the Little Red Reviewer

Gate To Futures Past Blog Tour: Julie Czerneda Appreciation Party!

Posted on: August 27, 2016

So, we’ve got a big party going on today! I’m part of the blog tour for the release of Julie Czerneda’s The Gate to Futures Past (book #2 in the Reunification series! Part of the huge finale for the Clan Chronicles!), I’ve got some epic guest posts below, and there’s an even more epic US / Canada give away from DAW books!

About the The Gate To Futures Past:

Betrayed and attacked, the Clan fled the Trade Pact for Cersi, believing that world their long-lost home. With them went a lone alien, the Human named Jason Morgan, Chosen of their leader, Sira di Sarc. Tragically, their arrival upset the Balance between Cersi’s three sentient species. And so the Clan, with their newfound kin, must flee again.

Their starship, powered by the M’hir, follows a course set long ago, for Clan abilities came from an experiment their ancestors—the Hoveny—conducted on themselves. But it’s a perilous journey. The Clan must endure more than cramped conditions and inner turmoil.

Their dead are Calling.

Sira must keep her people from answering, for if they do, they die. Morgan searches the ship for answers, afraid the Hoveny’s tech is beyond his grasp. Their only hope? To reach their destination.

Gate to Futures Past Cover ArtIf you’re just joining us, check out my review of The Gulf of Time and Stars (eek! spoilers!), and Julie’s chat with cover artist Matt Stawicki about the beautiful cover art.

I’ve talked plenty about how much I enjoy Julie’s work. So to celebrate this newest Clan Chronicles book, I got a bunch of friends together, and asked them to talk about how much they enjoy Julie’s work.  Why do a blog tour post when you can have a big Julie Czerneda Appreciation Party instead, right? RIGHT.  So let’s party!

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From Paul Weimer, who is a SF/F reviewer, photographer, writer, gamer, and podcaster.  He’s co-host at the Skiffy and Fanty Show podcast, and is a contributor at B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy and You can follow Paul on twitter at @PrinceJvstin.


Andrea: Which Julie Czerneda title is your favorite ? why is it your favorite?

Paul: Sure, ask me the tough question first. It’s not fair to discuss The Gate to Futures Past, and so I am going go with the latest book of hers that readers can currently get: This Gulf of Time and Stars. It was and is a welcome reintroduction to Sira and the Clan, after years away from one of my favorite SF universes. But it goes deeper than that: The novel starts to tie together both the Sira novels and the Stratification novels (starting with Reap the Wild Wind). It starts this capstone trilogy to her work, and masterfully starts the unification of these disparate plotlines, while making me love her characterization and worldbuilding all over again.

Andrea: Why is Julie Czerneda’ s work important to you?

Paul: It’s the characters. Sure, she has some amazing worldbuilding: a polity of humans and aliens and cultures that I seriously rank alongside the likes of C.J. Cherryh in depth and complexity. I eat that sort of stuff up with a spoon. But beyond the aliens and strange cultures, she populates with characters that give me, to quote Lynne Thomas, “all the feels”. Sira and Jason are one of the best relationships, growing and evolving, I have yet found in science fiction. I have been inspired and enthralled by their relationship, and the relationships around them, since her first Clan novel.

Andrea: The story of the Clan Chronicles has been going for nearly 20 years. How has your interaction with the series changed over the years? Did you get something different out of it as you read the books at different points in your life?

Paul: I came to Thousand Words for a Stranger back when it first came out. I had picked it up as one among many novels I was reading at the time in an explicit attempt to really broaden my reading to the fairer sex. Too much of my prior reading, I had felt, was a sausage-fest and picking up stuff like a debut novel from someone named Julie Czerneda seemed like a good way to try and help diversify myself. I came for the explicit attempt at diversification, I stayed when I fell for Sira’s story early and often. Now I see the series as a touchstone and one of the best worlds in Science fiction today. This new trilogy proves it.

gulf of time and stars

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From Jorie at Jorie Loves a Story, who has been reading the Clan Chronicles from the beginning! The reviews she’s posted so far include,A Thousand Words for Stranger, Reap the Wild Wind, Riders of the Storm, Rift in the Sky and The Ties of Power.  you can follow Jorie on twitter @JorieStory.


