Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Geeks and Alpha Heroes

I can admit it, I’m a geek girl. I’ve spent my life so far in one geek profession or another. My coworkers have been mostly male and usually geeks. So, I’ve indeed fallen for a guy based on his Star Wars action-figure collection (not kidding, I married him) — mostly because he’s the only person I know who would actually debate with me how the Ewoks’ lesser technology would really never have been able to crush the Imperial forces, or the differences between the old and new Battlestar Galactica. My geek gets, but usually rolls his eyes at, my preference for bad CSS jokes (.ninja {visibility: hidden;}). We IM each other from opposite ends of the couch, with links to new iPhone bling.

Yeah, I’ve got my geek cred.

Logan Cale (Left, Dark Angel’s Logan Cale as portrayed by Michael Weatherly)

We spend a lot of time in Romance talking about “Alpha Heroes” — those larger-than-life wealthy guys in very manly professions sporting muscles (ahem) poking out everywhere. But where are the geek heroes? Really, the brain is the biggest sexual organ, so where are the likes of computer hacker and activist Logan Cale (Dark Angel), linguist Dr. Daniel Jackson (Stargate: SG1), and astrophysicist Dr. Rodney McKay (Stargate: Atlantis)?

Laura Kinsale, I beg you, come back to writing Romance and make your hero a genuine, binary code-writing/particle physics uber geek. (Did I say that out loud?)

(Right, actor Michael Shanks who portrays Stargate’s Dr. Daniel Jackson.)

This type of character hasn’t been totally ignored, though, and here is a list of a few notables I remember reading:
  • Suzanne Brockmann’s Kenny “Wildcard” Karmody: He’s good with a gun, but even better with a computer.

  • Tawny Weber’s Jesse Martinez: another computer geek, he’s a cyber-crime cop on the trail of a hacker, out of his element in the field.

  • Diana Gabaldon’s Jaimie Fraser: “What?!” you’re saying “A geek. . . in an historical?” Oh, yes. Jaimie is a language geek, able to “pick up” Mandarin in a single sea voyage, able to switch between French and Gaelic at will. If Superman wore a kilt and spoke ten languages. . . seriously, go look up Dr. Daniel Jackson.

  • Suzanne Brockmann’s John Nilsson: Another language geek. Nils sends secret messages to the heroine in Welsh. Needless to say, the heroine speaks his language.
(Yes, I know I mentioned Brockmann twice. It’s payback for all those excellent Star Trek references. I actually count the pages until the first one.)

Rodney McKay (Left, Dr. Rodney McKay as portrayed by David Hewlett.)

Who’s to say that being a geek and being an alpha hero are mutually exclusive? I should note here that I make a distinction between alpha “a$$hole” heroes and alpha heroes. The latter are at the top of their game, the former are just arrogant monkeys. Does “top of his game” have to mean that the hero is at the top of his game in all areas of his life? Nope, because then he’d have no journey, no character arc. From this perspective, a geek alpha hero is a guy who has had epic success in some area of his life. In fact, he’s become a Jedi Master in something specific: computer networking, particle physics, tracking down hackers online, languages. Maybe this definition wouldn’t work for something like say, badminton or basket-weaving,* but it can be a useful way to build a well-rounded character. He can still fight the Big Bad just like all those other alpha heroes, he just does it online, in space, or at the edge of the galaxy heading off a war between the K’laxars and the M’rklars over that arrogant pilot’s inadvertent use of the wrong dangling participle.

Who are some of your favorite geek heroes?

Me, I’m fleshing out my French-fluent archaeologist hero, who just so happens to be in impeccable shape from all that fencing practice he needed in order to join the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Or, maybe I oughta give the computer genuis-turned-hacker anti-hero (who finds himself mixed up with a band of ninja jewel thieves, natch) a try. That hasn’t been done yet, has it?

*Unless his Ph.d is in ancient Samoan basket-weaving techniques and the story in question is a time-travel — guess where he gets to go?

Ask an editor RIGHT NOW

There is a Twitter "ask an editor" Q/A discussion underway as I write this! (Began at 2:30 PM EST.)

Lindsey Faber of Samhain
Megan Records of Kensington

Hashtag: #askeditor

Go forth and ask questions!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The post is looking a little lean this week, Brigaders.

I need your news! New releases & dates/jpeg covers/links, contest news, blogging news, giveaways, book signings, awards, signing with an agent/editor, good posts at other blogs, contests, industry news, birthdays...anything is newsworthy.

Send it to me - kyliegriffin (at) clearmail (dot) com (dot) au - no spaces.

Your comms officer,

"Marked For Desire" is out today!!!

Below is a fantastic post by Laurie Green about Piracy. Don't miss it!
But I had to let you all know my book was out. After all, I've done a LOT of whining about this book. LOL!

But FINALLY today is the release day for "Marked For Desire".

If Leo Eyler had any other way to find his enemy, he would use it. A stubborn princess doesn't suit his plans. Unfortunately, Princess Sera Placido is his only clue. The last thing she wants to do is cooperate with a Nyral Dominant who can’t keep his hands off her.

When Leo insists on running her security against the deadly Brotherhood, Sera realizes that assassins and a life-sucking planet may not be the most dangerous thing she has to deal with. Her growing passion for Leo is. For although they clash, he intends to win both her body and her heart, and she's having a hard time resisting.

If they're going to survive, Sera has to learn to submit. Leo teaches her that she's marked for desire.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, BDSM theme and elements, female/female interaction, moresome (m/f/f/m with homoerotic interaction), voyeurism.

You can buy it HERE.

Piracy on the High E's

One of the greatest concerns to e-published authors today is the issue of piracy of their work.  While a print book can also be shared with a few friends, an e-book can be uploaded to a pirate site and "shared" with hundreds, or even thousands, of readers.  This costs the authors in terms of earnings, and possibly even their careers if legitimate sales don't warrant further contracts. 

Many readers don't understand the implications of piracy or the serious impact to the author.  They simply see it as getting a free read of one or more of their favorite author's novels--how fun.  Not!  These fans may not be aware they are helping to damage the career of someone whose work they admire and follow.

Though a few publishers and authors have been successful at having their work removed from piracy sites, it's a small and temporary fix, at best.  How do we, as authors and potential authors, help fight piracy?

