Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

John Simon #3

Common Source

Rate this book
All over Kansas City, androids are behaving strangely—with acts of vandalism and violence. Simon and Lucas are on the case, but Lucas is disturbed by the implications.

Is there a common link between the incidents or are they just random aberrations?

When Lucas's Maker, Dr. Livia Connelly, is abducted and her assistant killed, the Chief assigns a task force to track down those responsible and stop the android outbreak.

Simon finds himself caught between a partner gone rogue in his determination to stop it and higher-ups concerned about increasing public scrutiny of their only android officer.

Common Source -- The next action packed chapter in the John Simon Thrillers arrives from Bryan Thomas Schmidt (Predator, The X-Files) the Hugo-nominated, national bestselling author of Simon Says.

“If Ed McBain had written science fiction, the John Simon series would be it. It’s that good.”—David Weber, New York Times Bestselling author of Uncompromising Honor

"Old school detective noir through a new lens. Like Mike Hammer with Robots in the modern underbelly of Kansas City." -Weston Ochse, Award winning author of SEAL Team 666 and Bone Chase.

“How could I not love the android policeman Lucas George who tries to fit in with humans by wisecracking lines from buddy cop movies and series? Chase scenes, edge of your seat adventure, and a slightly futuristic tone all combined to make this series unforgettable.”—Abyss & Apex

450 pages, Hardcover

First published June 23, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Bryan Thomas Schmidt

50 books152 followers
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is a national bestselling author and Hugo nominated editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His fourth novel, Simon Says is a page-turning near future thriller. His debut novel, The Worker Prince received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases for 2011. His children’s books, 102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Books For Kids and Abraham Lincoln: Dinosaur Hunter- Land Of Legends appeared from Delabarre Publishing in 2012. His short stories have appeared in Tales of The Talisman, Straight Outta Tombstone, The X-Files: Secret Agendas, Predator: If It Bleeds, Decision Points and many more.

He edited the anthologies Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 for Flying Pen Press, Beyond The Sun for Fairwood Press, Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age for Every Day, Shattered Shields with coeditor Jennifer Brozek (Baen, 2014), Mission: Tomorrow (Baen, 2015), Galactic Games (Baen, 2016), Decision Points (WordFire, 2016), Little Green Men--Attack! with Robin Wayne Bailey (Baen, 2017), Monster Hunter Files with Larry Correia (Baen, 2017), Joe Ledger: Unstoppable with Jonathan Maberry (St. Martin's Griffin, 2017), Predator: If It Bleeds and Infinite Stars And Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers both for Titan Books, 2017 and 2019.

As editor, he has edited books for Grail Quest Books, Wordfire Press, Delabarre Publishing and authors including Andy Weir's The Martian which hit number 6 on the New York Times Bestsellers list in 2014, Alan Dean Foster, Mike Resnick, Frank Herbert, Todd McCaffrey, Tracy Hickman, Angie Fox, Leon C. Metz , Ellen C. Maze, David Mark Brown, and more.

He’s also the author of the bestselling nonfiction book How To Write A Novel: The Fundamentals of Fiction.

Bryan can be found online at Facebook, on Twitter as @BryanThomasS and @sffwrtcht and via his website.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
6 (75%)
4 stars
1 (12%)
3 stars
1 (12%)
2 stars
0 (0%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Profile Image for Anthony.
Author 10 books49 followers
April 18, 2020
The third book in Bryan Thomas Schmidt's near-future-sf John Simon Thrillers series ratchets the intensity down a notch or two from the second book (in which home-grown terrorists killed a lot of people and rained destruction down on a portion of Kansas City), and that's a good thing: both the characters and the reader needed a breather. Well, a breather of sorts. This is a thriller series, after al, so there will be action sequences and a death toll in pretty much every book. But the stakes this time are highly personal for Simon's android partner Lucas George, and so there's a lot more character development for Lucas than there has been in the previous two books.

For action fans, there are foot- and car-chases, a couple of gun battles and some explosions.

For readers who like their action series to have arcs, depth, and character development: there's an unlikely romance for Simon, a search for identity for Lucas, small reminders of the events of the previous two books, and some very topical discussions: the role of news media in the way events play out, what it means to be sentient and have rights, the continued prevalence of prejudice and stereotypes in our society, and the role entitlement plays in the way people behave.

It's an excellent addition to an already great series, moving the characters forward without sacrificing the action, and the humor, that made the first two books stand out.
Profile Image for Gordon Long.
Author 27 books33 followers
August 19, 2020
“Common Source” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

This book is a police procedural in a Sci-Fi near-future setting, where androids are just starting to be introduced to the general public. Sort of a down-to-earth remake of Asimov’s “I, Robot” Series. It’s a good plotline, with plenty of tension and just enough tech talk to keep us in the picture.
However, the story keeps getting interrupted by intrusive writing elements. The worst is an annoying habit of introducing each character, even the incidental ones, with a formulaic non-sentence of physical and personality description:
“Basketball-player tall, thin, with a thinning gray mop atop his head, DeMarco with well-toned arms and shoulders that made his suit jacket fit awkwardly, almost like it was a size too large.”
There are other specific blocks of extraneous material , all of them too lengthy, getting in the way of the action: “description of setting,” “witty repartee between buddies,” “interdepartmental wrangling,” etcetera. The worst example is when the investigation (and the whole storyline) is side-tracked by the introduction of a task force, with descriptions of everyone and endless nattering, infighting, and useless political wrangling.
One saving grace is the realistic and humorous relationship Simon has with his teenage daughter, culminating in the great and original final scene of the book. The personal connection does a great deal to allow the reader to connect with the character of the android, making him more human. This resonates with the theme of the book, and brings the reader into the story as well.
A comment I find myself making too often; this is a great book in search of an editor.
This book was first reviewed on Reedsy Discovery
Profile Image for Wendy S. Delmater.
Author 14 books14 followers
July 2, 2020
Detective John Simon and his android partner Lucas George are back. Something is causing androids to cause property damage, and worse. What was the cause? Simon and his partner are assigned to the first case and follow it, on the logic that it takes an android to understand another android gone amuck. As instances of aberrant android behavior multiply and worsen they follow the clues, with the help of Lucas’ maker, Dr. Livia Connolly. Then Dr. Connolly disappears and I was disappointed, at first, that the clues led so obviously to the guy who abducted her and was causing the androids to go nuts.

But this was not a whodunit. This was a “how catch ‘em.” The mystery, and the dance between this villain, the cops, the press, and the entire android community was a thrill-a-minute adventure. And it gets complicated when John Simon gets interested in an attractive woman for the first time in a long while. (His android partner tries to help Simon with a litany of pick-up lines from movies he has helpfully watched, and it’s hilarious.)

Plus the villain is possibly the nastiest misogynist I’ve had the misfortune to meet in literature, written with the author’s clear understanding of what drives some of these creeps, and it’s wonderful when the bad guy gets his comeuppance. I won’t give away the ending for worlds.

And a fourth John Simon book is coming out this October! Huzzah!
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.