Jumpdrives & Cantrips


SaraWelcome to Jumpdrives and Cantrips, my book review site!

I’m Sara Johnson, an avid reader of SF for over 15 years. I live in the sometimes snowy and frigid city of Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada with my husband.

I emerged from six or so years of university with a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) majoring in Anthropology and minoring in English Literature and a Bachelor of Nursing. They were both 4-year programs, but thanks to my disregard for personal sanity, I finished in 6 years. I spent 2 years working in a pediatric ER, and I now work with families teaching about asthma and helping children who have allergies learn how to live with them.

I spend a lot of time reading, and tend to enjoy digging up bits of info about science fiction, fantasy, and so on. When I read, I want a meaningful story with progressive character development and able wordcrafting. I also have strong opinions about what I read, and like to share them. Oddly enough, I think I generally manage to do that…

By all means, please comment or email me if you feel the need. I do my best to welcome constructive criticism and good conversation.

6 Comments so far
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I would very much like you to review my novel. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE IINDIANS is a sci-fi thriller that makes an analogy between Europeans coming to the Americas and aliens coming to earth.

Aliens make themselves known only to the United States government through a small series of hostile acts. They shoot down a couple of jet fighters and kidnap a commercial airliner packed with passengers. The one communication they offer is a request for an earth base in an isolated canyon in New Mexico. Whether the aliens have come in peace or not is up to the president to decide. The president’s advisers split. The hawks say not to give up any territory without a fight, what the American Indians should have done with Columbus. The doves say let them land, that it’s insane to start a shooting war with a superior power. The doves hope to deal with them, for the secrets of their technologies.

Terence Shannon (513) 231-0848 USA

Comment by Terence Shannon

Dear Ms. Johnson:

My name is Bruce Lehman with Trapdoor Books just up the road in Lyons. Trapdoor Books, publisher of geek fiction, is releasing a Buddhist thriller entitled “The Magician of Lhasa”, by best-selling author David Michie. Trapdoor Books is looking for people who are interested in reading the book and providing feedback in either a one or two sentence endorsement or in a review. Your reputation as a blogger makes you someone we would like to see review the “The Magician of Lhasa”.

We would be delighted if you have any interest in reviewing “The Magician of Lhasa”. We can provide either a hard copy or electronic version of the book based on your preference.

“The Magician of Lhasa” recounts the challenges of a Tenzin Dorje, young Tibetan monk who is charged with carrying two ancient secret texts across the Himalayas in order to save them from destruction by the Red Army. Fifty years later, Matt Lester, a scientist involved in nanotechnology, faces his own challenges as his project is mysteriously moved from London to Los Angeles. As the pressure and danger mount for both men, their stories converge, changing our understanding of all that has gone before.

Thank you for your time in considering this. Please let me know if you would like me to e-mail a copy of “The Magician of Lhasa” for review. We will be launching the book on December 7th and would love to be able to include your thoughts.


Bruce Lehman
Business Director
Trapdoor Books
P.O. Box 1989
Lyons, CO 80540

E-mail: business@trapdoorbooks.com
Main Number: 303-440-7778
Cell Phone: 303-588-4620

Comment by Bruce Lehman

Like the others above, I’m interested in sending you books to review. I apologize for posting this on the blog but don’t see an email link anywhere. Please contact me. Thanks!

Comment by Kim Richards

I’m not sure the stamp fits the envelope here, but…

My new novel STONES SKIPPING ON WATER is a sexy reincarnation thriller. Here’s the hook: A drug to remember past lives. Love, lust, envy and murder in the mind-state of total recall.

The very few reviews thus far (2, to be precise) have been very positive, giving it five star ratings. The reviewers’ comments:

Jen Thorpe of Book Sandwich wrote, “… so shocking… it literally made me gasp… dying to know what happens next…” 

Yvonne at Socrates Book Reviews said, “Sometimes a book comes along and sticks with you long after you’ve read the last page, this is that book… suspense and mystery is woven throughout… until the shocking ending.” 

Because STONES is an independent book, getting reviewers to take a chance and read it has been a challenge. 

Also because it is an independent book (read miniscule-to-nonexistent promotional budget) I would prefer to send you an ebook version of the manuscript in any format you choose. However, if you can guarantee that the book will be reviewed I will send the print version. 

Will you take a stand for publishing independence and review STONES SKIPPING ON WATER?

(Wow, am I throwing guilt your way or what? Nah, just review it if the subject or other attribute connects with you.)



