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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: sci fi, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 37
1. Susan Kaye Quinn – Author Interview

In 2011, the year I began this blog, I took part in a month of bloggers/authors connecting with one another through a whole host of activities. As part of this, I chose to participate in the book launch for an … Continue reading

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2. Start Your Engines…TRACKED is Almost Here!

Exactly four months from today, Tracked will hit shelves, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! So I’m celebrating by firing off a double-shot of good news:

1. On the first day of Christmas, my true love (@coachmathmartin) gave to me…the debut present of a lifetime. Seriously. This Tracked-related surprise is made of hand-polished, custom-welded, plasma-cut steel. You can see it below, in Tracked‘s first official trailer! Check it out:

2. Today, we’re also announcing TRACKED‘S OFFICIAL CREW. By joining Phee Van Zant’s circuit rally team, you’ll be the very first to snag book excerpts, custom swag, and exclusive content. And did I mention prizes? Hit the starting line now, and lap the competition by winning BIG. Each month, from now until May, there will be wildcard giveaways and winner’s circle prizes for one-of-a-kind Tracked-related bags, posters, bookmarks, keychains, t-shirts, quote cards, autographed books, skype visits and MORE. There will be loads of opportunities to win, and multiple winners will be chosen for each lap! Trust me. You’re not going to want to miss this race, so join by signing up below!

TRACKED Crew Badge


See you on the starting line. ;0)


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3. The Flash Gordon series...

These are from drawings I did a year ago. Ming the Merciless, Flash Gordon and Dale Arden. 

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4. Pirates of Mars by Chris Gerrib -Sci Fi awesomeness

For those sci fi lovers out there, check out this new release by the wonderful Chris Gerrib. It’s getting a lot of talk, even being featured over on The Big Idea. At 2.99 you can’t go wrong. If you prefer print, it’s even available that way! Clicky clicky and happy reading!


“I liked this book so much, I did the cover art.” –Ron Miller.

Lieutenant Peter Grant of the Volunteer Space Rescue Service is taken hostage by pirates, who are holding him for ransom. The Rescue Service can’t afford to pay a ransom and is not equipped for an armed rescue. Fellow Rescueman, Jack Williams, unwilling to violate Rescue tradition and leave a person behind, decides to improvise a rescue . . .

Pirates of Mars: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Powell’s


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5. BOOK OF THE DAY: March 2012 list


Spring is upon us, and you can prepare for both Spring and Summer vacations with plenty of good books! Check out recommendations for all ages, plus DVD’s and teaching too!

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6. Book of the day: April


The full April list is here. Get a sneak peak at the 2nd half of the month and stock up for summer vacation too!

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7. BOOK OF THE DAY: The June 2012 List!


Plan in advance for father’s day! The month of June is dedicated to books for dads and boys…don’t worry, a few dads & daughter books thrown in too! Good list for reluctant readers as well as summer vacation. Enjoy!

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8. BOOK OF THE DAY: The May 2012 List


In celebration of Mother’s day, moms, women and daughters, recommendations span ages and areas of interest. Great for summer vacation reading too!

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9. Review of The Realms of Animar, by Owen Black

The Realms of Animar is an enjoyable read, one that will appeal to teens who are fans of fantasy and science fiction.

Set in a world where people have two forms, one human and one animal, this is the story of Thane, a teenage boy whose life is suddenly turned upside down when his animal form unexpectedly transforms into something never seen before. Filled with inmmense power, he now holds the key to the future of Animar and to saving his people from struggle and oppression. But Fatalis, the evil force who plans to rule Animar, learns about Thane and creates an army to destroy him and anybody who gets in the way of his plan. In order to fight Fatalis, Thane seeks the help of other beings, the Avians and Aquans. In a twist of fate, the hunters and the hunted must get together to save their world. 

Though the beginning was kind of slow, with a lot of information being presented by dialogue, I was intrigued with the story enough to keep reading. The author does a fairly good job in creating his medieval world — which, by the way, doesn't have dragons, elves or sorcery like so many other books in this genre nowadays — and dividing it into five realms: Herbivore, Carnic, Avian, Aquan and Reptilian. I enjoyed the action, battle scenes, and watching Thane grow into a brave, fearless warrior and hero. Though it has some violence, the language and other aspects make this book appropriate for the lower young adult crowd and even for middle graders. Recommended for readers 11 & up.

