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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.

Prophecy of the Mayan Undead by Fiona McGier #RLFblog #SciFi #Paranormal RomanceA brilliant neurobiologist, Keesha Brown, trying to isolate the chemicals in the brain that influence intelligence, finds more than she’s looking for in Fiona McGier’s paranormal romance Prophecy of the Mayan Undead.

Fiona McGier, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author and owner of this blog. Happy to have you here! Please tell us about Prophecy of the Mayan Undead.

Prophecy of the Mayan Undead by Fiona McGier

Genre-Paranormal Romance

Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R

Part One

Keesha is a neurobiology researcher determined to discover the secret to intelligence to save humanity from itself. What she learns leads her to realize a bigger threat comes from beyond the stars. Yuri is a Russian vampire whose long-dead feelings respond to the scientist whose brain he admires but whose curves he can’t resist. Will his love reach the places in her heart that she has ignored for so long? And can they defeat the ancient Mayan mummy who has invaded Keesha’s mind in order to stop her from discovering what the Propecy of the Mayan Undead reveals?

Part Two

As Keesha and Yuri continue to try to eliminate the Mayan threat to humanity, they have to enlist the aid of Niu Ying, a brilliant Chinese neurobiologist. As a gifted child Niu Ying was given to the state by her Chinese parents, leading to a harsh life. Her un-dead existence has been worse. When other vampires urge her not to further the destruction of humans, they bring a blue furry alien Visitor. She never expected to discover her own humanity in the arms of an alien–he never expected to fall in love. Can their passion bridge the gap between their races? And can they join forces with the others to face the return of the Mayan aliens and save humanity?

What species/races of people are in your book?

The characters in this book are mostly human, although many have been turned into vampires. Some are newly-turned, some are centuries old, and one Mayan mummy has been “alive” for thousands of years. In Part Two, there is a blue-furred alien who calls himself a “visitor.” He says that his race is eternal, traveling the universe seeking planets with promising life-forms. They nudge the dominant life-form in the direction of achieving self-awareness, in hopes of someday meeting that race traveling through space also.

Do you have non-sentient creatures or animals in your story? If so, what are they?

No.

Language and Culture

This section describes languages and culture in your story world.

What languages are spoken in your story universe?

English, Chinese, and Mayan.

If you created a language for the story, what is it called?

N/A

Please give us a few words in this language and their translation.

N/A

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

Vampires exist and there is a logical, scientific explanation for how they were created, which Keesha discovers once Yuri makes her into a vampire.

What special laws are important to your story world?

The law of gravity is defied as the other older vampires teach Keesha how to fly.

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

The ancient Mayan mummy thinks all non-vampires are like cattle, and females are beneath his notice, except to be used as sacrifices to his gods.

Story Setting

Writers usually know more about their story world than they can say in a book. This is your chance to show off things you couldn’t say or had to imply rather than state.

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.

This version of Earth is very similar to the real one. Vampires exist, and have always lived on the periphery of human existence. Earth was visited by aliens thousands of years ago, and they took many humans back with them to their planet. They appointed vampires they created in many countries around the world at that time, to put a plan into motion that would ensure that humans progressed, but not far enough to be able to travel into space to face the returning aliens off-planet.

We don’t get to visit the planety of the aliens, because at the end of the book, they arrive here on Earth.

What makes this world unique?

Vampires really 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.

There are vampires alive who were born back in the BCE days of humanity. Few survive the eternal existence for thousands of years, but many are still alive who have seen centuries of existence. They all regard today’s human beings as “cattle,” though many enjoy the recent scientific and technological inventions.

What food or drink is available to your characters?

Humans eat and drink as they always have. Vampires can live off mammal blood of other species for a short time, but they crave human blood. Eventually, Keesha invents a synthetic blood that is flavored to entice vampire taste buds. She also creates a company to sell the synthetic blood for use in surgeries, eliminating the need for blood donations.

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)

(Note: I will attach an image of the aliens who visited Earth before, and who return at the end of the book. This will be attached with my cover art.)

