Category Archives: the fae

Author: Juggler in disguise

As an author, I often feel like a juggler, tossing a multitude of balls around, trying to get everything accomplished.

First ball that gets thrown into the air is the time needed for the actual act of writing. Many experts suggest delegating specific segments of time each day to write.

Doesn’t work in my life.

Sometimes my creative juices are flowing and the words pour out. At other times, I stare at the wall wondering what is going to happen next, or I have other events that demand my attention. Yesterday, I was at the dentist.

That’s when Larry Brook’s outline suggestions help me move to the next chapter. When I start a book, I spend time laying out an outline that encompasses his plot points and pinch points. I have an idea of the overall scheme of the book. The devil is in the details as to how it is all going to happen.

But how do I know to do this?

Research.

That ball of time is important, but it takes time to learn about the writing game if you’re planning on being good. Hundreds of websites offer helpful advice of how to improve your writing. I have to balance what will make me better against what will confuse me. Not all advice is right for what I write. I have found that science fiction is written differently than, say, fantasy. Readers of science fiction want fast moving action with lots of tech toys and interesting science. The best stories also include relatable characters and an interesting plot. Fantasy leans more toward elaborate descriptions of time and place. Characters often have a mentor who guides an acolyte fighting against evil creatures. Often a magic system is in place. Rarely does it happen in a futuristic society. Romance readers require a still different format. Taking the time to understand your genre is critical.

Then there’s editing that bounces into the picture. I doubt there is any author that gets it right on the first draft. As for me, I have my writing group edit, I edit, and often a professional editor goes through it. I spend hours using the search/find on words such as that, was, looked, and lately some. I love to repeat words and often need to tighten up my sentences. So a lot of time is spent in the editing penalty box… And still I find errors. I also edit over fifty pages a week for my writing group as a reciprocal for their edits. However, I find editing others’ work helpful to understand what makes my stories sing.

The third segment that I have to juggle around is blogging and reading other websites. I love to blog about my favorite books and read what other authors are doing. (hence, this blog) I spent a huge chunk of time on Utube watching Brandon Sanderson’s lecture series. It was helpful. I should interact more on Facebook, Twitter and others, but it takes so much time because I end up going down the garden path. You know what I mean. You start to read one article, and next thing, hours have passed and you’re asking: How did I end up here, and where has the time gone?”

I spend a major part of a day on my blog, but I can’t even begin to blog until I’ve read the book that I want to suggest. Have you seen how long some books are? Actually, it’s my own fault, as I like to submerse myself into a world. But keeping up on the reading is a major commitment.

Then there’s marketing. Gah! Now with this time sphere, you can vary your involvement. A signing or attending a convention takes a huge portion of time and money. Signing up for an ad takes only money and a little bit of time. An author has to weigh the results to his bottomline. Time needs to be spent researching the best avenue for marketing according to the author’s resources and situation. An author with a bestseller and an eager publishing house may spend days traveling and attending conventions or signings while a self-publisher with a modest pocketbook (like moi) may be more limited. Each individual has different options available. I attended a craft show and sold very little, but a fellow fantasy writer in her own hometown where she was well known sold sixty paperbacks at a Christmas open market. Seasonality can be key. And a book about a dog’s journey might sell at a vet’s, or an advice book sell in a small boutique, whereas science fiction might not sell well there.

Side note here is that next Friday (after Easter is over) my book Cosmic Entanglement will be advertised on Freebooksy and be offered free for a limited time only on April 20, 21, and 22. Although this is the third book of the series, it can be read first.

Time travel stories will let you do that.

Last Friday Free Kindle Books and Tips advertised Caught in Time. They just wanted a mention in my blog and here it is. So check them out. In March I advertised with Book Barbarian. They take only science fiction and fantasy, but I sold the whole series to a couple of readers.

You can buy the series and get a special price on Amazon. Amazon provides several ways that help authors sell. Check out my Author’s Central page under Sheron Wood McCartha.

