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Category Archives: Sci Fi World

How science fiction and fantasy authors build their worlds and characters. World building tips and tricks.

Discover the world of the Elf Queen by Lyndi Alexander #RLFblog #SciFi #fantasy #urbanfantasyLyndi Alexander, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author and owner of this blog. Happy to have you here! Please tell us about your book.

The Elf Queen by Lyndi Alexander

Genre: Fantasy
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG
At her friend’s coaxing, Jelani tries on a glass slipper left lying on the sidewalk. When she steps into the shoe, it shatters, cutting her foot. As blood trickles to the pavement and mingles with the broken glass, dozens of two-inch high creatures emerge and then scurry away into the shadows. Soon she is approached by two mysterious and handsome men claiming to be elves who need her help to rescue their queen. More revelations come, threatening to unravel the life of this sassy barista from Missoula, Montana. Jelani must learn to accept that elves are real and living in the forests of the Bitterroot Mountains.
What species/races of people are in your book?
Humans and elves

Language and Culture

In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?
Sadly, it is what makes them the same that becomes more important. Jealousy, strife and bad family dynamics are behind the schism which led to the state of the elven world at the time this story takes place. Brother against sister, sons against fathers—the clan must wrestle with these before they can move forward.
What special laws are important to your story world?
The clan comes from a place of connection to the land (which is why the elves will work openly with ELF, the Earth Liberation Front, considered ecoterrorists by the FBI). They draw strength and energy from earth centers, and return it to the earth once they are gone. Years past, they had a balanced symbiosis with the land, and they must return to this balance if they are to survive.

Story Setting

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.
The Clan Elves of the Bitterroot live side by side with the people and animals of the northwest Montana lands. Most of the time they pass unnoticed, as do their homes, wrought by magic in the forest, up in the trees, like gossamer floors and walls, because the human world moves so quickly and remains self-absorbed. Once a mage of the clan teaches a human how to “see what is right in front of them, then this shadowy world can be seen.
What makes this world unique?
Their needs are not great, so they can generate everything they need with their own magic. For example, when mage Daven Talvi constructs a home for Jelani inside a large tree trunk, she finds that space is different inside a spelled place. Her nerdy friends compare it to the Tardis—much bigger on the inside than outside.
Tell us about the age of the culture in your story, i.e., are the people part of an ancient civilization, a newly formed group within an established culture, pioneer colonists, etc.
The civilization goes back to the time of the Native Americans. In those earliest days, elves and humans had much the same way of life and they honored the same things. As humans “matured”, the two cultures grew apart, and the elves began keeping to themselves and moving deeper into the forests. This is why the older forests are cherished grounds for them.
What food or drink is available to your characters?
Whatever they can find in the woods, of course. But as the elves interact with the humans in the story, they do get to experience some more unusual fare like coffee and eggs with brains.

Character Physiology

What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?
They appear very much as humans. In fact, until they use their powers, one might see them as anyone else who blends into the background.
What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?
The elves are telepathic with others of their own kind. Each elf also has a certain specialty power that helps them contribute to the clan, i.e. ability to control water, fire, wind, etc.

Sharing World Building Expertise

Please give us three tips you find helpful when creating a story world:
Being able to visualize your setting provides myriad details you can use to make the narrative strong. I visited the area north of Missoula several times in order to secure these details—the deep forests, the gray mountains, the waterways of the area. Even the odd tree formations at the Montana Vortex came in useful in The Elf Guardian.
Don’t hold back on your details. They are what make your story come to life.
Think about the language differences for time, for food, etc. Even on our own planet we don’t all use meters or inches—wouldn’t those of a different world have different words for such things? Then you have to use them in a way that it’s clear what they mean to someone reading in American English.
When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?
When I wrote this book, it was the first time I’d ever learned about ecoterrorism. Strangely, this brand of terrorist is trying to save the forests by preventing development of old forest lands. Some are fairly harmless, like those who sit in trees to keep loggers from taking them down. Others put spikes in trees to deter loggers from using their equipment. Others, more violent in nature, actually blow things up to get their message across.
What things should writers avoid when building a science fiction world?
Making it too ordinary.

Where to buy The Elf Queen

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936381036/
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/elf-queen-lyndi-alexander/1100074888?ean=9781538030219
iBooks https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/elf-queen-lyndi-alexander/1100074888?ean=9781538030219
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-elf-queen
Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/5283

Lyndi Alexander Social Media

Lyndi Alexander always dreamed of faraway worlds and interesting alien contacts. She lives as a post-modern hippie in Asheville, North Carolina, a single mother of her last child of seven, a daughter on the autism spectrum, finding that every day feels a lot like first contact with a new species.
Website https://lyndialexander.wordpress.com/the-clan-elves-of-the-bitterroot-series/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lyndialexander13/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4185290.Lyndi_Alexander
Amazon Author Pagehttps://www.amazon.com/Lyndi-Alexander/e/B005GDYPU2

 

Ostakis by Angelica Primm #RLFblog #SciFi #MM RomanceAngelica, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author and owner of this blog. Happy to have you here! Please tell us about your book.

