stevenpiziks: (Default)
CBS released an actual trailer (instead of a stupid teaser trailer) for Star Trek: Discovery. And the Internet is losing its shit: 

As of this writing, the trailer has over four million views on YouTube and zillions of negative comments.  Why, you ask?  Well . . .

1. It only shows one white man in the trailer.  Instead, the show revolves around two minority women.
2. The Klingons are different.
3. The uniforms and Star Fleet insignia are different.
4. Although the show is set ten years before the original series, the technology seems to be more advanced than in the original series.  It's different!
5. We have to pay CBS's streaming service to watch it.

So what's happening here?

Well, for #1, the Internet is full of white snowflakes who, even after centuries of stories about straight white males, can't handle it when a story isn't all about them.  Sorry, boys.  The world is moving on.  You can either move with it and enjoy it with the rest of us, or watch BIRTH OF A NATION again with your hands down your pants.  The choice is yours.

As for 2-4, people forget that Star Trek ISN'T REAL.  Wake up, peeps!  It's all fake.  Hand-waving.  A story.  We can have anything we want, whenever we want it.  Besides, times change, and our stories change with them.  No one talked to a computer in the original show because no one back then even thought the idea was possible.  We do that NOW, and our stories reflect that.  The Klingons changed radically from series to series.  They're changing again.  So what?  It's fun to see how a new team of people (with a bigger budget and updated effects) envision Klingons.  It's nice to see them look more alien, too boot.  Pull the tri-corder out of your ass, and enjoy the show on its own terms, dudes.

And as for #5 . . . know what?  I'm ready for this!  Let me choose the channels I want and pay a lower fee to get them. It's way cheaper than a cable service that forces me to pay top dollar for channels I'll never see!  And I'll bet the streaming customer service is better.

Know what else?  All the complainers will bitch and moan and wail . . . and they'll watch the show.  Every episode.  Four, five, and six times.  Then they'll buy the DVD, and the Blu-Ray, and the digital when they come out.  Then they'll log back into CBS and watch the episodes there again.

So just shut up and hand CBS the money, little snowflakes.  You know it's going to happen.

Story Sale

Aug. 29th, 2016 08:10 am
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
Just got the news that I sold a short story to MASQUES OF DARKOVER, the anthology of Darkover stories set to come out (I believe) in the spring of 2017.  Woo hoo!  The editor is Deborah J. Ross, and her own blog about this is here.

My story is titled "Sight Unseen." An orphan boy sets out to rescue a cursed Comyn lord in the hope of getting rich, and finds something he didn't expect.

The full table of contents includes:

Jane Bigelow, Duvin’s Grand Tour
Rosemary Edghill, Generations         
Meg Mac Donald, Upon this Rock                  
Evey Brett, Only Men Dance
Shariann Lewitt, The Wind
Ty Nolan, Dark Comfort
Steven Harper, Sight Unseen              
Robin Wayne Bailey, The Mountains of Light                    
Marella Sands, Bone of My Bone       
Rebecca Fox, Where You’re Planted
Leslie Roy Carter and Margaret L. Carter, Believing
India Edghill, The Price of Stars
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
I've watched the trailers, the sneak peeks, and the teasers, and I don't think I need to see the movie now.  I've worked out the entire thing.  Here's how the next JURASSIC PARK movie will go:

Jurassic Park, the attraction, will open with lots and lots of dinosaurs doing tricks to an amazed and adoring crowd of cute, happy tourists, including some bumbling, tubby ones for humor and at least one snotty soccer mom who will get eaten later.  But we'll also see behind the scenes, where a dreadful experiment, created to make the park MORE MONEY, has been conducted by The Suits, and has conjured up a dinosaur the size and temperament of a rabid godzilla.  The thing is growing bigger and bigger and smarter and smarter.  If it gets loose, it will wipe out the security system, and release all the other dinosaurs. Worse, the Giant Evil Dinosaur will probably escape the island.  Something Must Be Done.