Which brings me to the business part of the juggling act. Yes, if you are serious about the time commitments that you will need to make, then you should take the time to rough out a business plan or at least a business direction. We all know that if you don’t know where you are going, often you’ll get lost or end up in the wrong place. How many books do you plan to write this year? How much do you need to sell to pay for a cover? And, gosh, who’s going to do it? Do you keep track of sales? Do you even control that information? How are you going to publish and distribute? A big publisher? A small publisher? Self publishing? And how are you going to decide?

While you’re pondering that momentous decision and reading blogs about it or talking to colleagues, the laundry is beeping, you’re running out of food, and the house needs a vacuum. Maybe you have delegated some of these chores to a significant other, but life and family still come rolling in and want attention. I have a smallish social life, but Sunday I’ll be attending a family and friends get together. I spent two hours at social security today so my daughter’s married name will be legal on her taxes.

Juggle. Juggle.

And finally, (or maybe not) is that ball with the great big word job. Whether you’re a mom, and your job is raising kids, or a wage earner out in the business world, that ten-ton ball can be hard to juggle around. You’ll have to reshape and be creative with your tosses.

It can be quite an act for anyone wanting to be an author.

****

This week I picked an unusual book for me.

I warned you.

I’m not one for fairies and such, but trans-dimensional worlds were involved, and again it was a Powell’s reading selection. I’m trying to keep up in my reading group and writer activities also.

It turns out that Tinker by Wen Spencer was delightful.

Tinker is a feisty, petite orphan who scratches out a living in a junkyard located in near-future Pittsburg, which now exists mostly in the land of the elves. A trans-dimensional gate built by her father is responsible for the situation. When a pack of wargs chases Windward, an Elven noble, into her scrap yard, she saves his life and becomes entangled in the royal elven court, which is full of intrigue. Tinker is one of very few who is able who understands the science involved in building the gate that brought Pittsburgh to the land of the elves. When certain enemies discover that, she becomes vulnerable to kidnapping by those who want to control or destroy the gate.

Possessing genius level mental ability, steel-toed boots, and a “take no prisoners” attitude, she takes on the NBA, the Elven court, technology smugglers, and an amorous, but powerful, elf out to change her life in disturbing ways.

A delightful, fun romp with engaging characters and non-stop action, Tinker takes everything in stride, including her first kiss.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Alternate Reality in Literature, Alternate Universes, Best selling author, fantasy series, Marketing and selling novels, modifying humans, Paranormal Romance, Self-publishing, the fae, Wizards and magic

Costume Ideas from Science Fiction

 

IMG_9503

Halloween is coming, so get ready! Do you have your costume yet?

What Urban Fantasy book could you enjoy and get lots of ideas?

Why, that would be Skin Game by Jim Butcher, the latest in his Harry Dresden Series.

Jim Butcher writes Urban Fantasy, and although I’m not usually a reader of the genre, I am a fan of this series.Skin Game

Throughout the first several books, Harry has dealt with Vampires, Werewolves, the Fae, Chicago gangsters and every fantasy creature imaginable, including his faithful Foo dog and Bob, a genius spirit that resides on a shelf in a skull.

We have watched Harry develop from a sketchy, part-time detective, cooking up amateur potions in his underground basement, to becoming a full fledged wizard that gets killed and returns from the dead. He is now a warden of the White Council while serving as Maab’s Winter Knight…

A juggling act if ever there was one.

And when he yells, Forzare, Disperdorius, Lumios, or Artispinae, step back because powerful magic is about to happen.

Now in Skin Game, Maab, Queen of the Fae, lends him as her Winter Knight to assist Nicodemus Archleone of the Blackened Denarius as payback for a favor. Nicodemus pulls together a team that he plans to take into The Underworld in order to steal the Holy Grail. They have to blow up a Chicago mobster’s vault and pass through the three gates of Hades: the Gate of Fire, The Gate of Ice and the Gate of Blood.

Ghost StoryThe team consists of: Hannah Asher, expert of fire, Anna Valmount, safecracker extraordinaire, Goodman Grey, fantastical shapeshifter, Genoskwa, Bigfoot style monster who can go invisible, Binder who controls an army of men that leap from the ground and dissolve back into dirt, Deirdre’s, Nicodemus’s demonform daughter, Karrin Murphy, ex-cop and weapon obsessed sidekick to Harry, and Harry Dresden, wizard. Harry is traveling in dangerous company, most wanting to eliminate him from this world all over again, so he has to watch his back at all times.