Purchase from Amazon or B&N

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-the-realms-of-animar/#ixzz1vuXLnMbH
10. Infinite Space, Inifinite God II: Cathedral

  12 days of sci-fi, day 4:

 At about 10 pages in length, next is a short, short story but don’t let length fool you. Author Tamara Wilhite succeeds in bringing out a wealth of emotions in Cathedral… 

Cathedral:    Truth

 Editor’s comment: Karina likes to think that, though Katarina may not have realized it, there was someone at the end to catch her.

 Our society today is experiencing the onset of social engineering. The laws no longer assume an inherent right of well being of the citizen, so society no longer strives towards its preservation. Instead, the rights of individuals have been separated and elevated above their well being. As laws are reinterpreted from this view, we transition into a new form of social disorder where, no longer having the legal right to attend to one another’s well being, citizens are forced to merely exist and comply while the government must increase its social services to fill in the gap previously fulfilled by sheer human kindness. 

As moral truths become relevant and absolute standards of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil wash away, we see science begin to transition into defining what is human and what is not through new medical research and genetic engineering. Thus reading Cathedral, written from the perspective of the near-perfect genetically-engineered “human” forced out into the world of mundanes (normal folks), science fiction does not seem to be very far-fetched at all.  “We never let emotions or sleep or relaxation get in the way of work. Just get as much done as possible in your life…” could even describe the lives of many people today as family “quality time” is now spent in the minivan driving from one activity to another, and businesses demand robotic-like perfection from their employees. Read closely and you will hear how the seeds of this fictional society are found in our very real world today. And you might find yourself asking the same question as Kat, our protagonist: “Was I participating in a delusion, trying to enjoy a moment here like I was like everyone else?”.  Pick up a copy of Infinite Space, Infinite God II at Amazon http://ow.ly/4F48e .

 (About the author): Tamara Wilhite is a professional technical writer and the “IE in IT” blogger for the Institute of Industrial Engineers. She is also the author of Humanity’s Edge; Saving Money, Time, Sanity and Yourself; and Sirat: Through the Fires of Hell. Her work has also been included in the Bonded by Blood, Genres, and Universe Pathways anthologies. Print and Kindle editions of her books are available on Amazon.com. www.myspace.com/humanitysedge )

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11. Infinite Space, Infinite God II: Tin Servants

  12 days of sci-fi, day 8:

 Back on earth again, we switch gears to a story with a modern day setting that seems it could be straight out of today’s news…except the humanitarian aid workers aren’t quite what they seem to be. Parents should be advised that one of the themes to the plot is the abuse of very human-like female droids as sex slaves.

 Tin Servants by J. Sherer


 Editor’s comment: “He’d (the author) read a lot of stories about robots trying to act human, but humans acting as robots?”

 This is a solid, fast-paced action drama set in Ghana nearly 50 years from now. The trauma and tragedy of a war-torn African nation, as well as risk to the protagonist, are realistically told almost as if we were watching an award-winning film. The beauty to reading stories instead of watching them in film is that the reader has the benefit of the character’s self-talk. We sense Paul’s, a/k/a TK-19’s, yearning to help the refugees with every cell in his body. Or at least the ones that are still human…

Don’t miss out. Pick up a copy of Infinite Space, Infinite God II at Amazon http://ow.ly/4F48e .

 (J Sherer lives in Southern California and works as a marketing supervisor for a large credit union. When he’s not writing, he enjoys playing sports, catching up on his favorite stories, and working with others on business strategies and tactics. His blog, Constructing Stories (www.jsherer.com), is a place where writers of all levels can engage in meaningful dialogue about the writing and storytelling process. He also partners with Nathan Scheck to present a free online science fiction adventure experience called Time Slingers (www.timeslingers.com). J Sherer’s past publication credits include Infinite Space, Infinite God; Dragons, Knights, and Angels Magazine; and the West Wind.)

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12. Infinite Space, Infinite God II: Basilica

  12 days of sci-fi, day 9:

Once again, we’ve taken off to parts of the galaxy that even Spock and Captain Kirk never imagined! Basilica gives an interesting “take” on space ship architecture…

 Basilica by John Rundle

 Good vs. Evil

 Editor’s comment (quoting author): (Rundle) “A hero is the architect of his own salvation; that is the very definition of a hero. If a hero can’t do that, he becomes a supporting character with no one to support, an empty suit.”

