Review: Saucerers and Gondoliers by Dominic Green

Saucerers and Gondoliers
Dominic Green
science fiction, young adult
August 2011
Smashwods
171 pages
format: epub
accquired: author sent copy for review
This review is cross-posted from Spacegypsies

Saucerers and Gondoliers is a fun romp through space with two British teens, Cleo and Ant. We meet the two of them off the side of the motorway, where it’s apparent that Ant’s father is loading his eighteen wheeler with illegally purchased goods. When Ant asks his father what’s being loaded into the truck, he answers “green diesel” – and then the deal starts to go sour. Ant, based on previous experience, takes Cleo off into the woods to get away from the deal his dad is trying to close.

And then Ant and Cleo encounter another example of a man trying to load up a vehicle with ill-gotten goods. Only this one is a flying saucer. Cleo and Ant have gone from a truck loaded with contraband to a flying saucer loaded with it. They have all the luck!

Before long, the two of them find themselves flying through space and their saucer’s captain unconscious from his injuries. With no idea of where they are headed, they survive on the crisps and foodstuffs loaded on the saucer, and have a moment of panic when they stop flying and are just…wherever they are. Adrift, with their pilot unconscious.

This sets up my favorite exchange in the book. It cracked me up when I read it, and I kept going back to it:

The alien saucer turned side-on to the light, and Ant saw a faded emblem stencilled across its side. A star in a circle, two rows of stripes like wings, and the letters USASN.

“We’re saved!” he said. “It’s friendly!”

“How do you know it’s friendly?”

“It must be friendly! It’s American!”

This leads Ant and Cleo to the settlement of Croatoan of the New Dixie colony, which is inhabited by the worst examples of Southern Americans possible. Nearly everyone Ant and Cleo encounter here are parodies (I hope they are parodies) of ignorant, racist rednecks who are frozen in pre-civil rights era thinking.

On the one hand, I find it amusing. On the other–maybe it’s some bias on my part as a reader living in the American South–it’s really, really annoying. The only thing that made the residents of Coatoan bearable is that later the Soviet Russians and then Brits that the kids encounter are also all caricatures (though the Brits are perhaps less obnoxious); everyone is equally two dimensional.

Ant and Cleo’s adventures in space opens up several questions about the beginning of the US space program that turns into the Colonies of the United States in space and the United States of the Zodiac with no resolution. Cleo and Ant (and their eventual +1 from Croatoan, Glenn Bob) find out about the mysterious Saucerers, who may or may not exist, and then…nothing. No resolution or exploration of the mystery.

Their romp in space is fun, and I was entertained. Ant and Cleo are clever and entertaining teens. It was easy to read the whole story as a tongue-in-cheek mockery of the space adventures of old. It felt more like a series of encounters than a thoughtful story, though. This thing happens. And then this! And clever humor at the expense of the Americans and Soviets and generally not bright adults! So I wouldn’t pick this up if you are looking for thinky thoughts. It is entertaining, though. Just not deep.

Visit the author’s Website.

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Coming Soon! December 2011 edition

For whatever reason, I’ve had a tough time getting excited about this December’s releases; when I went trolling through the various lists of December releases there were only two that stood out for me (usually there are several, and I have  to narrow it down for this monthly post).

The Demi-Monde: Winter
Rod Rees
Science Fiction
December 27, 2011
Harpers Collins
ISBN: 978-0062070340
528 pages

The blurb, from the publisher:
The Demi-Monde:
1. A subclass of society whose members embrace a decadent lifestyle and evince loose morals.
2. A shadow world where the norms of civilized behavior have been abandoned.
3. A massive multiple-player simulation technology that re-creates in a wholly realistic cyber-milieu the threat-ambiance and no-warning aspects of a hi-intensity, deep-density, urban Asymmetric Warfare Environment.
4. Hell.

Welcome to the Demi-Monde, the ultimate in virtual reality—a military training ground and vivid, simulated world of cruelty and chaos run by psychopaths, madmen and fanatics.

If you die here, you die in the Real World . . .