However, Knight of the Cross, now retired, Michael Carpenter, takes up his sword again for Harry’s sake, and the Archangel Uriel makes an appearance, along with several other familiar Dresden characters, including Kris Kringle also known as Santa Clause and Hades, Greek god of the Underworld.

Plus, Waldo Butters…who?…well…you’ll just have to read the story.Summer Knight

In spite of the fantastical creatures that populate Dresden’s world, the story contains real human emotion as Harry and Michael struggle to protect their family and the world against evil.

Storm FrontIt also provides an array of imaginative creatures, any one of which would make a great Halloween costume.

So now, you have some ideas.

I have seen the power of offering free books. I’ve read where many believe that free or discounted books, once downloaded, sit somewhere on readers digital bookshelves, collecting digital dust where they never get read. So it was interesting to see the blog: Eleven Things You Don’t know About Bargain Ebook Buyers from Bookbub that indicates otherwise. Keeping in mind that Bookbub provides discounted and free books, I still found the information worth mentioning. Follow this link: http://unbound.bookbub.com/post/87615381745/11-things-you-dont-know-about-bargain-ebook-buyers for more specific data and information, but here’s the top eleven conclusions concerning Bargain Ebook Buyers.

  1. They are Power Readers
  2. They read everywhere: at home, while traveling, in bed, at work,
  3. They read primarily on Tablets
  4. They don’t just read e-books but read paperbacks and hardbacks also
  5. They have higher than average income
  6. They are genre readers: mysteries, thrillers, romance
  7. They buy full priced e-books
  8. They read the books they download
  9. They try new authors
  10. They become loyal fans
  11. They recommend the books they like.

As an ebook author, it’s food for thought I wanted to share.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alien and human bonding, alien life forms, Alien pets in science fiction, Aliens in Science Fiction, Best selling science fiction, ebook marketing, ebook science fiction, fantasy series, magic, Paranormal Romance, science fiction, science fiction series, the fae, Urban Fantasy, Wizards and magic

Paths for new Writers to Build Readership and Publish

IMG_0165Science fiction and fantasy authors are exploring many new and exciting paths in an attempt to get their name known to readers and find various  ways to publish their works.

Within the genre of science fiction/fantasy, the five writers in my Writers’ Group are following their own unique paths to finding readers and publishing.

One is entering writing contests and winning. Austin Briggs has a website that I have mentioned before that is Flash Fiction and the winner of the month takes home $55 for 55 words.

Allie Vaughn was their winner for her February entry. “Jump Through.” That’s a dollar a word! Not bad. Check out her winning entry.

http://austinbriggs.com/flash-fiction-contest/jump-through/

Beyond the Mystic DoorShe has also submitted short stories in various contests with successful results. Her winning short story appears in “Great Tales Beyond the Mystic Door” by Professor Limn and is available on Amazon.com. Sixty-one three minute short stories by sixteen exciting authors.

She also won “Golden Curl Girl” in the Aspiring Writers Short Story competition that will also be published in an upcoming anthology.

Allie is also a winner of poetry and won third place for “Lady Winter” to be published in a poetry anthology.

Winning contests is one way to get your name out there and build a reader base.

Another writer in our group is using the short story anthology route to publishing and also self publishing science fiction/fantasy games, while he waits on acceptance through traditional publishing. Clayton Callahan has just been accepted into a science fiction/fantasy anthology edited by friend Phyllis Radford called “How Beer Saved the World.” Should be very popular. His science fiction story “Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow” is a great read.

Clayton is also a gamer and has been involved in gaming for a while now. He just recently wrote a non-fiction article, “Playing a Role in Science Fiction.” Check it out  online at Perihelion, a professional science fiction magazine. http://www.perihelionsf.com under Clayton Callahan. He also has self published several non-fiction gaming manuals, one which is Battlefields: from Broadswords to Bullets. Another is a handbook for a game called Star Run, also available on Amazon. I used his information on military and weapons in several of my scenes.