The Suits send Stiff Female Suit off to see Hunky Dino Expert in order to persuade him to come to the island.  Hunky Dino Expert (HDE) has actually managed to train a troup of velociraptors like a lion tamer, and they do his bidding.  More or less.  Will he pretty please come to the island and train the Big Evil Dinosaur, too?

After some persuading, HDE comes to the island with his velociraptors.  But what's this?  The Big Evil Dinosaur has already espcaped!  The security system has been destroyed, and the dinosaurs are now munching, in descending order, on the fat tourists, the snotty soccer mom, and (horrors!) the cute tourists.  We have to stop them!

HDE says "I told you so" in a number of witty ways, but sets out to subdue the chaos.  He and his troop of raptors capture or kill most of the other dinos.  During this process, the Stiff Female admits she still has feelings for the HDE, and, with a rogueish wink, he admits the same.  However, the velociraptors are his life.  They don't betray you like people will, though they may try to nibble your entrails.  So really, he can't come back to the Stiff Female.

And the Big Evil Dinosaur is still out there, munching its way through dinosaurs and humans alike, getting closer and closer to escaping to the outside world.

At last, we're down to Stiff Female and Hunky Dino Expert and the raptors against the Big Evil Dinosaur. They lay a trap for the BED, and it nearly works.  But what's this?  The BED is smarter than we thought!  It destroys the trap at the very last moment!  The BED is going to munch both our Stiff Female and our HDE.  Oh no!

The head velociraptor leaps out of a plot hole and throws herself at the BED.  The BED chomps her hard.  The Hunky Dino Expert rallies and uses the distraction to kill the Big Evil Dinosaur.  Victory!

But no!  The head velociraptor is dying, and in pain.  HDE cradles her head in his lap with tears in his eyes.  Stiff Female, who never liked the raptors before, now sees their value too late. Still, she tells the HDE there is only one solution.  He resists at first, but in the end, he agrees.  He draws his pistol and, whimpering about Old Yeller, shoots the chief raptor in the head.

The Stiff Female decides, just as in all the previous movies, that Jurassic Park is Just Too Dangerous and needs to be shut down forever.  For real this time.  No kidding.  Until the next sequel, anyway.  HDE admits that human contact is better than living with a bunch of dinosaurs and smooches it up with the Stiff Female.  Happy ending!  Except for all the tourists who finished up as dinosaur poo.

We end on a close-up of a piece of scientific equipment that still contains a piece of dinosaur DNA.  Looks like the sequel is in the can.

And there we go!  I should get $50 for every plot point I get correct.  I'll bet it'll be all of them.  Agree or disagree?
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
By now, most everyone has heard of the attempt from Brad Torgeson, Vox Dei, and their zombie slaves to take over the Hugo Awards.  The reason for this is because, they say, science fiction and fantasy have become too liberal. We aren't writing about good old fashioned space ships and aliens or barbarians with axes; we're taking liberal stances on issues like feminism and gay rights.  How?  Apparently by creating female characters who act like actual people instead of door mats or lottery prizes and by actually including LGBT characters in the books.

This is what Torgeson wrote:

A few decades ago, if you saw a lovely spaceship on a book cover, with a gorgeous planet in the background, you could be pretty sure you were going to get a rousing space adventure featuring starships and distant, amazing worlds. If you saw a barbarian swinging an axe? You were going to get a rousing fantasy epic with broad-chested heroes who slay monsters, and run off with beautiful women. Battle-armored interstellar jump troops shooting up alien invaders? Yup. A gritty military SF war story, where the humans defeat the odds and save the Earth. And so on, and so forth.

These days, you can’t be sure.

The book has a spaceship on the cover, but is it really going to be a story about space exploration and pioneering derring-do? Or is the story merely about racial prejudice and exploitation, with interplanetary or interstellar trappings?

