J.D. Moyer – The Sky Woman

Author: J.D. Moyer

Title: The Sky Woman

Publisher: Flame Tree Press

[Advance reader copy, due to be published on September 6th, 2018]

 

Synopsis: Car-En, a ringstation anthropologist on her first Earth filed assignment, observes a Viking-like village in the Hartz mountains. As Car-En secretly watches the Happdal villagers, she begins to see them as more than research subjects (especially Esper, a handsome bow-hunter). When Esper’s sister is taken by an otherwordly sworld-wielding white-haired man, she can no longer stand by as a passive witness. Knowing the decision might end her career, she cuts off all communication with her advisor and pursues the abductor into the dark dangers of the mountains below.

Review: 

Imagine a new world. Our planet came back to its wild state, the damages of the antrophocene almost undone. A score of well-maintained ringstations are all that’s left of our bold civilization and, on Earth, a few pockets of our descendants make a living in a pre-industrial culture much alike of their Viking ancestors. It’s a dream for any anthropologist to observe on the field one of these villages, hidden by magic-like technologies.

All around them, the memories from a long-gone past. Our civilization, the Builders, left ruins and strange things and more subtle memories of centuries of high-level progress. This is a post-human world, where a good sword and a swarm of insect-like drones may coexsist. But it’s also a very human place, where the love of a woman may move mountains and change the course of the future.

J.D. Moyer spares nothing in this story in his efforts to give us a fast-paced novel, where even the necessary bits of backstory are delivered smoothly until every piece clicks into its place. This book is the first I read from this author and has convinced me to keep in mind his name for the future. Read his interview at the end of the book, the guy got the right stuff.

The pros of this book are many, but the first place award goes to the worldbuilding. This version of our future, the differences between a pre-industrial society and off-world culture are fuel for many things to come (guess what, a second novel in the same scenario is on the way). The whole set of characters works fine, even for the more borderline, and the plot runs fast. I was more than a bit wary about the romance, but it works just fine.

The cons of this book are small stuff, details that are a bit cranky here and there. No spoilers here, but there is a fantasy element that entirely doesn’t work, and a couple of the minor decision made by Car-El looks more than a bit abrupt, not quite in line with the general profile of the character.

Where to find it: Flame Tree Pressamazon.com

Vote: 08,00 / 10,00.

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An Open Letter To Science Fiction Writers

Dear All,

Have I told you lately how much I love your works? No? Well, this is a good time as any to tell you so. I’m reading good science fiction and enjoying some good TV show, thanks to your efforts. Thank you, straight from the heart.

Now, can we speak about a couple of serious problems?

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Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

Writing about Harlan Ellison is almost impossible for me. I was a fan (I still am!), no matter how much controversial or bizarre could have been his behavior sometimes. His works are milestones for anybody who wants to understand what science fiction could be at the top of the game.

There is something special for me, anytime I pick up one of his stories. A sharpness of thought, the feeling of something stronger than words coded between the lines, and more than a bit of apprehension because the story will end up leaving me asking for more.

He will be missed. I can foresee a not-so-distant time in the future when some useful idiot in the publishing industry will blurb about “the new Harlan Ellison”. Well, there will boiling pitch and feathers poured all over this idiot, no matter how high-placed he or she could be.

Thank you, Sir.

The BBC and the 13th Doctor

Things change. The end of the Moffat-era as a showrunner and the change in the main character’s role could be sensitive for the fans, but after this season (the lowest ever in the ratings) the BBC was in for something more than a few replacements.

Steven Moffat did a great job, with some minor glitch here and there, until Peter Capaldi came in the show. I’m sure it’s coincidence, but it still troubles me to see that one of the best available actors has been set up with the weakest streak of episodes in the last few years. A new showrunner was needed and Chris Chibnall is a very strong choice.

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Writing in a storm

Image by Tom Coates

Image by Tom Coates

Well, it’s been a while since the last post. Let’s be honest, a lot more than a while. This happens when life is running faster and the days flows away like water, leaving my mind awash with the pressure of what’s going on and what will happen in the next few months.

Relax, it’s about working more. No real problem. I’m more than a bit anxious about getting stuff done in a proper way than other people and sometimes a 48 hours looks like a very nice idea. I think that everybody ’round here knows the feeling. Been there, done that, no more on the subject.

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Writing science fiction – more free tools for the trade

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In my latest post (here) I’ve suggested a couple free MOOC in order to acquire more knowledge about selected matters, the idea is to keep myself in touch with the latest development of science and to suggest the same to my fellow writers.

This concept may apply in many different fields of writing, like thriller or mystery, and it’s not only about what will happen tomorrow but it’s also about what is going on today – in order to get the feeling of what will happen tomorrow.

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Writing science fiction – free tools for the trade

science_fiction_quarterly_195505

One of the biggest challenges for a writer who wants to write science fiction is to be up-to-date with the most recent developments of real world science, not to mention the constant upgrade of the speculations about the nature of our universe. We all know that a science fiction novel (or whatever format) is not an essay about some peculiar field of science. We also know that without enough scientific (or para-scientific) elements in the story we’re not writing science fiction but some kind of fantasy (that’s not a problem, of course, but we’re talking about sci-fi right now).

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