the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Julie Czerneda’ Category

 

The next book in Julie Czerneda’s Reunification trilogy, The Gate to Future’s Past, is coming out in September, and I’m super excited to reveal the cover art and talk more about the series all day today.  What’s the gist of the Clan Chronicles, and the newest trilogy in this career spanning series?  I’m glad you asked!

 

The Clan Chronicles is set in a far future with interstellar travel where the Trade Pact encourages peaceful commerce among a multitude of alien and Human worlds. The alien Clan, humanoid in appearance, have been living in secrecy and wealth on Human worlds, relying on their innate ability to move through the M’hir and bypass normal space. The Clan bred to increase that power, only to learn its terrible price: females who can’t help but kill prospective mates. Sira di Sarc is the first female of her kind facing that reality. With the help of a Human starship captain, Jason Morgan, himself a talented telepath, Sira must find a morally acceptable solution before it’s too late. But with the Clan exposed, her time is running out. The Stratification trilogy follows Sira’s ancestor, Aryl Sarc, and shows how their power first came to be as well as how the Clan came to live in the Trade Pact. The Trade Pact trilogy is the story of Sira and Morgan, and the trouble facing the Clan. Reunification will conclude the series and answer, at last, #WhoAreTheClan.

And what will be the fate of all.

 

With stunning cover art by Matt Stawicki, the artwork brings together an epic story told over the course of nearly twenty years.

Julie chatted with Matt Stawicki about incorporating earlier artwork, capturing Sira’s emotions, and more.    Let’s see what they said!

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Ta da! Here it is. The wonderful work of Matthew Stawicki, revealed at last. I’ve been waiting to share this cover with you for the better part of a year, for it was complete well before the book.

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Pardon? you say. How can that be?

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Remember the bricks? This image was one of them, firmly in my mind since I started writing This Gulf of Time and Stars.

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Book #2, Sira, meeting her destiny. Triumphant!
Or is she?

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That’s the magic of an image like this. Knowledge morphs impact, grants new meaning and alters perspective. What you think you see now, before reading The Gate to Futures Past, will change once you have.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friends, I’m so thrilled to be hosting author Julie Czerneda today, I can’t even.  I know ya’ll remember when I went absolutely nuts over her Species Imperative trilogy (biology FTW!), when I wrote an accidentally spoilery review of the most recent Clan Chronicles novel This Gulf of Time and Stars, and how much fun we had with hosting her for an AMA.  Her newest Clan Chronicles novel, The Gate to Futures Past doesn’t hit bookstore shelves until September, but today is the big cover art release party!  I’ll be posting throughout the day with more artwork and more inside scoop, but in the meantime, let’s here from the author herself about how she keeps track of this generation and galaxy spanning epic. . .

Author Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

Author Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

scroll artwork

Holding Nothing Back

a guest post by
Julie Czerneda

 

 

 

The room could be in any seedy backwater motel. Inside, however, is an open suitcase, its contents strewn over the unmade bed: three hats; four cell phones in their original packaging; a small hatchet, its blade edged in what looks like rust. Oh, and a lab coat, scrunched into a ball.

By the bed is a night stand; on it are pieces of what had been the hotel phone.

Protruding from the bathroom are a pair of dirty boots, toes up. It’s only then you realize they contain feet.

Two things just happened. You guessed what you’re reading: a murder mystery, with clues being presented. And, perhaps without even being aware, you began a story of your own, a plausible scenario based on this room.

And those feet.

Now comes the test. What’s next? If your scenario fits the rest of what you read, for this is a book, it’s gratifying—so long as you didn’t see everything coming. In that case, you’re bored silly and probably won’t finish reading. On the other hand, if there’s an abrupt departure from what you expected, well, that could be fun. After all, who doesn’t like a startling revelation to tingle the imagination and make you read faster and faster—

Read the rest of this entry »

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cover art by Matt Stawicki

As part of Julie Czerneda‘s blog tour for her new Clan Chronicles novel, The Gulf of Time and Stars, I’m thrilled to be hosting Julie for an AMA (Ask Me Anything).   Click here for blogtour updates on facebook, or follow #timeandstarstour.

Best known for her biology based science fiction, Julie Czerneda has been editing and writing speculative fiction since the late 1990s.  Her first novel, A Thousand Words For Stranger, would eventually lead to novels that tackle the biological needs and requirements of alien species and humans alike, garnering Czerneda numerous Prix Aurora Awards (most recently for her first fantasy novel A Turn of Light).  She’s also involved with science education, anthology editing, and giving her fans more of what they want: namely more of Sira de Sarc!

