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Indie Author Showcase: Marc Nash November 26, 2012

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in alternative publishers, science fiction, self-publishing.
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Marc Nash in #litvhat

Marc Nash: Guest host for November 26, 2012

Marc Nash is no stranger to #litchat. He regularly participates in the weekly discussions as @21stCscribe. He joins us today in our bi-annual Indie Author Showcase to discuss his approach to writing and publishing in the indie universe.

Nash’s latest novel is Time After Time, a sardonic, sci-fi, romance where the object of seduction is the target of a time-traveling assassin. In the Yoni world of the future, women rule in a peaceful civilization without war and conflict. Men are nothing but emasculated sex slaves and working grunts. When F-10, the chosen assassin, is sent back in time to kill Hayley, the mother of the future leader of the women’s revolt, he’s completely unprepared for the violent world that awaits. And since time has developed this arc across multitude parallel worlds, the assassin must carry out his mission in each one. Playing in the background of the story is a D.J. who spins songs to communicate with the thugs his gangster brother uses to rule and terrorize the streets wherein Hayley lives. The psychological effect on F-10 as he completes his mission in each parallel world plays out in dark Groundhog Day-esque repetitions until the final scenario.

Marc Nash has published five books on Kindle and signed a contract with US indie publisher Temporary Infinity for a collection of his short stories to be released in 2013. He spent 20 years in the counterculture, working at Rough Trade Record Shop. He currently works with a freedom of expression NGO, which monitors censorship around the world. Nash lives in London with wife and twin boys, whose soccer team he has managed and provided him more sleepless nights than anything in the literature world!

Follow Marc Nash on Twitter: @21stCscribe.

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Exploring Love July 23, 2012

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in bestsellers, literary fiction, science fiction, weekly topics.
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MediaMonday for July 23, 2012: Are the Rules of Engagement for Serious Novels Changing? Source media by Warren Adler for Huffington Post, July 18, 2012.

Love is a universal emotion. Some say it is what separates humans from lower life forms. Often misunderstood and misused, love has fueled storytellers, poets, playwrights and novelists for as long as humans have used words. How does love differ from devotion, admiration, attraction and lust? Can humans truly love entities that have no flesh and blood? We’ll discuss these questions and others this Wednesday in #litchat. Wrapping up this discussion on Friday is guest host Lydia Netzer, author of Shine, Shine, Shine.

Shine, Shine, Shine is a love story and so much more. It’s a study on how we judge people consciously and unconsciously, and how some people cover their differences, some people exploit them, and why it’s so easy to do this. It’s a journey into space, into populating the moon with robots designed to build perfect human colonies. It’s an odyssey of flashbacks from the jungles of Burma, to the heartland of America, through the robotic voice of the POV character, Sunny.

Sunny, however, isn’t a robot. She’s a normal woman in every way, except she was born without body hair. Her mother guides her into celebrating her difference by refusing to let her wear wigs to cover her bald head. Add to this mix her future husband, an awkward boy named Maxon, who we come to understand is a savant genius somewhere on the autism spectrum. It’s no surprise when their child, Bubber, is diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

When Maxon takes a job designing robots for NASA’s upcoming colonization of the moon, the couple moves to suburban Virginia, where Sunny begins wearing wigs, false eyelashes and eyebrows to fit in with the other SUV-driving mothers. Sunny and Maxon’s odd courtship and married life takes up much of the backstory, while the immediate action of the story begins as Sunny’s wig is thrown off her head when she has a minor car accident while her husband is on a rocketship heading for the moon, her mother is dying in hospice, and she is eight months pregnant. When Maxon’s rocketship is struck by a meteor and the mission is doomed, readers watch Sunny snapping and stretching with superhuman strength and resolve. Shine, Shine, Shine peels away the hearts and flowers of romance to explore the nature of love in its myriad types and shapes.

Lydia Netzer was born in Detroit and educated in the Midwest. She lives in Virginia with her two home-schooled children and mathmaking husband. When she isn’t teaching, blogging, or drafting her second novel, she writes songs and plays guitar in a rock band.

