Frederation

A land where the trains always run on subjective time. Stories and reflections by Fred Warren.

On Tour: Mind Over Psyche, by Karina Fabian — October 3, 2013

On Tour: Mind Over Psyche, by Karina Fabian

Karina Fabian
Karina Fabian

It seems to be Karina Fabian Week here in the Frederation, as I’m trying to chip away at the backlog of much-delayed reviews and book blogs I’ve piled up over the past several months.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Karina’s work. If you do a quick search for her name on this site, you’ll find a variety of articles, interviews, and book reviews. I’ve even set a couple of my own stories in universes she created. She’s a fresh breath of lightheartedness and humor in a genre that takes itself far, far too seriously.

Dragon detectives, faery mischief, zombie-hunting reality shows, and nuns in space all find their place within her curriculum vitae, as well as some wonderful non-fiction about the Catholic expression of the Christian faith. She’s also a leading light in the Catholic Writers Guild and married to a recently-retired Air Force officer, which, if it doesn’t qualify her for sainthood, at least requires the patience of a saint, as my own Lovely Wife can testify.

Mind Over Psyche, by Karina FabianIn lieu of a fireworks show or pie-eating contest, we’ll cap off the celebration of one of my favorite authors by showcasing her latest novel, Mind Over Psyche. It’s the sequel to Mind Over Mind, a star-spanning adventure of psychic warfare on the razor’s edge of sanity.

There are voices in Deryl’s head.  They call him from consciousness, make him do odd things, overwhelm him with their needs. After five years in an asylum, he had a tenuous hold in his sanity, but no hope of a normal life–and he’s only 18. Joshua, a talented but arrogant psychiatric intern, is hired to befriend Deryl.  Not content with a “buddy” role, Joshua uses neuro linguistic programming to help his troubled charge.  His methods work, but that’s when the true danger begins. Here’s a taste:

As soon as Roger left, closing the door behind him, Malachai spoke. “You honestly think you will be leaving our institution soon, don’t you, Deryl?”

Deryl smirked and crossed his arms. He didn’t think it; he
knew it. Thanks to Joshua and his unique way of helping Deryl “tackle his issues,” he’d learned to control his powers and shield his mind from others—even the Master. Even Tasmae, but he couldn’t think about that now. Not if he was going to have to prove his sanity.

“I agree,” Malachai affirmed.

Deryl forced his jaw not to drop at the chief psychiatrist’s
statement, but he didn’t trust himself to speak.

Malachai continued, “You need to keep one thing in mind,
however: Our star intern has made remarkable progress with you, but Joshua will be gone at the end of the summer, either finishing his degree or pursuing that music career he’s so set on. Meanwhile, I remain the ultimate authority at South Kingston Mental Wellness Center. Further, your family has trusted my judgment for years.”

He paused, letting Deryl draw his own conclusions.

Deryl stomped to the chair in front of the desk and sat down.“What do you want?”

“What I’ve always wanted, Deryl. To better understand your unique abilities.

Deryl isn’t crazy; he’s psychic. Desperate to escape the insane asylum, he teleports to Kanaan, a world of telepaths who regard him as an oracle. But freedom comes at a price. The Kanaan expect their oracle to teach them to use their powers to wage war. Meanwhile, he’s falling in love, but to be with her means to share his psyche, which could drive her insane. Most dangerous of all, he hasn’t escaped the Call of the Master, enemy of the Kanaan, whose telepathic manipulations were why Deryl was committed in the first place. Now, the Master will forge Deryl’s powers into a weapon to kill all he loves or destroy his mind trying.

He found himself in the small glen Tasmae had imagined for them the first time they’d actually “spoken” together in the Netherworld. The canopy of branches and leaves shrouded them in privacy. It cut off the view of the sky, yet somehow there was plenty of light to see by. It didn’t matter; Deryl only cared about seeing one thing.

“Tasmae!”

She ran to him, and they embraced. Then he pulled away. “Terry said I’d hurt you—”
She touched her fingers to his lips, and he understood that Terry didn’t know everything, and that the only pain she felt was at their separation.

Then she flooded into his mind, and where she touched, waves of cool healing washed over his psychic wounds. He sighed with relief, and actually swayed a little. She caught him, and he wrapped his arms around her, first for support, then for something far more intimate. This time, they would be alone.

A familiar voice, a voice from nightmare, interrupted them. I WOULDN’T BE SO CERTAIN ABOUT THAT.

As one, they turned toward the intruder and blanched.

“Alugiac?”

“Master!”

They turned and stared at each other. They knew him?

The Master, once known on Kanaan as Alugiac, laughed. A triumphant satisfaction flowed from him like the thick fog that was slowly rolling from where he stood at the glen’s edge.

AT LAST I RETURN TO YOU, DERYL—AND LOOK AT THE GIFT YOU’VE BROUGHT ME!