In An Open Letter to John Scalzi, Scott Turow, Allison Kelley, Rowena Cherry of Alien Romances blog suggests one step that might be undertaken to help fight piracy.  Consider supporting the cause by chiming in with your thoughts, sharing the link on your blogs and web sites, and opening up this topic for further discussion. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hailing On All Frequencies!

MELTING IRON by Laurann Dohner is available from Ellora's Cave on June 30th. 

Nathalie Gray's CHIMERA comes out July 1st from Red Sage Publishing. 

Madeline Drake’s debut, sexy paranormal BLOOD HERO is due for release on July 9th 2010 from eXcessica.

ENEMY WITHIN is Marcella Burnard’s new release from Berkley Sensation, due out in November 2010.

THE MYTHMAKERS by Robert Appleton is out now in e-book format with Samhain and is to be released in paperback in late 2010. 
Marva Dasef's FIRST DUTY is now out in ebook & print (see below for links).

On June 24th, Jaleta Clegg posted the next installment of her main feature series - The Best Job in the World on the SFRB blog.

Katherine Allred posted a blog interview on Star-Crossed Romance, Friday, 25th June.

Kay Manro had special guest author, April Vine from The Wild Rose Press visiting her blog on June 21st.

Donna S.Frelick's post We Love Our Bad Science is now up over at The Spacefreighters Lounge.

Verona St.James has her latest Summer of SFR review on NO WORDS ALONE by Autumn Dawn posted on her blog. 

Kylie Griffin has the first & second of four posts of her World-Building series up on her blog. She also has paranormal romance author, Nalini Singh, visiting to chat about her latest release, BONDS OF JUSTICE, among other things, on July 2nd. There's a free book of Nalini's up for grabs to one lucky commenter (see more below in Giveaways).

Hywela Lyn is taking part in Coffee Time Reviews' June Jubilee. Join her at her Forum there on June 16th, where she'll be talking about her books and holding another contest. She's also chatting about horses and other animal friends in the hobbies section there.

Frances Pauli's SFR serial, Space Slugs, just received an "editor's pick" at . She receives a medal from them in recognition of her achievement. If you'd like to read her free space opera serial check out this link.

Marva Dasef  is in the process of re-releasing FIRST DUTY, a YA SFR originally published in June, 2008 by Sam's Dot Publishing. The romance is non-physical, suitable for young kids. She classifies it as Space Opera a la Robert Heinlein's juveniles.

Nyra Hutchings, a young woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where her first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.

FIRST DUTY is available in Print and Kindle. 

Marva Dasef has also just sold ULTIMATE DUTY, sequel to FIRST DUTY, to Eternal Press (publication date to be set).

Space Invaders with Laurie Green visits the blog and website towards the end of the week - I hope you all have your best alien hunting gear packed and ready!

Nalini Singh is Kylie Griffin's guest blogger on July 2nd and they have an autographed copy of ARCHANGEL'S Kiss to give away to one lucky commenter.  Visit her blogsite for more details.

With Marva Dasef's re-release of FIRST DUTY, she has a special for SFRB members: A free ebook of your choice of formats. Just hit the link at Smashwords for a pre-release copy. Use Coupon Code VA49Y on checkout.

In honor of the release of her debut e-book, BLOOD HERO, Madeline Drake’s holding a drawing for a $25 gift certificate on July 9th. You can enter up to three times:

1. Sign up for my mailing list: Click on “Newsletter” at and enter your email address
2. “Like” me on Facebook:!/pages/Madeleine-Drake/342173467949
3. “Friend” me on Myspace: 

Welcome to our newest members!
  • Mary Anne Landers
  • Amber Norris
  • Shelley Munro 

RT BOOK REVIEWS and Kensington's Brava division are proud to bring you "Writing With the Stars" a writing competition that will offer one lucky Aspiring Author a publishing deal!

Ten contestants will compete through five rounds of judging. The contestants will be mentored by a Brava author who will help the contestants' manuscripts become the best they can be. Each of the rounds will include comments from celebrity judges from the romance blogsphere. Those picked to compete will get their own webpage on the Brava Authors blog and the RT website. And the winner of Writing With the Stars will get a publishing contract with Brava.

Each prospective contestant must have completed 80,000 - 90,000 word manuscript in any romance genre (contemporary, historical, romantic suspense and paranormal) with a sensuality tone that matches the Brava line.

Entries will be accepted from July 1st to July 15, 2010 and only the first 500 participants will be considered.

Competition details at:

Eternal Press are looking for Holiday Stories.
Deadline: August 31st, 2010

The Holidays are just around the corner! We are currently seeking submissions that pertain to the holidays. Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Samhain, New Years, Valentines, St. Patrick's Day.any holiday at all! This call for submissions will be open until the end of don't delay, send in your sub now!

We are accepting:

Novellas, and full-length manuscripts from 20,000-140,000 words.

Genres: Romance, Erotica, GBLT and BDSM, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense, Thriller, Historical, Young Adult.

We are particularly interested in:
  • Erotica
  • Paranormal (vampire/shapeshifter/witch)
  • GBLT
  • Romance
  • BDSM
  • Young Adult
  • Longer length novellas and novels
We are currently NOT seeking:
  • Short Stories
  • Short story collections or anthologies
  • Poetry
  • Non fiction
  • Religious genre fiction. Thematic elements of spiritual beliefs are welcome, but we are not currently publishing stories that fall into the religious category.
Eternal Press pays 40% royalties on net revenue to the Author for eBooks and 25% net on revenue for print. We hold all rights for five (5) years from date of publication.
Eternal Press submission guidelines at:

Blue Leaf Publications (Indigo Blue eBooks) calls for submissions.

They are looking for:

  • science fiction: hard/soft/space opera
  • fantasy: urban/shapeshifter/modern
  • romance: science fiction/futuristic
  • romance: paranormal/werewolf
  • other 'spec fic' works with similar themes
Length: 35000 - 90000words.
Stories without a "happily ever after" are acceptable.
Reprints by established authors considered.
Complete guidelines at

Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize
PR Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers have launched a new award for aspiring debut novelists, The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize.

Transworld will offer the winning author a publishing contract with a £20,000 advance.

Terry Pratchett said: "We are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time."

Entrants must be aged more than 18 years, have no previous published full-length works of fiction and live in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth.