“Pointy side out.”

Another author in the group, Ted Blasche, has also published in Perihelion a delightful short story called, “To Dance with the Girls of IOS-5.” http://www.perihelionsf.com/archives/blasche001.htm

In addition to publishing in a well known online magazine, Ted is going the traditional route of submitting to major science fiction publishing houses and is currently waiting on a response to a military science fiction novel he has completed.

But Ted has also gone the script to screen route and has won a finalist spot in the Willamette Writers contest FiLMLaB. The final few will be used at the Willamette Writers’ conference and will be announced April 11.

http://willamettewriters.com/wwfilm/?p=147

We’re rooting for you, Ted!!! Screen plays from novels or short stories is another way to get your name out there.

A small subsidiary publishing house, Mockingbird Lane Press, has accepted Diana Peach’s novel Myths of the Mirror. Her website here gives a taste of her soon to be published book on dragons. http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Already, she is busily writing a sequel and has recently put Dragon Soul into the hands of the editors there. There’s nothing so great as a book with dragons in it, and Diana writes wonderfully well. Look for Myths of the Mirror coming soon.

Many valid small publishing houses are springing up to service new writers and help them with editing, book covers, formatting and other needs. Increasingly, individuals are offering classes and panels (for a price) on various aspects of publishing, including marketing. The new writer has to tread carefully and investigate those he does business with as the scam artists are finding this new area of publishing and writing fertile ground. Even the well known publishing houses are buying out publishing businesses like Authorhouse and writing contracts for eager new authors that don’t realize what they are getting into. So authors beware. Check out editors and predators: http://www.pred-ed.com.

Several established authors in my Portland luncheon group are going the traditional route, but also are exploring other venues.

These are professional writers that have been writing for a while and are “connected.” David Levine has sold over fifty of his short stories and was recently on the cover of Analog Magazine.

Levine-SpaceMagic_600x900 copyI did an interview with him in my February blog about his short story anthology, Space Magic. This is a collection of his own short stories that he came out with in 2008, and now in January, he has reformatted the collection and put it out digitally through Book View Café.

Many known authors with backlists are bringing them out again in digital format and reselling their story. David has teamed up with other well-known Portland authors to do readings and book signings all over the area. He recently did a successful reading and signing with other authors at Powell’s at Cedar Crossing in Beaverton. Getting out face to face is a tried and true method for known authors. Pairing up with other authors swells the attendance.

Phyllis Irene Radford, in addition to her recent forays into editing anthologies, has just published the third trilogy in her Dragon Series. The Silent Dragon: Children of the dragon Nimbus #1, which is now available on Amazon through DAW. Phyllis also has published a series on Merlin’s descendents with her Guardians of the Balance and also a series on fairies of which Chicory Up is the latest. Adding on to a popular series is also a recommended route to success.Silent Dragon

While following the traditional publishing route, she also has a serious eighty-six-page nonfiction called Magna Bloody Carta. This was published through a writers’ online co-op called Book View Café. Writers getting together and providing exchange services for each other on a website that lists and sells digital books is becoming a popular way to build readership, become known and sell books. Self-publishing authors are banding together to help each other. Many online websites that offer digital books are providing an avenue for authors, both new and old.

She also has gone into other anthologies with her own short stories: Gears and Levers 2: a Steampunk Anthology and Breaking Waves through Sky Warrior Book Publishing, a small publishing house.

And I’m going the self-publishing route via Digital Imagination Publishing. You can check out my series on the right. All are available online at most known booksellers, Smashwords, Kindle, Amazon, ibookstore, and others. I’m following the advice of Dean Wesley Smith and using serial writing to get my name out there. I recently experimented with the KDP Select program that offers Caught in Time for free to Prime members of Amazon for ninety days…so pass it along. Hopefully, they’ll like it and buy others in the series.

I am also dabbling with social media (ex. this blog) as another way to get my name out there. In fact, I just won a Liebster Award for my blog submitted by Andy McKell. This is a new fun way smaller bloggers are spreading the word, so stay tuned next week for the details.

