Monday, May 1, 2023

Notes from the Underground


Dostoyevsky, the poster boy for a tortured genius, has left a legacy of work akin to a masterclass in psychology, philosophy, and the human condition rolled into one, a deep dive into the darkest corners of the human psyche. Yet, Dostoyevsky’s writing remains engaging and entertaining, weaving complex, flawed characters into intricate plots. Notes from the Underground is a fascinating and complex portraysl of a man’s struggle with comsciousness and his deperate desire fro human connection.

The unnamed protagonist is a bitter, cynical man who lives in self-imposed isolation, retreating from society and its conventions. He is not a typical protagonist but an anti-hero who delights in causing chaos and discomfort in his interactions with others. His internal monologue is a tour-de-force of philosophical musings, ranging from the nature of free will to the absurdity of human existence.

The novella is in two parts, with the first section detailing the protagonist’s bitter reflections on his life and society. In contrast, the second part portrays his failed attempt to reconnect with the world through past friendships and a romantic liaison. The narrative is rich in symbolism and psychological depth. It is not an easy read, but undoubtedly a rewarding one.

Dostoyevsky’s exploration of the human psyche and the contradictions of human behaviour is as relevant today as it was in the nineteenth century. This novel will challenge your assumptions about human nature and leave you pondering its themes long after turning the last page.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

The Uninhabitable Earth


The Uninhabitable Earth, by David Wallace Wells, is a thought-provoking and sobering examination of the dangers posed by climate change. The author lays out the evidence for the catastrophic effects of global warming on the planet and its inhabitants and the urgent action needed to prevent the worst-case scenarios from becoming a reality. The book is well-written and well-researched. In addition, it provides a comprehensive overview of the science behind climate change and the political, economic, and social factors contributing to the crisis.

Section two of The Uninhabitable Earth, titled "Elements of Chaos," discusses the various impacts of climate change on different aspects of the planet and its ecosystems. The author argues that the effects of global warming are already emerging and will only worsen as temperatures continue to rise. He explores how increasing temperatures and frequent natural disasters will affect agriculture, causing food shortages and higher prices. Many examples of climate change's effect on ecosystems are offered, including the destruction of forests, the melting of glaciers, and acidifying the oceans. This section highlights the interconnected nature of the climate crisis and the many different ways it will impact the planet and its inhabitants.

Overall, The Uninhabitable Earth is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of our planet.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Third Earth



Wesley Britton has an imagination that has created worlds and situations I haven’t seen anyone create before. New ideas, worlds, characters – it’s great!

For twenty years, Dr. Malcolm Renbourn and Tribe Renbourn faced adventure after adventure, struggle after struggle on Beta-Earth.

Now, Renbourn and five of his Betan wives are forced to cross the multi-verse once again, this time to the strange world called Cerapin-Earth. After startling and frightening physical transformations, the altered Renbourns meet two new kinds of humanity. One is the dominant pairs who are able to share thoughts and sensations at the same time. The other are the nams, single-bodied people the pairs deem defective mono-minds. As a result, nams are exiled from the overpopulated cities of pyramid hives.

Tribe Renbourn must join the outcasts and teach them they are as worthy of love and acceptance as any unkind pair. But helping the nams learn how to stand up for themselves ultimately leads to a catastrophic war. At the same time, Cerapin scientists plan another multi-versal jump that must also end in a costly disaster. Along the way, two sexy spies complicate everything.

On a world where technology is worshiped like a religion, how can the nam rebels overcome the superior armaments of the pairs using primitive weaponry? While this conflict brews, Tribe Renbourn explores what it means to be human in ways they never expected. Will their epic end like it began, forced to sacrifice themselves to save a doomed city?


The Third Earth by Wesley Britton is an imaginative fantasy story of parallel worlds and multiverse travel to different versions of Earth, visited by Dr Malcolm Renbourn and Tribe (his six wives).  

In this fifth book in the Beta-Earth chronicles series, Renbourn and five of his Betan wives cross the multiverse again, this time to the Cerapin-Earth. After startling physical transformations, the altered Renbourns meet two new kinds of humanity. One is the Pairs, the dominant group that can share thoughts and sensations at the same time. The other is the Nams, single-bodied people the Pairs deem defective mono-minds, deserving only of exile from the overpopulated cities of pyramid hives.