There’s a sword-swinger on the cover, but is it really about knights battling dragons? Or are the dragons suddenly the good guys, and the sword-swingers are the oppressive colonizers of Dragon Land?

A planet, framed by a galactic backdrop. Could it be an actual bona fide space opera? Heroes and princesses and laser blasters? No, wait. It’s about sexism and the oppression of women.

Finally, a book with a painting of a person wearing a mechanized suit of armor! Holding a rifle! War story ahoy! Nope, wait. It’s actually about gay and transgender issues.

Or it could be about the evils of capitalism and the despotism of the wealthy.

Do you see what I am trying to say here?

I do, Brad. You're trying to say that you're stuck in a distant past, that literature and audiences have moved ahead without you, that modern audiences want something with depth and power, while you want something on the level of the first season of Scooby Doo.

I've been accused of this myself, I suppose.  At least one reviewer wrote of IRON AXE that he loved the book until "the gay character" shows up and the book suddenly becomes "political."

So a book about a young man who fights against being labeled an outcast and who tries to make the world a better place for all people suddenly becomes political ONLY  when a gay character arrives on the scene.  Huh.

Anyway, Torgeson, Dei, and their zombies have managed to bung up the Hugo ballot, and now they're saying that if the other Hugo voters band together and force a "no award," they'll destroy the Hugos forever.

I'm laughing at them.  Their threats sounds like bad comic book writing for a cheesy super-villain.  "Bow down to the power of Vox Dei, WorldCon, or the zombie horde will destroy your precious Hugo once and for all! Mwah ha ha ha!"

Geez, dude. I'm really sorry about the size of your penis.

Here's the thing: Torgeson and Dei are doomed to failure.  Sure, they've messed up the award this year, and that really, really sucks for the people who are legitimately on the ballot and those who SHOULD have been on the ballot but got bumped off it.  But past this?  Dei and Torgeson are operating with manufactured outrage, a fake anger.  It's really hard to keep that kind of momentum going, especially when there's a full year break.  It'll die down, and these two will fade into obscurity.

And that's really their greatest fear, isn't it?
stevenpiziks: (Fountain)
A few days ago, a colleague in the English department approached me.  One of her students has discovered science fiction and wanted recommendations about what to read. Unfortunately, my colleague isn't really knowledgeable of the genre.  So she came to me and asked if I could make a list.

Well, sure!

I sat down and kind of flung together a quick "Science Fiction Everyone Should Read" list off the top of my head, arranged it in more-or-less chronological order by publication, and sent it.  Just for fun, I'm positing it here.

This is not, of course, a comprehensive list, but just what I could think of over lunch.  It stops in the 90s because that's when my lunch break ended.  :)  You may notice Heinlein isn't on the list.  It's because I'm not recommending him to anyone.  I didn't rec my own books as a potential conflict of interest.


The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury: Lyrical, poetic SF, extremely famous.

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov: Hasn't aged well, but Asimov helped define the SF genre, and everyone's read this one. His three laws of robotics are a staple of science fiction.

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham: An invasive species of walking plants has become popular in everyone's garden just as nearly everyone in the world is struck blind by a radioactive comet. A strange classic in the field.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: Genly Ai travels as an ambassador to an alien world where the people change from male and female as part of their normal yearly cycle, and he is forced to try and fit in.

Dune by Frank Herbert: The Fremen struggle for freedom on a desert world filled with giant sandworms and an addictive spice which is the only substance that lets humans navigate through hyperspace.  Many sequels followed.

Ringworld by Larry Niven: A man discovers a legendary world that forms a ring all the way around its sun.  It's big enough for millions of planets.  But who built it and why?

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman: A conscripted soldier goes off to fight aliens in space, but when he returns, he and his compatriots discover that traveling at close to the speed of light has slowed time for them, so they arrive home hundreds of years after everyone they know has died.

