Tag Archives: sf

Mothership Prize Pack Giveaway!

One (1) winner will receive a Mothership Prize Pack:
• A copy of Mothership by Martin Leight and Isla Neal
• $25 VISA gift card
A John Hughes DVD box set

All prizing & samples provided by Simon & Schuster
Giveaway open to US addresses only

By Martin Leicht and Isla Neal
In Stores July 10, 2012

Pregnant. In space. Yeah, things are really looking up.

It’s 2074 and Elvie’s unplanned pregnancy (with Cole Archer, who bolted out of town half a millisecond after hearing the news, not that Elvie’s bitter about it or anything) forces her to leave her best bud back on Earth and spend her junior year aboard a corny old space cruiser with forty-five other hormonal teen girls (one of whom just happens to be her arch-nemesis). Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship—and one of them turns out to be Cole.

Mothership is the first installment in a new trilogy from Martin Leicht and Isla Neal that has been described as Juno meets Pretty In Pink…but in space.

‘Like’ Mothership on Facebook

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 27. I’ll draw names on July 28, and notify winners via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading Mothership Prize Pack Giveaway!

Mystery Book Review: The Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Houdini Specter

The Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Houdini Specter by Daniel Stashower

Harry Houdini is a struggling performer, trying to become famous. Houdini and his brother Dash will agree to just about anything to get on the stage. Dash and Houdini are asked by an old friend to expose a conman holding séances and claiming to speak to a wealthy widow’s recently deceased husband. But during their séance, even Houndini can’t manage to immediately figure out how the conman, Lucius Craig, created a ghost-like figure that seems to have murdered one of the guests. And Craig was completely tied up to a chair, which Houdini himself secured the ropes.

This is the third installment in the Harry Houdini Mysteries, though is wholly standalone. As a fan of the famous escape artist, I love reading about Houdini – even fictional accounts. Stashower’s atmosphere and dialog feels like an exciting Sherlock Holmes novel, set in a slightly later time period and with a seemingly unsolvable mystery. In this series, Houdini is an outrageously eccentric and flamboyant performer who is always “on.” He obviously appreciates Sherlock Holmes, but is significantly more showy and absolutely believes that he is one of the world’s greatest performers and escape artists. Dash plays straight man to Houdini’s over-the-top hilarity, and the two are incredibly funny and charming.

The mystery within The Houdini Specter was inspired and engrossing. The characters are completely loveable. And the final climactic showdown was suspenseful and thrilling. Fast-paced and a quick read, I couldn’t put this down and devoured it in just a couple hours. I will definitely be picking up the rest in this fantastic series.

Exclusive Author Interview: SJ Kincaid

On this latest stop for the Dark Days of Summer tour, SJ Kincaid joins SciFiChick.com today to talk about her latest book Insignia.

Can you tell us a bit about Insignia in your own words?

Insignia is the story of Tom Raines, a teenaged video gamer who’s recruited to become a government weapon in a future world war fought over resources and territory in space.

Tom Raines is gifted at virtual reality gaming. Are you into gaming? Did you have to do much research for the subject?

I’m not a gamer myself, but my best friends in college were (and still are) very into videogames, so I definitely drew a lot of my inspiration from them. I had a lot of fun making up the scenarios for the videogames featured in the story.

In your future Earth, countries are at war in space, instead of traditional wars fought with a huge loss of life. How did you come up with this vision of the future?

I actually came up with it after reading the article that gave me the idea for Insignia. I was reading about likely future technological developments, and one development mentioned was the increasing use of unmanned drones, especially for warfare. This image came into my mind of two great powers fighting a vast battle with fleets of these unmanned drones, and it struck me that with the human element removed, it was almost like a videogame. I wondered exactly what two superpowers would have to fight over in the future, and immediately concluded it would have to be resources and territory in the solar system. Why? Because it makes sense, and because it’s much more awesome.

Are there any sequels planned for Insignia?

Yes! I have a contract for three books.

What’s next for you after Insignia? Any other stories on the horizon?

I get ideas now and then, but I’m someone who thinks obsessively about the manuscript I’m working on, and I can’t really put any mental energy into anything else until I’m done with my current love. I’m always writing, though, so I assume there will certainly be something after Insignia.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.

It took me a while to get published—seven manuscripts in fact. I’m very grateful it was such a long, difficult road, because I feel I appreciate this opportunity far more than I would have, had I hit a homerun my first manuscript. I’m also far more confident about my writing than I was starting off.

What inspires you?

