Author Spotlight: Showdown by Diane Morrison

Pleased to appear in Renee Scattergood’s Author Spotlight!  You can read the full article here.  (Hint: there’s a character interview with Graeme Walsh, and he reveals a bit more about his world than you’ve seen in either one of the books yet.)

Read the full article at Renee Scattergood’s blog.

The Wyrd West Chronicles are available on Amazon now!

Hey! Did you know that if you sign up for my newsletter, you can get Showdown for free?  You know ya wanna!

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6 Space Operas That Explore the Comedic Side of the Cosmos

By Sam Reader

The term “space opera” conjures grand vistas, massive spaceships, multi-threaded plots of romance and intrigue, dashing protagonists, and dastardly villains, evoking all the grandiosity of an opera and the hallmarks of the best imaginative science fiction. But while all this is true, operas rarely come in a single flavor. There are gothic horror operas, romantic operas, fantastical operas, and even comic operas. While many space operas are happy to feature witty banter, few truly take advantage of all the comical end of the scale has to offer. Submitted for your approval, here are six seriously funny space operas.

Read the full article at Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

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“The Guns Above” Author Robyn Bennis on Imagined Technology

I won’t pretend that the technology in The Guns Above was easy to imagine. I spent months working out the details and checking them against real-world analogues. A thousand cool and exciting ideas were cut down in their prime, excised by the cruel blade of reality, because I wanted tech that would pass the test of the hard-fantasy reader. I wanted an airship you could build yourself, with enough money and no more than one or two alterations to the laws of physics.

Read the full article at Unbound Worlds.

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Why Would Aliens Even Bother with Earth?

By Lewis Darnell

As an astrobiologist I spend a lot of my time working in the lab with samples from some of the most extreme places on Earth, investigating how life might survive on other worlds in our solar system and what signs of their existence we could detect. If there is biology beyond the Earth, the vast majority of life in the Galaxy will be microbial—hardy single-celled life forms that tolerate a much greater range of conditions than more complex organisms can. To be honest, my own point of view is pretty pessimistic. Don’t get me wrong—if the Earth received an alien tweet tomorrow, or some other text message beamed at us by radio or laser pulse, then I’d be absolutely thrilled. So far, though, we’ve seen no convincing evidence of other civilizations among the stars in our skies.

Read the full article at Literary Hub.

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A Space Ship Does Not Blow Up on Page Three

Sometimes in my stories, a space ship *does* blow up on page three.  But even then, my work always has something deeper to say, and I find the dismissal irritating.

Every  science fiction writer has something that drives him or her.   For many if not most writers this is the need to pen a story and have it read, usually by means of publication.   A quick visit to the websites of most literary agents or publishers yields one dominant insight into what one must do to achieve this.  Write an engaging story with believable characters and immerse the reader in the story within the first few pages. This is sage advice, if you want these folks to notice your work.   Often they won’t read beyond the first few pages and what they’re looking for is engagement, a powerful plot and character-driven hook.

Notice what’s missing here.   Rarely are you asked what your book is about.  If you are, what they’re referring to is the story line, the narrative structure of the piece.   What’s not being asked is what the book is about in a thematic sense.  What are you trying to say?  They may ask that question once you’ve passed the litmus test of having an engaging opening to  the book, but it’s not what they’re looking for.  This has created an emphasis in the modern science fiction genre where what the book is about in a thematic sense is not nearly as important is this “engagement” aspect.   Many writers these days have little or nothing to say on the thematic front, but they get away with this because their book clips along at a good pace, has engaging characters and cool tropes.   I’ve had published writers tell me that they never think about theme, and others tell me they try to add the theme in after several drafts.  The resulting books, while they might engage and be fun, rarely leave a lasting impression on the discerning reader.

Read the full article at

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The Therapeutic Benefits of Writing a Novel

By Jessica Lourey

When my husband died unexpectedly in 2001, I’d never heard of expressive writing. And you know what? It wouldn’t have mattered if I had. Three months pregnant, raising a three-year-old, and suddenly a widow, the last thing I wanted to do was spend even one sharp second journaling about how I felt. No offense to Dr. Pennebaker, the founder of the expressive writing movement. It’s just that I couldn’t survive reliving the pain of my husband’s suicide, not then, not on my own. I needed to convert it, package it, and ship it off.

So I began writing fiction.

Read the full article at Writer Unboxed.

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