Is Bad Science Ever Okay?

Many of us fell in love with Sci-Fi stories before we were old enough to care about scientific accuracy. For some of us, the results were fantastic! (See Commander Hadfield’s tweet for the ultimate example!) From faster-than-light travel to alien races who speak English to wormholes that transport you without crushing you, anyone who enjoys Sci-Fi has probably engaged in the suspension of disbelief. Even in stories where authors go to great lengths to preserve accuracy, there are usually one or two “cheats” introduced, or sometimes writers engage in something I’ve heard affectionately called “handwavium” where major inaccuracies are glossed over with a wave of the hand. (I like to think of “handwavium” as a nod to both Harry Potter and STAR WARS, A New Hope. Think Hermione Granger uttering a spell while waving her hand like Obi Wan and you Read more…

10 Things To Consider Before Moving to Mars

I’m thrilled to have a guest on the blog today. Fonda Lee is the author of the novel Zeroboxer (Flux/Llewellyn, April 2015). A recovering corporate strategist, when she is not writing, she can be found training in kung fu or searching out tasty breakfasts. Born and raised in Canada, Fonda now lives in Portland, Oregon. I loved Zeroboxer, which has been described as Gattaca meets Rocky. Without further ado: here’s Fonda! TEN THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE MOVING TO MARS So let’s say you’ve watched The Martian and fallen in love with the idea of living in a place with endless red horizons, smog-free skies, and plenty of peace and solitude. You’re ready to sign up to be a Martian colonist. What should you consider before you commit to leaving Earth for less-green pastures? When I was writing Zeroboxer, I spent a lot Read more…

30 DAYS ON MARS, By Which I Mean “About” Mars. Because I’m Sneaky Like That.

Welcome to 30 Days of cool pictures, thoughtful articles, and intriguing facts related to the Red Planet. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for daily updates on my Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts! Hopefully, by now you’ve had a chance to see THE MARTIAN (review here) and you’re excited about the possibility of sending humans to Mars. Did you know there are people practicing for this right now? Here on Earth? But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up. In writing the SAVING MARS books, I was intrigued by the idea of having two world cultures which had solved their “how do we get along” issues in very different ways. The Rebody Program on Earth was meant to ensure a level of stability while incentivizing humanity to be on their best behavior so as to earn a better “rebody” Read more…

Coming Soon: 30 Days on Mars! For now, please enjoy: 7 Admittedly Peculiar Reasons I Loved THE MARTIAN

I can neither confirm nor deny that I read Andy Weir’s THE MARTIAN four times once I finished writing the SAVING MARS series. Hey, I was … homesick. Having (almost) admitted to massive exposure to Weir’s novel, you can bet I had high expectations for Ridley Scott’s movie version. tl/dnr version: I LOVED IT.  (Super Minor Spoilers Ahead) Peculiar Reason 1: EYE CANDY Nope, I’m not talking about any of the (quite attractive) actors cast in the movie. I’m talking about Mars. Mars—sighhhhhhhh. From the opening shots to the final farewell, Mars is lookin’ good. Real good. A few of my fave moments? The starry night shot, the shots of dust devils and their trails, and of course the moment Astronaut Mark Watney wakes to the sound of his O2 alarm going ballistic because: CO2 poisoning! Peculiar Reason 2: INSPIRATIONAL Read more…

The It’s About Time Post

I admit it’s been awhile since I’ve visited le blog. Okay. A very long while. It’s been one of those years, you know? Where there are entirely too many weddings, graduations, and writing deadlines. But I’ve been meaning to squee over showcase a few of my favorite things, and now that they’re out in the world, I figured it was time. Before too much longer, the rest of the books will be available in paperback, too! Meanwhile, happy viewing! (Special note: Amazon doesn’t make these covers in paperback easy to find. Boo! They tell me that they display the most popular item first, and since the old covers have been ordered WAY more times than the new, guess what they display? To order these covers and not the older covers, you have to click through a few levels! I’ll make Read more…

Welcome to the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

  I’m Cidney Swanson and I love Pie, Sunshine, and Big Fat Books! I write YA novels about kick-butt heroines and the boys they kiss (Oops! Spoiler!) This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck to give readers access to exclusive bonus material from new authors and to win awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours! Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or Read more…

Does Life Imitate Art or What?

Apparently it does. At least, NASA is hoping to take a page from an important bit of the SAVING MARS story. If you’re my age or even a bit younger, you probably remember when Halley’s Comet last came to call. At the time, there was a mania for sending a craft into the tail of the comet to find out what we could of its composition. The US, rather than missing out, chose to divert an existing satellite (used to observe solar phenomenon) into the tail of both Halley’s and the Giacobini-Zinner Comet. However, the scientist who “stole” the satellite promised to try to return it in the future. Fast forward thirty-one years to the present day. Apparently, the sun and the earth and the satellite formerly grabbing comet data are now in positions such that the satellite can be Read more…

Happy St Patrick’s Day: Kindle Fire HD Giveaway

A giveaway of 2 Kindles!! The first one is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter in the rafflecopter. Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value) Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″. All New Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Giveaway The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)   Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)   Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)     Giveaway Sponsors: I Am A Reader Feed Your Reader Inspired Kathy Ripple Effect Romance Series Author M.A. George The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old Girl Meredith & Jennifer’s Musings Read more…

Do You Write Stories or Observations or Both?

This past weekend, I was a presenter at the first annual Wordcrafters in Eugene conference where we were very focused on craft. (Where I also got the Best Swag Ever: a spa robe!) When I prepare for workshops or intensives, I often find myself revisiting some of my old writing, which leads me to ponder my writer-ly habits and traits. When I was a kid, I wrote stories.  Lots of stories. They had inciting incidents, escalating events, a climax, and a resolution. I didn’t know these terms back then, but I read lots of books, and reading taught me this particular order of events was a satisfying one for readers. Then, when I grew older and took creative writing classes and joined critique groups, I wrote description. Carefully, lovingly observed descriptions of the natural world, anatomies of conversations as they Read more…

VISIBLE Now For Sale at All E-tailers

Just a quick post to let you know Apple and Kobo have joined Amazon and Barnes and Noble in making VISIBLE, Book Four in the Ripple Series, available as an eBook. If you are waiting on the paperback, that should be coming in about four weeks. (Hopefully by St Patty’s Day!) VISIBLE picks up where Unfurl left off, so you should read books one, two, and three of the Ripple Series before diving in. Enjoy! Cheers, Cidney