Science Fiction Hugo Awards

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Excitement! The Hugo winners were announced this past Sunday. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie took the prize for best science fiction novel.

Made me happy. (See my March 12 blog that comments on the novel)

Ancillary Justice

Also, winner for best novelette is Mary Robinette Kowal for her “the Lady Astronaut of Mars.” Mary is formerly from the Northwest and keeps in touch. Recently, she was at Powell’s bookstore for a signing…and puppet show. Mary is an accomplished puppeteer also. She was reading from her recent novel, Without a Summer. Mary writes in the Jane Austen style and milieu, but adds steampunk magic to her stories. In fact there are rumors that she’s Jane Austen who has time traveled to the present day. Compare the photos of Jane and Mary at the end of the blog. Eerily alike?

But it’s only a rumor. *wink* I promised not to tell.

Charming and energetic, she was delightful company during a small dinner afterwards. She told us of plans that scheduled her to drive to a signing in Gresham the next day, and later that night she was meeting friends in Portland. It seems TOR authors do quite a bit of traveling. She is also the Vice President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Hmmm…

Shades of summerAs much as I like Mary and wish her well, I notice a strong presence of TOR, Orbit and Baen writers in the winning list once again. Is the Hugo a closed shop to big publishers only?

What about Hugh Howey, Ryk Brown or Christpher Nuttall? All with popular novels that are selling extremely well.

Is that a sniff of politics I smell? Collusion?

Either way, the Hugo awards have offered me a wonderful list of science fiction stories that I have read and enjoyed over the years…especially back in the day before the internet when word of mouth was the only other way you discovered good sci fi.

If anyone was talking.

Before this blog and others like it.

So here is the list for 2014. Check it out and enjoy all the great science fiction.Ancillary Sword

The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, Loncon 3, has announced the 2014 Hugo Award winners. 3587 valid ballots were received and counted in the final ballot.

BEST NOVEL

Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)

BEST NOVELLA

“Equoid” by Charles Stross (Tor.com, 09-2013)

BEST NOVELETTE

“The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com /Tor.com, 09-2013

BEST SHORT STORY

“The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013)

BEST RELATED WORK

“We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative” by Kameron Hurley (A Dribble of Ink)

BEST GRAPHIC STORY

“Time” by Randall Munroe (xkcd)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM

Gravity written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Esperanto Filmoj; Heyday Films;Warner Bros.)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM

Game of Thrones “The Rains of Castamere” written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)

BEST EDITOR, SHORT FORM

Ellen Datlow

BEST EDITOR, LONG FORM

Ginjer Buchanan

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST

Julie Dillon

BEST SEMIPROZINE

Lightspeed Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton, and Stefan Rudnicki

BEST FANZINE

A Dribble of Ink edited by Aidan Moher

BEST FANCAST

SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester

BEST FAN WRITER

Kameron Hurley

BEST FAN ARTIST

Sarah Webb

JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER

Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2012 or 2013, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award)

Sofia Samatar

The 2014 Hugo Award winners were announced on Sunday evening, August 17, at the ExCel Converntion Centre in London, England. The ceremony was hosted by Justina Robson, Geoff Ryman. Text-based CoverItLive coverage of the ceremony was provided through the Hugo Awards web site. Video streaming coverage was provided by Ustream.

The 2014 Hugo trophy base was designed by Joy Alyssa Day

See the Final Ballot Details for a full breakdown of votes, subsequent placements, and nomination counts.

So, time traveler or not?  you decide.Jane-Austen-waxwork

Jane Austen/Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary_Robinette_Kowal_at_2008_Nebula_Awards

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Filed under Alien and human bonding, Aliens in Science Fiction, artificial intelligence, award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, Hugo winners, magic, military science fiction, modifying humans, Robots in science fiction, science fiction, Science Fiction Novelettes, Science fiction thriller, space ship, Steampunk, Transhumanism

Science Fiction Author Signing

IMG_0174One more program left in my marketing endeavors and the results will be in for this summer’s attempts. I’ll let you know which was the most successful: online or face to face.

On August 16, Cosmic Entanglement will be eligible for the Amazon Countdown Deal. It will be $.99 for 16/17, $1.99 for 18/19, $2.99 for 20/21, $3.99 for 22/23, then back to regular price. It’s a seven day special. Cosmic has never been discounted before, so this should be interesting.

