I believe a book should leave its readers feeling better than they did when they picked it up. They should find its world an agreeable place and become fond of its inhabitants. The story should provoke them to thought and offer challenging ideas, should be complex but not confusing, should have dark twists and turns but ultimately emerge into the light again. It should be a book one wants to own, to revisit whenever Life gets to be too much.
These are the books I have published so far. Two, Eloise and Avalon and Awake Chimera, fall into the category of Science Fiction. But I am not a genre writer. It would be too confining. I address the things I care about, the things that matter most, the questions that trouble us and the elusive answers. I am a philosopher and that, more than anything else, drives my work.
If you wish to purchase copies, click on the title.
Eloise & Avalon (Double Dragon 2016) is a time travel novel written to answer everything that has always irked me about time travel novels.
The prototype time/space transport device has been judged by the councils as too dangerous to risk using. Thalesian historian Pi-Sigma Avalon cannot resist the temptation. Just one quick jump, back to Old Earth, the lost world of their past, shrouded in mystery. No one need know. But he stays much longer that he intends, and comes back changed. With him is Dr. Eloise Smith, an Old Earth human who confounds their expectations of that primitive species. His actions, the information he brings back, and Eloise herself, threaten to throw the peaceful, orderly society of Thales into chaos. And if the philosopher monks of Eden are correct, Avalon and Eloise face an unimaginably challenging future which cannot be avoided, because it has already happened.
“Intelligent, witty, and finely detailed, Eloise & Avalon is a novel to get lost in.” — Allen M. Steele, author of the Coyote books, Arkwright, and many other award-winning novels, novellas and short stories.
Awake Chimera (Double Dragon 2015) is science fiction without the space opera. What might the asexual shape-shifting governor of a remote outpost in the swamp have in common with a hermaphrodite native struggling to fit into human society? Much more than either of them expected. United in their mutual dislike and distrust of the humans that dominate their world, their friendship develops into something more, something that might prove dangerous to them both. And when a deadly menace invades from the distant mountains, Shaka Mahdi and Prilock become the key to the survival of the very race they resent so much.
Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues and The Neanderthal Parallax says, “Justine Graykin is a terrific writer, and Awake Chimera is a wonderful read. Gender politics, philosophy, and slam-bang action make for a heady brew in this first-rate story.”
James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards, had this to say: “Justine Graykin’s fascinating new novel Awake Chimera observes three species competing for control of their destinies on an alien world. Refreshingly, homo sapiens are not the default good guys. Rather, in one of many pleasant surprises, the focus is on an unlikely friendship between a plucky trader with a long reptilian tail and a shape shifting bureaucrat. Check it out: Justine Graykin’s SF debut is a winner.”
Archimedes Nesselrode (Double Dragon, 2013) is a kind of magical realism with a sense of humor, a dash of romance, and the touch of whimsy.
Archimedes Nesselrode is an artist who “makes things”–no one knows how–whimsical delights encased in plastic cubes which vanish when opened. He lives by himself in a house which his agent and manager, Frank Shekle, refers to as “a chimera farm.” Enter Ms. Vivian Mare, a woman of formidable talents and determination, who is daunted neither by the artist’s guardian basilisk nor by the appalling state of the house.
As housekeeper, Ms. Mare must deal with a bespectacled heron, a winged snake, a small bishop who resides in a silver teapot, and a crew of naughty marmosets getting into the crackers. Despite the challenges of the household, which include an appallingly large spider, Ms. Mare’s cool and practical nature is charmed to fondness by the gentle artist and his creations. But as Ms. Mare learns more about her employer and his mysterious talents, she discovers they have a dark side. Archimedes Nesselrode can make horrors as well as whimsical novelties, and there are good reasons why he hides himself away in isolation.
Hugo nominee, renowned film critic and speaker Daniel M. Kimmel, author of Jar Jar Binks Must Die, Shh! It’s a Secret, and Time on my Hands, said, “If you can imagine Mary Poppins tending to an adult rather than children — and her charge being the one with the magic — then you have a sense of what awaits you in Justine Graykin’s charming romantic fantasy. Just don’t upset the artist.”
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