Kindred by Octavia Butler: A black woman from modern-day Los Angeles is accidentally transported back to the pre-Civil War south, where she must survive slavery.  Holy cow--read anything and everything Octavia Butler wrote.  Seriously.

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler: An immortal woman living in Africa in the 1600s is discovered by a man who can't be killed.  Their lives intertwine over centuries.  This is Butler's absolute best book, and the highest recommendation on this list.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Makes fun of every SF trope and story ever written.  Silly, but satirical as well.  There's a whole series of these.

To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer: Everyone who ever lived is reincarnated at the same time on the banks of an endlessly long river.  Mark Twain is one of the main characters.  This is the first in the long-running Riverworld series.

The Gaea Trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon) by John Varley: THE science fiction novels of the 80s.  Explorers find a strange, circular ship near the orbit of Jupiter and they send a team of scientists and explorers to find out what it is.  Inside the ship is an incredible world of living blimps, centaurs, and other wonders.  And they're all created by Gaea, the ship itself.  Except Gaea is going insane.  John Varley is famous for his strong female characters.

Steel Beach by John Varley: Humans have been kicked off Earth by aliens and now live in scattered colonies on the moon, Mars, and other places.  Fortunately, technology has turned these colonies into an Eden away from home, all overseen by CC, the central computer.  But lately, more and more people have been committing suicide, and other threats loom. Hildy need to find out what's going on.

Neuromancer by William Gibson: The very first cyberpunk book.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: Dystopian fiction written before dystopia was cool.  In a near-future world, the US has fallen apart, and few women are fertile.  The remaining women who can conceive are passed around from man to man in household after household, forced to stay in each place until they give birth.  Offred is one of these "handmaids," and she wonders if it's possible ever to escape.

Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward: Okay, I didn't like this one at all, but everyone raves about it.  It's the definition of hard SF.  A scientist discovers life on the surface of a dwarf star, but time moves so quickly on the star that from the time the scientist notices it to the time people start to do something about it, the life has already evolved from simple organisms into sentient beings capable of interstellar travel.  If you like hard science, this is the book for you.

Helliconia Spring by Brian W. Aldiss: On Helliconia, each season lasts a thousand years.  Spring is the first book in the series.

The Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey: Killashandra Ree has no prospects in her life, until she arrives on the planet Ballybran and discovers that she has a rapport with the crystals there that no one else can understand. The Heptite Guild mines these crystals, however, and they want her power.

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers: Often called the first steampunk novel.

The Postman by David Brin: In a near-future dystopia, a wandering vagabond discovers an abandoned mail truck and decides to deliver the letters inside.  He accidentally starts a revolution against the dictator that keeps the area under his thumb.  The movie was awful--read the book.

The Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis: Scientists have learned how to travel back in time, but they need historians to do so safely.  In The Doomsday Book, a woman goes back to the Middle Ages and stumbles into an outbreak of the Black Plague.  In To Say Nothing of the Dog, a pair of time travelers go back to the Victorian era to track down a missing time traveler, and what they discover shakes up their entire universe.

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey: The first of the Dragonriders of Pern series.  The colonists of Pern are nearly wiped out by a threat called the Thread, which falls annually from the sky and devours everything it lands on.  The colonists genetically alter the local lizards into full-blown dragons that, with their riders, fly up to destroy the Thread before it reaches the ground.  There's a whole series of these.  SF that reads like fantasy.

Fool's War by Sarah Zettel: Written by one of my best friends. A rogue AI is rampaging through the space networks and threatening war.  Only Al Shei and her ship's jester (no, really) can stop it.

Snow Crash and The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson: Freaky near-future SF that will turn your mind inside-out.  Neither of these are an easy read by any means, but once you get into them, they really rock your world and hurt your brain.

The Vor Game/Barrayar/Mirror Dance/A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold: The Vorkosigan books are hugely popular.  Miles Vorkosigan is one of the most popular characters in science fiction.  Space opera at its best.  Start with The Vor Game and keep going.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton: The book is way better than the movie, and makes more sense.  Best if you've already read Frankenstein.

