Who Let The Dogs Out?

Raw Dog Screaming Press recently introduced their new science fiction line, called Dog Star Books. This is relevant to me because friend and author extraordinaire Heidi Ruby Miller has been tapped for their managing editor. You may remember me gushing over Heidi’s brilliant AMBASADORA series of books. With Heidi at the helm, I look forward to great things from Dog Star Books, whose mission statement promises oodles of sf adventure in their catalog.

Heidi asked me to take part in unveiling the first cover from DSB’s 2013 cyberpunk release COG by K. Ceres Wright. This edgy cover is by artist Bradley Sharp. Pretty cool, huh?

In a futuristic world
where personalities can be downloaded at will,
who’s a girl to trust?

Coming Summer 2013

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Dog Star Books – http://dogstarbooks.blogspot.com
K. Ceres Wright – http://www.kcereswright.com
Bradley Sharp – http://brade-s.deviantart.com

How Old Is Too Old For An Idea?

If you follow me, you know I’m devoted to participating in Science Fiction/Fantasy Saturday. This past weekend, I included a snippet from a book I started writing twenty-five years ago. One of the authors who commented on the snippet pointed out that he wouldn’t develop an idea that was twenty-five years-old. I have to say the comment got in my head and won’t leave me alone.

How old is too old for an idea?

I have many completed novels that for one reason or another never got published. I think cyberpunk was all the rage at the time. One is a romantic thriller, contemporary in the early 90’s, and very reliant on the prevalent technology of the time:  pay phones, floppy disks, slow modems, fax machines, 35mm photography negatives, and that’s just off the top of my head. Drawn from my experiences writing for the Tampa Tribune newspaper at the time, the story itself is pretty good. It’s paced well. The characters are well developed. I could publish today… except for the fact that the dated technology is integral to the plot. Perhaps I’ll publish it at some point as a period piece.

My  point is, that it’s an idea I wouldn’t make a priority out of developing due to its dated content. But the science fiction romance I posted on Saturday is another story entirely. Drawing inspiration from Terminator, Flash Gordon, and Total Recall, it was an idea I’d toyed with, off and on, since 1987 before it got archived with The Black Wing Chronicles in 2002. For that matter, I first conceived of The Black Wing Chronicles in 1980. Sovran’s Pawn only published this year. That’s a thirty-two year-old concept that got developed.

If a story is compelling and interesting to the writer, shouldn’t it see the light of day? A good premise is timeless and resonates. Sure, Star Wars was exactly what sf fans everywhere needed at the time. Most sf of the period had become painfully socially conscious, with accusatory messages of total annihilation and the inherent evil of humankind. Star Wars was a breath of fresh air — a lighthearted adventure. It was the Hero’s Journey. Would it be successful if released for the first time today? If you take into account how very groundbreaking it was in special effects technology, I believe it would be. No one had seen anything quite like it. Star Wars made science fiction fun again, taking it out of the hands of the ivory tower bunch and putting back into the hands of adventurers, pirates, cowboys and damsels in distress. Would it be a blockbuster? I don’t know, but if the cult success of Joss Whedon’s Firefly can be used as a measure, Star Wars would find a devoted audience.

How old is too old for an idea?

I suppose that for every writer, that’s a personal decision. For myself, I believe that good ideas are timeless. As far as The Lost Domina is concerned, I’ll let YOU decide. Here is the blurb. Tell me what you think.

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Riding high on the sale of her first novel, science fiction author Analise Trujold tries to rescue her failing marriage with a trip to the countryside with her husband to watch a meteor shower. A close encounter with an alien hit squad who murders her husband, and the sudden appearance of Admiral Faran Hagon, the hero in her novel, ensnare Analise in a hotbed of interstellar intrigue. Characters from her book are more real than she ever could have believed and her mundane life on Earth has been nothing more than implanted memories to keep her safe during her exile.

The Universal Congolmeration of Systems is under attack from within.  As the Lost Domina, Ana is the only one who can hold it together. But with her memories suspect, she’s not sure who she can trust. Even though she’s drawn to Faran, she can’t help but wonder if he isn’t somehow angling to rule in her stead. If she hopes to survive, Ana must rely on her wits and creativity to uncover the truth behind the fiction.

Book Review – Ambasadora by Heidi Ruby Miller

From the first pages, Ambasadora had me hooked. I couldn’t wait to see where author Heidi Ruby Miller was taking this story. Her well-conceived, and very complex society explores so many avenues of human nature, making me question why our societal mores are what they are.

I fell in love with the characters. She did a brilliant job of fleshing out the bad guys and making them sympathetic as well. The good guys are suitably heroic with just the right mix of human fallibility to keep them interesting. Until the end, I was never entirely sure which romantic interest was going to end up with whom, and my doubts made perfect sense given the society Miller created.

The only difficulty I ran into was on a personal level. Being a Tampa native, it was disconcerting to me to read about the four moons, all named Tampa, and then reading about the Hub, which is also well-known bar in downtown Tampa, oft frequented in my misspent youth. That gave me a chuckle and I enjoyed sharing what I considered a sly inside joke with the author. But Miller’s brilliant and vivid descriptions soon made me forget all that as I found myself hip-deep in the worlds she’s created.

This book has it all, action, adventure, political intrigue, science gone wild, cyberpunks, social commentary, and romance. It will leave you breathless and clamoring for more.

Ambasadora is a definite E-ticket ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages well into the night. I already have my copy of Greenshift, the prequel to Ambasadora, and I cannot wait to start reading it! But first, I have to catch my breath from Ambasasora.

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If everyone told you love wasn’t real, would you still be willing to die for it?

Sara Mendoza and Sean Cryer are.

In their multi-partner, caste-ruled society, love and jealousy are considered emotional fallacies, nothing more than fleeting moods and sentiments biased by hormones. Relationships and conceptions in this world obsessed with celebrity, beauty, and power are based on DNA and lineages…or should be. But not everyone believes in the ruling traditions of the all-powerful Embassy. A quiet rebellion prowls the dark underground of this shiny world where techno-militants calling themselves fraggers grow in numbers and bravado. The Embassy intends to silence the fragger movement before the heresy of equality spreads throughout the system.

Sara Mendoza is part of the Embassy’s plan. Captured, tortured, and falsely accused of treason, she is given a chance to win back her freedom. She only needs to charm information from one of the fragger leaders, then kill him. But by the time she figures out the Embassy’s intel is flawed and that Sean Cryer is her true mark, she’s already in love with him.

Sean knows why Sara is on his ship from the start, but as a lonely, anti-social doser, he doesn’t value his life, only his ideology within the fragger organization. Against his better judgment, he becomes her protector, each day caring more about a future he was always afraid to hope for.

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If you’d like to purchase Ambasadora or Greenshift,

you can find them on Amazon: