What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’ – Crossing Boundaries

You may be surprised to hear that many novels start out as one of the types of ‘Book Series’ I’ve mentioned already this week, only to transform, almost magically into another. There could be many reasons for this, stronger readership, bigger, more larger storyline that needs to be extended over a few books, rather than being fully explored in just the one. And I think you know one of the biggest novel ‘brands’ that fits into this category. Oh yes, I’m looking at you JK Rowling.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosophers_Stone_Book_J_K_RowlingJK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is huge. In fact, it is bigger than huge, yet if we take a look at the earlier books in the series, Harry Potter and Co actually go through Hogwarts and thwart the enemy by the end of the book. It isn’t until the later books, do we see JK Rowling actually convert the standalone series into a much larger picture. Be honest. Did you ever see how the later storylines developed in the The Philosopher’s Stone or The Chamber of Secrets.

But why did JK Rowling suddenly decide to make things complicated? In my honest opinion, I think it was the only valid way to move the series on. As Harry Potter gets older, so do the reading audience, and they are much more likely to withstand multiple story arcs across numerous books, especially compared to the younger reader who may only be mature enough to deal with a single plot across one book. I also think it is a good example of showing how JK Rowling developed as a writer; her understanding of her audience is probably a learning curve she cherished. Especially when compared to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five Famous Five TVseries, where none of the books lead into others. Sure, there may be quick references to past adventures, but Blyton keeps things simple. But that isn’t a negative thing, for Blyton’s books still sell thousands of copies each year, with many being considered ‘classics’.

Another type of ‘Book Series’ worth mentioned that may cross boundaries is the prequel. Well actually, I would rather refer to them as being on the fence between a ‘standalone’ series and ‘One Piece to Make a Whole’ series – (see previous posts). I’m not sure what to make of prequels? I understand their premise, and their direction, I’m just not sure if they are needed. I recently read and reviews Who Could That Be at this Hour? by Lemony Snicket, which is a prequel series of sorts to his bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, which wasn’t fantastic to say the least.

othersystemscover2Yet I can’t help but get excited about the proposition of upcoming prequels by Sharon Sant and Elizabeth Guizzetti. You may remember that I loved Sharon Sant’s young adult dystopian novelRunners. A prequel series is possibly in the pipeline that will go further into the other characters that make up the gang Elijah joins at the beginning of the book. Elizabeth Guizzetti’s adult SciFi novel, Other Systems also has a prequel in the pipeline beautifully titled, The Lighter Side of the MoonOther Systems took many brave risks, and paid off thanks to Guizzetti’s clever and intelligent storytelling.

You may remember that I am a huge fan of Philip Pullman. It was his His Dark Materials series that ultimately inspired me to go ahead with my writing ambitions. And in 2003, a small novel was released to accompany the series. Lyra’s Oxford was ultimately a novella to keep fans happy until the next books is finally released. It was a book that had many ‘extra’ reminding readers of memorable happenings and characters from the main Lyras Oxford Coverseries. For example, within the book you can find a postcard from Mary Malone, one of the characters that had a prominent feature in the last book, The Amber Spyglass.

Yet in 2008, another companion novella was released, entitled Once Upon a Time in the North, which is a prequel story to the main series explaining how two of the prominent characters actually met. This book too comes with a series of ‘extras’ including a pull out board game, which is kind of fun. But I have to say, that although I loved the main series, these small campanian novels aren’t brilliant. They are entertaining, yes, but ultimately pointless in the grand scheme of things.

What are your thoughts about prequel books? Stay tuned tomorrow, as I have been in touch with a cast of fantastic authors and Book Bloggers, to ask them what some of their most favourite book series are.
Post 1 – What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’

Post 2 – What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’ – One Piece to Make a Whole

Post 3 – Guest Post by Sharon Sant

Post 4 – What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’ – The Standalone

Post 5 – What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’ – Crossing Boundaries

Post 6 – Guest List

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May New Releases

Now as a new month approaches, we are in for a great treat as three new books are released TODAY! And yes, it is May already, and no, I have no explanation as to how the time has gone by so quickly. It only feels as if Christmas was here just a few weeks ago. But enough babbling, on to the books!

Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti

othersystemscover2Other Systems isn’t a new book as such, but today marks the release of the paperback, which is fabulous news. When this fresh Sci-Fi adventure was released I not only interviewed the talented author, but also gave this a great review too. “It’s an intelligent novel that will send your mind wondering and I loved the fact that the book could become quite intense at times because ultimately this strengthened my connection with the characters.” – comes to mind as i look back over my review. And with a new sexy, intriguing and colourful front cover, Other Systems has something for everybody. Below you can find the synopsis and video trailer.

Without an influx of human DNA, the utopian colony on Kipos has eleven generations before it reaches failure. Earth is over ninety light years away. Time is short. On the over-crowded Earth, many see opportunity in Kipos’s need. After medical, intelligence, and physiological testing, Abby and her younger siblings, Jin and Orchid, are offered transportation. Along with 750,000 other strong immigrants, they leave the safety of their family with the expectation of good jobs and the opportunity for higher education. While the Earthlings travel to the new planet in stasis, the Kiposi, terrified the savages will taint their paradise, pass a series of indenture and adoption laws in order to assimilate them. When Abby wakes up on Kipos, Jin cannot be found. Orchid is ripped from her arms as Abby is sold to a dull-eyed man with a sterilized wife. Indentured to breed, she is drugged and systematically coerced. To survive, Abby learns the differences in culture and language using the only thing that is truly hers on this new world: her analytical mind. In order to escape her captors, she joins a planetary survey team where she will discover yet another way of life.

You can buy the paperback from Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble

Not of Our Sky by Sharon Sant

not of our skyThis release is the third and last instalment of the wonderful Sky Song Trilogy. I recently interviewed Sharon about her trilogy, and finishing Sky Song (Book 1) i was left amazed by its realistic fantasy themes. “Its fantasy is equally matched by its realism, and lots of original concepts thrown in to boot.” The cover is great too, and i love the purple haze. Below, you can see the synopsis.

Jacob fights for his life and Ellen faces her toughest decision yet: whether to finally reveal his true identity to his parents. For Jacob is one of the Watchers of Astrae, a race of beings with extraordinary powers, and sworn to protect the natural order of the universe. But Jacob has broken one of Astrae’s oldest laws and chaos threatens to cover the Earth.

Alex faces the fall into darkness that has long been prophesised. Her only ally is Makash, their bitter and twisted uncle, and Jacob has already succumbed to the shadows. Who will be there to catch her?

With the first part of the ancient prophecy already coming to pass, it seems their only hope lies in the second part – the riddle of the star that will bring them back to the light. But what does it mean? And why do Jacob, Alex and Ellen all dream of the same lighthouse, night after night?

Not of Our Sky is the third book of the Sky Song Trilogy.

You can purchase the ebook from Amazon / Amazon UK

Minutes before Sunset by Shannon Thompson

Minutes Before SunsetI was immensely impressed with Shannon Thompson’s idea for her paranormal romance novel that features multiple points of view and intriguing shift of shades and lights. I couldn’t resist but interview her and ask her about her ideology in her writing. This book is most certainly on my too read list and with some great reviews already, you can’t go wrong with this YA novel. Below, you can see the synopsis.

Eric has a life-or-death confrontation planned and waiting for him on his 18th birthday. And Jessica just wants to find out who, or what, her parents were. Neither of them is ready for the answers they’ll find.

Minutes Before Sunset is Book 1 of the Timely Death series.

“She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.”

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

“He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.”

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

You can purchase the ebook from Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords

With some fantastic choices at the very start of May, what is there to look forward to later on in the month?

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Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing

“I’m rather embarrassed to admit, but what exactly is a blog hop?” was my first reaction when I was nominated by talented author, Jack Croxall. His debut novel, Tethers, reached the top ten historical children’s stories on Amazon upon its release and I’m currently reading it now. When I was told exactly what a blog hop was, I almost jumped at the chance to take part. Answer some questions about your upcoming novel, why – yes please!