China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh: Near-future SF set in a world where China has become the dominant power and Chinese culture rules.

Jumper by Steven Gould: Seventeen-year-old Davy Rice, raised by an abusive, alcoholic father, suddenly discovers he can teleport.  You can't help but love Davy.  The movie was awful.  Read the book.

Red Mars / Green Mars / Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson: Mars is being terraformed, but it ain't easy . . .

Mars by Ben Bova: The first set of humans arrive on Mars to have a look around, but personalities clash and it's not easy to survive on a planet that actively tries to kill you.

What did I miss?
stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
Two weekends ago I attended Immortal ConFusion in its new hotel and had a lover-ly time!

It began with three--THREE--averted disasters.  The first was that, due to an email mixup, I wasn't scheduled to appear as a guest or panelist or anything.  But then, the programming chair was able to get me in at the last minute.  Hooray!  Then the room block was completely sold out for the weekend, and the best I could get was the overflow hotel several hundred yards across the parking lot--extremely inconvenient, especially in winter.  But then, the sales rep at the hotel was able to scare up a room for me at the last minute.  Hooray!  Then a big rig truck stalled out on the highway, completely blocking the exit I needed to get to the hotel.  But my GPS rerouted me at the last minute.  Hooray!

I liked the new hotel quite a lot.  All the programming was on the first flow, including the con suite, the music, and the general lounging area.  The con suite was divided among three rooms, which created headaches for Tammy, who was in charge of hospitality, but it worked out great for us con-goers because it spread the socializing out among different rooms and created a social hub in the open area near the elevators, which meant the con suite(s) never felt crowded.

Friday dinner was with friends Glenn and Cindy Pape in the hotel restaurant, which apparently didn't get the message that there was going to be a con there, and they were understaffed.  However, the food (wild mushroom ravioli) was delicious once it arrived, and the company was excellent, so we didn't mind.

The Irish music night, hosted by Catherine Shaffer, was lots of fun.  A chunk of the music was new to me, and I used my iPad to good effect by calling up sheet music on-line so Corey and I could follow along.  After the session officially ended, we segued into a general music circle, which was also great fun.

Saturday I had several lively panels (discussions of immortality and the impact of gender on villains and more) along with the mass signing.  I did a dreadful thing and bought a table-top catapult for Maksim.  It flings marshmallows.  I shall send it with him when he goes to Kala's for the weekend.  There was also much catching up with various friends.  I stayed up way too late chatting.

Sunday I got up relatively early and headed back home.  It was a good con!
stevenpiziks: (Default)
Today we have as our guest Pearl North, author of the mind-blowing Libyrinth trilogy.  The series wraps up with The Book of the Night, which just came out from Tor.  I've read and loved all three books (she didn't pay me to say that, either), so I had to invite Pearl for a chat:

So The Book of the Night.  Third book in the Libyrinth series.  Po is a captive concubine of the dread queen Thela, who also possesses a pen that can rewrite reality.  And we have a hint of steampunk and quantum physics mixed in for good measure.  Was this the direction you intended for this series from the start?

Well, since when I wrote Libyrinth I didn't know I was writing the first book of a trilogy, the short answer is no. But it may be more accurate to say that once I started writing Po's story, I had a pretty good idea of what was in store for him, yes. The steampunk stuff, that came as a total surprise. But the quantum physics was there all along, it just took me awhile to admit it. :)

You pull off a reversal in Illysian culture: women dominate men, and Po, the male protagonist, buys into it, even when it’s to his detriment.  Po is also forced by the pen into a dreadful sort of slavery for Queen Thela.  Have you caught any kind of controversy for this?