Dear Sci-Fi Readers,

How do you start to explain the gravity of your thankfulness on behalf of an author who’s changed your perception for where science fiction can take you? Not only for the breadth of her visionary world- building but for how she’s able to transfix your mind into a symbiotic experience as you entreat inside the souls of her characters?

The best way to begin is to give you a small fraction of what I’ve left behind on my blog Jorie Loves A Story last November as I embarked on my journey into #whoaretheclan for the first time:

“Point. Blank. Truth: I’m so enraptured by this unputdownable series, I start to itch to read the next story involving the characters. There is a jumping of time between the prequel trilogy (Stratification) and the original trilogy (Trade Pact Universe) but I did not mind – it’s the writing, the world-building and the very scope of where this series takes you that I could simply not get enough of to satisfy my thirst for the Clan. Everything is included for you to drink in to your mind: drama, family, distrust, power, alliance, friendship, the natural environs, interstellar travel via teleportation, telepathy, self-aware children, and the determined grit to create your own destiny.

I admit, I was out of my depth a bit in the beginning – my sense of understanding left behind on Cersi, so attached was I to the Clan’s origins, I found myself fighting a bit to adjust to this new generation of the Clan. All my receptors were gone, and I had to find a new way to align within this section of the saga; to say Ms Czerneda kept challenging me would put it mildly. The gift for me was the fact she had challenged my mind to enter her universe.” – quoted from my review of A Thousand Words for Stranger.

You simply do not realise how one author can forever change your life by the world they’ve left behind for you to find. In one reading of the first four volumes of The Clan Chronicles in November of 2015, Julie E. Czerneda became my most beloved science fiction writer of all-time! In part due to the realistic tangibility of entrancing into a near-off future and settle into the shoes of characters you emotionally feel as connected too as members of your own family. You don’t just read The Clan Chronicles, you become a part of them. Your heart bleeds and your imagination eclipses into a whole new stratosphere of literary enlightenment.

a thousand words czerneda
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From Bob Milne, who runs SF/F book review blog Beauty in Ruins. Follow Bob on twitter at @beauty_in_ruins, and click here for Bob’s review of This Gulf of Time and Stars.

I know that Julie is best known for her Clan Chronicles (which I have thoroughly enjoyed, and appreciated on a number of different levels), but I have always been a fantasy fan first, and a science-fiction fan second, so the announcement of her Night’s Edge series was extremely exciting for me. Much to my delight, both A Turn of Light and A Play of Shadow were fantastic reads, and I am anxiously awaiting her promised return to Marrowdell for a third (and fourth) book.

It may sound clichéd, but the Night’s Edge series is quintessentially Canadian fantasy. Offering an escape from the grimdark movement of the last decade, it’s a series that is bright and vibrant, full of magic and wonder. The mythology of the world is almost as gorgeous as the pastoral setting, and the characters are fully realized individuals who refuse to be pigeonholed as genre tropes.  While she has always excelled at creating strong female protagonists, I don’t know that Julie has ever written anyone quite as pleasantly unique as Jenn Nalynn.

A Play of Shadow may be the finest book Julie has ever written. It takes everything she established in the first book, and makes it better . . . stronger . . . and more significant. Like the first, it’s still very much a book to be savoured, but the wider world building, the deeper mythology, and the heightened excitement make it one that’s very difficult to put down.  Julie has always stood all alongside the giants of Canadian science fiction, but (for me) this is the book that ensure her a place among the giants of fantasy as well.

a turn of light
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from Rob Bedford, who blogs at Rob’s Blog O’Stuff,,, and at the recently shuttered SFSignal.  Check out all of Rob’s geekiness on twitter, where he’s @RobHBedford

My introduction to Julie Czerneda’s work is her Species Imperative trilogy (Survival, Migration, and Regeneration), and I was immensely impressed through the gigantic omnibus DAW issued a couple of years ago.

Species Imperative is a powerful and wonderful story of scientific discovery, brilliantly diverse aliens, human emotion and a great story of our place in the universe. The star of the trilogy, of course, is the protagonist Mac. She is one of the most plausible and believable scientist protagonists I’ve come across in Hard Science Fiction. There’s a tradition of Science Fiction wherein the scientist is hero, gallantly (and often flawlessly) solving the problems raised by a story or novel’s plot. That tradition also tends to gender-default to male characters. Czerneda goes the other direction and gives readers a flawed well rounded character at the height of her chosen vocation who is a woman. In Mac, she’s given readers one of the more engaging scientist-heroes in the genre, and just an admirable character as a whole.