Although, I must admit I think I’m going to cheat a little. My next project, The Caseworker’s Memoirs, will be released in late Spring 2013, but my feature length YA Fantasy novel, The Black Petal, is in the trusted hands of a professional editor at the moment and as of yet, has no release date. But as quite recently, I’ve talked about The Caseworker’s Memoirs an awful lot, I think I’ll delve into my fantasy world and tell you a bit about The Black Petal.

What is the working title of your next book?

Well obviously I’ve already given that away; The Black Petal, but it does start off a magical trilogy and I’ve already planned the next instalment, which I’ll be getting underway within the next few months. The Black Petal refers to a unique flower that is prophesied to summon a powerful God that can grant you unfathomable power.

I’ll also reveal the working title of the second instalment of the trilogy – *whispers* The Golden Lyre. I’ll let you do your own research into that one :0p

Where did the idea for your book come from?

I’ve always been a huge fan of both the YA (Young Adult) and Fantasy genres and I suppose as I’ve always dreamt of becoming a real writer, those particular genres were a no-brainer for my own stories.

I also studied Classical Civilisation in 6th Form (college) and I’ve always had a love for mythology of various ancient civilisations. I felt at the time that traditional and classical myths were something that many people were losing touch with and I wanted to tell a story that not only captured the teenagers of today through adventure, but also reinvent some of the more, forgotten let’s say, myths of the Greek and Norse people.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s got to be YA Fantasy, hasn’t it? I suppose the trilogy as a whole will have an epic sort of feel to it, but that most certainly is a stretch at the moment – especially since the second and third books aren’t even written yet.

Who would play your characters in a film?

What a curiously fantastic question! I’m going to have to have a think about that one.

You would say that although the book has two definite central characters; each character has an important and vital part to play. For Blake, the Victorian Assassin, I’m afraid I have no idea whatsoever. He simply formed himself as I wrote.

As for the two teenagers, hmm. This is an older teenage book and so I would need actors that could pull off sixteen year olds. For Jack, our teenager from the present, it could be Transformers actor Shia LaBeouf. I think he is a fantastic actor, full of vigour and able to pull off emotional scenes too. For Lucia, our crimson-haired blind girl, it most certainly could be Saoirse Ronan, who played the younger Briony Tallis in Atonement. From what I’ve seen she is an exceptionally well varied actress.

There are far too many other characters to go through, but one is definitely worth a mention. Queen Danika of the Valkyries is such a mentally ambivalent character who can switch from callous to seductress without a second thought. She would be a really interesting character to play and I think an actress such as Jennifer Garner or Eva Green could certainly pull her off. (Is that thinking too blockbluster-esque?)

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

The Black Petal is the first adventure in an exciting new trilogy that combines both magic and myth; and with war looming on the horizon, surely there can be only one winner?

Will your next book be self-published or represented by an agent?

Good question! The Black Petal has been with me for some considerable time and it’s always been my intention of giving it the best start in life. I have paid and worked with a professional editor and hopefully I can attract the attention of a fantasy loving agent or publisher.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Can you believe it – it took six years! Extremely slow, for many reasons I may add, but now that I am properly organised and am writing regularly, hopefully The Golden Lyre will be considerably less.

What other books would you compare this story to in the genre?

As a reader of a wide variety of books, you’d think this would be an easy question to answer, wouldn’t you? Well, I absolutely love Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and I’d have to say that it is clear that he has influenced my work. But as my story also features mythology, do you think I’d get away with saying it can compare with some original Greek myths too?

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

To be completely honest, I’d have to say, quite selfishly, that my own perseverance played a big part. I was never an A-Grade student and there is a certain view that only the extremely well educated can write good books, and I wanted to prove to people that no matter what your background or education is, you can still become whatever you put your mind to.

But as I’ve already said, I do honestly feel that myths of old are becoming forgotten, for whatever the reason may be. There are some myths and especially characters from myth that are only known to the well-researched individual. It’s about time they get a new lease of life, don’t you?

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

If magic, war and adventure isn’t enough then there is plenty more to get stuck into as well!

