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Tag Archives: Sci-fi

A Busy Month

Books are coming!

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The Scarab Necklace will be out this weekend. A novella in the Illicit Gains series, it follows Samantha as she shifts from mousy assistant to the heroine, Becca Blake, into a self assured woman. And it just takes a little assistance from a magical artifact to do it. Never mind that the artifact has some nasty side effects.

Then I should be getting edits back for Witch’s Stand early next week. Another week to edit, and it will be published by (I hope) the end of the month, or beginning of May.

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In May I have Witch’s Sight (a prequel to the Witch’s Trilogy) and Mirror (a prequel to the Illicit Gains series) coming out.

I have a few ideas for a June release as well. I’m not sure if it’s going to be an anthology, or a stand alone yet, but I have a few things that I’ve been working on. I do have a lot of science fiction short stories from the Bradbury Challenge to polish and publish. I will be doing that in June or July.

I should probably put up  calendar of expected publications, because I have several more that will be happening up until October.

I have been working hard finishing up a few new stories to get up on amazon, and on getting healthy again. I really can’t wait to share some of these new stories with everyone.

And, just a reminder, if you’d like to read the short stories I’ve been writing for the Bradbury Challenge then you can sign up for my newsletter. I have managed to send six short stories this year, and there will be more in the comming months as we continue with our challenge.

I’ll be honest, I felt a little down the last few days because of how much this bronchitis had been limiting me, but after thinking about what I’ve accomplished the last few weeks, and what I’m going to be able to do the next couple months because of it, I’m rather proud of myself. I didn’t give up, even when my body was literally attacking itself from within, and I have something awesome to show for it.

So keep an eye out for the new books.

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Posted by on April 6, 2016 in On Writing, Updates

 

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Is Science Fiction Offensive?

Yesterday I posted some links to articles that I found interesting to read, or I thought other people would enjoy. This included a link to an article about the 100 must read sci-fi novels, and how the author, Lutgendorff, thought the list was filled with sexist and offensive books. Simon gave an interesting comment and I started to write my thoughts on the matter. After 300 words or so I thought it would be best if I wrote another blog post.

About half way through the article Lutgendorff brings up a version of the Bechdel test and states that almost all of the books failed. Her standard is a little stricter then the original (at least two women, one in a lead roll, with jobs other then traditionally female roles) but I don’t think many of the books listed would have passed the original test either (has at least two women who talk to each other about something other then men.)

I also agree with her that from today’s view point a lot of the books on this list could be shockingly offensive, especially if you are looking for those offensive things. There are books with rape, incest, and mandatory orgies. (Game of thrones is on this list people! It’s incredibly offensive.)

Before we go on lets just remember that this list was nominated by 5,000 fans and voted on by 60,000. The editors did toss out some of the nominations (because they were young adult, horror, didn’t fit criteria, etc) but otherwise it was all fan made. 60,000 people said this was the top 100 books in SF, not a small group of hetero white men.

Most hardcore science fiction fans will talk about the science in a world, world building, government, technology, and maybe at the bottom of the list will be a discussion about gender and gender politics (unless you’re talking to a trekky as that was very visible in Star Trek). And when we (I say we because I am a HUGE! science fiction nerd) tell you which novels are the best in our genre we are going to point to a lot of classics that shaped the world, changed thinking, or shaped the genre as a whole. This will include novels that might be offensive by today’s standards. In fact sometimes a book that is offensive will shape the world MORE than a book that is completely inoffensive.

Also, keep in mind that many of the books on the list were written before 1970, before female liberation and equality movements. And some of the books she described as offensive were MEANT to be offensive. Take Thomas Covenant who rapes a girl in the first book of that series. It is meant to be jarring and offensive because he is an anti-hero. In later books even he hates himself for what he did and he doesn’t get why people don’t just kill him and be done with it.

And as for her issue with “there are no women in some of these stories”… Okay, she’s right. There aren’t. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good books. If the only offense of the book is that there aren’t female characters in the book, or there are very minor female characters that don’t really contribute to plot, then I don’t find that offensive at all. I’ve read a lot of women’s chick lit that doesn’t have any male characters, or uses men as window dressing for a woman’s fantasies.

I love what one person pointed out in a thread on G+… That the romance genre is guilty of most of the offenses she lists in her. Novels written by women, for women, and filled with all the sexist stuff toward women that Lutgendorff is complaining about. I’ve read books where the main female interest was raped then falls in love with her rapist after being forced to marry him. And it was a very popular book in the romance category.

Going down the list of the 100 top Sci-fi I found myself saying “yes, that’s an awesome book,” and “oh, I can see why that one is on the list.” Time and again they were some of my favorite books growing up, and even now into my adulthood. Books about technological advances, alien creatures, censorship, exploration, and discovery. Amazing books that shaped me into a creative, and curious person who still loves finding out about new things.

Could science fiction use new books that are more female friendly, or directly speak to gender issues? Yes, of course it can. But that doesn’t mean the list of books here is offensive, it just means we have an opportunity to do more.

Science fiction is about exploring the world, the universe, and ultimately ourselves. Exploring gender roles is a wonderful way of doing that, both traditional and more unusual roles, expanding out idea of what is and can be as science fiction has always been known to do.