Everything does. A lot of the ideas I had for Insignia I had while studying the human brain in a class. When my brain’s occupied with something completely unrelated, I seem to have this steady stream of ideas for fiction.

Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?

There are two authors I love above all else: Susan Kay, who wrote a fantastic Tudor novel called Legacy, and Joseph Heller, who wrote Catch-22. It’s not for everyone, but for me, it’s pure hilarity, and strangely moving, too. In YA, I’m enjoying the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, and I really enjoyed Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

What do you do when you’re not writing? In your spare time?

Waste tons and tons of time on the internet.

Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for featuring Insignia, SciFiChick!

Insignia releases from Harper Teen on July 10th.

YA Thriller Book Review: Cold Fury

Cold Fury by TM Goeglein

Sara Jane Rispoli is part of a close-knit Italian family. Her father, uncle and grandfather all run a bakery. But when her uncle’s jealousy of her father causes a rift in the family, Sara Jane learns that her family has been keeping some dark secrets. Then her house is broken into and her parents and brother disappear, and Sara Jane discovers, courtesy of a hidden notebook, that her family has been rooted in the Chicago mafia since the days of Al Capone. Now, Sara Jane is on the run from a determined, hooded pursuer and a dirty cop, while desperately trying to find out what happened to her family.

Sara Jane is a smart sixteen-year-old with a good heart. She doesn’t have any desire to join any cliques at school and would rather hang out with her family. As a result, she doesn’t have many friends. But she excels at boxing, her favorite past time, that seems to fuel a strange “cold fury” that burns within her in times of distress.

I love being surprised by new authors. And this was a breath of fresh air. Goeglein’s story of Sara Jane’s family is fascinating, weaving in Chicago’s mob history back in the days of the prohibition. I found myself completely caught up in the excitement and suspense. Cold Fury is YA thriller with a complex plot, fascinating characters, and fast-paced adventure. This riveting story was impossible to put down. The climactic ending, left on a bit of a cliffhanger that left me wanting more. Thankfully, this is just the first in a planned trilogy from an obviously talented new author. YA adventure fans as well as adults should check out this outstanding debut.

Cold Fury releases from Putnam Juvenile on July 24, 2012.

Fantasy Book Review: The Legend of Jig Dragonslayer Omnibus

The Legend of Jig Dragonslayer by Jim C. Hines

Jim C. Hines’ charming and funny fantasy series, The Goblin Trilogy, is available today from DAW Books – including Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero, and Goblin War!

Below are the reviews previously posted on this site for the included novels:

Goblin Quest
Jig is a small, even for a goblin, and often gets ridiculed by his peers. While patrolling through neighboring tunnels, Jig stumbles upon a group of adventurers. Captured for his knowledge of the underground tunnel system, Jig is forced to join the group and their search for the Rod of Creation. Legend says that the Rod was made by a dangerous Necromancer and is now supposedly held in a dragon’s lair.

Join Jig on this fun journey of laughs, danger, and magic. In this distinctive fantasy, we get to view life from a goblin’s point of view. As Jig learns more about the world around him, he also begins to learn more about himself. And as Jig’s character develops throughout the story from the different situations and obstacles that he is forced to endure, I found myself growing more attached to the little goblin.

Goblin Quest is a cleverly written adventure fantasy with a not-so-ordinary goblin hero. Goblins are usually viewed as villains in most fantasy stories, so it was humorous to see the reversed roles where the humans are the greedy fortune hunters. I thoroughly enjoyed this fun and exciting fantasy debut and will definitely be following future episodes.

Goblin Hero
After recovering from his adventures in slaying the Necromancer and the dragon, Jig is now known as “Jig Dragonslayer.” Unfortunately for him, an invading army of pixies know about him too. When an ogre comes to the goblins (Jig specifically) for help with a pixie infestation, Jig is forced to lead a group to investigate. But Veka, a wizard-in-training, is jealous of Jig’s hero status, and decides to save the day herself. And she just may jeopardize everyone’s chance at defeating the invaders to their land.

I was surprised to find that I enjoyed Goblin Hero even more than its predecessor. With even more laughs and excitement, Jig becomes the reluctant hero once again. Every character is unique with wonderful quirks. From the brawny goblin who pretends to be dumber than he is to the hobgoblin warrior who faints at the sight of blood, this fantasy is cleverly written from beginning to end. I can’t recommend this series enough.

Goblin War

Jig has bested a dragon, necromancer, and pixies; but now he’s up against a powerful orc and her army. To make matters worse, Jig has to deal with an army of humans as well. As a long-lost secret is revealed about Tymalous Shadowstar’s forgotten past, can Jig trust his benefactor enough to stand against the most powerful being Jig has ever encountered? Humans and the “uncivilized creatures” lives all may hang in the balance as armies clash and a dark plot unravels.

