Saturday, May 19, 2018

T-Minus Less Than Two Weeks!

Anachronism comes out in less than two weeks. It feels like it's happening so fast and so slowly at the same time. I submitted the first version of the manuscript two years ago!

I didn't talk about my acceptance much at first because some part of my brain didn't want to get its hopes up in case it fell through for some reason? But it's happening and everyone at Kristell/Grimbold has been amazing.

 

Since my character Petra is the president in the future, we made these campaign posters to promote the book. (And my editor made the second one into pins!)




And this is my villain, Zachary Davenport, a time traveling assassin with moderately attractive eyebrows and plans for chaos. He's absolutely evil and I love him. He's a blast to write for and I hope everyone will love to hate him. (And maybe feel a little nervous around sunflowers?)

 
You can pre-order the ebook here (dead tree version coming soon): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38824805-anachronism and add it on Goodreads: https://www.amazon.com/Anachronism-Jennifer-Lee-Rossman-ebook/dp/B07B53G3JJ/


 
(Also, Glass and Gardens got a great review at Publisher's Weekly: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-9987022-7-8)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Dragon of Ynys Blog Tour

Today I have the great pleasure of reviewing The Dragon of Ynys by Minerva Cerridwen as part of her release tour. It's a sweet fantasy novella about diversity in fiction.

 





I was given an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

I didn't know what to expect from this book. All I really knew about it was there's a dragon and Miranda Cerridwn wrote it, but that was enough for me because she's a terrific writer.

 

The story starts off in a small town besieged by a snarky dragon with an affinity for shiny things, and asexual/aromantic knight Sir Violet develops a working relationship with him when he goes to retrieve the objects from Snap's cave. Their banter is great.

 

I was delighted when a woman from the village enlisted Snap and Violet to find her missing wife, and even moreso when I thought "Oh, so it's a detective story?" and the book went "Nope!" and twisted into a quest for *spoopy handwaving so I don't spoil it*

 

This story is the sweetest, most pure thing. And so darn queer and accepting, it almost hurts. It's like, "You're a man who wears a dress? What are your pronouns? He/him? Okie dokie!" (Except for one character at the beginning who is pretty transmisic, but she is clearly not a good guy.)

 

This book has such an easy style of prose. No long, boring descriptions of countryside that so many fantasy books seem hung up on. It feels like a fairy tale - no word is wasted and every bit of dialogue has a purpose. And every name is a kind of plant! And there's a spider with a lisp but the book avoids that annoying thing where lithpth are thpelled out phonetically. It just goes "the spider had a lisp" and that's that.

 

You need this book in your life, your children need this book, the world needs this book.

 Visit Minerva's site for buy links: https://minervacerridwen.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/release-day/

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Brave New Girls Available for Preorder! And An Announcement!

 
 The ebook of Brave New Girls: Tales of Heroines Who Hack is now available for preorder at Amazon and B&N!
 
This YA sci-fi anthology (edited by sci-fi authors Paige Daniels and Mary Fan) features stories about girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)… Girls who hack not just computers, but whatever puzzles come their way, using their smarts to save the day. It’s got sci-fi mysteries, cyberpunk, space adventures, and more! Proceeds from sales of the anthology will be donated to the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund.
 
My story, Login, is a reimagining of Rumplestiltskin featuring a disabled hacker, a robot named Baby, and girls who build war machines with golden circuitry.
 
I'll be able to show you the illustration for my story soon. My friend's sister drew it, and I've only seen the first draft of the sketch but it is *awesome.*
 
 
And! My story Enough will be featured in We Shall Be Monsters, an anthology of short stories from marginalized authors for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein!
 
My story is an extremely personal one about disability. It was based on an Incident some of you may have read about on this blog, along with a big ol' dose of "My father was a manipulative abuser." So... yeah. That's a blog post for another day. I promise the story is actually really hopeful.
 
Anyway. *gestures emphatically at the cover*
 
 
 
*psst* There's a Kickstarter if you wanna help pay those lovely names at the bottom of the cover.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Review: All Systems Red

All Systems Red All Systems Red by Martha Wells
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I want to love this book. I do love Murderbot, and the little glimpses of their humor we get to see. They definitely read autistic to me, and I just want to wrap them in a cozy blanket and let them watch TV and make everything okay. (As someone who's had her life decided for her, I thought the ending was perfectly executed.)

But their humor is sporadic and the prose is often dry and "tells" rather than "shows." (I usually hate that rule because it can be broken amazingly well, but this is not one of those times.)

And there are times when the prose seems to slip into present tense and others where they really need a comma or two to clear up sentences that are long but they don't have commas making me very irritated.

