Wednesday, February 28, 2018

New Posting Guidelines

Please note that Kyndra Hatch is the SFR Brigade Blog Manager. All guest posts and dates should be scheduled through her. If you would like to have access as a regular blog author (which is encouraged), please request an invitation from Kyndra.


Guest posts should be a maximum of 500-700 words not counting author info. This is a suggestion. If you need more word count to cover your topic and your guest post is concise, it probably will not be an issue.

The author can also include cover, blurb and up to five links for contributor's latest or blog-related work, plus their bio and social media links (these are in addition to the guest post and not part of the word count limit). Maximum ten links. Can include links to an except.

Managers reserve the right to edit your blog as needed for space or to keep your blog within guidelines.
Mandatory Disclaimer

All guest posts must include a disclaimer stating: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Science Fiction Romance Brigade.

For blogging ideas, you can refer to this document: Guest Post Topics

The blog also has two other blog series opportunities:

Meet the Author Mondays -- coordinated by Laurie Green
SFRB Recommends -- coordinated by Eileen Koven

For the above series and other promotional opportunities within the SFR Brigade blog, SFR Brigade FanPage, and othe resources, please read this document: Attention New Members

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Worldbuilding Gets Punk’d @j_c_hay

by JC Hay

For me, cyberpunk has always been the genre of rebellion. It eschewed the shiny futures and far frontiers that other science fiction genres promised. More importantly, it focused on the rebels and runners who made their living in the cracks where society had left them – thriving like weeds in the neon-soaked concrete. When I started the Corporate Services books, I knew I wanted to keep that rebellious cyberpunk ethos. That meant I needed something to be rebelling towards – an end state for the world that would level the playing field between the haves and the have-nots in my stories.

For me, that meant the Singularity. Or at least some version of the singularity.

For the unfamiliar – the Singularity is considered to be the moment when technological growth of artificial intelligence exponentially increases and bypasses human ability. I could talk at length about how we’re already seeing hints of what that could look like (look at what AlphaGo is doing to our perceptions of how Go is played, for example), but for the Corporate Services world I needed to create a over-arching story point that would usher in the end of the anthropocene. And, more importantly, that all of that would be set-up for the next arc in the series.

To do that, I had to come up with my idea of how the Singularity would arrive, and then build backwards from there, laying out the foundations that would allow an artificial intelligence to begin quickly iterating itself and surpass our own capabilities. Once I knew where it was going, the rest of the world building dropped into place quickly, pieces I could build into the individual plots of each book as the AI begins its quest to free itself.

For this first arc, which began with Dubai Double-Cross, I knew that multiple organizations in the world I was building were doing their own research into Artificial Intelligence. I also knew that their researchers were smart enough not to allow their work to have access to the whole of humanity in the ‘Net. Something that the AI ultimately needs. Setting up that moment of choice was the point I wanted the series to drive towards.

As a result, the first three books in the series can be seen as a prequel of sorts, or eve like the first season of a TV series, where the final episode sets up new changes for the season to come. Certainly things in the Corporate Services world will be very different when we return. Both old and new characters will find themselves dealing with the repercussions of the choices made in this first series, and antagonists from old books may become newfound allies as a communal enemy begins to make itself known.

And that means more rebellion, in a classic cyberpunk fashion, as everyone tries to level the playing field once more.

Dubai Double Cross

Elise is looking for an exit. Too many years as a top-talent thief in the digital shadows have whittled away her patience and her humanity. She’s not looking for complications, but with one more job, she’ll finally have enough money to leave the life for good.

Na’im does what he must to survive. Whether it’s selling his body to the corporate glitterati, or going on the run when things get bad – but even a survivor can be caught off guard, and his boss’s murder has left him with no one to trust but a thief with her own agenda.

Together, they’re on the run trying to figure out who framed them both and stay one step ahead of the murderer who’s close behind. Trust is a rare commodity for accidental lovers, but in a dark future where everything can be upgraded and emotions can be programmed, sometimes all that can keep you human is your heart.


