Book Jacket


rank  Editors Pick
word count 16139
date submitted 22.12.2010
date updated 28.06.2013
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance,...
classification: universal

Mother of the World

Peter T. Allen

In the far future a scientist tracing human migration uncovers strange anomalies that threaten to rewrite the history of both science and religion.


“Man - a being in search of meaning” - Plato

True Science has remained unchanged for centuries. Peae rejects that approach and travels the globe seeking evidence of human origins. In the archive of the powerful Motherene religion he begins to suspect people have been around for much longer than usually thought.

Science has an explanation for the origins of humanity but so do the Motherenes.

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Pete A wrote 1028 days ago

Here is a digest of comments by readers.

intelligent and provocative….....Mary Vensel White
The story and themes are intriguing..…...Trailer Bride
this is a very accomplished piece of work.......Richard Maitland
has some of those "I wish I'd written that" sentences.......Winston Chad Emerson
intriguing on so many levels. Wonderful job……. MissySue.
compelling Science Fiction......CMTStibbe
The writing is superb...................…...JohannaQuille
thoughtful and thought-provoking…LOVED it!.....I. Soldatos
truly impressed by the scope of your work.…...RobRow
This is a deep, intricate and engaging story.….....EMDelaney
well written, highly polished .....Roman N Marek
Your writing's got the control, clarity and authority that remind me of H.G. Wells.......Gev Sweeney
I was there... feeling the cold wind and a certain bleakness.......Norton Stone
a scientific myth... could be a reference book for students of English. It´s thought provoking and challenging....Jenni Hall
Well written…. The certified geologist approves—and loves it…..Sarah E. Seeley
To my mind this is a book I would expect to see in a book shop…...S L Stockford
reads as if it was all ready published….picture perfect, it is clear and defining.……Richard William Todd
some of the best quality writing I have read on this site…..Dyane Forde
Superior work.......Pat Black
the writing here just sings!......Rhonda9080
There's a great idea here.......Gefordson
a strong premise for a novel......Brian Bandell
an imagination of great scale......Terry Murphy
This is a great story and one worth telling......Fred Le Grand
Your prose is magnetic, your thoughts are full of incite (sic) and depict a keen mind with an excellent imagination, and your subject matter is enthralling......Christian Rogue
I felt as though I were playing tennis with Roger Federer - my game improved a great deal......elina914
an astonishing piece of work......Kenneth Edward Lim
The writing is fluent and the atmosphere is established economically......K A Smith
Excellent writing, engrossing characters......Justis Call

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 1086 days ago

"Mother Knows Best" is an astonishing piece of work, to say the least. I'd started with my morning tea, my bleary eyes going through my waker-upper which turned out to be a more intricate read than I'd anticipated, and here I was picking through fine descriptives. Peae and his bunch drew me in, a startled onlooker/rubbernecker unable to get enough of their finds. Your prose is high-grade-lens clear, your dialogue an efficient conveyor of background information. Thank you for the enjoyable start to my day.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

Rhonda9080 wrote 1129 days ago

Complex characterization, without cluttered, high-brow prose. In fact, the writing here just sings! I had no problem with any elevated prose as I've seen in other books of this type, where the author is trying to assure us he's smart enough to write a book about science or philosophy. Peae (thanks for giving us the pronunciation without interrupting flow). In spite of the unusual name, is a sympathetic main character, and the dialog is natural and believable. The author juggles multiple characters and opinions with ease. I read to ch. 5, and would have read more, but for time constraints. Fascinating subject matter, characters and premise! I highly recommend with 6 stars!

