Posts Tagged ‘sci fi’

Sci-Fi
Date Published: 10/10/17
Publisher: DSP Publications
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
Some stories are epic.
The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.
Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.
From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.
Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.
Book One of Liminal Sky
 
 
About the Author

Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Enticed into fantasy and sci fi by his mom at the tender age of nine, he devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library. But as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the books he was reading.
He decided that it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He loves to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.
Starting in 2014, Scott has published more than 15 works, including two novels and a number of novellas and short stories.
He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own lives.
 
Contact Links
Purchase Link
Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Advertisements

Sci-Fi
Date Published: 10/10/17
Publisher: DSP Publications
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
Some stories are epic.
The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.
Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.
From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.
Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.
Book One of Liminal Sky
EXCERPT



“DRESSLER, SCHEMATIC,” Colin McAvery, ship’s captain and a third of the crew, called out to the ship-mind.

A three-dimensional image of the ship appeared above the smooth console. Her five living arms, reaching out from her central core, were lit with a golden glow, and the mechanical bits of instrumentation shone in red. In real life, she was almost two hundred meters from tip to tip.
Between those arms stretched her solar wings, a ghostly green film like the sails of the Flying Dutchman.
“You’re a pretty thing,” he said softly. He loved these ships, their delicate beauty as they floated through the starry void.
“Thank you, Captain.” The ship-mind sounded happy with the compliment—his imagination running wild. Minds didn’t have real emotions, though they sometimes approximated them.
He cross-checked the heading to be sure they remained on course to deliver their payload, the man-sized seed that was being dragged on a tether behind the ship. Humanity’s ticket to the stars at a time when life on Earth was getting rapidly worse.
All of space was spread out before him, seen through the clear expanse of plasform set into the ship’s living walls. His own face, trimmed blond hair, and deep brown eyes, stared back at him, superimposed over the vivid starscape.
At thirty, Colin was in the prime of his career. He was a starship captain, and yet sometimes he felt like little more than a bus driver. After this run… well, he’d have to see what other opportunities might be awaiting him. Maybe the doc was right, and this was the start of a whole new chapter for mankind. They might need a guy like him.
The walls of the bridge emitted a faint but healthy golden glow, providing light for his work at the curved mechanical console that filled half the room. He traced out the T-Line to their destination. “Dressler, we’re looking a little wobbly.” Colin frowned. Some irregularity in the course was common—the ship was constantly adjusting its trajectory—but she usually corrected it before he noticed.
“Affirmative, Captain.” The ship-mind’s miniature chosen likeness appeared above the touch board. She was all professional today, dressed in a standard AmSplor uniform, dark hair pulled back in a bun, and about a third life-sized.
The image was nothing more than a projection of the ship-mind, a fairy tale, but Colin appreciated the effort she took to humanize her appearance. Artificial mind or not, he always treated minds with respect.
“There’s a blockage in arm four. I’ve sent out a scout to correct it.”
The Dressler was well into slowdown now, her pre-arrival phase as she bled off her speed, and they expected to reach 43 Ariadne in another fifteen hours.
Pity no one had yet cracked the whole hyperspace thing. Colin chuckled. Asimov would be disappointed. “Dressler, show me Earth, please.”
A small blue dot appeared in the middle of his screen.
“Dressler, three dimensions, a bit larger, please.” The beautiful blue-green world spun before him in all its glory.
Appearances could be deceiving. Even with scrubbers working tirelessly night and day to clean the excess carbon dioxide from the air, the home world was still running dangerously warm.
He watched the image in front of him as the East Coast of the North American Union spun slowly into view. Florida was a sliver of its former self, and where New York City’s lights had once shone, there was now only blue. If it had been night, Fargo, the capital of the Northern States, would have outshone most of the other cities below. The floods that had wiped out many of the world’s coastal cities had also knocked down Earth’s population, which was only now reaching the levels it had seen in the early twenty-first century.
All those new souls had been born into a warm, arid world.
We did it to ourselves. Colin, who had known nothing besides the hot planet he called home, wondered what it had been like those many years before the Heat.
About the Author

Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Enticed into fantasy and sci fi by his mom at the tender age of nine, he devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library. But as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the books he was reading.