Comment by Skribbler

Hi Sara,

My name is Joe Bailey, I work for Blip Publishing and S. Spencer Baker
and I was wondering if you would consider reviewing or posting an article about our book?

SLABSCAPE:RESET: Take the most sophisticated A.I. designed mind that
has ever existed, encase it in over fifty million cubic kilometres of
diamond nano-rods and send it off on a twenty-thousand-year odyssey
towards the centre of the galaxy. Then screw it all up by allowing
thirty-two million humans, semi-humans and non-humans to go along for
the ride.

The story primarily follows Dielle, a “reset” who has just been thawed
out from cryonic suspension, only to find himself devoid of memory and
thrust into the frenzied world of Slabscape.

The other part of the story follows Louie Drago – Dielle’s former
self, previously a pornographically wealthy business mogul, now an
obnoxious hologram who has lost none of his lust for money and power,
nor his scathing wit.

Below is an excerpt from the book:

“Dielle opened his eyelids a fraction, kidding himself that if
something horrible was about to happen, he could avoid it by snapping
them shut again. His pupils contracted in the bright light and darted
from side to side, taking in details that his brain found almost
impossible to process. Gradually he allowed his eyes to widen as Sis
compensated for the adrenaline rush and stabilised his cortisol
levels. They were standing in bright daylight on a recreation platform
scattered with morph-frames, floatshades and variable tables.
Everywhere he looked, he saw buildings and platforms; gigantic slender
towers of tessellated mirrors hundreds of stories high, smaller
structures with surfaces that swallowed light or modified it in
brain-tickling ways and slender tendrils which joined the towering
spires or curved into the hazy distance. Their platform was edged with
shimmerail, a chest-high barrier which transformed from its barely
visible default state into an opaque, solid wall as he approached it.

He looked down over the edge. Below them was a three dimensional
matrix of buildings, walkways and public spaces all of them lit by the
ubiquitous sunlight that seemed to cast no shadows. It was a vast
sprawling metropolis, filled with light and space and teaming with
people. And as far as Dielle could tell, every building, bridge and
platform was floating… ‘A floating city in a landscape on a
spaceship.’ ‘It’s not a landscape, silly. This is Slab. It’s a

Author Bio – Stephen Spencer Baker was born in September 1956 in
Nottingham, England. He fled formal education and family at 17 and
refused to ever return to either. He spent quite some time “exploiting
the intellectual property of others”, first setting up and record
company, followed by a creative business company and then a management
company, before waking up in Tokyo one day and remembering that his
childhood dream was to become a Science Fiction author and follow in
the footsteps of his hero Iain M. Banks. Ten years later, Steve
released his first novel “Slabscape: Reset”, accompanied by an online
database. The novel is a web-back; a work of fiction which is
published in printed as well as e-book format with addenda,
back-stories and tangentially linked information available online
through Slabscapedia. Steve currently lives in Tokyo, Japan with his
wife Yoko Kobayashi.

Here’s what some people have been saying about the book – taken from
amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, goodreads.com and others:

“… a very humorous and believable sci-fi outing. Drago as a character
is easily the most thought-out and well written character I have come
across this year”.

“Slabscape gives you the feeling that it’s the first act of a space
opera – you know you’re entering the world of a very imaginative

“…a fantastic sci-fi read…I want to live on Slabscape.”

“Best thing since Hitchhiker’s!”

“deliciously dark…reminiscent of the likes of Douglas Adams.”

“Imaginative, entertaining, compelling and humorous”.

If you could send me a mailing address I would love to send you a copy
of the book. If you prefer e-books, that’s no problem either. Steve is available for interviews and we would be
happy to provide books for giveaways on your site.

Our website is here http://www.slabscape.com and if you have any questions or
queries, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you very much for your time,

Kind regards,

Joe Bailey.

Comment by Joe Bailey

BOOK SCOUT: Looking for acquiring editor re “Polar City Red” by Jim
Laughter, cli fi fiction, with intro by Margaret Atwood [possbly?][

Polar City Red interview


Hey friends… I thought you might be interested in reading a recent
article that came out in Hollywood Stars entertainment magazine about
a new book I’m writing.

”Polar City Red” by Jim Laughter of Mounds, Oklahoma is a look at
life after global
warming destroys the habitable parts of the Earth, forcing human
beings to migrate to the great northern frozen tundra. How will the
human race survive on a planet that has rejected our presence? Enjoy
the article and look for the book, ”Polar City Red”, to come out
when ready…..

Comment by Dan Bloom

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