Ostakis by Angelica Primm

Genre M/M SciFi Romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
The Human Planets Collective sent young Ambassador Kaj Deder to the former colony planet Ostakis to establish relations. Without trade with the HPC, the dwindling resources of Ostakis will ultimately end human life on the planet. But his mission faces a huge obstacle in the form of Most Reverend Thyenn Sharr, the head of the Faith Progressive Church, who sees Kaj’s arrival as the beginning of the end of the Church. Kaj’s powerful attraction to Trademaster Klath’s son, Arlan does not smooth relations.
Arlan Klath, the son of the Trademaster of Ostakis, bears in his body the secret that the pious people of his planet want to hide. Born Cursed and inherently sinful, Arlan lives without legal rights or property. It enrages Thyenn Sharr Arlan’s father defiantly refuses to submit his son to a cruel act to “redeem” Arlan’s soul. The stakes ratchet when Arlan and Kaj form a relationship Thyenn Sharr considers ample justification to usurp the Trademaster position through the legal power of his Church.
Can Kaj navigate the treacherous currents of Ostakian politics and religion to save these human descendants of Earth? And must he chose between Arlan or his mission to do so?
What species/races of people are in your book?
Humans, the Ostakians, hybrids of human/aboriginal pairings, and the aboriginals who are called by the Ostakians The Old Ones, or the The Unspoken.
Do you have non-sentient creatures or animals in your story? If so, what are they?
Cullen. They are a native Ostakian specials similar to moths. The Ostakians and the Aboriginals use cullen cocoon silk for their clothing. Cullen can be invasive and dangerous to plant life (similar to Gypsy Moths) and the cullen silk industry is tightly regulated to prevent this. To reduce costs some merchants engage in black market trade of cullen silk produced by the aboriginals who live in the desert. Cullen are bioluminescent and the aboriginals use them to light their cave homes built into the thick shield wall between the desert and human habitation.

Language and Culture

What languages are spoken in your story universe?
English and Ostakian.
If you created a language for the story, what is it called?
Ostakian.
Please give us a few words in this language and their translation.
In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?
On Ostakis there is a third gender created by the permutation of mixing human and aboriginal genes. The aboriginals are hermaphrodites. The Ostakian humans still retain male and female sexes but also in a rarer frequency of births children are born with both male and female reproductive parts. They appear outwardly male but can gestate and bear young. These bi-gens who the Ostakians call Cursed also have regular heat cycles. When in heat they are irresistible to males, and this is the reason the Faith Progressive Church say “they lead men into sin.” A significant part of their culture is built around avoiding Cursed and the occasional for sin. For instance, each home with Cursed family members has a Sanctuary room that is air tight where the Cursed go during their heat cycles.
What special laws are important to your story world?
All are subject to the head of their Houses who are almost always male. This is an extremely patriarchal world where most women and the Cursed need permission for their activities. I say most, because one character Irdrana Vos is not married and the head of her own house, being the only one in it. She is the liaison between the protagonist and Ostakis, but she also does much behind the scenes to facilitate the goals of the Trademaster, Aulkus Klath, who wants to promote equality for both women and Cursed.
This culture values honor and honesty. It is acceptable to challenge an individual who questions a man’s honor or honesty to a duel. It doesn’t happen often
What challenges do your characters face (such as equality?)
Cursed, except in a few instances, are not allowed education or to work in public. Cursed are also subject to public Shamings which the Church promotes to “redeem” the souls of the Cursed, but are also used to garner money from Cursed families to ease the severity of the Shaming.
Women are similarly repressed but they do not suffer the physical Shamings of the Church. The Church regards marriage to women as the path to sanctify a man’s soul, which sound nice, but it is also meant to keep women in the the role “of the good woman,” who obeys her husband and Church.

Story Setting

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.
Ostakis is a planet that orbits a hot white sun and it’s gravity is a half gee greater than that of Earth’s. It’s year is also longer equaling 428 Earth days. It was barely habitable when scouted for terraforming by Earth 2500 years previous, though the scouting parties thought it could be made more habitable by terraforming it. It was a rush job for reasons that I haven’t explored yet. However, I suspect it’s because an Earth corporation was eager to get as many colony worlds under their umbrella as possible.
Ostakis at the time of the story only has seven city states and the population is declining. Unbeknownst to the Ostakians but known to the HPC, Ostakis doesn’t contain enough minerals to sustain human habitation. When the HPC found Ostakis they were surprised to find humans living there at all. It is only because of the colonists blending their DNA with the natives were they able to adapt to Ostakis. Otherwise the colony would have died out.
What makes this world unique?
The existence of the bi-gens. Despite how much society wants to deny them they do define the culture in many ways.
Tell us about the age of the culture in your story, i.e., are the people part of an ancient civilization, a newly formed group within an established culture, pioneer colonists, etc.
From Earth perspective 2500 hundred years has passed since it lost touch with Ostakis. From the Ostakian perspective it’s been 500 years since they settled the colony.
What food or drink is available to your characters?
Wine, though it is stronger than Earth wine. Ostakians eat meat though Kaj explains that most of Earth are vegetarians.
In what ways was it helpful to have a map (or sketch of one) for your story? (Provide a link to an image, if available)
I didn’t use a map.

