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Amy J. Murphy

Author of the Allies and Enemies series.

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Audiobook Review: To Be Taught, If Fortunate

Novella by Becky Chambers

By: Becky Chambers
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 09-03-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio

From the publisher…

A stand-alone science fiction novella from the award-winning, best-selling, critically acclaimed author of the Wayfarer series.

Told in the first-person narrative, Chambers spins the story of 22nd-century astronaut Ariadne O’Neill and her three crewmates as they explore habitable worlds. Earth and politics are decades in their wake. Through the process of “somaforming”, O’Neill and her crew survive the hostile environments of exoplanets. Combined with suspended animation, fragile humans can endure the long voyages to get to them. With their bodies transformed for each planet and with so much time elapsed back on earth, O’Neill and her crew are increasingly out of touch with the humans they’d left behind on Earth.

I came across To Be Taught, If Fortunate as I explored other books narrated by Brittany Pressley (narrator for the recent Elizabeth Moon books in the Vatta’s War follow up.) Her performance really makes the story shine. For a limited POV, she adds a fuller dimension with different inflections and accents to the other three crew members.

If you like Enterprise, Gravity, Interstellar, or, if you’re already a fan of Chambers, To Be Taught, If Fortunate is a fun fast read (or listen).

Available from: Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

Audiobook Review: Salvaged

Salvaged by Madeleine Roux

Salvaged by Madeleine Roux

From the Publisher: A woman on the run. A captain adrift in space. One of them is infected with an alien parasite. In this dark science fiction thriller, a young woman must confront her past so the human race will have a future.

Set in a future where human travel amid the stars is common, Salvaged is a mash-up Alien and The Expanse.

The main character, Rosalyn Devar, is a bit of a mess, by her own admission. She’s left behind a career as a bioengineer and a wealthy, influential family to be a space janitor that cleans up the aftermath of ill-fated research expeditions (i.e. the remains for former ship crews). But she can’t outrun her demons.

Called out for drinking on the job, she talks her way into a second chance by agreeing to salvage the Brigantine, a research vessel that’s “gone dark.” Devar arrives to find that reports of the Brigantine crew’s death are very much exaggerated.

The crew has been infected with an alien lifeform (nicknamed “Foxfire”) that’s smarter than your average microbe. This is where the comparison to The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey, comes into play. Like Corey’s protomolecule, Foxfire seeks to consume the humanity of its hosts and join them like a hive mind.

Stranded on the diseased ship, Devar’s near-constant fear of contamination by Foxfire is unnerving. As her mysterious back story unfolds, it seems Devar was fated to encounter the tragic crew of the Brigantine.

Written in the third person and alternating from the perspectives of the main characters, the plot unfolds to reveal the circumstances that sealed the Brigantine’s fate and set Devar on her self-destructive course. Some bright spots of wry humor and a fledging awkward romantic attraction between Devar and the Brigatine’s, Captain Edison Aries, defer some of the bleakness. Unlike other infected crew members, the Aries has managed to fight the organism’s influence and keep his humanity, so far.

The narration by Emily Woo Zeller is excellent. She seamlessly moves between the different characters. If you’re a fan of science fiction horror and space opera, I highly recommend, Salvaged by Madeleine Roux. I’ll be sure to look for more from Roux in the future.

  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Release date: 10-15-19
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • Available from Amazon, Audible, iTunes.

Amazing Journeys

Join this exciting ebook giveaway.

Hurry! Offer ends December 15th!

FREE full-length stories available now. Download today from Story Origin and dive into your next adventure.

Dragon Award Nominations

Here’s your chance to help the Allies and Enemies series make a little bit of history by making it a three-time nominee for a Dragon Award.

Please consider nominating my book, Allies and Enemies: Legacy for “Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel” in the 2019 Dragon Awards. [It’s the 4th category down on the list. Click the image or link below to visit the nomination page.]

There’s no cost to you and you need not attend Dragon Con to participate in the nomination or voting process. The link to nominate is located here:

http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_nominations.php

Once you register and nominate only one or as many choices as you are comfortable with for the many categories that include comics, movies, games and tv shows. Be aware that you get only one nomination per category. The deadline for nominations is July 19th.

