Category: Soft Science Fiction

#RRSciFiMonth Book Review | “The Last Day of Captain Lincoln” (a novella debut) by EXO Books

Posted Wednesday, 29 November, 2017 by jorielov , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book by: Last year for #RRSciFiMonth, I had intended to review this story and host the illustrator in an interview, however, due to certain circumstances and a family health crisis, I had to postpone my readings of the story. Although, I attempted to read this story during [2017] the timing never felt right to broach the subject matter within it’s scope, thereby, I pushed forward my plans until this year’s #RRSciFiMonth event in November, 2017.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Last Day of Captain Lincoln” direct from the author/publisher EXO Books 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 Sci-Fi Novella:

I was originally approached by Mr EXO to read this novella for the [2016] #RRSciFiMonth event, however, I was unable to complete what I had planned – as I wanted to not only read the story but to interview the illustrator of who had inspired me whilst browsing through the hardback copy prior to reading the narrative. These illustrations were so captivatingly honest and real – they illustrated the depth of emotional conviction whilst giving you a clear insight into what the character being illustrated could have been thinking at the time their portrait was taken. I felt these illustrations were an apt component to the story-line, of digging in even a bit deeper than where the context might take me as they visually were quite stunning to lay thought over on their own!

The main reason I knew in my heart I couldn’t read this story last [November] or even during the #SciFiExperience (which has served as a bookended event to my wanderings during Sci Fi November) – is due to the experiences I had with my Dad during his stroke, surgery and hospitalisation. I wasn’t entirely sure when I could alight inside another person’s ‘last day’ as I had come too close to realising the last ‘day’ of my father’s. Looking back on the past year has been an incredible year of healing and growth – of how the mind heals after the eruptions of stroke and how the man re-emerges back into his life whilst looking ahead to the future. It has been a difficult year for the most part but it has been a blessed year at the same time – it’s the year my Dad recovered from his stroke and I, took on the role of his caregiver.

What first caught my attention though – is how the story seemed to be told – from an introspective angle of insight into Captain Lincoln. I also liked the innovative approach and non-conventional publishing career of the author, of whom, goes simply by ‘EXO Books’ which is in of itself a clever moniker to have as an author/publisher due to the duality of it’s purpose.

As the [2017] #RRSciFiMonth event approached – I knew I wanted to do something quite special connected to reading the story, which is why I co-hosted a chat with Mr EXO on Twitter. You can read the recapture of the conversation as well as find links to to the Storified transcript and the books of rec’s via Riffle on this post. Perhaps, next year – I can converse with the illustrator and bring everything full circle!

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#RRSciFiMonth Book Review | “The Last Day of Captain Lincoln” (a novella debut) by EXO BooksThe Last Day of Captain Lincoln
by EXO Books
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Kimberly Hazen
Source: Direct from Author, Direct from Publisher

Captain Lincoln's last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780997590258

Genres: Science Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Space Opera


Published by EXO Books, LLC

on 20th August, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 133

Published By:  EXO Books

Available Formats: Hardback, Ebook

Genre(s): Speculative | Science Fiction | Futuristic Fiction

Space Opera | Introspective Fiction | Death & Mortality

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
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Posted Wednesday, 29 November, 2017 by jorielov in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Fly in the Ointment, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

#RRSciFiMonth Chat, No.1 | @joriestory co-hosts with @EXO_Books about #SpaceOpera!

Posted Monday, 27 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Sci Fi Month banner created by Rinn Reads and used with permission.

[ 2017 ]

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co-hosting my 1st #RRscifimonth chat:

hallo, hallo Sci Fi November enthusiasts!

this year, I wanted to do something wicked different than i have in the past – which is why, I conceived of the idea to host two #RRSciFiMonth chats! the first of course, was inspired by the novella ‘The Last Day of Captain Lincoln’ which is set in Space – giving me the chance to talk about one of my favourite sub-genres: Space Opera! this is also why you’ve seen me change my Twitter Profile to reflect: JORIE LOVES SPACE OPERA rather than the regular declaration of JORIE LOVES A STORY.

as we discussed how we wanted to co-host the chat, Mr Exo & I devised our own approach – I would start the question-based sections with two enquiries to set the tone of the discussion bent round our main topic whilst Mr Exo would come after me, tying in his questions with giving away books. the format worked well – plus, *behind-the-scenes*, i was DM’ing Mr Exo a few times throughout the chat, whilst monitoring the replies coming to me directly (in order to re-direct them onto the tag #RRSciFiMonth) as I replied to the chatters who had come to participate.

i was honestly thrilled to bits how well the chat took off – from the very start of it, i noticed everyone had settled into sharing their *favourite!* memories of Science Fiction gateways into Space Opera & the worlds within the universe which hug us so close to the heart of what we love about the Speculative worlds we explore across mediums! as you will well see – all of us are not just intrepid explorers of literature, no! we criss-cross through television, motion pictures, literature and all stops betwixt and between – allowing ourselves to be captured by the visionaries who enrich our lives by their visions of Futuristic worlds.

in order to sort out the time zones – i posted a brief Poll via Twitter to gauge which hour would be best for everyone to *meet-up* whilst mindful of my own schedule & the author’s (Mr Exo), which is why I leant on hosting my first #RRSciFiMonth chat on a *Saturday!* without being able to promote the chat as readily as i wanted too – i was wicked thankful for the supportive cheering & rallying by our lovely event co-hosts Lisa @EffingRainbow + Imyril @imyril, of whom i am grateful who enjoy real-time DMs and last minute suggestions! i truly look forward to visiting their blogs more throughout the coming year, whilst finally making my personal rounds to seeing not only their content for this event but all the lovely blogs i missed whilst i was dealing with my illnesses.

