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somewhere in time and space we touch asynchronously

Cover by Cora of Cora graphics

The time and place

Present day, present time. Mostly on the planet of Mitah, which is nominally ruled by the Salvator family as a client of Sandaria. Chancellor Mortog runs most things, though. Earth makes some brief appearances.

The suspension of disbelief

Faster-than-light space travel exists. Portals, space gates held open by the Portal Masters, facilitate aliens coming and going all over space. Humanoid aliens have discovered Earth and currently protect it from incursions without our knowledge.

Some alien races have psi, which seems to be a sort of sixth psychic sense or talent. The Portal Masters have a particular kind of psi that makes them coveted by their guild. Additionally, people with psi have a single psi-mate: someone whose psionics can complement and bond to theirs. It’s a romantic/sexual type of bond.

Cover by Sweet 'n Spicy Designs

The time and place

Our future, post 23rd century. There’s action on a space port, spaceship, and a wild planet with breathable atmosphere.

The suspension of disbelief

Space travel exists! Also, the government has a secret cyborg program where they outfit people with BCIs and nanomachines and such. The other civilizations have Near-Humans and Not-Very-Near-Humans.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is November. The rules are as follows: come up with a new story idea and write 50k words about it in a month, comprising a novel. That’s a lot of writing. I’ve seen people beg off their social lives or other commitments to make this happen, and sometimes I feel like they were due that alone time! Friends have raved to me about NaNo teaching them discipline and project management. There are some great support networks out there.

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Cover by Stephen Bryant at SRB Productions

The time and place

About one thousand years from today. We’re given GDAT 3238 for the beginning of the book. Place is mostly the planet Concordance Prime, in the cosmopolitan city of Spires.

The suspension of disbelief

Humans have found FTL and colonized other planets. Some have manifested ‘minder talents’, which are essentially psychic powers. Those who have particularly strong talents are recruited by Citizen Protection Service (the transplanetary military).

I’ve been making music, playing games, writing games, programming tools, and writing stories since I realized I could. Not all at the same time. For years it was music, then games and music, and now writing. For a while, I feared myself a creative dilettante. I assure myself that music is something I can get back to. I tell myself I’ve made some interesting music already whether I do go back to it or not. I don’t need an identity as ‘a composer’ or ‘a writer’ because I have already made music and written some stories and they have made me and a few others feel things. I still get neurotic about it, though.

Cover by Croco Designs

The time and place

Earth in our far future, as intimated by the title- it’s got all kinds of irradiated beasties and killer plants! The opening takes place on a jungle planet, Mazona V. There’s also some time aboard spaceships.

The suspension of disbelief

Nuclear war rendered Earth pretty much uninhabitable. The survivors escaped into space to found new colonies. Artifacts from Earth are considered valuable archaeological treasures.

Cover by Yasmin Khudari

The time and place

Planet Hestia (as named by our protagonist), a world that could be colonized by humans. I assume it's our future because "Terran Standard Years" and Earth are mentioned.

The suspension of disbelief

Humanity has traveled into space and set up colonies/space stations. When stars fall, they hear voices and experience life for a moment before they die.

The quick summary

Jyothi Agarwal left her love behind to work on a research team out in space, feeling she could help out humanity. The team determined the proto-colony was habitable, but war broke out before further preparations could be made. The others on the team returned home for war, taking their ship with them, and they haven't reported back. She's been alone on the station for nine years, making daily logs and surveying the land. One day, during her terrain survey, she finds an injured man on the barren planet. Where did he come from and what shall she do with him?

Last Saturday I went to Penny Arcade Expo. I'd never been before, but most of my friends have. I was less aghast by commercial pressures than I might have been. The Square Enix section had demos of Final Fantasy XV, which looked slick as expected, and Life is Strange, which I've yet to play but intend to someday. I was too depressed about Bioware not supporting anything further for PS3/X360 in their Dragon Age DLCs and updates to investigate what they had. Nintendo had lots of Mario Maker on display and a cool demo of Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Doubleblind cover, published by Ace

Review a mid-series book? Am I mad? Often the first book gets the most reviews, but I think it's worth commenting on later ones so people know whether they want to stay along for the ride.

The time and place

Most of the book takes place on planet Ithiss-Tor, the homeworld of the insectoid Ithtorians, who can disguise themselves as anyone. I assume the setting is far future or parallel universe.

The suspension of disbelief

There are all kinds of aliens, mostly bipedal. There’s AI and pretty high technology. Space navigation is done by a pilot and Jumper, a person who can access grimspace, the woobly hyperspace that ships go through to get to different stars and planets. I believe it’s what makes FTL possible. Jumpers tend to burn out and die with little or no warning.

For writing class, I'm trying my hand at a fantasy short story, starring a country's armed forces holding the line against shadow horrors while the civilians evacuate. I don't know whether the idea is worthy of expansion or what it would feature besides combat, nightmares, and people attempting to cope. I think it's a worthwhile exercise, though. Just like science fiction, there's world-building and infilling. The suspension of disbelief can be pretty delicate- can I convince you that there are horrible monsters coming from the south magnetic pole to ravage humanity and destroying what's in their paths? Would you believe that the people living closest to the pole have a mix of customs not seen in our world? Is using arquebuses with female representation in the army too much of a stretch? The science fiction I write is about predictions for our world, the fantasy about less likely possibilities for any world.

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