In the year 2018, the Demi-Monde is the most sophisticated, complex and unpredictable computer simulation ever created, devised specifically to train soldiers for the nightmarish reality of urban warfare. A virtual world of eternal civil conflict, its thirty million inhabitants—“Dupes”—are ruled by cyber-duplicates of some of history’s cruelest tyrants: the fanatical Nazi butcher Reinhard Heydrich; Stalin’s arch executioner Lavrentii Beria; the torture-loving Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada; the Reign of Terror’s bloodthirsty mastermind Maximilien Robespierre.

But something has gone horribly wrong inside the Demi-Monde, and the U.S. president’s daughter, Norma, has been lured into this terrifying shadow world, only to be trapped there. Her last hope of rescue is Ella Thomas, an eighteen-year-old jazz singer and very reluctant heroine. But when Ella infiltrates the Demi-Monde and begins her hunt for Norma, she soon discovers the walls containing the evils of this simulated environment are dissolving—and the Real World is in far more danger than anyone knows. With the help of resistors determined to understand their world, Ella must race to save Norma and stop an apocalypse . . . but the clock is ticking.

Blending fact and fantasy, history and religion, military and existential themes, epic adventure and dark wit, dystopia and steampunk in a wholly original and driving narrative stream, The Demi-Monde: Winter is inventive fiction at its finest.

Empire State
Adam Christopher
Science fiction
December 27, 2011
Angry Robot
ISBN: 9780857661937
416 pages

The blurb, from the publisher:
The stunning superhero-noir fantasy thriller set in the other New York.

It was the last great science hero fight, but the energy blast ripped a hole in reality, and birthed the Empire State – a young, twisted parallel prohibition-era New York.

When the rift starts to close, both worlds are threatened, and both must fight for the right to exist.

Adam Christopher’s stunning debut novel heralds the arrival of an amazing new talent.

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November blogosphere reading round-up

I’ve been reading ’round the writing/publishing/geekery blogosphere again. Here are a few new-to-me bits I found interesting enough to share. November 2011 edition.

For my American friends: I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely! To all my readers: I’m thankful to each of you who come by here and support me.

Kristine Kathryne Rusch talks about free (e)books as promotion. (I found this by way of Angie’s Desk.) “Will I offer a free book in the future? In a heartbeat. But as I said above, I will have a game plan, and I will make sure that I know what I’m aiming for with the promotion. That’s what other businesses do. They don’t just randomly offer a special. They put some thought into it.”

Fueling Plot Momentum – a guest post by Victoria Mixon over at Tartitude. “Every day, in every way, I am always telling aspiring writers, ‘Whatever you do, never interfere with the forward motion of your plot.’ Life is short, and stories are legion. We haven’t got that kind of time. But even better than simply not interfering, we need to know how to increase that forward motion.”

From Kate Nepveu on Tor.com – A Plea to SFF Writers for Variety in Pregnancy and Childbirth Depictions. “The easiest thing any writer can do is, quite simply, to remember that there is a huge variety of experience out there.”

At Worlds Without End, David Brin recommends science fiction for young adults. “Why post a YA list by David Brin? Well, he’s David Brin for crying out loud – which is reason enough for me. And it’s a really good list. But mainly it because Mr. Brin has been actively working to spread the gospel of SF/F to younger fans for many years.”

If Tolkein Were Black at Salon.com.  “There may be swords and talismans of power and wizards and the occasional dragon, but there often aren’t any black- or brown-skinned people, and those who do appear are decidedly peripheral; in The Lord of the Rings, they all seem to work for the bad guys.”

The Secrets of Good Blogging–a Jim C. Hines guest post at Science Fiction & Fantasy Novelists. “Last week, I wrote a post asking whether writers should blog, and why. I wanted to write a follow-up for the hypothetical writer whose thought things over and decided to go for it. Having made that choice, what next?”

Kristen Lamb talks about Ways to Develop Your Unique Writer Voice. “Voice is one of those aspects of writing that is tough to define and quantify. Yet, it is at the heart of who we are as writers. The more we write, the more mature our writing voice becomes. Leave an immature, unformed voice to wander off on its own, and it will be wandering around getting into everything and making a mess.”

From the Worlds Without End blog, Automata 101: Frankenstein’s Monster as Golem by Rhonda Knight. I would’ve loved this approach to Shelley’s fantastic novel when I studied it as an undergrad. I think it would’ve made reading the novel an even better experience than it was.

