Tag Archives: science fiction

Reaching the Horizon: Tabitha tells how she got there…

Interview with Tabitha Lord, author of Horizon.

Bouncing Tigger: Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

Tabitha Lord: I’ve joked that I currently write science fiction because of Star Wars, but there’s actually some truth behind this! I was seven years old when I saw the movie for the first time and it impacted me in countless ways—from my toy collection, to the books I chose to read, to my later love of astronomy. My tastes in reading are diverse, and some of my other works-in-progress are varied and span different genres, but sci-fi is like the default setting for my imagination. It’s where I go when I want to be inspired, to play with possibilities, to ask what if, and then create brand new worlds where I can explore the answers. For me, the sci-fi genre is also a place to consider serious, meaningful issues in a different context, slightly removed from the real world.

With Horizon, I wanted to explore the idea of what would happen if one segment of an already small isolated population evolved differently (either naturally or by design) from the other. What if some had gifts that enabled them to imagine a different kind of future for themselves and their world? What if they were empathic and could sense each other’s emotions and thoughts? What if some of them could heal with their mind? How would the unchanged people feel about their neighbors? It created such an interesting premise I knew I had to find a way to make it into a story.  In many ways, Horizon is a traditional space opera, complete with battle scenes, adventure, and romance, but I think this initial concept sets it apart and gives it a unique flavor.

Bouncing Tigger: How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Tabitha Lord: For Horizon, the idea mentioned above swirled in my head for years before I started writing. Once I had the first chapter down, I created a rough outline for the rest of the story, and then for the whole series.

When I’m in the middle of a draft, I keep a notebook with me everywhere. Sometimes an idea for a scene will come to me while I’m driving or cooking or folding laundry. I have to stop whatever I’m doing and capture it! Sometimes other ideas for completely different projects will sneak in, and I write these down as well, but then I warn them they have to wait their turn!

Bouncing Tigger: How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Tabitha Lord: I research as I go along. It’s fun to write sci-fi because you get to invent things! I love naming planets and imagining cool new pieces of technology my characters can use. But readers still have to buy into the world you’re creating. It has to feel authentic and consistent. Caeli’s planet, where the novel opens, is recovering from a devastating war that took place a thousand years ago. Nature has reclaimed most of her world, and when we meet Caeli, she is alone and on the run in the wilderness. I used my own experiences camping, hiking, and growing up in a rural area to bring a credible feel to these scenes. I have actually carved my own utensils from chunks of wood with a pocketknife!

Bouncing Tigger: What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Tabitha Lord: For my writing, in general, I regularly use a thesaurus! The internet is also my friend. When Derek’s spaceship crashed, I looked up schematics for fighter jets so I could understand a little about the systems at work in the engines and controls. My anatomy background is pretty strong, but when Caeli heals Derek, I still called my brother-in-law, a doctor, to make sure she was treating his collapsed lung correctly.

Bouncing Tigger: How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Tabitha Lord: Ah, rejection letters! I think I accumulated about twenty-five. The thing about rejections, once you recover from the sting, is that they can sometimes be helpful. If your manuscript isn’t polished enough, you may need to work with an editor. If the story isn’t pulling people in quickly, you may need to spice up your opening chapters. Usually there is a common thread, and if you are open to hearing it, you can make adjustments and move forward. My first round of rejections, which included one R&R (rewrite and resubmit), suggested that I had a good story, but the manuscript needed more work. I hired an editor, and after months of rewriting, I queried again. This time I had more success and was offered contracts from two small presses.

Bouncing Tigger: Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

Tabitha Lord: No. But after receiving the offers, I opted not to sign, and began to seriously look at independent publishing. At this point, it became mostly a business decision. For a modest investment on my part up front, I could surround myself with professionals of my choosing, bring my own book to market on my own timeline, and create more of a partnership type relationship with the people I worked with. I signed with Wise Ink Creative Publishing and they provided me with an amazing team. I had control over things like who to hire as a cover artist, when I would release the book, and printing and distribution options. And because they are all industry professionals, they wouldn’t let me out the door, so to speak, until my book was in its best form.