I feel that The Black Petal can appeal to almost anyone who loves a good story. I think that no matter your age, gender, background, sexuality … you name it; there is something for you in here. There is a struggle for freedom, a need for revenge, a love blossoming, a power struggle, a point to prove. It includes loss and addiction – is that telling too much :0p

You can read the full synopsis here if you like?

Now for the next victim *ahem* willing participant, I’m going to nominate American Author, Elizabeth Guizzetti, who if you all remember, wrote the brilliant Sci-Fi novel, Other Systems. With a second book in the series due and an intriguing new fantasy novel entitled The Martlet; I am looking forward as to what she chooses to talk about. You can visit her blog here and why not check out The Martlet trailer below to see what you can expect from this highly exciting author in the near future.

How cool does this look!

Sci Fi eBook Competition

OK, so it is the seventh and final day of Sci Fi Week on my blog and there could have been so much more things I could have talked about. I could have talked about Jurassic Park, which has elements of Sci Fi in it and the possible return of the franchise. I could have talked about hit UK Sci Fi comedy Red Dwarf, which has returned for its tenth series on digital channel Dave. I could even have talked about Science Fiction in gaming; the popularity of World of Warcraft for example of the Warhammer series of models.

But alas, I have tried to include a wide variety of posts here this week. Books, author interviews, Film, TV. I have thoroughly enjoyed hosting a genre week and may look to do another sometime in the future. It has allowed me to connect with some new acquaintances and hopefully the book reviews and author interviews posted this week has given you readers as well as the authors themselves something to remember.

To celebrate the books this week as well as the science fiction genre, i have a free copy of both Elizabeth Guizzetti’s Other Systems and Katy Krump’s Blue Dust: Forbidden up for grabs.

Other Systems is available in the following eBook formats: PDF, EPUB, MOBI and to go with your free copy, the author has kindly thrown in FIVE exclusive wallpaper artwork exclusive to the Other Systems galaxy.

Blue Dust: Forbidden is available in the eBook format of MOBI and to go with your free copy, the author has kindly agreed to send the winner a very personal email message that you can print out and keep forever.

OK – to the technical bit. You can enter the draw for both books, but there is only one free copy of a single book to one person. PLEASE be aware that the competition is for an Ebook only and you must support the above file types.

The competition is open for one week and will end on Sunday 11th November 2012.

To enter simply fill in the form below – simple.

The Competition is now closed. Winners will be contacted directly. Thanks to everyone who entered.

I really do hope you have enjoyed this week alongside me, reading my posts. Get in touch if you have any questions and stay reading Sci Fi, because i know i will.

Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti and Author Interview!

Day Two of Sci Fi Week – I’ve sat here for the past five minutes wondering whether or not to post the review of the book first or the Interview first and I just don’t know. Does it really matter? I think it makes more sense to read the review of Other Systems first and then find out a little more about the talented author next.

Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti was published by 48Fourteen Publishing earlier this year in April and follows the story of Abby, who surprisingly leaves all of her family and friends on Earth and is heading off to Kipos, a planet light years away to start a new life; one filled with education, heart warming stories about loving spouses and grand jobs. But things aren’t that simple however, and Abby is soon to discover that life upon this Utopian planet is actually more of a hellish nightmare. She is sold to a man as a slave and life is pretty drastic and dire. Will she escape or will she learn to ride the difficult culture and accept her new position in an unknown planet?

What I loved about Other Systems was the highly advanced world Elizabeth Guizzetti creates. It is one full of history and full of promise and the result of this is actually a fully rendered 3D world we can actually visualise and understand. Kipos is a planet on the decline; generations after generations are succumbing to a failed reproduction law and are desperate for solutions. You can get sucked in to the entire political situation of Guizzetti’s world and it almost serves as a dual storyline alongside Abby’s turmoil.

I feel it safe to say that Other Systems is indeed an adult novel and it features many unpleasant scenes and situations that are difficult to read, yet this is not a bad thing! It is the awful point where Abby is raped that you suddenly awaken to the addictiveness this sort of novel produces. You simply have to read more. You want Abby to be OK; you want her to live on and make something of herself; not letting those awful moments define her as a person.