It’s the third in the series, but, hey, we’re dealing with time travel here, and it makes a nice introduction to several other books. You get to see Rowyna as a young clone, you meet Braden and Richard as kids and discover how each finds his own path: Richard into the Timelab and Braden out into space on the Seeker. Also, you experience a pivotal scene that provided the inspiration for my current novel, Someone’s Clone due out in late Fall. Someone’s Clone begins with a murder, goes to a time jump into the future, and then involves a developing war between the Alysians and invading Earthlings.

Yes, invading Earthlings. A bit of a twist.

I want to thank Jan’s Paperback in Aloha, Oregon for supporting Diana and my authors’ signing. It was a well organized event and I very much enjoyed myself. Thanks Debbie and Jody.photo

Diana Peach (Myths of the Mirror, Sunwielder) has been a great companion author throughout all our book festivals and signing endeavors. In spite of the wind blowing over my roses and splashing water all over her at the festival, and then me juggling a water glass that landed in her lap at the signing, she weathered all liquid events with aplomb and a gracious smile. A true lady.

Recently I’ve noticed that many of the best selling science fiction novels are priced on Kindle at $9.99 and up. Run a finger over some of the well known authors and see what the bigger publishers are asking for a downloaded book. Right now Amazon is engaged in several battles to get prices down while being painted as the bad guy in the negotiations. When the cost of ebook production is so low, those margins are outrageous. The customer is paying for infrastructure and salaries of the big publishers. Also, they are supporting flying best selling authors all over for signings, thus making them even bigger best selling authors. Recently, John Scalzi tweeted that he was tired of traveling so much. The small publisher, like me, doesn’t have the deep pockets to do this. I go where I can drive. But you, the customer, are paying for these big named authors out of the prices larger publishers put on ebooks.

I’ll step off the soap box. Sorry, these rants just spontaneously combust.
So…

For those science oriented readers who are feeling slighted by a recent lack of hard science news…I have an interesting tidbit for you. With the caveat that I discovered this on the internet, and all that implies, check out the following link.

http://www.space.com/26713-impossible-space-engine-nasa-test.html

14-space-future-spaceflightTwo independent labs claim that a means of space propulsion has been validated using what they are calling the ” em drive,” or vacuum plasma thruster. The idea is to bounce microwaves around in a closed container. These microwaves are generated by using electricity powered by solar energy. The engine can work forever as long as the hardware holds out. In 2009 a team of Chinese scientists built it and claimed they could produce 720 millinewtons, which is reported as enough to build a satellite thruster.

Then, Guido Fetta and a team at Nasa Eagleworks at the Johnson Space Center has produced a paper that demonstrates a similar engine using the same principles does indeed produce thrust…but only 30 to 50 millinewtons. There’s a far ways to go, but think of the advantageous of not having to carry fuel on board, but be able to get your thrust from solar energy.

Wow! Not having to carry a heavy load of fuel would be a major advance in the traveling to Mars program. Now, how fast can it get going?

Hmmm… going to Mars for an author’s signing? Wonder when that might happen? I would think they’d have lots of time to huddle indoors and read great scifi on the red planet, eh? A future market?

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Superstar Science Fiction Marketeer

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Along with recommended science fiction and fantasy, I have been recently discussing self publishing and marketing.

 And…no one is more at the forefront of marketing for the Indie author than Hugh Howey.

I first became aware of Hugh Howey when I downloaded a free, self-published, short story off of Amazon called Wool. WoolAt the time, I didn’t realize it was a short story, but I had heard a bit about it and it showed up on my Amazon’s “suggested for you” list.

Seemed like an odd title, but it was free and intriguing noises were being made about it.

Wool2 There followed on Amazon a longer sequel of 126 pages called Wool 2: Proper Gauge for .99 and then a 106 page story called Wool 3: Casting Off for .99, a little longer at 166 pages Wool 4: the Unraveling was $1.99, and finally a 259 page novelette, Wool 5: The Stranded for $2.99.wool3

 Hugh Howey says in July 2011 he wrote the first short story, never marketed it, never mentioned it on his blog, but readers clamored to know more about the world with the silos. Offered free, many downloaded, read it and wanted more.

 So he wrote more.Wool4

Five more.Wool5

 The stories were bundled into an omnibus called Wool Omnibus Edition 1-5 for $5.99.

 Hugh Howey was on fire.

 WoolFollowing this success, he continued with The Shift series, much in the same vein as WoolFirst Shift at 236 pages, Second Shift at 266 pages and Third Shift at 282 pages all collected together and in 2013 offered the Shift Omnibus. Wool went to hardback, published by Random House, UK in 2013 and Ridley Scott Productions is discussing making a movie of Wool.