before i talk about my *favourite!* moments of the chat, i want to give you a chance to read the lovely transcript Imyril has presented for all of us to ENJOY reading! grab your favourite cuppa of brew & settle in for a wicked sweet chat where we all get our full-on sci-fi geek-on discussing everything & anything inter-related to the topic at hand! plus, a few tangents where we swung OT (off-topic) as well! it wouldn’t quite be a Twitter chat if the chatters didn’t go OT! lol

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Posted Monday, 27 November, 2017 by jorielov in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction, Spontaneous Convos Inspired by Book, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

Blog Book Tour | A listener’s spin on #podcast review of Xela Culletto’s “Understanding the Stars” (#SFF)

Posted Saturday, 10 June, 2017 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Notes of a Listener banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

A unique kettle of fish erupted into my audiobook listening adventures – wherein, I could not listen to ‘Understanding the Stars’ – mind you, I tried every which way to Sunday to get the book to play except to say, I was left with a lot of dead air. The lovely narrator I had heard via the sampler was remiss and I was left wondering what the book would reveal to me, as this was one book I was looking forward to listening to see how the author would shape the story around the aliens.

I was short on time to resolve this – as I’ve tweeted recently, this Spring has been ‘a beast!’ for allergies this Season. I haven’t been able to shake the reactions since wayy back in March or end of February; honestly, I don’t even remember when it all began; each week blends into a new one and I still have extreme allergies assaulting me! I dream of RAIN. I pray for a DOWNPOUR. Summer could not start soon enough for me this year in other words! I sort of lost track of where I was with my blog’s schedule as when your feeling more blue than sunshiny, who keeps up with their calendar? Ergo, I caught sight of one blunder a bit too late to make amends – my copy of ‘Understanding the Stars’ is unplayable – and before you say “ask for Help”, been there & done that. Apparently it’s a quirk or a tech issue that has no textbook solution. Aye.

Oy vie. Never one to give up without a bit of ingenuity – my rabbit out of the hat idea was to merge my love of listening to @AudioShelfMe with my second stop on the ‘Understanding the Stars’ tour seemed to be the best route to go! I had discovered this lovely podcast duo (Brad & Britney) courtesy of Jess @ the Audiobookworm who was tagging a heap of us to introduce us to the Audiobook Month (JUNE) Listening Challenge – where we can all play #AudioBingo, meet new bookish friends who love audiobooks as much as we do and get a bit of fun out of our listening endeavours whilst we try to score ‘points’ for securing titles on the board!

I will be revealling which audiobooks I am thinking of listening to for the challenges when I start to reveal the #20BooksOfSummer I have chosen to focus on for another Summer Reading Challenge! Those two posts will run next week – as I am getting a bit of a late start but look forward to seeing where my mad dash of listening and reading shall take me!

Now then, without further adieu, here are my notes whilst listening to Brad and Britney hash out their recap of ‘Understanding the Stars’.

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Understanding the Stars by Xela Culletto

Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.

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The podcast started off with Brad impersonating alien-speech with a few seconds of alien music before the overlay of their theme and the introduction of how they hosted their first book tour. I agreed about the synopsis being a smidge short but enough to serve as a taste of what might be included in the story’s arc. Read More

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Posted Saturday, 10 June, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Indie Author, Notes of a (Podcast) Listener, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction

Author Q&A | Understanding the writing process of Xela Culletto author of “Understanding the Stars” (#SFF)

Posted Wednesday, 7 June, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Good morning, dear hearts!

As you might already realise – I have a wicked fascination with #SFF (Science Fiction & Fantasy) – throughout JUNE, I will be resuming my showcases on behalf of the Speculative realms, as I originally as dipping back into them last November before I alighted into the lovely anthology Gifts of the Magi just as the New Year began to dawn! (see also Review) Due to my readings of those lovely short stories, a few of the authors I had read then will be re-explored this month, as well!

I am also continuing my exploration of World Weaver Press whilst reading two more anthologies (Space Opera + Fantasy) as I move into two novels set around the Jin. I first came to appreciate the lore & legends of Jinni through Ms Wecker’s incredibly layered and intriguing debut novel! (see also Review) There is quite a bit in store this month here on #JLASblog – if you are as wicked happy about finding exciting new worlds to explore in the Speculative realms, stay attuned to my blog and my readerly tweets in the twitterverse! You will happily be discovering the authors who are charming me with their world-building and their fantastical imagination!

To kick off my #SpecFic showcases, I am sharing a conversation I had with a self-published author who similar to me has grown up with a deep appreciation for the realm. As you will see throughout our conversation, I unearth her writing process and what makes her passionate to tell the stories she is penning.

If this is your first visit to my blog, I have been enjoying listening to audiobooks for almost a year, whilst having the pleasure of interviewing the authors & narrators alike. Audiobooks are a gift of joy to me as they allow me to find a new way to connect to stories and to pick up an artistic habit of ‘colouring’ as I listen – the suspension of focusing on the story as I colour allows me to better understanding the content of the stories but also provides a way to decompress from the stress of a blogger’s life!Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Understanding the Stars by Xela Culletto

Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Being an avid science fiction reader, what drew your eye to lay down the foundation of an alternative alien space opera story-line? Wherein you centre your action on Earth rather than have the story transition from Earth to Space or even subspace environments?

Culletto responds: I wrote this story with the intention of having it be something that I personally would like to read. While I have read some hardcore sci-fi (Asimov, Sagan, etc.) I’m at a stage of life where I prefer lighter reading, which for me means not having massive amounts of new jargon or world-building–something that is easily accessible  and doesn’t require too much memory space in the reader’s brain. That being said, the sequel to “Understanding the Stars” is entitled “Following the Stars” (to be released 2018), so you can probably get an idea of where the plot will be headed next. Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 7 June, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction