10 Bookish (& Not-Bookish Thoughts) XII: A #SciFiMonth Book Tag and Get to know the SF Reader (courtesy of @Imyril)!

Posted Sunday, 29 November, 2020 by jorielov 0 Comments

10 Bookish Not Bookish Thoughts banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I’ve honestly wanted to start participating in this weekly meme in 2014, however, I would always seem to get distracted during the hours leading up to Thursdays OR completely forget to compose my thoughts for this meme until into the weekend; at which point, the time had come and gone. I like the fact we can exchange thoughts percolating in our minds that run the gambit of the bookish world, creative outlets, or thoughts we want to share that might show a bit more about who we are behind the bookish blog we maintain. I am going to attempt to thread the journal of my 10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts by order of the entries arrival into my life rather than a preference of 1-10.

BE SURE to visit my FIRST ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.1

BE SURE to visit my 2nd ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.6

And, my 3rd ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.10

as well as my 4th ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.11

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A list of 10 Thoughts on exploring Astronautics & Space Science | Hostess List

SciFiMonth banner created by Imyril and is used with permission.
Image Credit: Photo by Tithi Luadthong from 123RF.com.
Quote Credit: QUOTE from Seven Devils by Elizabeth May & Laura Lam

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*waves!* to my fellow Sci Fi Geeks who are embarking on their own literary and cross-media journey this Sci Fi November! I decided to break the mould of how I am announcing my #SciFiMonth adventures here on Jorie Loves A Story by creating my second #SciFiMonth book tag as I truly enjoyed doing this last year and I feel its become a NEW tradition for me during the event!

Ever since I was a Young Astronaut as a kid you could say I’ve had this long seeded appreciation for the Cosmos, Astrophysics, Astronomy, Cosmology and Astronautics. When it comes to sorting out which stories I want to endeavour to read during #SciFiMonth every year, I get wicked giddy about seeking out Space Opera stories and all the lovely sub-genres which pull us into the further reaches of space and the explorations we can seek out the universe.

This was more aptly seen when I was reading through the 3x trilogies of #TheClanChronicles which to this day is one of my favourite series I’ve read, blogged and ruminated over as a book blogger. It was such a transformative experience for a girl who loves the stars and a Spacer lifestyle. Do visit those reviews if you’ve ever wanted to seek out a Hard SciFi series which grips you from the first story and holds you glued into its heart until the very last page is read. It is both epic and dramatically emotional to read because of how Czerneda writes such a smashingly realistic series which feels as if you’ve lived those lives by the time you’ve reached the conclusion. The only part of the series I haven’t yet read are the “Stories of Plexis” which is a fan-based anthology of shorts set on Plexis and involve the characters and/or other aspects of life on Plexis which is set in the Clan Chronicles universe.

This year, I had an opportunity to read two different works of Space Opera featuring Astronautic storylines which were the following: The Lady Astronaunt series (courtesy of the publisher) and Kate Elliott’s new release “Unconquerable Sun” which made my Most Anticipated Reads List for 2020. I was meant to host the RAL for SUN during #SciFiMonth this year but I had such an unrelenting bout of migraines from May-October, I opted out of hosting rather than to set myself up for failure if my migraines were to return this November. I did unfortunately have one for over a week as I get these massive supernova migraines which can last upwards of 5+ days and take nearly a full week longer to recover after they’ve left me. Thus, my entrance into Sci Fi Month this year was a bit delayed to say the least but I am not letting that dis-sway me from what I’m reading, what I am reviewing and what I’m sharing this year for the event.

I decided to take Imyril and Lisa’s advice and push Unconquerable Sun’s RAL into early 2021 whilst keeping myself focused on the Lady Astronaut series instead as I can approach that without the added issues of sorting chapter breaks, discussion points and coordinating the Twitter chats & blog schedules for readers to upload their reviews, thoughts or reading takeaways if not offering fuller reviews.

I started seeking out the books Ms Kowal mentioned as being of particular interest to readers of the series to better understand her own route of research as a writer who created the series and that led me into fetching quite a few by interlibrary loan as much as finding quite the collection of her research books within my local library’s catalogue which was surprisingly lovely. The first book which emerged as a favourite of mine was “The Moon-Doogle” writ in the ’60s and published in ’64 which surprisingly stands the tests of time of remaining both relevant to our concerns for space & Astronautics today as much as it had back in the 1960s. I only wish I could have taken more notes as I had to sort of plough through it last minute as I had run out of hours to read it as it was decidedly overdue by the time I gave it back to the library. Not something I want to have happen but with migraines and health afflictions, sometimes it is unavoidable. It is also a book I would LOVE to have in y personal library one day even if it is a rather rare book to both find and to have a price tag not set at some astronomical price point! lol

Through Kowal’s Author’s Notes and the notations about her research for the Lady Astronaut’s series I’ve come to realise her fascination with the stars and with space exploration as much as the science behind how we launch ourselves to Space is equal to my own curiosities and fascinations into the same topics and subjects in which she rooted her series round. It has become a refreshing pursuit of chasing after her research whilst endeavouring to expound on my own knowledge of those topics and subjects which equally give me a heap of joy to be reading.