The Renbourns' arrival and acclimatisation form the first half of the storyline. I enjoyed the imaginative and unique world-build seen through the eyes of Malcolm. But, at around half the story, the build-up, while colourful, could have been shortened. In addition, the writing style was more 'tell, not show', further slowing the narrative.

The use of non-standard English in the dialogue was consistently well maintained, enhancing the off-world feel, reinforcing the believability.

Ultimately, Tribe Renbourn, with help, escapes the Pairs and joins the outcasts, using their Beta-Earth skills to help the Nams fight back against the technologically advanced Pairs while dealing with change and loss that challenges them in unexpected ways. 

The character development focuses mainly on Malcolm, the first-person narrator, and his association with his wives, old and new. Where their character development was rich and well written, their antagonists felt underdone, reducing their sense of foreboding. For example, the final conflict is told through the eyes of Malcolm, as he viewed the war from a distance, on screen. 

I’m sure readers of the Beta-Earth series would appreciate this story more, given the many references to earlier books. However, it’s still thoroughly enjoyable as a stand-alone story. Fantasy readers should be captivated by this multiverse tale, as they are swept away in the author's unique and imaginative storytelling.. 4 STARS


Burtolbur 4 

From that point forward, I felt like I had been stunned stupid. I felt like my head and gut had been kicked by an Alphan mule shod with spiked iron shoes. Jolbar and I were left to our empty quarters. Just the two of us traipsed down to the other room each morning. Obviously, much less could be accomplished. Other than when Jolbar translated anything I had to say about Alpha-Earth and offered her help translating some of the Alman language texts on the pads, most of our time focused on teaching me how to speak the local lingo. As time went by in those measureless moons, my education went by very quickly, but I was very much a hollow man, mostly going through the motions, doing what I had to do and absolutely nothing I wanted to do. I didn’t count the days and nights because I simply didn’t care. One day so many doors opened when a male pair stopped by our quarters and asked to speak about a few ideas. That was when we met the Onab brothers, Onab El and Onab Le. I freely admit, I was impressed by them on sight. Even though I was no master of reading Cerapin facial expressions, I saw faces that inspired confidence. The brothers had thicker than usual eyebrows, dark, penetrating sea-blue eyes, and I presumed Cerapin females would have found the pair quite attractive. Their headbands were more ornamental than I’d seen on others. Each was decorated with strings of small jewels around their talisman pouches. They wore intricately artistic long metal bracelets on their forearms. They had bodies that showed an athleticism that balanced well with a maturity and intelligence hard to miss. So, what were their ideas?

AUTHOR Bio and Links

Dr. Wesley Britton is the author of four non-fiction books, Spy Television (2003), Beyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film (2005), Onscreen and Undercover: The Ultimate Book of Movie Espionage (2006), and The Encyclopedia of TV Spies (2009).

Starting in fall 2015, his science fiction/ mystery/ espionage series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles debuted with the ground-breaking The Blind Alien. Throughout 2016 to 2019, 4 sequels followed including The Blood of Balnakin, When War Returns, A Throne for an Alien and The Third Earth.

Return to Alpha is Wesley's first stand alone novel and Alpha Tales 2044 is his first collection of Beta-Earth short stories. Then Behind Alien Lines came and there is a new collection in the works. 

Britton earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas in 1990. From 2007 to 2015, he was co-host of online radio's "Dave White Presents" broadcast over For DWP, Wesley contributed interviews with authors, musicians, actors, and many entertainment insiders.

Wesley taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College until his retirement in 2016. Blind due to the progressive genetic disease retiniteous pigmentosa. Wesley served on the Board of Directors for Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania for 14 years. He has been writing book reviews for sites like and for nearly 30 years.

The Blind Alien won the 2020 Recommended Read award from Author Shout.

Alpha Tales 2044 won Recommended read 2021 from Author Shout.

If you love everything spies, double agents, Bond and espionage, then check out Wesley's Secret Dossier.