Today we’re celebrating her newest novel This Gulf of Time and Stars (available Nov 3), which is also the start of a new Clan Chronicles trilogy, The Reunification series. You can read my spoilery review here, and there’s more info near the bottom of this post.   Julie is joining us all day today, Sunday Nov 1st, to answer your questions!  And since this is an Ask Me Anything, you really can ask her anything. Ask a question about her books or characters, or about her writing methods, or her pets, or what she likes to eat, or editing or anthologies, or Canada, or biology, or teaching, or her panel schedule at World Fantasy Con, or well, you get the idea!

photo credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

photo credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

Some starter questions that came in before this post went live:

 

Which do you prefer? coffee or tea?

Are the Dhryn based on any animals from Earth?

You write a lot of trilogies. Do you outline the entire series before finishing the first book?

Any cures for writer’s block?

 

If you’re just joining us, and want to get in on the fun, here’s what the Clan Chronicles is all about:

 

The Clan Chronicles is set in a far future with interstellar travel where the Trade Pact encourages peaceful commerce among a multitude of alien and Human worlds. The alien Clan, humanoid in appearance, have been living in secrecy and wealth on Human worlds, relying on their innate ability to move through the M’hir and bypass normal space. The Clan bred to increase that power, only to learn its terrible price: females who can’t help but kill prospective mates. Sira di Sarc is the first female of her kind facing that reality. With the help of a Human starship captain, Jason Morgan, Sira must find a morally acceptable solution before it’s too late. But with the Clan exposed, her time is running out. The Stratification trilogy follows Sira’s ancestor, Aryl Sarc, and shows how their power first came to be as well as how the Clan came to live in the Trade Pact. The Trade Pact trilogy is the story of Sira and Morgan, and the trouble facing the Clan. Reunification will conclude the series and answer, at last, #whoaretheclan.

Give away details: DAW  has kindly provided a hardback and Audible has provided an audiobook of This Gulf of Time and Stars to two lucky winners.  If you live in Canada or the US, you are eligible to win the hardback, and the audiobook is an international giveaway. (listen to a sample of the audio here) To enter the giveaways, participate in the AMA by asking a question, or just comment below that you’re interested in being entered into the giveaway. Although the AMA is only happening today, Nov 1st, you can enter for the giveaways until Saturday Nov 7th. I’ll choose a winner shortly after the 7th, so be sure to give me a way to reach you (e-mail, twitter, etc).

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What are you doing Sunday November 1st?   You’re hanging out right here for the AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Julie Czerneda, that’s what!  She’ll be answering questions live in the comments, and i’ll be approving comments as fast as I can.  We’ll be celebrating her forthcoming novel, This Gulf of Time and Stars which hits bookstore shelves on Nov 3rd,  and picking her brain on all sorts of other fun things.

(Links! My review of This Gulf of Time and Stars,  Amazon pre-order link, Julie Czerneda’s website, facebook fan page, Julie Czerneda’s twitter)

I don’t know about you, but I want to know how she came up with the idea for the Dhryn, how she gets schoolkids excited about science and biology, how writing fantasy is different than writing SF, how she keeps such a huge cast of characters straight, what’s her favorite food, and about a million more questions.

Wanna submit a question early? E-mail them to me at redhead5318 at that gmail period com place.  I’ll get them pre-loaded for the big event.

What’s this you say about a give away?  why yes, yes there will be  give aways as part of the AMA! Ask a question on Nov 1st or comment that you’re interested in being entered, and you’ll be eligible to win an audiobook (international) or a Hardback (US or Canada) of This Gulf of Time and Stars. Stay tuned for more details!

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The AMA is part of the Blog Tour for This Gulf of Time and Stars.

51FDYgEMAsL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie Czerneda (Reunification #1)

publishes Nov 3rd, 2015

where I got it: received review copy from the publisher (thanks DAW!)

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If you’ve been following Julie Czerneda’s writing career, the phrase “a new Clan Chronicles novel!” is music to your ears. I discovered Czerneda through her Species Imperative trilogy, and quickly fell in love with her invitingly conversational  writing style, her characterization, and the way she writes alien species. Seriously, this woman is the ultimate master of writing convincing alien species. Formally trained as a biologist, Czerneda’s plots touch on evolution,  biology, ecology, and how it’s all related.  She’ll introduce you to an alien civilization and then prove their population isn’t living on their planet of origin, she’ll give a species a strong evolutionary process and then prove that it doesn’t quite work as planned. It’s true, physics and math will get us to the stars, but it’s biology that will give us the answers to whatever and whoever we find living out there.