 Then, Hugh Howey opened the doors to his Silo world, and authors from all over are now writing stories and novels in the Silo Universe. Wider distribution came with audiobooks. Also, Shift can be found in Scribd’s subscription listings.

 This is where it becomes apparent that “content is king,” and some stories fire the imagination of their readers and take off to become mega hits if the author is paying attention to the new trends.

 And Howey was.

 It was an undefinable, combustible mixture of great storytelling, fresh marketing approaches and being at the right place at the right time.

 Hugh Howey has been very clever and innovative in how his stories were released out into the mad maelstrom of the new publishing world.Shift

 Then one year ago (2013), he published his novel, Dust, also through CreateSpace, that wrapped up his Silo trilogy.

 “Wool introduces the world of the silo, Shift tells the story of its creation and Dust brings about its downfall.”

DustDust is a full novel of 464 pages. Sold in paperback ($14.78), Audiobook ($12.33) or Kindle ($5.99). I happened to grab it out of my local library in the paperback version. Before you yell cheapskate too loud, I did buy the Wool version first and then accidentally found Dust in my library. *snatch*

 As a finale to an exciting trilogy, it delivers. Once again the reader encounters the determined Mayor Juliette who understands more than anyone the horrors of the silo and desperately tries to save her people. Dust also brings back the grittiness of life in the silo with the good, the bad, and the clueless that live there.

It’s a story of the human spirit that never gives up, that adapts and copes in order to survive against horrifying odds.

But you have to start at the beginning. You have to start with Wool.

 And then, you’ll be hooked.

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Clones in Science Fiction

IMG_0174I’m out and about.

Portland’s summer weather is beautiful. So come meet me for a book signing at Jan’s Paperback Saturday, August 9 from 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m. (See left sidebar for more details)

Currently, clones are dominating my writing in my next novel entitled, Someone’s Clone, which is due out in the Fall. It starts with murder, then time travel, conflict between Terrans and Alysians and includes the enigmatic and alien Enjelise, Angel…a stew of delightful action with an explosive ending.

So I rummaged through my reading and decided to suggest some of my favorite novels that feature clones. Both have won a Hugo Award, and both are classics of the 80’s.

The Snow Queen The first is Joan D. Vinge’s Snow Queen. I first read this a while ago, when it won a Hugo for best science fiction, but I remembered the rich description of Tiamat and the beautiful cold ruler Arienrhod. Told from the viewpoint of Moon Dawntreader of the summer people, it is a story of love and the transfer of power. With a nod to Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, this story is set in the far future on the twin sun planet Tiamat that is isolated by a stargate and suppressed by the far flung empire of the Hegemony.

Moon Dawntreader of the summer people is in love with Sparks, her cousin, but he gets caught up by the ruthless winter queen, Arienrhod, when he travels to the city of Carbuncle. To save him, Moon goes through several trials and tribulations. In an effort to prolong her reign, the Snow Queen has eight clones sprinkled throughout the summer or lower half of Tiamat. Whichever one becomes the strongest and survives will be crowned the next ruler.

Guess who that might be?

The Snow Queen is followed by The Summer Queen and is also a good read. The new queen, Moon Dawntreader, realizes that ruling isn’t as fun as she’d expected. A hidden old technology, with a enormous data base, lies buried beneath the planet’s capitol. Manifesting as the Sybil, it holds together the old Empire’s society, but is now breaking down.The Summer Queen

With the rise of the summer solstice, a century of exploitation by the Hegemony passes. Summer Queen, Moon Dawntreader, appointed to lead her people back to the ancient traditional ways, chooses instead to prepare them to meet the return of the mighty Empire on equal terms.

Complex, with description and more character driven than action, this story contains a fascinating world and future.

 

CyteenAnother Hugo winner, and one of my favorite authors, is C.J. Cherryh. Her Cyteen series also is told from the viewpoint of a clone and is filled with political intrigue, murder and betrayal.

Set in Cherryh’s Merchanters’ Universe (which you should visit extensively), Reseune is a laboratory Empire that creates genetically modified humans for a variety of tasks from farmers to soldiers. These created humans have no legal rights. They are the Azi (short for from A to Z) socially stratified and task-defined slaves.

Ariadne Emory is the chief administrator holding the power in Reseune, but one morning she is found dead in her room. To hang onto her immense power, her advisors realize they can replicate her and program her personality to take the place of the dead original. They plan to manipulate her personality to control her.Cyteen The Rebirth

Cyteen the VindicationBut Ari has other ideas.

