CURRENT GIVEAWAY CONTESTS
Here are my current Giveaway Contests
THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE through April 22nd
Natalie Lakosil Query Critique and THE STAR THIEF through April 22nd
Happy Easter Giveaway Hop through April 30th
Tracy Marchini Query Critique through April 29th
THE WINGSNATCHERS through May 4th
Lauren Spieller Query Critique through May 13th
Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways
Loren Oberweger on 5/10/2017
Alyssa Jennette on 5/24/2017
Bibi Lewis on 6/12/2017
Kelly Van Sant on 6/21/2017
JOSHUA DAVID BELLIN GUEST POST AND SURVIVAL COLONY 9 GUEST POST
Here’s Joshua to share his advice on creating a new sci-fi world.
All of these things are important. A physically incoherent world will sink a sci-fi novel like nothing else. Vague or illogical social arrangements will make readers roll their eyes (or throw the book aside). When I wrote my debut novel, Survival Colony 9, I paid close attention to both physical and social characteristics of my future world.
But effective world-building doesn’t include only tangible aspects of the invented world. It also embraces intangibles: things like knowledge, and belief, and the gap between the two. Those intangibles are a huge part of our world, and they need to be a part of any fictional world too.
In our world, there are certain things we know, and other things we believe. Sometimes our beliefs are confirmed; other times they aren’t. For a long time, most people believed the world was flat. They were wrong.
But before we feel too superior to those poor, benighted flat-worlders, let’s recall that even now, with all our science and technology, there are things we don’t know about our world. Some of these things we’ll learn in time. Others we might never know. That won’t stop us from believing, though. In fact, some beliefs will persist even in the face of knowledge that disproves them.
To give one example, we know that bee populations are declining worldwide. But we don’t know why. The leading culprit is neonicotinoid pesticides, perhaps in conjunction with parasites. But that’s still disputed, and it may remain disputed, perhaps even after the bees are gone.
In Survival Colony 9, small groups of people who have survived devastating wars travel a desert waste, searching for food while trying to evade the predatory creatures, the Skaldi, that mysteriously appeared on the planet at wars’ end. And it’s the word “mysteriously” I want to focus on. Here’s my narrator, fourteen-year-old Querry Genn, talking about the Skaldi:
No one knows how they do what they do. You’d think after a half-century of being hunted by them we’d have a better idea of what we’re up against, but the sad truth is, we’re no closer than we ever were. No one knows how many of them there are, why they tend to attack singly, why their attacks have always come from the west. I’ve heard that the cities, what’s left of them, are overrun by Skaldi, and that’s why the colonies fled to the desert fifty years ago. But it’s all rumor. No one’s ever seen Skaldi outside the bodies they steal, or at least no one’s ever lived to tell the tale. No one even knows how they got their name. They’ve always been called Skaldi, and I don’t think anyone’s ever figured out where the word came from.
And no one knows where they came from either. Everyone has a theory of Skaldi origins. Radiation, evolution, outer space. But no one knows.
All anyone knows is that they’re here.
In the case of my novel, this dearth of knowledge can be explained partly by social collapse: much of
As author, you have to know your world from top to bottom. But leaving your characters—and readers—partly in the dark can be one of the keys to building a complete and effective world.
Thanks for sharing your advice, Joshua. You can find Joshua at:
Survival Colony 9: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18457362-survival-colony-nine
Here’s a blurb about SURVIVAL COLONY 9 from Goodreads:
In a future world of dust and ruin, fourteen-year-old Querry Genn struggles to recover the lost memory that might save the human race.
Querry is a member of Survival Colony Nine, one of the small, roving groups of people who outlived the wars and environmental catastrophes that destroyed the old world. The commander of Survival Colony Nine is his father, Laman Genn, who runs the camp with an iron will. He has to--because heat, dust, and starvation aren't the only threats in this ruined world.
There are also the Skaldi.
Monsters with the ability to infect and mimic human hosts, the Skaldi appeared on the planet shortly after the wars of destruction. No one knows where they came from or what they are. But if they're not stopped, it might mean the end of humanity.
Six months ago, Querry had an encounter with the Skaldi--and now he can't remember anything that happened before then. If he can recall his past, he might be able to find the key to defeat the Skaldi.
If he can't, he's their next victim.
Joshua generously offered a copy of SURVIVAL COLONY 9 for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through October 4th. I’ll announce the winner on October 6th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome.
Here’s what’s coming up:
Tomorrow I'm doing a Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop. I'll have lots of great book choices to choose from and will continue offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card if you don't like my choices. Look for this to post Thursday afternoon.
Next Monday I have an interview with debut author Kendall Kulper and a giveaway of her YA historical fantasy SALT AND STORM. I really liked the 19th century setting and Avery is a great heroine.
The Monday after that I’ll be interviewing debut author Elissa Sussman with a giveaway of STRAY, her YA fairytale retelling. I really enjoyed her unique spin of fairy godmothers.
Wednesday that week I have a guest post by debut author Andrea Pyros and a giveaway of her MG contemporary MY YEAR OF EPIC ROCK
And don’t forget Casey’s Thursday Agent Spotlights.
Hope to see you tomorrow!
Posted by Natalie Aguirre on Wednesday, September 17, 2014