Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dirge Magazine's STEEL VICTORY Cover Reveal and Artist Spotlight on Brad Sharp

Click the link below to see the full cover for J.L. Gribble's STEEL VICTORY and read the article at Dirge's website:


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

WORKSHOP: Science Fiction in Thrillers by Heidi Ruby Miller at Pennwriters 2015


Heidi Ruby Miller is presenting part of her Science Fiction in Thrillers class from Seton Hill's MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program for the 2015 Pennwriters Conference, Building Bridges.

Here is the description:
Where would you shelve a book about scientists cloning dinosaurs for a theme park or a man turning into a chimera or how about the unleashing of a zombie plague? I asked authors and editors for insights into how the industry categorizes thrillers with expansive science fictional elements. If you write these types of stories, where do you think you fit in?


The Pennwriters Conference is in Pittsburgh this year on the weekend of May 15 - 17 at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott. Keynote speaker is Ridley Pearson. For a full list of workshops, peruse the website.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tech Tuesday with Matt Betts - Low-Tech Tuesday



Tech Tuesday is a weekly spotlight on the relationship between real life and a writer's imagination. As science fiction is all about looking ahead to the future, we asked our authors here at Dog Star Books to send us to a link to a new technology that influenced their writing, sparked a new idea for a story, or simply caught their attention and got them thinking.

The Author Matt Betts was born and raised in Lima, OH, and went to college in Toledo. He currently lives in Columbus with his wife, Mackenzie, and their two wonderful boys. Matt's short and flash fiction has focused a lot on humor and horror. His work appears in Arkham Tales, Ethereal Tales, the Triangulation: Taking Flight anthology, Bizarro Fiction! The Journal of Experimental Fiction 37, A Thousand Faces and Cinema Spec: Tales of Hollywood and Fantasy. Matt's poetry has been published in numerous venues, and his poem "Godzilla's Better Half" was nominated for a Rhysling Aware, the Science Fiction Poetry Association's highest honor. Matt is the author of Odd Men Out, a story of survival in a post-Civil War America overrun by zombies.

Low-Tech Tuesday
Watch Matt's contribution to Tech Tuesday on YouTube or below:



Find Out More
about Matt Betts at his website, zombiewrangler.blogspot.com/, follow him on Twitter @Betts_Matt, and read Odd Men Out:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tech Tuesday with Drew Conry-Murray - Robot Friends, Robot Foes



Tech Tuesday is a weekly spotlight on the relationship between real life and a writer's imagination. As science fiction is all about looking ahead to the future, we asked our authors here at Dog Star Books to send us a link to a new technology that influenced their writing, sparked a new idea for a story, or simply caught their attention and got them thinking.


The Author

Andrew Conry-Murray was born in Boston, MA, and lived in the area until age sixteen, when his family moved to New Jersey, and then to California. He attended Caldwell College, where he met Scott, his co-writer of Wasteland Blues, their first novel with Dog Star Books. After college, Scott and Drew moved to Boston. He earned a master’s degree in education from Boston College, but decided not to go into teaching.

Instead, he got a job as an editor at a small publishing company that specialized in books on Chinese martial arts and mediation. He also studied martial arts and meditation with the publisher’s founder, Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming. Drew trained with Dr. Jwing-Ming for four years. Drew is currently  editor of a technology website called Network Computing.com.

The Spark
Imagination, sci-fi movies, and this article.

The Idea
I’ve always been fascinated by robots and artificial intelligence. I find the idea of sentient machines both alluring and scary. The allure comes from the potential for robot companionship, like the robot from Lost in Space, who served as both friend and guardian for Will Robinson. And of course there’s R2-D2. While R2 doesn’t have human features or speak English (or whatever is the lingua franca of the humans in Star Wars), he’s willful, clever, and loyal. I don’t think I’d mind having R2 take care of me when I’m old and decrepit

As for scary, there are innumerable examples, from HAL 9000 (not a robot, but still a sentient machine) to the Terminator. Unfortunately, I think we’re making more progress with malicious machines than friendly ones. Drones may be piloted by humans at present, but given advances in computing power and machine intelligence it’s not hard to imagine autonomous drones becoming a regular feature in city skies. They’d make excellent tools for law enforcement, surveillance, and who knows what else.
The Result
My fear of thinking machines crops up in my novel Wasteland Blues in the form of Mr. Tines, a robot who takes his duties as curator of a museum dedicated to the folly of humanity a bit too seriously for our protagonists. Mr. Tines is polite, earnest, and implacable in wanting to embalm one or two of our travelers to use in an exhibit. 
Now that I think about it, the implacability, the relentlessness to achieve an objective, may be the root of my fear. Humans can be relentless in pursuit of misguided or downright evil goals, but they’re still flesh and blood. When you sheath an unyielding will in a body of steel, you create something truly terrifying.