Sadly no. At least, not yet. The book just came out, so there's still time for people to try and ban it. I do think readers should be distressed over what happens to Po at Queen Thela's hands. It's terrible and not any less terrible because he's a boy and she's a woman. In their culture the power dynamics are similar to what they would be in ours between a teenage girl and a male head of state. But I also want to add that I never put a protagonist in a bad situation just to be mean. Po's story is dark at times, but he's one of the characters I am most proud of, because of his overall character arc.

The Libyrinth books are categorized YA (young adult).  Did you set out to write for that audience, or did the books just turn out that way?

I did have a YA audience in mind when I started seriously working on Libyrinth. It seemed so obvious. The character was a teenager, she lived in a big library, and because she hears the voices of books, there were all of these quotes from other books floating around. So yeah, I went for YA. But by that same token, I didn't want to write the book any differently than I would if I were writing a book for adults. I wrote it the way I always write. It's the subject matter that makes it YA, although, I think these books can be enjoyed just as much by adults.

Tell us about your writing process.  Do you outline your books in advance, or create as you go?

To me the writing process is an evolving thing. It's never exactly the same from one project to the next, though there are trends. I started out a total pantser, but as my career progresses, I'm becoming more and more of a plotter. I don't think I'm "getting it right now" or anything like that, though. In fact, if I had tried to plot things out in my early career, it wouldn't have worked for me. I never would have finished anything, I'm sure. I wrote those books the way they needed to be written. And now, the things I'm working on have new requirements. That's what I love about writing, or one of the things. It's always changing and I'm always growing with it.
The most important part of my writing process is simply, but in chair, hands on keyboard, writing. The more time I spend writing, and the less time I spend on Facebook, the better off I am as a creator.

What is your worst habit and your best habit, as a writer?

Without a doubt, my worst habit is perfectionism.  It is the chewing gum in the gears of an otherwise reasonably efficient machine. When I fall prey to it, projects take a long time to complete while I agonize over minutiae. And I don't have nearly as much fun, either. I have a mantra: "Embrace the joy of not second-guessing yourself."
My best habit is that I write a lot. Almost every day, including weekends. There's no stopping me, really, never was.

Anything else you want to add?

Sure. I'd like to point out that the Libyrinth trilogy has a number of LGBT characters in it, including two major ones, Clauda and Selene, who finally get to spend some time together in The Book of the Night.

Thank you, Pearl North.
stevenpiziks: (Good News)
Book View Cafe is releasing omnibus ebooks--full sets of series from four BVC authors.  Mine is up now!  All four of my Silent Empire books under one cover: NIGHTMARE, DREAMER, TRICKSTER, OFFSPRING.  This is way, way cool:

The whole thing is $7.99.  Four books for eight bucks.  Such a deal!
stevenpiziks: (Default)
Yes, I'd buy the service just for the chance to have one of these:

It is not nerdy.

I want the Darth Vader one.
stevenpiziks: (Good News)
It can joyfully be announced:

Ace Books has acquired a new steampunk trilogy from Steven Harper (me).  Series title: THE BRAIN PLAGUE.

In Book One, THE DOOMSDAY VAULT, Alice Webb and Gavin Michael join an underground police force in Victorian London, where they fight zombies, mad scientists, and air pirates in an attempt to save the British Empire from a terrible plague, only to discover that the cure may be worse than the disease.

Books two and three are tentatively titled THE IMPOSSIBLE CUBE and THE DRAGON MEN.

THE DOOMSDAY VAULT is due on December 1, 2010.  THE IMPOSSIBLE CUBE is due on July 1, 2011, and THE DRAGON MEN is due on February 1, 2012.  (In other words, I have about seven months to write each book.  Whoo!  My fingers will be a-flyin'!)

Anne Sowards at Ace will be editing.

We're very happy over here.
stevenpiziks: (Good News)
I was thrilled to hear Octavia E. Butler has been elected to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame:

She's hands-down my favorite author.  If you haven't read her book WILD SEED, now's the perfect time to snag it.  You'll be glad you did.
stevenpiziks: (Default)
I breezed through ConFusion this year.  I've taken to day-tripping the local Michigan cons because with three kids at home, I just can't justify the expense of going to a local hotel for a weekend anymore.