Thereby as I continue to seek out Hard Sci Fi over Soft and as I find myself more compelled to be listening and reading to stories set in Space moreso than elsewhere, I am embarking once again into Sci Fi Month with a heart full of awe and joy by what I am finding in those stories as I adventure through Science Fiction on a path only my own heart can curate a route.

I am so happy Imyril puts together our Mission Logs (Week One & Week Two as well as Week Three & Week Four) as I use those as my map to seek out my fellow Sci Fi Month participants and to see what everyone is discussing about a genre I’ve loved the longest as both a reader and as a watcher of Science Fiction.

Let’s dive straight into it, shall we?

It should go without saying – this list was provided by #SciFiMonth!

With the first section a salute to Imyril for sharing the “Get to know the SF Reader” tag! This tag was originally shared by Maryam @ Maryam the Curious SFF Reader and created by Booktuber @ Books With Emily Fox as a SF re-imagining of the Get To Know The Fantasy Reader tag.

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No. 1 | Get to Know the (SF) Sci-Fi Reader

Throughout my journeys into Sci Fi November (personal favourite alt. name for Sci-Fi Month), I’ve been wanting to write more posts outside of book reviews and it has taken me on a winding road of sorting out ideas and actually producing that kind of content on Jorie Loves A Story. More or less, you could say most of those are still drafted ideas rather than actual published posts. Perhaps, if I start early enough 2021 will have a fuller rounding of posts, reviews, memes and other lovelies during #SciFiMonth! And, by extension #WyrdAndWonder, too. For now, I was just thankful I could give myself an extension to this year’s event during this first week of December.

However the point I was trying to make is the only time I’ve come closer to talking about my Sci-Fi geeky past and present is when I wrote the essay I entitled: Seventeen to Seven: One Girl’s Quest for Sci-Fi which in of itself was my own version of a ‘get to know the Sci Fi Reader’. Consider this an updated version seven years later! And who says numerology isn’t in our lives?

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What was the first Science Fiction Read of yours?

I’ve put a lot of distance between when I first started reading the stories I was purchasing through the Science Fiction Book Club & today – however, according to my first essay on this same topic as mentioned above – you’ll notice I disclosed it: SPACE CAMP. Which coincidentally wasn’t just a book for me to read back in fifth grade, it was a film and an experience I wanted to take-on myself — somehow that particular dream did become a reality and I nearly had to pinch myself the whole time I was there!!

In many ways I could relate directly to Imyril’s own response – because although I am suspecting SPACE CAMP was my first foray into the genre, I am quite uncertain because again – so much LIFE has been lived since childhood & since high school wherein I was more focused on Science Fiction – in books rather than tv & film. Let’s just say it’s SPACE CAMP – its too cool not to be the ONE.

If you could be the hero/ine of a Sci-Fi novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?

OOh my dear stars! What a question to be asked,.. I am not sure if anyone would write me into a story but let’s say they did — (leaving the AUTHOR bit elusive) here’s what I hope would be inclusive of ‘my Science Fiction story’ : it would definitely have to be a Spacer novel!! My heart has been in Space for eons now and growing up in the shadow of NASA and in the neighbourhood of a Science Center – there was quite an intense pull and appeal for seeking & studying Science throughout my life. I felt like I was growing up during a Space Race generation as well even though I wasn’t – Space has just been a ‘part of me’ and I believe that’s why I love Spacer environments to explore.

IF anyone wants to read WHY you just have to be brave and read ALL 9x book reviews I wrote about The Clan Chronicles – start here, with book one: Reap the Wild Wind and keep going… click this tag in my archives and if you do take that journey – be kind, leave me comments, notes & takeaways? I keep hoping someone will as I have a lot of lost conversations about those incredible dense & beautiful trilogies.

What kind of Spacer novel? Good secondary enquiry – because I fell hard for “Farscape” and had to uncomfortable disconnect right at the final episodes of S1 due to the hard turn the storylines took and why it felt so re-missive of the first half of the series. I LOVE the quirkiness and depth of heart of “Doctor Who” – specifically the years of Matt Smith, David Tennant & Peter Capaldi ONLY. I cut my teeth in the genre on Star Trek: TOS, TNG, DS9 & Voyager – wherein in 2020 PICARD crushed my soul & was an immediate DNF but blessedly ENTERPRISE restored my soul and my faith in Star Trek. Battlestar Gallatica (ORIGINAL) was brilliant & I am an original Star Wars kind of gal, too. Don’t mess with my originals, you guys!

And, yet… there have been wicked AWESOME examples of more Spacer worlds in STORIES – like the Rims of RIMRIDER whilst there were interesting aliens explored in Cindy Koepp’s untitled series (see also Remnant in the Stars & The Loudest Actions) whilst I have to give credit to “The Long Road to a Small Angry Planet” (see also Posts One & Two). Within the pages of “Commanding the Red Lotus” I saw some benefits of that kind of novella storycrafting of the Space Opera genre similar to what I’m finding within Jennifer Silverwood’s novella series HEAVEN’S EDGE. Still. “Timekeeper” was a Classic in its own right and I loved the dimensional ways in which this was a world within a world within a ghost story ambiance of an environment.