Those who love psychological drama, politics, and the struggle to be an individual in a repressive society will like this. Those who prefer the nonstop action of a James Corey will prefer another novel.

Or you could be like me, and like both.

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Filed under alien life forms, Alien worlds, award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, C. J. Cherryh, Classic science fiction, genetic manipulation, Hugo winners, Political Science Fiction, science fiction, Science Fiction Mystery, Science fiction world building

Summer Marketing Programs

IMG_0174A shout out to locals that I will be at the Northwest Book Festival this Saturday July 26 with special deals on my paperback versions of the Alysian Universe Series. Come by Pioneer Square in Portland, Oregon from 11:00 to 5:00 p.m. I’d love to see you at booth #14.

There will be candy.

And loads of great reads.

Also…(da dum)

On August 9 from 1:00 p.m. To 4:00 p.m. at Jan’s Paperbacks on TV Highway in Aloha, OR, I’ll be signing books and chatting with everyone. Meet me there.

As you can see, summer weather stirs the body and our recent gorgeous weather means I just have to get out and about to enjoy the company of others. (sorry Jo Walton)

Lately, I have been experimenting with several of Amazon’s marketing programs to see which is more effective.

In May, I enrolled in KDP Select and made Caught in Time available for free for five days after Mother’s Day.

As I reported, 4,500 downloads all over the world resulted. And then, my other books in the series took off.

Readers appear to read the first and then continue on with the series.

I was so excited with the program that I couldn’t see how the Amazon Countdown could be any better.

But I was willing to experiment.

I started the Countdown Deal on July 5th, and extended it through the 12th. Once again, I enrolled Caught in Time since it deals with the earliest events.

The surprise is, that now near the end of the July, the net revenue of both programs is within a dollar of each other.

The only difference is that I still have a large number of books sitting on to-read shelves from the free downloads, and once read, hopefully readers will want to continue on with other exciting stories in the series. I’m curious to find out how the long tail plays out.

Because I write time travel, Cosmic Entanglement can also be read as a first book. Therefore, I decided to offer it this August 16-23 under the Amazon Countdown Program. It will start at $.99 and every two days increase in one dollar increments for seven days.

This one is a nice summer read roundup.

 

After reviewing Sharon Shinn’s Angel series, I discovered she has started another series.

And there was a book in the Twelve Houses Series I hadn’t read, actually a companion piece put out after the series wrapped up.

So….I couldn’t resist.

Fortune and FateFortune and Fate proved very satisfying.

The story centers on Wen who is one of the fifty elite riders sworn to protect King Baryn, only she is fighting at his side when he gets mortally wounded from a rebel attack on the palace. On top of that emotional blow, her lover marries another and Wen runs away and changes her identity, roaming the land, trying to save others as atonement for not saving her king.

Unexpectedly, she saves from abduction and rape, young serramar Karryn, noble lady to one of the rebel houses. With her father dead, her uncle Jasper Pallamar looks after Karryn and her scatty mother. Upon returning the young lady to House Fortunalt, Wen notices how poor security is, and comments to Jasper. The uncle is more intelligent nerd than brawny soldier and convinces Wen to stay for a short period of time to organize a home security guard. Her subsequent experiences at House Fortunalt are touching and exciting, and worth a read.

Royal Airs

The new series, Elemental Blessings, starts with Troubled Waters as book 1 and continues with the second book Royal Airs. I started with Royal Airs first because of availability,  and may pick up Troubled Waters now.

I enjoyed the light romance between the mysterious professional gambler Rafe Ardova and Princess Josetta. Shinn deploys a new and interesting magic system based on the elements: air, fire, earth, water, plus wood. Each element pairs up with human attributes. However, when blessings are drawn for Rafe, they are either extraordinary blessings or blanks. Then he is told that his parents are from another country. Several mysteries develop over Josetta’s position in the royal ascension and Rafe’s true origins.

A light and enjoyable fantasy read.

Summer is flying by. Enjoy every juicy bit of it and I hope to see you out and about.

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Science Fiction: More Marketing and An Exciting Military Series

IMG_0165Word of mouth..still a powerful means of getting your book out there, but there’s no way to control it except by writing a story worthy of mention.

As Mark Coker says, “Content trumps all.”

I am still figuring out the best path in which to offer my books that is both cost effective and energy efficient. As a counterpoint to Coker’s idea of spreading distribution access to your book across distribution lines, Hugh Howey has a thought provoking blog entitled. http://www.hughhowey.com/no-more-shitty-baskets.

