Category: Hard Science Fiction

#SciFiMonth Space Opera Anthology Review | “Far Orbit: Apogee” (Speculative Space Adventures) edited by Bascomb James (by World Weaver Press)

Posted Thursday, 26 November, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#SciFiMonth Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book by: Did you ever grow curious about a new publisher who produces science fiction, fantasy, and horror genre selections in both novel length and short stories? Did you ever decide to enquire with the publisher you’ve found to see if they were open to book blogger requests to read and review their selections!? This is the situation I found myself in as I was quite mystified by the offerings of World Weaver Press! Such a delightful discovery on my behalf [in 2015] with a website full of inspiring reads across SFF!

Since I started reviewing with World Weaver Press [in August, 2015] there has been a changing of the guard behind-the-scenes where there is a new owner & publicity team. I am wicked happy to see the legacy and tradition of WWP has been carried forward by this lovely new team! I am honoured to work with them continuing to showcase World Weaver Press through reviewing their titles and hosting future guest features by their authors! Except to say when my personal health afflictions and adversities overtook my ability to concentrate on the stories with successive delays in posting my reviews suddenly became the norm, I withdrew making new requests from the publisher as much as it pained me to admit I was falling further behind. I enjoyed the time I had as a reviewer for this publisher and I will continue to seek out the stories by the authors I’ve discovered along the way. I especially want to continue to gather the anthologies by Rhonda Parrish to round out my collection!

I received a complimentary copy of “Far Orbit: Apogee” direct from the publisher World Weaver Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I’ve been dearly keen on reading this lovely Anthology:

It is fair to say, one of my favourite sections of Science Fiction are the realms within Space Opera & the infinite array of how we can not only explore Spacer lifestyles but delve into the myriad dimensions of how evolving life in Space can become for intrepid explorers, traders & colonists who dare to live offworld. It’s a place where due to the variety of entrances you can make as a writer – the reader, can become treated to different perspectives of life in Space inasmuch as the complex complications which go along with interstellar travels.

I originally wanted to read this during #RRSciFiMonth 2017 – as that is when I last updated the draft for this review. However, it was the year my father recovered from his stroke and the following year [2018] I had over 10+ months of health afflictions and a higher frequency of my chronic migraines. Last year [2019] was the first year I started to find relief from the migraines but also, the first year I could re-address my backlogue reviews whilst self-motivating myself through a few challenges which help re-inspire our self-directed goals such as #BeatTheBackList.

I made some positive enroads towards that personal goal of mine of erasing my backlogue of reviews, however, to be fair, I had less migraines this 2020 but more adversities to overcome as well. Such as the medical emergencies of my parents which included two ER visits in March (non-covid related) wherein I was alerted to be prepared if my Mum might have had a TBI and that would have left me as the carer of both my parents for the foreseeable future. She had sustained a series of bad injuries in an accident and thankfully after a few months recovered and healed from them all. It was an unexpected blessing and one we cherished receiving – yet, from January to May I was migraine-free only to have them return May-October.

I realise now my backlogue goals were set a bit too high to reach and thereby I’ve reset my goals to simply be “pick up a book on the backlogue, read it, sort out my thoughts for the review and let time be the chooser of when it is erased”. It speaks to how sometimes our goals are more long-term than short-term and how sometimes if you have health afflictions, you can maintain your optimism but sometimes you have to be more realistic with how quickly you can accomplish the goals you dearly want to achieve. Thereby, it is a pleasure of JOY being able to share this review during #SciFiMonth 2020! *whew!* What a long, long route I took to diving into FAR ORBIT: Apogee!

It goes without question, I will one day purchase copies of FAR ORBIT (the original collection) and FAR ORBIT: Outpost (if I can find where it was published and when).

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Posted Thursday, 26 November, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Futuristic Fantasy, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, World Weaver Press

A #WyrdAndWonder Special Feature | “The Qinali Virus“ by Valerie J. Mikles

Posted Friday, 1 May, 2020 by jorielov , 0 Comments

Guest Contributor and/or Reviewer of JLAS banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Today kicks off #WyrdAndWonder – a month long Fantastical celebration of Fantasy Lit (for those of us who are book bloggers – we tend to do an all-out binge fest of #Fantasy) and all the wondrous ways in which Fantasy can become a forethought of interest in our lives. This can express itself through exploring other mediums wherein Fantasy can reign and become a celebration of the fantastical. As the event gets underway, I have a rather uniquely new post to share with my readers this morning which showcases a Speculative Fiction novel which I felt was quite a lovely discovery due to how interesting the plot felt to me when I first read the premise!

I realise it might fit better under the @SciFiMonth (ie. Sci Fi November, #SciFiMonth) umbrella of inclusion being this is a Science Fiction Post-Apocalyptic novel – however, I like other #WyrdAndWonder participants like to blur the lines between Science Fiction & Fantasy – where even if I’m celebrating one of the genres during one of the yearly events, there are strong odds I could be caught reading the other genre! Laughs.

Perhaps the same is true for you, dear hearts!?

The reason why is because I LOVE Speculative Fiction so dearly much – its hard to just read it twice a year! lol This one is a special selection of mine to be featuring as it dips into one of the genres I do not generally seek out to read – Dystopian & Post-Apocalyptic – as these are themes I find harder to source when seeking out stories to read which are not gritty in graphic violence and are a story I can sink my Speculative teeth into without feeling overcome by the theme itself. This particular story also focuses on two other interests of mine as a reader: astral projection and telepathy – as I was definitely the girl who grew her paranormal love off of tv series which focused on parapyschological investigations! I definitely want to read this lovely one day – if only to see how the author treated those sections and to see how she pulled us through her vision of how those concepts can be explored in literature.

I’m hopeful once my library re-opens this can become one of my next purchase requests – as I dearly wanted to read it but I have to await a print copy. My libraries are quite helpful when I want to seek out Indie Authors & Indie Publishers to be reading – they accept either print (locally) or audio (regionally) which keeps me well consumed I must admit in a lot of lovely Indie writ stories!

My featured author today is the first author I’m hosting for OWI – Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours – a touring company I discovered whilst I read a wickedly delightful Historical Fantasy novel by Edale Lane. I’ll be hosting a blog tour focusing on Ms Lane’s sequel to “The Merchant’s of Milan” lateron this May – however, I am thankful I found her via Tomorrow Comes Media otherwise I might not have found OWI whilst following her blog tour route – as more than one of the stops had someone hosting for OWI! (big smiles)

This post was a lovely surprise for me as I signed on to host something special by the author and I am wicked thankful I had! I *love!* grab bag surprises – for me, getting a wholly original post by an author on a blog tour is just about as wicked sweet as it can get – I loved how she approached how to ‘interview’ herself and how to give a well-rounded impression about her personality as well. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know the author through this quirky interview and conversation!

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A #WyrdAndWonder Special Feature | “The Qinali Virus“ by Valerie J. MiklesThe Qinali Virus
by Valerie J Mikles

Rage. Poverty. Disease.

They’re gone. Every last one.

The cost was great. The population has been devastated. But for the survivors, utopia has arrived.

Then the suspicious death of a young person forces Amber to question her world like she never has before. The Contentedness Council is after her, determined to protect their perfect society. Now Amber must unbury her city’s repressed past, expose the crimes that led to their utopia, and find a way to stop the Council from killing the world… again.

Join astral-projecting asexual Amber and her telepathic sister as they fight to save the human race from extermination!

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Dystopian, Genre-bender, Paranormal Suspense, Science Fiction, Space Opera


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8610487830

on 9th March, 2020

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Adventure, Quest, Post-Apocalyptic
involving astral projection, mental projection (empathy, telepathy), aliens

Identities represented: Aromantic/asexual, gender-fluid,
neutrois/agender, FTM (with the first two most prominent)

Converse via: #WyrdAndWonder, #SciFi, #ScienceFiction, #SpeculativeFiction

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Posted Friday, 1 May, 2020 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Astral Projection, Blog Tour Host, Equality In Literature, Genre-bender, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, OWI - Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours, Parapsychological Gifts, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, Telepaths & Telepathy, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

