Friday, May 30, 2008

And Then it was Friday...

Also known as T! G! I! F!

What a week it's been.

*walks in house, closes door, and collaspes into a puddle of exhaustion on the kitchen floor*

It's Millah time! (Oh yeah. I don't drink beer. It makes me mean.) OK, it's Coca-Cola time. :) *pops a top*

OK, time to review.

Wrote several posts this week on multiple blogs. Check.

Sent three chapters out for a profession look-see and got great feedback. Check.

Placed a few bids on the Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research. Check.

Got outbid on all of them. Check.

Sent two contact emails out to previous writing acquaintances. Check.

Got a response back from one. Big smile with that check.

Blog-hopped most of my favorite blogs. Check.

Posted on a couple. Check.

All in all, not too bad, considering my limited time.

Not a lot of time for writing this week, but I did kick out a few critiques, especially for my IPs who are polishing queries and synopses for submission. It's so rewarding to see prose evolve into something that crackles and jumps off the page like it's electric. A phrase tweaked to perfection. Gorgeous flow. Tight, concise wording. Ah, it's a thing of beauty. :)

Enjoy the start of your weekend.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sci-Fi 101: Staring Into Space

Scientists have a theory how they might find Earth-like planets in our galaxy with “habitable” atmospheres and thus possible life. By searching for planets that meet certain criteria--such as the distance from their sun, estimated amount of time they’ve existed with “habitable” environments to allow life to evolve, and if they have water-—the odds are increased of finding life on other worlds. But how is this information gathered from a tiny speck of light that is light years away?

By, quite literally, staring into space. A planet reflects somewhere in the range of one billionth to one ten billionth of the light of their respective sun. Scientist believe that by focusing high powered telescopes on an object for weeks at a time, enough data can be collected from monitoring the source to determine if the planet has water. Because water and soil reflect light differently, as the planet spins on its axis and travels around its sun, changes in the light may become evident over a span of time that will give clues if it has liquid oceans.

The problem is that it will be another ten to twenty years before these planet-seeking telescopes are developed. Meanwhile, some scientists hope to take advantage of some of our space exploration projects to study Earth from great distances to get a better idea what an Earth-like planet should look like from space.

You can find more information on this story at the following site:

http://www.physorg.com/news128257176.html

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Science Fiction Romance News Scan Added

Since the focus of this blog is Science Fiction Romance, I've added a news scan bar to the bottom of this site strictly for Science Fiction Romance news.

Scroll down and take a peek what articles it has captured from the internet. As with the main news scan information, the random hits posted are sifted from the information super highway via key words. This blog author doesn't necessarily endorse or support any of the information contained in the news links.

Have fun. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Links: Publishing Trends

A new side bar item has been added for Electronic Publishing with three new links:

Electronic Alaphet: http://electricalphabet.wordpress.com/

Journal of Electronic Publishing: http://www.journalofelectronicpublishing.org/

The Deep Niche (article): http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;view=text;rgn=main;idno=3336451.0010.206

Good insights into a changing industry and its resources.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Phoenix Has Landed

The Phoenix Lander successfully landed on an "icy northern plain" on Mars after its 422 million mile flight from Earth. It launched in August 2007. This was the first soft landing of a Mars mission since 1974. To slow itself from an estimated speed of 12,000 mph to just 5 mph, the craft deployed a special parachute on its descent, and then fired thrusters to make a gentle touchdown on the red planet's arctic surface.

Phoenix Lander will remain stationary, unlike the Mars Rovers that move over the terrain. It will dig trenches with a retractable arm, searching for traces of water--and perhaps life?--in the Martian soil.

Some of the first photos Phoenix lander took were self-portraits. It sent images of its landing gear and solar array back to NASA so they could access the condition of the vehicle after touchdown. NASA was ecstatic to find Phoenix Lander is "sitting pretty," just a half degree off-axis. When asked if the landing could have gone any better, project manager Barry Goldstein answered, "Not in my dreams."

The Phoenix will analyze soil samples and continue to broadcast information for approximately 90 days, then the Martian winter sets in. Extreme cold and a coating of up to three feet of carbon dioxide ice are expected to put the lander out of commission. It is unknown if the Phoenix can by revived after the ice thaws, but a recovery is not expected.

