Tag Archives | sci fi

My Advent Thanksgiving

Lego Advent Calendar

Look how cool this Advent calendar is! Though I have a horrible suspicion it does not include chocolate, which means technically it is not an Advent calendar at all.

Technically, Advent has already started. Or so Wikipedia says. In my world, though, and maybe yours too, if I’m not yet allowed to rip back that cardboard & eat cheap chocolate for breakfast, it ain’t advent. Which means it’s not advent til tomorrow and thus my series of advent posts isn’t late. Phew.

Kinda inspired by all the ‘I am thankful for’ posts that Americans got to post on their blogs last week, this month I’ll be posting about things from 2011 that made me glad, made me lustful, made me dance, made me head of a guild of thieves with a fighting horse and magic gloves*, and made me grateful for my wifi and my local library. See you tomorrow. I’ll probably start with lust 😉

*January Edit:  I didn’t post about Skyrim in the end, because Paul Cornell did it so well on his blog that it eclipsed anything I would have said. The bastard.

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Rulebreaker reviewed at Slacker Heroes

Rule Breaker Cathy Pegau coverOh, I have been remiss and not linked to my review of this yet, though it was such a fun novel to read And – and! – the lovely lady who wrote it, Cathy Pegau, agreed to step into my virtual parlour and answer some questions for me.

After working my way through a knot of books that were hardgoing and/or disappointing, Rulebreaker turned up in my ‘To Read’ pile at just the right time to give me a breather & remind me that reading should be a good time. Here’s the Slacker Heroes review:

I’m excited today because, as well as a book review, I’ve invited the author to answer some questions for us. Rulebreaker is a sci fi romance by Cathy Pegau, out now from Carina Press, and our Q&A session is at the end of this review.

Rulebreaker’s  heroine, Liv, is a low-level criminal with a history of smash ’n grab jobs. She’s been a con since she was a kid, and has yet to find either an honest alternative or the job big enough for her to retire.

The novel opens with Liv on the floor with a gun at her head, held hostage during a bank job. She is particularly peeved about this because she was there to rob the place herself. It’s a nice twist, and gives us Liv’s droll, down on her luck point of view from the start.

The first person, ‘just-wants-an-easy-life-but-keeps-getting-into-trouble’ point of view reminded me of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, and the light but fast-paced tone made this a quick and enjoyable read.

The story’s set on Nevarro, a mining planet that’s seen better days. Like most of the drones who work for the mining company, Liv dreams of a bigger things, a better life, legitimate or not. When her handsome ex husband tells her about the job big enough to give her what she wants, she’s tempted despite how things ended between them. One last job, right? Right. We all know how that’s going to go.

As in all good crime capers, Liv gets involved despite the obvious danger. Before long she’s embroiled in corporate espionage, living with her ex and chillingly aware that the people she’s working for are seriously nasty criminals. They’ve hired her to get close to her sexy new boss, and do whatever it takes to get the information she needs. Did I mention that Liv’s long-lost mother (also a con) picks the worst time to reappear and move into her flat, or that her sexy new boss is a woman?

The scene is set for an engaging adventure with some deliciously saucy scenes. Pegau writes well and delivers humour and a believable plot along with the sexual tension. I’ll definitely look out for more of her books in the future, and especially recommend this for Stephanie Plum fans who like a little sci-fi (and a bit of girl-on-girl).

Now for the Q&A section

Thanks for your time, Cathy! How long have you been writing SF/F?

I’ve always loved the SF/F genres as a reader, so it was a natural progression when I started writing years ago. And I do mean YEARS. I wrote my first novel (sword and sorcery fantasy, not pubbed, still in the virtual desk drawer, would love to revise and see it out there) about 12 years ago. There have been sequels and other genres in that time as I learned more about the craft and about myself as a writer. The futuristic/SF setting has been a favorite for a while, but the addition of romance is a relatively recent thing for me.

What comes first for you, characters or story?

