science fiction

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.

I started my new writing class, Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, yesterday. I had a good experience with the Writing Short Stories class I took with the same instructor, Nils Osmar, and I figured some new  perspectives and other people's creativity would be inspiring. The class is full of people who haven't written much even though it says it's for all levels. Demographics are college-aged to middle-aged individuals with almost equal gender representation. I've noticed White, Asian, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern students. I'm excited about people being beginners because it encourages Shoshin, a Zen concept that means 'beginner's mind.' We are eager to learn more and open to new ideas. Unfortunately there are lots of preconceptions about writing that filter down to the general populace that will restrict us. I hope to see raw ideas and foreign contortions of concepts.

Since I discovered SFR I added The Galaxy Express and Smart Girls Love Scifi blogs. I read along, entered a contest, and randomness chose me to win free ebooks. I was going to buy many of these books anyway, but I think that the writers' generosity should be...followed? Repaid? Anyway, those authors will get reviews for their newest books on this blog and on Amazon. It's another great way for me to put pressure on myself! I love adding things to my To Do list!

I have never fancied myself a writer. I loved writing when I was young, and I have always loved reading. As I aged, I stopped writing fiction. My internal editor and censor was too loud to squeeze much out. I would have plenty of stories in my head, but I would only jot down notes and use them as inspiration for the pen-and-paper/LARP games I was involved in. Writing is a craft that requires plenty of dedication and practice. Since I have so many hobbies, I've never thought I'd have the energy to give writing my stories. However, I recently had an idea that learning to write could improve my communication.

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