Many have criticized the cost of the mission, but the knowledge of what we learn from our space missions serves to advance science, sometimes by leaps and bounds, and improve technology, daily life and our understanding of the universe.

Congratulations to NASA and the Phoenix Lander team on a picture perfect landing.

Links:
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Science/story?id=4930270&page=1
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/05/touchdown-first.html
http://www.monstersandcritics.com/science/features/article_1407593.php/In_photos_Phoenix_Mars_Lander

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thank You, Dr. Bailey!

"So I like Science Fiction. Anyone got a problem with that?"
Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson)
Grey's Anatomy
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Season Finale Episode

The writing on Grey's Anatomy is always excellent and thought-provoking, but when Dr. Bailey uttered her proclamation last night, I came out off my seat, did a fist pump and shouted, "Yes!"

Grey's Anatomy has a brilliant way of commenting on social and cultural trends in our society, and they had done it again, in a way that hit very close to home.

The scene took place during the frantic efforts to save a young man who had jumped into a vat of quick-drying concrete to impress a girl on a dare from some of her male friends. As the doctors discussed how he could be saved and all the traumas that were or could happen to his body as a result of the situation, the patient panicked, convinced he was going to die.

Dr. Bailey to the rescue.

She gave him encouragement by comparing him to Han Solo in a scene from Star Wars when he was encased in carbonite, and reminded her patient how Han was freed by Princess Leia (a role Dr. Bailey hinted was being played in this re-enactment by his crush). She then outlined major plot points in the movie and subsequent fiction novels, in detail, until the other doctors gave her wide-eyed stares. At that point, she uttered her classic line above.

Thank you, Dr. Bailey, for saying on your hit series what we've been discussing with enthusiasm on our blogs. It's all right--in fact, it may be the norm--that "chicks dig Science Fiction."

As readers (which we have to be to be writers) we're recognizing the coming trend. Now our job is to help convince the industry that SciFiRom sells to a female readership. I know it's a numbers game for publishing houses, but when fewer SciFiRoms are published than Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical, etc. they can't statistically complete. The more we get the word out about great SciFiRom novels, especially debut authors and established SciFiRom icons' bestsellers, the more potential fans we'll reach and the faster our (sub)genre will grow.

Thank you, Dr. Bailey, and to the fabulous writers at Grey's Anatomy, for putting a voice to the paradigm shift.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Science Fiction Romance Kindred Souls

Science Fiction Romance is a tough sell. I think I knew that before I started marketing, but now it's been reinforced. Agents seem focused on fantasy, fantasy, fantasy. Now, I love a good fantasy as much as the next person, but it would seem that, eventually, readers would tire of all those vampires, demons and werewolves and start craving something a little more...uh, technologically enhanced?

Think it's just me? No, I know that's not true.

The point of this post (and I do have one) is that occasionally, as I comb through websites hoping to glean tidbits on agent's interests and book sales, I stumble across a kindred soul--a fellow Sci Fi Rom writer or fan.

And occasionally, they find me first.

Such is the case with The Galaxy Express, a gorgeous blog that, like this one, promotes Sci Fi Rom (Science Fiction Romance, Romantic Science Fiction, Futuristic Romance and Speculative Romance). There are also tons of terrific links, including a list of SciFiRom authors by the decade where they came to prominence. I'm sure it took Heather a lot of time and effort to compile this comprehensive list, and it's a wonderful thing.

Check it out here: http://thegalaxyexpress.blogspot.com/

Another I found is the Science Fiction Romance Fan blog now listed under the My Favorite Martians links. I was delighted to see Spacefreighters already included in her link list. Yeah, we Sci Fi Rom lovers have to stick together. I think we need to network...or a network...or something along those lines. Maybe we should hire a lobbyist. Oh wait. That's politics. Nope, don't wanna go there.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Brenda Novak Auction: A Must See Site!

Thanks to Dawn for letting us know about this one.

The Brenda Novak 2008 Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes research has something for everyone, but especially for those who write. You can bid on a variety of agent evaluations, author critiques, and editor evaluations. What a great way to get solid feedback on your novel, and participate in a good cause at the same time. You may see some well known names among those listed. There are also an assortment of items--jewelry, handcrafted items, books, you name it.

http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Home.taf

Check it out, join in the fun, and help benefit diabetes research.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

First Anniversary

The first post on Spacefreighters' Lounge was May 9, 2007.