Pat Black wrote 1087 days ago

Very much in the same vein as Alastair Reynolds - there's a lot of hard science merged very well with a personal story. This is clearly a complex piece of work which, coincidentally, chimes with a sci-fi phase I'm going through on my real-life shelf. Considered, very well polished work. My one gripe was your main character's name - it looks too close to a real-life word, Peace. This may have been deliberate, but it distracted me somewhat from the proceedings a bit. Superior work, six stars


CMTStibbe wrote 1119 days ago

Mother Knows Best: This book cought my eye from the reading list and it does not disappoint. Very interesting pitch and a great cover draws readers to this compelling Science Fiction book. You clearly have a good graphic artist at your disposal! Archaeology and Science are two fascinating subjects and I commend you on your research. Chapter 1 introduces Pea is an interesting main character. He is meditative and deep―unique and likable qualities. I enjoy multiple characters in books (not everyone's cup of tea) and I enjoy their exotic names. Chapter 2 gives a great insight into “You must learn to see” and what it is they must see. It takes a lot to write such powerfully visual scenes and dialogue that draws you in to each character and situation effortlessly. I can give quite a few examples of sharp image construction such as ‘..that made it sound as if he were being strangled by the very act of speaking.’ You can ‘hear’ the character’s voice and understand his appearance by competent imagery. High ratings and on my w/l for future backing. Claire ~ Chasing Pharaohs.

Kestrelraptorial wrote 371 days ago

This is a really interesting story for me, as I love exploring the inter-relations between all different branches of science, from astronomy to evolution and ecology to archeology and paleontology. I loved the conversation between Peae and Lavar in chapter two, looking at how sciences interweave, the drive of human migration, and its lead to Peae going about his project.

made wrote 529 days ago

This is amazing a fantastic writer you are

neicyhope101 wrote 535 days ago

Oh! It looks like I missed it! Your book has already done so well. Forgive my late response, if it helps just your pitch really intrigued me. Please, if you produce another story don't hesitate to send me a message!


made wrote 548 days ago

This just fantastic in short terms just a very original fantastic imagination

EMDelaney wrote 861 days ago

First time I have seen a colon, and a semi-colon used in the same sentence. Ironically, it came in the first paragraph. Interesting style note. Just saying.....

Sure is a clean MS. Found one missing comma.
"What about you(,)Peae?" (Probably too nitpicky)

The writing is certainly impressive. I can feel the set up for how this story is going to go. The plot is being built slowly, which is okay with me, having just written a Literary Fiction and having developed a bit more patience in recent years. I get the sense that the author has a lot of knowledge about Archeology.

There is a lot of narrative black space, which usually means short of dialogue but it becomes clear that it is properly mixed. I'm a bit surprised actually, meaning only that I have drawn the conclusion that dialogue-short chapters don't produce much in the way of characterization. This appears to be an exception. I have a very good feel for who Peae is at the end of CH1. Also, Robeis (I assume pronounced ro-bus (?) and the others mentioned.

The following sentence:
Peae greeted his speech with apparent incomprehension so Moran continued.
If it were describing the action of Peae, would it not require "so" to be "as" (?)
If it were describing the action of Moran, a comma would follow "incomprehension" (?)
(I'm really not nitpicking. I'm just curious)

General impression of CH1: Well written, crafty usage of words (Hence the comment above about narrative vs. dialogue). The words come off like a storyteller. Very smooth. Easy to read and digest. I would certainly turn the page to CH2, assured I was about to embark upon an interesting tale of sci-fi.

Here is the thing I always comment on (most of the time). Here is another writer who writes for the largest segment of readers he can. While it is clear he could "big word" us to death if he so desired, he has not. This to me,is the first display by an author of "natural" ability. Too often times a writer likes to place their vocabulary on display for the reader. I usually plop those books back on the shelf immediately. If I am going to need a thesaurus to read the book, I can choose something else.

I really liked this one. I'll probably read on to see what is going to happen here. Curiosity is up and story is left at a good point at the end of the chapter.

Well done. I put 6 stars on this one, I usually do 5 when I like them but there were things about this that just say "publish" to me.

EMDelaney wrote 861 days ago

The intricate details included in this plot makes it imperative that one does not skim the text. That is my first advice to anyine who reads this book. I made this mistake during the first four / five chapters and found myself having to go back and re-read some of it. My bad.

CH4 must be read carefully or one will miss the explanation of the plot (in my opinion). The eastern migration is faith based. Interesting. The reader will also become aware of the title of the book if he / she pays attention to this all important chapter. A very important turning point in the relationship between Adrena and Peae is explained as well. She 'understands' the reasoning behind his having to leave and pursue the answers to the many questions his research is confronting him with. The whole chapter is simply damn well written. Each character's input well described in how Peae is deciding how / what to do, given his conflict, especially after being subjected to the Motherenes.

