Fantasy or Sci-Fi? Literature That Tears You in Two

Hello lovely readers 🙂

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Yep, to answer your unspoken question I am going to harp on about genre again 🙂 As many will know I like to think of myself as a bona fide fantasy nut. Any time I write I will get in something fantastical be it magic, mythical creatures or a bloody great two handed broad sword. With fantasy you’re only limited by your imagination and you can incorporate all you can think of. Although, saying that, isn’t sci fi just the same? Now I know you have set conventions for sci fi but surely they could be tweaked, okay not to add in another genre specifically but to at least draw out more from the narrative?

Now I don’t pretend to be an authority on sci fi, heaven knows I could really do with reading more of it, but I could see the potential of developing sci fi in ingenious ways (although what I’m spouting is probably sacrilage in and of itself lol). Why couldn’t there be magic amid space ships, aliens and intergalactic war? A bit of sword and sorcery amongst LAZORSSS and robotic megalomaniacal narcissistic assassins? No? Must just be my fantastical streak rearing it’s head then 🙂

I will openly admit that my experience of sci fi stems from only Anne McCaffrey’s Rowan series to J.S. Collyer‘s Zero (both exceptional by the way.) Though I will hold my hands up and say I do love Star Trek The Next Generation. What red blooded woman doesn’t have some form of crush on Patrick Stewart? That sexy voiced bald man 🙂 … anyway I digress. Though my knowledge is limited both stories drew me in in their own individual ways. With The Rowan, I was particularly drawn because a certain aspect of the narrative appealed to my fantastical side. Rowan, and others throughout the galaxies, have telepathic and telekinetic skills which allows them to operate within their own spheres. Now I can see this from the scientific side as it being the human mind progressing, developing and evolving until we are capable of such feats however these skills can be predominant in fantasy also and manifest as magic or innate skill or even demonic power.

However, I must also say Zero is written very well. J.S has pulled forth an amazing tale of adventure, intrigue, abject grief and camaraderie using so many of the intense sci fi conventions that to me it’s very reminiscent of Joss Whedon’s Firefly (see? My knowledge is limited.) It also serves to show how different writer’s minds work. J.S writes of life and adventure aboard a deceptively battered spaceship having to deal with deception, betrayal and self realisation. As she is writing she clearly paints the scene before you and expertly provides you with the scientific know how to enjoy the narrative. I personally feel overwhelmed with most sci fi but not with Zero as the balance between scientific description and the story is very well upheld. It is obvious that with the aspects of sci fi that J.S has chosen to write about it is clear that she at least has moulded them to her desire to create a thoroughly entertaining, exceptional masterpiece. I know J.S and I are into two different genre’s so shouldn’t be compared but man I wish I could write more like her 🙂

In hindsight, each person is entitled to their own love of literature and I think maybe I should just stick to my fantasy, though don’t get me wrong I’m not adverse to a little challenge and would love to at least try to write other genres 🙂 I love having my mind work to create new World’s. But don’t let my likes for fantasy persuade you, both genre’s have their own merits and are both very good 🙂

Thank you 🙂

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Zero by (the always exceptional) J. S. Collyer

Hi lovely readers 🙂

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As most will know I’m a bona fide fantasy nut; give me a World full of magic, swords, sorcery and adventure and I can be gone for hours. However, there are times where even I will branch out my literary interests and diversify to broaden my knowledge; also, who isn’t completely in love with Mr Darcy? 🙂 My first understanding of sci fi came from reading my mothers books. She had a fabulous series by the late Anne McCaffrey called The Tower and the Hive series; the first book The Rowan. I remember being taken by such strong female leads in a World where science and technology runs on the power of the mind. I love creative and original stories along those lines.

To which, Zero is the début novel from my wonderful friend, and admittedly my writing hero, J. S. Collyer. It’s a literary slice of ooey gooey space pirate cake that leaves you not only wanting but needing to know more, especially after your damn lucky eyes have taken in the epic ending. This is a multi layered piece rife with exceptional writing, adventure, in-depth character development, adventure and oh yes, lasers; but did I mention adventure? I was lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy and my goodness all I can say is: as soon as the sixteenth of August gets here buy this book, you won’t be disappointed.