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A side job. Or: another place to read stuff I write

I just realized I haven’t shared this with On a Pale Star readers. Shame on me!

I am joining the good folks over at SpaceGypsies for monthly articles pertaining to geekery, and will be cross-posting many, if not all, of my book reviews there. My author name over there is OnAPaleStar, and my first original article–“How do you webcomic?”–went up on November 3rd. So go check the site out. It’s a great, and greatly eclectic, group of writers.

I don’t anticipate this affecting my reading or posting schedule here; joining the crew at SpaceGypsies is an addition to, not in replacement of, my own blog.

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Review: No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon

No Mercy
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Paranormal romance
September 2010
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9780312546564
343 pages
format: hardcover
acquired: purchased

This review has been cross-posted to SpaceGypsies.com.

The blurb, from Goodreads:
Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before.

Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date.

The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.

The review:
I do love how, even though there’s an obvious formula in the Dark Hunters series, it works each time. I get a little bored when I read them back-to-back, but when it’s been months between readings, as it had been for me before picking No Mercy up off my nightstand, it’s refreshing to know that the good guys will get their happily ever after, or at least their happy-for-right-now. It’s also refreshing to pickup a volume this size and read it in one sitting.

More and more, this series is feeling like a cozy comforter; something wonderful to curl with on a snuggly evening. The basic formula is unchanging, but the evolution of the wider plot line keeps me coming back for more. I keep wondering just what the hell is going to happen to the repeat characters I’ve fallen in love with–Acheron, Nick, the Peltier and Kattalakis clans–because I know with all the crazy going on life isn’t going to be easy for them.

No Mercy focuses on Dev Peltier, one of the Peltiers’ identical quads, and on the Dark Hunter Samia, a former Amazon queen, and as such one of Artemis’ favorites. She’s also one of the Dark Hunters known as the Dogs of War–who are described as being just a few steps shy of berzerkers and vicious fighters, even among the Dark Hunters.

This is a romance, so Dev is a man’s man and has no hope of love for himself, and Sam is deeply wounded by the betrayal that made her a Dark Hunter, and at the mercy of the powers she gained when she sold her soul to Artemis, so neither of them are looking for love, cuddles, or sparkly rainbows. Nonetheless they get thrown together by the craziness that seems to swirl around New Orleans and Acheron’s soldiers.

I like, really, really like, Samia. The last time I remember a female Dark Hunter being the focus of the series was Danger, and I never really identified with her–I think hers is the one book of the series I never finished–so I wondered if I’d be turned off by another story focused on one. My fears were unfounded. Sam kicks ass and is just three dimensional enough to be believable while still fitting neatly into the expectations that come with this genre.

Dev has been, until this point, a mostly ancillary character in the enormous supporting cast of the world Kenyon has created. Nonetheless, I’ve had a sort of fictional crush on him for a while now. How could I not be fond of a hunkalicious bar bouncer who drips with sarcasm whenever he graces a page?  So I was prepped to be fond of him, and diving deeper into his character only reinforced that fondness.

I like the characters, but really what I enjoyed was the larger plot-building. We see Nick, and we see how his spin-off YA series, the Chronicles of Nick, is intersecting with this main story line, and we get glimpses of how the big players (such as the PITAs known as the Moirae) are operating and pulling strings. I can’t help but wonder how these larger plotty bits unfold in Retribution, which is the next book in the series and came out earlier this year.

So yes, another solid installment in the series. If I’m not mistaken, this is book 19 in the Dark Hunters series. It reads like Sherrilyn Kenyon has tons of story left to tell, as far as the larger plot, and I have to wonder how she manages to keep all this straight in her head. She has a huge cast of characters and story arcs that cross several books at a time–and not all in a linear fashion. Whatever she has planned, I’m along for the ride!

Visit the author’s website. Follow the author on Twitter.

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Review: Soul Thief by Jana Oliver

Soul Thief
Janna Oliver
Urban fantasy
August 2011
St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 978-0-312-61479-9
324 pages
format: paperback
accquired: purchased

This review has been cross-posted to SpaceGypsies.com

The blurb, from Powell’s:
Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them…

Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late fathers been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if thats not enough, there’s Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter whos made himself Rileys unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad.  With all the hassles, Rileys almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.

