Interviews and Reviews


For Redpace Rising

Redspace Rising is Brian Trent’s intelligent, action-packed science fiction thriller set in a universe where human memory is a tangible commodity which can upend the permanence of death itself. From its well-developed cast of characters to its innovative worldbuilding and intriguing plot, Brian Trent has crafted an ingenious masterpiece of military sci-fi…With its fast-paced action, double-crossing characters, and focus on personal identity and memory, Redspace Rising is like a literary sci-fi version of the Jason Bourne movie franchise, with Brian Trent serving as the virtuoso cameraman documenting the gripping adventures of our proficient but broken hero.” – Grimdark Magazine

A “nimble, bloody space opera… Trent works in some thought-provoking speculation on the pliability of identity and technology’s ability to change human nature.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Once begun, it will grip you by the throat–like its soldier protagonist grips his many enemies–and compel you to read it all the way to its jubilant, battered conclusion. And you’ll be very grateful.” – Locus 

Interview with Paul Semel on the book’s origins and some good talk about sci-fi in games, books and movies. 

“[Redspace Rising] starts with an awakening and goes full throttle till the very last page… it’s a riveting sci-fi and speculative read — the author definitely deserves a seat at the table with the big guns.” – Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog

Trent builds a world of intrigue and adventure that is full of strange science and shady politics. The book is filled with clones, resurrected people from stored mind scans, and exotic weapons to satisfy those who are thrilled by the paraphernalia of the genre… Trent takes on the deepest themes from our time, really any time, as he does a good job of shining a light on the human condition. There is a lot of action in the novel and the pages seem to flow by, but there is a depth to the story as well that makes the reader think and keeps the book from becoming just another thrilling story… Trent creates a detailed world in Redspace Rising that feels so real that it is easy for the reader to get lost in it. What makes this novel shine, however, is the reality of the characters. The characters in this novel, from Pope to his brother to the many people that come in and out of his lives, do not feel like characters in a story but like real people… Redspace Rising is not just a great science fiction novel but a novel that can stand on its merits regardless of genre and deserves a spot among the best science fiction works of recent years.” – A Reviewer Darkly

From Goodreads:

“As soon as the adventure begins, so does the action. A ruthless warrior, Harris Alexander Pope, regains consciousness in an almost destroyed way station on Mars. He’s not who he thought he was…  The world building is amazing, and the characters often feel alive.” – BlurbGoesHere

Redspace Rising is an extremely intelligent and creative military science fiction offering with plenty of clout…. well-structured with fine attention to detail, particularly with the technology, and the world-building is spot on. A gripping and thrilling Military Science-Fiction novel that certainly catches the reader’s attention. Excellent Stuff.” – John Derek

“This book begins with a boom and goes right to the end with the pedal down. The story is told as the character learns it, or shares history, very show not tell… The action is super kinetic, some of the best that I have read in quite awhile, and the technology makes sense, and is explained well… A very sure writer, with a good sense of how to keep a story going, and how to introduce a world without making it seem like a lecture. A very enjoyable read.” – Dan

For Ten Thousand Thunders

Ten Thousand Thunders is a thrilling science-fiction adventure from first page to last. Brian Trent is one of our very best new writers and now’s the time to start reading him.” (Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Flash Forward and Hominids)

Ten Thousand Thunders is a remarkable book, showcasing many of Brian Trent’s talents. He has created a believable and fascinating future, visited it with a plot any science fiction writer would be proud to have created, and — most important– populated it with believable, motivated characters. Hats off to the new kid on the science fiction block!” (Mike Resnick, 5-time Hugo winner)

“In Ten Thousand Thunders, Brian Trent layers dazzling future concepts upon Byzantine politics upon cinematic action to create a breathtaking work of science fiction.” (Marguerite Reed, author of Archangel)

Ten Thousand Thunders is a stunning science fiction book that takes place far into the future… an incredible inquiry and investigation into how the past impacts the future… the story was beautiful and terrifying and everything was seamlessly woven together.” (The Lily Café)

“I found Trent’s world building to be spot-on in this book and reading it was much akin to watching an engrossing science fiction film.  The book contains quite a bit of action and a fair amount of political intrigue – in a scientific manner.” (Booker T’s Farm)

“The story was like a beautifully woven sequence that played in my mind… A very detailed well written futuristic adventure that will suck you right in.” (Not Another Book Blogger)

From Rocket Stack Rank

On “The Monsters of Olympus Mons”: “Plenty of twists and excitement” and tagged as a “HugoAward-worthy story”.