CH5 takes off as Peae embarks on his travels south in an attempt to find the answers he seeks. The pace quickens and the narrative starts to really paint a clearer picture of what Peae actually believes as a result of his investigations. His coming to peace with traveling south comes full circle in a paragraph where he wonders why anyone would attempt to cross the equator to a land where tempatures frequently rise to levels making it unihabitable by human beings, be it not for scientific research is the only way he can rectify his own attempt at such. I found the author's description of the inner lands a sonic picture in my mind. each thing trying to outgrow the other in an attempt to survive. Great stuff. To me, it personified the place where Peae was about to enter very well.

Like in our own lives, the story poses the question of The Revelation versus belief in science. Ironic, the way the author draws this picture in a sci-fi twist. Many of the same arguments that could be made in life is made here in a fictional setting. Very interesting. I couldn't tell how many times i wanted to just go, "Why am I reading this?" Then....I would continue. The story is that damn good!

Caln is an interesting character. There are many actually. His though, helps introduce more conflict in his mention of the Eastern Church (Mantabbean). Faith vs. Science with a clever plot woven in to help one examine it all. Both of his traveling companions are interesting additions to the plot.

The arrival at the island at the end of 5 is marked by the realization that the Captain as well may have more to offer than Peae first thought. Again, the author ends his chapter with intrigue, forcing the reader to read on. This is done in each chapter with great tact.

MOTHER KNOWS BEST is an interesting, yet very different read for this writer. Not a sci-fier at heart, I came with not much in the way of natural interest in a story like this, yet, I continue to read on.

Well done. 6 stars. A grade I do not assign to many. This is a deep, intricate and engaging story.

EltopiaAuthor wrote 866 days ago

I was amused at the book description. Glad to see this book with a gold medal next to the icon.

mscynthia wrote 868 days ago

Hi Pete,

This is very wonderfully written - your writing is very compelling!

Sharing Short Stories/Alecner

RoniM wrote 869 days ago

Congratulations Peter!! Well done and best of luck :-)
Looking forward to reading the review when it's posted.

Veronica Peace

sheila cooper wrote 869 days ago

Brill - congratulations :)

Zipity wrote 869 days ago

Congratulations on your success. I enjoyed your book.


scoz512 wrote 870 days ago

Hey just wanted to say congrats on making it to the editor's desk. I really think you deserve it!

the dragon flies wrote 872 days ago

[Mother Knows Best]

Well, I finally got here, as promised. And it's even before the end of the month, so it seems you'll get to the Desk as you wished for.

This is a remarkable world you describe. There is little I can add, except put it on my desk and maybe give it that last push forward. You deserve it. The first and second chapter read well. If there is anything I would do different, then it's giving it a specific moment in time. But in the end it seems of little matter which year we are in. This is, after all, the Far Future. A hundred, thousand or ten thousand years will not matter in that way.

Good luck with it. And I'm glad I could help you on your way. Thanks again for reading my story.


Noizchild wrote 874 days ago

I finally got to this book after weeks of laziness. It doesn't really capture my interest. I'm not a huge sci-fi person. But you look like you did enough research to try and sell this book. It's well-written and you did good.

Ganymedes wrote 874 days ago

Hi read the first three chapters - it is well put together, the speech flows nicely and there is just the right amount of description to know where your at.

Nice one

Neil T Peacock

Shannon Edwards wrote 877 days ago

The only issue I had was sometimes I got lost in who was speaking what sentence. The references to the speaker are separated just enough to cause me to have to back track once or twice to determine who made which comment. Beyond that I find it to be a very interesting read so far. Will read on.

roundrobin1 wrote 877 days ago

Hi Pete, Absolutely fascinating piece of writing. I have only managed to read chapter 1 but I want more. Very believable and drew me in immediately.= Carole

roundrobin1 wrote 877 days ago

Hi Pete, Absolutely fascinating piece of writing. I have only managed to read chapter 1 but I want more. Very believable and drew me in immediately.= Carole

