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You can’t forget him…
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Thinking Inside the Box / Compelling Science Fiction
Slime&Crime/Fiction River 22
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I just finished “Sarek” an excellent SF novel by Ann. C. Crispin, set in the Star Trek universe.
In these trying times, I need some comfort readings, which I get from some Star Trek novels.
I just finished Sarek, (a story with Spock’s dad), a tale with finesse and a touch of Pon Farr that enriches the universe of the original series. (I ignored the ST reboot at the cinema). There, we meet Amanda in depth, and learn about her love affair with Sarek. The novel shows up this Vulcans are not walking cold computers, not perfect, but people with their own emotions, tradition clashes, preferences, disagreements. But they settle their difference in a more zen manner.
As with “Vulcan Heart” by Josepha Sherman (another fine writer we lost in 2012) and Susan Shwartz (many thanks to you!), this reading leaves me with a strong impression that our humanity, sick with conspirators, hate groups, anti-vaccines and anti-science, would need Vulcans (and also the Bene Gesserit, but that’s another universe). Just the basic control of emotions and the philosophy would prevent many problems from even happening (what’s the logic in despising dark-skinned persons?) in addition to cleaning up most prejudices.
The only flaw in this book, alas, is that we can no longer thank its author … Ann Carol Crispin left to count the stars in 2013. It’s a shock when it is a contemporaneous author who disappears.
Has the same thing happened to you? What was your most shocking experience? Please, share your testimony, because I haven’t found my zen state yet. So many writers to be grateful to, so little time!
Fortunately, Ann C. Crispin and the other departed writers have left many books behind, like a trail of excellent chocolate chips leading to the stars!
StoryBundle was created by Jason Chen to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price.
Discover the YA MegaBundle!
The YA MegaBundle organizer, Anthea Sharp, explains her motivation to link readers and writers with a super ebook deal. I met Andrea in 2016 and she is a talented musician as well as a writer. So I was delighted to be included in the Bundle with my YA SF novel Clouds of Phoenix!
A Word from the YA MegaBundle Curator
“I love connecting authors with one another, and with readers. This huge multi-genre project is a perfect chance to benefit a good cause (children’s literacy) and bring a little brightness into the world—for parents and teens alike—during this difficult time.
We’ve gathered a truly exceptional collection of YA books for you in a range of SF/F genres. Whether you’re looking for a pulse-pounding action in space, a witchy urban fantasy mystery, or a sweeter tale of unicorns and magic, this MegaBundle delivers.
And not only are these 28 books packed with fabulous adventure, the bundle itself is an amazing deal. In the spirit of generosity and providing hope, authors have included books that, combined, would cost over $50 if bought at regular retail price. Half the MegaBundle profits will go to Mighty Writers, a non-profit organization benefiting children’s literacy that is also doing some important food security outreach right now for the disadvantaged population it serves. Check out more at Mightywriters.org.
Pay what you want! Since money is tight for a lot of people, we’ve set the floor of this bundle at a mere dollar, but if you’re in a position to spend a little more for this great collection, please do. It’s worth it.
So scoop up this bundle, get over two dozen novels (including award-winning books from NYT and USA Today bestselling authors), AND make the world a better place. What are you waiting for?”
– Anthea Sharp
The line up
For this special YA MegaBundle, you get all 28 books for a price you name, in multiple formats—WORLDWIDE
- Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
- Night of the Hidden Fang by T. James Logan
- Under My Skin by Shawntelle Madison
- Beautiful Demons – Books 1-3 by Sarra Cannon
- Blazing Blunderbuss by Nix Whittaker
- Clouds of Phoenix by Michèle Laframboise
- Fighting the Morrigan’s Hand by Meyari McFarland
- The Black Opal by Linda Jordan
- Faery Novice by Leslie Claire Walker
- Tiffany Tumbles by Kristine Grayson
- Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider
- With Perfect Clarity by Jamie Ferguson
- Faery Unexpected by Deb Logan
- The Falconer by Darcy Pattison
- The Sphere of Infinit yby Day Leitao
- One Bad Wish by Bonnie Elizabeth
- Faster by Annie Reed
- Atlantis Riptide by Allie Burton
- Running Wide Open by Lisa Nowak
- The McCall Initiative – Episodes 1-3 by Lisa Nowak
- Blades Of Magic: Crown Service Book #1 by Terah Edun
- Unicorn Magic by Roz Marshall
- Hadrian’s Flight by J. Daniel Sawyer
- Stars & Steam by Anthea Sharp
- The Dark Realm by Anthea Sharp
- Starstruck by Brenda Hiatt
- Faelorehn by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
- The Finding by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi) for all books!
