Conversion by Maria Hammarblad is one of those science fiction stories that sinks the reader into the world, carries the reader along, and never lets go until the end. The twists and turns, not just in the main character, but also in the secondary characters’ stories provide tension and mystery, and nothing in this story seems stereotypical or run of the mill. While I sensed that the story was short, just novella length, and there was so much more that the author could go into, the story never felt slighted by this. Instead, it feels as if there are more worlds to explore and more stories to tell, and I hope the author returns to this universe soon. Highly recommended.
Genre: Space Opera
Publisher: Sadowski Media
Date of Publication: June 16, 2014
Number of pages: 100
Word Count: 19226
Cover Artist: Juan Villar Padron
Tagline: Run for your life, or submit to the Conversion!
Rhodesia runs through the forest, hunted by creatures wearing the faces of people she loves. They plead to her to wait in the voices of her family, and the sound sends chills down her back. What is worse? Succumbing, and becoming a mindless drone with the others, or perishing in the forest, alone?
Roy Planter is a man with a mission, and he has no intention of staying on a plague-ridden planet where more humans turn into mindless drones every day. Being stuck in a city, grouped with a sword-wielding stick insect of a man and a busty blonde with a too vivid sense of humor are only temporary setbacks. He’s leaving, first chance he gets. At least that’s what he thinks until Rhodesia arrives. Caring for someone will not make his life easier, but can he really leave her behind?
How could such a
small building have so many stairs?
A soft shuffling
noise caught Rhodesia’s attention. It was too stealthy to be anyone she knew.
Had the Nats
made it in here? They could have been waiting.
She jogged down
the corridor as quietly as she could. Maybe they wouldn’t see her if she got
around the corner.
out of the shadows, surprising her. She almost yelped and gave them away.
He slammed an
arm around her waist and pulled her into a small closet. She had to press
herself against him to fit in the nook, but at the moment physical closeness
came second to brewing panic.
Were they close?
How would it
feel to be assimilated?
of her own self remain?
painted out a process of melting, her mind losing cohesion, memories and
identity vanishing, and becoming a part of a new whole; the whole of the
He pulled her
closer, clearly trying to get her attention, and she realized she was breathing
with noisy puffs of air. Planter hushed her again and she buried her face
against his chest to quiet her panting.
He might not
like having her close, but he’d just have to live with it.
About the Author:
Maria Hammarblad is a Swedish author and bass player whose fascination with books started early. Before she could read or write, she made her mother staple papers together to resemble books. She drew suns in them and claimed they were “The Sun Book.” They were all about the sun. The four-year old also claimed her existence on Earth was a mistake, the result of a horrible mix-up, and that her real family would come to bring her home to her own planet at any time. This didn’t happen, but her fascination with books and other worlds stayed with her.
Besides novels, she also writes award-winning screenplays, enjoys photography, and works with animal rescue organizations.