Thursday, December 3, 2015

Game Over by Fred T. Kerns



Game Over
By Fred T Kerns

Talk about waking up from a descent sleep, but into the nightmare, isn’t it supposed to be going to sleep and ending up “in” a nightmare?!

One minute you’re playing “Grand Theft Auto V” with all of your buddies and having a good ole time… and the next thing you see is this:

Robots, nine foot humanoids with armor, a BBW with hooves, a snake girl, a giant humanoid dragon, a horse-cow woman, and more.


 But wait. Dylan Engstrom who is the main character here as he looks at all of these creatures notices one in particular, and thinks, and lets quote his thoughts shall we?

“I can’t dream about a human with four tits, of course it’s got to be some weird creature. Oh well, those are nice enough to look at anyway.” Yes, even an Alien with four tits is with Dylan!

These creatures form a bond, Aliens, humanoids, and Dylan. And they are all trying to escape whatever is happening to them, wherever they are. If they don’t solve the problem, they fear they could all end up dead, many times over. 

If you have ever read or heard of Fred, his work has appeared in the “Lucky Stars Box set” and in this set, you would’ve heard of one of the characters in this same book, before. Cora appears that set, and again here. I love her character. But thank goodness for Grishnag, a great friend to Dylan.

I found this book uniquely different because it has a different kind of flow to it. Of course, it is a scientific book, with a story line that will keep you on your toes, wondering will everyone survive, and who will die, if anyone. And you can’t wait to see what will happen next. I was in fear for each character, wondering with each turn, would they end up dead. The only problem I did find was confusing the characters. But it didn’t stop me from wanting to read, and learn more. Because, of course- I needed and wanted to know the end result.

I give this book five stars, because it is an amazing story, that keeps you wanting more, and keeps your imagination going, thinking about these unique characters and how they look and than what will happen to them. I truly enjoyed it very much! If you’re into sci-fi you truly need to read this book! 

Thank you very much for this opportunity Fred! I'm sorry it took me so long!


 My questions for Fred:

1.) Where did you come up with this story line?

​ As with most of my stories, it was a lot of different things that started clicking into place. A few years ago I had an idea about characters being forced to fight in arena combat and coming back to life after they were killed, over and over. I didn't use the idea for anything until I started working on this book. As a casual gamer, at some point I started thinking in terms of the arena combat taking place in a series of video games the characters had somehow been inserted into. I still hadn't figured out the details, particularly how the characters escaped, until just recently. The idea pretty much solidified while I was playing Saints Row IV ... seeing how ​the Boss disrupted the simulation she was stuck in and broke out of it gave me some ideas on how the characters in Game Over would go about stressing out their simulation to the breaking point. I'd come up with Cora, the robot character, just because I thought it was a cool idea ... but the more I thought about the plot, the more I realized she'd be crucial to their escape, because as an AI, she'd be able to access the simulation's programming and rewrite it. Without her, the others probably wouldn't have gotten out of there. So, yeah, a lot of different little things I picked up or thought of over the years, all just kind of clicked into place.




2.) Do you have any photos of these characters to share with us?

​ I don't have any pictures of the characters, which is a shame because I think it'd be cool to at least have a portrait of each one. Someday I'd like to commission some drawings of my main characters from all of my books and stories, if I can ever afford it. ​


3.) How long did it take you to write this?

​ I wrote it sometime last year, so I don't recall exactly how long it took. It was a few months, I think, due to various everyday-life stuff keeping me sidetracked.

4.) What are you working on now?

​ I've got several projects ongoing at the moment, which is how I tend to work in general. I usually have around a half-dozen books and stories I'm working on at the same time. And a couple of the books I've finished, I'm doing promotional work for, so I consider those ongoing projects as well. The two big ones are both on Inkshares:

My fourth novel, Project Revenant, is finished and I'm running a campaign on Inkshares to try to get enough pre-orders for it to be published (here: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/project-revenant ). It's the sequel to a pair of books I've had on Amazon, Smashwords, and Kobo for a while, Load and Fifteen Minutes. It's sort of a sci-fi, high-tech take on the zombie sub-genre, though there's a whole lot more going on in the book than just that.

The other book I have on Inkshares is titled Uncharted Territory (here: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/uncharted-territory ), and it's based on a short story that was published earlier this year, "Mission to Bellatrix." I had so much fun writing that story and its protagonist that I wanted to expand it into a full-length novel​. The short story had several of the characters from Game Over in supporting roles, but I had to only use three of them to avoid cluttering the story up with too many characters. Fleshing it out into a whole novel gives me a chance to bring back all the characters I had to leave out of the story, and give them something to do other than stay out of sight somewhere else on the ship. Uncharted Territory is a work in progress, six chapters done so far.

My third novel, Chaser, was published a few days ago and is currently available on Amazon (here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018PVABWM ). It's connected to my other three books (Load, Fifteen Minutes, and Project Revenant), but the daughter of the main characters is the protagonist of this book. It tells the story of her first job for the Fugitive Retrieval Agency and the fallout from it. Unlike all my other works, this one is written in first-person point of view. I tried it just to see what happened since the story wasn't quite working, and making that change really brought the character and her story to life. It was accepted by a publisher just a few weeks after I moved to Tucson, AZ, and is now my first officially-published novel.

As for actually ongoing works in progress, I've been writing fanfiction for quite a while, both just for the hell of it (well, that and I had some ideas that I couldn't shake loose until I started writing them) and to provide some free content for readers to sample my work and decide if they like my writing style without having to buy anything. It's helped draw some attention to my original work, as well as entertaining readers, so it's paying off.