Submit a complete and previously unpublished work of fiction of not less than 80,000 words and not more than 150,000 words aimed at adult readers and written in the English language (Novel); and a synopsis of the Novel in the English language of no more than 600 words.

Submissions should be emailed. Closing date for submissions is December 31, 2010. For detail, see the website.

Note: The announcement of submission calls is for informational purposes only and does not indicate endorsement of the publisher. All authors are cautioned to thoroughly research any potential publisher before making a decision on the sales of their work or signing a contract.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Free Stuff for Spouting Your Opinions? What's not to like?

As a cash-poor and struggling artist, I'm always on the lookout for free promo. Guest Blogs, interviews, yadda, yadda.

But one of the other options is with Long and Short of It Reviews. Reviewers with LASR earn points for every review. Points are in turn redeemable for gift certs to support our reading habits or as FREE ADVERTISING!!! on the LASR/Whipped Cream/ Aurora sites.

Free is one of my favorite words.

LASR is the mainstream romance review site, Whipped Cream the erotic site, and Aurora is for the YA work. You can pick and choose and review whatever you please. The variety is astounding and there's definitely something for everyone.

Reviewers are only required to turn in two reviews per month - that's not so bad since most of us are opinionated and voracious readers anyway. Fact is, it's such a busy place these days, they desperately need more reviewers. In order to sign up, see the info here:

And if you do, please feel free to mention my name as referring you -

Thank you!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sorry to ask but...

PhotobucketI hope it's OK to ask for votes, but if it is, could I ask for the vote of folks here please? My lovely cover by Tamra Westberry, for 'Children Of The Mist' has been entered for the Classic Romance Revival Cover Contest and with so much going on, I hadn't realised it was this month and not next - so if you have a moment and like my cover I would SO appreciate your vote, sorry to ask but there's not a lot of time left and I'm in the middle of judging a short story contest among other things so haven't a lot of time to pomote.

Here's the link (the voting panel is on the right hand side of the page, there.)

Thanks so much - I won't make a habit of this sort of thing, I promise!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Best Day Job in the Universe - Not Today

I’ve posted about the glamorous, exciting parts of my job. This week it’s been nothing like that. My summer job at the space center involves food, lots of it. For anyone who has never done food service, it’s a long, hard, physically exhausting job. Not glamorous. Not exciting, unless the food burns. It’s messy, dirty work, but it’s so necessary to a successful camp.

No one ever writes about the cooks and janitors on the space stations and starships. Did they ever get screen time on Star Trek? Nope. Food magically appeared from a replicator. No one is ever shown scrubbing the bridge floor. But it’s a fact of life those jobs have to be done. We don’t have Rosie the Robot yet.

My husband found me sobbing in the bedroom one day. My problem? My characters had exciting, grand adventures. I spent my days wiping butts and noses, scrubbing dishes that just had to be scrubbed again a few minutes later, washing clothes that were just going to get dirty again. Life just isn’t very exciting for 99.9% of us.

Escapism. That’s why we write fiction. That’s what the space center delivers with each mission. But just like any other job, the space center requires non-glamorous jobs. During the summer, I spend my time in the kitchen. During the school year, I spend most of my time playing secretary and impersonating my boss on the phone.

So maybe the next novel I write will be about a janitor on a space station. But it won’t be about her everyday job. No one wants to read about that. We want excitement, intrigue, romance, suspense - we want escapism. We want dreams. We want space travel!

Sorry, my inner geek has escaped again. Time to make a big bowl of eyeball jello for dinner tonight...

Thursday Tag Party for 6/24/10

If seventh graders can find a cave skylight on Mars (check out Mars Daily for that), we can surely find some SFR to tag this week. And look - we have!

There's a lot of fiction out there from which to choose. Make it easier for our readers to find us and help out members grow more and more visible by tagging.
(Sirius visible rather than merely Kappa Velorum visible)

A brief step by step if it's your first time in the tag squadron:
  • Go to the Amazon buy page (I've included the links below)
  • Scroll down to the Tags Customers Associate with this Product header
  • Look for these tags: SFR, Scifi Romance, SF Romance, Science Fiction Romance and Paranormal Romance - please feel free to add any extra tags you feel are appropriate to the work (i.e. Space Opera, Military SF, etc.)
  • If the tags are already there, just click on them to add your 'vote'
  • If not, type them into the 'your tags' box to add them (no need to save the page, just type and add)

Thirteen Souls by Larion Wills

7% and Rising by Kim Knox

Unclaimed by Nathalie Gray

Watery Deep by Roxane Smolen

Seek Out and Tag, oh faithful brigaders! And if you or a member you know has a book out on Amazon that we haven't featured yet, send me a note at .

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Yes, it's that time of week again.

Send me your news, folks! - kyliegriffin (at) clearmail (dot) com (dot) au - no spaces.

Your comms officer,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First Duty Now on Amazon in Kindle

Hi All:

I recently got back my rights to "First Duty." Rather than re-up for additional print-only from my publisher, I chose to publish this YA space opera on my own. It's now available on Kindle for only .99. Did you know you can get the Kindle reader for PC for free? If not, then avail yourself of the opportunity and buy my YA scifi, First Duty. If you've been considering getting an e-reader, price wars are on! A refurbished Kindle reader can now be purchased for a mere $139.

First Duty
Nyra Hutchings, a young woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where her first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.


The art of pseudo-science

So you want to write a SF romance.
But you are no scientist. You are an author. The story is buzzing in your head, threatening to split it, the characters are alive and grumbling at you to let them out to play.
But the science???
Welcome to the SF writer's nightmare.
Where I am stuck right now.I am no geneticist, but I want to write about cloning and its ethics, its consequences, its limitations, and how it affects people's lives in my story.
But is a bone enough to reconstruct the DNA - or is a frozen tissue sample needed? If the reconstructed DNA is inserted in a modern human ovum, is it cloning? is it reconstructing? is it something else?
Will the readers know all this or not? As soon as the readers began doubting the truth of the science, the story is labeled as "paranormal". That wouldn't bother me - hey, I write paranormal! I love it!
But I also want to write SF. I want it to be separate from magic. I want a scientific-sounding explanation.
The books of the Anita Blake series are labeled as paranormal even if she treats vampirism and lycanthropy as diseases - infections which can be treated to a point and cured or transmitted to others.
So what are the limits of SF? Is something that isn't entirely explained in scientific terms and/or with the knowledge we have of science right now (and the speculations for the near future) not SF but paranormal?
I was just wondering, and wondering if you face such dilemmas too. :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hailing On All Frequencies!

Michelle Marquis’s book HUNTERS (co-written with Lindsey Bayer) comes out today (June 21st) from Carina Press.


Madeline Drake’s debut, sexy paranormal, BLOOD HERO is due for release on July 9th, 2010 from eXcessica.

ENEMY WITHIN is Marcella Burnard’s new release from Berkley Sensation, due out in November 2010.

Brynn Chapman’s book PROJECT MENDEL was released from Highland Press in February 2010.

THE MYTHMAKERS by Robert Appleton is out now in e-book format with Samhain and is to be released in paperback in late 2010.

WITH A TOUCH is Rhiannon Leith’s latest sci-fi romance from Samhain.

Sara Creasy’s SONG OF SCARABAEUS is out now with EOS (the SF imprint of HarperCollins).

Heather Massey posted "Romance & SF, Sittin' in a Tree..." over on this week. A post about romance & sf, and the changing nature of sci-fi. Will this new hybrid genre gain popularity in today's marketplace? Check out her post.

Brigader Meghan Schuessler talked about Blogging Etiquette on her site - she asks, What’s your stance on following and commenting? 

Rae Lori is visiting Coffee Time Romance’s June Jubilee throughout this month and will spotlight on June 26th.

Marva Dasef has posted on the SFRB forums about a YA SFR book offer for Brigaders.

Brigader Marva Dasef’s Cadida and the Djinn - Poor Little Rich Girl will be published in the July 2010 issue of Lorelei Signal.

In April, Robert Appleton signed a new contract with Moongypsy Press for THE TEMPORAL MAN, a time travel fantasy romance (novella).

Our first weekend activity--Space Invaders--started today and will wrap Sunday night (organised by Laurie Green).  She'll also be doing some spiffing up of the blog this weekend, catching up the points tally, the member roster and calculating our new member tally, deleting outdated pages and starting a new Book Tag Party listing of all books we've tagged to date. Thanks, Laurie!

Donna S. Frelick's sci-fi romance --UNCHAINED MEMORY -- has finaled in the Virginia Romance Writers Fool for Love contest (paranormal category).  This is Donna's first final.

And, hot off the sub-space airwaves - Donna S.Frelick has also finalled in the TARA Contest with the same manuscript. Way to go, Donna!!! She must be orbiting Jupiter about now with that double success. :-)

In honor of the release of her debut e-book, BLOOD HERO, Madeline Drake’s holding a drawing for a $25 gift certificate on July 9th. You can enter up to three times:
1. Sign up for my mailing list: Click on “Newsletter” at and enter your email address
2. “Like” me on Facebook:!/pages/Madeleine-Drake/342173467949
3. “Friend” me on Myspace:

Ripping Ozzie Reads (a spec-fic site) has fantasy author, Rowena Corey Daniells discussing Deep Point of View.

The Blood-Red Pencil has also a great post on deep POV.

BookEnds LLC hosts Christie Craig on Writing Advice - a good post on following your heart in writing.

I was surfing Austar (pay TV) when I caught a short for a program on synthetic life and it was enough to pique my curiosity. So, I went searching the web for more information and the author in me immediately started to play What If...

Imagine it - man-made DNA - consider the implications, opportunities, ethical and moral issues this will spark...fodder for a novel?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

And the Winners Are...

Thanks to all who played our Space Invaders game.  Almost all the aliens were apprehended and our web site is once again under our control.  The alien ship, however, was never found, so a couple of escapees may be back to wreck havoc another day.

Our champion Brigader in Black and alien apprehender extraordinaire is Frances Pauli who managed to feret out a dozen of the alien beasties hiding amongst the forums, info pages, application and even photo descriptions.  Great job, Frances!

Your prize:  A choice of the Avatar DVD or Cameron's Avatar, a 60 Minutes documentary with the film maker  (or the second places prizes, if you'd prefer one of those.)

For Runner-Up Champion Brigaders in Black we have a tie between Donna S. Frelick and Anna McLain, both who found half a dozen of the sneaky species.

Your prizes:  A choice of Katherine Allred's Alien Affairs books--Close Encounters and just released Close Contact OR a SFR Brigade mug OR your choice of any item in the new SFR Brigade store.

Please email me your prize choice and snail mail address to Lgreen2162 (at) aol (dot) com.



The Hidden Aliens:
1. Calendar - July 2, 2010
2. Forums - Stephen Hawking Time Machine
3. Forums - April 25 SitRep by blame it on my aide.
4. Forums - April 25 SitRep by Lianna brooks library
5. Forums – Shout Out! May 11, 2010 comment by Laurie Green, 2nd paragraph
6. News - Incoming Transmissions post on May 25 in comments
7. News – Daphne du Maurier finals
8. Photos - In photo description of Skiffy Rommer photo
9. Application – Please tell us why you’d like to join.
10. Members only SFR Brigade Buttons and Products hidden in code
11. About Us – Ready Stormtroopers - Facilitators
12. About Us – Long Range Trajectory - Charter an RWA Special Interest Chapter
13. History – between Heather Massey and DL Jackson
14. Under upcoming calendar events listing on any page

The camouflaged ship:  The only clue was from an eye witness who described it as“something like a weird stick dragonfly."  The ship was expertly camouflaged on the Members Only page in the midst of a string of Zazzle code, ala...(ship is highlighted in red)

...23849608992321 0--###--)-)-)< 2999...

Diabolic hiding place, no?

Thanks for playing! 

SFR Brigade Store

We now have a store.  For anyone interested in viewing SFR Brigade products with the great icon that Kanaxa designed, you can visit it here:

SFR Brigade Store

We make a few cents on each item ordered which will be applied to future button and information card orders to help defray the costs to individuals.

Currently, we have pins, stickers, stationary, and postage stamps available.  Unfortunately, Zazzle is a bit glitchy about adding some items to our lineuup and I haven't been able to get this problem resolved with them, so we can't post all the items we'd like to make available, such as mugs, mousepads, tote bags, tshirts, etc. 

I'll be scouting out a Cafe Press store to see if we can get other products offered through them. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Duty

Nyra Hutchings, a young woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where her first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.

A special for my fellow Brigaders: A free ebook of your choice of formats. Just click this link to Smashwords. Use Coupon Code VA49Y on checkout.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Weekend Activity

Space Invaders!

Welcome to our first weekend fun activity.  We just received an alert that our SFR Brigade web site has been invaded by aliens!  An advance assault squad has landed, camouflaged their ship and scattered themselves throughout the web site, where they lie in wait for unsuspecting victims. 

Sound the alert!  We're calling for our Brigaders in Black (BiB) to locate and contain the interlopers before they can carry out mischief, mayhem or abductions.  Help us apprehend these extraterrestrial interlopers. 

This is an artist rendering of the aliens:


We don't have detailed intel on their ship or its location, except for the sketchy description of one eye witness who said it "looks something like a weird stick dragonfly."

How many aliens can you locate?  Compile a list of those you find by identifying their specific location (examples:  Forums--RWA--Get Together--first entry or Home page--welcome message--end of second  paragraph)  and when you're done email your list to Lgreen2162 (at) aol (dot) com with SPACE INVADERS in the subject line.  You'll receive one point for each alien you successfully apprehend.  If you can locate their ship, copy and paste it into the email for three bonus points.  In case of ties, the earliest response will be the winner.

Those who bag the most bad guys save the universe and receive rewards.  Winners and prizes will be announced Sunday night.

Have fun!

If you crossed Mr Spock with my cat you'd end up with ........

Hell if I know. But the possibilities are there when you're developing new characters.
Just think about it for a minute.
What a bizarre mix! The logic and coldness of Spock mixed in with the ruthless, killer instincts of a cat.
What a hero!
What a villain!
How about the deeply hidden passions of Spock mixed in with the passionate affectionate qualities of a cat.
What a heroine!
What a villain!
Just think of what genetics could come up.
The possibilities are out there. Just jump on the imagination super roller-coaster and hang on for the ride of your life.

An interview with Kate Kaynak

Pop on over to Para-fanatics this afternoon at to celebrate and launch the release of Kate Kaynak's new young adult science fiction romance, Minder, that's out today.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Best Day Job in the Universe - The Joy of Teaching

Last week I introduced you to the fun of my job. Playing with starship simulators is definitely entertaining, but the real power of my job comes from the teaching. It's a lot like writing except the payoff is more immediate.

How do you feel when a fan contacts you to tell you they loved your book? Warm fuzzies all over. Knowing you have touched a child's mind is powerful. We as writers are long-distance teachers. We say we're just providing entertainment, but think about what's buried in your story. What lessons are you teaching your readers? Compassion? Loyalty? Persistence? Look at what your characters value. Look at what they do to finally win against the odds. Those are the lessons you teach through your writing.

I'm a teacher, by training and profession. At the space center, I run our planetarium and write the lesson plans we use for the field trip groups. The best pay for my job is hearing the kids whispering in the planetarium, pointing out the stars to their friends. I love sharing my passion for astronomy. It's powerful when you make a connection with someone. Listen to the awe in their voices on their first time seeing the wonders of space, finding a constellation, or just plain looking up at night. I'm opening their eyes to the glory and beauty that exists all around us.

Three of us teach at the center. We had a huge discussion a couple years ago about the objective of our lessons. Teachers usually teach for comprehension and understanding. Repetition is key to that kind of teaching. We had an epiphany as we discussed our upcoming lesson for the school year. We weren't teaching for comprehension. Our whole objective was to throw information at the children as fast as we could. We wanted even the brightest student in the class to leave with more questions than answers. We wanted them to glimpse how much we didn't know yet about space and time and physics. We pushed those little 5th and 6th graders clear into college physics on a regular basis. With only 45 minutes at best, we can't teach a topic for comprehension. But we can raise questions and introduce concepts.

We pull out all the stops, producing a multimedia presentation with as many experiments and demonstrations and eye-catching decorations as we can finagle. We have to at least pretend to compete with the simulators. Some days, it falls flat. The kids are bored and restless or rude and obnoxious. It happens. But if I touch even one young mind, I have succeeded.

With my writing, it's the same way. We as authors touch one mind at a time. We aren't going to win over every person who reads, but we can touch those who resonate with our stories. We can make a difference one life at a time.

This turned into more of an essay about the power of teaching than one about the space center, but teaching and education are central to what we do at the space center. Even the simulators exist as teaching tools. Most of our staff and customers don't realize it; they think they are there for entertainment. But I know better.

To borrow a quote from Christa McAuliffe, the teacher the center is named after, "I touch the future. I teach."

Thursday Tag Party for 6/17/10

Ah, Thursday - the scent of tagging is in the air. Fingers ready? Let's Bag 'em and Tag 'em!

Support each other and the community - you are the chosen. (OK, so I was watching Buffy this evening, so sue me.)

A brief step by step if it's your first time in the tag squadron:
  • Go to the Amazon buy page (I've included the links below)
  • Scroll down to the Tags Customers Associate with this Product header
  • Look for these tags: SFR, Scifi Romance, SF Romance, Science Fiction Romance and Paranormal Romance - please feel free to add any extra tags you feel are appropriate to the work (i.e. Space Opera, Military SF, etc.)
  • If the tags are already there, just click on them to add your 'vote'
  • If not, type them into the 'your tags' box to add them (no need to save the page, just type and add)
I thought we'd do a few of our newer members works - come on in, guys! The SFR water's fine!

Solar Skies by Dawn Montgomery

Dominion by Michael Barnette

Subtle Invasion by Lynn Crain

Beautiful Death by Joely Sue Burkhart'

And please remember, folks, if you have a book YOU would like featured, email me at If you leave it up to me, I'll pick whatever I please. Mwahahaha! (OK, OK, I said I was watching Buffy... sheesh.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reminder: HOAF news!

The last few weeks I've been surfing Brigaders websites and blogs for news, blog posts and interesting information to put in HOAF. This is a fun, if time consuming project, and with my personal schedule starting to get busier I'm now limiting the time I spend ferreting out information.

So, now that you've seen just what sorts of thing I can promote with HOAF, please send me your news - kyliegriffin(at)clearmail(dot)com(dot)au

Please don't forget web-links, your web address etc. as pertinent promotional information!

Your Communications Officer

Monday, June 14, 2010

Walking the Line in SFR

World Building Versus Info Dumping

First off, let me just remind everyone of one thing -- as Abraham Lincoln said, you can’t please all the people all the time. So, it’s unlikely anyone is ever going to be able to create the “perfect book”, one where they world build with the exact right amount of data and detail without any form of info dumping…at least according to the entire reading population.

You can write the most popular book in the world, but there will always be those who don’t care for it, some of them virulently. It’s the nature of art because everyone truly IS a critic: No matter what you do creatively, someone will always find fault with it.

Gini’s Definitions
World Building -- creating the sense of place and time so the reader/viewer is included into the story with a sense of acceptance or wonder and is able to suspend disbelief.

Info Dumping -- too much information, over-abundance of information, detracting from the reader’s/viewer’s enjoyment.

Info Lack -- The lack of enough information, which can leave the reader/viewer confused, annoyed, and ultimately dissatisfied because there isn’t enough explanation to allow disbelief to remain suspended.

Genre Needs Are Different

World building is important in every genre, but possibly most important in science fiction and fantasy. In these genres, authors are taking readers to a place that either exists only in the author’s imagination, or sharing events that can only or have only happened in the author’s imagination. This makes world building vital to a reader’s understanding of what’s going on, their ability to “see” the world and situations the author’s taken them too.

Romantic sparks are vital to a romance. But romance isn’t a requirement in science fiction OR fantasy. There’s plenty of romance in both, but not enough to be accepted as a natural part of the SF/F genre overall. If there’s romance, most times it’s not front and center, and many times it’s not integral to the plot.

But all that’s different with Science Fiction Romance. In this cross-genre/sub-genre, the romance is as important as the science fiction, or at least it’s darned close. (There are debates raging about Romantic Science Fiction vs. Science Fiction Romance, but I’m not getting into that here -- that’s for others to discuss and decide. For this purpose, SFR or RSF are the same: there’s a lot of romance in that science fiction story.)

Herein lies the crux of the problem. Science fiction readers expect world building. They expect to have the science explained. You can’t say, “he moved at supersonic speed” without, somewhere along the line, explaining how that’s possible. Traveling to a new world? You’d better have some explanation for how the space flight will work. Depending on your SF -- hard or soft -- you’ll have to explain a lot or a little, but explain you will. Because science fiction readers expect it, and if you don’t do it, they can’t buy your situations.

Romance readers, on the other hand, are willing to take a lot of the world building as a given, as long as they find the characters’ romantic situation compelling enough. They’re willing to accept what the author says at face value, because what they care about most is how believable, fun, romantic, spicy, etc., the romance actually is. Their focus is on the relationships between the characters more than the characters’ relationships to the world.

I’m not saying that romance readers aren’t discerning. They are. But what they’re looking for is at odds with what most science fiction readers are looking for. They want a central relationship they can sink their teeth into and become emotionally invested in, far more than they want to understand the inner workings of black hole technology.

I’m not saying that science fiction readers don’t care about characters and relationships. They do. But what they want is a believable world, a situation that they can buy into, and proof that it could actually happen, far more than they want a romantic happily ever after.

Cater…a Little
I personally think it’s a lot easier to get the romance side to come over to SF, than the SF side to go to romance. Books shelving in the SF/F section will have a better chance of garnering both SF and romance readers -- the SF ones because the book is on “their” shelves, the romance ones most likely from buzz, be it word of mouth, reviews, or social networking.

Yes, I’m suggesting you cater more to the SF side and put in a little more of the world building and scientific explanations than you might in a straight romance. The key phrase is “a little”. Too much and you run the risk of losing the romance side. Too little, though, and you’ll lose the SF side. And as much as it pains me to write this, it’s easier and less frustrating for a reader to skim (ack!) over some explanation they’re not interested in than to wonder why and how some character can achieve some feat that appears impossible.

Walk the Line
I follow a rule here -- please your publisher. If you’re pubbing with an imprint that does no romance (like I do, since I’m with DAW Books), the SF side is always going to take precedence. If you’re with a romance imprint, the romance side will take the lead, most likely per your editor’s requirements.

Find a romance reader(s) if you’re heavy on SF. Find an SF reader(s) if you’re heavy on romance. Have them read your MS and tell you where they stumbled. Change what you can/agree with.

So, once that’s done, how to still ensure the other ‘half’ of your potential readership enjoys your book? What’s a science fiction romance author to do? What any other writer should do: Write the story you want, that your editor approves, that your publisher wants to put onto the bookshelves. And know you’ll never please everyone, so you’d better please yourself.

Hailing On All Frequencies!

There's something for everyone this week - information on how SFRB plans to evolve in the coming weeks, a new release or three, interesting blog posts, guest author interviews, a swag of newly joined members, give-aways, sites to build on your world-building knowledge...

Happy surfing! 

EMERGENCE by Kim Knox is out with Samhain Publishing on June 15th, 2010.
She just wanted to forget. What she gets is her destiny. Life as Jaime Dalton knows it is almost over. Come morning, she—the forbidden offspring of a human and a gryphon—will be owned body and soul by the First Dragon, ruler of the mythoi. He will control everything. What she wears, what she eats, when she sleeps. And with whom.
Determined to have a final fling, she seeks out the comfort of a stranger’s arms. Except he turns out to be “stranger” than he first appears.
Kaden Rhodes knows what it’s like to be owned. Before he follows his orders to escort Jaime to the same fate, he can’t resist joining her in one last act of defiance. Before the night is over, though, he finds she has inched her way under his skin.
Their connection is hot, fast, completely irresistible…and they’re playing with fire. Discovery will render them useless to the First Dragon. And those marked useless end up dead.

Warning: This title contains wild sex, dark violence and irascible dragons who shift into brooding men. Oh, and the utter perversion of mythology.


Joely Sue Burkhart’s THE BLOODGATE GUARDIAN, a paranormal thriller with romantic elements, is available from Carina Press on June 14th, 2010.

Jodi Redford’s book, LIGHT MY FIRE, is due for release on June 29th.

On June 15th, Kylie Griffin interviews guest author, Joss Ware, about her new post-apocalyptic romance series, The Envy Chronicles on her blog. But be warned - you may find a new to read!

To celebrate the release of her new book, CLOSE CONTACT, Katherine Allred will be visiting the RT Author's Spotlight on June 14th, and will include a message from her and new excerpt from the book.

Jaleta Clegg posted a blog on SFRB blog last Thursday (10th June) - "The Best Day Job in the Universe - Working at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center". This will be a series posted over the next few Thursday's on the SFRB blog.

The RWA Valley Forge Sheila 2010 contest winners (paranormal section) include two of our Brigade members!

2nd Shadowed – Sharon Lynn Fisher
3rd Bloodborn – Kylie Short (w/a Kylie Griffin)
4th Shadows Eclipse – Kylie Short
5th Circle of Shadows – Kylie Short

Sharon's SHADOWED, and Kylie's SHADOWS ECLIPSE are both sci-fi romances. Congratulations!

The final judge was Alicia Condon from Kensington. Extra good news - she's requested the full of Sharon's work!

Welcome to our new Brigaders...(those that have joined from mid-May onwards)
  • Dawn Mongomery
  • Jane Toombs
  • Samantha Gail
  • Sarah Shade
  • Jenna Renolds
  • Lynn Crain
  • Joely Sue Burkhart
  • KRL Thorn
  • Gwen Campbell
  • Michael Barnette
  • Tez Miller
  • Verona St.James
  • Samantha Walker
  • Jenna Renolds
  • Roxanne Smolen
  • Linda Mooney
More like SFRB news this week. A little info on what SFRB is up to in the coming weeks...
  • There's the first "fun activity" on this weekend just gone (12th & 13th June) on the website--a game of sorts--and there will be some fun prizes for our top three finishers.  (Laurie Green is going to try to do an activity of some sort on the web site every weekend - so keep your eyes peeled).
  • The SFRB web site now has around 90 members and will soon be overtaking the blog, which is at capacity. To check your membership use this link.
  • Laurie Green would like to schedule some interviews of our Brigaders, new and established, so that we're aware of who's joined. It'll also give us all the chance to discover more about each other. 
Verona St.James is starting a new book review feature on her blog. Her aim is to expand her knowledge of SFR, and do her small bit to promote the genre. So, on every Monday, for the whole summer, she's planning to review one SFR book a week. She's calling the feature the "Summer of SFR".
Her first book review on June 7th was Bujold's Shards of Honor.
This week's review (June 14th) is Naked in Death by Nora Roberts.

K.S.Augustin has a competition running on her website. She’s giving away two copies of IN ENEMY HANDS at her blog, Fusion Despatches. To be in the drawing, stop by and comment at the Competition post, telling her at which blog you read about her book. You have till 30th June! 

Over at The Galaxy Express is an interesting post entitled, "Bruce Sterling Contemplates Why SFR Lacks 'Commercial Punch'".

After some surfing for information on world-building, here are some websites I found that dealt with the topic...

*A treasure trove of resources from SpecFicWorld for writers of SF, F & Horror on world-building.

*On the SFWA site an article on Fantasy World-building Questions by Patricia C.Wrede.

*Holly Lisle has some good advice in a post called "Worldbuilding -- Rollicking Rules of Ecosystems" on her website.

!!! Don't forget to keep sending in your news - please get it to me by Friday at the latest - so I can collate it over the weekend ready to post early in the new week.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Galaxy Express Spotlights Decadent Publishing

I was recently contacted by Heather Bennett, one of the co-founders of Decadent Publishing, a print-to-ebook publisher that will launch in August, 2010. Since they are actively seeking science fiction romance submissions, I subsequently put together a spotlight on Decadent, which includes an interview with co-founder Lisa Olmstead.

I'm cross-posting the feature from TGE. If you have any questions about Decadent Publishing, you can post them in the comments at the TGE post and Lisa/Heather will stop by to answer them.

Decadent Publishing
“Indulge your book fetish!”

That’s the tagline for Decadent Publishing, a new ebook-to-print publisher on the horizon. When Decadent Publishing opens on August 1, 2010, it will release “romantic fiction and erotica.” This is good news for science fiction romance since Decadent is actively seeking submissions in this subgenre.

Decadent Publishing is the brain child of Lisa Olmstead (also known as multi-published author Samantha Gail) and Executive Editor Heather Bennett. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Olmstead about their company:

The Galaxy Express: Could you tell us about the history behind the creation of Decadent Publishing? Who are the movers and shakers behind this endeavor? What are their editing/publishing/marketing backgrounds?

Lisa Olmstead: Decadent Publishing is the offspring of two women, Lisa Omstead (author Samantha Gail) and her buddy, Editor Heather Bennett. After several years of building an online friendship, Heather and Lisa actually met in person at the last RT Booklover’s Convention and found that they had both thought about opening a publishing company but lacked the contacts and skills to tackle the job solo. However, when the two combined their abilities, they formed an awesome team.

TGE: Digital publishing is an exciting new frontier, but it’s not without risk. Despite the best intentions, some digital publishers have come and gone. What can you tell authors about Decadent Publishing’s plan for long term stability?

LO: For starters, we are exploring a new niche – Late Escape is a line of romance for (and about) older couples….the baby-boomer generation of mature adults who don’t necessarily have the sexual stamina of younger couples, but possess a wealth of intimate knowledge that takes decades of life and experience to accumulate. It is romance on a different level – less physical and more sensual and psychologically fulfilling. It will nicely compliment our more traditional genres in mainstream and romantic fiction.

Secondly, we are committed to spending the time and energy it takes to develop unpublished authors, “diamonds-in-the-rough”, who have innate talent yet need nurturing to fully develop.

Last, but not least, Decadent has the passion, dedication and financial stability to pull this off. :)

TGE: You’ve expressed an interest in acquiring science fiction romance titles. Are there any specific stories or characters you’d like to see (e.g., space opera, post-apocalyptic, steampunk, superhuman, etc.)?

LO: We are sci-fi addicts. Anything relating to those genres, we want to see. Lisa recently discovered Steampunk and has been chewing up stories at an obscene rate. Heather is exploring End-of-the-World romance and, since her first hand-me-down Buck Rogers book, has been fascinated by stories set in the stars.

TGE: Please name a few of your favorite science fiction romance titles. What is it about these stories that appeal to you?

LO: Anything by Linnea Sinclair, Angela Knight, Elaine Lowe, Johanna Lindsey, Nathalie Gray, Jaid Black, and more. (Heather adds: My friend, Samantha Gail!) The thing I find most appealing about sci-fi is that an author is limited only by their own mental boundaries. Most other genres have set tenets one has to write by. Historicals, for example, are bound by our known timelines, cultural practices and human capabilities in order to be believable.

In sci-fi, an author can create their own planets inhabited by strange creatures both foul and friendly, people with tails or scales, and foreign-to-us cultures. Or maybe a ship full of virile space pirates intent on James T. Kirk-ing their way across the galaxies. It’s really a genre of endless possibilities. When done well, a reader is engaged on an almost sensory level and feels like a welcomed voyeur into the author’s prolific imagination.

TGE: How would you describe the Decadent Publishing brand?

LO: Quality in our staff, our books and authors, our graphics, our commitment to our readers. We want readers to see our name and know they will receive something special; maybe different, maybe familiar, but a literary experience they will be happy to have indulged in.

We are also committed to making a positive impact in our community. One of the fantastic features on our site will be ‘Read For a Cure’. We’ll spotlight one book per month and all publisher profits for that book in that month will go to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life to fight cancer. Like most people, cancer has touched our lives and this is our way of making a difference.

TGE: What is your specific plan regarding harnessing online social media resources to raise the visibility of your brand? What kind of outreach/social networking will Decadent Publishing perform on behalf of its authors? Please provide specific examples of the tools that you plan to use.

LO: LOL! What won’t we do? We are Facebook addicts, Tweet-a-holics, go on blog benders….get the idea?

We’ll not only hit the traditional PR outlets, we plan to work cooperatively with review blogs and sites, host chats, have fantastic destination contests (we’re giving away a Kindle for our opening!), and have a Yahoo group where readers can talk to each other and our authors and create personal connections.

TGE: In general, how much marketing and promotion will you expect authors to execute?

LO: Marketing should not fall solely on the shoulders of the authors themselves. Creative and interactive networking is a vital part of our business plan. We plan to assist authors in building their own brands as we build ours.

TGE: What percentage and kind of royalties will you offer? Will any terms of the contract be negotiable?

LO: The basic contract is 40% of gross on ebooks, 35% on third-party payers and print books. However, everything is negotiable based on how bad we want it. :)

TGE: Is there anything else about Decadent Publishing that you would like to share?

LO: Besides attracting our wonderful American authors, we would like to see more submissions from authors residing in other countries. The worldwide web is just that. Life, relationships, romance, stories and perspectives from people living around this fragile little sphere we dwell on, is always welcome.

We are hosting a fantastic Submissions Contest from now until June 30. We’ll have winners in 3 different categories and the prizes are fabulous, decadent even. We are looking for new, and previously published authors, who want to increase their visibility and write for a company who doesn’t see their other publishing contracts as competition necessarily, but rather an enhancement opportunity.

Like anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi, we are looking forward to our adventure!


Well there you have it, folks: another shiny new opportunity for science fiction romance! Authors, here are the Submission Guidelines.

Right now, you can follow DecadentPub on Twitter. Decadent Publishing will also feature a blog once the permanent Web site is up.

Friday, June 11, 2010

You're invited to a spaced out party

Hi folks

This is my first post and I haven't even introduced myself so I'd better do so. I'm a UK writer of futuristic and fantasy Romance. I'm Welsh although living in England at present. I use my first two names as my pen name, although I'm always called Lyn by family and friends. I write for The Wild Rose Press and have two full length novels, Starquest, and Children Of The Mist published with them. I was also thrilled to be one of nine writers commissioned to write an anthology about the Greek Muses. My story in 'Song Of The Muses' was Dancing With Fate. If you're interested, you can find out more at my Blog

I also host a fun blog on Fridays, with two friends. Today we're featuring Speculative Fiction Author Belinda McBride. Come along and leave a comment and you could win a copy of her book
(Please not that although her title 'Belle Starr' has erotic content, the Author Roast & Toast is a family site, so nothing too 'hot' or explicit in comments please. Thanks.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Best Day Job in the Universe, Working at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center

Where do I even begin to describe our space center? It’s the most unique place in the world. Located inside a nondescript elementary school in suburban Utah, the center houses five starship simulators, a high-tech classroom, and a brand spanking new state-of-the-art portable digital planetarium. I’ve tried many times over the years to classify what we do at the school. I’m a certified teacher, I should be able to list objectives and outcomes and lesson plans. None of them even come close to capturing the experience.

We run several programs- a field trip program for 5th and 6th grade students, summer camps for 10-14yo kids, after school and weekend simulations for ages 10+, planetarium shows for any private group that schedules one, plus whatever new idea the boss dreams up. So why is it the best job in the universe? Because it involves storytelling, astronomy, science fiction, monsters; everything that makes imagination fun.

Let me start with our simulators. Pretend you are part of a private group scheduled to fly in the Odyssey simulator. You arrive at the school and wait in the lobby until all of your group is assembled. Your flight director greets you, gives you a chance to use the restroom, then lines your group up in front of the “transporter”. Another staff member beams your group through, one by one. You emerge on the other side on a starship bridge, lights and controls and engine rumble; the works. Each member of your group is assigned a station and given a uniform. You are trained to work your controls. The flight director briefs your crew on their assignment. Then the real fun begins.

We specialize in immersive simulations of futuristic space travel. Star Trek LARPing, for anyone familiar with the term. Live action role-playing taken to extremes. No, the simulators do not move. This is not an amusement park ride. This is interactive storytelling with lights and sound effects and actors. The ship is as real as your imagination. Monsters and aliens may attack. Your ship may be sabotaged. You may crash into an asteroid and die. The stories are never the same because the flight director plays off your comments and actions, changing the story as needed.

And I get paid to tell you these stories. That’s one perk of my job. I love hearing the crew scream in terror, or cheer as they manage to complete their mission despite the threat of imminent death. I love the magic we create. I love seeing kids transformed by their experience, learning that they can stand up for their convictions no matter who opposes them. I love the excitement and the energy of our staff of sometimes obnoxious teens.

I love my job. Flight simulator is only one of my titles, though. I also claim planetarium director, curriculum specialist, costumer, story consultant, office assistant, Klingon lunchlady, and Ultimate Queen of the Galaxy. Really. My boss told me I could have it in lieu of a raise.

One of our 17yo flight directors, a male, just said, “Where is my Hannah Montana wig?” Yep, I love my job.

SFR Brigade Bases of Operation