Whilst I still have echoes of memory about “The Demolished Man” which is a mash between Suspense & Science Fiction. So there’s that too? I’ve been into Mysteries since I was a kid growing up on Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie (ie. Miss Marple for the win!) and Jessica Fletcher’s world in “Murder She Wrote” – all of which led into a lifelong pursuit of Cosy & Soft-Boiled Mysteries, dramatic Cosy Crime series, police procedurals, Contemporary Thrillers & Historical Suspense series as well as my top favourite Cosy Historical Mysteries. Would l want to be some fiercely strong investigator in Space? Maybe? I mean, I did devour the concept within “Murder in the Generative Kitchen’!! Although, I struggled with certain aspects of “The Hidden Girl”.

There were some gems within the Nebula Awards Showcases I’ve read, too (see also 2015 & 2016) as well as one short story I have never forgotten its affect on me within “Moments in Millennia” called “Time Out Of Mind”. And, if I consider all the anthologies I’ve read from World Weaver Press (ie. FAE, Corvidae, Scarecrow, Frozen Fairy Tales & Far Orbit: Apogee) there is something to be said for that kind of Speculative approach where the lines blur between different SF/F & Cosy Horror concepts & world building.

Lest I mention “Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy”? Or even “Gifts of the Magi”?

In other words, it might be best to read ALL of these posts and encapsulate a variant of ‘me’ you think might befit a Spacer adventure and/or dramatic Soft Sci Fi story if you’re not going to pen me into a Hard Sci Fi as I tend to prefer reading — as my preferences & particulars of interests rotate and evolve whenever I REACH towards a #newtomeauthor & series I’ve yet to read.

What SF book have you read this year that you want more people to read?

Is it okay to say the jury is still out? I still have the Lady Astronaut series I am reading this December whilst I am in the process of reading & finishing my reviews for “Heavens Edge” & “Little Computer People” as well as “Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears”; however, technically the last title was my top favourite from LAST YEAR’s #SciFiMonth. I just was unable to write my review and/or ANY notes on its behalf and wanted to make amends this year. I will have to respond to this properly once all my #SciFiReads are concluded. It would be a disservice to answer prematurely!

Who is one of your auto-buy Sci-Fi authors?

I would go on a limb and say Julie E. Czerneda – however, I was dearly disappointed & shocked by what I found in her new release from 2019. I mentioned my desire to purchase a copy & read “Unconquerable Sun” when 2020 first began (see also Post) and was delightfully surprised when my parents gifted me a hardback first edition release. In fact, I was all set to host a RAL for #SciFiMonth until my migraines during the Summer broke my confidence & my will to host it. I’ve pushed forward the idea of the RAL for SUN into early 2021. Details will follow suit after New Year’s. SUN was writ by a Fantasy novelist I have serious respect for (due to her Crown of Stars Saga) and would nearly consider her an auto-buy author even though I haven’t read ANY of her stories since I was seventeen. (being GenX you do the math on how long ago that was!)

I’m also leaving out friends’ of mine who are authors I happily read with rapt joy and immediate devourment – here’s looking @ E. Chris Garrison & Jennifer Silverwood.

How about switching the Q on its head? My auto-buy publisher is *World Weaver Press!* because time after time they have seriously INSPIRED my readerly life. At the bottom of my review for FAR ORBIT: Apogee you’ll see a #MustBuy List of lovelies I have to gather for them. Truly, that is my response to this question because they have made me wicked addicted to their anthologies!!

How do you typically find SF recommendations?

Where don’t I? This year, I was within the trial and then I paid for my first discounted month for Audible’s new stream & listen catalogue wherein I found a true gem of a find for Sci-Fi Geeks – an episodic podcast series called: The Sea in the Sky (see also this tweet). I’ve found loads on #Scribd as I subscribe strictly for their catalogue of audiobooks – as if my local & regional libraries do not have an audiobook I’ll chase after it on Scribd. IF none of those resources have what I’m seeking I’ll submit a purchase request for an eaudio via my regional library. Thereby I sometimes find listens for SpecFic on my library’s OverDrive and/or CloudLibrary catalogues OR through their card catalogues for borrowing books in print.

Usually you will see my moniker “Jorie, the Joyful Tweeter” on my Twitter profile – however, I was having some fun between Halloween & Sci Fi Month this year and tweaked what it says — I’m a natural bourne chatterbox & because of that, nearly all the lovely random convos I’ve shared on my social of choice has yielded a GIGANTIC #TBR Rec List! One day I really ought to work on compiling it because a girl’s memory can only hold so many titles/authors by recall alone before she starts to question if she’s left anyone out after being bookishly social for seven years!

#SciFiMonth RAL & Twitter chats as much as my own @SatBookChat (hosted annually January-November) wherein you’d be surprised what we chatter about in a chat known for featuring Romance & Women’s Fiction but during its six year (2020) we expanded to be inclusive of all stories featuring strong female protags and/or Feminist plots across genre(s).

Generally speaking my favourite route of sourcing recommendations outside of say, tweeting is the niche of the blogosphere I personally carved out a bit of a niche to occupy myself – the book blogosphere! Seriously, I read copious amounts of posts per week/month/year and throughout the last seven years I continue to discover new authors, new voices in fiction & new subniches of genre I might never have previously considered reading. Outside of that without blog tours I’d have lost out on a LOT of discoveries and that is sad fate to consider.

My eyes are always peeled for new STORIES. Seriously. It. Is. An. Addiction!

What is an upcoming sci-fi release you’re excited for?

I have been so consumed with my own bookish & readerly goals this year I must confess I have NO CLUE what is forthcoming to be released! I’m still wicked excited over having THE RELENTLESS MOON on my shelf underneath copies of THE CALCULATING STARS & THE FATED SKY. I have a lovely first edition of UNCONQUERABLE SUN which was actually a PREORDER copy. Eek. Right? I can walk out of 2020 in blissitude just knowing those stories are on my personal shelves. I’ll chase after 2021 releases as the New Year folds into sight and a new chapter begins for us all. I’m not in a hurry. I’m too excited for what I already want to be reading before the end of 2020.

What is one misconception about Sci-Fi you would like to lay to rest?

I’m tired of (certain) men thinking Science Fiction is THEIR genre. They think women don’t have the capacity to handle reading Hard Sci Fi and that rubs me wrong whenever I find men like that especially the ones who used to hang in the Sci Fi sections of local bookstores. With this pandemic maybe they won’t recrawl out of their habitats and we can all read freer knowing we won’t hear their rants & unwanted opinions. My answer is a riff off of Imyril’s because she was talking about the inferiority of Science Fiction and how that affects gender in a different vein than the one I’ve broached.

Secondly my next bone of contention is don’t put Science Fiction in a box. Let it be experimental and exploratory. Let it define itself and let it breach the rules. I also don’t agree it always has to be rooted and grounded in Science. Some of it does naturally but the beauty of Sci Fi is the unexpected and the bliss of the unknown which evolve organically into the background of a well-envisioned story and a well built Sci-Fi world. Let it stay remain this way and preserve the integrity of the genre. Whilst at the same time don’t try to limit the progress being made to keep Science Fiction on a healthy course to becoming more ethnically diverse (both in whose writing the stories & the characters within those stories). //end of soapbox

If someone had never read Sci-Fi before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?

I have the opposite reaction to this question because I seriously believe one of the best decisions I made as a reader who wanted to dive back into Science Fiction was to undertake the challenge of reading a 9x book series during the final blog tours leading into the finale of the series being released. There is such a girth of Sci Fi joy within the Clan Chronicles – it has nearly everything you could hope to find & to seek out of Space Opera – alien worlds, alien lifestyles, diversity, family drama, intergalactic politics, gender fluid characters & of course layers upon layers of thought-provoking storylines which seek to enrich your imagination as much as they are social discourse on the condition of a society bent against erasure of a species. Seriously. And, that is *before!* you get to visit Plexis!

I tend to rec stories based on what jazzed me about wanting to read them & what kept me anchoured inside the story/series as a new reader of that particular author’s collective works. I want to be challenged and I want to be inspired in equal measure and these 3x choices exemplify that completely.

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The Clan Chronicles (read them in ORDER of the series) (archives of my reivews)
– a quote from my review of REAP THE WILD WIND:

Cersi has an interesting balance – not only between the Clans but of how they are able to live on a planet whose resources are limited regionally. There is a devastating accident during the annual Harvest where the Om’ray tribe of Yena find the hard truth of what happens when you run into a shortage of food; as they use their food to trade for necessary items from their neighbour: the intimidating Tikitik. The Tikitik are one of two powerful overseeing races on this planet; the other being the Oud, of whom are a bit hidden from view for most of the story. There are intervals of revelation about Enris as his path is inter-connected (or so it would appear) to Aryl. He is the brother of the stranger who came to Yena to take a bride and instead died broken-hearted; only Enris knows of this truth, as he has a gift similar to Aryl. The two of them are gifted in ways that would surprise their kin and perhaps re-shape the destiny of their tribes.

My first introduction into primitive worlds within science fiction truly took me by surprise, as I found myself caught inside the emotional angst of how Aryl had to choose between her Clan and what was right for everyone involved. She was pitted against hard choices and she made them when no one else would assert she was in the right to choose the path which was hardest to admit was best for their survival. It is an interesting story about how a girl who was left ‘unchosen’ by those in her Clan ended up being specifically viable to affect change on her world. She was given inside information in regards to how her world was far more expansive than any Om’ray would sense whilst having to swallow the fact, she (and her Clan) were left in the dark about how old their world truly was in regards to being civilised.

Seeing how her tribe clashed with fellow Clans, without the benefit of accepting the changes which were effectively erasing their status quo – it’s young Aryl who is the champion of Cersi. She’s the daring young leader who never asked for the role and has become such a dearly beloved character of mine as she’s determined to set her path by her own accord. Strengthened by a force she has yet to understand, this is only the first chapter of where Aryl daringly sets out in search for where she belongs.

Czerneda has taken us on a journey towards understanding the Clan from the inside-out, as a method of finding an approach that will give us more insight into how they established their communities. As the Yena live mostly between sky and land, I remembered how during my viewing of Avatar most of the community within that story lived above ground too. I appreciate writers who have such a clear vision for their worlds, that even if your a new reader of theirs, it only takes a few readings to dip inside that vision and reside with their characters.

