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Judgement (Brain in a Jar Books Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Fergus Bannon , Hal Duncan
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It started with a few isolated incidents: a mob shootout in Las Vegas, a firefight in the Central American jungles - one apparently unconnected event after the other, hinting at a worldwide conspiracy of unprecedented proportions. But before long CIA computer expert Bob Leith realises it's something much more than mere globalised terrorism, something literally not of this world. His understanding of the nature of reality, and of what it means to be human, will be challenged to the very core in a dazzling novel of intrigue, physics and espionage.

Fergus Bannon, when not performing neurosurgical interventions with the aid of a hacksaw, dowsing rod and amphetamine-soaked surgical mask, has been known to write for publications such as Interzone, Territories, West Coast Magazine and Shipbuilding.

Now with an introduction by Hal Duncan.

Published by Brain In A Jar Book (

De Meer was staring unblinking at some point very far away. She hadn't moved since they'd entered the apartment.

'Is she dead?' The woman put one hand to the neck, feeling for the carotid pulse.

'Cold as ice. Must have been dead for hours.' She withdrew her hand, coming out of her crouch and swivelling round in one smooth movement to aim her gun at Durrell. 'Time for some answers,' she said gravely.

'Not him,' the other man flicked his gun at Leith. 'Him.'


'He doesn't fit. I don't think he's even seen a wet job before, never mind done one. He's shit scared and it shows. Not like Boulder Dam over there,' he said, indicating Durrell with a nod of his head.

She aimed the gun at Durrell's chest but looked across at Leith. 'Start talking or I blow your friend away.'

De Meer moved.

Her head tilted to one side, then her neck turned slowly, or so it seemed at first.

Then Leith saw that the whole right side of her face was peeling off and separating. The smooth skin was revealed as some kind of tightly woven fabric. He twitched in shock as her eye and cheek exploded silently out into hand-sized puffballs. The gossamer spheres boiled out as they swept across the side of her head, growing at the expense of scalp and hair, revealing a matt black space beneath. Sweeping into view from the other side came another puffball, a second planet orbiting the ravaged face.

Ice coursed through his body as he saw that each coned down into coarse threads of flesh being stripped from her unwinding face. The threads split into finer and finer filaments, which sustained the blossoming puffballs. It was like two tornados circling round and round, unravelling the woman's head.

Then de Meer's head was gone and her torso started to disappear fast, the puffballs spinning faster and faster, making the air in the room turbulent, and causing the candle flames to flicker.

Only the legs were left now and the puffballs were each a meter across. They were spinning so fast that he could no longer focus on them. Just as the shoes and feet were consumed he saw that the two threads were joined. Then the puffballs flew apart, exploding out in a lightning-fast unfolding until one huge square of material blanked out half the room. Leith just had time to see the surface alive with myriad waving cilia, then the square was gone. The room seemed suddenly empty.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 505 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Brain In A Jar Books (7 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004BLJCV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #597,217 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Fergus Bannon writes thrillers that take a jaded and heretical view of what we think we know of reality. The first of these is 'The Heretic' and a second, 'Leviathan's Fall', is soon to appear.
Following graduation he ran away to sea, his merchant shipping line taking him to some of the choicer trouble spots around the world. Rich though the seafaring life was, it could also be rather dangerous. After having a run-in with a death squad in South America, and then nearly getting his throat slit in Jamaica, he began to harbour doubts about his long term prospects. A hurricane in the Atlantic, and a major fire on board ship in the Pacific, only reinforced this view.
Nursing an ambition to live until the age of forty, he therefore came ashore and eventually became a Professor of Physics. Now he spends his time biting the hand that has fed him.
He has also written a science fiction novel called 'Judgement' and an anthology of short stories called 'The Unusual Genitals Party'.

Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is it or isn't it science fiction? 1 April 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
The only hint you get to answer the above question is from the Product Description 'something literally not of this world ...'. This is a really intriguing story regarding one man's (Bob Leith) rather up and down chase for the (his) truth whatever that may be.

The characters are for the main part well created and stay true to their convictions/values throughout the story.

The author certainly pulls from his experience within the medical profession - there are some fairly gruesome descriptions of torture and other journeys through the body (you'll have to read the book to find out where/why!).

For me this was not a 'page-turner' and hence why I didn't give it a full five stars. I think also this book would have benefited from an editor and a proof-reading to make it flow better.

This is not a book for the faint hearted. For a Kindle book this is well worth the effort in reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, worth reading 15 Aug. 2014
By w
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Could not stop reading this book. Good book, apart from some gruesome parts. Worth reading.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't grab me, but premise was good 27 Jan. 2012
By Doug
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Got it on a free download, so the least I can do is review it.

The characters were okay, but not too engaging. I almost gave up on the book but pushed on to the end.

I'm glad I read it, but am also glad I didn't pay for it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Professional quality writing in a novel combining suspense and SF genres 18 July 2011
By Jack Of Alltrades - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bannon's prose is good. How good? As good as any bestselling novel and better than most. Bannon has an authoritative and solid voice and I believed every word I read.

He effortlessly weaves computers, CIA protocols, world ecology, history and politics into his narrative. He is clearly a writer who knows many things and this is rare today. His writing is exciting. He can write a great scene, great dialog and painless exposition. Bannon's prose is neither too poetic, nor too clever. His focus is always to tell a story, never, as it is with too many witers, to seem clever. That said, the novel didn't work for me.

Though I read it all the way through, I can't say I cared about the characters or even cared much what happened. Why? Because the main character didn't really have much of a life. The love interest was repulsive and I didn't care whether they got together or not. As for the main character's goals, when they were at last revealed, they proved to be selfish and shallow. What a letdown.

There were some exciting scenes and well written, but when you don't really care it's not enough.
The scene in the sample offered above is in fact the first appearance of the SF entity in the novel. What disappointed me was that it was neither explained nor even puzzled over by the characters until chapters later.

As for the SF aspects of the book, it didn't offer me what I look for in the SF I read. It took too long to develop and (though he has obviously thought it out well), when it did I didn't find it either plausible or moving. A wad of cotton wool, regardless of power, is not easy to get excited about. A middle aged school marm as master of the universe seemed an odd choice, too but then the story was certainly original, anyway.

Judgement is a novel worth any reader's time and money and, in a world where good writing translates into sales it would be long on the amazon top 100 kindle list for years. I hope that in future Bannon turns his craft to a story with characters worthy of his considerable talent. I will certainly buy and read any future efforts without hesitation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Techno-Thriller 25 Jan. 2012
By jimonskye - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an excellent book, far better than many that I've paid full HB price for. The author effortlessly mixes together Adventure,Thriller and SF Genres to produce a truely unique fusion which keeps the reader enthralled from start to finish. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good read, one that makes you think, entertains, and shows a technical grasp of more areas than any dozen ordinary books. Worth 5 stars any day.
4.0 out of 5 stars A sci-fi thriller 4 Mar. 2012
By Michel Fortin - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A page turner! Interesting plot and storytelling approach.
To 'Keith', you should read the book, then you will understand the title.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I weish I could rate this even lower. 18 April 2014
By stevieyz19 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There was no redeeming part of this book. The plot was ludicrous. The kindest thing I could call it was far fetched. I am amazed I actually read it all but I am a stubborn one once I start a book. But I will never read another piece of trash like this from this particular author. Don't waste your time on this extreme clunker.
2 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Basics 7 Dec. 2011
By Keith - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I've not read the book, but I have to admit that I am less inclined to be interested when the title appears to be misspelled.
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