The paths to establishing a following of readers, eventual publication and greater sales is varied in this new world of writing, and new writers are trying many new and interesting ways to find a reader base, get published and sell their story.

3 Comments

Filed under Best selling science fiction, dragons, ebook marketing, ebook science fiction, fantasy, Indie Science Fiction Authors, magic, science fiction, Science Fiction Anthology, science fiction series, Steampunk, the fae, Urban Fantasy

Complicated Magic

Hocus Pocus…Abracadabra…Open Sesame. It used to be easy. Discover a  word of power, hold a wand and be a wizard.

Shout the word and magic spews forth.

What happened to the good old days?

Not so easy in the now popular Urban Fantasy genre. Most modern day legerdemain requires a graduate degree in arcane arts.

Harry Potter, for example. A story where gifted students  study magic and learn all the rules, regulations, potions and spells in order to become proper wizards. And there are a multitude of rules, regulations and spells to learn at Hogwarts.

One of my favorite books is Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (see earlier blog) The main character, Kvothe,  struggles with poverty and sacrifices everything he has, so he can attend a college of magic where different types of incantations and spells are taught. There, the strongest magic is naming magic, particularly calling up the name of the wind. At the University, various talented students pay to study in order to find the magic they are best suited for.

Another of my favorites is the Mistborn series  by Brandon Sanderson. It employs a highly complicated system of alloy conjuring. Silver, gold, lead, etc.,  each one is taken into the body in pellet form and “burned” to produce various supernatural abilities; such as flying through the air, stopping time, and becoming invisible. Different characters wield different metals and certain gifted people can combine more than one alloy to produce unique combinations of abilities.

You have to read the complicated chart at the back of the book to understand it properly.

Now, Devon Monk’s delightful book Magic to the Bone contains a highly developed conjuring system where the use of magic results in painful side effects. As she writes, “Every act has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user.” Her main character, Allie, also attended a  university of magic in her past with courses on Grounding, Siphoning, Dispersement and various other spells before she becomes a Hound, who scrounges a living, providing black market revenge spells and taking on various odd jobs of enchantment around town. Within the first few pages, she becomes desperately ill because she forgot to set a Disbursement spell when handling a young boy dying from an incantation’s Offload. You learn that she has gaps in her memory from previous magical dabblings. 

Instead of being painful, I wonder why doesn’t magic doesn’t make the user richer and happier? You would think having supernatural abilities would give the local sorceress or wizard an edge, especially in a big city. And that would have good results. Alas for poor Allie, it brings pain and problems and memory gaps. Now, I’m thinking that might not be too bad, depending on the memory that is gapping. I, myself,  have a few memories from my teenage years that…but I digress.

Along similar lines, Jim Butcher’s well known urban fantasy, the Dresden series, also portrays a down-on-his-luck mage who takes on odd jobs involving wizardry along with his detecting. He’s a wizard for hire in big city Chicago. In his case, the magic also manifests through a wide variety of exotic creatures that he confronts. Fighting vampires, werewolves, the Fey, wizards, trolls, and others, often entails vicious battle scars and Harry Dresden carries many. His magic also exhausts him, but as in many cases dealing with the occult, he grows stronger as he gathers more powerful magic to himself and learns how to use it better. It’s called learning on the job. Of course, he takes on more and more difficult assignments and attracts more and more powerful enemies, so that he gets into some serious situations and eventually gets killed. Still, that doesn’t stop Harry and the latest novel, Ghost Story, is about how he goes about solving his own murder while a ghost.

Intriguing.

In every story, however, if you are going to do magic, you have to be born with a specific set of genes. You have to be born with wizard or sorceress potential. The common man can go to Kvothe’s college, or Hogwarts all he wants and all he’ll get is understanding, not ability. But, in most cases, as the protagonist uses his magic, he gets stronger and more powerful. Many times this results in deadlier enemies on his doorstep. The deeper the main character wades into solving the mystery, the blacker the magic he must overcome.

