Reviews of Sleeper, Awake

Jeanne Allen
Charlene Austin
Susan Bailey-Halaney
Andy Davie
Louise Klement
Stephen Mazey
Sally Odgers
Marilyn Peake
Ilene Sirocca
Margaret Tanner
Michael Thal
Florence Weinberg


by Margaret Tanner

   Ravaged by cancer, Hollywood star Flora Fielding takes the desperate step of having herself placed in cryogenic storage. She is finally awoken after fourteen hundred and thirty three years.

   Included in the wonderful array of characters who dominate the pages of this novel are — Kiril Lander the inventor, Souda the love of his life, and the woman he almost loses because of his obsessive jealousy. Artif, the kindly computer and support system for the planet, the executive arm of humanity, who keeps everything in this futuristic paradise running smoothly. Mirabelle Karlsen, Abel T’Dwuna, Cynthia Sabatini, not to mention the enigmatic Tony, are all members of Control, the governing body of the planet.

   The dilemma facing Control is what to do with the twenty first century sleepers who elected to be placed in cryogenic storage like Flora. Should they be awoken? Left to sleep? Or have their equipment disconnected so they could pass on?

   Vividly written, Dr Rich’s writing transports you into a world beyond comprehension, yet he presents it so well, it becomes plausible. Wonderful landscapes, incredible gadgets, love and a touch of poignancy, this book has it all. Like me, if you weren’t a Sci-fi fan before, you will be converted after reading this book.

Margaret Tanner
Published Author.

Margaret is overly modest about her accomplishments. She is an award-winning author of at least 16 historical romances, all gripping and well written.

by Florence Weinberg

   Sleeper Awake, first published the year 2000, is a prophetic book. Set some 1500 years in the future, it tells the tale of a woman, Flora Fielding, a top movie star and multi-millionaire, who had herself cryogenically frozen when diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. The world she discovers is topographically transformed by geological upheaval, with only one million human inhabitants. The climate is violent, tropics replace temperate zones, and all the great cities of yore, along with their cultures, have been destroyed. The total destruction of our present world has been caused by global warming, the unchecked abuse of our natural resources, especially the relentless exploitation of petroleum.

   As a dedicated environmentalist as far back as the 1970s, I found this book refreshing, and congratulate its author, Dr. Bob Rich, for his foresightedness that predated this book by many years. His portrayal of a new society, its inventions and innovations -- all of them designed in harmony with the laws of nature -- is nothing short of brilliant. The new society strictly manages its rate of reproduction, has allowed the natural world to recover from its grievous wounds, and lives in abundance, since there is an abundance of natural resources to live on. The greed that is rapidly destroying our present world is no longer a factor in Dr. Rich’s utopian future, since there is no poverty and the small population has all advantages at its fingertips. Sexuality in the new society is frank, open, and tastefully presented.

   Like most of Rich’s novels, this one, too, is a novel of education: of the characters, of the resuscitated Flora, and of the reader. This reader was captivated by the spiritual growth of the protagonists and by the wonderful devices they use in everyday living. Computers, by the way, play dominant and benevolent roles. My only reservation: could such a glowing future ever be reached by humanity as we know it?

    I recommend this book in the highest terms for anyone who has the faintest interest in the fate of our civilization and our planet.

Florence Weinberg is a talented writer of mysteries and/or historical novels. I've so far read three of her books, and will be back for more.

by Michael Thal

   Sleeper, Awake

   Oh Tony! You think the Internet is something-world-wide instantaneous communication. That's nothing! Just you wait. In 1500 years there'll be Artif. She's a doctor, computer, and teacher-a god-like intelligence that is the concierge in everyone's life. She affects the one million humans inhabiting the future through an implant permitting universal communication. She is the relay, the Internet server, for all humanity.

   Artif is a mega computer that enables humans to travel anywhere in the world from the comfort of their floating homes in the sky. They can feel, see, taste, and hear the sounds of any environment through their projected images. If you live in a home floating over a tropical rainforest, you can visit your best friend living on a boat near tropical Antarctica.