Malla Duncan wrote 877 days ago

Mother Knows Best: I am truly struck by your writing ability. You are highly professional and eloquent. Your style suits the subject matter and I find the story very intriguing. Very, very good presentation - I will definitely be reading and will put on my watch list. Character development is strong and authentic. A very competent work. However, I am concerned about the title - I find it so trite in comparison to the level of the topic - which is seriously scientific and historical. I would really advise you change it as - because of the title - I nearly didn't bother to look at this. So please give this some consideration. The writing and the story deserves a much stronger title. But apart from that, you have a winner here!

jlbwye wrote 877 days ago

Mother Knows Best. Your story has remained firmly in my mind, even though I last commented on it two whole months ago. Thought I'd read on before you disappear into well-deserved higher realms.

Ch.3. Yes - after ponderous, slow-moving description and exposition, to remind the reader where and why we're there - we get the simple contrast, 'You look lost,' said a kindly voice. Great technique.
I could have done with a bit more of this lightness, though, before being drawn back into the heavy stuff..
..Oh no - we have the taklaks, and two more characters. And now I meet Mother, at last. And there is a hint of a budding romance.

Ch.4. Oh, that was quick.
I got marginally confused during their dialogue, as to who was speaking. Perhaps some simple he/she saids?
Being fobbed off from one person to another strikes a very familiar chord. Cleverly described in one brief paragraph. You can do it. Perhaps some of the occurences in the first chapters might be effectively treated with the same brush?
And the invitation and acceptance to move in with Andrena is skilfully and maturely handled.
Their timing saved them waiting. An odd sentence.

Did you stray briefly into Caln's POV in that paragraph where he readily agreed to join Andrena and Peae? Perhaps you need to make it clearer.
I can relate to your optimism in faith idea - is it here that my original question why they went east, has its answer, I wonder.

Again, I am enjoying your quest.
I hope you will leave it up on the site once you have achieved your aim, so I may indulge myself further!

Jane (Breath of Africa)

PA Davis wrote 877 days ago

Your writing has a very intellectual quality, good grammar, well constructed passages, and challenging vocabulary, but not overpowering: "They sparkled off the verdigris domes of the several towers sprouting from the throng of architecture." The dialog is just as well constructed, but in some cases goes on. But...there is something colorless about the writing, where the reader is drawn in by the quality, a certain substance is missing. I call it "metaphoric analogy" or a comparison to something that a reader may have a relationship with that helps him/her to develop their own sense of the setting and characters. As well, the pace is slow and in today's action packed world it may come off as a flat lecture rather than storytelling. Although I (among others) can tell the difference, it may turn off a large audience that otherwise might enjoy the qualities of your writing.
Pete, I will come back to this just to read some of your passages and become inspired by them.
Thanks for asking me to take a look. I ask you to look at what I have posted.

P Alan Davis
The Red Poppy

R K Alan wrote 878 days ago


I enjoyed this read immensely as the tone, voice and narrative flows smoothly making for an effortless read. Your dialogue is not forced and works well to reinforce the narrative. The character's names take some getting use to but are not an annoyance.

I liked the pensive quality of Peae and his quest for knowledge. I am sure I'll learn more of his quirks in the story. His study of historical geography interests me as it is one of the elective courses I studied in University for my architectural degree.

Krasno sounds more like a prison sentence then a place of learning. What a dreary place you painted.

Very nicely written, tight, concise and not overly wordy. I'll come back for more. Highly rated. Ray

Sophie Schiller wrote 878 days ago

Nice characters, good story, forward-moving prose, good action sequences and very readable style. You've done a great job.
Sophie Schiller

KosherCopy wrote 878 days ago

This is a well writtne work that draws a person in to read more.

Shelby Z. wrote 878 days ago

The writing is well done and you portray things well.
I don't know if I agree with what is written though, but that doesn't matter.
Good work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

Floodo wrote 879 days ago

Wwriting styloe is polished, theme evoked well. Just one thing and I've read a few chapters. It's a little clinical almost as if imparting knowledge. It reminds me somewhat of my archeology lectures in university; full of information on aritfacts and bp (before present) discoveries.Perhaps if you wer to inject more excitemnet into the work it would be better, more saleable. A book one might find on a geology shelf in store.