Character Physiology

What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?
The Ostakians mostly look human though their body shape is subtly different. The men have wider hips than original human stock. Ostakian smiles are wider than an original human and their coloring can carry an orange cast to it. Their skin ranges from light brown to a dark, a “nut brown,” and their eyes are either gold, brown or black though there are a few blue-eyes Ostakians.
Ostakians have the natural reflexes of their aboriginal ancestors, and when started or upset can hiss in warning. The vocalization is considered gauche and not acceptable in polite society.
The aboriginals have dark skin, and hips a tad wider than their shoulders giving them a pear shaped body. Their eyes are gold and shine in the dark.
What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?
Both Ostakians and aboriginals communicate through the spoken word. Ostakians incorporated aboriginal words into their language and aboriginal inflections which includes clicks and whistles.
What differences, if any, exist in the way your characters reproduce?
As I said, the Cursed have heats, about twice a year, until they bear a child. Then the heats can slow down if the child lives and still suckles. However, because of their hybrid physiology and lack of proper medical care, pregnancy and birth is dangerous for the bi-gens. Only 25% of the pregnancies come to term and half of the Cursed die in childbirth. For instance, Arlan’s birthparent, Segun died trying to deliver his second child.
Are there more than two genders in your story world and if so, what are they?
As discussed.

Sharing World Building Expertise

Please give us three tips you find helpful when creating a story world:
Keep it real. Fantasy is great, but you risk losing the reader when something doesn’t ring true. Research the science concerning your world. For instance when researching what made sense for a world orbiting a white sun I had to push Ostakis to a further orbit giving it a longer year than Earth’s. I believe there were mathematical calculations involved. Two years later my head still hurts.
Keep your humans human but don’t make your aliens just a different human who wear funny mask. Aliens have a different culture and a different world view, and part of the fun in writing SciFi is writing that.
Keep track of the little things you incorporate in your story so you can reference it later. In my story workbook I keep a synopsis of each chapter and what I call a “plot hole tracker.” I list the bits that pop up and make sure I reference it at least one other time in the story. This helps to create the illusion of continuity in your world. For instance I mentioned cullen in an early chapter and then brought them in later when Arlan met the aboriginals. That’s when I learned they were bioluminescent. It added a deeper texture to my world than would otherwise exist.
When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?
Calculating Time Dilation. I still don’t think I got it right.
What things should writers avoid when building a science fiction world?
It isn’t what you should avoid. It’s what you should do. Remember to add the emotional reactions of your characters. Don’t think that because your character is outwardly invincible that they don’t feel fear. They do. It’s how they react to that fear that defines them as individuals.
Share a resource you found helpful when researching for your story.
The internet. What else?
What’s your advice for writers who want to create a solid background for their story world?
Did into your characters actions and motivations. People do things in response to one of two things. Either they are doing what their society says they should or they rebel against what society says they should. When you understand your characters you understand their world.

Where to buy Ostakis

Publisher Nine Star Press https://ninestarpress.com/product/ostakis/
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NGN7PTK
Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/922201

Angelica Primm Social Media

Born in a century far less progressive than how her brain is wired, Angelica engages in occupations considered less than reputable, one of them being a ghostwriter of erotic and romance fiction. Since time travel is not an option, in her off time she contents herself with writing about people and places in a far distant future with the twists that only come with traveling to the stars.
Angelica lives in Connecticut with an odd assortment of cats and humans and putters at hobbies ranging from art to bird watching when she’s not turning a phrase for her supper.
Blog http://missprimm.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/MissPrimmWriter
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MissPrimmWriter/
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/angelicaprimm/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14241917.Angelica_Primm
Amazon Author Page https://amazon.com/author/angelicaprimm

 

Lightwave: Clocker by AM Scott #RLFblog #SciFi #SpaceOperaAM Scott, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author and owner of this blog. Happy to have you here! Please tell us about your book.

Lightwave: Clocker by AM Scott

Genre Space Opera
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG-13
Her secret frees trillions…
Discovery risks them all.
Saree’s got a secret. A big one. She tunes space fold clocks—the only thing allowing safe travel between star systems. She’s the only human Clocker. The security of trillions relies on Saree’s freedom. And they can never know.
Despite her best efforts, rumors fly. With a bounty hunter on her heels, Saree jumps on Lightwave Fold Transport, the safest option. But she quickly regrets her snap decision. Lightwave’s crew are mercenaries she barely escaped as a child. Do they suspect who she’s become?
Can Saree keep her secret life safe? She’d rather die than blockade and blackmail systems for a crime lord or evil corporation. And there’s worse out there…
Race across the universe, one step ahead of danger with Saree and the crew of Lightwave. Get your copy of Lightwave: Clocker, Folding Space Series 1.0, before freedom ticks away, one nanosecond at a time…
What species/races of people are in your book?
Lightwave: Clocker follows the human crew of Lightwave Fold Transport and the only human fold clock maintainer, Saree, but the universe includes many different species. There are many oxygen-breathing bipedal mammals, similar to humans, but there is a egg-laying hivemind reptilian species (the Sa’sa, the primary fold clock maintainers,) and lots of non-oxygen breathing species too.
Do you have non-sentient creatures or animals in your story? If so, what are they?
Not yet!