I appreciated the breadth of how we were so intimately aware of Aryl’s struggle to find balance – between her duties as a Yena and her instincts as a gifted Om’ray. Her mother was not as strong as she is to accept the changes amongst their kind nor to admit her daughter was reaching towards a new future which might leave the old traditions behind them. It’s a struggle of acceptance and for walking that fine line between knowledge and hiding in plain sight from those who cannot handle the truth you’ve uncovered.

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I’m a romantic at heart – I love a good romance and Ms Czerneda has at the core of this series written an epic romantic tale spun out of the deepest connection two souls could hope to find within each other. This is a series about Sira and Jason; of Sira’s ancestors and of how two people can effectively cause the great change for everyone in the universe. For this, I truly will never forget the series – of the hours I spent with the Clan and of the more difficult aspects of the story – of where I might have felt pushed out of my comfort zones a few times – because the ending is by far well worth the journey!

-quoted from my review of To Guard Against the Dark

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Rimrider (see also Review) – a quote from my review:

As Jane learns more about how free traders can lay claim on both ships and land – she gets a wider picture of how her life can play out. She doesn’t want to make too many plans too far ahead – not that you can blame her truly, she’s lost a lot and is just starting to gain her confidence back in knowing she’s living for the moment. Except even in this new life of hers, she has hard choices to make – including how to help someone whose dying but who has a lost daughter. She surprises herself for the rising strength inside her bones – of being able to table her own anguished emotions and focus on someone else who needs someone to care about them more than worrying about things which cannot be changed. It was here – in those hard moments where Jane was no longer a teenager but a young woman – one step closer to being an adult, Jane emerged as a leader.

From this moment forward – Jane is coming into her own skin. She’s taking on more responsibilities but also finding within her the strength she needs to carve out her own niche amongst the free traders by sorting out how she can help take a stand against the UEC. There is so much going on – I simply found myself fully absorbed into the action of it all! When Jane goes undercover in order to seek out the ‘missing’ – you get caught up in the fuller back-story of how the UEC is truly working against the will of humans and aliens alike – you start to see how what is held back from sight is really right there waiting for someone to take notice and do something to affect change!

I am in love with the fuzzy aliens with paws on Rimrock! Jem and Jane are a dynamic duo of a team – there are elements of telepathy and inter-species communications which I found fascinating as it showed how despite the differences between species, there is a general acceptance for what is ‘right and what is wrong’. The overlays between this culture and ours are clearly present – especially when it comes to scathingly horrid practices of non-environmental friendly industrial mining – this in of itself, is worth watching unfold.

Honestly – the narrator nailed the characters and the theatrical mannerisms which make this audiobook ‘SING’ to the reader – meaning, you can easily forsake whatever else you intended to do and simply ‘listen’ to this Space Opera! The humour is bang-on brilliant, the setting is intoxicating because you dearly want to know ‘more’ rather than ‘less’ and if this first installment is the gateway into the series at large – your going to want to consume the next books in sequence! I truly loved this audiobook – it was wonderfully produced, but it’s more than that — my sci-fi geeky heart was overjoyed getting caught inside a world which simply gripped me from the first moment I heard ‘Jane’ come through my headphones!

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Timekeeper (see also Review) – a quote from my review:

This is such an emotional story to listen too, as Sim has interwoven such a soul-centred narrative where you truly feel the emotions of her characters. The oppressive weight bearing down on Danny is not just realistic but heavily felt as you tune into the angst of what he is faced to choose between: the clocks, his father or Colton. He’s caught in an impossible situation – does he own his heart’s truth or does he sacrifice his heart and the love he feels for Colton to save everyone else? And, what is of the truth behind the attacks on the clock towers? Who would have the best advantage if the clocks froze or ceased to clock time at all? This is what your thinking about as your listening whilst trying to piece everything together as Danny tries to determine what he should do. Sim gives you so much to think about – the past adversities affecting Danny, the impossible situation of the present involving Colton and the curious unknown of the future which seems to sit directly on Danny’s path – where his actions would determine everything.

Part of the arc of this world-building is built around the mythology behind ‘Chronos’ and how the Gods had taken an absence from the world to allow humans to retake the control of the world. Chronos was the original ‘time keeper’ but he has since given his duties over to others; the clock mechanics especially to carry on his work. There is a hinting towards how this world is rooted in the mythos of Gods/Goddesses (ie. stepping out of Greek Pathos) wherein the concept of religions outside this context is not as readily explored but is mentioned; mostly as an off-set to where Chronos was pertinent to this society’s history and accountability to where religious orders were attempting to reconvene the world on a path towards One who oversees all and provide a different foundation for the people who live in this world. It’s similar to Urban Fantasy mechanics where the ‘fantasy elements’ endeavour to cross-enter into a contemporary setting/world by bringing their fantastical elements straight into a different dimension than the one they originate.

Chronos is not the only mythological person mentioned in this series but is a key component given that the series revolves around ‘clocks’ and ‘time’ whilst influenced by those who are the keepers of time itself.

