Review: Mars Girl

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Mars GirlI was introduced to Jeff Garrity’s Mars Girl years ago, when it could be said that the age of independent science fiction authors producing ebooks was still in its pre-Amazon renaissance.  In my recent search for more budding Sf authors, whom I hope to see much more of in the future, I came across this book again and decided to give it a second read.  I’m so glad I did.  (It’s easy for you to read it too, because it’s free.)

Mars Girl is that rare breed of science fiction dark satire, mostly a scathing and hilarious look at the future of the media news industry.  The story revolves around the big news item of the moment, in this case, a young girl on the first manned mission to Mars; and in the process, the story shows us a news media system addicted to ratings, fighting for commercial dollars, not afraid to stoop to sensationalism and stabbing its own people in the back, and eager to package its news as whatever kind of reality-show drama will win them the eyeballs that night. Continue reading

Desperately seeking futurist SF writers

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Steven Lyle JordanBeing an independent self-published author, I’ve always sought to find other independent authors to enjoy… supporting the fraternity, as it were.  But from the very beginning, I’ve had a problem: I can’t find indie authors, like myself, writing the kind of SF novels that I write and enjoy.  There must be some; I can’t be the only futurist SF writer, or the last futurist writer who’s still independent or self-published.  Where are all my futurist SF writing homeys? Continue reading

What’d ya do WRONG?

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Angel and Devil

My decision to lay off novel-writing, since I could not work out the promotional end of selling the books, has led to a common (and predictable) reaction from many of my friends and relatives, to wit: Since I enjoy writing, I should keep writing anyway, just for my own satisfaction.  The idea that creation is its own reward is ingrained in the thoughts of modern society, as well as the essentially honorable concept of the “starving artist.”

And though I, myself, bought into these ideas for years, I find that I can’t get behind them the way I used to.  And it’s not because I get no satisfaction from creating; I do, in fact, enjoy the process of writing and creating a good story.  But since giving up novel writing, I’ve found that I’ve had to cage up a tiny demon in the back of my head, one that has become a constant distraction to me.  He’s not my creative demon.  He’s my analytical demon.  And he demands to know what I so thoroughly fucked up. Continue reading

Making novels feel real

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Steven Lyle JordanI recently heard from a reader who wanted me to know how much he’d enjoyed how my stories had drawn him into the narrative.  He specified Verdant Pioneers, and described a scene where one of the female characters is reunited with a beau that appeared in Verdant Skies He described the moment with a series of words from the book, which I immediately recognized, and then lamented that not only did he strongly feel that moment, but he felt bad that he’d never felt such a powerful emotion directed at himself!

(Yeah, join the club.  We have T-shirts.)

I’m not writing about this to brag, but to point out the difference between different writing styles, and how they affect readers. Continue reading

What do readers owe authors?

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Steven Lyle JordanMy recent efforts to figure out the future of my perennially zombie-fied writing sideline has naturally led to a lot of questions for myself, trying to justify my actions as an author, a promoter and an entrepreneur.  Front and center to these questions has been the role of social media to promote and sell my products, and attempts to better understand what works and why.

In my searches to better understand, I came across an old TeleRead article by Joanna Cabot, entitled “What do readers owe authors?”  The article investigates the idea that readers are encouraged by authors to help promote them, largely by utilizing the social media tools at their disposal—blogs, review columns, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc—and that doing so helps the authors to continue to produce for them. Continue reading

Sarcology is now on sale

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sarcology cover 2014Sarcology, my sixteenth novel, is now available at my site, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (There is a $1.00 discount when ordering through my site.)

On its surface, Sarcology is a futurist detective adventure: A husband-and-wife detective agency must help a scientist who has been blackmailed, forced to regularly submit to her blackmailer’s sexual appetites in order to keep her past indiscretions secret; but the blackmailer has suddenly moved up from sex to corporate secrets, and now he must be stopped.

But the heart of the story is in the relationship between Allen and Jessica Teal, the detective couple… and, later, between Jessica and a robot prototype that enters her life, carrying the memories of her husband. Jessica must soon try to decide whether the robot is simply mimicking her husband, or if her husband is trapped inside a robotic body… and whether that should make a difference.

A Press Kit providing more details about the novel is now available through RightBrane.com.

The author interviews the cast and crew of The Kestral Voyages: The Lens

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cover of The Kestral Voyages: The Lens

An unutterably silly story, transcribed (with comments) from the MobileRead forums

Konichi-wa. I’m Steven Lyle Jordan, and I’ve been offered a rare opportunity. I am standing just outside of the space freighter Mary, featured in the novel My Life, After Berserker, and The Lens. I have been given permission to go on-board the Mary and speak to its cast—er, crew, about the upcoming novel, and anything else they want to talk about, before it is released! And as this is a sort-of pseudo kinda something like live feed, you, my MR friends, can also suggest questions for me to ask the crew, about anything you want! (And they may even answer you!)

Yeah! Cool, isn’t it? Just like a DVD extra! Continue reading

Developing the future of Sarcology

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Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

Steven Lyle Jordan

I always develop most of a novel’s setting before I start writing it, and allow the writing process to flesh out a few cool details along the way.  As I’m currently hip-deep in my next novel, currently known by the project name of Sarcology, I’ve written most of those fine details, and find myself working in an environment that I can picture in my mind as if I’ve actually just returned from visiting there.  So I thought I would spell out a few details, to prepare you for the world of my upcoming novel. Continue reading

Robots, here I come.

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Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

Steven Lyle Jordan

I may be mere days away from committing the first organized state of electrons to file (colloquially known as “words to paper”) on my next novel, which will explore the concepts of relationships and identity between human beings and robots.  And considering how long I’ve gone since my last major writing project, I find that as I get closer to the commitment point, I’m getting more stoked about it. Continue reading

“I’m sorry you have no friends.”

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Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

Years ago, my wife and I bought our house in Maryland. Our real estate agent was a man whom we’d met at a house sale elsewhere, and we liked him so much that we’d asked him to represent us; with his help, we found a great house, and have been more than satisfied with it to this day.

One day, a few months later, we chanced upon him, and after mutual greetings, he said to us: “I’m sorry you have no friends.” It took us a second to realize he was sarcastically referring to his hope that we would have recommended him to our friends in the market for new homes, thereby bringing him fresh business. We didn’t take it personally, of course—and at the time, we didn’t happen to know anyone who was house-hunting, so we couldn’t have helped even if we’d wanted to—but the point was taken. Continue reading