That’s sort of a chicken or the egg question, isn’t it? It changes for each story. I’ve had plot ideas that generated characters as well as characters I knew I’d love that I built the plot around. Not that it’s ever so simple : )

For Rulebreaker it was a little bit of both. I was contemplating a story about a thief falling for the person she was supposed to steal from, so the plot and character went hand in hand pretty much from the beginning. Liv was fleshed out as the plot continued to develop, before I even started the actual writing. When it came time to “cast” the love interest, however, the fact it was another woman added all kinds of conflict and characterization dimensions. So while Liv more or less came along with the story, Zia grew from it.

What’s coming next – when can we read more of your stuff?

Nothing official at the moment. I have a couple of more books in the same world with secondary characters taking the leads. I’ll let you know when something happens with them.
Please recommend another writer from Carina, for us to read while we wait for your next novel/

Wow, so many to consider! For science fiction (with or without romance) I like Ella Drake, Robert Appleton, Lilly Cain, KC Burn, Lisa Paitz Spindler, Diane Dooley, among others. There are also great romantic suspense authors like Natalie Damschroder and Maureen A. Miller. I love a good romantic suspense story.

Thanks again, Cathy, for answering my questions. You can get to know Cathy better from her Twitter, website or blog.

 

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Yonder: Hunter S Thompson, a Giant Rabbit and Antler Barrettes.

No theme for this week’s links, apart from no-theme. And coolness. I’ve also included a new playlist for you, not styled as anything to do with writing this time, just the ear-worms of my summer. But let’s get to that in a minute. Firstly – breakfast!

self portrait by Hunter S Thompson

self portrait by Hunter S Thompson

Sarah Wilson found a great article about Hunter S Thompson’s rigorous, riotous breakfast requirements. I’ve always loved his writing, but never much fancied living with the guy, what with the whole ranch-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-filled-with-guns-dynamite-and-crazy-people asethetic he had going on. But this is the kind of breakfast I’d be willing to make a lifestyle change for.

‘. . . The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crêpes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned-beef hash with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of key lime pie, two margaritas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert. . .’

Read the full description here. Then come back to read about Monster Hair Clips. I know you want to.

ram horns hair clip

Monster hair clips. Werewolf snouts. Tentacle belts. Visit Miss Monster’s store of Fantasy accessories and get your very own antlers. I have a big crush on this shop and I’m hoping to wear some of these to work and see who notices.

Fed and dressed? You’ll be ready for a photo of an enormous rabbit then.

Big Yellow Rabbit by Florentijn Hofman

Big Yellow Rabbit by Florentijn Hofman

Crafty Crafty blogged about this Big Yellow Rabbit, a sculpture by Florentijn Hofman which you can see if you are in Örebro, Sweden next week. Or now. I would love to walk around the corner and see something like this. I know my boyfriend thinks this is how I see the world all the time (He’s the prosaic one. I’m the trippy daydreamer).

Finally, here’s my latest 8tracks playlist. No writing theme this time, other than the fact that I write and I also like this. This summer my brain has looped these songs over and over, so for my own sake I’ve put them all in one place where I can get to them easily. You’ll see that my New Wave fetish continues unabated. The track by Television is over 10 minutes long, and totally worth it.
As always, if you only see a blank spot below, you’re using a browser which doesn’t like Flash. Click here for the music instead. Tracklisting below.

8tracks licensing requires that the second time you listen to a playlist it plays in random order. But all other times you should hear the songs in this order –
1 No Fun, The Stooges
2 Marquee Moon, Television
3 Thank You For Sending Me An Angel, Talking Heads
4 Kimberly, Patti Smith
5 Gravity Rides Everything, Modest Mouse
6 Gone Daddy Gone, Violent Femmes
7 Cattle and Cane, The Go-Betweens
8 This Time Tomorrow, The Kinks

Happy Weekend. X

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How to Turn Captain America On

Captain America light switchFound this fantastic switch plate via Tickled Fancy’s tumblr – follow this link and click the photo to see Captain America in, ahem, action.

The Etsy shop, Intergalacticdesign, is full of great switch plates – check it out here – and then visit Tickled Fancy for more very cool finds (and some perfect Mad Men art). She’s on twitter too, so I think a follow is in order – @whirringblender

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