Blog Book Tour | #FuellYourSciFi as #JorieReads “The Hidden Girl” (and other stories) by Ken Liu

Posted Tuesday, 3 March, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve been enjoying hosting blog tours for the UK Indie publisher Head of Zeus as I feel blessed to work with them as a book blogger being that I love celebrating authors from the UK and the stories they are telling through the different genres Head of Zeus is publishing. These blog tours have been encouraging my bookish and readerly wanderings into Crime Dramas, Historical Fiction and Historical Sagas whilst also engaging into my passionate love of Speculative Fiction which encompasses Science Fiction and Fantasy. I am thankful to be hosting tours for the publisher directly and with their publicity team at Midas PR.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Hidden Girl” direct from the publisher Head of Zeus in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I felt blessed to read “The Hidden Girl”:

I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for Speculative Fiction – readers of Jorie Loves A Story might take note of the fact I regularly participate in two annual book blogosphere events: Sci Fi November (@SciFiMonth) & Wyrd And Wonder (@WyrdAndWonder) – the latter of which I helped co-develop and co-host every May with our supplemental fortnight event every October.

I immediately connected with the author’s vision vision of [The Hidden Girl] – not just from the concept behind his creation of Silkpunk but through what he put on his website as a short extract of what we’d find inside. It was a theory of thought I have oft shared myself on my own blog – about how without a reader a story is not yet ready for its debut because it takes a reader to complete a path the writer has placed in front of them. In essence all stories need readers because the writer can only take the story ‘thus far’ before a reader needs to complete it. I love writers who are thought-provoking about their craft inasmuch as they are engaging through their style of story.

Silkpunk is such a new and dynamic concept for me!

I love Susan Spann’s Hiro Hattori novels for rooting me in 16th Century Japan for similar reasons – between the heritage & cultural notations to the aesthetic of how she uses the setting of Japan itself as a narrative guide. I also felt emotionally moved by The Ghost Bride by Yengsze Choo – the visuals and the speculative intersection of the story against the cultural beliefs of where the ghost brides enter into the storyline – simply evocatively beautiful. I love Asian Literature – I try to seek out more whenever I can which is why I still want to finish A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe as I felt so dearly connected to the world she created within the scope of the novel.

This idea of “Silkpunk” is what truly captured my thirst of curiosity to read The Hidden Girl as I love finding new sub-niches of genres I regularly read – they give new credence to how inventive writers are and how wickedly delightful it is to disappear into a story which is going to take us elsewhere from whence we’ve travelled previously. Similar to why I like the ‘other’  punk sub-niches in Speculative Fiction, Silkpunk to me felt like a wicked good ‘next’ fit!

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Blog Book Tour | #FuellYourSciFi as #JorieReads “The Hidden Girl” (and other stories) by Ken LiuThe Hidden Girl
Subtitle: And Other Stories
by Ken Liu
Source: Direct from Publicist

From a Tang Dynasty legend of a young girl trained as an assassin with the ability to skip between dimensions on a secluded mountain sanctuary to a space colony called Nova Pacifica that reflects on a post-apocalyptic world of the American Empire and ‘Moonwalker’ Neil Armstrong, award-winning author Ken Liu’s writings are laced with depictions of silkpunk fantasy, Sci-Fi and old Chinese folklore, wrapped up in a mesmerising genre-bending collection of short stories.

Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This much anticipated collection includes a selection of his latest science fi ction and fantasy stories over the last fi ve years – sixteen of his best – plus a new novelette. In addition to these seventeen selections, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories also features an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Science Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Space Opera


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1982134037

Published by Head of Zeus

on 25th February, 2020

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 432

Published By: Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

For those who are new to reading Silkpunk,
I found a lovely article which the author explains the genre
and what constitues a Silkpunk style of narrative as its a genre-bent of Sci Fi & Fantasy.