Make no mistake about Species Imperative being Hard SF, just because it features Biology rather than Quantum Physics or the science behind space travel as its feature science, Czerneda applies no less a rigorous approach to the science/biology in the novel through Mac.

The deductive reasoning and how Mac infers things about the home world of the various aliens featured in the series, her conclusions about the relationship between the multiple alien species featured are all logical scientific reasoning. Most importantly, Czerneda makes for great dramatic tension and narrative pull with Mac at the center.

I (and I suspect other readers, and the authors, I assume) have always been impressed by the fine job the folks at DAW do to ensure a writer’s books remain available for readers, especially through issuance of omnibus editions, such as this mammoth omnibus in celebration of 10th Anniversary of Species Imperative.

I’ve since read her debut novel A Thousand Words for Stranger and thought it was a smart SF Novel, even more so because it was her first published novel. With Mrs. Czerneda revisiting The Clan Chronicles, in the Reunification trilogy, I am looking forward catching up with the series.


species imperative big

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If Paul, Jorie, Bob, and Rob can’t convince you to pick up a Czerneda title, I’m not sure what will.


oh, wait, I know something else that will. How about a chance to win all eight books in the Clan Chronicles?  This give away is for all US/Canada residents, and is run through Rafflecopter. The giveaway closes on Sept 7th, 2016.


Click the link below to visit the Rafflecopter giveaway (Sorry, I’m on a free WordPress site, and it doesn’t seem to like javascript. But you can still enter the give away!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 Responses to "Gate To Futures Past Blog Tour: Julie Czerneda Appreciation Party!"

Thanks for the invite, Andrea. A great celebration of Julie’s work.


I agree with Rob Bedford regarding the hard sci-fi aspect of Julie’s writing. I had a love/hate relationship with hard sci-fi (I wanted to understand it but it seemd fickle) until reading Julie’s stuff. She makes it all so available to wannabe scientific minds like mine.

Liked by 1 person

Thank you. (Whew, it’s worked!)


Thanks for thinking of me and inviting me, Andrea 🙂


Bravo to all concerned!! (A special one for Andrea.)


Hallo, Hallo Andrea!

I am so wicked excited to be a part of the collective of SF readers who are spending the day *celebrating!* Ms Czerneda! 🙂 I was beyond honoured you’ve invited me into this fold of joy – I’ve read this post multiple times savouring the insights & the bookish joy each of us has shared in turn! 🙂 It’s a fantastic post!!

What I loved the most is how each of us entered into the worlds of Ms Czerneda at a different junction point – each of us walking away with a beloved read and a mind never quite letting go of the worlds & characters we’ve met during our visitations!

I am thankful I could be part of the joy in sending a *big!* hug of gratitude to an author whose given all of us so many dearly beloved hours of joy reading her collective works! Thanks again for bringing us all together! You rock!


Big HUGS back, Jorie!!! I agree on all points. Fantastic post!

Liked by 1 person

To me, the best thing about science fiction is the big “what if”.


Where it all begins, definitely. I get tingly whenever I have one!


A fine post, Red, and nice to see all the positive comments on a fine writer. I’m about to try the first book in Species Imperative set.


I hope you enjoy, Richard!


What a wonderful post. It was great to read how others felt about Julie’s book. I’m a …fell in love with Sira first …sort of reader myself.


This is so great to see, there’s plenty of negativity in the world and it’s lovely to see so many coming together to celebrate a author’s work. Thank you all!

Liked by 1 person

It’s the sort of thing that makes up for the “is anybody out there” times for a writer. Immensely reassuring and inspires!

Liked by 1 person

Egad. Now I have to write an EVEN BETTER BOOK! (Raised the bar, they have.)

Liked by 1 person

and to celebrate that book, I’ll have to come up with an even better blog party type thing….

Liked by 1 person

I’ll be back with bells on & happily gushing about your works to newer readers who haven’t yet discovered your characters! 🙂 Wicked happy you’ve been having such a stellarly brilliant #bookbirthday for GATE! 🙂


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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