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Friday, August 31, 2007

HEAVEN'S BLUE, Book Trailer

I've been playing with iMovie. Here's my book trailer for HEAVEN'S BLUE.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Guest Blogger: Karina Fabian

Today I have a guest blogger--Karina Fabian!!! She is a freelance writer and catechist at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Fredericksburg, VA. She has sold her fiction to Eternal Night, Samsara, Hereditas, and Asimov’s. Rob Fabian, her husband, is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force who is actively involved in the use of space, whose articles have been published in Journal of Space Policy. Her book INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD won the EPPIE award this year for Best Science Fiction. The book is available from Twilight Times Books at www.twilighttimesbooks.com or more information go to: http://isigsf.tripod.com


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Penelope invited me to be a guest on her blog as part of my virtual book tour (link: karinafabian.tripod.com/id36) for INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD and since she doesn't write or read a lot in science fiction, to talk about that genre. Thanks again, Penelope, for the opportunity.

I have always been a science fiction fan. In fact, when I received two romance novels for my 16th birthday (must have been a joke), I promptly returned them for the latest Star Trek novels. I'm sure at the time, a lot of it was having grown up watching Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, but there must have been something more. After all, we faithfully watched CHiPs, Emergency 51 and Dragnet, yet I never got into those like I did science fiction. There was something more to the genre that I couldn't articulate, but definitely responded to as a child and a teen.

Now, as an adult, I could probably intellectualize it by saying science fiction provides a venue to step back from society or a problem and look at it anew. Or I could say it provides the perfect means to ask "What if?" and to project a current trend or a new idea to an extreme that would not make sense in a genre that demands a level of realism or the known.

Yes, I could say that, and it'd be true to an extent, but the main reason I love sci fi is simply that it provides escapist fun. Exploring strange new worlds. Seeking out new life and new civilizations. Boldly going where no one has gone before. Gene Roddenberry had it right--there's excitement in the future, thrills in the unknown. The best part is, you can't escape "normal" romance or history or personal trauma. You just get to add tech toys, aliens and bizarre new experiences. You can even have fantastic accidents and vehicles going up in a pyrotechnic display--they just might be spaceships. You get it all, baby!

OK, calming down…

This explains why I like to read sci fi; my motivations for writing sci fi tends to veer more toward the "adult" reasons. I enjoy exploring new ideas and the possibilities of the future. I enjoy letting my imagination soar without having to worry about realism or historical facts. Aliens are fun to write about, too, though more often than not, my characters are human or humanoid. I also enjoy playing with space.

Let me give you an example with "Our Daily Bread," which I wrote with my husband Rob for Infinite Space, Infinite God. (BTW, writing is a romantic activity for us. Read more on Ann Lewis's Blog from August 18. (link http://www.annmargaretlewis.com/) It takes place on an asteroid mine with 50 people, most of whom are Catholic. The overall theme explores interpersonal relations and religious tension in a closed environment. (Or so your literature professor might tell you). The Catholic twist is that most of the asteroid station's supply of Communion Hosts, consecrated wafers believed by Catholics to be the Body of Christ, have been lost in an accident, but the remainder are miraculously multiplying just before Sunday. However, we also devote a lot of time to the details of living in microgravity, from how to sit (do we really want Velcro on the chairs? Imagine the sound!) to how to fight (Pulling your arm back to punch pulls you away from your foe.) to how to pray (If you're skilled and can stay still enough, you will settle to the floor in a kneeling position.) It’s the details like these that make the story fun for us, and we believe for our readers.

Regardless of the tech toys and bizarre aliens, most of science fiction involves problems that speak to humanity. It's not about the phasers; it's about the guy holding the phaser…
…but the phaser just makes it more fun.

Karina Fabian has focused the last few years on science fiction and fantasy that appeals to the mind, the soul and the funny bone. Learn more about her at www.fabianspace.com.

Infinite Space, Infinite God can be ordered directly from Baker & Taylor, Ingram, or the publisher, Twilight Times Books, PO Box 3340, Kingsport, TN 37664; or via the Internet at http://twilighttimesbooks.com.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Alternative Uses

My in-laws have an alternative use for their clothes dryer which they never use because they are afraid it will cause a fire. They use their dryer to store their recyclable aluminum cans and plastic bottles. There they keep them out of sight until it is time for them to be picked up by the trash collectors.

Since they live in Florida, most of the time they do have plenty of sunshine which is equally efficient in drying clothes.

They have never embraced new technology but they do own some of it.

They have a microwave. I am sure it is never used except when we visit them. When I went to make myself a quick cup of tea by filling a cup with water and putting it in the microwave my father-in-law told me the microwave "no work."

I think he and my mother-in-law forgot how to use it. I plugged it in, touched the keypad and voila. Hot water.

Dziadzi then told me "it no have the right time."

I glanced at my watch, touched the keypad, and corrected the time.

For the rest of our stay, I used the microwave. I am sure that after I left, they unplugged it. It will lie dormant until our next visit.

That's the way it is. Some older folks just cannot adapt--or they find alternative uses that most of us would never consider. One of my mother's friends regularly used her dishwasher as a sorting facility for her mail and continued washing the dishes by hand.

My in-laws have a dishwasher, too. They turn it on when they have a lot of company--a rare event. Most of the time they wash the dishes by hand.

I suppose I should have looked inside the dishwasher to see if there was anything else inside there, but I didn't. Now it's really bothering me. I wonder what they store inside it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The In-Laws

We just returned from another trip to Florida to visit my in-laws. Babci and Dziadzi are doing well--all things considered. Dziadzi--at the age of 90--is not steady on his feet. He stopped driving this past year. He does use his cane when he goes out but most often around the house and in his yard he takes his chances. He fell on his elbow one day and it is swollen. The doctor is going to drain it.

Dziadzi wanted to cut down a tree in his yard. He wanted us to drive him to Home Depot so he could borrow a chain saw and cut it down himself! Can you imagine! Fortunately, Babci called someone to cut the tree down for him. Oy.

Babci looks great for 86. She has not changed at all. She still tells the same stories over and over and over. She has always done that--ever since I met her, when she was in her fifties.

Babci's greatest joy is watching us eat lots of her food. It has always been a bit unnerving to me to look up and see her grinning at me in supreme contentment while we are eating.

But that's Babci.