As a fan of the first two installments, I had high expectations for Goblin War. And I wasn’t disappointed. There is plenty of adventure, humor, and magic contributing to make this a fantastic fantasy. Jig’s character has been slowly developing over the course of the trilogy. And big questions are revealed that have been looming since the beginning. The humor is the most wonderful aspect of this unique series, and this latest had me laughing out loud (especially a certain reference to a Shel Silverstein story). Each of these books has been better than the last. This series is a must-read and one of my all-time favorites!

Fantasy Book Review: Team Human

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

New Whitby is a safe haven for vampires, as well as a residence for a human population. Mel has never had a problem with living in the same town with so many vampires, since she has never had to deal with them before. But when one joins her school, her best friend Cathy quickly falls for the uptight, undead in a seventeen-year-old body. Mel will do anything she can to keep Cathy from a decision she may regret. Meanwhile, Mel is asked by another friend to look into her father’s uncharacteristic behavior and disappearance.

Mel is a smart and strong character. She has a good heart, especially when it comes to her friends. She puts her friends’ problems before her own, even when she meets an odd human boy raised by vampires. They have a particular chemistry, but she focuses more of her attention on Cathy’s vampire romance and the missing father mystery than their budding romance.

Larbalestier and Brennan have teamed up to create a familiar vampire YA fantasy with a unique twist. I’m a fan of vampire stories, so I loved the idea and wasn’t disappointed with the wit or suspense. Though a bit predictable, the story is fast-paced, engaging, and suspenseful. With plenty of humor, teen angst, family drama, and even zombies – Team Human is a fun and exciting story that both Team Edward and non-Twilight fans will enjoy.

Team Human releases from Harper Teen on July 3, 2012.

Received in June

The following are the books, DVDs, and Blu-Rays I received in June for review and/or giveaways:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Blu-ray Edition
Wrath of the Titans Blu-ray Edition

47North / Amazon:
No Peace for the Damned by Megan Powell
Technomancer by B.V. Larson

Ace Books:
Heaven’s War by Michael Cassutt
Blackhearted Betrayal by Kasey Mackenzie
Bared Blade by Kelly McCullough
Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts

BBC Books:
Doctor Who: Dark Horizons by J.T. Colan

Daw Books:
The Legend of Jig Dragonslayer by Jim C. Hines
Home From the Sea by Mercedes Lackey

Gallery Books:
Legends of the Dragonrealm: Shade by Richard A. Knaak
This Dark Earth by John Hornor Jacobs

Harper Teen / Balzer + Bray / Katherine Tegen Books:
Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
Erasing Time by C. J. Hill
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox
A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young

Harper Voyager / William Morrow:
Devil Said Bang by Richard Kadrey
Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury by Sam Weller

Hodder & Stoughton:
Juggernaut by Adam Baker

Little, Brown for Young Readers:
Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Macmillan Teen / Feiwel and Friends / FSG / Henry Holt / Square Fish:
Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier
The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas
Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Pathfinder Tales: Nightglass by Liane Merciel
Pathfinder Tales: Blood of the City by Robin D. Laws

Penguin / NAL / Viking:
Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Penguin Teen / Putnam / Dial:
The Vindico by Wesley King
Second Chance by Heather Brewer
The Legacy of Tril: Soulbound by Heather Brewer

Pocket Books:
Changeling by Kelly Meding
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn by David R. George III

The Kingmakers by Clay Griffith

Roc Books:
Iron Gray Sea by Taylor Anderson
Tin Swift by Devon Monk
Grave Memory by Kalayna Price
Dead Mann Running by Stefan Petrucha

Signet Select:
Darkness Devours by Keri Arthur

Simon Teen:
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz
Mothership by Martin Leicht

St.Martin’s Press:
Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

Thomas Nelson:
Spirit Fighter by Jerel Law

Titan Books:
Anno Dracula: The Bloody Red Baron by Kim Newman
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg by Philip Jose Farmer
Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Houdini Specter by Daniel Stashower

Tor Books:
KOP Killer by Warren Hammond
Redshirts by John Scalzi

Tor Teen:
Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Underland Press:
Glimmering by Elizabeth Hand

Book Giveaway: Heaven’s War

Courtesy of Ace Books, I have an extra copy of Heaven’s War by David S. Goyer and Michael Cassuttfor one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US and Canada only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 27. I’ll draw a name on July 28, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Heaven’s War