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Review: The Battle Over Britain, by Simon Brading

Thande

Directly Elected Mayor of the Western Hemisphere
Published by SLP
The use of springs for power is interesting; one comes across their use in books written at the turn of the 20th century as a 'they can do anything' plot device, usually to explain why Indiana Jones-style elaborate traps in old houses can work after a long time.
 

Coiler

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The use of springs for power is interesting; one comes across their use in books written at the turn of the 20th century as a 'they can do anything' plot device, usually to explain why Indiana Jones-style elaborate traps in old houses can work after a long time.
So kind of like mid-20th century comic book radiation?

(As for the book itself, looks good-and the cover also looks great. I love the Red Army-esque "minimalist but effective" cover style)
 

Skinny87

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The Great thing about The Battle Over Britain, and Brading as an author, is that there's this real sense of enthusiasm and fun to be found inside the book. This is obviously a passion project and that really comes through; the technology is well-explained in good detail, and the characters well realised as well. And I mean, when was the last piece of AH that was just fun to read without any horrifying or dystopian elements?
 

Tabac Iberez

Impetious
Published by SLP
You don't read much of my Sergeant Frosty stuff, do you.
Like the good man said, "without horrifying or dystopian elements". Heaven only knows a poor sod who's half-underground in a foreign land can be both to the faint of heart, especially if someone did the rest of the country a misservice and brought him back.

(As for the book itself, looks good-and the cover also looks great. I love the Red Army-esque "minimalist but effective" cover style)
I honestly can't see the resemblance to anything vaugely Russian in that cover unless we went back to the Tear, honestly. It's too busy to be early Communist, too organized to be late Communist, and the whole affair just screams of the time when royalty still meant something. Still, I wish we had covers that well done- it would certainly help move sales I'd think. As it is, Art Deco has been rather dead for the last seventy years.
 

David Flin

Voila, a viola.
Like the good man said, "without horrifying or dystopian elements". Heaven only knows a poor sod who's half-underground in a foreign land can be both to the faint of heart, especially if someone did the rest of the country a misservice and brought him back.
Um, you've lost me. If that's a reference to my Sergeant Frosty stuff, well, you've lost me. If it's a reference to something other than my Sergeant Frosty stuff, then I suspect you've picked the wrong quote to reply to.

Edit: I suspect that only people suffering from hominochionophobia or Christougenniatikophobia would be disturbed by Sergeant Frosty.
 
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Skinny87

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Like the good man said, "without horrifying or dystopian elements". Heaven only knows a poor sod who's half-underground in a foreign land can be both to the faint of heart, especially if someone did the rest of the country a misservice and brought him back.



I honestly can't see the resemblance to anything vaugely Russian in that cover unless we went back to the Tear, honestly. It's too busy to be early Communist, too organized to be late Communist, and the whole affair just screams of the time when royalty still meant something. Still, I wish we had covers that well done- it would certainly help move sales I'd think. As it is, Art Deco has been rather dead for the last seventy years.
This is hardly the correct forum to bring these concerns up; but if I may make a few points about the SLP covers, which I've found to be uniformly excellent and of a very high quality:
  • Most covers not produced by mainstream publishers or publishers with a large pot of money are crap, to be brutally honest, especially from indie authors who don't have a budget or an eye for design. Mr Brading's cover is good quality and distinct but still quite basic
  • The SLP covers meet every requirement to attract readers to their titles. They are a) cleanly laid out b) attractive to the eye with a minimalist layout and c) are distinctive. Even scrolling through the Kindle listings at a rapid pace, I can always pick out an SLP title. Do you know how difficult that is even for the big publishers to achieve? I'll be damned if I can pick out a TOR publication by sight, for example; perhaps a Penguin due to the, well, penguin
  • You're also very lucky, if I may say, to have a publisher that devotes that amount of time and budget to covers such as SLP have - do you know how many publishers I see, in multiple genres, who think that some vaguely related copyright-free image is enough for a cover?
 

Skinny87

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I need to finally get things together and do my analysis of AH cover art and what makes a good and bad piece of cover art. Probably it an article as I wouldn't want to make it seem like an attack on any author or publishers, but an internal forum thread would be a good thing to help dispel myths about cover art.
 

Tabac Iberez

Impetious
Published by SLP
Honestly I'm not sure there's anything SLP could do to improve sales that it isn't already doing. I think the biggest reason for a small amount of sales is that it's an indie publisher in a niche genre.
We could always take the old standard of quid pro quo advertising, but that means we need to find more friends to do that with. Professional connections should always be a thing to look for and cultivate.
 

Skinny87

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We could always take the old standard of quid pro quo advertising, but that means we need to find more friends to do that with. Professional connections should always be a thing to look for and cultivate.
I'm sorry you feel this way, but this isn't the thread for taking up alleged grievances about SLP. If you have concerns, please raise them privately with whoever you need to discuss it with
 

David Flin

Voila, a viola.
Apologies for the late response to this, but I've only just worked out quite what it was about the following phrase in the review that bothered me.

In addition, the strong female cast of characters are a refreshing change from the male-dominated nature of military history alternate history stories, especially as they all come across as cool, competent and heroic.

I've no objection to strong female characters, and plenty of female characters popping up in traditionally male-dominated areas is to be welcomed. I wondered about the phrase, and then I saw the problem I was having. It was that word "all" in the last clause.

I've always taken the view that characters should be varied. Some will be cool, some excitable; some will be competent, some brilliant, some variable, and some a problem; some will be heroic, and some will regard heroism as the last resort of poor planning. In a squadron of misfits, I would expect this to be doubly true. Earlier, the review indicates that this is the case, which is to the good.

It's a personal thing, but I don't much care for characters who are either unbelievably competent or unbelievably incompetent. They have strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes a strength in some circumstances can be a weakness in other circumstances (and vice versa). Someone who plans and prepares thoroughly, coming up with brilliant schemes that maximise chances possibly isn't the ideal person to have to respond instinctively and instantly to falling into an unexpected situation.

From other comments elsewhere, I suspect that the characters are indeed a mixed bunch (as one would expect from a group of misfits), and I'm basically quibbling over nothing very much.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
I'd seen this around before and not thought too much of it on an Amazon browse, but this review's got me interested. (I mean, except that "fun and not dystopian", but I'm sure I can stomach this "nice things" THIS once)

I need to finally get things together and do my analysis of AH cover art and what makes a good and bad piece of cover art. Probably it an article as I wouldn't want to make it seem like an attack on any author or publishers, but an internal forum thread would be a good thing to help dispel myths about cover art.
I would like to read that article. Cover art is definitely a thing I've bitten my fingernails off worrying about with self-publishing, and you see a lot of, er, 'stock photoshopped' covers out there in the wild because people can't afford much else. The 'in universe' aviation patch for this book is a really good budget-conscious idea (and you can have different patches on sequels!), it's not the most exciting and eye-catching for me but what it isn't, is a photoshopped plane with the roundel slightly altered and a sepia filter.
 
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