Floodo wrote 879 days ago

Wwriting styloe is polished, theme evoked well. Just one thing and I've read a few chapters. It's a little clinical almost as if imparting knowledge. It reminds me somewhat of my archeology lectures in university; full of information on aritfacts and bp (before present) discoveries.Perhaps if you wer to inject more excitemnet into the work it would be better, more saleable. A book one might find on a geology shelf in store.

Marla-Bowie wrote 880 days ago

Read three chapters and really liked this. You clearly have a gift for writing. Your dialogue was natural, I felt like I was in the conversations. I love the premise. The descriptions of surrounding brought me into the story well. I would only say that at some points it was more wordy than needed, and I want more of what he's setting out to discover sooner in the story (rather than him thinking or talking about it.) I want him actually doing rather than saying. I read Andrew W.'s comments, and he makes some valid points.


tecmic wrote 881 days ago

Excellent writing, but from my perspective, heavy and slow paced...chapter one anyway. I tend to favour technically based Science Fiction and find historical themes an awkward fit with my interpretations of the genre. Because of this, I'm not sure that I can do justice to your obviously high quality work.

mikegilli wrote 881 days ago

Delighted to see a book I rated so highly actually making it in the Authonomy rankings. Congrats on all the pleasure and thoughts you have provoked with your hard creative work.

Cas P wrote 882 days ago

Hi Peter,
I have read your first chapter and am perfectly happy to back your book, as I well know the stresses of the race to the Desk. I will say, though, that although your writing is undoubtedly accomplished and slick, I found the style a touch dry for my liking. I was drawn in by your first few paragraphs but found my eye skipping over some of the theoretical passages further in. Personally, I would have liked a touch more description to help me connect better with Peae, who was, I felt, deserving of a connection. This is all completely subjective, of course, merely my personal taste!
I made a few other notes as I read:
'catenary' - do you think this word is necessary? You already use 'curve' and I'd guess quite a few readers would have to look catenary up.
I saw one or two clumsy-sounding sentences - 'had said the eager young woman...' I would cut 'had'.
'...with winning knowledge...' Also clumsy - if you cut 'with' you connect the phrase with 'succeeded with science...'
'Increasingly he found himself...' This sentences also reads awkwardly.
'...demands of this tiring two...' Tiring duo? I would also change 'this' to 'the'.
'Peae warmed to this man...' Ditto, change 'this' to 'the'.

Feel free to ignore these suggestions, of course. Please don't worry about returning the read or the backing, KING'S ENVOY already achieved its gold medal and is now published. All I ask is that you check out my freelance writers' services at, and maybe consider recommending my book to anyone you know who enjoys fantasy.
I wish you every success,

Mrs. Job wrote 883 days ago

I took another look first thing this morning. We all bring our own experiences to what we read. I think in my case my years in academia have biased my reading of this chapter. Am I supposed to get interested in the academic future of the protagonist? The comments by other readers suggest I should be aware that this is written sometime in the future, and it was helpful that someone pointed out the mention of some of our star scientists as presenting rather primitive theories in the far past, but for me the chapter felt pedantic. Obviously that's not true for the many people who have propelled your book ahead, apparently having read on. Their recommendations would have encouraged me to do the same, but I'm time-limited right now -- will be away from authonomy for a while again. Is there a way (though others didn't seem to need it) that you can give more of a sense of being in the future as you present this first chapter? Something that would have grabbed me more than the protagonists concern about his major? I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, though, for such clarity of writing. I've about given up on making my way through bad grammar and structure to get to the heart of the matter. Your writing is delightfully easy to read.

I don't know if it helps, but I'm putting this on my watch list.

