Friday, 28 May 2010

Basics 2: Grace the Author

...the author
Grace began to pen her first science fiction tale at the age of eight, during a homeschooling exercise in which her father asked her to write a story based on a prompt. It was an epic space opera called "Zebra in the Future". Writing prompts are still known to have such effects today. At fourteen she wrote a novella based on a local urban legend surrounding secret tunnels in a hill called North Head in Auckland, New Zealand. Around that same time ideas formed for a virtual reality story which eventually became Faith Awakened.

That tale took the next fourteen years to form completely and be published. She was going to write the sequel immediately, but was interrupted by a vivid dream which became Legendary Space Pilgrims. After that, since she was in Ireland at the time, she proceeded to write her third novel about Dublin's future. Now at long last she has returned with a sigh of relief to Godspeed, the sequel to Faith Awakened, while working on multiple short stories in between, some of which have been published and can be found as follows:

Invasion at Wayfarer's Journal, February 2007
The whole world is terrified by lights from the sky. Emil just wishes they'd leave his city alone.

Second Site at Digital Dragon Magazine, August 2009
A psychology professor with a secret witnesses an unlikely paranormal encounter in his own office.

Zara's Quest at Digital Dragon Magazine, February 2010
A teenage space pilot seeks her brother on the planet where he vanished, risking all to find him.

Fungus Among Us at The Cross and Cosmos, March 2010 (PDF, see page 3)
An experiment in communication is underway in a spacelab. Who is the creature being observed?

and the ongoing serial Comet Born at Digital Dragon Magazine: part 1 is here.
A comet tail sweeps Earth's atmosphere, and the children born in that moment take their first breaths of its gases--with supernatural results.
(Just change the number 1 before the final dot in that link URL to get the chapters that follow. One per month from March 2010)

and in print:
The Night of the Gift in Forever Friends, 2008, available here An online version is available here.
Upcoming: Underground--Undersea in The Underground Anthology with Frank Creed et al.
Second Site is also to appear in Digital Dragon's first Best Of anthology. 

Friday, 21 May 2010

Basics 1: Who Is This Grace

Who is this person? In brief: Grace Bridges is a sci-fi author (Faith Awakened, 2007, and Legendary Space Pilgrims, coming soon) and owner of Splashdown Books, an independent publisher of inspirational sci-fi and fantasy at She's a Kiwi of Irish descent living in beautiful New Zealand, and a chocaholic cat-lovin' Trekkie, Jesus freak, repeat globetrotter, hack web designer, and all-round DIY gal who also takes care of the Lost Genre Guild blog.

But wait, there's more than that! Probably WAY more than you ever wanted to know, but hey, here goes... To be followed by further instalments in coming weeks.

...the books
Faith Awakened, 2007 - Go to book page - Available here (ISBN 978-0986451706)
A computer technician gets more than she bargains for when she plunges herself and her companions into virtual-reality cryogenic stasis to escape a raging virus.

Legendary Space Pilgrims, Coming Soon!
On a planet that has never seen the sun, a harvester hears a Voice from beyond. It's time to leave the oatfield. Mario and Caitlin escape the mind control of Planet Monday, following the Voice to unknown worlds where wonders and challenges await. Have you got what it be a legend?

CyberDublin, Coming...uh...After That!
Oodles rules the world. But when its global hyperweb network falls prey to sabotage, society spins towards chaos. In Dublin, the heart of the fallen cyberworld, an orphan rebel and her housemates face a reality far less virtual than they're used to.

Sequels are in progress for all three, in the same order: 

Godspeed: If you could end world hunger, you'd do it, right? What if governmental experiments caused your miracle fertiliser to become a weapon of mass destruction? Meet Naomi, the Belfast biologist forced to run from her own creation. 

Independence Monday: Mario, Caitlin and Irina travel on to the planet Sancta where they must prepare themselves to do battle with the evil Baxter government of Planet Monday and free the enslaved population as the Voice commands. (Currently this sentence is all that exists of this story)

Space Brain: An orbiting artificial intelligence put out of commission by the Oodles sabotage finally figures out what happened and begins to take action of its own devising. Back in Dublin, Rachel and her friends find themselves at the forefront of human resistance to the deadly brain from space. (Likewise, that's all there is right now)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider, by Ellen C. Maze

It was with some trepidation that I opened my first ever vampire book this weekend. But I couldn't help asking to be involved in reviewing it, due to the sheer amount of noise and success surrounding this particular book.

Beth Rider is an author with a problem when a race of bloodsuckers comes after her for the tale she told in her book. But one pursuer asks why, taking her into his protection - throwing his people into the chaos of the chase.

The major idea here is the correlation of modern vampires to Biblical beings. Following that, it reads like a parable for those who have eyes to see it: the vamps don't need to suck blood or be violent, but they do it to satiate their lust.

I particularly liked the aspect of metafiction - the story within the story. Although we never get to find out what happens in the book Beth wrote (but I hear that's coming out someday for real!), its events and their effects on the vamps are a large part of the plot.

Strangely, it is the character of Beth Rider we see the least of in terms of her internal personality. She is strong in her faith and remarkably unruffled even in the most alarming of situations. Michael Stone on the other hand, the pursuer-turned-protector, is drawn in great detail and depth in the scenes in which he appears.

The plot struck me as very unusual and imaginative. I couldn't tell you another book with a final victory anywhere near similar to this. I'm only sorry there wasn't another round of copyedits to fix the typos and comma use - but those aren't significant enough to spoil a good read.

In all - well done, Ellen Maze. I like the way your brain works. You've heard of "outside the box" - here, there is no box.