But as Atlantas demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the citys “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hells attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can’t last forever…

The review:

Warning! Thar be SPOILERS for the first book in the series, The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, in this review.

I lost a lot of sleep reading Soul Thief; I bought it during my lunch break at work, read it a bit that hour… and then started reading as soon as I got home later that night. I couldn’t put it down! I just had to know what was going to happen next, and what else Riley was going to have to go through.

Soul Thief picks up right where The Demon Trapper’s Daughter left off. Riley’s life is in chaos–everything, it seems, has hit the fan–and it only gets harder from there. Authors really do torture their characters, and it hurts, as an adult, to see seventeen year old Riley go through everything life (read: Jana Oliver) throws at her. I don’t want to spoil much, so I won’t go into detail, but I think if I’d been going through Riley’s life at that age I would’ve just curled up and tried to ignore the world. Luckily for the story, Miss Blackthorne is made of tougher stuff than I am and has a stubborn streak a mile wide, so she not only plugs along, she takes the initiative and keeps on with the investigation into holy water that started in The Demon Trapper’s Daughter, as well as getting dangerously close to the necromancers in Atlanta to find out who pulled her father out of his grave.

Have you ever read a story and known that it wasn’t going to go as well for the protagonist as he or she is anticipating? Of course you have. You’re an experienced reader; you know authors are cruel torturers at heart. It’s hard, so hard, when you see all the signs of the bottom dropping out when the character is blind to it. I can’t blame Riley. She’s only seventeen and for all that she’s a demon hunter, she’s still pretty innocent. That tension between Riley’s hope for at least one good thing in her life and my reader-knowledge that it wasn’t going to last was a great, if hard to bear, tension.

I knew it wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows for Riley, but I wasn’t prepared for just what happened when the bottom did finally drop out. I won’t spoil it for you, but I actually gasped and slapped my hand over my mouth in horror.

It’s a powerful ending, and it leaves me antsy for book three, which is scheduled to release in March 2012. I’ll be beside myself between now and then, worrying not only about Riley, but about Beck as well.

Visit the author’s Website. Follow the author on Twitter.

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November releases that interest me

November releases that have piqued my curiosity, 2011 edition.

Snow in Summer:Fairest of Them All
Jane Yolen
Fantasy, Middle Grades
November 10, 2011
Philomel
ISBN: 9780399256639
256 pages

I’m fond of tried and true stories being reimagined and remixed, so this seems to be right up my alley.

The blurb, from Goodreads:
With her black hair, red lips, and lily-white skin, Summer is as beautiful as her father’s garden. And her life in the mountains of West Virginia seems like a fairy tale; her parents sing and dance with her, Cousin Nancy dotes on her, and she is about to get a new baby brother. But when the baby dies soon after he’s born, taking Summer’s mama with him, Summer’s fairy-tale life turns grim. Things get even worse when her father marries a woman who brings poisons and magical mirrors into Summer’s world. Stepmama puts up a pretty face, but Summer suspects she’s up to no good – and is afraid she’s powerless to stop her.

This Snow White tale filled with magic and intrigue during the early twentieth century in Appalachia will be hard to forget.

New Cthulhu
edited by Paula Guran
New Weird
November 23, 2011
Prime Books
ISBN: 9781607012894
528 pages

It’s Cthulhu, and new weird. How could I NOT be interested?

The blurb, from the publisher:
For more than eighty years H.P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of supernatural fiction, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and gaming. His themes of cosmic indifference, the utter insignificance of humankind, minds invaded by the alien, and the horrors of history — written with a pervasive atmosphere of unexplainable dread — today remain not only viable motifs, but are more relevant than ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet is infinitesimal and climatic change is overwhelming it.

In the first decade of the twenty-first century the best supernatural writers no longer imitate Lovecraft, but they are profoundly influenced by the genre and the mythos he created. New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird presents some of the best of this new Lovecraftian fiction — bizarre, subtle, atmospheric, metaphysical, psychological, filled with strange creatures and stranger characters — eldritch, unsettling, evocative, and darkly appealing .

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End of October reading ’round the blogosphere roundup

It’s the end of October, and I’ve been reading all around the blogosphere on topics concerning advice for writers, publishing and SF/F politics, genre art, and general geekery.