 I agree with the editors: Basilica was a great story. Not a syllable wasted in description that created a fast paced adventure in a short amount of “space” (pages, not outer), the protagonist’s moral dilemma only exists because of his strong moral character. Loyalty to authority of admiralty, choosing to protect civilizations from evil even at the cost of their own lives, all of this heightens the dilemma. The characters know from the outset they must sacrifice themselves for the good of all civilizations; acting in a self-serving manner just isn’t a choice for them. As we are flooded with modern entertainment in all forms (film, book, cable, games) that simply offer “empty suits”, it is refreshing to have such a strong hero at the helm of this ship.

 Nine stories, nine excellent reads! Don’t miss them in the anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God II http://ow.ly/4F48e .

 (John “Fish” Rundle (“Basilica”): After graduating from college summa cum laude, John turned to writing fiction simply to relieve stress. It became a wonderful outlet for his imagination and he eagerly wrote first plays and then detective fiction then novels and finally short stories. A lifelong Christian, he enjoys writing religious fiction at every opportunity and is no stranger to writing for a Catholic audience. John lives a quiet life in the wilds of Arizona with Iris, his long-suffering wife of almost twenty years.)

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13. Infinite Space, Infinite God II: Frankie Phones Home

  12 Days of Sci-Fi, Day 11:

 Having stories centered either in outer space or on earth, we now have both. Frankie in space returning to earth…

 Frankie Phones Home by Karina Fabian


  Editor’s comment: “God’s calling or no, she should have honored her parents by telling them personally what was going on…”

Rather than a story, this is more of an amusing intermission. Carrying on from the story first presented in ISIG volume I, we are to imagine its main character, Frankie, finally returning home. Imagine, after a two year absence in outer space, what it would be like to call mom and try to explain it all to her…well, I’ll let you read for yourself in Infinite Space, Infinite God II http://ow.ly/4F48e .

 (Karina Fabian writes a wide variety of fiction involving characters with faith. Her first anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God I, won the EPPIE award for best sci-fi. Her humorous fantasy involving a dragon and nun detective team, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, won the 2010 INDIE for best fantasy. She’s also written a small devotional with her father, Deacon Steve Lumbert, Why God Matters. Visit her website at http://www.fabianspace.com .)

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14. Daemons in the Mist Now Available

Hi viewers and KatGirl Studio fans, guess what came out this weekend?

If you said Daemons in the Mist then you are correct! My debut Young Adult novel Daemons in the Mist is now available in e-book form for the Kindle and Nook for only $2.99. That’s right, you can enjoy Daemons in the Mist for less than the cost of a cup of coffee. You start exploring the mystery of The Marked Ones by download a free sample at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For those of you who love the feel of the printed book, don’t worry, the print edition will be out in early June.

Don’t have an e-reader? No problem, you can get the Kindle or Nook app for free for the following devices: PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, BlackBerry, Nook, NOOKcolor, NookStudy, NOOK kids, Android Tablet and Android-based phones.

Daemons in the Mist cover

Daemons in the Mist

Korat Publishing
May 2011

She could have been a perfectly normal, albeit a breathtakingly beautiful girl, but she wasn’t, for I knew there were secrets hidden behind her eyes.

Seventeen year old Patrick Connolly has been drawn to Nualla ever since he first saw her, but as the years pass she seems to take absolutely no notice of him. Until, that is, he rescues her from a confrontation in the school hallway. Little does he know that he’s about to be thrust into a world of life altering secrets and things that shouldn’t exist, because the fog and mist of San Francisco is concealing more than just buildings.

Deliriously captivating and extraordinarily soulful, Daemons in the Mist beautifully weaves together two voices to tell the story of what happens when life leads you down a not so normal path.

Where to buy this book:


Watch the book trailer

15. Infinite Space, Infinite God II: Dyads

  12 days of sci-fi: The end!

