Category Archives: zero gravity

Five Science Fiction Novels to Start the Year off.

IMG_9512Welcome to 2013.

Are you as amazed as I am at the number I’m looking at? 2013 is a science fiction far future date to me…

And yet here we are….

I would have expected by this time to have a colony on the moon, spaceships flying to outside our solar system, at least.

However, since I have written Past the Event Horizon where I needed to figure out some of the problems in surviving space travel, I have gotten a better understanding of how difficult it is to travel in space. Not only the lack of oxygen, gravity, and resources make it difficult, but it’s so darn far to get anywhere and if the scientists are correct, everything is getting farther apart. So, I was surprised to find a blog on NASA seriously looking into WARP drive as a means of propulsion. Here’ a case of science fiction (Star Trek) leading science. Of course, my usually caveat about anything you read on the web applies, but check out this interesting idea for 2013.

Now, (rubbing hands) for my first five picks for 2013.

I decided to mix things up with old favorites and new authors.

DragonshipFor an old favorite, I have been eagerly awaiting the next book in the Liaden Universe series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. So, I was delighted when a Christmas present arrived in the form of Dragonship. What’s intriguing about this story is that it concerns the symbiosis of a self aware A1 controlled starship that interfaces with Theo Waitley, daughter to Daav yos’Phelium. A lot of what and how I write is similar to this series and I only hope mine will someday be as popular as Lee and Miller have become.

For a new author, I have selected Gravity by Tess Gerritsen. The title caught my eye and then an enthusiastic review of her work. This is a story about working on a space station and a virus or new organism erupts to put the station and possibly the whole world in danger. Once again, since I’m now writing a novel that includes a space station, I was curious to see how it would be portrayed by another writer.Gravity

shipbreakerMy third choice is Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. This best selling science fiction author came to my attention last year when I read The Windup Girl and again, when my science fiction book readers selected it for this month’s read. I  liked The Windup Girl and expect to like Shipbreakers also. We’ll see.

A lot of buzz in the new world of book publishing has been created by Joe Konrath. He has been at the forefront of Indie publishing and for a while now, I have felt that I must pay him homage and check out his books. TimecasterTimecaster looked to be right up my alley as it deals with a policeman who can predit the future and stop crime. Sounded a little like the Minority Report, the movie Tom Cruise was in, but we’ll see. I like time travel books and my first two novels dealt with the complications time travel can create. I’ll revisit time travel and the Timelab in future books also.

AngelmakerAnd last, Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway. Here’s another new author that I just recently heard about. I thought the cover and blurb interesting enough to get me to read the book and let you know my opinion. Besides, with “Angel” in the title, it gets my vote as angels fascinate me and creating angels is a theme I also explore.

There’s five best selling science fiction novels to start the year off with. I’ll let you know what I thought of them on down the road. In between, I’ll offer other new reading ideas and science tidbits.

Meanwhile, happy reading and happy 2013….GADS! REALLY?

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Is today’s physics theories more fiction than fact?

I love reading science fiction because it looks into the future, and I am a curious person and like to see around corners or ahead on the path.

And writing science fiction is fun because you get to play God and harass your protagonist even more than you would your little sister.

However, science fiction has a word in it that often leads the writer down weedy trails…and that word is science. Some writers ignore science and just wave their hands, make up words like tachyon and presto, you have a transporter that gets you to the planet without the inconvenience of shuttle craft. Other writers get so much into the science that they become little professors and leave the reader yawning. I think that is why so many physicists become science fiction writers. But that’s another soapbox for another day.

Recently, I mentioned string theory and multi universes when discussing the popular novel, “The City and the City” by Meiville. Now I am writing “Past the Event Horizon: book 4” that includes a space journey involving dwarf stars, vortexes, space travel and all kinds of science stuff. I am trying to get the known science right and still have a story where my protagonist can travel far enough that he finds an interesting world outside his solar system. Okay, so I do some hand waving. Bradbury said that there were canals on Mars and we now know that isn’t true. Yet, his book The Martian Chronicles is a classic, and still sells.

I ran across this blog when twittering and thought I would mention it and give you a link. The reason? Because, if the science isn’t what an editor thinks it should be, you get called on the carpet. The problem is that the carpet is full of holes and even today’s scientists may have a lot of accepted theories wrong. Shock and amazement. Today’s science fact may be tomorrow’s science fiction. There are a lot of “accepted” theories in physics that have yet to be proven by more than fancy math. So if you are interested in the science of space, string theory or the Big Bang, give this link a gander.

Veronica Sicoe’s Blog “Open Your Eyes: science fact or fiction?

Last week I read “Crystal Variation” by Sharon Lee because I am a Lee junkie. There must be a twelve step program somewhere. It’s maybe 1200 pages and the whole time I felt guilty thinking that I  should read something on a list somewhere…like “Among Others” which, honestly I started and put down. Jo Walton’s “Among Others” just garnered the Nebula award and I congratulate her. Except, I don’t have time while reading this really big book and taking all food intravenously. The dust and laundry are both piling up. I told my husband he needed to diet, but he complained he needed some food to eat. Nag, nag, nag.

I am finding it hard to really trust other Indie writers. They are all over the place screaming, “buy my book”, but when I read the plot summary, I run for the hills. Recently one on Amazon got 95 out of 110 five star reviews. That’s amazing. Then the plot read like a crazy story with devils, angels, end of the world, rifts in space…oh wait, that does sound familiar. A few of those things are in my new novel. But the other book doesn’t have a cool spaceship and a dying dwarf star like my story does.

My reaction to recent Indie stories is disturbing because of all people, I shouldn’t be the one running to established favorites, but rather I should be out there uncovering self-published masterpieces. The bottom-line is that, with my cranky maturity (read older) and this fast paced world we live in, I don’t want to waste my time reading what I don’t enjoy and paying for it. I want a story plot that appeals to me, a strongly recommended book, a writer I know, or a novel that’s on a list voted by people who read science fiction and love it.

How do you pick your scifi novels? And what are you loving right now?


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