Tag Archives: novels

What’s the Best Science Fiction Novel, Series, and Author?

I asked these questions before with fantasy, which I still invite you to answer. Like I said before, I love reading fantasy, but I prefer writing science fiction more. However, I still love reading science fiction. So, please answer these questions in the comments:

  1. What’s your favourite science fiction novel?
  2. What’s your favourite science fiction series?
  3. Who’s your favourite science fiction author?

Thanks for answering! I look forward to hearing what you say.

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What’s the Best Fantasy Novel, Series, and Author?

I’m a big fan of reading fantasy novels. I think I like reading them more than science fiction, even though I prefer writing science fiction. But I’d like to know your opinions about fantasy novels. So, please answer these three questions in the comments section:

  1. What’s your favourite fantasy novel?
  2. What’s your favourite fantasy series?
  3. Who’s your favourite fantasy author?

I look forward to your answers.

Authors Answer 74 – What We Are Working On Now

Are you curious about what we’re writing? We’re all writing something, whether they’re novels or children’s books. We have some great things planned for you to read. I hope you really enjoy what we’re going to be publishing in the near future.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 74 – Can you tell us about a future book that you’re working on?

S. R. Carrillo

I’m excited to be working on a futuristic, feminist, freaky, queer western set in the clouds where worlds are ruled by demons and horses are fueled by fire.

Elizabeth Rhodes

With my recent blending of crime and science fiction, I want to try more genre blending. How about sci-fi/romance? Bodice rippers in space? Sounds like fun. Stay tuned.

H. Anthe Davis

In the War of Memory Cycle, the protagonists have faced off against malevolent necromancers, fanatical armies, and even the direct focus of a wicked god!  But can they handle….high school?!  Coming next, Cob and his companions find themselves trapped on the idyllic campus of Firebird High, where the landscaper has claws and the chemistry teacher breathes acid!  Can they juggle study-hall, sleepovers, soccer championships and senior prom, all while hunting for a way home?  And what is that groaning that filters up from the school basement at night?  Does it have anything to do with the recent grave-robbings, and the dirt that Principal Enkhaelen tracks into the halls every morning?  Find out in…the War of Algebra!

Eric Wood

I just finished the manuscript for my next picture book. It’s about how a donkey and a giraffe become best friends. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is ninja training, a raccoon playing a ukulele, and a duck who thinks he’s a chameleon.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Well, I’ve been thinking about taking a break from writing stuff like horror and fantasy, and maybe trying my hand at something a little more relatable. So I’m working on this romance novel… It’s a bit of a Romeo and Juliet plot in which an extremist feminist and a Men’s Rights activist fall in love when they meet at a protest. They’re totally willing to abandon their ideals for love, but their respective “families” are determined to keep them apart. I think it’s going to be a huge hit.

Jean Davis

Well I was skimming through the spam in my inbox a while back and I got this great idea to combine all the subject lines into a plot. So here goes: Billy the endangered elephant needs an enlargement to satisfy the females so he can save his kind but he needs cash. He has enslave the monkeys in the rainforest to pick all the acai berries to sell to the humans so they’ll do the surgery. Unfortunately, the prince of Nigeria takes all his hard earned money and sends it to an elderly woman in Minnesota to keep the elephants from voting in the next election. The only way Billy can get his money back is to convince the woman not to email the prince with her bank information. But can finish his online college language and typing classes in time to save the elephants from extinction and defeat the prince?

D. T. Nova

A team of trained apes engage in asymmetric warfare against a totalitarian government. The title is Gorilla Guerrilla.

Linda G. Hill

I’m working on a non-fiction book about how I’ve traveled the world to take each and every one of my WordPress followers out for coffee to convince them to follow me. The resulting restraining orders are in the hundreds, and yet real life being stranger than fiction, even some of those people are following me! The title of the book will be, I’ll Follow You ‘Til You Follow Me. It’s sure to be a best seller!!

Gregory S. Close

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on a new epic called The Dread Squirrel Prince Trilogy. Most epic fantasy has been told from the perspective of humans, or humanoids, with elves, dwarves and similar races.  I think that’s been played out.  Instead, I’ve tried to touch on themes and characters that are both different and immediately identifiable and relatable – the struggle of oppressed and downtrodden dogs against the Great Squirrel Empire.