 Our final story is a bit of a mind-bender from the view of physical existence as well as spiritual beliefs…

 Dyads by Ken Pick and Alan Loewen


 Editor’s note: “The Church has not yet spoken definitively on whether or not the Christian faith applies to aliens… The current thinking is that God will manifest Himself to intelligent species in a specific manner that makes sense to them. In the case of the Thalendri–fox-like sentients who mate for life–God has revealed his sacred Trinity as Husband, Wife, and Eternal Dance. They also make it very clear that what is holy and right for Thalendri is not necessarily holy and right for humans…”

 It is a time of post Vatican VI; post Islamic wars which desecrated all physical signs of the original Christian church including the Vatican. A post-apocalyptic religion story that portrays those of a sincere faith contrasted to self-possessed fanatics. Bucky Bible refers to himself as Christian but clearly acts contrary to the foundations of his faith; extreme Muslims who cause the Islamic wars, exterminating even their Muslim brethren; and fuzzy aliens who take revenge in the name of their fuzzy religion. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from Fr. Heidler’s travelogue, the insights of which set the tone. Read the various litanies of saints closely too, to see which are real and which are of a time not yet seen!

 As indicated in the editor’s notes, this story purports that God manifests himself to aliens in a way that they understand. However, the attempt to demonstrate the alien religion is unacceptable for humans is based upon physical differences of the two species, and not theological error of the alien religion. This leaves the reader open to considering God’s relationship with his creation in a manner that differs from God’s revelation to us through scripture and tradition. As such, some readers may be offended.  Given the general belief today that people do not develop solid judgment and decision making abilities until after age 20, this story might have been better placed in an adult anthology rather than one aimed towards teens. Therefore, parents are advised to consider this within their own family values.

 (Alan Loewen lives near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with his wife, three children, a Sheltie, a homicidal parrot and way too many cats. A pastor for two small country churches and a writer, he is working with fellow author Ken Pick on a trilogy that will further expand the adventures of Father Eric Heidler and Jill Noir, a character that appeared in Mask of the Ferret in Infinite Space, Infinite God I. His blog documenting his writing adventures can be found at http://literary-equine.livejournal.com/ .

 Ken Pick (“Dyads”): Ken Pick is a computer programmer and moderately-practicing Catholic layman from Southern California. Cursed with a hyperactive imagination, he writes (among many-many other things) in an attempt to stay sane. He is currently working with co-author Alan Loewen expanding “Mask of the Ferret” (Infinite Space, Infinite God I) and “Dyads” into a braided novel, the first book in a projected trilogy. An additional story in the same arc, “Down to Cathuria”, appeared in the small-press anthology Different Worlds, Diff

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16. Daemons in the Mist Now in Print

Hi viewers and KatGirl Studio fans, guess what came out today?

If you said Daemons in the Mist then you are correct! My debut Young Adult novel Daemons in the Mist is now available in a paperback book edition for only $14.99.

That’s right you can now enjoy this story in both print and e-book form. The book is currently only available from Amazon and the publisher’s website but we will have Indiebound options soon and Signed Editions as well.

Daemons in the Mist 3D cover

Daemons in the Mist

Korat Publishing
May-June 2011

She could have been a perfectly normal, albeit a breathtakingly beautiful girl, but she wasn’t, for I knew there were secrets hidden behind her eyes.

Seventeen year old Patrick Connolly has been drawn to Nualla ever since he first saw her, but as the years pass she seems to take absolutely no notice of him. Until, that is, he rescues her from a confrontation in the school hallway. Little does he know that he’s about to be thrust into a world of life altering secrets and things that shouldn’t exist, because the fog and mist of San Francisco is concealing more than just buildings.

Deliriously captivating and extraordinarily soulful, Daemons in the Mist beautifully weaves together two voices to tell the story of what happens when life leads you down a not so normal path.

Where to buy this book:

Signed Edition ● IndieBound ● AmazonKindleNook

Watch the book trailer

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17. So what do we think? Genesis by Bernard Beckett

Genesis young adult book review  Beckett, Bernard. (2006) Genesis. London: Quercus Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84724-930-2. Author age: young adult. Litland recommends age 14+.