For Abby is such a relatable character and a protagonist whom we learn to love and admire. I think Abby can come across incredibly naïve in the beginning, falling for the false promises offered to her, but why not? Despite her quite innocent approach at times, she is a highly modern woman; a woman with many ideals and emotions that can distance some readers. Should monogamy be the right path? For Abby, love is something she learns to accept on many levels and her approach is simply her choice. As a reader we can either accept this, or see it as one of her flaws. And it is these flaws that can also make Abby so readable. We aren’t perfect ourselves so why would we want to read ‘perfect’ characters?

Guizzetti’s book is quite technical at times and this is to be expected from a book of this genre. It never patronises you though and at times you come away feeling quite knowledgeable about the processes and technologies within the novel. Surely this is a sign of the author’s talent? It is obvious she has done her research with so much attentiveness and love.

Alongside Abby is a cast of interesting and fully rendered characters. Take Cole for instance who can almost come across as quite endearing at times. Cole can almost be seen as a love interest for Abby, but you realise much later on that their relationship is more of a father and daughter. With the inclusion of male characters we also come across Harden and Mark. With that also comes the subject of homosexuality.

I won’t go into too much detail as I don’t want to spoil everything the book has to offer but we come to realise that Harden is bisexual, which is quite rare to see in books. I think it is wonderful that Guizzetti has dared to approach these subjects and decided to explore them.

There is simply just so many things going on within this novel and you can’t help but let of all these intertwining events and politics take over your own imagination. What if our world was like that? Where would we be as a civilisation? It most definitely gives you cause for concern as you come across the beginnings of these things in our own country.

Of course a review wouldn’t be fair without showing both sides of the coin. If subjects such as rape and character sexuality are something that you wish NOT to read then I’m afraid you won’t find this book very enjoyable. The sensitive subjects are never thrown at you with menace but I would assume that many people may find all of this uncomfortable in a shockingly unpleasant way.

I think it fair to say that at times, the flow of the book can slow and it is at these times where reading can become a little confusing especially if you aren’t fully aware of the subject matter. However, with a book of this nature and calibre it does deserve your entire attention.

I would highly recommend Elizabeth Guizzetti’s Other Systems as a book to reignite the Sci-Fi genre to you if you have ever left it if you are fan; definitely go and add it to your wish list. It has a nice balance of action and emotion and with very well written characters, there will be someone in here that you can find so attachable. It’s an intelligent novel that will send your mind wondering and I loved the fact that the book could become quite intense at times because ultimately this strengthened my connection with the characters. When you read this book, you will understand exactly what I mean.

Star Base - 4

Author Interview with Elizabeth Guizzetti

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Guizzetti here for an interview. Hi Elizabeth! Her author profile tells us that she loves to create (which is extremely apparent within her book) and once she has an idea she runs off with the idea, not letting it go until she has given it her all. Over the past decade, she has created over 100 paintings, three graphic novels and a comic book series. Other Systems is her first published novel.

Elizabeth currently lives in Seattle with her husband and two dogs.

  • Other Systems is a wonderfully crafted and well structured Sci-Fi novel featuring Abby’s quest to start a new life. Tell us a little about what we can discover inside?

 

Other Systems is a story of determination and survival set against a background of scientific exploration. It explores the loss of identity, family, and friends due to time dilation.

Without an influx of human DNA, the planet Kipos has eleven generations before its human colony reaches failure. Gene splicing and cloning have failed. It will take over two centuries to get to Earth and back at near light speed. When the Kiposi transports arrive in our solar system, they are shocked to discover the outer colonies (Triton, Ganymede among others) are abandoned. The Home World is crumbling and filled with 17 billion wanton savages.

The novel follows Abby, an Earthling, who after medical, intelligence, and physiological testing is offered transportation along with her younger siblings, Jin and Orchid. They leave Earth with the expectation of good jobs, kindhearted spouses, and the opportunity for higher education. When Abby wakes up on Kipos, Jin cannot be found. Orchid is ripped from her arms as Abby is sold to a dull-eyed man with a sterilized wife. To survive, Abby must learn the differences in culture and language using the only thing that is truly hers on this new world: her observant and analytical mind. To escape her captors, she’ll join a planetary survey team.