Find out more about the Beta-Earth Chronicles 

Sign up for our monthly Beta-Earth newsletter

Follow Wesley Britton’s Beta Earth Chronicles Facebook page

View the snazzy Beta Earth Chronicles videos 

Amazon buy link:

The book will be on sale for $0.99.


Wesley Britton will be awarding a signed paperback book and swag for The Blind Alien, US only, to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

ENTER HERE to win a  signed paperback book + more for The Blind Alien, the first book in the series - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The Fourth Turning


The Fourth Turning is a theory of history and social cycles proposed by Strauss and Howe in their 1997 book. The theory proposes that American history can be divided into four ‘turnings’, or eras, each lasting atound 20 - 25 years, which repeat in a cyclical pattern. Each turning, represented by the seasons, are characterised by different moods and events, with the fourth turning, Winter, being a time of crisis and upheaval.

These much discussed and debated theories tend to polarise opinion between usefulness and scepticism. From an academic standpoint, the theory comes across more as a pre-determined viewpoint in search of a popourri of random facts. 

However, as a writer, I was interested in the authors’ use of human archetypes to define the four different generations within the ‘saeculum’, the prophet, nomad, hero and artist. They applied archetypes to generations over past saeculums dating back to 1500, and argued the cycles were eerily similar from an archetypal perspective, offering a predictive process for future cycles.

Overall, The Fourth Turning provides another predictive pattern that could be layered on to more complex patterns used by historians to make sense out of cultural evolution, more particularly, generational change.outthink Turning 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

The Peripheral


I read William Gibson’s The Peripheral at the same time as viewing the much-vaunted streaming series. Usually, I prefer the novel to the film/tv script, but in this case, I liked the latter. The tv series helped me through the challenging first hundred or so pages of Gibson’s jargon-filled novel. However, once settled into the strange future world of the Peripheral, I appreciated the writer’s skill in making the future world of time tunnelling and rampant, unchecked technological development entirely believable.

Imagine being dropped into a war zone in a faraway land at night, facing unknowable dangers, filled with more questions than answers, and you get the idea of Gibson’s world-building. Unrelenting, I suspect Gibson aims to make you think about how it would feel, never mind the entertainment value.

Faced with two timelines, the present and the future, 2099, Gibson convincingly portrays the language of both worlds, not an easy feat for a writer, but seemingly effortless in the hands of the scifi master writer.

On the other hand, watching the adaption entertained in the first instance before inducing more profound thought about the many heady themes, the main being the threat of unchecked technological development on humanity. Timely questions in our times of rapid AI development and imminent singularity.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

A Brief History of Everything


As a keen follower of cosmology, I found Wilber's view of the awe-inspiring cosmos as little more than a flatland, a challenging concept. 

A Brief History of Everything is Ken Wilber's most accessible research on the Kosmos, as opposed to the cosmos, an ambitious attempt to marry the striking quantitative findings of science with the qualitative enquiry of the spirit. 

Wilber's book is a unique and sweeping work, filled with many ideas of how we can better ascend to higher planes through an integrative approach - taking the best concepts from previous stages of development and incorporating them into new systems.

The analogy of our current stage of development as an empirical-based world, Flatland, where nature  (science) and culture (morals) is the correct worldview, but at the expense of true consciousness (art). Spirituality isn't omnipotent but instead confined to the empirical flatland.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Goddesses in You


In the contemporary world, where women may be struggling with their personal, social and cultural identities, ancient archetypes could offer help. In her new novel, Goddesses in You, Christine Lister draws on Greco-Roman mythology’s ancient archetypes and relatively modern references to Jung to help the contemporary woman. 

Easy to read and supported by engaging case studies of sixty well-revered women worldwide (from Greta Thunberg to Jackie Kennedy), this fascinating book will help the reader understand some of the powerful psychological patterns that define their own lives. Lister identifies the twelve archetypal patterns, spanning the fulness of the feminine experience and the powerful threads shaping their beliefs, drives, motivations, actions and emotions during various life phases.

Concisely written and beautifully illustrated, Goddesses In You offers women fresh ways to see themselves in this fast-changing world.