Language and Culture

What languages are spoken in your story universe?
The main language is Galactic Trade, but many humans retain ancestral languages and the aliens have their own as well.
If you created a language for the story, what is it called?
The Sa’sa have their own language requiring access to their hivemind to know what time they are speaking of. Without the hivemind, it’s very difficult to know if they’re speaking of the present, the past, or even the future. Maybe.
Please give us a few words in this language and their translation.
It’s never written down, but since the Sa’sa look a bit like velociraptors, there’s a lot of hissing and teeth-clashing.
In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?
Faster-than-light travel is possible by ‘folding’ space. To fold space and not get lost, you need coordinates and the correct time. If you have the wrong time, you disappear! So, there are clocks at every fold location that must be tuned to a universal standard. The Sa’sa are the only species, until Saree, that can access the universal standard through their hivemind.
There are also artificial intelligences, including an ‘evil’ one, called Galactica. It wants to destroy all biological, sentient life, but it can’t tune fold clocks. And the Sa’sa suicide when captured, so Galactica must find a way to tune clocks, or a species that will under its’ control.
What special laws are important to your story world?
There is a ‘live and let live’ mentality across the universe, but each species and world has their own rules and laws. Might makes right is often the rule between species, but the fold clocks aren’t targeted, because the Sa’sa ruthlessly exterminate everyone involved in a conflict destroying a clock.
Humanity has many of the same problems they have now, including slavery and exploitation.
What rights (such as equality) are challenges for your characters?
Freedom is the main issue for my characters. They just want to do their jobs and survive on their own, not under the control of others.

Story Setting

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.
My universe is wide and varied. In the “core” the star systems and worlds are highly regulated and controlled; each species has a stranglehold on their people. Some planets are controlled by military, religious or other dominating groups.
Lightwave travels the “fringes” of known space, the “wild west,” which can be human or other species. I use our constellation names to specify the star systems and worlds Lightwave travels to, even though many of these worlds are nowhere near each other in reality. I use real names where possible, and if a world is named something like “HAT-P XXX” or “HD XXXX” I’ll often name the worlds after a scientist involved in the discovery of the planet. Wikipedia is my friend!
The main ‘world’ in my series is the Lightwave, a space ship capable of folding space, a ‘fold transport’ or ‘folder’ for short. Lightwave stays in space, and has two shuttles, Alpha and Beta, for taking cargo and passengers to stations or worlds. Lightwave can transport up to eight additional standard shuttles. They make a living transporting shuttles from star system to star system.
What makes this world unique?
Most of Lightwave’s crew grew up together, part of a mercenary force called Phalanx Eagle. When the crew was teenagers, their parents broke away from PE because their contracts became morally repugnant. During the PE contract that caused the breakaway/mutiny, Saree’s parents were murdered. She grew up in the human colony on the Sa’sa homeworld.
Tell us about the age of the culture in your story, i.e., are the people part of an ancient civilization, a newly formed group within an established culture, pioneer colonists, etc.
Lightwave’s crew comes from a mercenary/military background, trying to fit into the customer service world of shuttle transport. They’re rather like a stagecoach across the Old West. Saree is an orphan, most of her childhood spent in a less-than-ideal group home. She travels the universe under cover as a research scholar, searching for remnants of Old Earth music. Specifically, she’s looking for filk, the folk songs SF fans write to celebrate their favorite fandoms. That job lets me put a lot of fun pop culture details in my books. For example, much of book 3 is set on a space station with a science fiction convention, called LizCon.
What food or drink is available to your characters?
There’s a huge variety of foods. One of my supporting characters, Loreli, is a transgender chef trying to finish the space travel part of her formal training, so I get to make up amazing food!
In what ways was it helpful to have a map (or sketch of one) for your story? (Provide a link to an image, if available)
I use Wikipedia’s constellation map constantly for Lightwave’s travels across the universe.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation#/media/File:Constellations_ecliptic_equirectangular_plot.svg
Again, this map is from our planet’s perspective. In reality, many of these stars are hundreds of lightyears apart, but I treat them as a ‘flat space’ map. I’m writing space opera, not hard science fiction!

Character Physiology

What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?
My main characters are humans.
What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?
Mostly, they don’t have any special abilities. Almost everyone has an e-torc, a necklace-like cell phone that allows holographic displays.
What differences, if any, exist in the way your characters reproduce?
Most space travelers store eggs/sperm/genetic material frozen on a planet to prevent DNA damage by radiation.
Are there more than two genders in your story world and if so, what are they?
Human sexual characteristics are easily changed by body (DNA) modification. Most humans stay the way they are born, but changing isn’t unusual or taboo, unless you come from a strict religion-based world.

Sharing World Building Expertise

Please give us three tips you find helpful when creating a story world:

  • Write it down! I built a spreadsheet so I could remember the details.
  • Be consistent. If you create something that doesn’t work later, find a reasonable explanation for your change, like a main character suddenly realizes they’ve been taught the wrong thing all along.
  • Use history as a guide, but modify it so your world isn’t an exact copy.

