Softlife Book Blast and Review


by James R. Hardin


GENRE: Science fiction



Everyone thought the terrorist had completely destroyed the space station where the first faster-than-light spaceship was built. Actually, the survivors were implemented as softlife in the computers, and years later they and their virtual descendants live in a thriving but isolated community. Jason1, one of the few who used to be flesh and blood, doubts that this incorporeal existence really qualifies as life. But Iooi, a young native softlife, considers her kind an evolutionary step beyond biology, and three-dimensional space an annoying abstraction.

A spaceship arrives, and the two of them stow away in its computer, intending to establish ties with the rest of humanity. But the ship’s crew is evasive about why they came and what their plans are. And the experimental spacecraft, lost since the attack on the space station, has returned, carrying an unexpected threat the softlife may be uniquely qualified to fight. Working with other softlife, an old friend, and the intimidating Space Force general Heather Lacey, Jason1 must take on terrorists, truly malicious software, and his own self-doubts.



“History will be made today,” Jason Sangretti said, “and you two are going to miss it, glued to that computer.” He floated in the air positioned as if he were sitting in an invisible easy chair facing the large monitor on the wall, even drumming his fingers on the nonexistent chair’s arm. He didn’t really mean to be showing off his expertise in zero gravity—OK, maybe he did. As young as he was, his Space Force training still put his capability far ahead of even the experienced spacecraft construction workers here on the Starbase.

Amos gave Jason a brief look, but William’s eyes never left his monitor as he said, “This is not unique. Since history is the accumulated sequence of past events, history is made every day.” He drifted in a contorted position beside his computer, clinging to it with one hand and awkwardly correcting for the reaction as he typed on it with the other. Jason had never seen William in normal gravity, but he was sure William would be awkward there as well.

“You know what I mean. Isn’t it great to be alive on a day like this?”

“I have no experience being in a state other than alive, so I have no basis for comparison.”

With two precise flips of his arms, Jason rotated his imaginary chair to face William. “Now you’re just being annoying on purpose.”

William finally looked up and grinned momentarily, then just said, “Yes, I am,” and returned to his typing.

My Review: 

A very engaging sci-fi book. The descriptions and the characters are great. They will suck you right in. Some of the questions raised will really make you think. I was a little turned off by the “Christian” terrorist, but otherwise an interesting read.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


James R. Hardin received his first rejection from a major publisher when he was 11 years old and has been writing fiction intermittently ever since. Softlife is his first novel, though certainly not his last. James supports himself and his family as an engineer in the R&D department of a major turbomachinery manufacturer, where he engages in aerodynamic design, computational fluid dynamics analyses, and battle with temperamental computers. When not writing or engineering, he often plays or composes music, usually on a piano or synthesizer. James lives in western Pennsylvania with his wife, a varying number of sons depending on who’s home, and a lazy dog. You can find out more about James and his writing, as well as download a few of his musical compositions, at his website




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 James R. Hardin will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



Lorana Hoopes is a Christian author who focuses on children’s book and adult inspirational books with a touch of romance.Her books are available at Amazon.


Heartbeats series



  1. Thank you, Lorana, for hosting this tour stop and for the review! And thanks to everybody who stops by today. I’ll be in and out checking on comments, except for a few hours in the middle of the day (Eastern time) when I have to go to my “real” job. Oh, and let me sneak in the marketing stuff now: ebook versions of Softlife are on sale for $0.99 during April, and you can get big (up to 5 chapters) free samples at my web site, Goodreads, and most places Softlife is for sale (Amazon, B&N, others).


  2. Hmm, no picture on my post. I signed in with my Facebook account, and I’m not enough of a Facebook wizard to know why not. I’ll see whether I can figure that out today. Meanwhile, if you’re curious, my picture is on my web site and other places.


  3. I hope everybody is turned off by the “Christian” terrorist–definitely a villain! (Slight spoiler: he’s not even the worst!) One thing I like to do with speculative fiction is turn things around a little, hoping to make us look at things afresh. This isn’t what the book is about in general, but it’s a little reminder of how anything can be twisted to evil. “Terrorist” is a word that should never fit anyone who claims to follow God.


  4. Hmm, not many comments today. Well, thanks to anyone who came by and just didn’t speak up. Considering what time it is here in the Eastern time zone and when I have to get up for work, it’s time for me to turn in. Good night, all.


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