And, in the case of Urban Fantasy, it offers the magic wielder the opportunity to stalk down dark, creepy, alleys and meet scary, handsome/beautiful, vampire type characters that want to drink his/her blood.

Makes me want to pawnshop my wand.

Whatever happened to Cinderella’s godmother who used point and click magic?  Bippity boppity boo. A pumpkin turns into a coach and you ride away.

We live in a “No pain, no gain” world nowadays. Give me the good old days…

Shazaam.

3 Comments

Filed under alloy magic, award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, fantasy, magic, Mistborn series, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, Science Fiction Mystery, science fiction series, Science fiction world building, Steampunk, supernatural, the fae, Urban Fantasy

Bending Genre

It used to be that if you wanted to be accepted by big house publishers, you had to fit into a certain genre category: Mystery, science fiction, romance, main stream. If not, you were rejected. Book stores wanted to know where to put the book on their shelves.

With the advent of ebooks and self publishing, this is no longer the case and while cross-genre books have existed for ages, now cross genre books no longer have to fit onto a specific shelf. I predict an upsurge in cross genre novels.

So, I went to Powell’s Bookstore thinking that I was going to see Richard Morgan of Altered Carbon fame, and instead, stumbled into a mystery group that was reading speculative mysteries. Morgan was just mentioned on the calendar because he was their author that month.

Serendipity. And I went with it.

Ever since reading the Celestine Prophecy, I have become more open to the unexpected happening. There’s a novel with no particular genre, that was originally rejected, but became popular through self-publishing until it was bought by a traditional publisher.

They handed me a Jon Courtney Grimwood novel called Pashazade and I gave it the old squint. However, last week I was having trouble finding something that looked interesting, so I read it.

Wha la! I liked it.

It was a genre bender in that the protagonist, sometimes called ZeeZee and sometimes known as Ashraf al Mansur, is accused of the brutal murder of his aunt. However, events take place in an alternative universe where the Ottoman Empire never collapsed and the United States brokered a deal that ended World War I. The setting is essentially Alexandria, Egypt, which is called El Iskandryia and forms an exotic Mid-Eastern backdrop to the novel.

ZeeZee, as an American street tough, working for a Chinese mafia out of Seattle, is sent to prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Or doesn’t think he committed because he isn’t quite sure. He isn’t quite sure of anything about himself as we learn that he may not be who he thinks he is. He is sprung from prison by unknowns, given an unlimited credit card and new, or possibly old identity, by his supposed aunt stating that he is the son of the Emir of Tunis and arrives in El Iskandryia at her home just in time for her murder. Naturally he is suspect number one by lead detective and fun character Felix Abrinsky.

ZeeZee, now Raf, has to do some fast dancing.

However, Raf is more than he seems, if he is what he seems at all, and he has augmentations that kick in to save his life when things get dangerous, never mind the fox he keeps hallucinating about that gives advice. Unfortunately, the high tech corporation that imbedded these goodies into his head is out of business, and things are deteriorating. The warranty is up. Reality is becoming confused.

So, to avoid prison in El Isk, and uncover his true identity, Raf has to solve the murder of his aunt, and a few others that crop up along the way. Also involved, is the young half sister who the aunt kept in her compound and who has never left the premises, and the young girl of a wealthy industrialist who he wants Raf to marry in order to acquire some social  prestige along with his fortune. Raf, his supposed half-sister, and the renegade daughter Zara  bond together to solve the mystery, with occasional shouting matches and hand waving.

You can see the confusion. The reading group did, and there were complaints.

I loved the tangle and the mystery. If you like Kristine Katherine Rusch’s speculative mysteries in her “Retrieval Artist’ series, then this might be a surprising, unexpected find for you to read.

If you want ends all tied neatly up, maybe not.

I’m intrigued enough to read the next in the series called, Effendi. The third in this trilogy is Falaheen .   I am tasked to read it and report back, hopefully with some answers to dangling threads of the story.

Genre bending is also occurring in speculative romance style novels. The series that comes to mind there is the Liadon Universe series that I have already mention several times. The Hunger Games is a bit of science fiction combined with romance also. It doesn’t fit into a well defined category.