While most of the novel is written from Abby’s perspective; the prologue, intermissions and conclusion focus on Cole Alekos and his family. These breaks in the narrative show the consequences of the Reproduction Laws, advances in technology, the variable nature of time, and the effect of Abby’s presence on his family after his adult daughter decides to take her in.

  • Other Systems is set so far in the future in 3062. How did you go about creating Earth so far ahead of our time? Was it all from your entire imagination or did you take elements from our own lives and evolve them further?

I know quite a bit about the construction of Seattle and was able to imagine what would happen if the seawall collapsed and if the infrastructure began to break down. Yes, I did take elements from current technology and evolved them to what might be if levels of tech continued to rise and fall as population continued to rise. If necessity is the mother of all invention, I just considered what would be necessary. Solar and methane collection would become crucial. I loved the idea that artificial intelligence decided to leave Earth and Kipos after they evolved past humans. They don’t have anything against humans, they just don’t want to hang out with us either.

  • I think Abby is such a relatable character. She has dreams to further herself and become somebody and although it is a bit of a risk to venture to Kipos, it is one many of us can understand. She has such a strong voice. What is it about Abby that you think is addictive yet relatable?

I am proud that I wrote a character that people seem to care about even when they get frustrated with her. One reason I think people care about her is that she has flaws, she makes mistakes. Yet she has strength of character. She is a survivor no matter what happens she keeps going.

  • Other Systems cover many sensitive issues; some political, others more ethical. It must have been hard to write about these with such detail? However it is done so professionally. I commend your daring about including these issues. What compelled you to include/write about these issues?

Let me first start by explaining how I wrote it. The concept for Other Systems really hit me when I was out walking the dogs: a young Earth woman goes to another planet and realizes she has become a slave. However, due to her intelligence, she will escape and become a ship’s captain while she rescues her siblings also somewhere lost on this planet. Obviously this original idea is not exactly the final concept. That very night, I saw an article about young, uneducated girls from India’s rural areas traveling into new cities and thinking that they are going to get factory jobs only to end up working as sex slaves. Suddenly, I knew the how Abby got caught up in all of this.

As for writing controversial issues (suicide, sex, swearing, politics, etc.) should be integral to the plot in some way. So first of all, I ask myself: Is this scene necessary? How much of the scene is necessary? Abby’s rape was integral to the plot and I had to force myself to not rush the scene though I didn’t want to write it at all.

For every negative scene, I tried to remember there would be a positive scene. The scene that was the hardest scene to write was the birth of Rachel Margret/Lei Lei. It took me a long time to write convincingly how much joy Abby had for the child’s life then her accompanying pain when the child is taken from her arms.

  • I love your approach regarding character’s sexual identity, in my opinion it sets it far ahead of other novels of similar theme. Were you ever worried about readers’ reactions or possible homophobia?

Not really. It is probably to my detriment, but I don’t worry about readers’ reactions to challenging subjects. My goal is to write a complex and interesting story and characters who readers sympathize with.

Besides, I figure people who are homophobic would have never got past the opening chapter. They wouldn’t agree with Lucy’s suicide as a protected right or Harden screaming obscenities at his father. If they happened to get to the second intermission, they learn Harden is bisexual like most people in the Fleet. He leans towards hetero, but he has had homosexual relationships. They probably would put the book down right then and there.

What surprised me is Abby’s sexuality has been more problematic for some reviewers than the homosexuality. Apparently, there is still an idea that a young girl should just want love from one special guy, but Abby thinks about love and sex with various men and boys.

  • What is it about the Sci-Fi genre that captures you? Did you just happen to fall into that genre or have you always had a healthy respect for it?

It is the story that captures my attention. Abby’s story happened to be science fiction. The day the inspiration struck I knew it would be. I have also written (in comics) fantasy, a dark comedy, and historical horror, each time I always knew what the story would turn out to be.