It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.
The StoryBundle blog has all the details.
Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.
PAY WHAT YOU WANT, dollar edition! 28 wonderful YA books (over $50 retail value), starting at one dollar for the entire bundle. You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine!
HOURS, NAY, WEEKS, OF GREAT READING – Thousands of pages worth of adventure, magic, dragons, spaceships, love, fairies, computer gaming, feuds, mysteries, and more await.
HELP A GREAT CAUSE – 50% of the profits go to support Mighty Writers, a children’s literacy charity who are also doing important food security outreach during this difficult time.
AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE direct from StoryBundle. Plus easy directions on how to get the YA MegaBundle of books onto your e-reader of choice.
DRM-FREE BOOKS: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM*.
Make the world, and your life, better – whether you’re hooking your teen reader up, reading for your own pleasure, or both!
My last argument: this YA Megabundle is an even better deal than my summer garage sales!
Michèle Laframboise (aka the Sunday Artist) in her quest for cheap good reads!
*Digital Rights Management, restricting the format and sharing of the books.
Worlds on the brink of apocalypse, or already there.
Nature’s wrath and dominion over humanity, and humanity’s folly incarnate.
Dark magic, terrifying tech, greed, ravaged environments, rare courage and grim hope in lost cities and fallen worlds.
Brave new worlds or last best hopes — Dare you glimpse the future?
Here Be Brave new Worlds – 13 SF & fantasy futuristic stories, novellas and novels, collected by U.K. author A. L. Butcher. I have read some stories by J.D. Brink, Rob Jeshonek and Leah Cutter previously, and their stories are a fine level.
My contribution is the dystopian story Ice Monarch.
Come and get it, on the main platforms!
I did it again!
I am researching for a SF novel in preparation (the specifics I keep to myself for now) and, one interesting site after one fascinating site, found out that time compressed itself and most of the afternoon had fled down the rabbit hole!
I do not know if my scientific formation aggravates this time-sink habit. I hold a Master degree in geography, and so many aspect of macro-ecology do hold my interests!
Plus, even the very day-to-day concerns penetrates my Serious Writer mode. From the over-usage of single-used plastics that keep turning up in the remotest places or the oceans, to the waste of my own pens and stylus, to the upcoming Great Backyard Bird Count, and my own, heart-warming geek love Valentine day short-story…
So, all those tiny bits cluttered like a planet aggregation process, dissolving my focus. Already 16h00?
As I mentioned previously, most of what I ‘m noting right now won’t ever make it to the novel you’ll read somewhere in the next year. Some of those, if I can’t place it in the novel, will turn up, greatly compressed, in one or two exploratory short-stories, set in the same universe.
What I will NOT do is integrating all that painstaking-ly gathered tidbits into the novel itself, under the form of some extra-large infodump, (or a rather lengthy explanation by a secondary character that will get killed in the next chapter).
Research as an iceberg
See research as the hidden part of the iceberg. What floats if what the reader experiences. If you tried to pull more of the iceberg over the water level, like I did in my first books (fortunately Daniel Sernine, my editor of the time, detected it) you would end up with an indigestible lump of details that weights down the storytelling.
Yes, I was one of those very interested in sharing all those cute details!
Yes it is soooo tempting to have your characters stop on a ridge and describe the wondrous landscape in excruciating details, over two or four pages! It is more palatable if the description is shorter, and punchy, like this one from a WIP:
The dunes went on and on, a pale sandbox barely contained by a row of angry mountains, each chipped and corroded summit vying for predominance.
Most of the research iceberg must stay invisible!
Solution is not dilution!
To keep our focus, it’s good to set limits, to avoid diluting our attention.
One solution in time management is to do the research after you complete writing a certain set number of words for the day. This is Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s method to limit the time spent in research. She also manage to get her research done before writing the novel, while she’s finishing the previous book.
Not the way of Dean Wesley Smith, who does his research as he writes, because some cool factoids will influence the story telling. I know it happened to a short-story I was researching for.
One obvious solution is to restrain the time passed on the social platforms. Or retire completely from social media in a period of rush. Julie E. Czerneda mentions it.
My own is setting a timer. Sometimes the amount of time is not enough and I prolong the time. Still work to do.
Or I use this experience to write a blog entry.
TL;DR : I lost time surfing the web for my research. Some remedies may apply
I participate in the Winter Holiday Spectacular 2019, an initiative from authors Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, uniting 35 Christmas stories in various moods: mysteries, romantic stories set around the 25th of December, and winter stories exploring other traditions or special days. My own story “Winter Pariah” celebrates the winter solstice, the Great Christmas Bird Count, and our troubled humanity, in a combination filled with hope and wonder.