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Dragon Awards!

Dragon Awards are open for nominations for 2019! Here’s your chance to nominate your favorite Sci-Fi & Fantasy novels, movies, TV shows and games for a Dragon Award. Log on today and give props to your sci-fi and fantasy loves. Deadline is July 19th.
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VT Sci-Fi & Fantasy Expo

The Vermont Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo is nearly here. I’ll be on a few panels on Saturday, April 27th. If you’re in the area, why not stop in and say “hi”? The expo runs from Apr 27-28. [Click here for more info].

The Future is Female

From Captain Marvel to Captain Janeway, strong female protagonists make good science fiction great. Check out the  “The Future is Female: Heroines of Sci-Fi” giveaway on Story Origin. Download for free 17 full-length novels, short stories and novellas all featuring women who kick butt and take no prisoners.

Troubadour

I took a break from killing myself over prep for the next book(s) in the Allies and Enemies series (as well as a billion other projects to have a thought-provoking interview with Kirk at Troubadour Magazine. Click the link here to experience the very strange faces that I apparently make when I’m racking my poor brain. The subject? “Science Fiction as Analogy”.

[Click here.]

Recap: DragonCon 2018

DragonCon 2018 – Military SF

DragonCon is over. We must return to our normal lives. For some of us that means re-joining the muggle world and putting aside our alter-egos. I count myself among that number. (Though if the Fates are kind, it might not always be the way for me.)

I was fortunate to be tapped for four panels this year. The last of which I was honored/challenged with being in the only female in a group of military sci-fi luminaries (Jack Campbell, Marc Alan Edelheit, Doug Dandridge, John D. Ringo, David Weber — moderated by Baen’s David Afsharirad). (See photographic evidence above.) Intimidating wouldn’t even begin to cover it. I did my best. 

Additionally, I managed to make some great new friends that I hope will lead to mutually enriching experiences going forward. I’m still new to this whole “writer thing” and I get the sense that I’ll always feel that way. But it’s good to know that there are others out there willing to share their insights and advice. My hope is to someday be the same helping hand to other writers. 

Until then, it’s back to the “real life” stuff that pays the bills. 

#DragonCon2018, #SFWA

Countdown to DragonCon

See this tshirt? You can get a free ebook if you ask the person wearing it for one.

This week I’ll be joining about 90,000 of similarly minded folk for one of the East coast’s largest fan-run convention– DragonCon, baby!  It runs from 8/30 to 9/3. If you’ve never heard of it, you can check out the details here

Look for me in the crowd. (I’m the one cosplaying as “Mid-List Author”.) Be sure to say hello. I’ll be giving away limited edition FREE ebook promo cards.

I’ll be on four panels this year. Very exciting! Here’s the lineup:

Title: Military Sci-Fi Writers & Creators – Media Edition
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Chastain DE – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: A roundtable of Military Science Fiction writers & artists–whether in tie-ins or independent worlds–discuss the genre, trends, real-world accuracy, & working within the complex worlds of Military Sci-Fi.

Title: Medical Technology in MSF: Life, Longevity, & the Pursuit of Healthiness
Time: Sun 10:00 am Location: Chastain DE – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: How would you choose to extend your health, life, and/or consciousness? A Sarcophagus, or Ascending? Re-gen pods? Resurrection ships? Choose your favorite sick bay! We’ll discuss medical technology in our MSFM shows, as well as real-world crossover.

Title: 200 Years of Women in SF
Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: Embassy AB – Hyatt (Length: 90 Min)
Description: In 1818, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. Taking that as a starting point, our panelists will discuss women in SF, how they have fared, who they are, and how things have changed over the years. Presented in conjunction with the Diversity in SF track. 

Title: The Military Mind in SF
Time: Sun 02:30 pm Location: Embassy AB – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Many military and ex-military authors write (gasp!) Military SF. Can someone with a non-military background do well at it? What does it take?

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