It is my great pleasure to introduce you to an author I have a lot of time for. I met Michelle on Twitter and have chuckled at many a tweet from her. She has a terrific sense of humour. It therefore seemed appropriate to introduce you to her and her latest book Check Mate.
Michelle sent me a copy of Check Mate ahead of its publication. You can read my review below but first, a little about Michelle.
To describe Michelle as, “average,” is like saying Mount Snowdon, “is a bit of a hill in North West Wales.” Writing is one of her passions, along with photography, music and computers. (She’s a very passionate person.)
Michelle was born in Wales and has Greek and German ancestry. She now lives in England but spent some time working in The Netherlands for an American company, so counts herself as being a little international!
Because she had the audacity to ask a publisher what they were short of, her first short story was published in 1995 and that led to her first book in 1996. With a career in IT, she spent a couple of years working in Europe, and learned all the really useful phrases like, “Ein weiss bier bitte,” (A white bier please) and, “mein Freund bezahlt.” (my friend pays)
She has also spent a few years as a BDSM submissive, which was a very positive part of her life; contrary to what various exagerated fiction stories would have people believe.
Now living with her mother in Sussex, in the UK, Michelle spends her free time trying to catch a glimpse of the mysterious sign on her back that says, “Will repair computers for wine.” Her idea of a relaxing time is with friends, in a riverside country pub, with a ploughman’s lunch and a nice, cold pint of cider. Most of her reading these days consists of very large I.T. technical manuals. She doesn’t suffer from insomnia.
As she works on different sites and can’t always plan where she will eat lunch, Michelle keeps camping cutlery in her hangbag and has adopted the latin phrase, “Paratum semper nam esca,” or, “Prepared always for food.”
My review of Check Mate.
This entertaining read by Michelle Knight is an enjoyable science fiction read containing decent dollops of humour. It is a book that can be enjoyed by those who do not normally read this genre, so don’t discount it because you think it is serious sci fi or you’ll be missing out. In very loose terms, think of the film Short Circuit (but a meaner version of the robot) meets the A Team (only a tougher squad).
In Check Mate two memory cards are accidentally swapped and the most powerful game of chess ever written is accidentally loaded into an experimental, highly agile, weaponised robot. From the moment they hit the run command, that robot has only one purpose – to win the game.
The plot may not be overly complicated but Michelle is a natural story-teller. Her narrative along with understanding of computer programming, is what gives this particular story the edge and indeed feasibilty required for a science fiction novel. Michelle injects it with comedy (she is a big fan of Terry Pratchett and shares a similar wry sense of humour) that flashes in between serious moments. It may seem lazy of me not to share them with you but trust me, I guffawed at episodes about doughnuts and found the idea of the robot hiding out on a golf course disguised as a golf buggy highly amusing.
Credit too for the author’s ability to create a range of entertaining characters – from the slightly wacky programmers (one of whom is terrified of the robots and the other appears to think he is a surf dude) to the squad sent out to destroy the rampant robot. The squad consists of a motley crew of hard nuts, toughened by missions but dependable and loyal to each other. Credit to the author for succeeding in making them likeable – very likeable, especially Bunny who in spite of her extraordinary skills in communications demonstrates a vulnerability that might surprise you
Check Mate romps along at a fine pace and this reviewer read it from start to finish in one sitting, then wished there was more. I hope there will be many more to follow.
Fun, good pace, credible characters, good narrative, enjoyable.
Now, go get a copy.
Life is a game of chess and we have been programming our computers to play it for generations; each time honing the programs to work smarter, faster, with more efficiency and higher accuracy than ever before.
A stroke of fate saw two memory cards being swapped. In a military laboratory, the most powerful game of chess ever written was accidentally loaded in to an experimental, highly agile, weaponised robot. From the moment they hit the run command, that robot had only one purpose … to win the game…
Read an excerpt from Check Mate by clicking HERE
Find out more about Michelle and her other books at her website HERE.