Mrs. Job wrote 883 days ago

I'm writing this just to let you know I did start it. I wouldn't rely on a thing I say here, except for the pleasure I had in reading someone who writes well. I just finished dinner with a glass of wine, so I'm not alert enough to provide a valid opinion. Just let me say that I couldn't get into it -- probably the fault of my current relaxed state. It just didn't seem to vibrate the way I expected after reading all the praise. It felt a bit academic to me -- a place where I've spent most of my life -- and somewhat lacking in excitement. I owe it to you to get back to it, and I will.

iandsmith wrote 885 days ago

The idea of a Motherene religion in a book called Mother Knows best is compelling. It follows an in-depth study of the movement of people and is, as I’d expect with scientific writing, expressed with high intelligence. It’s streets ahead of a lot of science-fiction.

It’s written with great attention to detail. Every nuance is described, “his tone had become less than patient but them softened again”. It covers so much: religion, relationship, and the nature of existence. The lively exchanges between Robeis and Peae are thoughtful and full of character.

I like the idea that a romantic relationship is going to develop with Adrena, and I think it has a lot going for it. A believable future world.

AudreyB wrote 886 days ago

Pete, I have a serious aversion to Science Fiction but I read much of your first chapter just to get a feel for what lands on the desk. This is written with confidence and technical accuracy. I'm sure that sounds like faint praise, but a) it's my wheelhouse and b) I've seen books on the desk that appeared to have been written by fifth-graders. So bravo.

My husband loves Sci-Fi, so I'll encourage him to have a read!

Forgiveness Fits

No Comment wrote 890 days ago

Intelligent and thought provoking. A very mature read, that could come across stuffy if the landscape wasn't so beautifully painted and populated. Very niche, though. Not a great many will appreciate it, but those who do are in for a rare treat.

A G Chaudhuri wrote 891 days ago

Dear Pete,
It required a very peaceful state of mind to appreciate the merit of what you’ve written. Your writing needed some getting used to at first. But once I got there, it flowed with ease.
Chapter 1. You’ve created a very different world here. Bleak, featureless but fascinating. The backdrop of a post apocalyptic world isn’t unique, but your treatment certainly is. There is a touch of realism in your story which is often absent from many other works of this genre, something that other dystopian sci-fi writers (including myself) aspire to achieve. The easy pace of your narrative drew me in. End of chapter and I had already committed myself to being a part of Pete’s, sorry, Peae’s journey. I liked his character. Thinking. Trying to make sense of things. Not many do that. But then, a life not spent in the pursuit of knowledge is a life not lived right.
I’m a little unsure about the settings. You’ve taken the names of Newton, Celsius and Darwin early on, but left out more modern luminaries like Einstein, Bose, Carl Sagan, Hawking, Fritjof Capra, etc. Sorry, I’ve named all physicists. But my point is, is this really the far future of our world? Or is it some alternate reality? If it’s indeed the future, then the more recent names would be better remembered and their works better preserved. I think you need to clarify that point.
Near the middle of chapter 2, I began to skip sections and stop to read the more interesting parts.
You mentioned missing human fossil records. Nice touch. Very intriguing. I quite liked the message; arrogance ignorance of the ones claiming to be the custodians of knowledge, indulgence in the mundane and reluctance to take up real challenges and seek out the unknown. But I found Peae’s take on astronomy and evolution to be rather simplistic.
Temple and Church used interchangeably. Matriarchal society. Very interesting.
The complexity of the next few chapters, the detailed descriptions and vividly imagined back-stories made me realise that you’ve taken fantasy to a whole new level. By this time, it felt more and more like a different world, the story itself nothing less than a fantastic travelogue.
Chapter 6. The Great Arch Trees. I stopped here and fast tracked to chapter 12. Glanced through to chapter 13. I started reading again.
Finally, your story ends with our team of new scientists finding evidence of what they were looking for. Replete with explanations of advanced scientific concepts in the most basic layman terms, it was quite well written and enjoyable. Yours is the first book that I’ve read in its entirety on I find it’s a fascinating story and a very well balanced amalgamation of sci-fi and pure fantasy. However, what eludes me is the whole purpose of this expression of fertile imagination. If it was meant to show the intrinsic folly in human nature and how religion and mythology come into being, then the entire exercise was rather grandiose. But on the other hand, if you are implying that these events occur at a certain time in a certain place, then the significance of that is not easily perceived. Nevertheless every word of this rather long novel bears testimony to the intelligence of the writer and the incredible efforts put in by him. That’s reason enough for me to be its 182nd backer.