Find Out More
about Drew Conry-Murray at his website, andrewconry-murray.comand follow him on Twitter @DrewConry Murray.

Be sure to check out Scott Christian Carr and Drew Conry-Murray's Wasteland Blues.
Wasteland Blues

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tech Tuesday with K. Ceres Wright - Biohacking


Tech Tuesday is a weekly spotlight on the relationship between real life and a writer's imagination. As science fiction is all about looking ahead to the future, we asked our authors here at Dog Star Books to send us a link to a new technology that influenced their writing, sparked a new idea for a story, or simply caught their attention and got them thinking.


The Author

Daughter to a U.S. Army father, K. Ceres Wright has lived in Anchorage, AK; Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD; Frankfurt, Oberursel, and Munich, Germany; Seoul, Korea; and the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Wright received her Master's degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. An accomplished poet, Wright's science fiction poem "Doomed" was a nominee for the Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association's highest honor.

The Spark

The Idea
Biohacking became a small but strong movement thanks mainly to body modification artists like Steve Haworth who were already skilled in piercing and scarification — and they were aided by our changing relationship with technology. Is it really so extreme, they ask, to wed technology and tissue in a time when we can't go a single day without our smartphones? We clutch our devices like talismans, wear Google Glass on our faces and have developed doors that unlock by tracking our heartbeats.

But the leap from Google Glass to sub-dermal technology is a big one, and real-life cyborgs are far from mainstream.

"You get this visceral reaction, this recoil, from people who make a snap judgment and don't know what it's about," said Amal Graafstra, a cyborg who creates and sells biohacking devices — including a chip that Zoe Quinn implanted in her own hand in May — through his company Dangerous Things.

Just $39 buys a glass-encased embeddable chip that works with some Android smartphones. A full DIY cyborg kit, including a sterilized injector and gauze pads, runs about $100.

The Result
I write cyberpunk, which deals with the near future, as well as the implantation of tech devices and/or genetic manipulation. This biohacking movement has been a trope in cyberpunk for decades, and we're seeing it come to pass. The process for mainstream adoption is for an idea to be adopted by 1) innovators, 2) early adopters, 3) early majority, 4) late majority, and 5) laggards. I think we're in phase 2, but I'm no social scientist. As a writer, I can use the ideas within this article and try to project out 60 or so years to craft a somewhat believable future in my books. For example, even though doctors now shun this type of implantation, I think an entire industry will spring up where doctors will undergo different levels of certification to become qualified to implant tech in people.

Find Out More
about K. Ceres at her website, http://www.kcereswright.com, and follow her on Twitter @KCeresWright.


And be sure to check out COG:



Thursday, July 31, 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT: Dog Star Books to Release J.L. Gribble's STEEL VICTORY

STEEL VICTORY
Dog Star Books is pleased to announce we have signed a deal to release J.L. Gribble’s debut novel Steel Victory in 2015.

Originally a thesis novel from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, Steel Victory is an alternate-history urban fantasy. The independent city-state of Limani is beset from within by human separatists and from without by the territory-hungry Roman Empire. The city’s lone vampire and her adopted warrior-mage daughter must join forces with the other supernatural creatures of Limani to defend their city, their culture, and their very lives.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


J.L. Gribble is fascinated by the construct of the English language. By day, she is a full-time medical editor, in which she wrangles authors and translates medico-babble into something coherent. On the side, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Most recently, she was co-editor of Far Worlds, a speculative fiction anthology.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter) and Twitter (@hannaedits).

Dog Star Books Author: J.L. Gribble


J.L. Gribble is fascinated by the construct of the English language. By day, she is a full-time medical editor, in which she wrangles authors and translates medico-babble into something coherent. On the side, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Most recently, she was co-editor of Far Worlds, a speculative fiction anthology.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter) and Twitter (@hannaedits).