Bouncing Tigger: Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Tabitha Lord: I think there are compelling reasons to self-publish. But if you choose this path, it’s an investment. You are essentially starting a small business and you have to treat it as such to be successful. First and foremost your product has to be good, and you have to be willing to invest the time, energy, and funds to make it so. You also have to build an audience, and then promote and market yourself, or be willing to hire others to help you do it. You have to take ownership of it all. For some writer’s, like me, this is exciting. For others, it’s terrifying.

Regardless of whether you are publishing independently, traditionally, or some combination of both, building an audience is key, and, in most cases, this task falls to the writer. Long before Horizon’s release, I established an online presence by creating a website and blog, choosing a few social media platforms and really working them, attending conferences, and joining writing groups. I was building an audience, while at the same time creating a community for myself and learning as much as I could about the publishing industry. Writing is a solitary endeavor, but the writing community is supportive, vast, and surprisingly social!

Bouncing Tigger: Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Tabitha Lord: I’m planning it will! But I have no illusions that it will take some time. Ask me this question again in another year or two!

http://www.tabithalordauthor.com/

@tlordauthor

https://www.facebook.com/tabitha.l.jorgensen

https://www.instagram.com/tabithalord/

 

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Simulate and activate your alternate

Simulation (Bk 2 in series): see PoP Travel

by

Tara Tyler

 

Would you really want life eternal? Just as when asked would I want to go to heaven, I think, hmm –might it not get boring after a while? Once you have done everything and been everywhere, what is there left to do? ‘Course if you are a megalomaniac you can always find some mischief – or can you?

This is really a story about cloning brains and robots and as I have been watching ‘Humans’ on TV, I can see the appeal of all the nice bodies you could have – imagine if you could sculpt away all your bad parts and improve all your good parts. I would be six foot tall, red-haired, slim and very athletic. I would have long slim legs with a nice thigh gap and my breasts would support themselves, I would definitely have a bikini ready body… oh well. I can but imagine what I would look like. But would I want to live that long? No, actually I wouldn’t. If you believe that every day could be your last, then you act as your best person. You do good rather than bad/evil. You assume that you may well die today/tomorrow and thus there will be no time to address your bad bits, no time to right those wrongs. Life eternal could definitely lead to selfish, self-absorbed, moralistically challenged people. You could use your clone (if you were still alive) to do your work, and to do all the things you don’t want to/ couldn’t/ wouldn’t normally, do. And this has got to be bad.

I sort of see why people might want to clone a beloved pet and this is actually now done – there is Britain’s first cloned dog – would normally cost £60,000 (!) but she won a competition for her.Britain_s_first_clone_dog

I found this book amusingly written but not as exciting or innovative as Pop Travel. I am giving this 3.5 stars – .5 for the humour.

 

 

Paranormal babysitting? Teleportation? Whatever next?

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Today’s the day for a dual cover reveal: OF SCIONS AND MEN by Courtney Sloan and GYRE by Jessica Gunn! Both books are in the New Adult category and are being published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Here’s a bit about each book:

OF SCIONS AND MEN by Courtney Sloan (February 22nd, 2016)

Geopolitical babysitting while arresting preternatural killers, it’s just the daily grind for Scion Rowan Brady. Brash and sarcastic, Rowan has sold her life, her career and her very blood to the controlling paranormal ruling class of America, all to make sure her kid brother can eat. Now she uses her powers as a scion to kick the ass of any preternatural creature idiotic enough to break the rules and prey upon humanity without a license. All it costs her is her freedom and a pint or two per week to her new Master.

But juggling her job and duties becomes even tougher when she is tasked with keeping a contingency of diplomats from Canada from getting gnawed on. However, negotiations for an International Blood Exchange are interrupted when bodies start showing up.

Now Rowan must rely on her talent and wit to defend the society she despises to save the lives she’s sworn to protect. But as she stumbles into the truth, she chances becoming a target of not only these killers, but of her own government. With shifters, ghosts, vampires and psychics all watching her, can she stop the killings before she is silenced?

ADD OF SCIONS AND MEN TO GOODREADS HERE

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GYRE by Jessica Gunn (February 1st, 2016)

Trevor couldn’t believe his eyes when Chelsea teleported onto SeaSatellite5. The miracle is Trevor’s absolute worst nightmare. Chelsea is Atlantean, which would be fine if Trevor’s family weren’t Lemurian—enemies of Atlantis.

