The SFF Chronicles Science Fiction & Fantasy Community

Be Abendau’ed -- free for a couple of days

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I made the mistake yesterday of reading through Abendau’s Heir for a blog and now find myself reading it for the first time in 4 years. Since I last edited it, I guess.

And I’m loving it all over again. It is, as we’re often told to write, exactly the type of book I’d pick up to read :)

So I decided to celebrate by popping it on free for my last few days on KDP.

Close character work, Family dynasties, dark stuff, space ships, one half-mad sexy pilot (who might...

Do characters work personalities shape a story?

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How important is a character's work situation when it comes to shaping an overall impression of a character.

Looking at four basic work situations where the job is an ordinary job in that it can be recognized as a normal occupation. Piloting a space ship would be considered a normal job, as it's just another kind of vehicle that can be driven. Growing a garden in burnt out soil after a war, everything is knocked back to basics, where getting mixed results would...

'Elitist': angry book pirates hit back after author campaign sinks website

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This is quite an interesting story about the taking-down of a website devoted to piracy. Note the very trendy use of "elitist" to mean "something I don't like".

'Elitist': angry book pirates hit back after author campaign sinks website

Two things spring to mind. First, and obviously, piracy is stealing, and stealing is...

Your favorite crazy cult film?

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Some people like Pink Flamingos or Eraserhead.
For me it a film called Andy Warhols Bad.
This film is understated , nothing outwardly seems exactly strange until you get into the plot.
Carol Baker runs a electrolysis parlor in her kitchen and a sort of boarding house.
She really has a all-female hit squad for doing little dirty jobs.
People pay to have like a cafe restroom trashed, or wronged by a mechanic his thumb cut off, or an obnoxious...

Space News: Weird stars and meteorite secrets

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I've been collecting together quite a few small stories from the past week or so:

1. How a star blew-up - but didn't

Recognize the pic above? It's Eta Carinae, one of the most famous images of an exploding star. And yet, there is still a living star at the center of that. How did it survive?

By using light echoes, scientists have been able to gauge what happened - and truth is stranger than fiction...

Which hardback edition of LOTR to buy?

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I'm intending to read the LOTR soon and would like to purchase an up to date hardback copy with all the trimmings i.e. fold out maps, appendices, whatever. I'm confused by the multitude of options available on Amazon. While I'm not up to a deluxe edition, I would like a decent copy to add to the reading experience.

From Amazon, I'm interested in this:

This seems to have the added advantage of...

Latest Science Fiction & Fantasy Kindle eBook offers

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There's a decent selection of eBooks on offer at at the moment, covering a good spread of science fiction & fantasy genres:

Books for 99p:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - Another short standalone bestselling novel full of mysticism and stories.

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft - The...

Patrick Stewart returns as Picard to lead new Star Trek series

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CBS all access has signed up Patrick Stewart to star in a new Star Trek series, which follows the life of Jean-Luc Picard 20 years after Star Trek: The Next Generation:

Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman will be an executive producer on the new series, and stated, “With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc...

History News: Stonehenge built by Welsh, Orkney tsunami graves?

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A couple of particularly interesting stories this week:

1. Stonehenge built by Welsh?

We know little about the people who built Stonehenge - but analysis from suggests that the people first cremated there were Welsh: Stonehenge: First residents from west Wales

Lead author Dr Christophe Snoeck compared the levels of different forms, or isotopes, of the element strontium against...

Honestly, it wasn’t my fault by Susan Boulton

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‘Your family is not left behind.’ It’s the unofficial slogan of the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force. Family units are supposed to be more stable for long-time missions, according to the higher-ups. I don’t think this can be applied to the Masons, somehow. Dad says ships like ours are really like small towns back home. All the good bits are on show for people passing through. The bad bits are hidden away behind closed doors and twitching curtains. Dad...

Hugo winners you didn't like

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Hugo season is approaching and having that Hugo Winner stamp on the cover a book is a great endorsement. I was wondering how many, if any, past Hugo winners have you read but didn't like?

For me it has to be Speaker For the Dead by Orson Scott Card. I read this before his whole anti-gay stance and whatnot. After Ender's Game this one was a huge let down for me.

The other is Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman. I really wanted to like this book...

August 2018 Reading thread

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A few books on the go at the moment:

The Orphan Star by Alan Dean Foster. It's not a particularly bad book, but neither is it a particularly good one - just a well-written but otherwise throwaway space fantasy I've almost finished reading during my breaks at work.

Chapter House Dune by Frank Herbert. Thankfully the last book in a series that as began with a bang with wonderful Dune, only for the sequels to meander between vaguely...

August 2018 75-word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO THEDUSTYZEBRA!

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Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 75 words, not including the title

ONE entry per person

NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own


All stories...

Sir Edric's Kingdom, discounted to 99p (for now)

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This year's Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO) includes Sir Edric's Kingdom, by me. It's a fantastic comedy, so splendid even persons who don't normally like fantasy often enjoy it.

When King Lawrence is poisoned and consigned to his sickbed, Sir Edric Greenlock, the Hero of Hornska, is thrust into the position of Lord Steward. But with the King half-dead and vultures circling, Sir Edric soon discovers running a kingdom is about as relaxing as being a...

How Many Different Books (Titles) Have You Read in Your Life?

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My guess is that this question is one none of us can answer. Some people might even say "I have no idea -- thousands," etc.

My reading life is now something like 52 years, but I have always reread a lot.* Therefore, though I have always had one or more books going for most of my life, I'm not sure that I have read nearly so many books as I might have guessed at first. A few years ago I jotted a quick estimate and hazarded the figure of 850, so...

The Medusa Chronicles by Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds

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The Medusa Chronicles is a sequel to Arthur C Clarke’s novella A Meeting with Medusa (which I quickly read before this book), and I suspect you are always going to be taking a chance writing a sequel today (2016) to a story written so long ago (1971) and I think that this book suffers from that separation. Sometimes it felt like a modern book with the realism that is so much a quality of modern SF, especially, in my opinion, British modern SF, but at others it...

Space News: Rogue star hit solar system, life on the Moon?

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A couple of juicy space stories in the news this week:

1. Rogue star hit solar system?

Research suggests a rogue star might have skimmed the early solar system: Did a rogue star change the makeup of our solar system?

In recent years, space scientists have begun to suspect that something out of the ordinary happened to our solar system during its early years. Many have begun...

Writing questions: losing grip on POV

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So, I occasionally feel that I'm losing a close grip on my POV character in certain scenes. In those scenes, he/she is an observer of, or minor participant in, the 'action'.

Case in point, I'm editing a scene which involves something of a free-for-all discussion with a large cast of characters and she has little to say. It's not that she's the wrong POV to use in this scene...nobody really stands out and we do need an invested observer...but that she's not deep...

Interview with Stephen Palmer

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Stephen Palmer is the author of 13 novels, published variously by Orbit, PS Publishing, and Infinity Plus. His latest novel, Tommy Catkins, will be released this week.

Interview by millymollymo:

Tommy Catkins is set in 1915 but takes us to the unusual world of Onderwater. Portal fiction it might be, but based on Stephen’s previous work, this isn’t likely to be a Narnia-esque fantasy, nor is Stephen Palmer an author who sticks to one style. Just...

Archaeology News: Meghalayan Age, First Bread, & more

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1. Welcome to the new age!

And it's not Aquarius or the Anthropocene - but the Meghalayan Age.

Our current geological epoch - the Holocene - has been split into 3 ages: Collapse of civilizations worldwide defines youngest unit of the...