Jason Sanford is over at SF Signal talking about The Political Battlefield of Military Science Fiction. “In American science fiction circles, one of the easiest ways to start an argument is to mention military SF. On the one hand, military SF is a popular subgenre, represented by many classic and best-selling works and well loved by loyal fans. Opposing that, however, are many other fans who see military SF as glorifying war and violence.”

What Makes Science-Fiction? China Mieville with Tom Hunter. “China seemed particularly unfussed about whether his books should be classed as science-fiction or not.”

The Ranting Dragon Lists Twenty Must-Read Finished Fantasy Epics. (Do you agree with the list?) “This list aims to provide an introductory overview of the epic fantasy genre and a resource for those who may be interested in reading an epic series but don’t quite know what is available or what might be worth reading.”

From Jon Sprunk at Tor.com – Backstory: How Much Is Enough? “Yet no matter how long a time period your story covers, there is always something that came before. Those events that impact the storyline are called backstory.”

A reading list: Pre-1923 utopian and science fiction stories authored by women.

From The Character Therapist: Why You Shouldn’t Be a Closet Writer. “Justification of effort is a theory that says, “If I have to work hard to achieve something, I will afterward find it more attractive.” We all understand this. The thought of wasting time and energy toward a particular end would prove us to be sort of daft, right? Consequently, it would damage your self esteem and confidence.”

Rachel Gardner has a message for novelists: Stop Trying to Brand Yourself. “Who are you writing books for? Identify ONE PERSON in your life who represents your audience in terms of age, gender, lifestyle. Blog for her. Create Tweets or Facebook posts that would interest her. That’s how you’ll develop a following.”

Over at Omnivoracious, Jeremy L. C. Jones interviews R.A. Salvatore. “On the occasion of the recent publication of R.A. Salvatore’s latest novel, Omnivoracious invited Jeremy L. C. Jones to share his thoughts about the book—and to interview the author.”

Maruice Broaddus talks about the big themes in his Kings of Breton Court series. “And just as, as a writer, I’m vain enough to believe that the words I put onto page demand to be read—especially as book three, King’s War, has just been released—I wanted to talk about the “big idea” behind each of the books.  Or at least some of the things rolling around in my head as I was writing them.”

Art of the Genre: Why do they want all our women? From The Black Gate blog. “I’m not sure what it is about this particular threat that men find so intriguing, but I’m betting it has come from the school of sacrificing virgins. It seems the subconscious mind of the Y chromosome simply gets off on the threat of female subjugation, or even the deliverance of said act [see Art of Gor].”

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Guest Post: Author Tag Blog Tour – Liz Kreger

We have a guest post today–part of Author Tag Blog Tour. Welcome to On a Pale Star, Liz Kreger!
Hey Readers!
My name is Liz Kreger, and I’m one of eleven authors whose short story appears in the anthology Entangled.  This is a collection of paranormal stories which is being released exclusively in e-format.  Every bit of it … from the cover, to the Foreword provided by Stacia Kane, to the individual stories, everything was donated and 100% of the proceeds are to go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).  My story is titled “Feel the Magic”.

It was a thrill to be asked to participate in this anthology … not only because I was given the opportunity to work with such talented authors, but because this cause — breast cancer — is so close to my heart.  You see, I’m a fifteen year breast cancer survivor.  I was diagnosed when I was 35 years old, went through a mastectomy, reconstruction and then spent nearly 7 years cancer free.  In 2002 it was discovered that the cancer had metasticized to my hip, my lower back, my skull and my liver.  For the past nine years I’ve been actively battling this bitch.  Last Friday I just started a new round of chemo cocktails called Abraxine.  I figure in the past year alone, I’ve been on 7 or 8 different chemos … some work for awhile, some not at all.  It’s a matter of finding the right combination to combat my particular brand of cancer.

So, you see how important this cause is to me.  If you ask anyone, I’m sure you’ll find in some way, shape or form, that person has been touched by cancer.  Whether it was their mother, their aunt, their sister … whoever.  Cancer has a way of invading our lives and in many cases, take away those we love.