Then SeaSatellite5 uncovers Atlantean ruins and stumbles into the crosshairs of an ancient war. The Lemurians want the artifacts inside the ruins, and Trevor’s the only one onboard who recognizes the relics for what they really are: Link Pieces, tools used by ancient civilizations to wage their time-travel war.

Chelsea and Trevor must brave the gyre of lies surrounding them. If they can’t, Atlantis will be destroyed forever.

ADD GYRE TO GOODREADS HERE

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Are you ready to see the covers?

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Here we go!

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GYRE & OSAM

PRE-ORDER GYRE HERE!

PRE-ORDER OF SCIONS AND MEN HERE!

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ABOUT COURTNEY SLOAN

Courtney SloanA New Orleans native, Courtney Sloan relocated to the hills of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina. There she lives with her husband and fellow author, J.P. Sloan, their son and their crazy German Shepherd pup. Adding to her writing life, Courtney is also a professor at the local college and enjoys learning a world of new ideas from her students as she teaches them about writing and communicating. Courtney’s New Orleans upbringing has left her with a love for the macabre and a flare for the next to normal. She writes speculative fiction with a variety of horror and sass mixed in for flavor.

She loves taking the world of politics that haunts us now, and adding the supernatural to create a gumbo of thrills to keep you up at night. A self-proclaimed lover of way too many fandoms, Courtney also loves crafting. From blankets to jams to stories, it’s always better homemade.

Author Links: Twitter | Website

ABOUT JESSICA GUNN

1951de5Jessica Gunn is a New Adult author and avid science-fiction and fantasy fan. Her favorite stories are those that transport the reader to other, more exciting worlds. When not working or writing, she can be found binge-watching Firefly and Stargate, or feeding her fascination of the ancient world’s many mysteries. Jessica also holds a degree in Anthropology.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Website

Monks, Machines, Saboteurs – just what more is there to add?

THE ACTUATOR 2: RETURN OF THE SABOTEUR, by James Wymore and Aiden James

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Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy Thriller

 

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

 

Date of Release­­: 07/20/15

 

Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design

 

Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

 Description:

 The Machine Monks fight to keep control of the Actuator while enemies attack the base. As besiegers wear them down, the rest of the world struggles to adapt to the chaos left in the wake of the great change. Their only choice is to push forward and find the next key and shutdown the fantasy realm surrounding the base. When they do, Xenwyn will die.

Haunted by the incalculable death toll all over the earth, Jon accepts the mission to recover the next key. Despite his injuries and as much as he hates to leave his newfound love, he refuses to let all of humanity suffer if he can fix it.

Desperate to keep Xenwyn alive, Red determines to find a magical cure before Jon gets back with the key. Each time he takes her across a border, might be the end.

Seeing all his friends in turmoil, Dragon Star sets out to find the saboteur. If the architect of this dark world cannot offer any means of setting things right, he will at least see consequences for the horrors he unleashed.

None of them ever imagined the Actuator could still make the world even worse.

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Moving often as a youth, James Wymore’s family finally settled in the desert paradise of Utah.

James Wymore

He spent a couple years in Korea contemplating the balance of opposing forces. After learning chaos theory in college he found the ideal environment to continue his studies of the uncontrollable, and became a teacher. He earned a Master’s degree before departing from the academic path to seek the greater freedoms of fiction. Still fascinated by the borders of randomness, he now spends his free time playing and creating games with his friends and children.

Although he patiently awaits the Tallest Writer in History award, James Wymore has won several awards for his short stories.

His early books, rumored to have been written as young as sixteen, are forever locked away. Now a published author, he has realized one of his childhood dreams.

In his dwindling free time, he draws a line of death themed comics called Parting Shots. You can see them along with games he makes and his disorderly blog at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com

Social Links: Homepage | Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | Goodreads | Amazon

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Aiden James :  I began writing stories roughly fourteen years ago, after pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter in Denver and later in Nashville.