Genre(s): Science Fiction | Speculative | Silkpunk

Short Story | Space Opera | Folklore | Hard Science Fiction

Converse via: #TheHiddenGirl, #KenLiu with #Silkpunk

as well as #ScienceFiction and #SpeculativeFiction

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

About Ken Liu

Ken Liu

Ken Liu is an American Speculative Fiction writer and the winner of the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, World Fantasy, Sidewise, and Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards. The son of a pharmaceutical chemist and a computer engineer, Ken emigrated to the US with his mother and father at the age of 11. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in English Literature and Computer Science and later attended Harvard Law School.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Ken worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. His debut novel, The Grace of Kings, is the first volume in a Silkpunk Epic Fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty, in which engineers play the role of wizards.

His debut collection, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, has been published in more than a dozen language and his short story Good Hunting was adapted for an episode for Netflix’s science fiction web series Love, Death and Robots.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 3 March, 2020 by jorielov in Anthology Collection of Stories, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, England, Hard Science Fiction, Head of Zeus, Novellas or Short Stories, Science Fiction, Silkpunk, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Nebula Awards Showcase 2016” (edited by) Mercedes Lackey

Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of “Nebula Awards 2016” direct from the publisher PYR (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. Note: This review is part of my backlogue of reviews and predates PYR being acquired by Smart Publishing who now owns both Seventh Street Books and Pyr.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Why I love reading the Nebula Awards Showcase:

I loved how Bear championed the integrity of writing what you know to be true even if editors later change that truth for their own needs (i.e. regards to his article being altered for publication) even if it has consequences you cannot foresee. He wrote with a lot of levity and insight – how the Awards come regularly like any natural season and how writers are both on pins to hear whose won but also, elated if their name is called. It’s a quirky balance of anxiety and exultation of joy – the brilliant combination of emotions any writer can claim as their own. Writing is such an intrapersonal experience – we put our imagination and our words on the line, hoping to inspire a reader to feel as connected to our stories as we do ourselves and thus, I could concur with Bear about the curiously curious attachment we have to seeing how our peers interpret our stories and if the stories resonate with our peers inasmuch as the readers.

This particular collection of stories, antidotes and murmurings of Science Fiction had within it’s pages such a cartography of human emotions! You could quite literally feel every ounce of your humanness by reading it’s collection because each of the writers in turn found a way to etch a catalyst of emotional fortitude into their stories. Their characters were facing incredible odds and had to somehow find a way to stomach the vacuumed despair or else, find their lives empty of all hope.

The words these writers have used to paint their portraits of life in futuristic places are humbling and eagerly on-point to curtain off a certain sense about the world today. There are cross-applications to these stories – of origins you can perceive of what inspired them and of why these stories were being penned when they were and how they were being expressed. It’s a collection to take to heart – to ponder and lay thought upon long after you put the stories down the first time you’ve read them. Most are cautionary in nature, others are thought-provoking social conscious works of creative expression. All of them hold a kernel of where Science Fiction and Consciousness co-merge into a working consciousness of forward thought and internal supposition of what a near-off future could hold inside it’s palm. Truly a remarkable reading for today’s inquisitive reader seeking stories which speak towards the edge of where truth and reality blur and find their own voice.

-quoted from my review of the Nebula Awards Showcase 2015

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Nebula Awards Showcase 2016” (edited by) Mercedes LackeyNebula Awards Showcase: 2016
Subtitle: Stories, Excerpts and Essays
by Mercedes Lackey
Source: Direct from Publisher

The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

The editor of this year’s volume, selected by SFWA’s anthology Committee (chaired by Mike Resnick), is American science fiction and fantasy writer Mercedes Lackey.

This anthology includes the winners Ursula Vernon, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Nancy Kress, and Jeff VanderMeer, with Alaya Dawn Johnson winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book.

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633881389

Also in this series: Nebula Awards Showcase: 2015


Published by Pyr

on 3rd May, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 412

Published By: Pyr (@Pyr_Books)

The Nebula Awards Showcases I’ve read:

Nebula Awards Showcase 2015 (edited by) Greg Bear. Published by PYR.Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 (edited by) Mercedes Lackey. Published by PYR.

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

(edited by) Mercedes Lackey ( Site | @mercedeslackey )

Converse via: #NebulaAwards + #MercedesLackey

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 8 May, 2019 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Asteroid Science, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Climate Change, Ecology, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Hard Science Fiction, Horticulture, Prometheus Books, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event