That being said, prior to writing my first novel, I loved science fiction as a genre and so does my husband. With this project, I hoped to create something my husband would love.

Since then I discovered I have a knack for mixing science with solid characters. Both of my published written works, Other Systems and the short story Unintentional Colonists are character driven sci-fi.

  • Despite all of the action and wonderful plot, it is the characters and their relationships that I loved the most. It was almost sad to reach the end. Does Abby, Harden or Mark feature in any of your future plans or has their full story been told?

The series will not have a traditional sequel, but it’s a big universe. There is so much more to explore including what happened on Earth after the Kiposi left the space elevators and what happened on Kipos. If it goes to plan…you will see all three characters again.

  • Other Systems was published in April of this year and has been released for some time. I’m intrigued to hear about your short story ‘Unintentional Colonists’. What’s that all about?

After 12 years of no gravity in space or low gravity on Europa, the crew of the one of the first long term space missions must decide if they want to go home and be crippled or stay on Europa and continue to do scientific research.

It was published by Perihelion SF on October 12 of this year. Everyone can read it for free at http://perihelionsf.com/fiction_4.htm

  • Sci-Fi has its own set of rules to follow and it must be difficult to avoid accidental ‘copying’ from well known Sci-Fi examples. Tell us your thoughts.

I don’t know if there are rules per say, but most science fiction has both scientific thought and the hypothesis of “what might be if…”

Sometimes I do worry about accidental ‘copying’ and think many authors probably do. After all, did I come up with the idea of artificial intelligence, nanotech, FtL messaging and travel? Nope. That technology is literally in hundreds if not thousands of books, movies, games, and television shows. Scientists right now are working to develop technologies that will push science even further.

When I needed technology or science for Other Systems, Unintentional Colonists or any story, I researched prevailing theories, chose one, then filled in the holes with fiction. Since that is what all authors do, it makes sense there is some crossover. Because every author is going to tell their stories their own way, the stories are going to be original. For example, there are other stories with Artificial Intelligence, some times they even become sentient, but I never read any story where the AI becomes sentient because someone was polite to it. That’s part of my story.

  • And lastly, what advice would you give to new Sci-Fi writers who are looking to get published?

This advice is really for any author. Since there are no guarantees, be passionate about the stories you write. Getting published is often an issue of reading submission guidelines, contacting the right market, determination, and not giving up.

Other Systems

What a great interesting interview! It’s really rewarding sometimes when you have loved a book to get to know the gritty information behind the novel and what went into it whilst it was still ‘under construction’. Thank you Elizabeth! I wish you all the best for the future and readers, if you loved what you have read get reading her free short story. You can purchase Other Systems though  using the link you are more familiar with. Amazon USAmazon UK , 48Fourteen,  Barnes & Noble.

Be sure to keep reading Sci Fi week on my blog for your chance to win a free copy of Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti and a surprise gift from Elizabeth herself!

What is Sci Fi?

Well it is the first day of Sci Fi week on my blog and I thought it appropriate to discuss what the Sci Fi genre actually is. What I have recently come to realise is that the Sci Fi genre actually means different things to different people.

If we look at the dictionary definition of the term ‘Sci Fi’ it actually gives quite a broad answer. A genre of fiction that deals with imaginary but plausible content such as futuristic science, technology, space travel, aliens, parallel universes and the paranormal (but not the supernatural). Hmmmm wow that can cover quite a lot can’t it?

Sometimes, I have to admit that it can sometimes become quite difficult to distinguish between what is fantasy and what is Sci Fi. Obviously if we take J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, we can pretty much come to the conclusion that that is fantasy and not Sci Fi. The same can go for H G Wells’ The War of the Worlds but just in reverse. But what about a medium that contains a mixture of both?

Take James Cameron’s Avatar for instance. Despite looking a lot like the 1992 film Fern Gully, it has a mixture of fantasy elements such as different races and their religious beliefs including flying creatures. But yes it does involve futuristic technology and other worlds despite our own.