   In Dr. Bob Rich's Sleeper, Awake, actress Flora Fielding funded research to find a cure for the cancer stealing her life. She allowed herself to be placed in suspended animation expecting to be revived in a decade. Instead, Flora slept for 1433 years after the great Cataclysm that altered human history.

   The author, through a descriptive narrative and well-developed characterization, shows a future where a great upheaval shifted the environment and altered landmasses. For example, a huge mountain formed where Chicago once existed.

   The cast of characters is extensive and richly described. Tony Califeri, who predicted the Cataclysm back in the 21st Century, is revered like Christians worship Jesus. Kiril is a thrill seeker, a rare individual who seeks the love of one woman, Souda-strange behavior in this new world culture. Mirabelle Karlsen is Flora's advocate, and Abel is the President of Control, a world government body.

   In his fluid writing style, Dr. Rich creates a world of the far future where hunger, war, and disease are but a faint memory in the consciousness of humanity. The world of Sleeper, Awake is a fascinating read. I give it all my fingers and toes up.

Reviewed by: Michael L. Thal 09/18/04- Science Fiction for EBooksNBytes

by Marilyn Peake

   SLEEPER, AWAKE, a science fiction novel by Dr. Bob Rich, is a truly amazing experience. To step inside this novel is to step inside an almost alien, but totally believable, world. Dr. Rich designs the futuristic world of SLEEPER, AWAKE with such compelling detail that one comes to the conclusion that this must indeed be the reality of our future earth.

   Flora Fielding is a beautiful, rich, famous, Oscar-winning movie star. She develops breast cancer and has herself placed in cryogenic storage until a cure is found. She is awakened 1,433 years later. There is no cure for cancer. Her awakening is a political move, with disagreement between Abel, the President of Control, and Mirabelle, the Deputy President. Once awakened, however, Flora is wholeheartedly welcomed into this new world.

   The future, however, is strange and alien to the movie star. People have "implants" that allow them to send "images" of themselves to each other. "Artif," a form of artificial intelligence, monitors everyone's health and communicates with everyone. Thoughts move objects. There are only one million people on earth; and no one may have a baby unless there is a death. There has been a great Cataclysm due to global climate changes; and the physical geography of earth is not the same as Flora remembers.

   On the postive side, people are never violent. When Kiril attempts violence against another human being, this is the first act of its kind in over one thousand years. Despite its alien quality, the world of SLEEPER, AWAKE is in many ways a vast improvement over the world today.

   I give this fascinating book 5 stars out of 5, and highly recommend it!

cover of 'The Fisherman's Son' by Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake is the author of the well-received children's fantasy adventure novel, THE FISHERMAN'S SON. Its sequel, THE CITY OF THE GOLDEN SUN, will soon be published.

   She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology. She has presented research data from her Masters Thesis, completed in 1985, at a meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association.

   Piers Anthony, the great science fiction and fantasy author, wrote the following about THE FISHERMAN'S SON: "Now I have read The Fisherman's Son. This is a nice children's fantasy, grounded in realism. Even the fantastic element is realistic, in that the dolphin doesn't abridge the rules just for convenience; the right introduction has to be made. It's not all right to make the excuse 'I lost the cup because of a bear.'"

   James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief of the Midwest Book Review wrote: "The Fisherman's Son is a delightful and colorfully narrated tale which documents Marilyn Peake as a story teller of considerable narrative skill."

   Rebecca Brown, Editor and Publisher of wrote: "The Fisherman's Son is a complex tale simply written, with fascinating detail & unblinking reality borrowing from legends & sagas deep within our collective memories."

   Marilyn's web site can be reached at any of the following:

By Sally Odgers

6th December, 2000

   Sleeper, Awake! by Dr Bob Rich.