My writing career could’ve been a brief one, as it started one night when it was my turn to read a bedtime story to my two young sons. Rather than read the ‘Mouse birthday book’ for the umpteenth time, I began a ramble about a mystical world parallel to our own, a world where sinister creatures sought to take a little boy into their hidden lair… forever.

my-picture-for-CQ

My first critical reviews from my young audience were mixed. My youngest child, Tyler, was enthralled about the magical place I created, and eagerly awaited more. However, my oldest, Christopher, thought it was the dumbest tale he had ever heard! Luckily, my wife, Fiona, listened nearby. She thought the idea had potential, although she kept that fact a secret until the following spring, 1997. When she suggested I create a fuller blown version of this story, it marked the beginning of my love affair with writing stories.

I wish I could tell you that the experience has always been a glorious progression, where crafting characters, incredible landscapes with captivating plots, and surprising twists was easy. Far from it. It took nearly three years for me to complete my first novel–based on the bedtime story to my boys who by then were young teenagers—and another two years to decide if I liked it enough to show it to anyone else.

Since then, I have written nine more novels, and presently have five established book series out there, with a brand new sixth series set to start in the fall with Curiosity Quills Press. The first installment of this new series is entitled “The Serendipitous Curse of Solomon Brandt”, and will be a serialized project before it is released as a full book in early 2013. After this series, which explores the true nature of good and evil, who knows what will be on the menu next? Something dark and creepy… Or, perhaps something light and fun?

Definitely, I intend for it to be something well worth your time to check out—Just wait n’ see!

Social Links: Homepage | Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aiden James

 

 

I began writing stories roughly fourteen years ago, after pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter in Denver and later in Nashville. My writing career could’ve been a brief one, as it started one night when it was my turn to read a bedtime story to my two young sons. Rather than read the ‘Mouse birthday book’ for the umpteenth time, I began a ramble about a mystical world parallel to our own, a world where sinister creatures sought to take a little boy into their hidden lair… forever.

 

My first critical reviews from my young audience were mixed. My youngest child, Tyler, was enthralled about the magical place I created, and eagerly awaited more. However, my oldest, Christopher, thought it was the dumbest tale he had ever heard! Luckily, my wife, Fiona, listened nearby. She thought the idea had potential, although she kept that fact a secret until the following spring, 1997. When she suggested I create a fuller blown version of this story, it marked the beginning of my love affair with writing stories.

 

I wish I could tell you that the experience has always been a glorious progression, where crafting characters, incredible landscapes with captivating plots, and surprising twists was easy. Far from it. It took nearly three years for me to complete my first novel–based on the bedtime story to my boys who by then were young teenagers—and another two years to decide if I liked it enough to show it to anyone else.

 

Since then, I have written nine more novels, and presently have five established book series out there, with a brand new sixth series set to start in the fall with Curiosity Quills Press. The first installment of this new series is entitled “The Serendipitous Curse of Solomon Brandt”, and will be a serialized project before it is released as a full book in early 2013. After this series, which explores the true nature of good and evil, who knows what will be on the menu next? Something dark and creepy… Or, perhaps something light and fun?

 

Definitely, I intend for it to be something well worth your time to check out—Just wait n’ see!

 

Social Links: Homepage | Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | Goodreads | Amazon

Pop in, Pop out and go Pop!

PoP Travel

by

Tara Tyler

This is the first book in a series by Tara Tyler. She gave the book to me to read after I obtained the second book in NetGalley for review and suggested I read this first as it sets the scene. And what a scene it is…

Here we see how we will travel in the future. As in Star trek we will be using transporters that break us down into our essential atoms and then put us back together again – hopefully, with everything in the right place! There were a few accidents it is true when they were trying to perfect the concept but now-a-days it was no problem. Or so everyone thought and happily popped around the world time after time after time – much more frequently than was recommended it was true, but then it was all safe – wasn’t it?Star-Trek-Transporter

But some people have doubts. And so does our hero Cooper after he meets Phisner and starts to investigate his missing sister. And then there is the hot agent who is supposed to stop Cooper but…

I really enjoyed reading this story – it ‘popped’ along at a good pace with some interesting concepts in it, even tough one must say not necessarily new ideas. And of course, the conspiracy buffs will have all their fears recognised here, and I do love a good conspiracy myself.

The writing was fresh and clean and accessible. We weren’t overwhelmed with jargon and science as such a book could have done, but were told just enough to understand the theory and principles.

So worth a read and I’m giving it 4 stars. I shall read the next book Simulation shortly and look forward to it.

Cutting you off

The Water knife

By

Paolo Bacigalupi

A NetGalley Review

 

The Southern USA has lost its battle with water profligacy and has become the desert it once was.