There is a pallor cast over this world – everywhere you look there is a bit of a gloomy edge to the scenery and the setting of where we entreat into Danny’s world. There are hardships present here and as the background seeks to express the emotions of the characters and of the positions of the clock towers; you see the harder lines of how in this reality, life is lived under a pressure boiler. Sim taps into how to fuell the back-story of her characters by presenting different points-of-view to give the reader a proper chance to envision how this world and the differences in classes can relate to our contemporary world; especially due to how many things both worlds have in common with each other. This is a story of the working middle-class and how there are everyday struggles to not just survive but to rise above where living by paycheck is not commonplace; where life can encourage more out of the hours than what was necessary.

I definitely consider this a strong entrance into Clockpunk – the variant of Steampunk, still lodged in the Victorian past but with a strong influence of clocks to where the stories interweave through technology which is limited by the presence of clocks and the full use of their technology to carry forward.

Who is a Sci-Fi reading content creator you came across recently that you’d like to shout out?

Sadly, I haven’t been visiting too many book bloggers this year – which is why I need to withhold my answer until I can read the Logs from this year’s #SciFiMonth! I’m reading the logs in order & am visiting with those who’ve written and contributed content I am most keen to be reading post-event!! Plus, with the 5th Log arriving this Monday AM from Imyril – I have even more to read & catch-up with as my own content will finally be included as well. I try to visit as oft I can when I am migraine-free and am not distracted by life as it evolves.

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And, the one I answered within the 2020 #SciFiMonth Prompt Challenge!

What is your favourite sci-fi subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?

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No. 2 |  Celebrate a Subgenre

I created a shortlist of subniches & subgenres I wanted to explore via LibraryThing Talk in [2019] (see also this post) – here is what I requested recs for and what I would love to start to seek out in 2021 & beyond as I continue to find enjoyment in expanding my Science Fiction horizons.

Alternative/Parallel Worlds,
Alien Invasion,
AI / high tech / robotics / Nanotech,
Cyberpunk,
Dying Earth,
First Contact,
Galactic Empire,
Generation Ship,
Mythic Fiction,
Near Future,
Singularity,
Steampunk,
Terraforming;

as well as the following:

Parallel Universes can be interesting;
time travel journeys or future/past visitations,
City, Mountain, Space, Interstellar travel, Deep Space, Asteroid Belts or Rims,
honestly I’m open to all settings at this point.

IF I had to pick ONE off this list I would have to say CYBERPUNK because I find it seriously hard to find myself motivated to seek out these stories even though on a concept level I do like a bit of where they are intending to take me even if concept and execution are not always my cuppa tea!! I would love to find more stories which focus on this niche and really run with it to where I could feel immersed in the world but not oppressed by the dark & gritty way I most oft feel CYBERPUNK can become all too easily.

Thereby a better answer is FIRST CONTACT. I truly LOVE how writers conceive of a way of giving us stories about first contact as those are the moments you cannot take back – those first impressions of different species interacting with each other for the first time are golden. They speak so much about each species and they can either make/break future relations between them as well. I also like how some writers choose to show the line in the sand – where you could almost feel the tension in the air where there could be a fracture in communication and if it is great enough, would it lead to war?

So much about first contact stories hinges on the people involved and the tolerances for differences – of being willing to step outside comfort zones and get to know the differences in persons, species and sentient beings who are occupying the same ‘space’ so to speak and find a way forward with both diplomacy and humour; as I love stories which break the drama & tension with bouts of humour!

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No. 3 |  Sentient Spaceships

I first caught a love and appreciation for sentient spaceships whist binge watching FARSCAPE – as every year, my parents & I try to seek out new serials to watch together – they’ve been keen on finding new Science Fiction series ever since [2013] when Sci Fi Month participants nudged me to dive into the kooky and whirling world of DOCTOR WHO. However my first SENTIENT SHIP experience wasn’t in Space it was in the ocean when I was a high schooler watching seaQuest DSV (S1) as I was wicked fascinated by the ship, their mission & the whole world behind the exploration of what they were finding in the hidden depths of the ocean itself. It was such a brilliant concept and yet, the network wrecked it by S2 and took out the benefit of having scientists as advisors and consultants on the series itself.

Outside of those references I don’t believe I have had any other experiences – unless “2001 & 2010” are examples of it? I mean, Hal was a computer but did that make the ship ‘sentient’ or did it give more agency to the computer and/or AI technology running it? And, of course you can spilt hairs on that answer, too.

I felt FARSCAPE did a grand job of exploring this concept and of developing a deeper way towards understanding that sometimes even a spaceship can teach you a few lessons you didn’t realise you needed to learn. I would LOVE recommendations for this subniche as I am completely LOST about how to go about finding them – I tried running searches in early November and I was quite discouraged by the absence of what I hoped to have found.

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No. 4 | Stand Back I’m Going to Try Science

In conjunction with my select Non-Fiction reads for Sci Fi Month, I am going to be cross-promoting them with #NonFictionNovember which is an event I have attempted and failed to join every November I’ve know about it existing. You can’t stop a girl from trying again even if the past years have been a bit more adverse for me to settle into Non-Fiction Reads. 

