Building upon the process I established in my first rando book haul, I realized that it wouldn’t be very random if I started from page 1 all the time.
To solve this, I should start at a random page. So, I went to www.random.org/integers/ to generate a few random numbers which would determine my start page.
I got back 5 numbers: 20, 8, 33, 89, 160.
Page 20 of science fiction books released in Oct 2020 had a short story and quite a number of reprints / re-releases of public domain stuff which I will skip.
Distortion by Mohan Sha
It starts off with an error. Also doesn’t help that the first sentence is a run-on sentence that mixes tenses.
As I lied facing her cold eyes, my hands shivered, I held my recorder as I realized that at last her weary old lips would reveal her words to me, her wrinkled eyes had stared at the blank room for hours, those eyes carried the most vital memories that I wish to know.
I think the author meant as I lay, since telling a lie facing her cold eyes makes no sense. The sentence could have been broken up into two or three sentences and the last part reverts to present tense even though everything prior was in past tense.
This needed a lot more work.
Well, that was the only one on page 20. On to page 8. Now, if you want to experience something like serendipity and do something similar, instead of clicking next or previous page multiple times to get to the page you want, you can find the part in the url that says “&page=x” and replace x with page number you want to go to.
Page 20 is https://www.amazon.com/s?i=digital-text&bbn=158591011&rh=n%3A158591011%2Cp_20%3AEnglish%2Cp_n_feature_five_browse-bin%3A6602149011&s=daterank&dc&page=20&Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.x=16&Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.y=16&field-datemod=10&field-dateop=During&field-dateyear=2020&qid=1607034765&rnid=6602145011&unfiltered=1
Page 8 is https://www.amazon.com/s?i=digital-text&bbn=158591011&rh=n%3A158591011%2Cp_20%3AEnglish%2Cp_n_feature_five_browse-bin%3A6602149011&s=daterank&dc&page=8&Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.x=16&Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.y=16&field-datemod=10&field-dateop=During&field-dateyear=2020&qid=1607034765&rnid=6602145011&unfiltered=1
Sacha Rescues Earth by Daniel Sandoval
It starts off with a description of a scene, which is not for me. I read things like this and it goes into some cognitive black hole. After that, it was written in a way that made me feel distant from the characters. I’m gonna have to pass on this one.
Page 8 was also filled with public domain works published long ago. Page 33 only had books in a series or short story collections.
Nebula by Linus TAVANA
The description already has some warning flags but I decided to go ahead and preview it.
An unidentified spacecraft is heading Earth.
Yea, I think I should start saving time and filter out books that have wonky descriptions.
Colony: Life on Mars by Paul R. E. Jarvis
The description seems okay. The writing in the preview seems error free, but it starts off with some musings about humanity, which seems disconnected from the character that shows up in the next paragraph. But at least it’s short. Unfortunately, said character is looking into a mirror, right before a description of how the character looks.
There’s nothing technically wrong with the writing, and I’m sure some people will be perfectly fine with this book. I’m not one of those people though.
Paladin’s Luck by darryl young
The description seemed clunky to me.
The Year of Greats by Marleen Kunze
From the description, this book was written to “present the discovery of conservative family values and the power of prayer, and scripture, across the backdrop of end-times disasters and fulfilled prophesy”.
I’m agnostic, so Christian fiction with a dash of science-fiction, like this, is exactly the type of science-fiction that I do not want to read.
The Last American by Nicholas Rogness
It starts off with some kind of foreword by the author that gives an explanation of why he wrote it. I personally don’t like this as it’s telling me how to interpret the book before I’ve even read it.
Not only that, it uses “right-of-passage” instead of “rite of passage”. Right of passage seems like some kind of legal term, about whether someone has the right to pass through a certain area.
Mistakes like this in the first pages are a big NO for me. They make me think the book hasn’t been edited by a professional.
Operation Thunder Child by Nick Pope
I was beginning to think I wouldn’t find anything today. I had spent close to 2 hours already and wasn’t going to continue if there was nothing on page 160. Then I found this, and the writing just grabbed me.
I checked the publisher’s website, Lume Books, and they seem to be a small, indie press.