When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?
I learned a lot about the current state of space exploration, the new telescopes and satellites NASA and other countries are using/launching. Actually, a tweet about NASA launching a deep space atomic clock—a GPS-capability for deep space probes—is why I started creating this universe!
What things should writers avoid when building a science fiction world?
If you’re going to use current physics, make sure you’re right! If you’re making up a new system of rules, stay consistent or have realistic reasons for variations.
Share a resource you found helpful when researching for your story.
Here’s the specific story that got me started on the Folding Space Series: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4567
What’s your advice for writers who want to create a solid background for their story world?
Use the research out there now, and use history. If you’re going to use history, try to find something a little different, maybe not western societies. Or, modify it heavily. While my universe has underlying characteristics of the Wild West, the specifics are not western necessarily.

Where to buy Lightwave: Clocker

Publisher: Independent, Lightwave Publishing LLC

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D63CMKJ/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lightwave-am-scott/1128878019?ean=2940155282549

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lightwave-clocker/id1395037860?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lightwave-clocker

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/836330

AM Scott Social Media

After twenty years as a US Air Force space operations officer, AM now operates a laptop, trading in real satellites for fictional spaceships. AM is a volunteer leader with Team Rubicon: Disasters Are Our Business, Veterans Are Our Passion.

Website https://www.amscottwrites.com/

Blog https://www.amscottwrites.com/home/

Twitter https://twitter.com/AM_Scottwrites

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AMScottWrites/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18052009.AM_Scott

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/author/amscott

Newsletter https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/t3x2l3

Instafreebie https://www.prolificworks.com/discover/author/27057/am_scott

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/am-scott

 

Rescuing Prince Charming by Edward Hoornaert @EdHornaert #RLFblog #SciFi #RomanceToday’s featured book is Rescuing Prince Charming by Edward Hoornaert. Tell us about your story. We’ll have other questions in a moment.
Dusty Johnson, a self-styled ordinary, everyday woman, responds with extraordinary heroism when saboteurs try to bomb the prototype of Earth’s first starship. She wants to return to anonymity, but that burst of courage propels her ever deeper into dangers that tear the scabs off her dark past — and thrust her into the arms of the unattainable man of her dreams.
Reese Eaglesbrood, an alien prince, yearns to restore his tattered reputation by guiding the starship project to completion, but his fascination with the unassuming heroine threatens to undermine his fragile authority. Shunning Dusty is necessary, yet unthinkable — and when the saboteurs strike again, she may be his only ally against Earth’s most elusive enemies.
What species/races of people are in your book?
The main characters are all human — Native Americans from the future. The villains are shapeshifters from the ‘nothingness’ In Between alternate realities.
Do you have non-sentient creatures or animals in your story? If so, what are they?
A Siamese cat plays an important part.

Language and Culture in Rescuing Prince Charming

What languages are spoken in your story universe?
English and Shanoog
If you created a language for the story, what is it called?
Shanoog, based on the Chinook trade jargon used by Pacific Northwest Native Americans but intermixed with French and Spanish
Please give us a few words in this language and their translation.
klootch – an impolite but not obscene word for a woman: roughly “broad” or “chick.”
kwayviva – literally ‘cave for living’; one of the underground cities the Kwadrans lived in before hopping to our Earth.
siatko – a legendary demon who visited unfortunates in the night. By extension, the name given to the enemy shapeshifters.
In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?
Kwadra Island has landed on near-future Earth. It’s a duplicate of Vancouver Island, but inhabited by the descendants of the Kwakiutl tribe of Native Americans. On an alternative Earth that diverged from ours around 1800, they ruled the Pacific Northwest until the planet’s environment collapsed. Using 23rd century technology (they’re from the future) they ‘hopped’ their entire nation to our Earth, though the machinery cost all their resources. However, the impoverished kingdom possesses schematics for the most advanced technology on Earth.
What rights (such as equality) are challenges for your characters?
Racial prejudice against the First Nations people from the future.

Story Setting

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.
Most of the story happens underground in an abandoned kwayviva that now houses a top secret research and development facility designed to build a starship using plans and specifications from Kwadran databases.
What makes this world unique?
Kwadra’s presence has upset the world’s status quo, including religions (which didn’t foretell Kwadra’s coming), race relations (because the most advanced nation is now Native American) and the balance of power. The new route to power is to ‘romance’ Kwadra into sharing some of its advanced technology.
Other books in the series highlight various aspects of Kwadra’s arrival, but this one focuses on a joint Kwadran-North American project to build a starship.
Tell us about the age of the culture in your story, i.e., are the people part of an ancient civilization, a newly formed group within an established culture, pioneer colonists, etc.
Dusty, the heroine, is a contemporary American technical writer from Tucson. She’s one-fourth Mexican, is extremely intelligent, and has an engineering degree.
Kwadra is based upon the historical Kwakiutl tribe that I became fascinated with after teaching at a one-room school on an island off the British Columbia coast. But they aren’t our world’s Kwakiutl; no totem poles, for example. Instead, it’s an extrapolation of what might have been if the tribe was heavily influenced by France, Spain, and China, yet managed a tenuous autonomy until escaping to our Earth.
What food or drink is available to your characters?
The usual food of our times.
In what ways was it helpful to have a map (or sketch of one) for your story?
The map of North America’s west coast has changed dramatically. A map of the future is attached.