From TangentOnline

On “The Dog and the Ferryman”: “A fascinating mix of legend and science fiction and Buster is a terrific character as Trent gets the idea of a dog’s thoughts just right.”

On “The Monsters of Olympus Mons”: “The themes seem ever more relevant in current times, but all that aside, it is still a wonderfully constructed tale, and full of meaningful commentary.”

On “Death on the Nefertem Express”: “Jolene is riding a train that’s circumnavigating Nefertem in this whodunit SF novelette. Nefertem orbits a blue giant and people can only survive on the nightside, so the train must race ahead of the dawn or it’s super-rich passengers will be boiled away. But when the train grinds to a stop thirty minutes before the sunrise, panic quickly settles on the passengers and crew. Someone on the train has sabotaged the engine. But who, why, and how will they avoid death with the others? Jolene, the erstwhile space pirate, sifts through the clues to find out. This was a story that engaged the reader from the start, a nicely crafted mystery with a twisty end.”

“In ‘The Memorybox Vultures’ by Brian Trent, Donna Lane works for posthumously uploaded personalities who continue to post to social media and conduct other affairs after their corporeal deaths. The who-done-it plot quickly turns violent, with a classic plot twist well-covered by engaging prose and the careful release of information to the reader. Readers will sympathize with Donna Lane as events cascade toward the reveal.”

“Jackbox” by Brian Trent – “Trent’s short is about a soldier near the end of his tour of duty. Patrolling a stretch of desert, he is surprised by a dead body springing up, like a jack-in-the-box, and firing its pistol at him. The dead soldier’s auto-suit has detected a patrolling soldier and gone into auto-defence mode. The gun clicks away on empty chambers. The soldier thinks about how lucky he is that the dead man’s gun is empty, even as he collapses into the sand. ‘Jackbox’ was a quick and absorbing SF story that left the reader surprised.”

“‘Shadows and Shore Leave’ by Brian Trent is a delightful tale about cloning and family dynamics, helped along with Trent’s witty and charming prose style and knack for dialogue… the reader will be left with a sense of ennui for the state of politics and its ability to rip up families. Fiction that makes the reader contemplate the state of the world is doing its job right, as it can expand our thinking.”

“‘Through the Eons Darkly’” is a dark time travel story, where Beatriz de Legarda is part of a project to travel back in time by entering the heads of people in the past… Brian Trent juggles several subplots along with the main one, plus some first-class characterization. The result is the type of chilling surprise that is a hallmark of all good science fiction.”

“A man sneaks into the land of the gods and steals a set of magic scrolls in Brian Trent’s fantasy story ‘The Scholar and the Books of Thoth.’ Djet, having been skillfully killed and revived by his slave Keket, comes back from the dead with tomes of ancient magic and skills, and promptly begins using his new magic to clear a path for himself to power and prestige… an interesting take on the Egyptian afterlife and a rather fun tale of divine justice.”

I, Arachnobot” by Brian Trent tells the struggle of a robotic spider attempting to protect an old woman in a nursing home while under the compulsion of Asimov’s laws of robotics. The arachnobot’s wide interpretation of his conflicting programming is an entertaining logic puzzle that drives the plot while giving the arachnobot personality… a delightful tribute to Asimov.”

“Brian Trent leads off with ‘A Thousand Deaths Through Flesh and Stone’, a grim tale of revenge or justice, depending on one’s point of view… a fast-paced thriller with a level of violence which some readers may find disturbing.”

On “The JPEG of Dorian Gray”: “This story combines the classic gothic tale of Dorian Gray with the immortality of things posted on the internet, to great and humorous effect… The humor is well-paced, the prose flows between present and flashbacks easily, and the story overall is a well-crafted piece of dark humor and fantasy.”

