Hidden Gems and Other Bookish Treasures

gemsI thought we’d do something a bit different on the blog this year. Last year, we had authors talking about the books they wrote and why one in particular was their favorite. Every author has a fav and I’ve always found their reasons fascinating.

This year, I’m flipping that upside down. We’re scouring the interwebs looking for hidden gems. Books that have made ‘must read’ lists but, for one reason or another, never got much attention. I’ll be contacting the authors and inviting them to the blog so you can learn about them too. I already have a full lineup on the way with some great books and fantastic authors. If you know of such a book, let me know. I may profile it here on the blog.

One of the other new themes on the blog this year will be LGBT science fiction and fantasy. I have been a huge fan of both genres since I was a kid and thought it was about time we brought the genre more exposure. Watch for the posts, and again, if you have a nominee you’d like us to take a look at, let me know.

My Favorite Book – Natsuya Uesugi

NatsuyaUesugiphotoI have published 4 books in the science fiction grydscaen series, with another due out next year. I think my favorite is grydscaen:beginnings which is technically the first book in the series and provides the backstory to grydscaen:retribution.

Grydscaen:beginnings tells the story of Lino Dejarre, a psychic clandestine operative of the Psi Faction and his pursuit of two escaped psychic test subjects Faid Callen, the leader of the hacker group, the Packrats, and Riuho Dejarre, Lino’s half brother who was horribly tortured at the Psi Faction. The book follows Riuho and Faid’s exploits up until their escape from the Psi Faction when they rejoin the Packrats. [Read more…]

When The Aliens Come

When I was nine, I prayed for aliens to come. I know. Religion and aliens make for awkward bedfellows, but that’s the best thing about being nine. You can believe everything. How the aliens would hear my prayer, I didn’t know. But I guess that if they had the technology to make it as far as Earth, they could probably tune right into the prayers of a random nine-year-old kid, right?

LH_Dark Space_coverlgAnyway, it didn’t matter how they got the message, only that they got it. Because the aliens were going to save the world! And here’s the clever part for a nine-year-old: they didn’t have to do anything at all, apart from show up.

Fighting a war over some arbitrary border drawn in the dirt? You’re gonna feel pretty dumb about that once the aliens come and show you how big the universe really is.

Ignoring all those African kids dying of hunger because they’re not your problem? When the aliens come and are so different and weird and, well, alien, all of humanity will suddenly feel like one big family.

Fighting over whose god is the real god? When the aliens turn up, you’ll see just how ludicrous it is to believe in one god who invested himself in one particular group of people on one tiny corner of one insignificant planet, thousands of years ago. [Read more…]

In Liam’s Wake – New LGBT Sci-fi (excerpt)

We’re starting something new here on the blog, we’re featuring science fiction and fantasy with LGBT characters. There’s a lot of it out there, but for some reason, it’s not all that easy to find. I am a huge fan of both sci-fi and fantasy, and am very happy to kick off the first post featuring this sub-genre with an excerpt from In Liam’s Wake, the first book of Ashlyn Forge‘s new Toys and Soldiers Series. Enjoy!

For eight years, Liam has been trapped underground in The Colony—a sanctuary so determined to stay hidden it forbids anyone from leaving once they’ve entered. His only hope of returning home rests on his best friend Riley who, on the eve of their escape, slipped into a coma.

Despite staggering debt, vengeful mutants and bounty hunters, Liam continues a seemingly never-ending quest for a cure to end Riley’s unnatural five-year sleep. Every night, Liam stares at the listless man who not only holds his escape, but his heart. The suffering can end, however; Liam must only forsake all hope of ever returning home again, abandon Riley to his fate, and wholeheartedly serve as a soldier for The Colony—the very people he’s trying to escape.

Live the life within his reach, or continue chasing the one just beyond his grasp? He need only submit.


In Liam's Wake Cover“Opponent, do you accept this challenge?” an unfamiliar voice called out.

With a soft groan, Liam pulled himself into a sitting position. His mouth tasted dry and foul, but he could speak.

“Yeah. Wait…what?”

“Challenge accepted,” said the voice. “Enjoy.”

Liam rubbed his brow and then his eyes, taking stock of his surroundings. He was in a tunnel.

A fight? How’d I end up in a fight? Where the hell am I, anyway?

There were thin-framed metal bleachers behind him, and directly before him sat his opponent.

For a brief moment, Liam wondered if the drugs were causing him to hallucinate. He wasn’t sure he’d taken them, though, so he considered the possibility that he was succumbing to his ailment. Whatever the reason, he now sat some distance away from something he’d thought was a myth. [Read more…]

Obscura Burning – Suzanne van Rooyen

Welcome friend and fellow author, Suzanne van Rooyen to the blog. I’ve put her to the test and asked which of her own books is her favorite and why. ~B

Suzanne van RooyenReading has always been therapeutic, like going for a brief holiday every night that leaves me feeling rejuvenated and ready to face real life. Writing has proven even more cathartic as I immerse myself in the worlds I create and become my various characters be they cyborgs or androids, androgynous angels, genetically engineered super-soldiers, or troubled bisexual boys.

I’ve written several books, only two of which are published so far, and numerous short stories. I loved writing each and every story, from novel to flash fiction, for different reasons. Being forced to pick a favourite feels horribly unfair since they’re all dear to me, but since a favourite is what this post is all about I’ll have to choose Obscura Burning. [Read more…]

Guest Post by LGBT Author Majorie F. Baldwin

Man Made Man by Majorie F. BaldwinThanks for inviting me to your blog, Brandon. I love to talk about my science fiction and the Phoenician Series, in particular. I’ve lived with some of these characters in my head for nearly my entire life. Joshua Andrew Caine, for instance, came to me (fully-formed) at about age 5. No kidding, preschool and this adult man was running around in my head. Creepy, no?

This was a strange synchronicity. After I drafted this blog post, I added you to my circles on GooglePlus and ran across that Australian video panel on what it means to write “gay fiction.” As you’ll read in a bit, labels are a really sticky point with me—as in they don’t stick. Clearly, we are of like minds here.

But let me back up a sec. My introduction to the gay community was when my older brother came out to me. I was 12 and didn’t really understand the whole socio-cultural implication of “being gay” because one, I was 12, and two, it was the 1970s so this was pre-AIDS. Being gay was not commonly mentioned on television or in pop culture so I wasn’t exposed to it in my sheltered suburban childhood. It was shocking news that Uhura and Kirk had kissed on Star Trek (I was appalled; isn’t that sexual harassment? He was her boss!) [Read more…]

Nessa L Warin on LGBT YA books and her new release

Nessa L Warin, authorI’m talking with Nessa L. Warin today. Nessa has 4 books under her belt, works with Harmony Ink promoting positive books for LGBT Youth and has a new book out, To Dream, Perchance to Live.

B: Before we get into your book, let’s talk a little about what you do at Harmony Ink. The press is set up to promote books with positive role models for LGBT Youth, what do you do there to help foster the growth and reach your audience? [Read more…]