The Colorado River is even more embattled than it currently is and water is in such short supply that control over it is maintained by armies of private mercenaries who cut supply to towns as legal battles are waged.colorado 300px-ColoradoTexas_Watershed

This story is an extension of the current situation in the Southern States where already the Colorado River shows signs of running dry as is documented by Peter McBride and the National Smithsonian Magazine.

They say:

The Colorado River is the seventh largest river in the U.S., … It is also one of the most diverted, silted, and heavily litigated rivers in the world. The farmers and residents of the rapidly growing western states rely on the river for irrigation, drinking water, and electricity. This demand has permanently altered the river’s ecology. http://www.petemcbride.com/coloradoriver/

Beginning in the 1920s, Western states began divvying up the Colorado’s water, building dams and diverting the flow hundreds of miles, to Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and other fast-growing cities. The river now serves 30 million people in seven U.S. states and Mexico, with 70 percent or more of its water siphoned off to irrigate 3.5 million acres of cropland.

Climate change will likely decrease the river’s flow by 5 to 20 percent in the next 40 years, says geoscientist Brad Udall, director of the University of Colorado Western Water Assessment. Less precipitation in the Rocky Mountains will yield less water to begin with. Droughts will last longer. Higher overall air temperatures will mean more water lost to evaporation.

The Colorado no longer regularly reaches the sea.

Invasive plants, such as salt cedar and cattails, now dominate the delta, a landscape of seemingly endless mud flats where forests used to stand. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-colorado-river-runs-dry-

When we visited California ourselves we saw the dry and arid dust bowls that were created by the diversions – areas that were once farms in a desert. We also saw Californians watering lawns daily or twice daily in temperatures of over 30 degrees and planting water thirsty plants rather than aloes and agaves and cacti which would survive better as this is their native habitat.  So the outcome proposed in this book is, in many ways, not such an extension of what we can expect to be reality in not so many years in the future.

The self-contained blocks described in the book were an interesting application of modern technology which permits water recycling and conservation – we ourselves could have a grey water system installed from our rainwater conservation but at the present we don’t need to.

And we already see buildings like  the Cascadia Center for Sustainable Design with six stories, 50,000 square feet, that won’t use a single watt of electricity from the grid, nor a drop of water from downtown Seattle – using ground pumps for heating and rainwater.

There is also a set of regulations in existence that govern a living building design but with water being provided by rainwater rather than river water

So the book started well but then got repetitive as we needed to move from what is a very real tomorrow possibility further into the future. I got bored around 50-60% through so I have downgraded this from 4 stars to 3.

 

Enter the Angel when the winds are rising

A review of The oncoming storm: bk 1 in Angel in the Whirlwind series.

by

Christopher Nuttall

This was my first experience of a book by Nuttall – who is quite prolific – and I was impresssed. So much so that I have pre-ordered the next in the series.

Am i getting soft in my choices I wonder? but no, I am not giving this book 5 stars, only 4 but interesting enough in premises and story-line that I wanted to read more.

spaceFar far into our future Earth has been destroyed. Gone through warfare and no-one lives there any more.

Humans have scattered across many worlds – with varying degrees of technological capacity depending on who settled them and what with. Sects and cults are still with us though as are religious wars. Can we never learn? And just what is this new religion, that is so zealous and so reminiscent of a nasty cross between the Taliban and the Roman Catholic Church at the time of the Inquisitors? Inquisitors with torture again and women once more to be forever hidden from view and disregarded and unable to participate in life.

Here we have a story of Galactic wars with a twist. A twist for women. The hero is actualy a heroine. Nice contrast of course with the new religion (I think there is a hint of what it is at the end of the book but I need it confirmed before I write a spoiler, but if I am right, it is just an old religion made new).

In the heroine’s culture women are equal and allowed to fight hand to hand and on the front line. and that gives her an advantage, an edge against this new religion and their leaders s they underestimate her and her capabilities.

She is feisty and strong in intellect even if not funny, and I want to command a space ship too… although being in charge of all those weapons would not suit me – I want to ban the bomb after all…

So yes, I have ordered the next book and wait to find out how the war progresses and just how sneaky women who are locked up can be…(ref Princesses).