Conservation has spent the past four decades leading humanity out among the stars.
In 2034, the Universal Mining Agency launched a ship full of eager potential colonists. Conservation provides its passengers with everything they need as it sets off for their new home on a distant, habitable planet.
As the decades go by, the optimism and hope that surrounded its launch dissipate, and certain members of agency staff begin to have their doubts about the project. Conservation was meant to be a microcosm of humanity, minus the cruelty and ill health. Society has degraded into a violent, fascist regime built on slavery and famine, but this time, things were supposed to be different.
Zoologist David Kingston, who consulted on the original mission, becomes more and more anxious about the fate of the ship. A direct video call with a strange crewmember does nothing to quell his worry. Instead, David realizes that there may be something evil aboard the huge vessel.
Then, suddenly, everything goes dark. Conservation stops transmitting reports. As David investigates the mysteries of the famous ship, he will discover the horrifying truth about its journey.
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Top Reviews for
Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2017 by Tracy Heath
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is science fiction based very much in reality and in the not-so-distant future, making it accessible to even the non-science fiction reader. It’s well written and well plotted.
I think anyone who believes climate change is a reality can see how the events in this book could happen. That, perhaps, makes it even more intriguing. As someone who is wary of the motives of large corporations and wants to see them held accountable for decisions, I appreciate that this story has this concept as a backdrop.
The story is nuanced, however. In some ways it paints the picture of the agency saving humanity from itself but then the agency is the reason we end up in a state requiring Conservation, although that element is not touched on as much as I read into it. I have a higher opinion of humanity than this story portrays but it still is a good read. It has a lot to offer the reader. There is the science fiction aspect, as well as some mystery and a psychological study of those on the spaceship.
Without giving the story away, I will say that the portions about Seb and his desperation to survive and to experience human contact were especially intriguing. But all of the characters are well developed and the author portrays the human condition through all of them. And I couldn't wait to find out about the photograph - that's the mystery that kept me turning the pages.
I recommend this to all readers - not just sci-fi fans. The more I think about it after reading it, the more layered I realize it is and the more I disagree with elements of it. A good story should make you think, however, and this one certainly does.
Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2017 by Tutu
Conservation is a great book about survival, instinct and natures cruelty.
If you like science and suspense and wonder what else is lurking beyond the shadow's of our planet. If you ever wonder how it would feel to try to migrate from one planet to another on a ship month after month before time run's out, people go mad and the unthinkable is about to happen...read this book.
It is amazing, with twist and turn's that keep you on your toes.
Reviewed in the United States on February 5, 2017 by Jonathan Finch
Conservation is well titled, well structured and well written. Its opening is dramatic and leads the reader into a novel dedicated to its title “Conservation” but the book pulls no punches and gets to the nitty-gritty very fast.
However much we wish to dream, we have one planet and when we set out with the stuff of Noah’s Ark we forget “The Lord of the Flies” at our peril. The novel is overwhelming and overwhelmed. The necessity for conservation is obvious but homo sapiens is just not up to it. Whether it is original sin or unoriginal sin, we operate through power and we segregate and demean. While the most advanced space tech is rolling along, the most primitive of emotions is dominating, and murder is everywhere.
If you have illusions about science, space travel and the glories of reproductive nature, please read this book. It articulates the sad, the tragic and the not so obvious in dystopian misery.
The Edge of Insanity
A book of disturbing tales by James Flynn
'The most powerful, horrific, and disturbing book I've read in a long time'—
Yellow Mama Magazine
Ten terrifying, disturbing tales guaranteed to leave their mark on you.
From the author of ‘Conservation’, this short story collection contains an eclectic mix of tales ranging from the weird, all the way to the downright creepy.
Within these pages lurks a deluded stalker chasing something he can never have, a biology professor gone insane after witnessing an atrocity in the tropics, an entire town ravaged by an organic growth hungry for blood, a twisted cult voluntarily starving themselves of food and sleep on an isolated island, a sinister video game arcade unlike any other, and many more peculiar oddities too gruesome to even mention.
A mixed bag of fables are contained herein, but all of them are unified by their dark, eerie nature, taking you on a frightful journey that you’ll never forget.
Are you brave enough to go to...The Edge of Insanity?
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Top Reviews for
The Edge of Insanity!
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2020 by L. Meredith McMullan
I love short story collections, and this one has become a favorite.
It was great to steal away a few moments between life's little chores to fall into each tale. They are strange, a little disturbing, and I couldn't help but be captivated by each one.
I particularly liked "Voyager". Well done, James Flynn.
Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2020 by Jonathan Finch
These are very intelligent literary tales with great entertainment value.
Playing upon mistaken identity or ingratitude, scientific research gone wrong, fecklessness and nightmare, each story unfolds within our fears and outside them, too.
The verse which accompanies the tales is memorable in that the poems are relevant to the content of the stories (or as stand-alone pieces create an eerie atmosphere). The verse becomes an effective vehicle of precis with great value. The title of the collection, recalling our worst dreams which border on the great unknown within our subconscious, asks readers to consider how much experience, both articulate and not, comprises our frail but tenacious grasp of reality and sanity.
Very well worth the read, with few typos which do not interfere with overall enjoyment. Recommended (though disturbing) with horror both latent and active.
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2020 by Denis Asselin
Horror has never really been my style before but with The Edge of Insanity, I have discovered what I would call a new type of horror: Believable horror.
The kind of stories that horrify you and give you nightmares, but not too far-fetched that they couldn't actually be true.
The stories are short enough that you can read more than one in the same sitting, and they are captivating enough that you won't want to stop anyway.
It's the first book from James that I've bought and read, and I don't regret it one bit. By far one of the best books that I've read recently.
"Truly chilling, Flynn's stories will stick with you long after reading"—
Matthew Hutton, The Scare Room Podcast.
"Creepy and mystifying, Flynn's weird tales make for a disturbing late-night read"—Regina's Haunted Library.
The town of Drachton is crumbling, with crime and violence perpetuating around the clock. Prisons are at bursting point, and morale is at an all time low.
The authority's answer is Swarm—a revolutionary new prison.
Swarm is a correctional facility like no other, harnessing the power of the inmates' subconscious minds for the benefit of the town.
The facility is a work of genius, and the town soon begins to prosper.
But the newfound hope doesn't last long. When cutting-edge technology merges with humankind's ancient biological roots, what kind of monster will emerge?
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