Once again, I enrolled Caught in Time in Amazon’s KDP Select and this time tried the Countdown Deal. I did very little marketing on my own and was pleasantly surprised at the results. There are hordes of readers who have found the website for Countdown deals, and also sign up for daily offerings of free books through other websites. Avid readers are cleverly pursuing cost effective ways to satiate their reading experience.

As much as I honor Coker’s efforts, for my genre, or maybe just my books, they are not selling in Smashwords. Two books have been listed there for over two years and sales are dismal. I’m not sure why as they are listed on Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Scrib’ner and now, libraries. While Smashwords sets my books on other shelves, Amazon helps me market and seeds the entire globe with them. And I am selling well there. I sell in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, India, Canada, Australia and more.

It makes me dizzy. It thrills me.

So the word is spreading and not always in American English.

Which brings me to this week’s selection suggested by fellow writer Ted Blasche. Ted just recently published a gem of a short story in VFW…or Veterans of the Future Wars, an anthology of short story military science fiction. Ted holds the rank of LTC USA (retired), and is in the process of writing an exciting military science fiction series that will eventually reach publication.

Aurora He leaned forward at our last meeting and with eyes alight recommended I read Aurora cv-01 by Ryk Brown. If you check out this series, you’ll notice there’s lots to it. Within days, Ted was on book#8 and intravenous feedings so as not to have to stop reading in order to eat.

Aurora follows a well known storyline. The influential senator’s son, Nathan Scott, rebels against his father and enrolls in the space academy where he is noticed by Captain Roberts. There is competition for the spot of helm with a smart and feisty female, Cameron Taylor but Nathan’s unorthodox strategies win him the helm position. Anal and by-the-book Cameron is paired with Nathan as his navigator. Sparks fly between the two competitors.

Unexpectedly, the unit is shifted to a brand new, top secret ship, named Aurora, and ordered out for a trial run and shake down cruise to Jupiter. To Nathan’s chagrin, a one night stand from his father’s party shows up in uniform in a security position on board the ship. But Nathan can’t be distracted by complications at the moment.

Upon arriving in the orbit of Jupiter, Captain Roberts unveils a prototype jump engine on board and receives orders from Earth Command to jump to the Oort Cloud to test its effectiveness. Captain Roberts also informs the bridge that the Jung, a powerful enemy, has recently conquered yet another system, and Sol system is the last remaining free system left in the galaxy. He speculates that within a few years, the Jung may attack Sol system with the intent to take it over. However, the trial jump lands them in the lap of an unexpected Jung fleet and they’re immediately engaged in battle.

Hit and barely functioning, the Aurora inflicts damage on an enemy ship that appears to be inoperative, but a boarding party finds surviving soldiers have activated an anti-matter self destruct sequence. Tension, non stop action ensues as the boarding party scrambles away, one brave soldier staying behind to give the Aurora more time to escape the imminent explosion. In desperation, the Aurora jumps as the anti-matter explodes in the nearby ship, kicking the ship 10,000 light years across the universe, landing it in the middle of yet another unexpected battle. Immediately, the Aurora’s crew is attacked by a huge unknown alien ship. Winning, the fight, Captain Roberts gets mortally wounded, leaving Nathan, three weeks out of the academy, as captain. Now the ship is badly damaged and again involved in active combat, but this time thousands of light years from Earth.Rings of Haven

As you can see, Ryk Brown provides breath taking action. Young Nathan scrambles to save what’s left of the crew and try to figure out what’s happening in an unknown sector far, far from home. He needs to fix a damaged jump engine that is limited in how far it can function and get home so he can warn Earth of the Jung attack…but first…he needs to survive.

Legend of CorinairI don’t care if the scenario has ever been done before, I was breathing heavily through several action-packed episodes. The storyline has some great twists and turns and enough emotion and character development for most military scifi readers. The one screaming flaw was the disruptive changes in point of view. I would be reading in one point of view and suddenly flip to another, then within two sentences flip back. When you’re trying to fight a battle, this can become annoying. But other than that, I agree that this is the start of a fine new series and if military scifi is your interest…welcome aboard…and hang on.

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Science Fiction Marketing and a few Sequels

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Before reviewing two sequels, I want to mention two new marketing programs I have recently experienced.

The first came about when Catherine Asaro showed up to follow me on Twitter. Wow! Me!