The series will follow the rise of a Lab-mix named Sundance.  A pup with a good heart, he sometimes rushes in without thinking things through.  His mentor, an old wolfhound named Big Blue, is a drifter and a charlatan that once sniffed the butts of nobles and kings before falling into disfavor, and landing in exile in Sundance’s out of the way village, Barknuwwn.

Sundance and Big Blue will have to confront the truth of their destiny – hidden lineage, secret powers, a dark power rising again to threaten the last hope of peace for all dog kind, and the great evil behind it all… The Dread Squirrel Prince!

Paul B. Spence

I am currently working on a novel where a conservative millionaire with hateful rhetoric is running for president. An investigative journalist discovers that he is actually a reptilian alien in disguise and planning to plunge the most powerful nation in the world into chaos and civil strife to ease the way for an invasion by his people. The race is on: can the journalist get the information out there in time, or will life as we know it soon be over?

Too much like life?

Jay Dee Archer

I’ve kept this story under wraps for a while, but I thought this is a good time to unveil it.

In a post-apocalyptic world, humans have been reduced to animals, while others have moved on up in the order of intelligence. Birds have become the newest masters of the world, and with their superior intellect, have genetically engineered a super race of birds: the return of the dinosaurs. However, they are still quite small, and have developed robotic suits of armour the size of humans. The purpose? An evil mastermind, one of the rare humans who have retained their intellect, has plotted a second apocalypse against the Dinobirds, and a major battle is coming to determine the future of the world. This sci-fi action thriller has it all, suspense, drama, and a little romance. Look for it soon!

How about you?

If you’re an author, what are you working on? And which story looks interesting to you? Let us know in the comments below.

A Fantasy Book Challenge

I think I found a new favourite list. A list of the top 100 fantasy books by Fantasy Book Review.

I already have several other challenges I want to do, including the Hugo and Nebula Awards, Shakespeare, Read the World, Goodreads’ 50 Book to Read Before You Die, and Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime challenges. Well, I have a new challenge!

Looking through the list, it has almost all of the big ones. I want to read them all. But it’s become clear that it’s not actually 100 books. It’s 100 series and books. This will be quite the challenge, then.

My new challenge is to write out all of these challenges on pages and have them listed under the Challenges menu item at the top.

Who’d like to try this challenge?

Considering the Snowflake Method of Writing

Today, I saw an article about writing using the snowflake method. I haven’t really thought about how I would categorize my own writing and outlining method, but I thought I’d see how it compares with the snowflake method. So, let’s jump right into it.

Step 1 – I have not done this. I don’t have a one sentence summary.

Step 2 – I haven’t written a paragraph summary, either. At least not in this way.

Step 3 – I have done some work on character profiles, but not in this way. I don’t have a summary of their storyline. I have a summary of their life history before the story started.

Step 4 – I have done something like this. Expanding the summary paragraph into several paragraphs, each part ending in a disaster. I’ve summarised Journey to Ariadne chapter by chapter.

Step 5 – I haven’t done character synopses. These are a full page describing what each character does in the story. Maybe I should.

Step 6 – Expand step 4’s sentences into individual paragraphs. So, basically making a longer summary of each section. I have not done this, but I have made a longer paragraph for each chapter. This should be a four page synopsis.

Step 7 – Making character charts with a large amount of information, stats, storyline, how they change by the end of the novel, etc. I have not done this completely, but I have done some basic background information, as I said.

Step 8 – Take the four page synopsis and make a list of scenes in a spreadsheet with the point of view character noted. I have absolutely not done this.

Step 9 – Make a narrative description of each scene, basically expanding each sentence into multiple paragraphs. Dialogue can be added if you like. Nope, I didn’t do this, either. Apparently, it’s a quick version of a first draft that can be written quickly, and makes it easy to write a summary for submitting to a publisher.

Step 10 – Write the first draft. The article says that people who use this method can write books at a far faster pace than if you don’t outline in this way. For one thing, you know exactly what happens in each chapter, and you’re never guessing about what will happen. I haven’t done this, either. Well, I have done first drafts for Journey to Ariadne, but this isn’t meant to be a novel. It’s meant to be a short introductory story about how the world comes to be colonised.

I may attempt to use this method, just to get a better idea about what I’m writing. And maybe it’ll help me write faster.

Does anyone use this method? Or do you prefer another method? Let me know in the comments.