The human characters all felt the same to me. Like, I'm reasonably sure Gurathin is a jerk and Rathi likes Murderbot, but I couldn't tell you a damn thing about any of them. I'm not even sure of their genders half the time because they're all so forgettable. Part of that is my personal dislike for books that only give characters last names, but I feel it's also the characterization.

That's not to say it was a bad book. It was really entertaining and a fast read. I just didn't fall in love with it.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Apparently I Won the Internet?

I've been informed that I have won the Internet with this tweet.

7,000 retweets, 25,000 likes. What?

(And you better believe I'm using it to promote Anachronism!)

[a tweet from a troll named Daniel, who says "Disabled parking should only be valid during business hours 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. I cannot see any reason why people with genuine disabilities would be out beyond these times." and my reply: "We're disabled, Daniel, we're not werewolves."]

Update: I'm a news story.
https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/guy-posted-dumb-rant-disabled-parking-permits-perfect-response/

Friday, April 20, 2018

Scylla and Charybdis

Today I have a guest post from Lindsey Duncan, fellow Grimbold Books author! Take it away, Lindsey...
 
 
 
Thanks to Jennifer for having me on her blog to talk about my recent science fiction release, Scylla and Charybdis!  Here's the novel's blurb:
 
Anaea Carlisle, raised on an isolated space station populated solely by women, believes the rest of the universe has been plunged into anarchy and ruin by an alien-engineered disease known as Y-Poisoning.  On a salvage mission, she helps rescue a hypermental named Gwydion who challenges everything she thought she knew.
 
Forced to flee the station with Gwydion, Anaea finds herself in an inexplicable, often hostile world, permanently divided between the Galactic Collective and the Pinnacle Empire.  She longs for some place to call home, but first, she’ll have to survive …
 
 
 
Writing a science fiction novel was a departure for me.  I'm a fantasy writer at heart, favoring secondary world fantasy - stories in an invented, non-Earth setting.  Worldbuilding is one of my passions.  I adore creating settings in far more detail than they ever appear in the book, but it's not wasted work:  the act of building helps develop the story in my subconscious.  Often, I'll find that a nuance or minor element I put into the worldbuilding to entertain myself will prove important to the story.
 
That happened with Scylla and Charybdis, specifically the flora and fauna.  I spent a lot of time developing the populated planets in that universe, including the native creatures.  I wanted to avoid the trap of making the animals look like hybrids of Earth animals, but I also figured that people build metaphors and draw comparisons from what they know.  Any new species they encountered was going to be described in context of Earth zoology, at least in the early days of colonization.
 
I also knew that it was a mistake to assume that the chemistry and biology of plants from other planets would be compatible with human physiology.  I came up with a handful of alien flora that I decided would be edible, one of which makes a direct appearance in the novel as a bonding experience.  No matter how different their upbringing, everyone has to eat.  (At least, they do in this science fiction setting …)
 
Back to the fauna part of the equation.  With the justifications above, I came up with raptorhounds, which are best described as sabre-toothed canids.  Native to the planet of Independence, they were the apex predators before human settlement and proved impossible to domesticate.  With the typical charm of humanity, the later government came up with a means to use them for spectator sport:  bloodthirsty, dangerous and lucrative.
 
Thrust into a high society party as an informant, Anaea finds herself comforted with another alien species:  mindfire worms, a hallucinogenic delicacy that, if handled incorrectly, bores through the back of the mouth and starts to eat the brain.  I had Japanese fugu in mind when I came up with these creatures, but in this case, survival depends not on the chef’s expertise but on the diner’s.
 
A final creature that shows up in the pages of Scylla and Charybdis isn’t alien at all, but rather a genetic hybrid:  a kearl, part monkey, part cat.  Kearls are designed as companion animals, modified to be sensitive to moods and with instinctive soothing behaviors.  But they were never intended for the kind of adventure Anaea ends up dragging Penelope into …
 
Check Scylla and Charybdis out at:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B54QJYL/ -- available now!
 
LINDSEY DUNCAN is a chef / pastry chef, professional Celtic harp performer and life-long writer, with short fiction and poetry in numerous speculative fiction publications.  Her contemporary fantasy novel, Flow, is available from Double Dragon Publishing, and her soft science novel, Scylla and Charybdis, is now out from Grimbold Books.  She feels that music and language are inextricably linked.  She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and can be found on the web at http://www.LindseyDuncan.com and http://lindseyduncan.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Giveaway!

Hey, want to win a paperback copy of Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers?

What about a spiffy cross stitch sun made by yours truly?

Enter the giveaway here!