It's been a lot of fun sharing Science Fiction Romance related articles, pictures, commentary and news. I hope this site continues to be a blog of interest for the Sci Fi minded. Thanks for reading. :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Poll Results Are In

The Science Fiction Romance/YA Poll has ended. With 87 votes cast, here are the results in order of votes cast:

I occasionally read Science Fiction Romance. 20 23%
I prefer other genres. 18 21%
I read Science Fiction YA once in awhile. 17 20%
Other 9 10%
I write Science Fiction Romance. 8 9%
I avidly seek out Science Fiction Romance as a reader. 7 8%
I write Science Fiction YA. 5 6%
I search everywhere for Science Fiction YA. 3 3%

Nearly a quarter responded they sometimes read Science Fiction Romance where only 8% avidly seek it out. A fifth read Science Fiction YA and 3% actively seek it out.

Since a total of 27 responses either "prefer other genres" or "other" it appears the poll represents a good cross-section of readers, not just Sci Fi Rom/YA fans who are more likely to visit this site.

This seems to indicate (to my unique brand of possibly biased analysis, anyway) there should be a good market for Sci Fi Rom/YA, yet few agents seem to state they seek Science Fiction Romance or YA (Fantasy...oh yes! And Science Fiction, (comma) Romance or Science Fiction, [comma] YA, but very seldom Science Fiction Romance or Science Fiction YA. With the popularity of Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and the cult status of television shows such as Firefly and Farscape, it would seem these subgenres (or sub-subgenres?) would be more desirable.

I'm curious to hear any thoughts, comments, insights or opinions on the subject. Agents? Editors? Please give us your perspection.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sci Fi Rom/YA Poll Update

With 85 blog readers chiming in to date, here are the results (so far):

I write Science Fiction Romance. 9% (8 votes)
I avidly seek out Science Fiction Romance as a reader. 7% (6 votes)
I occasionally read Science Fiction Romance. 22% (19 votes)

I write Science Fiction YA. 6% (5 votes)
I search everywhere for Science Fiction YA. 4% (3 votes)
I read Science Fiction YA once in awhile. 20% (17 votes)

I prefer other genres. 21% (18 votes)
Other 11% (9 votes)


It seems the majority (a combined total of 36 votes) read Sci Fi Rom and/or Sci Fi YA on occasion, where 7% (6 votes) actively seek out Sci Fi Rom, and 4% (3 votes) actively seek out Sci Fi YA.

Eight (8) stated they write Sci Fi Rom and five (5) write Sci Fi YA. (I thought this was interesting because I assumed those who write this/these subgenre(s) would actively seek it out to read, but that's not the case according to the numbers.)

A large portion of votes also preferred other genres, so this is a good indication the poll wasn't taken only by fans of Sci Fi Rom/YA.

I'll keep the poll open another week or so and post final results once it's closed. Thanks to everyone who's voted so far. :)

New Links

My Google alerts turned up a new Sci Fi/Sci Fi Rom blog, PAM'S PAGES by author Pamela J. Dodd. This will be added to My Favorite Martians on the right, but here's the link for quick reference.

http://pamspages.blogspot.com/

Be sure to view her video, A Brief History of Science Fiction, posted March 24.

Laurie

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Science Fiction Romance/YA Poll

I'm trying to get an idea of the interest level in Science Fiction Romance and Science Fiction YA as specific subgenres in fiction.

Please vote on the poll at right and let me know your interest in both, either or neither of these subgenres. You can vote for all that apply.

Note there's also a place to enter other remarks or comments.

Thanks for your time!

Just Gotta Share...

I've been following this blog for some time, but felt I should do a blurb on it (to announce its treasures, don't ya know) before adding it to my list of Writer's Feedback Sites on the right.

Becca and Angela, fellow CC-ers, have started an Emotion Thesaurus on their blog where lists of expressions and physical indicators of emotions such as happiness, anger, frustration, love, etc. It's a true goldmine of ideas, and a nice motivator for your muse when it decides it's on vacation.

If you're a writer, spend a few minutes browsing the content and I'm sure you'll see the value:

http://www.thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/

Kudos to Becca and Angela for the time they spend on this goldmine, and for sharing the wealth with other writers.

About Spacefreighters Lounge

Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.