A Book for Every Country

It’s been four weeks since I posted a request for the best books from your countries. I’ve received some good responses, and have covered the expected countries, but some surprising ones, too.

I now have recommendations from the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Japan, and Nigeria. Nigeria? Yes! I know a lot of my readers are from India, Germany, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Australia. I know some of you from New Zealand, Malaysia, France, and Russia. I’d love to hear your recommendations, too. So, please go to my original post and give me a recommendation. That would be wonderful.

Also, please share the original post. If you have Facebook, you can share this Facebook post.

In the near future, I’m going to begin keeping a list of the books and authors that have been recommended to me, and updating frequently. I think I’ll have a map showing the countries that have been included so far.

Without you, this project can’t go forward. So, please do what you can to let others know about it, and I’ll be able to make a great list of books. Eventually, I’ll narrow them down to the ones I’m most interested in, and I’ll attempt to read them.

Any comments? Leave them below. However, if you have a book suggestion, please leave them in the original post.

Authors Answer 62 – Our Favourite Created Characters

Isn’t choosing your favourite character out of all the characters you’ve created like saying which of your children you like the best? Is it unfair? Well, we’re not talking about that, but we are going to talk about who we think is our favourite. This question comes from Authors Answer contributor Eric Wood.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 62 – Who is your favorite character that you created (either for a book/story or just because)?

Linda G. Hill

That’s a tough one. I love most of my characters – it’s hard not to when I know them so intimately and understand what they’ve been through. Even the bad ones! I’d have to say one of my favourite characters is Drommen, a chronic public masturbator from my “Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right” series on my fiction blog. After a year, it turned out he wasn’t such a bad guy after all. 🙂 You can find Drommen here, if you’re interested.

Allen Tiffany

Kira and IrSaa are my two favorites from my upcoming Military Sci Fi series (End War , see more at http://www.allentiffany.com/end-war-scifi-novel-excerpts/ ). They are the MCs, and over the whole of the series will get equal stage time.

Much of the early story is about Kira when she is between 18 and 20 years old as she goes through some very hard times leading what is left of her lost colony through a an alien siege. Later, she is isolated away from her home, family and friends in the second and third novels. Pressed into military service by first one faction and then manipulated into helping the other faction after they rescue her, Kira is smart, but adrift and in a foreign land. At times she is unable to tell friend from foe.

We initially see IrSaa when she is between 32 and 34. IrSaa is a brilliant, relentless Special Forces officer that is as smart and sophisticated as she is calculating and brutal. She is self confident to a fault, and like Kira, IrSaa has a unique talent that makes her a powerful warrior. Unlike Kira, she is mature and self-directed with a clear understanding of her role. But what she really wants in life only crystallizes later.

When circumstances bring them together in the midst of a galactic war between the two factions of humanity that have abandoned a dead Earth, all kinds of things are going to happen. Sisters in arms? Best friends? Lovers? Mother and daughter? Teacher and student? Sworn enemies? …It’s complicated… It’s big, it’s violent, it covers a lot of ground and years, but at its heart the series is about these two women and their relationship and how it changes over time. Hopefully it is going to be believable and compelling.

So, yes, these are my two fav characters. Both are complex, admirable and flawed. Sometimes they have a common purpose and sometimes not, and both are in a game neither fully understands and over which they have less control than they think.

It is hard to provide a lot more detail here in any way that makes sense, but here is the logline for the 500,000-word epic: End War: Two women. Two warriors. One Destiny. Loyalty and Betrayal. The wreckage of humanity will litter their passage.

D. T. Nova

Probably Hiiro from my upcoming novel. I keep wanting to do more with him and being more satisfied with the way scenes focused on him turn out.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

My favorite character is the one I’ve never actually put to paper. Let me explain… When I was young – say, maybe 6 or 7 – I used to be a bit of a devil at bed time. I often had a hard time falling asleep, so I’d crawl out of bed and start playing with my toys instead, which of course would eventually result in my parents coming in and ordering me back under the sheets. One night I whined to my father that I couldn’t fall asleep, and he told me to just close my eyes and think about everything that had happened throughout the day; he told me to play it through my head like a movie, and eventually I’d fall asleep. At the time I misunderstood what he was trying to tell me to do, so instead I closed my eyes and began to tell a story in my mind. I imagined myself as some kind of hero, off on wild adventures. Eventually, I did fall asleep. And the next night I did the same thing, and the next night, and the night after that. I’d come up with cooler and wilder stories every night, or sometimes if it was a really good adventure I’d repeat it the following night. It actually got to the point that sometimes I would wake up in the morning and already be anticipating bed time so I could go on another adventure.