I think the biggest question surrounding This Gulf of Time and Stars is can readers new to this series jump in here? The answer is it depends on the reader. If you don’t mind feeling a little in the deep end (some of my favorite authors have thrown me into the deep end, to fantastic results – looking at you China Mieville and Iain M. Banks!), or you’re willing to take 5 minutes to do a little research by reading Czerneda’s informative and entertaining Big Idea post over at Scalzi’s Whatever, you’ll do fine. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers to have everything explained right off the bat, you may prefer to start earlier in the series. Generally speaking, Czerneda is the kind of author who simply doesn’t explain things right away – part of her character’s journeys involves discovering for themselves what’s going on, and how, and why. and when I say “discovering for themselves”, I don’t mean coming of age (although some of her novels would qualify as coming of age), I mean discovering genetic secrets and information that  could tear apart an entire society and species. We’re talking big picture here.

This review does have SPOILERS for the first books in the series, and some SPOILERS for This Gulf of Time and Stars.

Here’s the very quick and dirty background of the series, the characters, and the world, in which I have grossly simplified everything in the name of brevity:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanks to Julie Czerneda’s publishers, I’ve got a copy of the Species Imperative Omnibus to give away to one lucky reader!  Scroll to the bottom of this post for more information on the give away.

RegenerationRegeneration (Species Imperative #3) by Julie Czerneda

published in 2006

where I got it: purchased used

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It’s hard to get into the plot of Regeneration without spoiling things that happened in the previous books, so I’m going to try to keep  the plot-talk very light. The super quick oversimplified plot introduction is that in the not too distant future we have become part of the Interspecies Union, which is exactly what it sounds like. Thanks to no-space transit technology provided by the multi-dimensional Ro, and the Sinzi who administrate it, hundreds of galactic species can travel all over the place.    Brymn, a Dhryn researcher, seeks out the Earthbound salmon researcher Dr. Mackenzie Connor (Mac to her friends), for help with how to save his species.

 

In Regeneration, the final book of the Species Imperative trilogy, while most governments are trying to figure out a weapon of mass destruction (or extinction) that can be used against the Dhryn, Mac and her team are asking questions that are more along the lines of *why*?  Why do the Dhryn have this biological urge? What is their biology anyways? Have they always been like this? How and where did they evolve? Can we trust our sources of information? I wish all scifi books had this much science in their fiction.  Give this series to a high school kid, and watch them fall in love with biology.

 

Underneath the superb characters and the smart dialog, and the hella fun aliens (whose biology makes sense!), and the political intrigue and the race against time are some heavy questions:

 

How do we handle an invasive species, especially if that species is intelligent and space-faring?

 

How do you study a species that most people (human and alien) have been taught to shoot on sight?

 

How do you get a panicked population to calm down? How do you get someone to work against their biological urges (or what they’ve been lead to believe are their biological urges?)

Read the rest of this entry »

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This interview is part of SciFi November, hosted by Rinn Reads and Oh The Books!

A friend of mine had been recommending Julie Czerneda’s science fiction to me for a while, and last year I finally picked up the first book in her Species Imperative series, Survival.  In a word, that novel was phenomenal.  Strong characters, fascinating and freaky aliens, politics, intrigue, and even better, it was a scifi book based on biology (instead of physics, which seems to be a standard. Nothing against physics, but biology is damn cool!). The main character of Survival, Dr. Mackenzie Connor, leaps of the page and pulls you right back in with her.  She’s a biologist, what could she possibly have to do with saving trillions of lives so far away from planet Earth?  Here’s a link to my review of Survival, and a link to my review of the second book in the series, Migration. Stay tuned for a review later this month of the third book in the series, Regeneration!

CzernedaCPC-001167cAfter discovering Julie’s older science fiction titles, you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn she has a brand new fantasy series out, called the Night’s Edge series. The first book, A Turn of Light (click here to read an excerpt), came out last year and won the Prix Aurora Award for best English novel of the year.  The second book in the series, A Play of Shadow comes out today! (Scroll to the bottom of this article to enter in the give away for a free copy!) Learn more about Julie Czerneda by checking out her website, and by following her on twitter at @julieczerneda

Enough squeeing from me, let’s get to the interview!

 

 

LRR: The same weekend you won the Prix Aurora Award, you were a special guest at Can­Con in Ottawa. Wow, what a weekend! As an author, what’s the most fun part of attending conventions? What’s been your favorite convention that you attended? Any tips for folks who are new to the convention scene?

JC: It was a busy few days, that’s for sure, and happy!

The most fun? Meeting readers. To see eyes light up, to have someone mention a story or character they loved? It’s better than chocolate for the soul, believe me. I store those moments to think of when writing.

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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.