Author Bio: 
SFR Galaxy Award Winner JC Hay has never seen the distinction between science fiction and romance, having been raised on a steady diet of Robotech, Babylon 5, and Farscape. A proud resident of the Pacific Northwest, he writes science fiction and cyberpunk romances where the relationships matter as much as the shiny tech. After all, the coolest gadgets in the world are no fun without someone to share them.
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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Taking the ‘Can She Write A Series?’ Challenge @vscotttheauthor

By Veronica Scott

My progression as a writer has moved over time from writing and illustrating my own ‘novel’ at the age of seven (princesses, flying cats, flying horses and a riverboat captain hero) to several connected series of scifi novels in junior high and high school that were heavily influenced by Tom Corbett Space Cadet and ‘Star Trek,” with elements of Trixie Belden thrown in. (Those novels are never seeing the light of day, folks.)  My first two published books were standalone and released in 2012. One from Carina Press and the other self published.

I haven’t looked back since but became a full time author in 2015 and now have somewhere around 20 books out (it varies as anthologies go on and off sale etc.).

Late in 2017 I decided the time had come for me to tackle an actual series, with an overarching plot arc that would run through the five volumes. Ta da!

I never used to think I could write such a series, being an as-I-go plotter (also known as a seat of the pants writer) and wasn’t much tempted to try it. The ‘series’ I wrote as a teenager were done as standalone books and then I’d get a new idea and write the next one with the same characters. There was no single plot direction driving the arc, just adventure and romance. I wasn’t trying to get to any specific end point.

As a published author, I like writing standalone stories set in one universe, be it ancient Egypt or my interstellar civilization, the Sectors. Sometimes I even do a sequel or have the same characters make an appearance in more than one book (usually as secondary characters since they’ve already had their own story told). So, I still do connected series with no problem and I do have a long term arc for the Sectors in my head, but don’t require each book to move the action forward.

When I was thinking about what concepts I might use to write a series that would hold my own interest as an author and hopefully be enjoyed by the readers, I realized this might be my chance to tackle a trope I’ve always loved – the genetically engineered super soldiers. I never got enough of Lora Leigh’s Breeds or Laurann Dohner’s New Species and the advice to write what you want to read seemed to me to apply here.

So I came up with the Badari, tough warriors created by the alien enemies of the humans in my Sectors. I added to that mix a colony of humans kidnapped in their sleep by the aliens in charge of all this questionable science and brought to the planet where the Badari are held, to serve as subjects in more experiments. The questions in the big arc are how do the Badari gain their freedom, how do the humans ever get home to tell the Sectors about this new threat…and of course how does the romance occur in the midst of all this? 

The first volume, Aydarr, came out in December and the second book, Mateer, just recently released. Now I’m working on the third story, with probably two more to go to wrap everything up. I also have lots of plot ideas in my head for more stories about the Badari, if readers like them, but those would be in my standalone writing style, since the big arc will be wrapped up. “Sidequels”!

It’s going fine so far, I’d say. I did enough outlining to know what the major plot point to be achieved was for each novel, but not so much detailed planning that my Muse would balk at writing the book. (As I’ve mentioned before, if I plot too much before I write, I lose all interest in doing the actual writing. The creative spark flees – the story is told.)

It’s too soon to say if I’d write another actual series. I really do like the standalone experience of writing and it suits my tendency not to outline or plan ahead in detail, but I’m enjoying this challenge so far. I think my biggest hurdle is that I feel I owe it to the readers to get each book in the series out within 4-6 weeks of the previous book and so I have to write the Badari novels back to back, not stray off and play with some other shiny plot in between. But sometimes life happens, as they say, like moving to a new apartment in late December, and the writing schedule goes out the window.

And I do love my covers!

The blurb for Mateer:  Megan Garrison, a doctor at the Sectors Amarcae 7 colony, goes to sleep one night as usual only to wake up in her nightgown, strapped to a table in an alien lab, destined to be the subject of terrifying experiments. Granted a brief reprieve, Megan and the other kidnapped humans are released in the middle of a forestlike enclosure on this unknown world and told to survive as best they can for now.