  • Moon-Doggle: Domestic and International Implications of the Space Race by Amitai Etzioni
  • Heroes of the Space Age: Incredible Stories of the Famous and Forgotten Men and Women Who Took Humanity to the Stars by Rod Pyle
  • The Robot in the Next Cubicle: What You Need to Know to Adapt and Succeed in the Automation Age by Larry Boyer
  • The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up A Future of Limitless Possibility by Robert Zubrin

The only one off this list I managed to read was MOON-DOGGLE and I had to read it so quickly because I had it wayy past its due date (as much as the fact it was an inter-library loan!) I wasn’t able to take proper notes. I have a few of course but not quite to the extent I would have preferred. Those notes will be revealled later this December as I am continuing to read the books I checked out which were meant to be read in conjunction with this first one as I am reading the research novels Ms Kowal mentioned in her Appendixes. The other books on this list will be read during December as well and I hope I can interspread those reviews with my Lady Astronaut series reviews!!

Science has been a mainstay of my life – I have had an unquenchable thirst to read more in the world of Science ever since I was a kid and as an adult reader, I am wicked encouraged by the books & the subjects I can explore as a lifelong learner and explorer of scientific concepts, theories, topics & subjects. I am quite curious though – does anyone else read any Science NF? Which avenues of interest do you like to explore yourself?

I only regret they couldn’t run during #SciFiMonth as I was hoping this collection of Non-Fiction & the Lady Astronaut series could have been the heart of my Space Science focus this year. Best laid plans, eh? I had a fortnight of tech issues and shoddy connectivity to where it made blogging & reading absolutely impossible.

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No. 5 | Generation Ships

List One | are there any others? I found this List but am determined to find more!

I picked GENERATION SHIPS because it is one of the niches I haven’t had the chance to explore until I came to find HEAVEN’S EDGE arriving by #bookpost late last November!! It is also being finished this week and will be shared as part of my final #SciFiMonth reviews for 2020.

What I like about the concept of a GENERATION SHIP though is how insular the world is built round the fact no one has left the ship since it first set out into Space. To explore and to colonise and to meet aliens & better understand their worlds. One example of this was an episode of ENTERPRISE I saw earlier in the Spring – it was one of those alt time episodes wherein there was another ENTERPRISE who had a completely different spin on life on ship than the main timeline was given? It was seriously impressive because they talked about ancestry, legacy & whom was related to whom, etc and how they tried to maintain their connections to both their origins on Earth & to the persons they had been related too. All whilst passing the torch forward to maintain their mission & their objectives whilst they were in Space.

There is something to be said for that kind of selfless sacrifice and courage to keep moving forward into a future no one alive knew much about where their journey would lead them but they believed in the core beliefs and trajectory of their ancestors and they would carry-on the journey.

I would like to find more stories set round Generation Ships and see where they take me next! If anyone knows of any they think I might find wicked interesting, kind leave notes in the Comments! As I am not overly convinced the ones on the List I found are my cuppa!!

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No. 6 | Sci Fi Month : Spine Poetry

#SciFiMonth badge created by Jorie in Canva.

The following were pulled from my #SciFiMonth reads this year.

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The Calculating Stars

[ left me in ]

Far Orbit

[ with ]

The Robot in the Next Cubicle

[ whilst a ]

Moon-Doogle

[ shifts ]

Heaven’s Edge

[ into ]

The Sea in the Stars

[ only ]

The Case for Space

[ could understand ] .

[ Yet ]

Trans-Continental: Girl in the Gears

[ allowed ]

We Interrupt this Broadcast

[ to lend the way to ]

The Faded Sky

[ and the ] The Relentless Moon

[ only partially time-jumping ]

[ through ] The Time Key

[ unless ] Little Computer People

[ allow ] Suzy Spitfire [to] Kills Everybody !

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No. 7 | Can’t Stop the Signal

When I considered this prompt I felt it was referencing my joy of SHORT STORIES in Science Fiction – such as the ones attached and inter threaded into the Lady Astronaut series? Likewise, they could be the ones I’ve read in anthological collections of Science Fiction (or Fantasy as well) whilst they can sometimes be extensions of series or a gateway point to connect different volumes of series wherein writers can carry-on with a character’s life without having to produce a full novel. Sometimes these can become expanded into novellas rather shorts but at the heart of them – they are little nuggets of hope to see a series or a character after their main stories have been writ, told and released.

In essence, you “CAN’T STOP THE SIGNAL’ of a story which still has a story left to be told.

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No. 8 |  Modern Classic

The Calculating Stars and the Fated Sky duology covers provided by the publisher Tor and are used with permission.The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal

Jorie dives into the #LadyAstronaut series this Sci Fi Month! Or, at least this was my fullest of intentions this month as I began getting ready for this in late October. I hoped I had had enough time left in November to tackle the series but I struggled getting my feet into the series before the latter half of November and after all those tech failures consumed all my waking hours wherein I was mean to be reading — you could say I cancelled my plans to read this series until December because I wanted to savour it, not feel as if I had to RUSH the whole series through my mind & heart!

