This week has been insane. The Shattered Worlds project was announced. I wrote about 3,000 words and then deleted every last one of them. I have yet to get myself to write another word. It’s an odd thing to be on this side of publishing. It is making me realize that there is a lot of strain and stress on authors that I never really appreciated before. It is also making me realize that time management is key, and I need to find that ONE THING that will get me to write even when I feel like inspiration is a foreign country I’ve never been to.
It’s hard. A lot harder than I anticipated. There is a kind of “hard” that planning can’t prepare you for, and that’s where I’m at. It can be exhilarating, but I also feel very out of my depth. Sink or swim. That’s how this sort of thing works. In the meantime, while I learn whether or not I’m drowning, I will continue learning a lot. I’ve already learned so much. This, no matter what happens with it, is a priceless experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.
This week has been pretty cool for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons that really sticks out for me is the fact that yesterday I was invited onto the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast to interview Elizabeth Bear. Elizabeth Bear is one of my favorite authors, and I was absolutely star struck the whole time. I have a list of authors I’d love to talk to for an hour, and she was very close to the top of it, so doing that podcast was a huge dream come true for me. I basically hijacked the conversation and talked to her for an hour about… well, lots of stuff. The podcast will go live on April 29th. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.
Special Needs in Strange Worlds has been Metafiltered. I’ve been assured that Metafilter is a cool thing, and I should feel all fuzzy inside that my column managed to find its way there. So I’m bragging because I can. Speaking of Special Needs in Strange Worlds, you can pop on over and read Michael J. Sullivan’s column called Being Atypical in Hollow World.
The winner of my Stone Cold giveaway was chosen. Congratulations to:
Colin S. from Ontario, Canada.
I have an international giveaway going for Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan. Click here to find out how to enter.
I haven’t managed to read as much this week as I usually do, due to the Shattered Worlds thing. I have, however, managed to finish The Three by Sarah Lotz. I’m really not big into horror, but sometimes a horror book just works for me. I tend to like the ones that are less “Boo!” scary and more psychological, and The Three has that in spades. My review should post soon.
My brain is kind of bogged down right now, so when When We Wake by Karen Healey showed up, I jumped on it right away. It is a young adult social SciFi book. The more I read social SciFi, the more I am realizing that it is probably my genre of choice right now. When We Wake is my first foray into the young adult side of social SciFi, but I am enjoying it quite a bit. Thought provoking and immensely readable. I am hooked.
Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell is a book that I mentioned on a Books I’m Eyeing post a few weeks ago. I managed to snag a copy from Netgalley. I have to admit, the book started out pretty ho-hum. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. Then a (kind of predictable) plot twist happened and now Powell has my attention. There are some issues with structure and characterization that I’m finding, but overall I’m really enjoying this well written book about what makes us human.
Now onto Books I’m Eyeing. This is a weekly feature where I highlight the books other people have talked about, and the websites that deserve a ton of attention for their amazing content.
What books are you eyeing?
The Bees – Laline Paull
Discovery blamed on: My Bookish Ways
About the Book
The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.
Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.
But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.
Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window
The Humans – Matt Haig
Discovery blamed on: Civilian Reader
About the Book
“I was not Professor Andrew Martin. That is the first thing I should say. He was just a role. A disguise. Someone I needed to be in order to complete a task.”
The narrator of this tale is no ordinary human—in fact, he’s not human at all. Before he was sent away from the distant planet he calls home, precision and perfection governed his life. He lived in a utopian society where mathematics transformed a people, creating limitless knowledge and immortality.
But all of this is suddenly threatened when an earthly being opens the doorway to the same technology that the alien planet possesses. Cambridge University professor Andrew Martin cracks the Reimann Hypothesis and unknowingly puts himself and his family in grave danger when the narrator is sent to Earth to erase all evidence of the solution and kill anyone who has seen the proof. The only catch: the alien has no idea what he’s up against.
Disgusted by the excess of disease, violence, and family strife he encounters, the narrator struggles to pass undetected long enough to gain access to Andrew’s research. But in picking up the pieces of the professor’s shattered personal life, the narrator sees hope and redemption in the humans’ imperfections and begins to question the very mission that brought him there.
The Memories of Sky – Robert Reed
Discovery blamed on: Andrea at SF Signal
About the Book
Diamond is an odd little boy, a seemingly fragile child – who proves to be anything but. An epic story begins when he steps into the world his parents have so carefully kept him from, a world where gigantic trees each house thousands of humans and another human species, the papio, rule its far edges. Does Diamond hold the promise to remake one species and, perhaps, change all of the Creation?
The Happier Dead – Ivo Stourton
Discovery blamed on: The Speculative Scotsman
About the Book
In the very near future the rich are able to extend their lives indefinitely, but the price of eternal youth is one that they can get others to pay. A political thriller, crime novel and stunning SF story.
The Great Spa sits on the edge of London, a structure visible from space. The power of Britain on the world stage rests in its monopoly on “The Treatment”, a medical procedure which can transform the richest and most powerful into a state of permanent physical youth. The Great Spa is the place where the newly young immortals go to revitalise their aged souls. In this most important and secure of facilities, a murder of one of the guests threatens to destabilise the new order, and DCI Oates of the Metrolpolitan police is called in to investigate. In a single day Oates must unravel the secrets behind the Treatment and the long ago disappearance of its creator, passing through a London riven with disorder and corruption, where adverts are transmitted directly into the imagination. As a night of widespread rioting takes hold of the city he moves towards a final climax which could lead to the destruction of the Great Spa, his own ruin, and the loss of everything he holds most dear.