Follow Lydia Netzer on Twitter: @lostcheerio

Dystopian Literature November 28, 2011

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in coming-of-age, science fiction, weekly topics, YA fiction.
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Marie Lu, author of Legend trilogyStories of a grim future weren’t a new concept when Cormac McCarthy won the 2007 Pulitzer for The Road. The slant of a future not shiny with hope, but spoiled and shattered into a bleak landscape of struggle and survival are time-worn concepts within literature. Does the abundance of dystopian literature published and read today reflect a grave outlook for the world community? Or is it just another literary trend that will peak and slide back into a sub-category of science fiction? We’ll ask these questions and others this week in #litchat.

Marie Lu, Friday’s #litchat guest host, is something of a phenomena. Born in Shanghai, raised in Texas, and educated at USC, 27-year-old Lu has already achieved what many writers struggle for years to achieve. Her debut novel, Legend is the first in a trilogy of dystopian YA novels. Film rights to Legend have been sold and screenwriters are already at work adapting the first novel into a screenplay.

Legend is the story of two opposing characters, June and Day, thrown together in what was once the western United States and now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Before she started writing full time, Lu was the art director at a video game company. She also owns the business and brand Fuzz Academy, which was chosen by C21Media as one of the International Licensing Expo 2010’s brands with the most potential for a TV series. After graduating from USC in ’06, the California weather sweet-talked her into sticking around. She currently lives in Pasadena with her boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix.

View the video trailer for Legend.

Follow Marie Lu on Twitter: @MarieLu.

Aliens and Others May 2, 2011

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in alternative publishers, digital readers, e-books, science fiction, self-published authors, small presses.
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Aurelio O'Brien

We are all aliens in some way or another. Step into a country club without an invitation and you’re an illegal alien. Try to join a secret society without a sponsor and at best you are ignored. You wear a burqa in a suburban neighborhood and you’re eyed with suspicion. Short, smart, autistic, or artistic, in middle school, everyone’s an alien. Lift your hands in worship at a traditional Christian church and you’re ostracized. Worse, you’re gay in a fundamental church and you’re not only an alien, you’re a sinner. This week in #litchat we’re discussing novels which explore alienation as a theme.

On Friday, Aurelio O’Brien joins us as guest host of #litchat. O’Brien’s timely new novel, GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL, may be sorted into science fiction, but like the best of that genre, it contains keen observations on what it is to be an alien in a homogenistically inclined society.

When respected scientist, Dr. Grace Brown, is sent on a preposterous mission to examine a group of nutcases who claim to be pregnant with alien babies, she is outraged. Her affront turns to activism when the crazies blow everyone’s mind with the birth to seven sentient lifeforms as diverse as fauna and flora can be. Joining forces with a tabloid journalist and photographer, she becomes the champion for the extraterrestrial children and their families as they grow up in a culture of misunderstanding, discrimination, and alienation. With astute observations keyed with charming prose and light-fast pacing, GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL is a book for today and many more tomorrows.

As a book, GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL is a type of alien to mainstream publishing. O’Brien, whose professional background is in film and animation, released his first book, EVE, in the tradition of independent filmmakers. Because of the nurturing culture of independent film, O’Brien didn’t expect to be snubbed by mainstream publishing and media, yet he found roadblocks to reviews and other publicity. EVE sold well with O’Brien’s out-of-the-box marketing, so he forged ahead with GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL with the same enthusiasm for indie expression.

The initial release of GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL is a ten ePisode eSerial designed specifically for hand held readers and mobile phone reading apps. As each successive ePisode follows GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL from infancy to adulthood, further literary and marketing innovations include an elaborate GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL eUniverse: embedded within each ePisode is a hyperlink to a website associated with the story and/or a character. These sites contain links to the web-based download location for the next ePisode. Readers will experience the added dimension of exploring characters’ blogs, story-related sites, and joining a fully supported facebooklike alien/human social network. Publisher Bad Attitude Books plans to release a limited deluxe edition collectable hardcover at a later date.