Character Physiology

Whether your characters are humans on a new world, aliens on our world, or something in between, this section discusses their physical nature.

What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?

Vampires do not age. If teenaged when “turned,” they remain eternally young, despite being alive for centuries. All can fly. The older ones can survive the sun, though it makes them uncomfortable and quickly burns their skin. The older ones don’t even need to sleep during the day–they can choose to remain awake, though indoors. Beheading, stakes, all of the mythical ways to destroy a vampire are useless. They truly are eternal. But cross them and their faces will change to look like the monsters of myth. And starving a vampire will result in a mummy-like appearance.

What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?

Vampires can speak in each others’ minds. And when they share blood with another vampire, they exchange memories. The older vampire will be the one to lead the exchange, to discover what interests them the most from the younger one–but they will “filter” their own memories so as not to overwhelm a mind that isn’t used to holding so many images and memories.

What differences, if any, exist in the way your characters reproduce?

The blue furry alien says that he isn’t aware of any of his race reproducing. None of them remember the birth of any new members of their race. He assumes they’re eternal–they have always existed, and always will. But he is physically capable of having sex with a human.

Are there more than two genders in your story world and if so, what are they?

N/A

Sharing World Building Expertise

This section lets you share things you learned while writing.

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

I started with our current contemporary world, and added paranormal aspects to it.

There are good and bad people in all races, species, and sexes.

I created a world that I’d like to live in, and tried to make the reader feel the same way.

When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?

When I started this book it was supposed to be a contemporary romance. But I got writer’s block, so I put it aside. A few weeks later, I had a dream in which a tall, pale, blond man told me I was having trouble writing the book because I was giving the heroine the wrong hero–it had to be him. He smiled, showing me vampire fangs. I told him that I don’t write vampire romance–too overdone. He told me to research the Mayans, since I was incorporating their Long-count calendar and the end of the tonne in 2012 into the story.

I researched extensively into the Mayan culture. I learned that all of their public cermonies involved blood-letting. Their priests and rulers would wound themselves with knives, thorns, etc. and would collect their own blood into containers. I found no explanations of any use for that blood, so it was easy to assume that it was collected for their vampire alien visitors, whom they regarded as gods.

What things should writers avoid when building a science fiction world?

N/A

Share a resource you found helpful when researching for your story.

I did all of my reseach into the Mayan culture on-line.

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

Let them live in your mind for long enough for them to show you the parameters of their world and how they live in it.

Where to buy Prophecy of the Mayan Undead

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1023111
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/prophecy-of-the-mayan-undead-fiona-mcgier/1137061557
iBooks https://books.apple.com/us/book/prophecy-of-the-mayan-undead/id1514520795?uo=4&mt=11&at=1010l9S2
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/prophecy-of-the-mayan-undead
Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1023111
Scribd https://www.scribd.com/book/462376195/Prophecy-of-the-Mayan-Undead

Fiona McGier Social Media

I have always had characters intruding into my thoughts, showing scenes from their lives. When I ignore them, they start to yell louder. If I write their stories so they can live in readers’ heads as well, they usually leave me alone. Soon the next voices appear. I like the noise. I write romances that involve strong, independent women who enjoy casual flings, but are not looking to fall in love. Enter the man who feels the same way–until they both realize this is different. I love the passion of new love!
I keep busy with multiple jobs, and have to squeeze in writing when I should be sleeping. As often as possible, I go out with my family, or just my husband, to view the night stars around a campfire. Stories present themselves to me while driving, while dreaming, and especially while camping.
I write romances that involve strong, independent women who don’t mind casual flings, but who are not looking to fall in love. Enter the man who decides this is the woman for him. I thinks that how they ultimately both realize that they have found the one, is the most interesting part of a romance.
Website www.fionamcgier.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fiona.mcgier/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2987252.Fiona_McGier
BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/fiona-mcgier-27d35716-8cc6-4638-8470-03331056b1d7?list=about
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Fiona-McGier/e/B003J8QJGE
Get to know Fiona McGier better by signing up for an email newsletter on her website.