 

But when did we first come across the Sci Fi Novel? Interestingly, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is considered to be one of the earliest examples of Sci Fi despite its gothic and romantic setting, and that was published in 1818. If you venture into one of the bigger book shops, you’ll find that Sci Fi can be split down further. Categories such as Hard Sci Fi, Military Sci Fi, Western Sci Fi, Biopunk and Apocalyptic are to name but a few.

And with the franchises of Star Wars and Star Trek, Sci Fi was transported to

Image taken from http://www.galaticwatercooler.com

the general public on a much more mass scale and it became popular. I do still think that Sci Fi can be quite ‘cult-y’ and is often associated with geeks and can actually be seen as derogatory and not real writing.

I have a few favourite TV shows that are Sci Fi which I will talk about in later posts this week, but if I am honest, I haven’t read too many novels in this broad genre. I grew up with Fantasy and Adventure and tended to stick to what I knew. However, with my two guest interviews this week, I have discovered a real interest in the subject and I hope I can keep it up and continue to venture further.

What does Sci Fi mean to you? And what are some of your favourite books in the genre? Please do comment and start talking, it will be interesting to see if any particular book / series seems to be more popular. Have you always been a fan of Sci Fi? Or are you not a fan and prepared to tell us why?

 

*COMING TOMORROW: Book review of Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti and an interview with the author herself!*

Sci Fi on the Horizon

Are you a fan of Sci-Fi novels? Well if you are, you will love my next two reads. I was contacted by two authors who were interested in me reading their Sci-Fi novels and possibly the chance to interview them very soon. This is fantastic opportunity for me to get stuck into a genre I’ve always wanted to explore. The great thing about the Sci-Fi genre is that it is full of imagination and that means wonderfully detailed and creative descriptions about planets and star systems that could possibly exist out there. Imagine reading a book like this and afterwards looking up into the night’s sky and watching the stars. What if there really is live elsewhere? It is this kind of thought process that really intrigues me.

Ok, enough babbling, onto the books.

The first is a novel by Katy Krump and is called Blue Dust: Forbidden. It is available now in eBook but the paperback is released in November 2012.

Qea (Pronounced Kee-ah) is a girl with an unusual history. She comes from a distant galaxy where warlords rule the law and corruption is rife, so she must become hard to survive, but here on earth a young man will change her heart and risk her life, changing it forever.

All teenage girls keep secrets and Kerry Johnston is no exception. More than anyone else she knows how to lie, for ‘Kerry’ is an alias and her life is a nightmare of secrecy, violence and fear. In reality this overweight, limping teenage girl is Qea, a Forbidden child from the Qarntaz Octad, sent to Earth to hide from the warlord she has betrayed. Born third into her family in an overpopulated world where surplus offspring are Forbidden and killed or delivered as fodder for the malevolent Inquisitors, Qea has spent her life in hiding.

Other Systems by American author, Elizabeth Guizzetti is the second Sci-Fi novel on my reading agenda. It has already been published in April 2012 and has met some wonderful reader reviews.

Ten large ships race toward Earth, broadcasting in every language: “Brothers and sisters, we come in peace and in need. We have found our way home.” The fear of a coming invasion begins the worldwide riots of 3062.

Yet, not all Earthlings fear attack. The newcomers, long lost descendants of Earth, speak of a paradise ninety-four light years away. Kipos is a land of plenty where there has never been hunger, murder, or war. However, they need more healthy young immigrants for the colony to thrive.

Many accept their offer to be tested. After assessment, Abby Boyd Lei is among the chosen. She leaves the protection of her family with dreams of higher education, a good job, and a kind-hearted spouse.

Will Kipos be everything she imagined? Abby is about to discover the cost of utopia.

I will most certainly be looking forward to delving in to discover what these novels have to offer. Are you a Sci-Fi fan? If so, what are some of your favourite novels or authors? Join in the discussions and start a trail. If you have never really read many Sci-Fi novels, why not join me? Get downloading these two titles and we can progress together!

*On a side note, watch out for my upcoming posts. A review of Australian author Dianne Gray’s YA Thriller ‘The Everything Theory’ and an interview with ‘Jimmy Threepwood’ author Rich Pitman, which will include a competition!* … Stay Tuned