Young Adult - Fantasy - General
308 Pages
Reviewed on 09/01/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

G. Gene Black was born in the town of Greensburg, Indiana.

His writings began as short stories made available on social media where followers urged him to pursue the art of screenwriting. He's been a freelance writer and songwriter since 2008; as an artist he does oil on canvas and enjoys playing piano. He currently resides in California where he's working on his next screenplay and novel.

In 2016, he completed the screenplay musical Piper, which was followed by the novel. He's a member of the Production Arts Group in Los Angeles and the International Screenwriters' Association. His genre has been Fiction/Fairy Tales, Legends & Mythology, as well as musical -— live or animation within the family sub genre.


The Piper trilogy was seeded in July of 2009 by StoryStalker®, a pseudonym and character the author created. The title itself inspired the creation of the Old Crow, who's the antagonist in Piper; a witch turned pirate who stalks stories.

"I stumbled upon the idea for a plot."

The plot of, No More Stories, was further inspired by historical letters and writings by Jonathan Swift c. 1712, the "Curiousities of London" by John Timbs—D. Bouge, London, c. 1855 and their haunting stories of the Grub within London:

Do you know that Grub Street is dead and gone last week? No more ghosts or murders now for love or money. I plied it pretty close the last fortnight and published at least seven penny papers of my own, besides some of other people's; but now every single half sheet pays a half penny to the queen. The Observator is fallen; the Medlays we jumbled together with the Flying Post, the Examiner is deadly sick; the Spectator keeps up and doubles its price; I know not how long it will hold. Have you seen the red stamp the papers are marked with? Methinks the stamping it is worth a half penny.—Jonathan Swift (August 7, 1712) [Project Gutenberg: The Journal To Stella; London, Methuen & Co. 1901]
Beyond those scattered influences, there was not a straightforward attempt at parody or historical fiction; but history does leave a story in its wake.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Timothy Rags, or Taylor as he liked to be called, is a detective. He’s on a sabbatical of sorts, imposed by his employers. He’s been sent to de-stress in a tiny village, Kipper’s Cove. Stumbling out of a storm into a quaint store, he discovers a book which the owner, Samuel, lends him. Back at his lodgings, Taylor immerses himself in the book and finds himself swept into another world, another time, in a tiny village called Thyme on the river Thymes. And Samuel’s there too, as is the lovely landlady’s daughter, Ms. Gibson. The year is now 1712, about three hundred years before Taylor’s time, and the Samuel and Ms. Gibson of this century share the story of an adventure filled with the power of music and the power of the written word, a story that makes the reader believe they’ve fallen down the rabbit hole with Alice, or flown off with the fairy Tinkerbell to Never-Never Land. The reader is certainly presented with a tale full of wonder and extraordinary events, extraordinary people and creatures, and extraordinary places.

With an evil witch set to steal all of the stories and a child who escapes her evil ways to become a magical piper capable of weaving musical spells, G. Gene Black’s debut fantasy, Piper, exudes charm, adventure, and the magic and power of both music and the written word. The story takes the reader through a myriad of plots and sub-plots with expertise and grace. This story is a real classic, one to capture the hearts of young and old alike for generations.

Ruffina Oserio

Piper by G. Gene Black is an intriguing story set against the period of the advent of printing, a period when the printed word was magical. But it’s the prevalence of piracy at the time that will intrigue readers even more. Timothy Rags stumbles on a very interesting story involving the legendary piper, Piper, and the pirate witch known as the Crow, a woman filled with deadly caprices who is out for printed stories of her mischievous ways. She’ll stop at nothing, and when she can’t get her way, she prepares a plan that could bring untold misery to many. Who can outwit her?

I enjoyed the lyrical, light, and beautiful prose. For instance:
“The birds and the ducks
and the maidens, both too;
all dance to the tune
as the piper plays through.”

Then there is descriptive and vivid prose that can’t be ignored at all, the kind of prose that offers readers beautiful scenes and powerful images, while making their hearts keep pace with the fast rhythm of the plot. Piper by G. Gene Black is a well-crafted work, a semblance of a fairy tale that fans of Peter Pan will find utterly appealing. I loved the characters, even the cat seems to blend in with the environment. This is a story that will grab the interest of both young and young at heart readers. A fascinating read, indeed!

Kathryn Bennett

Piper by G. Gene Black takes us into a fantasy realm and introduces us to Timothy Rags, a modern day detective who is in love with the past. In 1712 he finds the story of Kaprina and Piper, orphans who find themselves growing up in the wild. In the first part of the adventure, you will find yourself in the golden age of pirates in the village of Thymes, where an old witch who has turned pirate is a feared force among all of the pirates. As Piper with his magical music embark on a journey, there is sure to be conflict and more adventures than you can count.

Music, magic, adventures, and pictures - what else could you possibly ask for when you are looking for a book? This book is geared toward young adults, and it will certainly fit that age group, but even adults can dive into the richness of this story. G. Gene Black has created a rich and colorful set of characters that you will enjoy. The unique way this story is laid out is like a play, and each act has its own feeling to it. If the story and wonderful, brave characters like Piper aren't enough, you even get a list of music. I don't want to give too much away, but this was an entertaining read. You will want to read it to find out if good can triumph over evil, or if everything is lost.

Rabia Tanveer

Piper by G. Gene Black is set in 1712, when Printing Press has just begun to weave its magic of stories and books. People love a good story and young siblings, Piper and Kaprina, are just like everyone. However, what they do not know is that an old witch named Old Crow is trying to control the press. She is a pirate who is trying to create the Book of Mischief. People fear her and she thrives on it. She has a grand scheme and if she fulfills it, there will be No More Stories for anyone. What would the world be like if there were no stories and no adventure? Where would the magic come from if we don’t have books and stories?

This is a story to love. Although the writer mentions that this book is best for children 9 and up, I believe that this book can be read to children below this age limit. They will love it because it has magic, it has action, it has heroes, and it has a witch. All in all, this novel has the perfect balance and mix of things that we love about novels and what we cherish. Black has written it really well and the illustrations were really cool. They added life to the novel, and, mixed with the songs and the music list, this novel was wonderful. I would love to read it with the songs playing in the background; this would also make a great school play for entertainment. It deserves 5 stars and more! It was incredible.

Jacquie smith

I like the style of GGeneBlack's writing. I was constantly amazed by the wonderful imagination and delivery of his stories. I found myself rooting for Piper and wondering what sort of fix he would be in next. I certainly enjoyed reading Piper and would recommend it to anyone wanting a fun read.