Her series of the Skolian Universe is one of my favorites. (Received a Nebula for A Quantum Rose ) and I dream….dream of having my Alysian series do anywhere near as well as hers. So I was excited when she popped up in my e-mail and wanted to tweet me.

Turns out she was putting out the word for an innovative Kickstarter Program for an audible book, Aurora in Four Voices. The goal was $4500 and by the time I tweaked to what she was doing, she had exceeded that goal reaching $5595 with 121 backers and promising to write a new novella for the series if she got to $9000 by the deadline…and it looks like that might happen.Aurora in Four Voices

The idea of funding books, and other projects, with Kickstarter is getting a lot of notice resulting in notable success stories. Most likely you need to be as famous as Asaro or have a compelling story to tell to achieve your goal, but it’s gaining enough traction to keep an eye on and think about.

The other new marketing program I want to mention is Amazon’s Countdown Deal. I found the five days free with KDP Select extremely successful, so I decided to try the CountDown also, as an experiment.

Often five days, especially over a weekend, isn’t enough time for some busy readers to act on a special. However, if you missed my KDP Select deal, (and many didn’t) here is another opportunity to get Caught in Time at a discount. Starting July 6 at .99 the price escalates every three days for twelve days and then the price resumes at the normal retail rate of $3.99…still a bargain, and you have twelve days to act…although time is already running out. Tap on the cover at the right, open the window to Amazon to get the current status, get a great price and enjoy a fun adventure through time to a medieval past.

I am currently #84 out of the hundreds of time travel books and moving up. *smile*

For all the commotion and negative comments currently going around about Amazon, if you are an author and want to sell books, Amazon does it far better than any other venue. They also strive to come up with ways to help market your book if you are an author, or help you find what you want to read if you’re a reader.

I am both, and grateful.

It’s unfortunate that success often makes you a target. I don’t remember the big publishers having such tender hearts over fledgling authors back in their day. If they deigned to respond at all, they called the tune and made the authors dance through their narrow publishing gate. Now they’re trying to characterize Amazon as the greedy guy? And…The big chain stores that squeezed out the mom and pop bookstores are suddenly calling Amazon a bully? How memories fade.

Deep breath.

Leviathan WakesWhen I suggest a series, I usually start with the first book of the series in my review. If I really like the series, often I continue on with other books in that series. This week, I want to briefly mention a few. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to know whether to start a series or not.

The first comment is from the Expanse Series. See my opinion on Leviathan Wakes in my June 9th blog. James S. A. Corey’s (pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) third book. Abaddon’s Gate, continues this saga. It didn’t disappoint.

The story continues as the proto molecule escapes Venus and hurtles out to Uranus where it creates a self assembling ring or gate. James Holden and crew join ships from Mars, Earth and the Outer Belt to investigate the strange structure. Neither one wants the other to get an advantage over them in the exploration of space, so all parties show up. Drawn through the structure at high speeds, all ships suddenly come to a deadly halt and are forced into a slow crawl with many suffering damaged crew, cargo, ship and passengers. On the other side of the ring only empty dark space is visible.Abaddon's Gate

Without going into too much detail, so as not to spoil the story, a new character is introduced who wants to kill Jim Holden. So intrigue and drama continue in this third of the series. How will Holden survive and dodge an assassin’s obsession? What message does the proto molecule alien deliver to Holden through the now dead Detective Miller? What political intrigue results as ships jockey to survive and conquer each other?

The bottom line…Did I like it? Yes. And if you liked the first two, you will also like this one.

There is also a fourth coming up…Cibola Burns. Hatchette has priced the Kindle at $12.99 and hardback at $25.Cibola Burn

Envision me ranting on a worn-out soapbox.

Another third book in a fantasy series with the same results is the Republic of Thieves by hot author Scott Lynch.

Republic of thievesThe Republic of Thieves picks up from the dramatic conclusion of Red Seas Under Red Skies and starts with Locke Lamora dying. After exhausting every avenue and every local physician, stalwart companion Jean convinces Locke to enter into a pact with the Bondsmagi to save his life.

In return for purging Locke’s body of the sorcerer’s poison, Jean and Locke agree to orchestrate a winning ticket for the Deep Roots party in Karthain, Capitol of the sorcerers. Unbeknownst, but not for long, the opposite party, The Black Iris, will be run by Sabatha, Locke’s up to now mysterious love, briefly mentioned in the two previous books, Two stories of their relationship alternate throughout this book. Once again, all three are up to their eyeballs in chicanery, manipulation, a Shakespearean style play and all around laugh out loud bantering dialog.

Again…a great read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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