I hope you enjoy Entangled as much as I enjoyed contributing a story to it.  The authors are all incredibly talented … and I’d like to introduce Dale Mayer whose short story, “Sian’s Solution”, appears in Entangled.  Dale is a fabulous author who writes both romantic suspense and young adult.  Her romantic suspense, Tuesday’s Child, was just released and sounds like a total winner.

Dale will be appearing tomorrow at Sugar Beat’s Books.

FEEL THE MAGIC by Liz Kreger (author of the Part of Tomorrow series) — Jenna Carmichael’s magical attempt to rectify Jessica Manfield’s birth identity takes an unexpected turn when the past comes back to haunt her.

You can find my social media and book buy links at my website: www.lizkreger.com .  Please feel free to browse and hopefully you’ll support the BCRF by purchasing Entangled.

Thank you ever so much for allowing me to participate in this Author Tag blog tour.  It was a new experience for me and I’m having a ball.  Take care.

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Mid-October blogosphere reading round up

New-to-me blog posts, news articles, podcasts, and other items of interest that probably pertain in some way to writing or reading speculative fiction, or to geekery in general. Mid-October 2011 edition.

Neal Stephenson talks about Innovation Starvation on the World Policy Journal. “I worry that our inability to match the achievements of the 1960s space program might be symptomatic of a general failure of our society to get big things done.”

The wonders of science fiction are not the wonders of science, from Ian Sales. “There has been some discussion of late of the role science fiction might play in inspiring science – see Damien G Walter’s piece here, Cheryl Morgan’s here, and Mark Charan Newton’s here. The argument being that, allegedly, innovators read science fiction, or many scientists chose their careers because of science fiction, and so the genre is assumed to have a very real influence on the future of science, technology and engineering.”

Gretchen McNeil at Diversity in YA Fiction: Diversity is in the Eye of the Beholder. “One of the frequently asked questions I get about Possess is “Why did you choose to write a non-Caucasian main character?” And since this is the Diversity in YA blog, I thought this was the perfect forum to address the topic.”

Nine Words to Avoid in Your Writing – from The Writing Resource. “Suddenly the conversation isn’t about your writing but about your word choice. Online, comment areas are taken over by people vehemently opposed to the way you used one word out of a thousand. But you looked up the word and you know your use of it matches a dictionary definition.”

From Night Bazaar: Thomas Roche on Character Names And The Prevention of Brain Farts.  “No matter what genre I’m writing in, I often feel that I’m constitutionally incapable of coming up with appropriate names on demand. I choke on syllables and have to spit them out, and suddenly out come syllables I don’t remember even trying to swallow.”

Gender Roles-Black, White, and Gray at The Writing Excuses podcast. “Mary leads us into this discussion, starting with how gender roles and gender identity lie along a continuum, defying the convenient descriptors that people typically employ, and how this can inform our writing. Keffy offers valuable tips, talking about what gets done wrong, and how to write it correctly. We also talk about how this can apply to world-building, especially in fantasy where extended gender identity usually are not a consideration.”

The Alchemy of Writing: Why? Theme? Why Theme? “ The question is simple. Why are you doing what you do? People will respond to what you believe, and not just to what you have, however great that might be.”

To Plot or Not To Plot: Part 1: Terminology and the Difference Between Narrative and Story, from Ingrid’s Notes. “I often find the terms Narrative, Story, Plot, and Structure to be used interchangeably (on blogs, in articles, tweeted, and talked about), and personally, much confusion has ensued as a result.” This is a series: Part 2: Taking a Closer Look at Story, Part 3: Got Plot?, Part 4: Types of Plot, Part 5: Structure and Looking at the Whole
Nail Your Novel: Plot is linear, story doesn’t have to be.  “ Here, I’m using linear to mean, as Ingrid did, A, then B, then C… and so on – possibly (hopefully) with surprises, reversals etc. In other words, the timeline of the characters’ lives in chronological order. What they saw as the clock ticked through each day and night. That’s linear.”

Kirkus Reviews makes mention of the trend of literary and SF/F mashups. “A new trend has appeared relatively recently in the literature of the fantastic—the mashup. Rather than working within the confines of a single genre of fiction, authors are trying their hand at combiningdifferent forms of literature within the same story. The so-called “mashup” is the literary equivalent of putting peanut butter together with jelly. Given that the mashup practice has been happening for a couple of years now, it’s proving to be just as popular.”

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