Straight from the heart

via The Sydney Morning Herald
Every week, hundreds of would-be authors try their luck. Of the thousands who send inquiries each year, perhaps one or two are asked to send in their completed work. It is rarer still for an unsolicited manuscript to be published. Until quite recently, the email system had never yielded a published book.

Then Lauren Fuge, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Adelaide, sent a note about her 62,000-word adventure story, When Courage Came to Call. She gave a succinct synopsis of the plot (two teenage brothers caught up in a vicious war), added a line about her writing experience (one short story published in a magazine for high-school students) and included a 250-word excerpt.

The manuscript confirmed Fuge’s talent. Set on the fictional island of Zamascus, it opens with a bomb slamming into a public library. Walton started reading it on a train and was so engrossed she almost missed her stop. She wondered what 14-year-old could imagine such violence, tragedy and courage.

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The Best Literary Science Fiction Books?

by Jackie at Farm Lane Books
I’m getting bored of reality. The more books I read, the more it feels as though they are all churning out the same basic stories about love and loss. There are the odd exceptions, but I am increasingly becoming disenchanted with modern literary fiction.

I have always been wary of reading science fiction as I have had many disappointing reads. I blame this entirely on my lack of research. I would never walk into a book shop and just pick the top selling fiction title, so why did I ever imagine the best selling science fiction books would be to my taste? I’m a fan of literary fiction, so I should be looking at literary science fiction if I want to find enjoyable books. I didn’t realise this genre existed until recently, but a brief investigation has turned up lots of books that sound very appealing

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What Science Fiction Books Should Be In Every Fan’s Library?

via Daemon’s books
The folks over at had a great two-part post (Part 1 & Part 2) a few weeks ago when they asked a variety of panelists “What science fiction books should be in every fan’s library?” The panelists were allowed to recommend up to ten books, and could explain their selections to the readers. It’s a great read if you are a fan of sci-fi or are just looking for new ideas of what to read.

The article made me think of what works should be in every sci-fi fan’s library, and I compiled the list you see below.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) – Almost put this under classics, but I absolutely love this book and the rest of the series (even Eoin Colfer’s And Another Thing). Adams does a great job providing a solid sci-fi story with humor and at the same time presenting characters the reader can relate to, even if they have two heads.

See the full list here

Why SF Fandom is Full of Romance Haterz

by Heather Massey at Galaxy Express
Stories blending science fiction and romance have existed for decades, but they were more likely to thrive in fan fiction communities rather than mainstream print books and magazines. Obviously, not everyone agrees that romance has no place in science fiction. But what drove these hybrid stories underground? And why, despite the significant number of romance-SF blends in existence, does it feel as though they are still there?

And for decades, romance, SF, and action-adventure were segregated along gender lines. That went a long way toward constricting the definition of a science fiction story, a romance story, and what were the “acceptable” elements to include in either one.

Is it any wonder that, in large part, SF authors were conditioned to avoid including romance in their stories, and that romance authors were conditioned to avoid including speculative/action-adventure elements in theirs?

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I know I try to avoid books that are marketed as “romance” because I prefer not to have descriptive sex scenes in my books. For me, they are distracting to the story. I don’t mind characters falling in love, but I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t want that to be the main motivation driving the story. I never realized that Literary Sci Fi was it’s own genre, but I’ve read a few that would fall under that category and I do like them. That seems like a genre that would be good for introducing people to Sci Fi.

What books do you think every Sci Fi (or Fantasy) fan should read? Do you read Sci Fi or Fantasy Romance?