Eventually I began writing, but the writing never really followed the nighttime adventures, and those adventures never stopped. Even today I still have this little ritual (except on the nights that I’m so tired I just pass out), and the character is still the same: an idealized version of myself who is prettier, stronger, cleverer, faster, cooler. I imagine her as this perfect character who can do anything, and I don’t think I’ll ever really let go of her, but I’ll also never write about her because wish fulfillment doesn’t make for good literature. ^_~

Paul B. Spence

Er… What to say without jealousy setting in? Well, Hrothgar Tebrey is my primary character, so… I have to say that I’m really fond of Daeren Drake.

H. Anthe Davis

My consistently favorite character is probably the one that serves as my icon here on WordPress, Shaidaxi.  I’ve played/written him since I was maybe thirteen, making him an easy skin to slip into when it comes to the series; also, he’s a snarky and erratic individual, so his dialogue is always entertaining to write.  However, I’ve found that other characters occasionally eclipse him when I get a chance to focus on them, so I often have a temporary favorite that I dedicate a lot of side-story to.  My current temp fave is Linciard, who I’m trying to un-mire from the plot swamp he’s been stuck in.

Eric Wood

My favorite character I created is a little boy named Timothy. As a five year old, he has a wild imagination and a grand adventure through a grocery store looking for his Mom and stuffed bunny. He’s kind, sweet, and thoughtful. Everything I wish my own kids were (more often).

Elizabeth Rhodes

My favorite character doesn’t have a story of her own yet.  A dream I had years back inspired her creation, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with her.  She’ll likely be the protagonist in that first draft I’d mentioned in the last Authors Answer.  But her name is Leila, she was abducted by some outside force in her teenage years, and came back with abilities that could either make her a hero to her home planet or the subject of a Salem-style witch hunt.

Jean Davis

Hmm. There are so many favorites. I have to say all my main characters are favorites or I wouldn’t want to spend so much time in their heads. If I have to pick just one, I’ll go with Vayen, who hails from my space opera series because we’ve been together the longest and through multiple books. When I’m writing him, I have to make an effort not to channel him throughout my daily life because tends to be confrontational, especially in relationships.

Gregory S. Close

I have a few favorite characters, and I love them like I love my kids, each with his/her own qualities, but not necessarily one better than the other.  Developing favorites can make things hard if and when the character has to die, or otherwise suffers miserably.  I don’t want to end up making excuses to preserve my favorites.

That said, one of my all-time favorite characters to write is Osrith, the world-weary mercenary and knight errant from In Siege of Daylight.  He’s got a very simple moral compass, some might say a little too simple, as the needle points directly between Self Preservation and Preservation of Friend/Loved One.  Nothing much in the way of religion, national pride, virtue or chivalry intrudes on that.  Therefore his approach to some classic epic fantasy conventions can be unconventional, and that’s always fun to play with.

S. R. Carrillo

This one is hard! Seriously, in just one series, I have created so many characters that each have soft, squishy places in my heart, but… I think my OVERALL favorite woule have to be my original OC and one of the main characters of my debut novel, The Soul – and that would be Sol Bell. He is complex yet simple, soft yet fearsome, strange yet adorable. Only he could get an outcasted angel to fall in love with him. ;]

Jay Dee Archer

This is not an easy question to answer, considering I haven’t discovered the full personalities of all of my characters yet. However, I’d have to say that my current favourite is a character I have developed pretty well, but haven’t written much for. She’s the main character of my first novel. On April 23 last year, I introduced her in the A to Z Challenge. For the letter T, I wrote the story The Teacher, and Solona Knight became known to the world. If you read the story (please go there and read it now. It’ll only take a minute), you will have noticed she has a kind of power that could be said to be magic. It’s a science fiction story, though. What I like about her is how she’s handled the power she has, though her situation is not unique. She’s the first, though. She’s put into a position of responsibility at a young age, which I have yet to write about. You will see that in the my first novel.

How about you?

Have you created a character that you love? One that you would consider your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.