Her only hope is Mateer, the genetically engineered alien warrior imprisoned with the humans. He knows more than he’s sharing about this planet, their captors and the fate of other humans, including perhaps her own sisters. Turns out everyone from her colony has been kidnapped by the Khagrish, a ruthless race of alien scientists. Working for enemies of the human-led Sectors, the Khagrish have created the Badari to be super soldiers.

Mateer, a tough Badari enforcer, now a rebel, is captured while infiltrating the lab to help his pack bring it down. He’s also been ordered by his leaders to search for Megan and save her life at all costs. Tortured by the enemy, he’s offered one chance at survival – convince Megan to become his mate and assist the Khagrish with further experiments.

As the situation at the lab grows worse, Megan struggles against her deep attraction to Mateer, while she does her best to shield the other humans from the terrible Khagrish experiments. For his part, Mateer knows she really is his fated mate and despairs of being able to keep her safe, as the rebel attack is delayed and she fights the truth of their bond.

Will they be able to work together to defeat Khagrish plans and preserve human lives until the promised rescue happens? And what of their future together – will Megan accept Mateer as her true mate, or walk away if she’s freed?

Buy LinksAmazon     iBooks      B&N    Kobo  Google coming soon!

Author Bio and Links:
 USA Today Best Selling Author
“SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog
Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!
She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Earth's Many Ways to Die: Natural Disasters in Fiction by @Liza0Connor

by Liza O' Connor

There is a remarkable quantity of ways that earth can be destroyed. These are the ways that I can recall off the top of my head. I am certain there are more. Feel free to write them in the comment box.

Earthquakes. We’ve always had them. Some charts say we have more than we used to, some say the opposite. But without question the planet Earth likes to shake it’s booty.

SuperVolcanoes- some say there are over 20 and some say 5. The one in USA could blow anytime....Those in the blow range will be obliterated. Ash content will turn the skies black and cover most of USA and Canada. Acid rain will poison our water supply, kill most of the fish, and make us sick. Death of all vegetation in large portions of USA & Canada will result in starvation.

Climate Changes will result in more frequent and powerful: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Fires, Famines, Floods, Surges, Landslides, Avalanches, Destructive winds.

Ocean warming could cause Methane to rise from the ocean floor and kill all oxygen breathing creatures. Loss of ocean currents as the iceburgs melt diluting the salt that creates the currents.

Rising sea levels-Loss of viable water.

Wind storms-Loss of viable soil.

Solar flares from the Sun damage to all electronics, devastates our electricity dependent economy.

Radiation poison due to the loss of the electro-magnetic shield and the stripping of our atmosphere.

Asteroids slamming into earth.

Collison with a rogue comet from outer space.

Magnetic pole flipping: Unable to navigate waters by electronic devices, Unable to fly planes dependent upon electrical devices, Prolonged loss of Electromagnetic shield protection.

Loss of Atmosphere.

Nuclear War.

And they all end in the same way: You get a frozen, non-viable planet for millions of years.

So far, there have been FIVE mass extinctions on earth.

The worst one, 250 million years ago, had 96 percent of marine species and 70 percent of land species die off. It took millions of years to recover.

Many scientists predict that we're on track for a sixth mass extinction and given the very many ways we can get there, I felt the need to send a fabulous group of brilliant children and scholars, plus soldiers to Titan in my book: Destination Titan.


With Earth destined for a new ice-age, seven scientists and twenty-two brilliant teenagers are gathered in a compound deep within a mountain. There they struggle to come together as a group and complete the projects needed for their survival in the inhospitable environment of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. However, certain factions on Earth have no intention of letting Project Einstein succeed. Keeping the group alive and productive is the hardest task Colonel Lancaster and his soldiers have ever had, but they are determined to succeed no matter how well the saboteurs have planned. The continuation of the human race depends upon it.


About the Author

Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

Check out all my books on Amazon

Be sure to click FOLLOW  on my Amazon page so I can alert you to new books.

which I've dedicated to Sci Fi books

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where I talk and share about books, politics, and other silliness.

Twitter is a great place to find me: @Liza0Connor 

(That's @Liza, the number 0, then Connor)

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