Publisher’s description:

The island Republic has emerged from a ruined world. Its citizens are safe but not free. Until a man named Adam Forde rescues a girl from the sea. Fourteen-year-old Anax thinks she knows her history. She’d better. She’s sat facing three Examiners and her five-hour examination has just begun. The subject is close to her heart: Adam Forde, her long-dead hero. In a series of startling twists, Anax discovers new things about Adam and her people that question everything she holds sacred. But why is the Academy allowing her to open up the enigma at its heart? Bernard Beckett has written a strikingly original novel that weaves dazzling ideas into a truly moving story about a young girl on the brink of her future.

 Our thoughts:

 Irregardless of whether you are an evolutionist or creationist, if you like intellectual sci-fi you’ll love this book.  How refreshing to read a story free from hidden agendas and attempts to indoctrinate its reader into a politically-correct mindset.  And while set in a post-apocalyptic era, the world portrayed is one in which inhabitants have been freed from the very things that sets humans apart from all other creation, including man-made. Once engulfed in the story, the reader is drawn into an intellectual battle over this “difference” between man and man-made intelligence. The will to kill; the existence of evil. A new look at original sin. And a plot twist at the end that shifts the paradigm of the entire story.

 Borrowing from the American movie rating scale, this story would be a PG. Just a few instances of profanity, it is a thought-provoking read intended for mature readers already established in their values and beliefs, and who would not make the error of interpreting the story to hold any religious metaphors. The “myth” of Adam and Art, original sin and the genesis of this new world is merely a structure familiar to readers, not a message. The reader is then free to fully imagine this new world without the constraints of their own real life while still within the constraints of their own value system.

 Genesis is moderately short but very quick paced, and hard to put down once you’ve started! Thus it is not surprising to see the accolades and awards accumulated by Beckett’s book. The author, a New Zealand high school teacher instructing in Drama, English and Mathematics, completed a fellowship study on  DNA mutations as well. This combination of strengths gives Genesis its intrigue as well as complexity. Yet it is never too theoretical as to exclude its reader.  See our review against character education criteria at Litland.com’s teen book review section.  And pick up your own copy in our bookstore!

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18. No Draggin’ at Dragoncon

Well, I can safely say one thing about Dragoncon that absolutely everyone who attends every year will agree with. It is an experience. But then again, so is a train wreck. Not that Dragoncon is a train wreck--but it shares many of the same qualities. Such as crowding. Last year's count was 30,000. This year's estimate is 60,000 people in attendance. And I think I saw every single one of them as I ran from hotel to hotel getting to my various workshops. There was no respite from the smell, pushing and squeezing through masses of costumed bodies, stern stares from Snape and Gandolf or Clone Troopers. Luckily I shopped as early as the doors opened and got most of the way through the exhibit hall before it became impassible. And I'm glad I did. I got some great new skirts and such. Continue reading

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19. Things Have Changed a Bit Since Your Childhood...

1. Cinderella is a cyborg.
: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Once upon a time . . .  a fairytale went sci-fi.

You don’t have to wait until Cinder goes on-sale January 3, 2012 to read this futuristic fairytale. Find CINDER on NetGalley to read an Advance Reader’s Edition right now, for FREE!

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20. BOOK OF THE DAY: February 2012 List


No need to wait until the end of February for the complete list. Here it is–plan ahead! Click on the link above, and also follows us on Facebook at Litland Reviews http://facebook.com/Litlandreviews

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21. BOOK OF THE DAY: The January list!


Here it is! The book of the day challenge, to recommend a new book or related media every day in 2012. January is complete, and attached for handy download–just click on the above link. February is on the way! “Friend” Litland Reviews on Facebook to see daily recommendations as they post. http://facebook.com/Litlandreviews

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22. So what do we think? “Solid” is a solid story!

See our character education review at www.litland.com

Workinger, Shelley. (2010). Solid. Published by CreateSpace. ISBN: 1-453-62482-1. Author recommended age Tweens & Teens: Litland.com recommends ages 14+ due to sexual references.

 Publisher’s description:   Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed “open-book” military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus. While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems…

 Our thoughts:

 Showing rather than telling, the prologue opens to a high ranking military officer  engaged in some secret work. Invisibility. Glowing. But these are just lab rats…

 Fast forward to the present. Calliope Grace Kaid (Clio for short) starts at new schools frequently. While she may be an old hand at being the newbie, readers can still relate to how it feels. Worrying about making friends that move away, cliques excluding her, and just plain looking stupid, for the first time she is on a level playing field with her peers. They’ve all been invited to this high school summer camp, and at age 17 presumably have some maturity of social skills. Unlike Clio, whose military father died and her mother moved them around until becoming established in her own career, the other kids are military brats, military families that move from base to base as assigned. So for the first time, Clio is starting a camp where she at least has this in common with the other kids. Everyone’s a newbie here.