So yes, I disagree with Ms. Lutgendorff. I don’t find them completely offensive, even if there may have been parts of the books that were offensive when seen through the eyes of 2015. I find the books to be a fair, and wonderful interpretation of the best books in the science fiction genre. And I think we have room for even better books as time continues.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2015 in Review

 

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A long week

It’s been ten days since I started coming down with a cold. I felt drippy, achy, coughy… Ya, it was terrible. Is terrible. It is now day 10 and I still am feeling run down and tired. I finally went to the doctor and she said all I could do was take time to let it run it’s course. I didn’t have a bacterial infection, just a normal virus and there isn’t a cure for that. At least she gave me some strong cough syrup. Maybe I can get my voice back again.

So it’s Tuesday. Usually we have Story Telling Podcast on Tuesdays. Last week we didn’t because Garrett and I were sick. This week I’m sick. I don’t know if they will be doing the hang out tonight, but I literally can’t speak. My voice is entirely gone. I was told not to talk at all. So I’m talking with my fingers through the keyboard.

2015-02-13 21.55.24I think part of the reason I’m still sick after ten days is that I spent the weekend at Radcon having fun with Gregg and Trish. I even sold a book! It was kind of awesome. Here are some pictures from the con!

There was so much to see. So many people dressed up as their favorite characters, or just fighting. Even some fire dancing. We went to a few panels and did a lot of shopping. Learned a lot.

Next year I plan to go again. In fact Gregg and I want to make cons a regular part of our lives and try to hit three of them a year. We live in a great area for it. There are tons of conventions near Seattle. RadCon and NorWes con are the two we are definitely going to go to. The third might be the “lets experiment until we find the one where we belong.”

Because that is what we both found at Radcon… we belonged. Or rather it really felt like it. I am terrible at talking to random people, and yet while at RadCon I couldn’t help but just talk to people and tell them how nice their outfit was, or how great their paint was. I couldn’t help sharing my fangirl over a certain comic or anime. I was surrounded by people who loved the same things I did, and it was amazing!

If you ever have a chance to go to a convention I suggest you do so. There are tons of them. Some for Sci-fi, some for steam punk, and many for very specific things like Star Trek, Dr Who and Firefly. Find the one that really encompasses your inter fandom and meet people who love what you love.

Just don’t do it while you’re sick if you can help it. That was the only down side to the whole thing and I had to miss out on after parties because of the sickness. Ug!

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2015 in On Writing

 

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Finally Free

I honestly forgot that Twilight Tales was going to be free this weekend, and it will only be free until midnight.

The RingBut, I also found out that “The Ring” is finally price matched as free with the Kobo version. The ring is the start of a short series of short stories. (Each about 5k words long.) The second book, “The Camera“, is also available.

The Illicit Gain’s series tells the story of several mysterious items, each with a strange power that the wielder can use to do some fantastic things. The first book, The Ring, is about the thief who stole those items, and what happens to him. The second, The Camera, is about an old Polaroid camera and a young boy who happens upon it.

Although the items look ordinary, they are far from it.

 

UPDATE:

“Mermaid’s Curse” is now nearly 83,000 words long, and I have 13 of 36 chapters left to edit and rewrite. Let’s see what I can get done in the next couple hours. I also shared another little section of the book if you’d like a sneak peak.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Updates

 

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Stats

It’s been a while since I shared my word count.

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You can see the steady rise of daily word counts. I went from an average of 200 in February  to 500 in April. I’m pushing that even higher this month.

What I’ve noticed….

When I finished a big project (in this case, Osiren’s Tears) I had a sharp drop off in word counts because I ended up spending a lot of time doing edits, cover design, formatting and the other “boring” parts of self publishing. I also had no idea where to start on the 20 projects I have lined up.

When I got a new idea the words just flew out of my finger tips. I ended up with two days over 2000+ words because of two great little ghost story ideas. Similarly, back in March I had a 1000+ day because of a brand new Sci-fi idea that I am still working out the kinks for.

Good news, I’m getting faster. Bad news, I’m going to have to spend a few more days here and there ironing out the “boring” parts of self publishing because I’ll have more content to put out there.

tux2And a teaser for the ghost story….

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Updates

 

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Wool by Huge Howey

I just finished reading “Wool: Omnibus” by Hugh Howey.

This was an amazing read. A post apocalyptic look at a world trapped inside of a silo.

And while I admit that half the reason to continue reading the story is trying to piece together how the world got into this state (nuclear war? Meteor? Disease?) the true story is the examination of how people would react to being stuck in such a small space together, underground, for generations.

Imagine having only a few thousand people stuck inside the empire state building. Not just for a few years, but for generations. Then put the whole thing underground with no sunlight, no fields  no room to grow or expand. What would you have to do to keep them from overpopulating? From killing one another? From over eating or escaping?

And the how of it all… how did the silo start? Now that answer was quite revealing after all…

“Wool” began as one self published short story that took off. Since then Hugh has written several installments and is on “Wool 9” at the moment. He continues to self publish each of his books, though he now goes through a traditional publisher for his over seas sales.

It was a shocker not long ago when Ridley Scott nabbed wool for a movie option. But as Hugh says, just because someone has the option doesn’t mean the movie will be made.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Commentary, Review

 

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