Sunday, February 3, 2013

MISSION SUCCESS
Laurie

Eureka! I've finally done it.

I've managed to write a short story that's less than 10,000 words and didn't evolve into a 100,000+ word epic.

It needs a bit of polishing and primping yet, and a good scuttling by a critique partner or two, but finishing this petite little tale feels like I've just cleared a six-foot hurdle. Best part is I wrote the story in only a few days.

You know the saying that big things comes in small packages? Well, it's true. Now to tackle a couple of slightly longer stories that have been percolating in my head for the last few months.

Ariba!

Review
In Her Name: Empire
by Michael R. Hicks

I purchased Empire several months ago and started to read, but couldn't finish it. The beginning was gripping enough (and very important to what comes later) but after some thirty pages, the book felt like a YA coming of age story more than an adult SF. Truth be told, it was the stunning cover that sold me on buying the novel, more than the story blurb. It had a very "Draxis" feel to it in both image and title, and I was curious how close the story was to my third novel. Not to worry. Although there are a few small similarities, they are lightyears apart in premise and tone. (Though I'd still love to...uh..."borrow" that cover...and maybe the title, too.)

Recently, I picked Empire up again and started reading. After page 53, the story really began to show promise of sliding into the realm of "engrossing adult SF." And then I came upon this passage and I was completely hooked:

Thirty million kilometers away, deep in the blackness beyond the orbit of Hallmark around its yellow star, a gravity well appeared at a point without a name or special significance, warping the void around it into a vortex of space and time. As the well deepened toward infinity, it created a fleeting transient event horizon, and matter was instantaneously injected through the tiny rift in the fabric of the universe.

A solitary Kreelan warship, an enormous battlecruiser that dwarfed any vessel ever built by Man, emerged from hyperspace. Her sublight drive activated, and she turned her raked prow onto a trajectory toward the nearby planet. Her sensors reached out before her like ethereal hounds sniffing out their quarry, searching for the planetary defense network orbiting the human world. 

Pure spine-tingling imagery that left me with goosebumps!

These mysterious Kreelan warriors are all blue-skinned females, and they possess razor-sharp talons and battle skills that are developed from childhood in a very harsh, warrior-honing society. The "Her" in "In Her Name" refers to their all-powerful empress, for whom they fight and die by the millions. Their territory spans 10,000 worlds, and Mankind poses all the threat to them of an annoying gnat that's about to be squashed.

Our hero, young Reza, is on the planet that's dead in their sites. They'll leave behind nothing but ash...it's what they take with them that will change everything.

Eventually.

From page 43, I succeeded in reading this story all the way through to the end in a very short time. At the conclusion, I discovered two things--one surprising and one inspiring.

The surprise was that this book edges firmly into the territory of SFR, although it appears to be a relationship that's strung out across several books, much like Ann Aguirre's Grimspace series. If what I suspect is true, the series promises to carry an overarching connection between two characters that will alter space, time and history itself.

The inspiration is that this book appears to be the mere foundation on which all the other books of the series are built, because once the reader understands these characters and the facets that drive the story--both Human and Kreelan--it forms the basis of what promises to be the rich tapestry of a true epic. I was left with a hint that as advanced and powerful and invincible as this Kreelan Empire is, even they are at the mercy of a force more powerful than any they wield themselves. One they are struggling to understand...and obey.

Much to my delight, the beginning of the second book in the series, Confederation, was tagged on to the end of Empire. I'm so glad, because it suddenly pulled a rather head-scratching conclusion into much sharper focus. I also found the opening of Confederation, with its stark but on-the-money military details, and multi-dimensional characters much more intriguing than Empire, though the tie-in to Book one was expertly handled and thoroughly compelling.

Despite it's flaws, I'd rate In Her Name: Empire 4-1/2 stars, and In Her Name: Confederation promises to be much the better. I'll let you know the outcome in a future review.

New Website

After many months of hammering out image concepts, details and content with Bemis Promotions, my new web site has finally gone live.

On the introductory page, I hope I captured a sense of why I'm compelled to write Science Fiction Romance. My love of the stars is one of my earliest memories.

If you have a minute, give it a read and let me know what you think. Feel free to kick the tires, fire the retros and help me give her a thorough test flight.

Laurie A. Green

SFR Brigade Presents

I'm really excited about this latest Brigade project, brainchild of our own co-blogger, Pippa Jay. SFR Brigade Presents is similar to the popular Six Sentence Sunday, where you can sample the work of a variety of authors and aspiring writers on a number of different blogs, all accessible by a click from the main page.

SFR Brigade Presents is different from SSS in that it allows the first paragraph or up to 200 words, in the case of passages of dialogue or short sentences. This gives you a little more meat in each snippet to get a feel for the story, writing-style and premise.

SFR Brigade Presents or SFRBP will be limited to only 20 participants every Friday, and readers have an entire week to visit all the sites. That makes for less of a time crunch, and hopefully a more enjoyable experience for both participants and readers.

SFR Brigade Presents just began on February 1, and you still have several days to read this week's excerpts. Just pop over to SFRBP Central to start checking them out. SFR BRIGADE PRESENTS  

Ping Pong

I want to congratulate Pippa Jay on her impressive new web site (seems to be a week for new web sites, eh?) and for organizing and MCing the new SFR Brigade Presents which I think is going to become a big hit. Also kudos, once again, on the SFR Galaxy Awards win for Keir.  

Sharon, congrats to you as well for your two SFR Galaxy Awards wins, and much appreciation to you in your role as my critique partner. You're now only the second person in the universe to have read through my entire 116,000 word Near Future novel, and your feedback was priceless.

Also want to thank Donna for her participation as a judge in the SFR Galaxy Awards. It was such a fun event, and I hope we brought a lot of great SFR books to the attention of all those hungry readers out there.

3 comments:

  1. Awww, thanks Laurie! Your website is awesome (and just the prod I needed to stop messing around with mine and get it up. Although I foresee much tweaking!) And kudos on the short! I know that feeling.
    Congrats again to all the SFR Galaxy Award winners and thanks to the judges. Have to say I was chuffed (and had a bit of a giggle) over Keir's nomination category. :)

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  2. Well done on the short, Laurie!! Not easy is it, when you're used to writing whoppers!!!

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  3. @Pippa Love your web site. Stunning!

    @Barbara No, it sure isn't easy. I had to totally change how I think, plot, and world build. It's sure a good feeling to complete something in a few days or weeks, instead of a year or more, though.

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