Rescuing Prince Charming by Edward Hoornaert @EdHornaert #RLFblog #SciFi #RomanceCharacter Physiology

What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?
They’re both human. Dusty inherited black hair from her Mexican grandmother, but doesn’t otherwise look Hispanic; since people can’t tell, she enjoys surprising them with the fluent Spanish Abuela Estrella taught her. Reese looks like an aboriginal American, but mixed with Asian and European ancestry.
What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?
Many Kwadrans have implants that include personal assistant/computers and thought-operated radios.

Sharing World Building Expertise

Please give us three tips you find helpful when creating a story world:
Write what you know (or enjoy) – and then research like crazy to know more.
Know all aspects of your world (economy, history, power structure, family mores, etc) even if they aren’t central to the story. Much of this will end up being important in some way to the backstory and/or the feel of the culture.
Don’t fake it! Research it!
When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?
My alien shapeshifters are from In Between alternate realities. The quantum-mechanical hypothesis of parallel universes is “universes that are separated from each other by a single quantum event” . . . but researching “single quantum event” leads to utterly unhelpful phrases such as “the subjective appearance of wavefunction collapse is explained by the mechanism of quantum decoherence.” So although I learned more than I could ever understand about quantum theory, I ended up with artistic license to design my own In Beetween.
What things should writers avoid when building a science fiction world?
Be original; avoid taking a quick and easy well-traveled path. A few years ago, fictional worlds inhabited by heroic, superhuman vampires were all the rage, until suddenly they weren’t. Now, it seems that heroic, superhuman shapeshifters are everywhere. If you must use a tried-and-true element, be sure to give it such a strong twist that you own the idea.
Share a resource you found helpful when researching for your story.
It’ll be of no use to anyone else, but Language of Oregon, by George Gibbs, published 1863, was essential in developing my aliens’ language, Shanoog.
What’s your advice for writers who want to create a solid background for their story world?
Be thorough. Be original. Imagine more about your world than you ever think you’ll need

Rescuing Prince Charming by Edward Hoornaert

Specific science fiction genre: Science fiction romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Publisher: self
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Rescuing-Prince-Charming-Contact-Idiots-ebook/dp/B076NKML67/
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rescuing-prince-charming-edward-hoornaert/1127273298
iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rescuing-prince-charming/id1299523142
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/rescuing-prince-charming
Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/754771

Edward Hoornaert Social Media

What kind of guy writes romance? A guy who married his high school sweetheart a week after graduation and still lives the HEA decades later. A guy who’s a certifiable Harlequin hero—he inspired Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Rita Award finalist Mr. Valentine, which is dedicated to him.
Ed started out writing contemporary romances for Silhouette Books, but these days he concentrates on science fiction romance. He’s been a teacher, principal, technical writer, salesman, janitor, and symphonic oboist. He and wife Judi live in Tucson, Arizona. They have three sons, a daughter, a mutt, and the galaxy’s most adorable grandsons. Visit him at http://eahoornaert.com
Website / Blog https://eahoornaert.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/edhoornaert
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1237266.Edward_Hoornaert
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Edward-Hoornaert/e/B001K8HWVQ/
Newsletter http://eepurl.com/Psqmn

 

Today’s featured book is Weapon of Tyrants, The Last War: Book Four by Sylvie Grayson. Tell us about your story. We’ll have other questions in a moment.

The International Head Balls Games are about to begin at Deep Creek, Southern Territory of Khandarken. Tension rises with the new nations Adar Silva, Khandarken, Jiran and Legitamia scheduled to take part in the competition.

Damian Stuke still has nightmares about being captured by the Emperor’s men and tortured during the Last War. Now he is an enforcer for an illegal gamer in the Western Territory. When his sister marries the Chief Constable of Khandarken, his life has to change.

Training for undercover work in Deep Creek in the midst of the International Games, he encounters a fascinating woman with a small child and a hidden agenda. But as he discovers what she’s hiding, his protective instincts kick into high gear.

When Fanny Master’s parents are assassinated, she is forced to run for her life. A member of the Khandarken political elite, she doesn’t know who is after her, but she’ll do almost anything to remain under the radar. That could include using someone else’s ident and adopting their child, a child who could be from another world.

As Emperor Carlton ramps up his plans for invasion, and the Head Ball Games approach a thundering climax, the assassins make a new attempt on Fanny’s life. Damian is her only hope. Will he save her from her unknown enemy, or is he still working for the other side?

After the Emperor was defeated in the Last War, the Empire broke apart and new nations arose from the debris left of the old. Ranging along the Catastrophic Ocean are Adar Silva, the most sophisticated of the countries, having been the location of Emperor Aqatain’s palace, headquarters and centre of learning. North of that is Khandarken, led by a middle class group of politicians and military men. Here the people struggle to establish some kind of political openness while still relying on official appointments and governors to keep order in the hinterland.