   The Sleeper is an actress named Flora who, suffering from a particularly invasive cancer, has chosen to enter cryogenic suspended animation until a cure might be found. Waking fourteen hundred years later, Flora finds the world much changed. An event called the Cataclysm has brought the modern industrial age to a standstill, and in the new order Earth is home to exactly one million people. Over a hundred of these are Sleepers, whose capsules survived the Cataclysm and allowed them to live on. Now, with the council in charge of worldly affairs uncertain about the Sleepers' status, Flora is woken to help with the decision.

   This is the background of Dr Rich's "historical novel of the future", and the set-up is masterly in its simplicity. With Flora, we learn about the new way of life, but Flora's is not the only viewpoint we share. From stubborn, egocentric Abel to Timmy, just emerging from early childhood, from the warring lovers, Souda and Kiril to the ugly, intelligent Nat, the characters are warmly human and recognisable. Abel's son must prove himself, a jealous man redeem himself, and Flora must adjust to the death of her hopes and the rise of a new and splendid type of immortality. Every character has some foible or fault, but they are attractive all the same - this world of the future is worth a visit and its people well worth knowing. Two of the most enigmatic are Artif and Tony, one the computer which runs the "implants" which allow people some extraordinary new freedoms, the other a programmed representative of Artif's creator. Unlike many fictional computers, Artif is delightful; she is loving and understanding, she can warn and advise but never force an issue.

   Dr Rich holds the reins of his entwined stories with a light hand, the various storylines work themselves out with a gentle inevitability. The novel never becomes didactic, but it provides a wonderful stage for idea and theories, for the playing out of jealousy and love and ideals. Friendships between different ages are seen to be natural and good, and Flora, the Sleeper, teaches as much as she learns.

   Sleeper, Awake! is an unusual novel, full of clever inventions and the echoes of myths and older customs. The Norse Tree is there in spirit, so are Greek Icarus and the philosophy of the Frontiersman. Rites of passage are alive and well, and teenaged girls are still - well - teenaged girls. The ending is thoroughly satisfying, with the final scene putting the whole novel into a new and amusing perspective. And oh, the joy of finding Australian syntax alive and well and living in a historical novel of the future!

Sally Odgers

   Sally Odgers is one of those rare beings: an author who earns a living from her writing. Under various pen-names, she has published well over 200 books. Her web site is a wonderful jungle of delights you could explore for hours, and she runs a regular competition with one of her books as a prize.

   Sally's good opinion of Sleeper, Awake is worth a lot to me, because I admire her writing immensely.

By Andy J. W. Davie

   Wealthy actress, Flora Fielding, chooses to go into suspended animation, hoping to be revived in ten years or so, confident that a cure for her cancer will have been found. Imagine her shock when she awakes 1433 years later. The world has been ravaged by an ecological cataclysm. Society, as she knew it, is little more than a distant memory, an ancient history to the very different social structure left in its place.

   Explore an incredible vision of the future, wonderfully detailed by an imaginative author. Will Flora have her cancer cured? Will she adjust to life in this strangely idyllic New World? Is the utopia all it seems to be? Sci-fi fans will enjoy this journey of discovery by Dr. Bob Rich. Sleeper Awake is an epic story that's itching to be shown on screen.

   Don't miss it!

Andy J W Davie 14th September 2000 author of 'Diary of a Curtain Twitcher'

   I was sent Andy's book, Diary of a Curtain Twitcher for review. Having written one, I sent it to him, and he agreed to review Sleeper, Awake. He found this to be a scary prospect, because he has never reviewed a book before. In turn, I found Andy as a reviewer to be a scary prospect: he informed me that since the age of 14 he has rarely managed to finish reading a book. I am very relieved that he managed to finish mine.

By Louise Klement

Sleeper, Awake by Dr. Bob Rich

   This was the first Science Fiction book I have ever read, and I wasn't disappointed! It intrigued me how Dr. Rich introduced the characters, and the way the world changed without confusing me. To create an entire world of change, a world left only to the limits of your imagination is exciting, to say the least. Dr. Rich did a fantastic job!

   Flora Fielding, an actress from our times was diagnosed with breast cancer, so she goes into a deep freeze, hoping to be awakened when there is a cure for her disease. While she is asleep, the world has changed dramatically. Now, over a thousand years after our time, the population is forbidden to surpass one million people. The laws and the ways have changed immensily. She learns the way of the new world, only to discover she was awakened for one reason only. I would like to say, but I hate to spoil the story for prospective readers.

   Dr. Rich did a wonderful job crafting this new world, the characters and the story line, and even what caused the world to change. Each character, though with different beliefs, tugs at your heartstrings. I look forward to reading more works by him.

   Louise is a writer herself. Her suspense novel, The Evil One, was in the final phases of editing at Crossroads Publishers before that publisher unfortunately self-destructed.

   She is a Radiographer by day, suspense author by night, and mother and wife 24-7. Besides reading and writing, her favorite pastime is sleeping. When she manages to go outside to enjoy the sun and fresh air, she loves hiking in the mountains, and is always in awe of the sights. Someday, the mountains will become her home, where she'll be able to focus all her time on her family and writing.

by Charlene Austin

Science Fiction Novel
by Bob Rich

   Dr. Bob Rich takes the reader into a fascinating possible future in his new release, SLEEPER AWAKE.

   Actress Flora Fielding goes into cryogenic sleep, hoping to be awakened when a cure has been found for her cancer. She is awakened--1433 years in the future.

   Artif, an artificial intelligence serves as the support system and the executive arm of Control (the governing body). Population is strictly controlled. Implants at infancy tap into the unused portions of the brain allowing thought projection, telepathic communication, and a link to all the computers.

   Flora discovers that she is to have an advocate and appear before Control. But why? Why have they awakened one of the sleepers?

   A wonderful cast of characters and a fascinating glimpse into one possible future are weaved into a page-turning adventure in SLEEPER AWAKE. I thoroughly enjoyed my few hours of escape into the rich imagination of the author.


Reviewed by Charlene Austin
Copyright September 2000
All rights reserved

   When I asked Char for a 'reviewer's bio', she sent me this:

   I am a 49 year old mother of three, grandmother of eight, who recently switched from a career in medical office management to private home care, in order to pursue my life long dream to write. I moderate two writing lists, and the reading list A-MYSTERY-FANATIC@ and contribute to several writing ezines. I have published several poems, two short stories. and completed one novel, a Mystery\thriller entitled "Dream Pictures". I am now working on a second novel, a Sci/fi thriller.

   She has no web page of her own yet, but she runs the Mystery Fanatic page.

by Susan Bailey-Halaney

A historical adventure of the future.
By Dr. Bob Rich

   Flora Fielding, a wealthy successful actress, is awakened after one thousand four hundred thirty three years in cryogenic storage. She had been frozen in an attempt to extend her life until a cure for her breast cancer could be found. Flora comes to in a world that had no need to cure cancer, as there have been only four cases in the past thirteen hundred years. Three of those had no recurrence after treatment and the fourth chose to 'hand on'.

   If not to cure her cancer then for what reason was this sleeper awakened?

   Dr. Rich gives us a vivid future culture with lofty values created with opulent imagery, and a plausible history. His well-constructed characters are so real they could spring from the pages, as they grow fraught with escapades and struggles of loving, living and dying.

   SLEEPER AWAKE is touching and entertaining with just enough mystique to keep me reading. A wonderful poignant story of the cycle of life and death as part of life, Dr. Bob Rich's book delves the human spirit for purpose and completion fulfilling beyond the insatiable hunger of sci-fi lovers for the new and awe-inspiring.

   A must read for anyone dealing with terminal illness or death.

Review Copyright August 2000, Susan Bailey-Halaney

   This is what Susan says of herself: Born 1952 in St. Louis Missouri, I've had plenty of time to acquire lots of life experience. The daughter of a US Marine, I grew up living all over the US: Illinois, Virginia, California, Louisiana, Texas, and New Jersey. Out of college I became a registered nurse, specializing in ICU and critical care. I pursued my artistic side as a stained glass artist designer. I am the mother of three wonderful young men. In 1990 I was widowed. Became disabled in 1997 giving me time to read. Can anyone imagine not reading?

   A wannabe writer, I am an avid reader. I most like fiction that informs me about something, and above all is enjoyable. I find people highly interesting both psychologically and sociologically. Give me a peek at what makes a believable character tick, show me some cultural dynamics, sweep me off to a place out of my safe little world, teach me anything, or make me think, add thrills and chills, and I'll get my own cup of java and be in heaven.

by Ilene Sirocca

Title: Sleeper, Awake
Author: Dr. Bob Rich
Genre: Science Fiction
Copyright, 2000 Dr. R. Rich


   When beautiful, wealthy actress Flora Fielding had herself placed in suspended animation, she expected to be revived during the twenty-first century so that her breast cancer could be cured. Instead, she is shocked to find herself awakened almost fifteen hundred years later. A cataclysm has caused huge climatic and geographic changes. A benevolent central computer, Artif, which is connected to every mechanical device in existence, now manages the planet. Earth's one million inhabitants are also tied to Artif, and to one another, through brain implants, but all human beings have free will. Technological wonders abound, including people's ability to project complete sensory images of themselves to many places at once. Flora learns that no child is ever born until a member of the population either dies naturally or accidentally or decides to "hand on" her place in the world to a new baby.

   Now, however, a problem has arisen. Control, the governing body of Earth, has been debating whether Flora and a hundred and twenty-two other "sleepers" should be left in suspended animation, taken off life support, or awakened and welcomed into society. The Control members are deadlocked, and when Flora is sufficiently accustomed to the world she will be asked to advise them in deciding the fate of her fellow sleepers. She must ponder this while dealing with the possibility that her cancer may not be curable.

   As the novel progresses, Flora comes to know and love several of Earth's inhabitants. Abel T'Dwuna and Mirabelle Karlsen, the President and Deputy President of control, share a son but disagree on every subject. Their twelve-year-old son, Tamás, is just beginning to earn "credentials" through acts of physical and mental prowess so that he may one day attract women as a potential father for their children. Souda Ramirendo and Kiril Lander share a child too, but Kiril, an adventurer and inventor with many credentials, is also an anomaly; he is plagued by jealousy, a trait unknown except in youngsters. This failing leads to a violent act, and Flora and her friends must try to save Kiril from disaster.

   Flora faces physical and mental challenges, but she is a somewhat passive protagonist because of her health. Abel, Kiril, and Tamás provide most of the action, and there are lots of thrills and chills as they and other male characters scale mountains, ride bulls, and navigate stormy seas. The women are strong and independent, loving and inspiring the men who may soon father their children. The story brims with fascinating, sometimes controversial theories about our present and future. Dr. Rich, who writes with compassion and irony, has fashioned a rather complicated plot, and the reader may occasionally feel as overwhelmed as Flora does upon awakening. Still, the tale moves swiftly and is filled with charm, tenderness, and excitement.

   And the scenic descriptions are fabulous.

   Ilene has reviewed all my works of fiction to date. She reviews exclusively for the Running River Reader, and over the months of our contact, I have learned a lot from her. If she doesn't like a book, she doesn't publish a review. She always finds the good things to mention, and suggests some worthy points of improvement.

   I have tried to copy Ilene in my approach to reviewing, as you will find if you go to my review site: Bob's Book Reviews.

   Ilene is an avid e-book reader and earns her living from singing in nightclubs. This is despite the fact that she has been blind since birth.

by Jeanne Allen

The following review appeated in the Ivy Quill Reviews:

Title Sleeper, Awake
Author Dr. Bob Rich
Cover Art A.L. Sirois
Genre Science Fiction
Format Electronic
Reviewer Jeanne Allen, Ivy Quill Reviews

   Sleeper, Awake is a captivating account about Flora Fielding, a woman of great wealth who lived during the 21st Century. She has opted to be placed in suspended animation with the plan that in the near future, she will be awakened when a cure for her breast cancer is found. And awakened she is, but it's over 1400 years later, and Auntie Em, this ain't Kansas anymore!

   It's not that the people of this time aren't kind and attentive to her, but Flora must make some adjustments to her way of thinking. A motherly entity named Artif seems to be everywhere, and after Flora receives her implant, she learns that Artif is even inside people's minds. People come and go "in the physical" or as virtual images, clothing optional. Objects and people float about in seeming defiance of gravity. Flora must adapt to a hot climate--an extreme greenhouse effect, caused by us, by the way--and the Earth has a vastly different geography due to the Great Cataclysm of an earlier century.

   A man's worth seems to depend on the number of death-defying acts he has accomplished. This seems to be a viable outlet for male aggression, for acts of violence against one another are unheard of in this time. That is, until now when a young man named Kiril acts in fit of jealous rage. Control, Earth's governing body, has no idea how to handle the situation, so they consult with Flora, assuming she can help, because the society she had lived in was well-known for its brutality.

   Yes, it's a mighty strange world into which Flora has awakened. Her presence has tilted the population to more than one million, the maximum number allowed by Control at one time. Control allows her to live, but under the condition that she help them with the problem of what to do with the other 122 Sleepers. Flora must make a "Sophie's Choice" type of decision regarding their fate.

   I found myself reacting along with Flora to the strange world in which she found herself--with cultural and technological shock, but Flora acclimates to her new surroundings with a clear head, curiosity, and courage. The people who awakened her are just as curious about her--like us being able to communicate with an ancient mummy come to life, I suppose--and they quickly become close friends, helping Flora adjust to her new setting and tending to her illness. But people of this time don't get cancer anymore, and they are at a loss on how to treat it until their scientists begin working on a cure.

   In this story, Dr. Rich has fleshed out well-rounded, very human characters. Though of a different time and place, Flora's new friends bear close likenesses to people we encounter in our everyday lives. Flora discovers that Kiril feels deep remorse for having injured another. And two members of Control -- its vain, headstrong leader Abel and the compassionate, though overly protective Mirabelle -- who share custody of their young son, are in constant disagreement over how he should be brought up.

   Sleeper, Awake contains insightful messages about living in a world where racial boundaries are nonexistent; about relationships between family members, friends and lovers; and, most poignantly, perhaps, it's about Flora's soul-searching journey as she comes to a new understanding about the cycle of life and death.

   If you relish thoughtful, imaginative speculations about what our future may bring, you won't regret taking the time to read Sleeper, Awake by Dr. Bob Rich!

by Stephen Mazey

8 out of 10

   As the title suggests, this is a book concerns a person waking from cryogenic sleep far into the future. Okay this is a familiar SF concept and one that you may think has been explored unto the point where nothing more can be said. However, the sleeper is just a small part of this tale. It is the introductory device that allows the author to show us his version of the future of mankind.

   Flora Fielding is a former movie actress, a very wealthy woman, who decides to enter cryogenic sleep upon discovering she has uncurable cancer, so she can be awakened in the future when her disease is curable. When she awakes she finds she is in a completely different world. There is a strictly controlled population, only one million people and people interact by means of an implant which allows the projection of images so that interaction in the physical sense is rare.

   This is a world where men continuously try to prove themselves worthy of being selected to reproduce through skill, achievement and trials of great daring. And where everyone is linked to a world spanning computer system called Artif who helps control even bodily functions. Bob Rich's personal views concerning the enviroment are very evident throughout this work although by no means to the detriment of the book. This is a highly polished, well constructed work that gives the reader a glimpse into Bob Rich version of mankind's destiny. It is not a story high in action content, this is far more SF in the vein of Asimov where the ideas are all important than of Heinlein's militaristic aggressive style but with Asimov my favourite SF author I certainly wasn't complaining.


Steve & Lesley Mazey

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