One is titled Freelancers (here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7443161/1/Mass-Effect-Freelancers ), which is based on the Mass Effect games. Well, the two good ones; the third one, not so much. Freelancers is kind of a "Lower Decks" type of story, with mostly original characters. It's really action-packed and has a lot of humor thanks to many of the characters being smartasses. It's all one big, long story -- over 125,000 words so far, and it's barely gotten started.

The other is a series of shorter stories based on Transformers Prime. While watching the show, a few ideas popped into my head and I just had to run with them. So far I've completed three stories, Game-Changer (here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7187985/1/Transformers-Prime-GameChanger ), Rematch (here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7479137/1/Transformers-Prime-Rematch ), Enemy of my Enemy (here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8560078/1/Transformers-Prime-Enemy-of-my-Enemy ), and the fourth, Harbinger (here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9512800/1/Transformers-Prime-Harbinger ) is still in progress. Like Freelancers, they're packed with action and humor ... and a little bit of romance.


5.) What are your hobbies?

​ Aside from reading and writing my own books, I'd say video games are my main hobby. I'm just a casual gamer, I've never had the money or the time to buy and play every game that's released, but I do play a few specific titles. Mass Effect 2, Saints Row: The Third, and Saints Row IV are some of my all-time favorites. I've played a bit of Star Trek Online and The Old Republic because they're free to play. STO was kind of addictive for a while, but the ground combat and ship-to-ship battles became so frustrating that I eventually lost interest. When Wildstar went free-to-play, I got into it, but haven't had time to progress through much of the story. Right now, my go-to game is Grand Theft Auto V. I mostly play the online portion of the game, though I almost always stick to solo sessions because I'm not very good at it and it's no fun getting my ass kicked every five seconds.

​ Another hobby related to both writing and games is a couple series of videos I'm making. One series uses Mass Effect 2 as a springboard for discussing a variety of writing-related topics such as character and plot development. (The first video is here: 
​ ) The other series uses Mass Effect 3 as an example of bad writing, discussing things to avoid while writing a story. (First video here: 
​ )
 I also make promotional videos for my books when they're published. Usually, it's just me sitting in front of my webcam and talking about the book, but I've never really been comfortable on camera. I tried something different with the promo video for Chaser (here: https://youtu.be/VXTRZRWl_pA ) by recording an audio track of me introducing and discussing the book, while at the same time recording video of my GTA Online character riding around on a bicycle (and occasionally getting hit by a car) just so there'd be something interesting on the screen.


6.) How long have you been into writing?

​ I started when I was a little kid, finally started submitting stories to magazines around age 17, kept trying to get my foot in the door for 25 years, and finally succeeded with Chaser and Mission to Bellatrix.


7.) Who are your favorite Author(s)?

​ I've got quite a few. William Gibson, Allen Steele, J. Michael Straczynski, just off the top of my head. Also, the guys at Rooster Teeth who've been writing their Red vs. Blue web series.

8.) What do you suggest to future writers?

​ More than anything else, just don't give up, no matter how daunting it seems. Getting published took me a very long time because I didn't have access to the internet and all the opportunities it opened up when I first started, but you're starting out with access to those opportunities. It's tough to break in, but keep at it and it'll happen. In the meantime, keep writing and improving, find your own writing style, study books and stories and the writing in TV shows, movies, and video games. Also stay open to anything you see and hear in real life. Any vocal or physical mannerism you notice could give your character what he or she needs to become a little more "real." Bits of conversations or random comments you overhear might give you ideas for new stories.​

​ Something you notice in the corner of your eye might find its way into your next book as a background event to spring a character into motion. Take it all in whenever you can. An idea for a new story can come from anywhere.


9.) What is your biggest pet peeve?

​I have so many, I don't even know where to start. And if I got started, I'm not sure I could stop.


10.) Please share with us all ways to contact and follow along with you:



11.) Anything you'd care to add:

Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my books. I hope you and your readers enjoy them. ^_^



Game OverGame Over by Fred T. Kerns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Talk about waking up from a descent sleep, but into the nightmare, isn’t it supposed to be going to sleep and ending up “in” a nightmare?!

One minute you’re playing “Grand Theft Auto V” with all of your buddies and having a good ole time… and the next thing you see is this:

Robots, nine foot humanoids with armor, a BBW with hooves, a snake girl, a giant humanoid dragon, a horse-cow woman, and more.

But wait. Dylan Engstrom who is the main character here as he looks at all of these creatures notices one in particular, and thinks, and lets quote his thoughts shall we?

“I can’t dream about a human with four tits, of course it’s got to be some weird creature. Oh well, those are nice enough to look at anyway.” Yes, even an Alien with four tits is with Dylan!

These creatures form a bond, Aliens, humanoids, and Dylan. And they are all trying to escape whatever is happening to them, wherever they are. If they don’t solve the problem, they fear they could all end up dead, many times over.

If you have ever read or heard of Fred, his work has appeared in the “Lucky Stars Box set” and in this set, you would’ve heard of one of the characters in this same book, before. Cora appears that set, and again here. I love her character. But thank goodness for Grishnag, a great friend to Dylan.

I found this book uniquely different because it has a different kind of flow to it. Of course, it is a scientific book, with a story line that will keep you on your toes, wondering will everyone survive, and who will die, if anyone. And you can’t wait to see what will happen next. I was in fear for each character, wondering with each turn, would they end up dead. The only problem I did find was confusing the characters. But it didn’t stop me from wanting to read, and learn more. Because, of course- I needed and wanted to know the end result.

I give this book five stars, because it is an amazing story, that keeps you wanting more, and keeps your imagination going, thinking about these unique characters and how they look and than what will happen to them. I truly enjoyed it very much! If you’re into sci-fi you truly need to read this book!

View all my reviews