4 May 2019

Stacking the Shelves (12): May 4, 2019

04 May 3 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
I am so glad April is over. April is always a really hard month for me in terms of mental health so I am glad that it is done and behind me. Onto bigger and better things!

How has everyone's 2019 been going so far?

3 May 2019

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: NO LIGHT TOMORROW by Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen // #Review + #interview for #SFFFridays

03 May 3 Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!

NO LIGHT TOMORROW

Author: Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen
Series: N/A
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Publisher: Adventure Worlds Press
Publication Date: December 31, 2015
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
Some things are so accepted as to be taken for granted. While the far future is shrouded in uncertainty, there are expectations often considered assured that are overlooked. There is only one you, threats are usually empty, ghosts are not real, life is finite, science can solve the most daunting challenges, and beliefs are assured when society takes matters in their own hands. When unexpected events transpire, we are left in the dark. 

Authors Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen present six science fiction stories that explore improbability and show you what happens when expectations are subverted.

Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

I really enjoyed this one. It had a lot of really great aspects to it overall and I liked reading all the stories. Like most novella and story collections, I felt as though the stories ended well before I wanted them to. But it was a nice peak into the author's way of writing and get a taste of what else you can expect to read. I look forward to reading more from the authors!

See my individual rating of the stories below...

The Doubling by Christian Laforet: 3.5*

Slow Hallway by Ben Van Dongen: 3.5*

Uninvited Guest by Ben Van Dongen: 4*

As Big As Love by Christian Laforet: 3*

Dead Planet by Ben Van Dongen: 4.5*

Digital Heaven by Christian Laforet: 3*


Describe NO LIGHT TOMORROW in 10 words or less.

Christian Laforet:  Six science fiction stories which explore dark possibilities (yay, I did it in eight!)

Ben Van Dongen: It’s not the Twilight Zone, but it’s similar. 


What do you enjoy about writing as a team? How do you keep each other motivated?

Christian Laforet: The best thing about having a writing partner, for me, is having that second opinion. So many times while working on No Light Tomorrow (and other projects), would I stop writing, look up, and get Ben's opinion on something. Having that instant feedback is worth a lot.

Ben Van Dongen: While we don’t write together, Christian and I often write at the same time, in the same location. Having a set time helps keep me on track. Even when I’m not feeling it, I go and often do more than I though I would. It’s also nice to have someone there who you can bounce ideas off of, and to help you find that one word that’s on the tip of your tongue that you just can’t seem to remember.


Who out of the characters you’ve written would you most like to hang out with for a day, and what would you do?

Christian Laforet: Tough question. My stories in No Light Tomorrow feature the sort of folks you probably wouldn't want to hang out with. However, if I had to choose, I'd take the protagonist from As Big As Love. He would probably be rather gloomy, but still, he has some big ideas and would be worth talking to.

Ben Van Dongen: I’m not sure I’d like to hang out with any of my characters. Most of them are too much like me. I think we’d get on each other’s nerves. If I had to choose, I’d probably say Reggie, the protagonist from my latest book, The Neon Heart. He’s more honest and to the point than I am, and he has access to a space ship, so that’s enough for me right there.


What do you enjoy most about writing novella length stories?

Christian Laforet: The nice thing about novellas is that you can boil a story down, but not so much that you lose content. In short stories, you have to strip almost everything away except for the core concept. In a novella, you get the pacing of a novel, you get to stretch your literary legs a bit, but you are not bogged down by multiple plotlines. It's the perfect balance between a short story and a full length novel.

Ben Van Dongen: I really like how fast and immediate novellas can be. There is no time to dilly-dally. It’s similar to a short story where the idea is the star. Since I have so may stories I want to tell, novellas are a way to knock out a book, explore one thing, and move on to the next.



What can we expect from you next?

Christian LaforetI am just fnishing my horror novel. Hopefully there will be news on that in the near future. And in the fall, my first short story collection (The Space Between Houses) will be going back to print for a second edition with Urban Farmhouse Press.

Ben Van Dongen: I’m currently working on a science fiction novel that I hope to sell to an agent, but chances are the next Novella in The Synthetic Albatross series, currently titled Broadcast Wasteland, will make it out first.

Ben Van Dongen & Christian Laforet

Ben Van Dongen grew up in Windsor Ontario. He likes to think that if he tried harder he could have been an Astronaut, but he is happier writing science fiction anyway. He co-authored the books No Light Tomorrow and All These Crooked streets, and is one half of the founding team of Adventure Worlds Press. His first solo book, The Thinking Machine, a cyberpunk novella, came out last year and the unconnected sequel, The Neon Heart, is now available.
Connect with Ben:

Christian Laforet lives in LaSalle, Ontario with his wife, Lady, and his two girls, Lelaina Blue and Delilah Sunshine. He is co-founder and frequent contributor to the short fiction site, Adventure Worlds (adventureworldsblog.com).The rapidly growing website is shared among a group of writers who regularly post stories across all genres. Christian is also involved in several other projects and is hard at work on his first novel.

Connect with Christian:

What are some of your favourite Adult SFF books?

1 May 2019

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: HOLY SISTER by Mark Lawrence // #Review + #interview for #SFFFridays

01 May 1 Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!

HOLY SISTER

Author: Mark Lawrence
Series: Book of the Ancestor #3
Source: Finished Copy from the Publisher
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: April 4, 2019


Summary:
They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that Nona and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Below is my review of RED SISTER!



Disclaimer: I received a finish copy from the publisher, but then bought a copy from Audible and listened to the audiobook. This in no way impacts my opinion.
I followed because I thought that if I turned back then I would keep turning back, turning away from every other fear, from every new thin, and that I would never leave that place to which my father had brought me. I would live, toil, grow old, and die, all within sight of my mother's hut, and the ice would remain forever a line glimpsed in the distance, and I wouldn't matter to the world nor would it matter to me.
This was one of the best Adult fantasy books I've read in a very long time. I have so many positive things and thoughts about this one. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a good magic system, badass nuns, and women who know being vulnerable can be strong as well.