Interestingly I spied several book bloggers & reading participating in #SciFiMonth this year reading one or more of the stories themselves. As I move into the series and find a way to re-find those reviews and/or posts I look forward to engaging with those persons who like me decided this was a wicked good year to dive into the Lady Astronaut series for the first, second or third time depending on where you are in the series itself. For me this is the first time I’ve been able to read the series – let me give you some background:

I discovered the series myself and tried to request it from my local library as a purchase request when “The Calculating Stars” was first released. Unfortunately for me they must’ve felt it wasn’t a good fit as it never arrived and I never received feedback on why it wasn’t added which is a bit rare as generally you get a response good, bad or indifferent off your requests. I was too close to the pub date to request it (at that time) through interlibrary loans and then, time swept me away from the series. Fast forward – the publisher reached out to me round September and asked if it was a book series I’d be keen to read. Heck yes was my personal reply but I had more diplomacy with the publisher – finding this rather large parcel arriving was the BEST DAY because I knew the Lady Astronauts had FINALLY arrived!!

Despite all the false starts/stops and of having to chase down where the shorts are on the author’s blog which I am linking to on my reviews for the series to help my fellow readers who might not have found them though I am hopeful one day they might become compiled into an omnibus of their own edition in print to be placed on the shelf next to the other books – I am wicked happy I can finally div dive into a series I had hoped I would love reading because of how much I LOVED seeing “Hidden Figures” and how much the film brought back me straight back to SPACE CAMP and my days as a Young Astronaut at my local Science Center.

I cannot think of a better MODERN CLASSIC OF SCIENCE FICTION, can you?

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No. 9 | Comfort Read(ing) Sci Fi

My comfort reads for #SciFi are anthologies – ever since I came across World Weaver Press and the Nebula Award Showcases, as well as “Commanding the Red Lotus” (see also Review) – there is just something wicked brilliant about how anthologies by multi-authors or singular authors can take you on such an interpersonal journey into a particular niche of Science Fiction. I consider reading anthologies comfort reading Sci Fi because of how wicked happy I feel whenever I am curled up inside them!

Seriously – what is better than moving from short to short or short to novella and seeing an author’s spin on genre for the first time? The ways in which they have to thread their concept into the smaller confines of a short or a novella takes wicked dexterity of writerly strength, too. I give full respect to ANY writer who can write such a dimensional presence in such a short space of words. I also like how expansive these shorter fiction pieces feel as you read them – how they seem to be a part of a bigger world and sometimes they are – as some of these stories are interlinked to novels or they are either part of a series of shorts or a series of novellas. Whichever way they feel larger sometimes it is just a one-off and you wonder, if that vision for a one-off short/novella is this strong why wasn’t it carried into a fuller length of story and novel? I oft question this myself.

I also love anthologies for giving me a chance to read a wider range of style and voice within the genre itself. You get to see new concepts and respun older tropes – you can see where today’s writer of Sci Fi wants to take us whilst others pay homage to classics within the tradition of the genre. I find myself mesmorised by whichever way a short/novella is told and how hearty I find those stories to fill me with a lovely bout of joyful exploration whenever I can find an anthology which makes me thankful I’m a Sci Fi reader.

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No. 10 | Bear Witness

From The Sea in the Stars (episodic podcast) to the tv series and/or films we’re watching as a purveyor of Science Fiction worlds & lives. We tend to ‘bear witness’ to the genre simply by consuming our own personal route of its content & consume a larger sense of our world through the stories which are speaking directly to our future selves inasmuch as they are trying to evoke a conversation with our modern world.

It is quite impressive how we have the chance to remain on the threshold of where a genre can direct itself forward – to be on the springboard of change & innovation and to celebrate the voices on the Indie side of the ledger who are shattering expectations and giving us wicked good reads. But most of all – we all bear witness to the community of Science Fiction whenever we come together as a community and continue the event founded by Rinn @ Rinn Reads.

We owe her a sincere note of gratitude for INSPIRING us to follow this pursuit and to continue to create the community in which we all have become explorers seeking what whets a thirst of curiosity to discover & share throughout November each and every year since [2013]. Here’s to Imyril & Lisa – for giving their devotion and dedication to an event which would not quite be the same without their tireless efforts to keep us united and to collectively build new bridges of community with everyone who is socially bookish and wants to share our mutual passions of Science Fiction with each other.

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This marks my *official!* post of participation on behalf of:

Sci Fi Month 2020 banner created by Imyril and is used with permission. Image Credit: Photo by Tithi Luadthong from 123RF.com.
Image Credit: Photo by Tithi Luadthong from 123RF.com.
Quote Credit: QUOTE from Seven Devils by Elizabeth May & Laura Lam

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I look forward to hearing if you are taking part this year and please link your participation and/or TBR post in the *threads!* I am going to begin journeying through the Mission Logs (provided by Lisa & Imyril) however, if you comment I’ll bump my visit to your blog(s) to the top of the travel list! Let’s see if we share any authors and/or goals in common, eh!?

If you took the prompts & turnt them into a book tag, add those links, too! OR as #SciFiMonth is now past us – add some links to your favourite posts and I’ll happily visit those first as I make my rounds!!

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{SOURCES: Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Official #SciFiMonth graphics were provided by the event host Imyril and are used with permission. Book covers for Heaven’s Edge series provided by Jennifer Silverwood and are used with permission of the author. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #SciFiMonth 2019 badge and #SciFiMonth 2019 banner as well as the Comment box banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my readerly life

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Sci Fi November 2019

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Sunday, 29 November, 2020 by jorielov in 10 Bookish (& Not-So-Bookish Thoughts), Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Sci-Fi November




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