you..


Erotic Horizon on 16 March 2010 at 23:54 said...


Anything for a reader my dear - make sure this is near the top of your To Buy List...

Thank you...


Erotic Horizon on 16 March 2010 at 23:56 said...


Fie on me then Elaine - if you have to save it please do - you wont regret having decent reading material on board....

Dont think about it - ony a few more weeks to go ....then you can dive in..


Lily on 17 March 2010 at 03:22 said...

Although this is a genre I don't normally read it does sound interesting. Great review and I liked the idea of the Q & A.

Erotic Horizon on 17 March 2010 at 07:24 said...


Thanks lily..

I did love this book - however I would recommend this author for his style of writing, he does write Historical and Contemp...

So you might find something of his that will appeal to you..


Aleksandr Voinov on 17 March 2010 at 09:51 said...

Thank you, E.H., for having me on your blog - and thanks for the freat questions.

And great the collection inspired you to write too. There's no greater compliment from one writer to another than "this inspired me to write".

Erotic Horizon on 17 March 2010 at 10:50 said...


I really enjoyed this Anthology - and yes it has certainly jump start my slump in writing...

Congrats on the release and wishing you every success with your other books..