‘Galleon’” by Brian Trent is an engaging story about what can happen to an AI over the millennia after interacting with countless humans, and then if left with too much time on its hands. The author provides more than a few twists and turns, making the ending a pleasant surprise.”

From SF Crows Nest

“My favourite story was ‘Crash Site’ by Brian Trent, a hard SF novelette which forms a sequel to a story by Trent that appeared in F&SF exactly a year ago. Umerah Javed and Harris Alexander Pope are two agents for The Order Of Stone, the side which was victorious in a recent interstellar conflict. They’ve come to the planet Osiris to catch a geographer called Tel-Silag, who has become an unlikely murderer, gunning down a local hoodlum and his bodyguards in cold blood. However, they’re less interested in why he did it and more in the weapon he used, a piece of unusual alien tech that could be of great interest to those opposed to the dominance of The Order Of Stone. It’s no surprise to find, therefore, that others are after Tel-Silag, too. Who will get to him first? I enjoyed this story for the vividness of the world-building, particularly of the technologies, the aliens and the planet Osiris itself. Trent’s manipulation of parallel storylines and the skillful way in which he makes them gradually converge also made this piece stand out from the crowd. I would be very happy to read more tales set in this story universe in the future.”

“My favourite story in this issue was the next novelette, Brian Trent’s ‘Last Of The Sharkspeakers’. This is a far future SF tale set inside the hollowed-out asteroid Ceres, where ‘normal’ humans co-exist rather uncomfortably with post-human scavengers who have evolved over hundreds of generations of living in low gravity in caves near the spinning asteroid’s poles. When three of these so-called ‘beltbugs’ hack into one of the dominant humans’ ‘voidsharks’, living spaceships controlled by electronic implants, they are captured and offered a deal. If they use their hacking skills to help the humans defeat the voidsharks of their mortal enemies, the Icari, they will be given enough food and medicines to solve all their tribe’s problems. Is this an offer that’s too good to be true? Trent has produced an exceptional story here, mixing fascinating speculations about the possible evolution of human bodies, societies and religions if we start living elsewhere in the solar system with an emotionally rich cast of characters set into conflict with one another. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

“Turning to the seven short stories, Brian Trent’s ‘A Thousand Deaths Through Flesh And Stone’ is a military SF story set in our Solar system in the immediate aftermath of a terrible war. Harris Alexander Pope is a soldier-cum-spy who is looking forward to finally catching up with his brother during some long overdue shore leave. However, just before that happens, he gets dragged into one more mission. Will there ever be an escape from killing for Harris? This is a strong hard SF story packed full of interesting ideas, great action sequences and a protagonist who elicits great sympathy.”

From SFRevu

“The fiction in the issue starts with “The Memorybox Vultures” by Brian Trent. Donna Lane works for Epitaph Incorporated, which takes care of “quasints”, recorded personalities of dead people. One of her clients is the dead Brent McCue who owned a brick-and-mortar bookstore when he was alive. Her job for McCue is a lot more complicated than it appeared at first. And there are a lot more quasints that Donna must deal with. Interesting idea. Perfectly handled.”

“Death on the Nefertem Express” by Brian Trent -+- “On its inaugural shakedown trip, a special train is traversing the surface of the planet Nefertem during the nigh. It is outracing the sun which, when it comes up will burn anything on the planet, including the train if it hasn’t taken off into space. Suddenly, with thirty-one minutes to go, it stops. They find that the engine is no longer there. Who wants to murder the other passengers and how would the murderer escape? The passengers are: Liam and Lenora Crowningshield, the brother and sister who own the Express; Gillian Farview, technical adviser to the Express; William “Billy” T. Zonelord; Hershkovitz, professional gamer; and Jolene Fort, former space pirate (“never proved… never convicted”). The solution is clever and worthy of Agatha Christie. Fun!”


