Friday, November 25, 2005

Holiday Sci-Fi?

What should a fan of science fiction have on her (or his) Christmas list?

I’d include one or two of Linnea Sinclair’s books, which are being re- released by Bantam Spectra. In a post back in July, I commented on a review I read for one of her books, Finder’s Keepers. My favorite is An Accidental Goddess, which is due out in December. The main character, Gillie, wakes up 350 or so years in her future and finds that she’s been deified while she was out of action. The resulting sci fi romance is quite a good read.

Catherine Asaro has a new book coming in December as well, and she’s seldom written anything I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. This new addition to the Skolian Empire series is entitled The Final Key.

David Weber has a new book on the shelves. I’m behind on Honor Harrington’s adventures, having purchased The Shadow of Saganami, but not having read it as yet. I did note that At All Costs was published in November. Fans of military fiction and space operas usually like Weber’s sagas which are set in Honor’s universe. His publisher, Baen Books has announced an enlarged version of my favorite of his books, Path of the Fury. I’ve never gotten enough of Alicia DeVries, so I’ll no doubt pick up a copy of In Fury Born, but I’ve been hoping prequel or a sequel for many years.

Star Wars fans can pick up the newly released Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, or indulge in the DVD version of the original trilogy. I find it interesting that the whole saga, all six episodes, is now available on DVD. I can watch the original trilogy over and over, but I don’t find Episodes I or II worthy of repeated viewings.

If you have any younger Star Wars fans, the impossible to find toy this season is Hasbro’s “Build Your Own Lightsaber” kit. I’m still trying to get one for my 12 year old son. Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Love it or hate it

I’ve chatted with a few folks over the past few weeks, trying to talk up my new novel, Trinity on Tylos, but of course, people want to talk about the book they have read rather than the one they haven’t, so I’ve heard quite a bit about The Gift Horse.

Living in the South is a huge advantage in this business. All southerners were told as children, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.” That means that people who didn’t like The Gift Horse are usually too polite to say so. Therefore, some readers say, “I just loved it. I couldn’t put it down.” Others just have a tight, polite smile. I guess they are the ones who hated it.

I went to a family reunion last weekend, and while I was there, one of my second cousins said she just loved my first book and can’t wait for this new one. Then she told me that her mother (my first cousin) was a bit shocked by The Gift Horse. I do understand that. The Gift Horse really isn’t for the faint of heart. When I wrote the back cover copy, I said something about taking a wild ride on The Gift Horse. And I wasn’t kidding.

Readers who love it usually cite the suspense, or simply mention how different it is. There are rules for writing fiction. When I wrote this novel I threw several of them out the proverbial window and told Angie’s story the way I saw it. In romance novels there must be a happy ending, in suspense novels the hero or heroine must overcome evil and have the opportunity for happiness. Only in literary fiction is a less than happy ending acceptable. However, in the world I see around me, not too many people enjoy the happy ending that is a prerequisite for winning the hearts and minds of the average reader. In some ways, The Gift Horse is outlandish, but I think it reflects the uncertainty of modern life.

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