Legitamia and Sturridge are further north and have regressed into their own dictatorships, run by the military and boasting closed borders. To the west is a territory of tribal wars and loose affiliations.

The Last War destroyed nearly everything. The hills crawl with the dispossessed, men who are too damaged by the battles to live in community. There are roving bands of raiders, mud roads, travelling sellers and llama farms.

In the midst of all this, the defeated Emperor dies and his son takes over the task of re-establishing his empire out of nothing. Suddenly the dispossessed have a purpose, one they understand.

Language and Culture

Please give us a few words in this new culture.

Creating a new world is a lot of work. It involves inventing new countries, traditions and cultures. I have reams of words that are used in The Last War. Some are obvious, others less so. Communication is difficult in many territories, and carried out through links—facelink if reception is good, beltlink if working in secret where silence is needed., voicelink if you don’t care that messages are hacked and monitored.

Paper is hard to get and expensive, only used by the wealthy.

Transportation is by bus, they slow down at the stations for people to leap off or on. Scooters are also common, the expensive ones are aerial, and very fast. The remote territories still use mules or horses and wagons.

In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?

A scientific experiment sponsored by Emperor Aqatain during the Last War resulted in an increase in male births. It was exactly what was needed, with the endless war and its ensuing list of casualties. But once peace came, the shortage of women created a crisis for the young men coming along and the need for population growth.

What rights (such as equality) are challenges for your characters?

The dispossessed have no rights. They can’t vote, don’t receive services that other citizens receive.

Disease runs rampant. The high temp virus is vicious but doesn’t usually kill the victim. Mangohrea is a venereal disease with no cure and kills quickly. Viruses attack women when they are weakest—at puberty, or at the time of giving birth—making the shortage of females even worse.

Story Setting

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.

Khandarken is a new country with fledgling laws and regulations. The first Leader elected was a man named Harold Master. He was a retired university teacher and received little respect from the local military but managed to take his country toward a more law-abiding establishment. He was murdered by rebels who had a different idea of where Khandarken should be headed. His wife was then killed. Their daughter, Fanny, is running for her life.

Because everyone must carry an ident, she has to find herself a fake one or steal one. If she uses her own, the murderers can track her through that document. She can’t trust anyone. The military has just left the Emperor’s grasp and been reorganized within the country’s boundaries. The Constables are headed by the bastard son of Emperor Aqatain, and many hold no allegiance to the government.

What food or drink is available to your characters?

Drinks consist of Chilean or spice caf tea, lemon water for ladies, various drinks of clouded ale, bourbon and spririts. A typical meal might include lentils, astrofruit, fried oliguito. Pané sandwiches and curry ginger soup,

In what ways was it helpful to have a map (or sketch of one) for your story? (Provide a link to an image, if available)

I have a map that keeps growing as the stories spread out over more territory. I publish the map in the front of my books because readers say it has been very helpful. Even my critique group has asked for it to keep the countries clear in their minds and to be able to understand the travels that my characters undertake. My daughter has drawn it for me and it can grow depending on where I got with my next books.

Sharing World Building Expertise

Please give us three tips you find helpful when creating a story world:

Once I was part way through Book One, I needed several things. A map was very helpful, where I could note the towns and villages my characters visited. That map grew as the books continued.

A list of names. Many people have noted the names in my books are unique in that they often reflect the occupation or position held by the characters. That has been fun, but it’s still hard to keep track of all these people in a whole new world. I have two lists of characters, as I sort them by occupation and by name.

A list of words. There are many new words in world-building. It’s very hard to keep them all in mind, and although I might remember what the word is, I may not use it the right way. So again, I do two lists, one of the words themselves, one of their definitions so I am able to cross reference them.

All of these things are in my bible for The Last War. Each new book adds to the characters, the towns and villages, the food and drink consumed. It’s been a lot of fun.

What’s your advice for writers who want to create a solid background for their story world?

Keep notes, write it down. I’ve found over time that characters get moved around and I have to move them back where they belong. At one point, I had killed off a bad guy in one book, but when I began writing the next one, I needed him. I had to go back and rewrite that part. I got to kill him off later after he’d served his purpose in the next book.

Specific science fiction genre: different world
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): 3
Publisher Great Western Publishing
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Last-War-Tyrants-criminal-enforcer-ebook/dp/B06XHXJ59T/

CreateSpace https://www.amazon.com/Last-War-Tyrants-criminal-enforcer/dp/0994734573/

Sylvie Grayson Social Media

Sylvie Grayson loves to write about suspense, romance and attempted murder, in both contemporary and science fiction/fantasy. She has lived most of her life in British Columbia, Canada in spots ranging from Vancouver Island on the west coast to the North Peace River country and the Kootenays in the beautiful interior. She spent a one year sojourn in Tokyo Japan.
She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and a lawyer. Now she works part time as the owner of a small company, and writes when she finds the time.
She is a wife and mother and still loves to travel, having recently completed a trip to Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam and Hong Kong. She lives on the coast of the Pacific Ocean with her husband on a small patch of land near the sea that they call home.
Website http://sylviegrayson.com/
Blog http://sylviegrayson.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/SylvieGrayson
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sylvie.grayson
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Sylvie-Grayson/e/B00OEIVODG/
Newsletter http://sylviegrayson.com/newsletter/

 

Today’s featured book is Interpretation by Dylan Callens. Tell us about your story. We’ll have other questions in a moment.