Kaleb Hugo is a Service man through and through; he lives, eats, works and breathes that life like no other. He’s positive he’s the best, most focused soldier… until one fateful day he ignores the commands of his higher ups and moves the ship he’s in command of to attack a perceived weakness in the War. What came over him? To the public face Hugo is disgraced, demoted and hated; but in secret he is promoted to Captain of The Zero, a beat up space ship concealing more than just a dented hull; it’s a ship that can get under the radar and accomplish things most Service ships couldn’t. Hugo has to act as a contact for the Service, keep an eye on the missions and report back to his superiors. He didn’t, however, expect to find those on the ship that were loyal, steadfast and perhaps the only friends he could remember having. What would await them in their coming missions?

I cannot begin to tell you all the things which are great about this novel, but I’ll give it a jolly good go anyway. J. S uses such literary diversity that simply pulls you straight into the Universe she has expertly created. I love the velvety feel of language such as ‘Hugo had admitted to himself long ago that Death was something he’d accepted into his life like a friend. Or a lover. It followed him like a phantom.’ Now before you ask yes this is from the first page. Heck it’s the first few lines. I didn’t want to give too much away about J. S’s stellar narrative. However, this is just a small example of what I love about her language use. Unlike many authors, she doesn’t try to make the language too archaic and stiff (don’t ask me why but some authors think stories are better like that) but she keeps it natural and flowing allowing the narrative to just slip into your subconscious and hold onto your interest for many hours before you even notice. She also has an uncanny ability to not alienate readers by being too scientific, if you catch me. She smoothly traverses into the science part of her science fiction in such a way that even someone as daft as me can understand it and thoroughly enjoy it. This is what makes her such a stunning writer.

The part of the novel I really liked however is that J. S. manages to reach into my chest and crush my heart into a million pieces (God how over dramatic does that sound?). I won’t give any details away but there is a part of the narrative that I’m not ashamed to admit brought a tear to my eye. The crew must endure a soul destroying time and the adversity which follows not only at the time but a year later as well. You can really feel the emotion in the writing which in turn forcibly drags your emotions to the surface and waves them in your face. It’s been such a long time since I’ve felt such a response to a book that it had me enthusing about its author. It’s incredible.

Please, please, PLEASE buy this book when you can. Not only will you be getting a jolly great read but you’ll discover a literary World you may never have experienced before. You’ll love every minute. I’m still going to buy a hard back copy of the book and beg J. S. to sign it, it’s just that great.

Thank you 🙂

Anne McCaffery… RIP You Are Missed

Today it’s time to talk about some great nineties Sci-fi/fantasy. If you attempt to write fantasy, like me, and you have never heard of this author you should be ashamed of yourselves 😉 Anne McCaffrey has graced us with her wonderful writings for decades now and though she has sadly passed on (RIP) her works live on through their wonderful nature and through the work carried on by her son Todd McCaffrey, an author and self-proclaimed geek. He started working on one of Anne’s series, the Pern Series, before her death and they have worked collaboratively on several novels. Reading just one book of the many she has produced both during life and after her passing you will find yourself immersed in a World of fantasy, science fiction, imagination and (somehow) reality. The Worlds she creates are so real and much like several of the other books I have written about, you will find yourself needing to read more.

Her multiple works count among their number her Dragonriders of Pern series, her The Tower and the Hive Series and her Acorna series. I can tell you with some authority that all her works are marvelous but I have to concentrate on her The Tower and the Hive series as they have always been my favourite. They are based around women with telepathic and teleportation abilities that form the backbone of the FT & T world federation for… well basically they make different Worlds in different Galaxies function. These women are known as Primes and are all linked together through their considerable mental agility. I will do individual book reviews as and when I can but I love this series for how real Anne McCaffrey makes them. They are powerful beings but she deals with complexities like relationships with men of considerable character and mental abilities of their own, mental handicaps and loneliness. You will find yourself drawn into the Worlds and love every single minute of reading each book as they have a smooth tempo and immersive vocab. The first one is as the picture shows entitled The Rowan and I highly suggest you pick it up for a read 🙂

What do you think? 🙂 Thank you 🙂

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