 The author has given Clio just enough sarcasm and cynicism to be a very realistic American teenager, while maintaining an inner nature of goodness which exemplifies the character traits we seek in good kid’s literature. Through her self-talk, we relate to her insecurities and self-criticisms, how she responds to a cute guy’s behaviour, hoping not to make too many social mistakes.

 It’s refreshing to have a female heroine who is solid in her own strengths, without a publisher seeking to make her a feminist vixen hoping to sell more books or make the story more attractive for a future movie. Through self-talk, we find this main character takes an inquisitive look at her world, particularly figuring out people, but in a manner that isn’t negatively judgmental of them. In doing so, she ponders how it is for adults to deal with issues like death, thus being able to almost empathize with them. An older teen should have achieved this level of maturity, thus rounding out her character well.

 For example, Clio isn’t desperate for friends even if she is used to moving a lot and losing them. Or as she puts it, just seeing them on Facebook. So she isn’t trying to endear herself to as many peers as possible in an attempt at securing popularity. Rather, she is using good discernment on who she intends to hang with, such as with Miranda:  “Abrasive was one thing, but if she turned out to be slutty too, our friendship would be short-lived.” 

 And how refreshing it is that the girls who might be

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23. 12 Days of Sci-Fi: Infinite Space, Infinite God II


 Fabian, Karina & Rob, editors. (2010) Infinite Space, Infinite God II. Kingsport, TN: Paladin Timeless Books, an imprint of Twilight Times Books. Author recommended age: teens. Litland.com recommended age: 14+ but appropriate for slightly younger, advanced readers.

Looking for something new to read? New to science fiction? Consider an anthology such as Infinite Space, Infinite God II edited by Karina and Rob Fabian. Twelve short stories, each can excite the mind yet bring it to closure in one sitting. Read it on the bus or in-between classes. Do you find that you cannot sleep at night when reading a great novel because you want to keep reading until its end? Then read short stories: go to bed with your imagine satisfied and mind at rest.

 Anthologies are great for book clubs too. Rather than progressing a few chapters per meeting, the club can complete entire stories together which leads to fuller, more dynamic discussions. This can be especially fun for a family book club, or mother-son/father-daughter reading duos.

 Final thoughts: Just because the stories have virtuous underpinnings, don’t presume these are soft kiddie tales. These stories are core sci-fi taking the reader emotionally from apocalyptic doubt to Flash Gordon-like adventure. Some are thought provoking and some are just fun. Enjoy the trip!

 Let’s begin the trip with a visit by author and editor Karina Fabian tomorrow. For today, a little bit about the book first…

 Publisher’s Description: Infinite Space, Infinite God II The history of the Catholic Church is full of heroes: men and women of courage and conviction.  Not only did these Catholic heroes live and die for their faith, but they saved others, fought valiantly, inspired the masses, and influenced nations.

 Now, Infinite Space, Infinite God II honors that legacy with twelve science fiction stories featuring Catholic heroes.  Meet a time traveler who sacrifices his life to give a man a sip of water, and the nun who faces venomous snakes to save a friend.  Share the adventures of priests who battle aliens and machines in order serve the greater good. 

 Infinite Space, Infinite God II spans the gamut of science fiction, from near-future dystopias to time travel to space opera, puzzles of logic to laugh-out-loud humor and against-the-clock suspense.  A great read for any science fiction fan!

 (Litland’s Note: Tomorrow we’ll hear from author and editor, Karina Fabian. During the book tour, Amazon has kindle and hard copy editions on sale for both the original ISIG and the new ISIG II…don’t miss out! Buy here: http://ow.ly/4F48e )

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24. Infinite Space, Infinite God II: Karina Fabian, Author & Editor

Introducing Karina Fabian!  