 

Sci Fi Secrets: How Carmen Webster Buxton created the #SciFi book Alien Bonds @CarmenWBuxton #RLFblog #romanceCarmen Webster Buxton, 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.

Alien Bonds by Carmen Webster Buxton

Genre Science fiction romance

Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R for subject but no steam on the page

Welcome to Wakanreo where no one is judged by their looks or their partner in life.

A story of two very different people from two very different cultures, a sort of Avatar combined with Pride and Prejudice. In Alien Bonds, two lives are changed in an instant. Industrial chemist Dina Bellaire travels all the way to the planet Wakanreo to advance her career. Her carefully planned life goes up in flames the second she meets Kuaron Du, a Wakanrean who makes his living singing ancient songs in a dead language. Both of them know they can’t go back to the way they were before they met. They just have to convince the rest of the universe that what happened to them is real.

What species/races of people are in your book?

There are humans, Milorans (very large humanoids), Shuratanians (rather small humanoids) and Wakanreans, large, furred humanoids.

Do you have non-sentient creatures or animals in your story? If so, what are they?

There is a mention of small Wakanrean animals kept as pets but they are not really featured as important.

Language and Culture

This section describes languages and culture in your story world.

What languages are spoken in your story universe?

Most of the galaxy speaks a language called Standard but on Wakanreo, most of the native population grows up speaking their local language of which there are several.

If you created a language for the story, what is it called?

I created a local dialect called Wisutan, for the region around the city of Wisuta.

Please give us a few words in this language and their translation.

Na ha ibum! – Stop that behavior!

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

Wakanreans are the only known sapient species that mate from biology rather than choice. When two people who are unmated and have compatible pheromones come near each other, there is no stopping the process, which is known as shahgunrah. This had made their cultures more egalitarian, as they cannot control who pairs off with whom and thus have no real class system. It has also made them more tolerant. Because sex is not a conscious choice, it is not associated with immorality or sin.

What special laws are important to your story world?

Because the mating process known as shahgunrah has shaped Wakanrean cultures so thoroughly, Wakareans fear to change it. For this reason, research into how shahgunrah works is prohibited on Wakanreo.

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

Equality is not an issue on Wakanreo, but Dina, our heroine, does have to prove she is sane before she is allowed to return to live with Kuaron, the Wakanrean she finds herself mated to.

Story Setting

Writers usually know more about their story world than they can say in a book. This is your chance to show off things you couldn’t say or had to imply rather than state.

Wakanreo will always be different from other worlds because its people are so different. One way in which the difference is obvious is that looks don’t matter. If one person in a mated pair is beautiful and the other is homely as sin, no one pitied the beautiful partner or considers the plain one lucky. Likewise, in careers, looks don’t help you advance.

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.

The story takes place entirely on Wakanreo, the birthplace and home of Kuaron Du, the hero of the story, It’s a world that is very similar to earth as far as size and gravity, but it is a little colder, which might be why it’s dominant species still has fur.

What makes this world unique?

Wakanreo is unique only because its dominant species mates for life through a biological process called shahgunrah.

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.

Until they were discovered and contacted by the Third Confederation of Planets about 70 years before the story starts, Wakanreans were isolated on their world. Their civilization is well established and they are known for their excellent use of chemical technology.

What food or drink is available to your characters?

Wakanreans reject technology when it comes to food. Although synthesizers are available, they prefer to prepare food manually, cooking over a stove or in an oven, as it is important to their culture. They make good use of vegetables but also eat meats. A favorite treat is a sea creature similar to a shrimp but it is served with a garnish of mold.

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 made a rough sketch of the continent on which the story takes place so I would know where cities were in relation to each other, but I did not use it that often and did not keep it.

Character Physiology

Whether your characters are humans on a new world, aliens on our world, or something in between, this section discusses their physical nature.

What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?

The heroine is human but the hero, Kuaron Du, is Wakanrean. Wakanreans are a little taller than humans. They are humanoid in shape, but they are a little taller, and are covered in fur and have retractable claws on their fingers; the claws on their toes do not retract,

What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?