Aurelio O’Brien grew up in a raucous household full of uniquely gifted siblings in the heart of Silicon Valley before there were PC’s, cell phones, and flat-screen TV’s. His father worked in aerospace, on the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Space Shuttle, nurturing young Aurelio in an eclectic environmental medley of suburbia, cherry orchards, and cutting-edge technology. O’Brien’s quirky creative talents led him to a successful career as an illustrator, animator, and graphic designer.

Download the first chapter of GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL.

Follow Aurelio O’Brien on Twitter: @AurelioOBrien.

SciFi on the Radar November 22, 2010

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in fiction, science fiction, weekly topics.
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M.D. Benoit

The oceans. The sky. The depths below. Curiosity to know what lies beyond has driven two things: science and imagination. Ever since the first humans looked to the stars and gave them names, the wonder of what is out there has spawned some of humankind’s finest stories. This week in #litchat we’re discussing Science Fiction.

On Friday, November 26, Dominique (M.D.) Benoit joins us as guest host. A prolific author publishing with Zumaya Publications, Benoit’s latest novel, Catalyst follows a human clone created for organ transplants through self-awareness and rebellion, raising ethical and spiritual questions along the way.

Benoit’s fascination with science fiction began as a child with her father’s bedtime stories, which were always full of gadgets, dark doorways, and disappearing people. Benoit lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her husband and cat, who she secretly believes is an alien in disguise.

Follow Dominique Benoit in Twitter: @mdbenoit2.

Topic of the Week: Sci-Fi/Fantasy & a Child’s Imagination August 24, 2009

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in children's literature, fantasy, science fiction, weekly topics.
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Topic of the Week for August 24-28: Sci-Fi/Fantasy and a Child’s Imagination

Fiction is one of the most powerful and influential means of teaching children about the world they will one day inherit. Imagination plays a big role in the development of a child’s world view and is stimulated by otherworldly stories in science fiction and fantasy. The alternative worlds created by authors such as C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and Madeline L’Engle do more than just entertain children with hours of passive activity, they teach about racism, hatred, exploration, and overcoming the feelings of being different.

R.J. Anderson

R.J. Anderson

During the week of August 24-28 in LitChat we’ll talk about the power of a child’s imagination with an emphasis on science fiction and fantasy. Joining us as guest hosts on Friday, August 28, are R.J. Anderson, author of the YA fantasy series Faery Rebels: Spell Hunters, and K.A. Holt, author of middle grade science fiction, Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel

A lover of fairy tales, mythology and fantasy stories from an early age, R.J. Anderson (known to friends and family as Rebecca) started writing original fiction at the age of eight and completed her first novel-length manuscript at nineteen. Unfortunately the book was awful and after several rejections it became clear that publishers wanted nothing to do with it, so she had to relinquish her dream of becoming a child prodigy.

SpellHunterFortunately, Rebecca had more success with her second attempt — the story of a fierce young faery who fights to save her dying people while concealing her forbidden friendship with a human — which was published earlier this year as KNIFE in the UK and FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER in North America.”

Rebecca now reads to her own three sons the stories that fired her imagination as a young person, and enjoys reading wonderful new middle grade and teen novels and discussing them with others. She is proud to be a member of the Debut 2009 MG/YA Writers’ Group on LiveJournal (www.feastofawesome.com).

Follow R.J. Anderson on Twitter at: @RJAnderson.

K.A. Holt

K.A. Holt

K. A. Holt lives a life of mayhem in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three children. When she’s not writing action-packed adventures for middle grade readers, her alter ego, Kari Anne Roy, is writing action-packed tales of suburban shenanigans for not-yet middle-aged readers.

MikeNervesofSteelAs Kari Anne Roy, she is author of Haiku Mama (because seventeen syllables is all you have time to read) (Quirk, 2006). Some of her other work has appeared in Parents Magazine, and on the McSweeney’s Internet Tendency website.

You can find out all about K.A. Holt at http://www.kaholt.com, and you can learn more about Kari Anne Roy at http://www.haikuoftheday.com.

Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel is K.A. Holt’s first book for children.

Follow K.A. Holt on Twitter at: @karianneroy.