 After being a straight-A student, Karina now cultivates Fs: Family, Faith, Fiction and Fun. From and order of nuns working in space to a down-and-out faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, her stories surprise with their twists of clichés and incorporation of modern day foibles in an otherworld setting. Her quirky twists and crazy characters have won awards, including the INDIE book award for best fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), and a Mensa Owl for best fiction (World Gathering). In May 2010, her writing took a right turn with a devotional, Why God Matters, which she co-wrote with her father. Mrs. Fabian is former President of the Catholic Writer’s Guild and also teaches writing and book marketing seminars online.

 Let’s hear what Karina has to say about science fiction writing…

 Why Science Fiction?

By Karina Fabian

 Rob and I have a confession to make:  Neither of us likes literary fiction much.  Oh, we can appreciate the classics like Dickens and Twain, and I was impressed by the beauty of the language in the Secret Lives of Bees, but when it comes to angst and personal reflection, we’d like to have that mixed in with some aliens or a rip-roaring space battle.

Too often, however, science fiction gets a bum rap.  People see only the aliens or the fantastic battles in space, or they classify science fiction with “Godless” fiction, and doubt it has any redeeming value beyond entertainment.

The truth is, science fiction is often used to examine the big issues in an entertaining and “safe” environment.  Star Trek, of course, is well known for this, but it’s not unique.  Aldous Huxley’s 1984 is a classic example–an examination of a future world where comfort and security have taken supreme precedence over individuality.  This book, written in 1931, still informs our political decisions, as we balance our own needs for security against letting our government become a “Big Brother.”

Another great example, made into a movie not so long ago, was Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot.  The crux of the story (and of many of Asimov’s other robot stories) were the Three Laws of Robotics:

1.         A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2.         A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3.         A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

At the heart of the stories lie the questions:  Can you legislate morality?  Is Right more than a set of rules to follow?

Science fiction tackles other big issues, too–prejudice (against aliens rather than a particular race–check out the TV show Alien Nation); conflict of cultures and the origin of ethics (Patchwork Girl by Larry Niven); Little Brother by Cory Doctorow looks at the opposite side of 1984–people banding together in reaction to the “Big Brother” state.  Naturally, it also looks at the impact technology has on our lives–a good one for that is Rainbow’s End by Vernor Vinge, where Alzheimer’s patients are cured and must reintegrate into a radically different society from the one they remember.

It is true tha

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25. Infinite Space, Infinite God II: An Exercise in Logic

 12 days of sci-fi day 3:

Nuns are people too, and we are given a view of the diversity of personalities who are called to the religious life as the stories move from Antivenin to An Exercise in Logic. Parents should be apprised that the salty ship commander engages in mild cussing akin to a John Wayne style character, but only a few instances…

 An Exercise in Logic by Barton Paul Levenson


 Editor’s comment: “She holds herself with the dignity of her position as both a nun and a diplomat, yet is willing to bend–whether that means by sneaking out in defiance of the mission  commander’s orders or going to her knees to pray when logic seems to fail her. “

 How many times, when trying to get a point across in a conversation with someone of a totally different life experience, we have said it to be alien or foreign to them? In this story, trying to explain Christianity to people raised in secluded colonies is a bit like trying to explain a life of freedom to someone whose lifelong existence has been dictated under communist rule. But even more difficult is being the foreigner…the one who cannot comprehend the faith belief being explained. A nun and expert on alien religions, Sr. Julian is called in to negotiate with a group of aliens whose obedience to the decisions and words of their ancestors is taken to the extreme, and she has a short time to learn their religion in order to prove them illogical.  Aristotle is oft quoted as saying “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”, and this story demonstrates how respectful discourse rather than angry debate can lead to Truth. For those who like stories of intellect and strategy, this one is for you! Pick up the entire anthology at Amazon http://ow.ly/4F48e .

 (About the author: Barton has a degree in physics. Happily married to genre poet Elizabeth Penrose, he confuses everybody by being both a born-again Christian and a liberal Democrat. His work has appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, ChiZine, Cricket, Cicada, The New York Review of Science Fiction and many small press markets. His e-novels, “Ella the Vampire,” “Parole,” and “Max and Me” can be downloaded now from Lyrical Press or amazon.com, and his first paperback, “I Will” is available from Virtual Tales (or amazon).   Barton was prohibited from entering the Confluence Short Story Contest again after winning first prize two years in a row.)

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