Wakanreans speak aloud, as humans do, but when shahgunrah happens, the mated couple are empathic, but only with each other.

Optional:

What differences, if any, exist in the way your characters reproduce?

Although the selection of a mate is different, reproduction happens the same was for humans and Wakanreans, They are actually very similar because like us, their genetics are based on DNA, just as ours are.

Are there more than two genders in your story world and if so, what are they?

There are only two genders, but as same-sex shahgunrah (mating) sometimes take place, Wakanreans have always been tolerant of it; everyone knows there is no choice involved in shahgunrah.

Sharing World Building Expertise

This section lets you share things you learned while writing.

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

Try to think of something that’s different about the world—gravity, atmosphere, land masses, etc. 1) Ask yourself questions about the geography of the planet: Does it have oceans? Does it have continents or maybe only islands? 2) Then think of how the geography would influence the creatures who live there, intelligent and otherwise. 3) Next decide on who or what lives on this world? Does it have a dominant, sapient species? If so, what are they like and how advanced are they, technologically. Consider on the impact that contact with other species will have on this world.

When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?

I thought about making Wakarean eyes have vertical pupils, like cats’ eyes have, but researching it, I discovered that only species that are near the ground when they walk tend to have those kinds of pupils. Ergo, I rejected it; it actually worked better for them to have similar pupils to humans have them, because it made one less thing to account for in having hybrid human and Wakanrean individuals.

What things should writers avoid when building a science fiction world?

Don’t make it totally uniform! Think about all the different cultures we have on earth. There should be similar differences on a made-up world, depending on how far apart areas are geographically. Also, don’t ignore the effects of whatever physiology you choose to give your aliens. That could influence a culture; for example, a species with a highly developed sense of smell could have taboos about using strong scents such as perfume or incense.

Share a resource you found helpful when researching for your story.

The web in general is useful. Google is a good start for finding sources. The actual source will depend on what information you’re looking for.

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

Think it through before you start plotting your story, or at least before you finish deciding on the outcome. Try to imagine living on the world you’re creating. What would strike you as different?

Where to buy Alien Bonds

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07959BHM4

Carmen Webster Buxton Social Media

Carmen writes science fiction, fantasy, YA, and romance. She had a peripatetic childhood, as her father was in the US Navy. She has lived in eight different states, but no matter where she lived, she was always reading books. Her tastes were eclectic, ranging from mysteries to science fiction to romance. Having raised two wonderful children, she has settled in Maryland with her husband and a beagle named Cosmo.
Website https://carmenspage.blogspot.com/
Blog https://carmenspage.blogspot.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/CarmenWBuxton
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/carmenwebster.buxton
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4770583.Carmen_Webster_Buxton
BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carmen-webster-buxton
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Carmen-Webster-Buxton/e/B004V8MM8U

 

Sci Fi Secrets: How Lyndi Alexander wrote Triad #RLFblog #SciFi #SpaceOperaLyndi 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.

Triad by Lyndi Alexander

Genre science fiction, space opera

Book heat level (based on movie ratings): G

Being at war doesn’t stop the pain of old secrets, the joy of love, or the black hearts of space pirates, as three women commanders discover in Triad, from Dragonfly Publishing.

On the planet Induna, Trezanna Len leads the Solarii, a small colony of beings, human and otherwise, who believe in the right to pursue a peaceful life free from interference from others. She’d never intended to be the one people counted on, but after she’d been dismissed from her unit at Space Force, she’d drifted along till she found this place mostly populated with travelers from the Terran Diaspora. She’d been welcomed and made comfortable; now she believes the Solarii should do the same for others seeking shelter.

Of course, no situation is free from trouble. The thorn in Trezanna’s side is another group on a neighboring planet, Miramar: Dragonfleet. Always contentious, this group has become even more aggressive after the ambitious climb to power of Estrella Drake. The unbalanced and self-centered Estrella has lost many of the former Dragonfleet members disillusioned with her petulant rule, including an organized splinter faction called the Khimeyr, who left five years ago.