‘Steel Dragons of a Luminous Sky’” by Brian Trent transported me back to the 1940s and ’50s and books like Doc Savage, Man of Bronze. Li Yan is an agent of China’s super-secret Luminous Sky, an organization dedicated to protecting the nation, which is currently torn by civil war and facing an external threat as Japan, with its giant robots, attacks its borders. Li has plenty of fancy gadgets himself, and when he and his American pilot buddy, Eva (a Flying Tiger), discover a secretive Chinese girl named Xin in the aftermath of a battle, the three of them decide to take on Japan’s flying fortress, Castle Tengu, and destroy the transmitter that controls the robots. Eva is a tough, wise-cracking sidekick and mysterious Xin is no slouch herself. The story is all action, vivid, colorful descriptions, reversals, lies, fun gizmos… and did I mention action? It’s a gallop of a story.”

‘Distant Gates of Eden Gleam’” by Brian Trent features James Porlock as a man new to an unusual job. He is to do whatever his boss, Lothian, tells him to do, using as references the Handbook for the New Illuminary, An Atlas of the World’s Fourteen Continents, and a thesaurus… ultimately, Porlock makes some controversial decisions about how to do his job, which is where everything we’ve been told comes together in a climax that had me grinning ear to ear. There’s some very fine plotting going on here, with all the clues we need to figure out what Porlock is going to do scattered throughout.”

From Kirkus Reviews

On Time Travel Short Stories anthology: “Revel to Brian Trent’s ‘Omnipunks,’ a whip-smart mashup of cyberpunk, steampunk and alien invasion (and, yes, time travel).”

From Locus Mag

“Brian Trents ‘The Memorybox Vultures does neat things with the idea of uploaded simula­tions of dead people, based on memories they re­corded. Donna Lane works with these “quasints,” and she finds herself involved with a dangerous situation. A powerful politician is threatened by the potential release of the memories of a dead woman who had grown up next to him — and so his people go after Donna to try to find a way to get rid of the dead woman’s quasint. This is interesting enough, but Trent has another twist or two in store. Nice work.” 

“Trent’s ‘‘Crash-Site’ assembled a diverse group of mostly rival individuals searching for the site of a long-past starship, which should contain a trove of exotic tech. These include a man mourning his dead wife, her simulation, a woman inhabiting the body of a local, a couple of enemies from long-destroyed Mars, and a local alien tribe, among others. It’s colorful, enjoyable, twisty space operatic fun.”

“Brian Trent’s ‘An Incident on Ishtar’ concerns Melissa, a non-neurotypical woman who has moved to the clouds of Venus (a recently very fashionable setting), partly to escape her issues dealing with people, and partly because of a terrible mistake she made. Now there has been a bad storm, and one of the Demes (the aerostats in which people live in the clouds) is lost, feared crashed. Melissa has a plan, though – because she thinks she has made another terrible mistake, and because she knows the missing Deme has not crashed. Her solution to the problem is a nice bit of speculative engineer­ing, and the backstory (of little interest to Melissa but a lot to us and to her fellow colonists) is an interesting political mess. This is a good example of the best sort of traditional Analog story.”


On my story “Enchantment Lost” published in Pole to Pole Publishing’s DARK LUMINOUS WINGS anthology:

“I don’t remember who handed me this book… It seemed only right to read at least one of the 17 stories offered. So we read the first one: “Enchantment Lost” by Brian Trent. It was FANTASTIC! Not just okay. Fantastic. Like discovering Ray Bradbury all over again for the first time. We haven’t read the rest yet, but we certainly will now.”

Interviews/Guest Blogs

Interview with Baen Books’ editor Sean Patrick Hazlett on “Shadow Rook Red” for Weird World War III

Interview with Fantasy & Science Fiction on “The Monsters of Olympus Mons”

Interview with J.D. Moyers on the writing process, tips, challenges, and keeping the fires of inspiration burning bright

Interview on concerning Ten Thousand Thunders and penguins in superhero capes

Interview on The Tattooed Book Geek about Ten Thousand Thunders

Interview on

Interview with Fantasy & Science Fiction on “The Memorybox Vultures”

Guest post on the Analog blog concerning the composition of “An Incident on Ishtar”

Interview by Steven R. Southard of Poseidon’s Scribe on “Enchantment Lost”

Interview with Fantasy & Science Fiction on “A Thousand Deaths Through Flesh and Stone”

Interview with Fantasy & Science Fiction on “Last of the Sharkspeakers”

Interview with Third Flatiron on “The JPEG of Dorian Gray”