“Tasmae, run!” Deryl shouted. A sword was suddenly in his hand, but though he held it at the ready, he was shaking so hard the blade quivered.

The fog had surrounded them now. The trees, moss, even the rocks had eroded at its touch. Colors fled, leaving them in a gray and black world, with only an indeterminate ground and low fog as landscape.

I’ll post a review of Mind Over Psyche at a later date, but don’t wait for me to finish cleaning off my virtual desk—pick up a copy yourself and enjoy.

Purchase Mind Over PsycheHardcopy  Epub  Kindle

Karina Fabian’s Author Page

Book Review: Greater Treasures, by Karina Fabian — October 2, 2013

Book Review: Greater Treasures, by Karina Fabian

Greater-Treasures, by Karina FabianIt’s a hot, muggy night on the mean streets of Los Lagos, the kind of night that keeps you indoors, clicking through 200 channels of televised dreck with one hand while you hold the icebox door open with the other and dream of Saskatchewan. Inside the loosely-defined offices of the Dragon Eye Private Investigations Agency, draconic gumshoe Vern d’Wyvern and his better-looking partner, Sister Grace McCarthy, are jolted out of their video comas by a knock at the door.

She’s a timid little thing in designer rags, an uptown dye job, and a pair of legs that would do anybody’s mama proud. Her brother’s in trouble, and if Dragon Eye tops her list of available options, so is she. This job won’t pay stale beans, but business has been molasses-slow. When you’re contemplating which bodily fluid to sell next to make ends meet, you take the work you get.

It’s a cakewalk, a routine tail, until Grace catches a poison dart in the back—a dart meant for Vern. Something bigger than a wayward sibling is afoot, and with his partner’s life in the balance, Vern races against time to solve the mystery, find the shooter, and obtain the antidote.

The odds are good somebody’s going to end up a side order of dragon chow along the way.

In Greater Treasures, the latest extract from the steadily-expanding case files of DragonEye, P.I., author Karina Fabian takes her wisecracking, pun-popping private drake to a place he’s never been before, an investigation driven by the very personal threat of losing the person he loves more than anything in both his worlds, Faerie and Mundane. It reveals a new facet of Vern’s character, one that proves decisive to the story’s outcome. You can find a discussion of the deeper implications of Vern’s character arc in my previous review of Ms. Fabian’s novel, Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem. He’s much more than a smart-aleck dragon who solves magical mysteries.

Greater Treasures draws explicit inspiration from the classic Dashell Hammett detective tale, The Maltese Falcon, and fans of Vern and Grace will find all the noir-ish sly asides and witty zingers they’ve come to expect from the Dragon Eye stories, though this one takes a more serious and urgent tone as Grace hovers between life and death while Vern puzzles out the mystery by himself.

This is a novella (or novelette, depending on where you choose to draw the line), stepping smartly from beginning to end in about 14000 words, a nice length for a long lunch or a short flight, and it’s a fun read.

Purchase Greater Treasures (print or e-book)

Karina Fabian’s author website

Dragon Eye P.I.

Don’t just take my word for it…read an excerpt from Greater Treasures here.

>>This review is based upon an electronic copy of the book provided to me free of charge by the publisher, a courtesy I appreciate, but which does not guarantee my recommendation. I strive to evaluate every book I review purely on its intrinsic merits.<<

Christmas Spirits — November 17, 2011

Christmas Spirits

Author Karina Fabian, whose worlds of imagination I have been privileged to play around in once or twice, has started a little project for this year’s holiday season. She’s raising money for the nonprofit charity Food for the Poor, which provides resources for impoverished families in the Caribbean and Latin America regions (Remember Haiti? Oh, right…)–everything from baby chicks, to fruit trees, to livestock, to houses, to water projects, to education, and a lot more.

Toward that end, she’s serializing a Christmas story, “Christmas Spirits,” featuring one of her most popular fantasy characters, dragon detective Vern de Wyvern, a.k.a. Dragoneye, P.I.

Here’s the deal: Karina publishes a new episode each week on Tuesday and Thursday, contingent on a minimum collective donation of $5.00 (yes, that’s a mere five bucks total) from her readers. The story will continue so long as this modest level of donation keeps flowing. There are extra goodies available for folks donating $20 or more (check the sidebar on the story page). Every cent goes to the charity.

Naturally, she’d love to collect as much as possible–her goal is $600, which will provide a milk cow to a hungry family. Her dream outcome is $3682, which will build a house, complete and ready to use. Donating is easy–just read the story and click the big yellow DONATE button.

So far, she’s got enough for a flock of baby chicks and a fruit tree. I think we can help her do better than that.

"A fine excuse for picking a man's pocket every 25th of December."

<< Don’t be this guy. Have a heart, enjoy a fun story, toss a buck in Karina’s tin cup, and help some people living in extreme poverty. Check it out at http://christmasspirits.karinafabian.com/.

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