Trezanna has been able to handle Estrella’s little incursions into her space, marking them up to the price to co-exist. The exercise keeps her pilots and fighters in good practice. This turns out to be a blessing when the well-armed Arkosian space pirates decide they’d like to take the sector that includes both Miramar and Induna. But Trezanna’s Solarii cannot handle this attack on their own.

The last time the pirates entered this area of space, Dragonfleet and the Solarii stood together to repel them, but that’s when cooler heads ruled at Miramar.

Help comes from a most unexpected source, but one that has its own hidden agendas. Three women, Trezanna, Estrella and Catava Rolon, must work out their differences if they are to defeat the pirates and survive.

What species/races of people are in your book? Descendants of Terran humans; Eponans, who are humanoid, but squat, hairless and witty; the Viorn, a lavender-skinned humanoid with feline characteristics and markings, eyes solid black with no iris

Language and Culture

This section describes languages and culture in your story world.

What languages are spoken in your story universe?

Most of the groups speak Terran English, whether Australian, American or British descent. Rumadan, the Viorn rolls her r’s like a cat purring.

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

I’d like to say the fact they live in a constant state of war, but I guess that’s not so different from our world at the moment.

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

The Solarii, the Khymehr, Dragonfleet, and the Arkosian space pirates are all fighting over the same bit of space, claiming they have the right to control it.

Story Setting

Writers usually know more about their story world than they can say in a book. This is your chance to show off things you couldn’t say or had to imply rather than state.

Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.

Miramar is the home of Dragonfleet, and its climate borders on desert. Parts of the planet are more livable, and Estrella Drake’s headquarters are there. On the whole,

Dragonfleet tends to be a raucous, lawless group, subject to frequent power grabs and overthrows by combat. Many are more interested in internal politics, and less at being farmers, so the land is barely cultivated. This makes for a society conducive to scavenging and taking what others have, rather than make a heartfelt effort to improve conditions for themselves.

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.

Trezanna Len and the others are the remains of a colony dropped on the planet Induna in the past few decades. War with the space pirates has cost them dearly in attrition over the years, and ensuing squabbles with other small colonies has only exacerbated this.

What food or drink is available to your characters?

The Solarii are able to grow some imported Terran fruits and vegetables that they brought with them, but mostly they deal with canned and potted goods traded with other small colonies around the area.

Character Physiology

Whether your characters are humans on a new world, aliens on our world, or something in between, this section discusses their physical nature.

What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?

Most are humans, descended from Terran stock. The Space Force regulated the Diaspora, opening doors for those moving to the outer worlds with the aliens who inhabited these places. Most tend to cling to their own kind, though.

What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?

Because there are different species as described above, they’ve settled on Terran English as a standard language. Other than that, they use the standard tech for communication, that has translation software built in.

Sharing World Building Expertise

This section lets you share things you learned while writing.

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

Building a large enough cast to tell several stories simultaneously–this gives an author the opportunity to show many different facets of the world/society

The devil is truly in the details–let your reader hear, smell and taste what your characters do.

In speculative fiction, the sky (and beyond!) is the limit–step out of the box!

What things should writers avoid when building a science fiction world?

Making it too cookie cutter. Find something unique and interesting about each one of your cultures and characters.

Share a resource you found helpful when researching for your story.

Some of the Star Trek resource books–I’m no rocket scientist, but it’s helpful to have a general blueprint of what systems are inherently constructed in spaceships and what you can do with them.

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

Think beyond the surface story line. For example, listen to the news for a day–they talk about economics, politics, food, culture, opinions and who makes them, all of which might not matter at this moment to your pilot flying his shuttle into a spaceport, but which probably impact his life in big-picture ways over the course of your entire tale.

Where to buy Triad

Publisher http://www.dfpbooks.com/dfp/lyndialexander.html
Amazon Paperback https://www.amazon.com/dp/193638132X/
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940014113014
iBooks https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/triad/id505663131?mt=11
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/triad-4
Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/129399?ref=dfpbooks

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/triad/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lyndialexander13/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13490585-triad
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Lyndi-Alexander/e/B005GDYPU2

 

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/

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

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