The panels I sat on were lively and interesting, and afterward I hung out in the bar and got lunch with friends.  I also got several interesting pictures of various cosplay people, including one that involved Sarah, as we've seen.  

Then I drove back home and wrote for a chunk of the evening.
stevenpiziks: (Good News)
Oh wow--Anne Harris is serializing ALL THE COLORS OF LOVE: Go read this fabulous book!
stevenpiziks: (Cup)
Book View Cafe is now posting chapter one of my novel NIGHTMARE. Each week a new chapter will follow. Go look. It's free!
stevenpiziks: (Good News)
They're available! My Silent Empire books are now up and running in nearly all existing electronic formats: PDF, EPUB, MOBI, .prc, .lit, and .lrf . No DRM. Each book is $1.79, a great price!

You can find them in all formats here, at Book View Cafe.

The books are Dreamer, Nightmare, Trickster, and Offspring, and were originally published by Penguin/Roc. My editor was [ profile] suricattus (Wave, Laura Anne!) The back cover for Dreamer reads:

It is through first contact with an alien species that humanity learns of the Dream. It is a plane of mental existence where people are able to communicate by their thoughts alone--over distances of thousands of light-years. To ensure that future generations will have this ability, human genetic engineering produces newborns capable of finding and navigating the Dream.

They become known as the Silent.

Rust is just one planet among many in the Empire of Human Unity. It's nothing special, nothing unusual...except for the fact that it is home to an unknown boy who may be the most powerful Silent telepath ever born--a Silent with the ability to possess the bodies of others against their will. This mysterious child may be causing tremors within the Dream itself.

For now, only the Children of Irfan know about him. A monastic-like order of the Silent, the Children protect their members even as they barter their services with the governments and corporations that control known space. But power like that cannot be hidden, and soon every Silent in the universe will know about the boy--and every government will be willing to go to war to control him.

And if the Children of Irfan cannot find him first, the Dream itself may be shattered...

Go check them out!
stevenpiziks: (Pen)
Can science fiction ever be respected? My answer, along with those of Gene Wolf, Kris Rusch, and others at SFSignal:

stevenpiziks: (Pen) blogged about their favorite eight gay-inclusive SF/F writers.  Among their choices were Octavia Butler, Mercedes Lackey--and me!  In fact, I got top billing!

It happened a while ago, and I just found out about it.  That's so neat!  The link is here:

stevenpiziks: (Hypnotoad)
I finally finished watching the TORCHWOOD mini-series.  I liked the first half.  The rest of it was pure junk.

It pains me to say it, too.  I like TORCHWOOD a great, or I used to.  I think writer/producer Russell Davies has gotten a little full of himself, however, and no one on the show has the courage to speak up when he's full of shit.
Spoilers . . .  )
stevenpiziks: (Default)
I'm happy to announce that the third Silent Empire novel TRICKSTER (originally published by Penguin/Putnam) is now available for the Kindle. Price: $1.79.  MobiPocket is coming soon--I'll announce it here when it does!  Click to find out more.

From the back cover:

The Dream has been shattered, and the majority of the Silent who telepathically communicated through it have been cast out by the event known as the Despair, unable to reenter. Now the remaining Silent still capable of linking to the Dream have become a valuable commodity to those in power seeking to keep the lines of galactic communication open…

In the midst of the Despair, Father Kendi Weaver and the crew of the Poltergeist have a limited window of opportunity to find the loved ones they have lost--including Kendi's parents and siblings, who were sold into slavery more than fifteen years ago.

But just as Kendi closes in on the whereabouts of his brother and sister, they are taken by a mysterious group intent on using them for their own secret agenda…

"Intelligent entertainment."  --Booklist

stevenpiziks: (Default)
This is why the vast majority of time travel stories don't really work:


stevenpiziks: (Default)

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