Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Member, Carmen Webster Buxton

We have another wonderful new member here to share some background and great books with the troops! Please give her a warm welcome.

Carmen, we’d love to hear more about your books

I currently have three books available as ebooks. The first two are a very short series: The Sixth Discipline and No Safe Haven. Both are set in the far future on a colony world called Haven. The world was settled by three distinct groups: 

  • a New Age cult that believed in meditation and wanted isolation to practice their beliefs. They settled in a remote forest and came to be known as the Sansoussey.
  • a group of survivalists/anarchists who wanted to live without government. They settled in the mountains and found themselves scrambling to stay alive. They came to be known as the Horde.
  • entrepreneurs and adventurers who wanted get rich without restrictive rules; they established cities and over time, the most successful of them created a new aristocracy.
In The Sixth Discipline, a Sansoussey man named Ran-Del is kidnapped by a city baron and discovers he is intended to be a tool in the Baron's political plans. In No Safe Haven, Ran-Del has learned to live in the city, but he discovers there are dangers there, too.

The third book is called Tribes and it is set on a colony world also, but this one was established by prisoners who formed themselves into gangs that then evolved into tribes. A man with no tribe is a slave, and the story begins with a slave named Hob escaping and being rescued by a woman from a fighting tribe.

Would you like to share any upcoming projects? 

I have a space opera I'd like to bring out this year, but it's not for sale anywhere yet. It has starships, a princess, an evil emperor (he even has a harem!), a spy or two, a soldier, and an interplanetary romance.  I plan to post the opening chapter on my website as soon as I can. 

What do you like about writing SFR?  

I like to imagine settings in which people from different cultures and backgrounds meet. I think the future of technology is pretty hard to predict, and while marriage itself is evolving and changing, falling in love it pretty much the same as it had always been. I like putting the familiar falling-in-love scenario into a new and different setting in every book.

What do you find challenging about it?
When you create a new culture, you give your characters different values from their own. It can be difficult to make a character sympathetic when he or she does something that his own code says is okay but our values say is all wrong.  In No Save Haven, for example, one of the characters kidnaps a child. He thinks his reasons are valid, but it's hard to see him as a nice guy knowing what he has done.

What is your favorite SF book or movie?
I love Shards of Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold. The later Miles books are good, too, but the love story in that first one is wonderful!

If you could have a robot that did one chore/task and only one, what would you choose?  

I don't suppose "housework" would count as one task?   Well, if not, I guess I want a a robot chef that cooks tasty, healthy meals completely without human assistance. 

What SFR book would you most like to be stranded in and with whom?   
If you had said movie or TV, it would be with Mal in Firefly/Serenity, but since you said book, I will go with Ivan Vorpatil in A Civil Campaign. I find I often (but not always) fall for the non-lead character, and I've always thought Ivan was sweet

Favorite mode of fictional travel?  

I think I like the time travel in Connie Willis' Oxford historians books; it's cool that it's both risky and limited in terms of how it works.

Where can we find you online?

My website/blog is Carmen's Page. In addition to describing my own work and writing the occasional book or movie review, I often post about ebooksereaders (especially the Kindle), and self-publishing

Carmen Webster Buxton was born in Honolulu, HI and experienced a childhood on the move, as her father was in the US Navy. She has been a librarian, a teacher, a project manager, a wife, and a mother, although not in that order.  She now lives in Maryland with her husband, her daughter, and an elderly beagle who has his own pet cat. 

She is an eclectic reader of science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, romance, and mainstream fiction.

She writes science fiction, mostly set in the far future, and with a strong romantic element.
My books currently for sale are listed below, with their buy links for the major ebookstores.  Cover art for the books and a headshot of me are all attached.

Hob is a slave. He lives on a world colonized by prisoners, violent male criminals and militant feminists/terrorists. They originally formed themselves into gangs, and over time those gangs evolved into tribes, each of which is either all male or all female. Girl babies always have a tribe, but when a woman has a boy baby and can't find a man to take him into his tribe, the boy becomes a slave.

Hob escapes the compound where he has been used and abused and is rescued by a woman from a fighting tribe. Jahnsi Han-Lin offers shelter at her father's house, and a glimpse of what family life can be, even with tribal obligations. While Jahnsi and her father and brother plot to keep Hob free, Hob himself is torn between his desire to flee into the wilderness and his growing attraction to Jahnsi.

KindleNook (B&N), iBooksSmashwordsSony, and Kobo

The Sixth Discipline
Ran-Del Jahanpur has spent his entire life in the Sansoussy Forest; he's a hunter and a warrior until one morning when he becomes prey for a hunting party with more advanced technology. He wakes up to what might as well be a different world, a city from which there seems no escape.

KindleNook (B&N), iBooksSmashwordsSony, and Kobo

No Safe Haven
In the sequel to The Sixth Discipline, Ran-Del still feels bound by the strict code of the Sansoussy even though he has come to accept his life in the city. When his family is put at risk, his training and his principles seem inconsequential when measured against the life of a child.

KindleNook (B&N), iBooksSmashwordsSony, and Kobo


  1. Thank you! I just posted about the group on Shelfari.

  2. Welcome, Carmen. Your characters and world-building sound intriguing and complex.
    Thanks for helping to spread the word about the Brigade.

  3. Welcome to the Brigade! Enjoyed your interview!


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