He decided that it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He loves to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.
Starting in 2014, Scott has published more than 15 works, including two novels and a number of novellas and short stories. He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own lives.
Contact Links
Purchase Links
Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Serengeti
by J.B. Rockwell
Genre: SciFi Adventure
It was supposed to be an easy job: find the Dark Star Revolution
Starships, destroy them, and go home. But a booby-trapped vessel
decimates the Meridian Alliance fleet, leaving Serengeti—a Valkyrie
class warship with a sentient AI brain—on her own; wrecked and
abandoned in an empty expanse of space.


On the edge of total failure, Serengeti thinks only of her crew. She
herds the survivors into a lifeboat, intending to sling them into
space. But the escape pod sticks in her belly, locking the
cryogenically frozen crew inside.
Then a scavenger ship arrives to pick Serengeti’s bones clean.
Her engines dead, her guns long silenced, Serengeti and her last two
robots must find a way to fight the scavengers off and save the crew
trapped inside her.
**On sale for .99 from Sept 4th- 9th**
Serengeti 2:
Dark and Stars
Fifty-three years Serengeti drifted, dreaming in the depths of space. Fifty-three
years of patient waiting before her Valkyrie Sisters arrive to
retrieve her from the dark. A bittersweet homecoming follows, the
Fleet Serengeti once knew now in shambles, its admiral, Cerberus,
gone missing, leaving Brutus in charge. Brutus who’s subsumed the
Fleet, ignoring his duty to the Meridian Alliance to pursue a
vendetta against the Dark Star Revolution.


The Valkyries have a plan to stop him—depose Brutus and restore the
Fleet’s purpose—and that plan involves Serengeti. Depends on
Serengeti turning her guns against her own.
Because the Fleet can no longer be trusted. With Brutus in charge, it’s
just Serengeti and her Sisters, and whatever reinforcements they can
find.
A top-to-bottom refit restores Serengeti to service, and after a rushed
reunion with Henricksen and her surviving crew, she takes off for the
stars. For Faraday—a prison station—to stage a jailbreak, and
free the hundreds of Meridian Alliance AIs wrongfully imprisoned in
its Vault. From there to the Pandoran Cloud and a rendezvous with her
Valkyrie Sisters. To retrieve a fleet of rebel ships stashed away
inside.
One last battle, one last showdown with Brutus and his Dreadnoughts and
it all ends. A civil war—one half of the Meridian Alliance Fleet
turned against the other, with the very future of the Meridian
Alliance hanging in the balance.
Hecate
Prequel to Serengeti
Black Ops—the intelligence arm of the Meridian Alliance Fleet came
calling with an offer Henricksen couldn’t refuse: a ship—an
entire squadron of ships, actually—and crew to command. A chance to
get back to the stars.
Too bad he didn’t ask more questions before accepting the assignment.
Too bad no one told him just how dangerous this particular skunkworks
project was.

 

They call the ship the RV-N: Reconnaissance Vessel – Non-combat, Raven for
short. A stealth ship—fast, and maneuverable, and brutal as hell.
On the surface, Henricksen’s assignment seems simple: train his crew,
run the RV-Ns through their paces, get the ships certified for
mission operations and job done. But an accident in training reveals
a fatal design flaw in the Raven, and when an undercover operative
steals classified information from a Black Ops facility, the Fleet
Brass cancels the tests completely, rushing the faulty ships and
their half-trained crew into live operations. On a mission to recover
the Fleet’s lost secrets.
Out of time and out of options, Henricksen has no choice but to launch
his squadron. But a ghost from his past makes him question
everything—the ships, their AI, the entirety of this mission, right
down to the secrets he and his crew are supposed to recover.
Audiobook available 10-17-17

Note from the Author:

When Your Main Character’s a Starship…

By J.B. Rockwell

Umm, so yeah. I did this. At the time I was thinking, “How cool! This will be really different!” And it is. That’s one of the things I love about the Serengeti series: you just don’t see a lot of books written with a sentient AI warship as the main character.

And there’s a reason for that: it’s hard.

Okay, so that’s probably not the only reason you don’t see a lot of books written from a starship’s point of view, but I’m going to go down on record as saying it’s one of them. And here’s why: close your eyes and think about every book you’ve read or written, every movie of TV show you’ve watched and how the characters interact with one another. All the physical posturing and non-verbal cues. Now imagine one of those character’s is a ship and most of the rest of the characters are moving around inside her.