Someone made the statement that science fiction is about things and romance and mystery novels are about people. Sure, we like the interesting technology. How does the ship go? What does the A1 do? How can you live on an alien world? Science fiction has always appealed to the science minded reader. But I don’t think you can have a good novel that doesn’t have character development and interaction with other characters, even if they are alien. As one editor said to me, “You need a person in a place with a problem–one the reader can understand.” If your alien is too alien, then the reader can’t relate.

Now, the paranormal, supernatural has been wildly popular over the last few years. Urban fantasy al la Jim Butcher. The detective who is a supernatural crime fighter. Very popular and his series is fun to read. Fantasy mystery.

I think more and more we are going to see the mixing of genres that will create a richer reader experience and open up new exciting areas of reading. The book no longer has to sit on a specific shelf and the traditional publisher is no longer traditional.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alternate Universes, artificial intelligence, artificial nature, Best selling science fiction, downloaded personalities, ebook science fiction, gene modification, genetic manipulation, Hunger Games, Indie authors, Indie Science Fiction Authors, modifying humans, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, Science Fiction Mystery, science fiction series, supernatural, the fae

Five for the Future

Finding books that will be exciting to read: an interesting endeavor.

I still combed through my favorite authors, but went out on a limb for a few. At the moment I am casting my net towards upcoming novels, or new releases. Later on, I’ll do a blog of old time favorites that are must reads. Sometimes, you miss a few.

Meanwhile I am fervently working on Cosmic Entanglement that I promised in December, but I have not yet published I have the proof and several of my beta readers are avidly going through it with red pen in hand. Soon, soon. No longer do I criticize the big publishers for their long turnaround time. Well, not as much anyway.

Five for fantastic future fun

1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline   This is a story that takes place in a virtual reality that has the flavor of the 1980s. The real world is in an upheaval, but put on a headset and enter the world of this virtual reality and life gets interesting…and dangerous. Wade Watts is a trailer park kid that escapes his awful real world into the virtual world. A dead billionaire leaves his inheritance in the virtual world for anyone smart enough to solve his puzzles. In this world, there are hidden keys, that gamers are looking for that offer a fortune if they are found. Some of the people playing the game are serious about winning, deadly serious. This book was in the Amazon Best of Year 2011 and looked interesting.

2. Distrust that Particular Flavor by William Gibson. Geesh, where did he get his title? If it wasn’t Gibson, I wouldn’t give this a second look. But it is Gibson and for that reason, it is on my list.

3. City of the Dragons by Robin Hobb I came late to Robin Hobb, but when I showed up, I went hard. I wasn’t expecting to like her, so I was surprised. Start with the Assassin series, try the Fool’s trilogy and then mosey over to the dragon section. You won’t be disappointed.

4. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest  So much hype about this book, that I just have to investigate it. Steampunk has been very popular the last few years, and this was one of the books that started the craze.

5. Voyage in the Night  by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. By now, you know that I like these two and their Liadon Universe stories. This is the next after Fledgling, Saltation, and Mouse and Dragon.   Sharon and Steve were some of the first to self publish and use the internet to get their books out there. They published e-books and kept on going after their traditional publishing house shut down. They built a fan base through the internet and e-books, and then, Baen books picked them up. Now they have a foot in both places–both self publishing and trad publishing. Go guys.

So, I began my list from last week and read Ghost Story by Jim Butcher. My reaction is that it’s one of his best. Can you imagine waking up and being a ghost and being manipulated into solving your own murder? How Butcher gets around the problem of Harry not being able to hold on to anything, much less be able to speak or communicate is interesting. For once, Harry isn’t in constant pain, but the action is just as wild, the difficulties, even more difficult than ever before. The reader meets all the old characters like old friends (or enemies). There are a few places that bog down with explanations on how a particular magic works, or the history of a particular magical being, but the reader often finds the information interesting. We even meet Uriel, an archangel. I recommend it for any Butcher fans, or fans of fantastical beings in literature.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cyberpunk, dragons, fantasy, magic, Naamah, science fiction, science fiction series, Steampunk, supernatural, the fae