Tag Archives: young adult

Signal Boost #17: A Conversation about YA, Ageism, and Assholes

29 Aug

On today’s Signal Boost, Shaun and Jen discuss a few things that had them either shaking their head “WTF?” or screaming “WTF?!,” including the rise and fall of a wanna-be NYT Bestselling YA novel, agism directed at a dear friend, and the conservative military SFF community’s response to the upcoming Space Marine Midwives Anthology. Warning, there is colorful language in this one.

Once they get their anger out, they share this week’s Mini-Boosts — a couple of fundraisers and a couple of fun things!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below): Continue reading


Guest Post: Religions on Mars, according to Me, by Mary Turzillo

7 Jun

I truly don’t know if human beings need religions or ideologies, but history seems to indicate that we do. Every time a culture attempts to base its social values on entirely non-spiritual things, that very agnostic value-system becomes a new religion.

People from England, France, Germany, etc. migrated to North and South America and to Australia in order to practice religions that were banned or looked down upon in Europe. Once they got to the New World, some of them started religions that did not harmonize with the social mores of their neighbors. Animal sacrifice, child marriage, and polygamy were three of the customs sanctioned by various religions that caused them to be ostracized. So the devotees moved further west, into less populated territory.

I think this will happen when humans begin to migrate to the moon and Mars. I don’t discuss this much in Mars Girls, although I’m building another novel (Isidis Rising) where dissidents sequester themselves in a Martian enclave. Continue reading

Book review: Firebrand, by A.J. Hartley

5 May

I hate, hate, hate coming into a series in the middle (which means no, I haven’t read the first novel in this series, Steeplejack, but I sure plan to soon!), but I have a good personal track record with author A.J. Hartley, so I knew that if anyone could write a good middle book that still stands on its own it would be he.

My assumption, in this case, proved absolutely correct, in case you’re wondering.

Firebrand is the second volume in Hartley’s steampunk-flavored, young adult series “Alternative Detective”, and takes place a few months after the events in the first novel, which took a young woman from “steeplejack” (a person who works up high on the roofs and sides of very tall buildings, mostly cleaning chimneys but also doing repairs and maintenance and other sundry jobs) to amateur detective, and landed her in the very informal employ of a member of her city-state’s Parliament. As this novel opens, Anglet Sutonga is now enjoying an unaccustomed level of financial security and autonomy, but her sense of duty and survival instincts don’t let her get too comfortable, so as the novel opens, she is chasing an infamous cat burglar over the rooftops of Bar-Selehm, which leads her into a whole new mystery of linked and nested conspiracies, exploitation, human trafficking, treason and, of course, murder. Continue reading

Interview w/ Jennifer Ellis (Author of A Quill Ladder)

13 May

For this feature interview, I contacted Jennifer Ellis by email with some questions pertaining both to A Quill Ladder and the Derivatives of Displacement series in general, on writing YA, and on her perspectives as a successful indie author. Here, then, are those questions and her wonderful responses, including information on what she has in store for the future:

DPH: The YA category has changed a lot since either of us was younger, and the SciFi/Fantasy offerings have exploded. In what ways did you try to make these middle grade novels balance between the classic and modern worlds? How do you balance between revealing things to the readers (and characters) and holding things back for maintaining the drive of the series? Continue reading

Book Review: A Quill Ladder by Jennifer Ellis (with an Interview)

12 May

For my May contribution to this year’s focus on female writers, I wanted to feature two young adult SciFi/Fantasy titles written by women authors whose work I enjoy and initially discovered by happenstance:  Jennifer Ellis and Frances Hardinge. Even if you don’t typically read YA, you certainly know some children or young adults who are looking for good reads in the genre, and both of these writers deserve plenty of appreciation. First up for this post is Jennifer Ellis.

Ellis is an indie author from Canada who writes both middle-grade science fiction/fantasy novels and adult dystopic novels featuring elements of adventure, romance, and environmental themes. I discovered her work through a Goodreads giveaway listing for her adult novel In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation. It looked potentially interesting to me, but looking at her website and blog really sold me on taking the time to check out the novel. Though I didn’t win the giveaway, I was able to get an electronic version directly from her; immediately upon starting it, I was drawn in and impressed through the end. Continue reading

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