See what I mean?

Being the brilliant writer I am (*insert extremely heavy dose of sarcasm*), I never thought about this when I blithely sat down at my computer one day and started pounding out words on my ‘OMG everyone will love this!’ little story. But it wasn’t long before I realized this book was going to be a lot harder to pull off than I originally thought. And since I didn’t have a whole lot of other, similar books to fall back on for research, I basically figured things out as I went.

So, how does one go about using non-verbal cues with a main character that lacks arms and legs, hands and eyeballs? Well, if you’re me, you cheat. (*puffs up all proud*) And since some of you out there may be reading this and considering doing something as stupid…er, brilliant as me, here’s how:

Let’s start with the eyes. Or lack thereof. Eyes play a major role in conveying characters’ feelings without repeating boring things like: ‘She was sad’, or ‘She was mad’. Eyes squint and widen, flash and darken to tell readers just exactly what is going on with a particular character at a particular moment. We use words like ‘glance’ and ‘glare’ and ‘stare’ to help convey interactions between characters and indicate who’s speaking to whom.

Well, Serengeti doesn’t have eyes (she’s a badass warship, remember?) but she does have cameras—that’s Cheat the First. By turning cameras, zooming in and out, or simply flipping through one lens and another I can show the reader how Serengeti’s focus changes. I can flash a light on a camera to draw another character’s attention to it, and use it as a focus of conversation when their speaking to Serengeti’s AI, rather than having them do the Star Trek thing and just randomly yell ‘Computer!’ in the general direction of the ceiling.

Cheat the Second is similar to Cheat the First, in that it involves Serengeti’s fittings, in this case the many data panels scattered across her bridge and elsewhere on her ship’s body. By flashing panels and sending discrete messages, even cute little emoji, Serengeti is able to interact with her crew on a more personal and private level, offering information and encouragement, sharing worries and fears without broadcasting that information through her speakers for everyone with a working set of eardrums to hear.

Cheat the Third when it comes to eyeballs is also Cheat the Fourth which helps to replace the pesky lack of appendages that comes with Serengeti having nothing more than a ship’s body. Namely, robots. Throughout Serengeti and Dark and Stars, there are many and various situations which prompt Serengeti to download or connect a portion of her vast consciousness to one of her maintenance robots (Tig, Tilli and Oona) or another robot she comes across in her travels. Though non-human, these robots handily come equipped with legs (for flailing, and waving, and otherwise shaking about) and faces (backed by motile, bright blue lights) that can be animated in a multitude of manners to emulate human gestures and facial expressions, providing easily digestible cues to Mr. and Ms. Reader of My Book. Plus, they’re cute as the dickens and snarky as all get-out—who doesn’t like that?!—and provide a break from all the camera looking and talking. Characters interact differently with cameras than they do with robots, no matter who’s in the driver’s seat, so letting Serengeti run around in a robot body for a while really gave me more latitude to change things up. And, as an added bonus, robots can go places Serengeti the ship can’t. Like space stations, for instance—I can’t exactly have whopping big Serengeti pitter-pattering down a space station’s hallways—allowing me to expand the story’s universe and take the action out of the stars once in a while.

So, that’s how I did it. That’s how I got around writing a book (and a sequel, and a prequel) whose main character was a starship. It wasn’t easy, but I’m proud of the result, and that used a story device that so few others have tried. More importantly, my agent liked it and signed me on in part because I offered up something that was fresh and new. I also like to think it’s because I’m incredibly entertaining and funny as all get-out, but I’m not sure my agent would agree…

J


J.B. Rockwell is a New Englander, which is important to note because it
means she’s (a) hard headed, (b) frequently stubborn, and (c) prone
to fits of snarky sarcasticness. As a kid she subsisted on a steady
diet of fairy tales, folklore, mythology augmented by generous
helpings of science fiction and fantasy. As a quasi-adult she dreamed
of being the next Indiana Jones and even pursued (and earned!) a
degree in anthropology. Unfortunately, those dreams of being an
archaeologist didn’t quite work out. Through a series of twists and
turns (involving cats, a marriage, and a SCUBA certification, amongst
other things) she ended up working in IT for the U.S. Coast Guard and
now writes the types of books she used to read. Not a bad ending for
an Indiana Jones wannabe…

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!