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The SFF Chronicles Science Fiction & Fantasy Community

David Gilman's Master of War and Defiant Unto Death

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According to David Gilman’s notes after the text, Master of War and Defiant Unto Death were originally submitted as a single novel, but then broken up into what is effectively a duology - which makes them ideal to review together:

1. Master of War

Master of War follows the fortunes - and misfortunes - of Thomas Blackstone, a stone-mason long-trained in the use of the longbow, who is commanded to fight for Edward III against the...

July Writing Challenges - winners announced!

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Congratulations to both @TheDustyZebra and @The Judge who respectively won the 75 and 300 word Writing Challenges in July!

You can read all entries for the challenges here:

July 2018 75-word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO THEDUSTYZEBRA!.

300-word Writing Challenge #30 (July...

The Empyreus Proof cover reveal! And, oh yeah, out now

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Here it is, sequel to The Goddess Project and Book Two of the Fire Stealers sequence.

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Grappling with the aftermath of the Skalith crisis, Orc and Cass Strandborn are shocked to discover its true instigators, and those behind their tormenting amnesia – a shadowy cabal of occultists who mean to provoke a global war.

Only the Watchers of Highcloud have the power to challenge these ‘Kings Behind the World’. But to reach the monastery, Orc and Cass must...

Prehistoric girl had Neanderthal and Denisovan parents

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New Scientist reports on how a fragment of prehistoric bone found in Russia shows a direct combination of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA - a Neanderthal mother, and Denisovan father: Prehistoric girl had parents belonging to different human species

Her DNA was almost 50:50 Neanderthal and Denisovan, arranged in a tell‑tale...

Inspirations for Star Trek

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I'm currently reading a book... I'll give you the title and subject later... and I'm currently casually watching some of the original Star Trek series. The thought that this book (with which I am only half way through) might be the single most important inspiration for Star Trek led me to start this thread.

Now a quick google search for Gene Roddenberry's inspirations shows the usual suspects...

Roddenberry served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in WWII...

No Man's Sky gets massive improvements

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No Man's Sky was always an interesting open-world game - but now it's had the most serious of updates, taking it to a huge new level...

My family enjoyed No Man's Sky - originally an exclusive game for the PS4 that allowed you to travel around the universe, and visit billions of unique autogenerated planets.

What's especially good about it is that it's very open-ended - you can play it any way you want to: exploring planets, building a...

Space News: Water worlds common, life likely?

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A few recent space news stories to roundup:

1. Solar system 'normal'

One of the big mysteries is how usual or unusual our solar system is. We've identified a lot of exoplanets that are like nothing we've ever seen - and others that are commonly familiar.

Now a study looking at material around forming stars suggests that the basic ingredients of our solar system are actually pretty common...

The Saliva Tree by Brian Aldiss

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After a few decades, I finally re-read "The Saliva Tree", Brian Aldiss's homage to H. G. Wells. This novella, first appearing in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (Nov 1965), seamlessly combines many elements of the first few years of the Wells canon. The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, even The Wonderful Visit - all are given their nods at times and appear subtly woven into the story. Set in...

Echoes of the Great Song by David Gemmell

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Echoes of the Great Song has always been one of my favourite Gemmells - possibly because of how different it is to the others - but I’d forgotten until my most recent read just how dark it was.

In the first few pages we’re introduced to some of the members of the Avatars, a race who founded a global Empire on the back of immense mystical power but are now frantically clinging onto their last scraps of power after a global cataclysm. There’s Ro, a fussy and proud...

Hit me up with some good scifi I haven't read.

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Recommend me some scifi. I prefer lighter, less grim works. I'm ok with series or standalones. Just tell me why I might like it - hit the high points. Some that I have read and enjoyed:

Old Man's War
Vorkosigan Saga
Confederation/Peacekeeper by Tanya Huff
Ready Player One
The Indranan War by KB Wagers
Linesman SK Dunstall
Vatta series Elizabeth Moon
Dark Run Mike Brooks
Foundation trilogy
Unbreakable WC Bauers
Everness Ian McDonald
Imperial Radch
Paradox Rachel...

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:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0007581149/?tag=brite-21

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 Amazon.co.uk 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...
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