T. M. Hunter has always had a fascination with travel to other worlds, earning a B. S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas. His works have often been compared to the great pulp writers of the past, which made his multiple appearances in RAY GUN REVIVAL seem almost destined. He mainly writes in his Aston West universe, with three novels in the series (HEROES DIE YOUNG, FRIENDS IN DEED and DEATH BRINGS VICTORY) and a novella, SEEKER. His short stories have been featured in various online magazines and in several short story collections (including the DEAD OR ALIVE collection from ResAliens Press). Both Aston West and T. M. Hunter continue to win the hearts of readers everywhere.
T. M. Hunter currently lives in Wichita, Kansas with his wife and their two feline masters, also known as the demon-spawn. Find out more about his body of work at AstonWest.com.
Just so everyone knows, this is a collection of short stories. I'm not reviewing them individually, but as a whole.
I really want to like this. Aston is a generally likeable MC, and his adventures across the stars are very good space opera pieces. (Loved Jeannie the computer too!)
The big hang-up for me, though, is that I never see any progress in his character. I get the impression that the writer disapproves of some of his antics/weaknesses/moral shortcomings, but never pushes the character to change. He is very static.
As someone who really enjoys character-driven books, I was hoping for something more than just adventure stories. Hence the rating. (Still, I liked it!)
Disclaimer! I'm the editor and publisher of "Dead or Alive - An Aston West Collection" by T.M. Hunter. That being said, I think it reasonable to assume that if I liked these stories well enough to publish them I should be able to talk about them! After all, editors are simply people who promote stories they enjoy reading. So read on...
The Aston West series is classic space opera where rawhide adventure of the frontier meets sophisticated technology of the 23rd century. T.M. Hunter has developed an engaging and likeable antihero in Aston West, the reformed (?) space pirate who still manages to get himself into a number of ill-advised scrapes. That, despite the gentle guidance of his AI companion, Jeanie, who is his ship's brain and has a few adventures of her own.
In "Dead or Alive," Hunter pulls together a representative collection of 11 new and classic stories featuring Aston, Jeanie, and a number of other recurring characters. These short fictions coordinate nicely with Hunter's longer works, "Heroes Die Young" and "Friends in Deed." These compact novels, along with the novella "Seeker," establish the author as a fresh voice in the expanding universe of space opera/science fiction. T.M. Hunter is here to stay, and we can thank him that Aston West is as well.
P.S. You can follow Aston's adventures at AstonWest.com.
This is a compilation of short stories does exactly what it was meant to-- make you want to buy every other novel featuring the hero Aston West. The Kindle edition is well formatted and edited. The character development is excellent, which is sometimes difficult in a short story anthology. Hunter does a superb job of world-building. You can feel Aston's cramped quarters, cold, empty, bed, and deep-space loneliness. You won't find in-depth hard-science explanations in this novel, nor is it a military-centric tale. You will, though, have fun reading these stories and you will most definitely want to read more from T.M. Hunter.
An interesting collection of short stories about space traveler Aston West and his ship's computer. I feel that these stories are geared toward young people, but I enjoyed them. Free copy for review purposes.