Winter PariahGenre/Mood: quiet
For the actual solstice, I decided to give you “Winter Pariah,” a story that takes place in the thin light of the shortest day of the year.
Michèle Laframboise takes us birding, something I have never done, and creates marvelous characters along the way. Michèle writes in both English and her native French. She also illustrates much of her fiction. Multi-talented doesn’t begin to describe her.
Her award-winning fiction includes nineteen different novels (in both languages), and over forty-five short stories, three of which have appeared in Fiction River (and two reprinted in Fiction River Presents) with more to come. She writes about birding quite often, including a series about Amanda Byrd (whom you will meet here). A collection of Byrd stories will appear shortly. Find out when, and view some bird pics at michele-laframboise.com.
Michèle is a bird watcher herself. In fact, the last time she was here in Las Vegas, she and another writer/birder discovered a part of the city I had never heard of, where they saw some birds (maybe even life birds) that I hadn’t heard of either.
I simply don’t have the patience to stand outside and wait. (I can hear my husband laughing right now.) I would have to bring a book, which defeats the entire purpose of watching. So I’ll experience birding vicariously. On the page. Which is where I prefer to experience many things.
Enjoy this delicate little story on this, the shortest day of the year.
As the summer heat and Canada Day are upon us, most of you are looking for a place to spend your vacations… and for good science fiction adventure books to read!
So I look forward to dive into refreshing novels.
The choices are so much diverse than when I was a teenager looking for space adventures, and finding only guy’s adventures. I would say “white guy’s adventures” but in the 80s, male characters were on their way of getting more diverse, not so the female characters… (There were notable exceptions, and books from Ursula K. LeGuin that I didn’t know existed at the time.)
When I dip into the waters of an enthralling story (like The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal ) and explore its depths, forgetting all about the outside world. It feels like this:
When you emerge from a powerful and moving story, gratitude floods you, along with a faint regret of having finished the book… but there are many other waiting!
And, speaking of good books…
The Space Travelers StoryBundle reunites several wonderful writers, and I am proud to be a part of it with one novel (Clouds of Phoenix, featuring a disabled heroine on planet Phoenix) and one short-story (Closing the Big Bang) in the Space Travelers Anthology.
This StoryBundle is a joint promotion that gets 10 very affordable books in your hands, and helps you discover new writers along the way.
More details about how the Space Travelers StoryBundle works for you are explained in last week’s blog entry. The gist is: you pay what you want for the ebooks, and they will get into your reading device, whatever formatting you use. This helps the writers get new readers.
As for discovering new authors, I already knew Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, and they are entertaining and never dull. I discovered Robert J. Jeschonek, Lindsay Buroker and Leigh Saunders for their short-stories in anthologies.
However, I will discover Kristine Smith (I met her in 2006 at a convention) with this StoryBundle.
I can’t wait to dive into those new, exciting novels!
Discover new frontiers!
When social medias and distributors force writers to shell out more and more money to promote their books, the quest for visibility spurs an unhealthy competition among writers. Getting readers to discover us is a challenge.
So, bundling e-books is a creative, cooperative way for writers to promote each other, and to get good books to SF readers.
The Space Travelers Story Bundle regroup ten science fiction books, novels and anthologies curated by KK Rusch. This collective promotion effort makes you discover new writers and get a taste of their work.
I have read stories from, and met in person, half of the authors participating in this bundle. If you are a Star Trek afficionado, you will love Robert Jeschonek! And I have read in KK Rusch’s Retriveal artist series and Dean Wesley Smith’s Seeder’s universe. However, I still have to discover the Grand Theft Starship Anthology!
Yet, there is not only one Laframboise in this bundle, but two! One of my SF stories has been re-published in the Fiction River Presents #9: Space Travelers.
How the StoryBundle works:
All information can be found on the StoryBundle website, but here are three distinct advantages for passionate readers:
- YOU choose how much you pay for the bundle, either basic (four novels, befinning at 5$) or extended (beginning at 15$) which makes it advantageous
- YOU control the percentage of your price that will go to StoryBundle and to the authors (the default is 30%/70%)
- YOU can opt in to give 10% to a charity featured. Able Gamers helps adapt video games for people living with various disabilities (like my son said yesterday, can you imagine a color-blind person playing a game?)
Not only do you help authors, but you can share the Space Travelers Bundle to help others discover new books. Four of those books are new works, exclusive to this Bundle.
Your three-week mission is to help promote this wonderful summer reading Bundle around you.