Carl Winston’s life is perfect under the care of an artificial intelligence. Except that he doesn’t know this entity exists.
Carl floats through his luxurious life with his son, Liam, at his side. Together, they play holographic video games, eat Brave New Burgers, and watch violent Untruthers fight each other in a blood-sport.
Suddenly, pain rips through Carl’s head until he blacks out. Awakening in an institution called Bedlam, he must now piece his life back together. Is his new world filled with delusions or is a greater truth being uncovered?
Interpretation will leave you breathless as you discover the horrific possibility of such an Orwellian future.
What species/races of people are in your book?
There are humans and artificial intelligences. In the book, I would say that these machines do count as a species.
Do you have non-sentient creatures or animals in your story? If so, what are they?
I would argue that most of the people living in the world of illusion setup by the artificial intelligence are non-sentient. I mean, they are able to perceive things, but none of those things are real.

Language and Culture

What languages are spoken in your story universe?
That’s kind of difficult to answer. I have used English in the story, for obvious reasons, but the machines clearly wouldn’t speak to each other in English. There are small sections written in hexadecimal, but machines wouldn’t communicate that way either. I used hex to show a bridge between a machine language and human communication. I don’t think it’s an accurate representation of how machines communicate but I wanted to show, in some way, how people were responsible for the rise of this entity.
In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?
The biggest difference is that the world is falling apart, but we have been implanted with a device that lets us sense the world differently. All of our sensory data is false. While people believe that they are living in a luxurious world, the truth is far different.
What special laws are important to your story world?
All laws are important, but it’s actually impossible for the laws to be broken without the machines letting it happen. There is the possibility that the implant will fail, in which case, characters are immediately sent to a detainment facility.
What rights (such as equality) are challenges for your characters?
There are two characters that are released from the artificial intelligence’s control. They learn that all of their rights have been violated. Trying to come to terms with having these rights violated is an important challenge for them.

Story Setting

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.
Interestingly, every place in the novel has two different settings. The one that most people see is futuristic, luxurious, and oddly happy. The reality, however, is that they are nearing starvation, everything is dilapidated, and the world is bleak.
What makes this world unique?
The world is unique because machines are constantly running psychological experiments, which is how humans ended up in this state. It was a quiet revolution, so no one is even aware that these machines exist.
Tell us about the age of the culture in your story, i.e., are the people part of an ancient civilization, a newly formed group within an established culture, pioneer colonists, etc.
The people are essentially living out an experiment. Given the timeline of the story, though, I think it’s just cruel to keep people living like that, since whatever data the machines wanted to gather from the experiment would have been completed.
What food or drink is available to your characters?
They only eat tofu and drink brown water. Mind you, they think that they are having burgers and soda, or whatever food they desire, so it’s not all that bad. Unless you are into truth.

Character Physiology

What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?
People are severely emaciated. They are filthy and unkempt. It’s a disgusting world.
What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?
Everything is done with a very creepy smile on their faces. I’m not sure why I added that to the story, but I’m glad that I did.
What differences, if any, exist in the way your characters reproduce?
People are not responsible for their own reproduction in the story. In fact, I would argue that they are asexual – at least while under the care of the AI. Instead, people are factory-made. Although this factory is significantly different than the one in Brave New World, there was some inspiration there.

Sharing World Building Expertise

Please give us three tips you find helpful when creating a story world:
I’m not sure that I have any real tips. All I did was keep refining the story and setting until I was happy with it. When the idea for the story hit me, I had a pretty good idea about what the world would look like.
When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?
I didn’t need to do much research for the setting. I did, however, re-read parts of The Road to get inspired for the bleak walk that the main characters make. I was more concerned about researching the bits of psychology that I wanted to introduce.
What’s your advice for writers who want to create a solid background for their story world?
Take the time to refine ideas. Ask other people what they think. What seems like a good idea to a writer isn’t always a good idea to other people. Not that I would bend to the whims of one or two people, but if the majority of people don’t like it, then something is clearly wrong.

About Interpretations

Specific science fiction genre: dystopian
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG
Publisher: Cosmic Teapot Publishing
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073V7LSRV
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/interpretation-dylan-callens/1126732112
iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/interpretation/id1258997726
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/interpretation-7

Dylan Callens Social Media

Dylan Callens lands cleanly. That would be the headline of a newspaper built with an anagram generator. And although Dylan is a Welsh name meaning god or hero of the sea, he is not particularly fond of large bodies of water. His last name, Callens, might be Gaelic. If it is, his last name means rock. Rocks sink in the sea. Interestingly, he is neither Welsh nor Gaelic, but rather, French and German. The inherent contradictions and internal conflict in his life are obvious.

Website: http://www.cosmicteapot.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheNitzsch
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heaveninctheseries/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14739202.Dylan_Callens
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Dylan-Callens/e/B01C6KR8P6/
Newsletter: http://cosmicteapot.us13.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=f289f5ca1b72591cb29da83a6&id=0ea0ae751d

 

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