rlyon wrote 892 days ago

When I saw the title ‘Mother Knows Best’, a science fiction book was the last thing I thought I’d be reading. So I asked around my household and the general opinion was that they expected the book to be an old fashioned memoir or a story about a mother daughter relationship.
That said, on to the book itself.
I didn’t understand the relevance of the droplets in the second paragraph and think that the paragraph could be cut out completely.
The paragraph beginning “I can’t imagine” also has ‘can you imagine’ in it and the duplication/similarity really stood out to me, as did ‘learning up’ :? (learning about, perhaps?)
Would a well not ‘run dry’?
I loved the sentence - ‘A thin man with a small wiry beard he spoke with a strange twisted timbre to his voice making it sound as if he were being strangled by the very act of speaking.’ - although I believe it’s missing a couple of commas, as is the rest of the chapter.
I can see why your book has generated a lot of support but it was a little slow for me, personally.
Good luck on ‘The Desk’.

DAwGi wrote 892 days ago

Alright so here is my take on the story, and try not to be offended as this is entirely subjective. I could not get into it. At times it is as though it is written in a different language. I am not a scholar or intellectual, my only post-high school education being Technical College. It is written in such a way that scholarly and intellectual types might love it and even adore it. But for me, I could not penetrate into its depths. Often I found myself suffering from information overload, too much expressed in one section, complicated by an entire vocabulary of words that I could not understand without pulling out a dictionary.
For your intended audience, I am certain that it is a great read and deserving of its spot in the rankings. Best of luck to you.

Wanttobeawriter wrote 893 days ago

Not a big believer that mothers always know best, I began to read this book with trepidation. After reading three chapters, though, I realize it has little to do with mothers and much more about science – which made me like this a lot. I think your dialogue is excessive – you might think about breaking that up into smaller sections: be sure your characters are talking to each other, not lecturing in front of a classroom. I’m adding it to my shelf. Wannabeawriter. Who Killed the President?

reben wrote 893 days ago

Chapter 1:
...and, "[Y]ou must be Peae."

This is the only typo that really stuck out to me. Anyhoo...

It was a good thing you mentioned well-known scientists as distant, unknown figures at the beginning. It set the tone for just how far in the future the story takes place. It also gives the reader an immediate mystery to ponder, before really getting into the plot which is a good draw. You also did a good job of creating this future image without going into endless detail. The beginning is a little longer than necessary, but I can tell it's due to a lot of foreshadowing.


Eileen Kay wrote 893 days ago

Lovely, intelligent prose, way above the average - on this site for example, and in general too.

Good basic idea put across simply and succinctly in the pitch. Maybe I’d have liked just one little nugget of a personal detail, for me to picture this main character, and give him one personality trait that hooks me in.

Literarily, we are in an educated area, and it is a pleasure to be addressed as an educated reader. I like an educated setting too. So on page one I am ready to let this story unfold. That’s fine thing on a page one, and doesn’t happen all the time.

How will future scientists look back at us? Great point of view.

It’s quite a beautiful image, that of people always moving and migrating eastwards, as our planet spins. It’s a beautiful place to start this story and this whole world we are entering.

If I am really honest, I rarely read what are to me “science-y” things, and yet this was very readable, which I think is an extra good sign.

I suppose I might have wanted the first chapter have to have a bit more of the personal side, and not so much of the academic verbal parleys. By the same token, I might like a smidge more action rather than mostly gentle debate over a desk. But I am nit-picking. It can start as a thoughtful piece. I know there is a big trip ahead. And besides, the pitch also promised me a romance, so I’ll look forward to that too. It obviously won’t be all dry professor-speak.

It’s a pity I don’t have time to read on, or to let this jump my long, long reading g queue. I tend to give each book on this site one chapter. I like being a thoughtful comment-maker on Authonomy, but rarely do I read something that I wish were an affordable e-book. If I were more of an earner, I’d wish for this to come out in a reasonable paperback. This really is worth reading, and unlike many things here (with all due respect to moany novices) this seems to me after one chpater to be worth considering for publication.

Ah, I now see our main character has decided to embark on his journey, at the end of chapter one. It will be his odyssey, and it will be a great and vast one. I think this is fine work.

Best wishes from
Eileen Kardos (The Noodle Trail)

The Nomad wrote 895 days ago

This is a story that will only appeal to fans of the genre, I believe. And it isn't the most flowing of reads, being that every facet of this distant time has been thought through and explained. I enjoyed it, being partial to this type of story anyway and I wondered if the theories brought up were scientific arguments in general.
If you're interested this this type of story, you should enjoy it, which I did.

The Nomad

VestaVayne wrote 896 days ago

Okay, trying once again to send my comments, let's hope they go through this time!

My initial reaction was that the writing is a little too formal, but this fell away as I got into the story (and since academia plays a large part, formality is fitting).

There were a lot of little nuances I loved. Having been on a dig myself, I thought you did a wonderful job exhibiting the politics of it all. Same goes for the silly little animosities between 'field' research and 'lab' research' (everyone thinks they're doing the most important job, right?).

I am only into chapter 3, but I'm caught up in the story now and certainly plan to read more. Peae's character is developing nicely, and I really feel his burning curiosity. Migration theory is still a highly contested topic, and the fact that you've made it into something interesting...well, that isn't easy, so bravo to you.

Crispy wrote 897 days ago

Hi Peter

Thank you for an enjoyable read. It helps that the first chapter was entitled Archaeology, a pet subject. Your writing is very vivid and the premise of science passed on through generation to generation, without new science arising is a very interesting concept. Whilst there will always be museums it would seem that Peae is searching for answers of his own, not the accepted theories, though i am guessing that archaelogy will form a greater part of his quest as time goes on.

Perhaps you would take a glance at Marking Time - a satire on English Education. A very different book, but one you find enjoyable.

Best of luck

KirkH wrote 897 days ago

Hi Pete,
I was just lookiong over a bit of your book "Mother Knows Best" and it didn't shake me.
First of all, the plot doesn't appeal to me at all.
Second, the writing doesn't grab me in the beginning, as it ought to.
Third, the story appeals to alternative religions, especially the Mother Earth or Goddess religions, which personally turn me off. It reminds me of that book that just finished the Editor's Desk last month, Man Made Gods, by this doctor from India, (which I also didn't like).
Sorry that I couldn't give you a better review.
All the best on the Desk.

billysunday wrote 898 days ago

Read the first chapter. The first part of the chapter-the dig-was a little slow, wordy, very technical. Understand you need it to set up your story, but could be condensed for a faster pace. Just when I was about to give up, I read the second part of the chapter and was blown away, now fully understanding your success in the Authonomy rankings. Outstanding story-love the Motherenes history and everything that goes with it. You've set up an exciting adventure and ride for the reader. This has the components for an exciting movie, a modern day Indiana/The Mummy. Good luck with this one! Highly recommend.
Dina from Halo of the Damned and The Last Degree

Sue50 wrote 900 days ago

Really enjoyed the first chapter. Placing this on my shelf. Hope you have a chance to take a look at Dark Side by CC Brown.

Rosalind Barden wrote 900 days ago

Mother Knows Best is the kind of science fiction that not many can do well, and you have succeeded. Well written in a way that makes the reader think deeply and ask questions. This is not a light and fluffy book -- and I enjoy a good light and fluffy book too, don't get me wrong -- but this is the kind of book that many hunger for but seldom find. Backed. Good luck with this!
Rosalind Barden
American Witch

Momma Bear wrote 900 days ago

Hi Peter,

I love it when scifi authors present their scientific knowledge with informative, technical and academic writing. Facts intermingled with a good, well written story. It makes it more believable. I only read the first chapter and immediately thought of Beringia (The Bering Land Bridge) from my old college archeology class. Sure enough, our American ancestors migrated east into Alaska over the land bridge from Siberia. I googled it to make sure I was remembering it correctly. I love a book that makes me think! Big stars!

Over eleven thousand teens vanish in one day. This is the story of where they went.