Tag Archives: Earth

A Review of “A Touch of Greek” by Tina Folsom

Okay, honestly, this is the type of book that I normally wouldn’t admit to reading. I’m not really even sure why I picked it up.  I was looking for something “light” to read and something brought this to my attention, so here we are.  Ugh… I’m embarrassed to say that I really enjoyed “A Touch of Greek” [[cringe]]

The premise is that Super-Hunky Greek God Triton gets caught sleeping with the wrong woman.  Zeus gets ticked, and due to Triton’s history of womanizing he decides to teach Triton a lesson. He strips the young god of his powers and sends him down to Earth. He can only get his powers back if he can convince a mortal woman to love him.  And just for fun, this woman ends up being blind, so she cannot even be attracted to his godly good looks.

Yeah, yeah I know – the whole idea just makes me want to barf too, but I still liked it!

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the writing was awesome.  In fact, I thought I was reading a middle grade book to start, and ageless Triton spoke like a middle-schooler in the early chapters.  He was totally unbelievable… but I pressed on because “something” and I’m not even sure what, held my interest.

By the end, I was really rooting for Triton.  I got scared when I should be scared, and happy when I should be happy, and really nervous when the God of the sea was not there to stop a natural catastrophe.

Come on!  Fall in love with him already!  Don’t you know thousands will die if he doesn’t get his powers back???? Geesh!

[Snicker] I am soooooo laughing at myself.  Despite this books flaws, it was genuinely entertaining.  I turned off my ever-present internal editor and just enjoyed a light, fun to read story.

I’ll subtract one star for the hokey beginning, and poor dialog from Triton in the early chapters, but I can forgive the rest for the genuinely fun read this was. And the writing seemed better as the novel progressed too, so it is quite possible that the tone of the writing in the early pages was a plot device that was just lost on me.

Rocket Science this is not, but sometimes ya gotta just relax and read something just for the fun of reading, you know what I mean?



Science is moving faster than Science Fiction

There used to be a time when science fiction writing was safe.  The Earth didn’t have any really cool technology.  Times are changing.  As writers, we need to think up new and exciting things.  Our imaginations need to be bigger and better!

I recently read the attached article from Popular Science.  Click on over if you want details, but in a nutshell, MIT has created a synthetic/organic muscle that will respond to light.  They think they can create robots with this that will move fluidly.

Good thing?  Bad thing?  I’m all for progress.  But there’s a “but” in here somewhere.  What that “but” is will be up to the individual reader.

What I love when an article like this comes out, is the banter in the comments.  Some people make good points, some are just crazy.  Either way, it’s good entertainment.

If you like to write Sci-fi with robots, take a click on over and read the article.  There is definitely a great novel brewing in there.  – Just watch yourself, because there is fiction written about stuff like this that is forty years old or more.

I’ll pass on this, thanks… I like organic aliens, thank you very much.



Scoping out locations for your novel #1

First of all, if you’ve noticed that I haven’t responded to comments since Thursday, it’s because I am on a writer’s retreat.  Yay!  Another one?  Yeah, I am giving it a go.

I have higher hopes for this one, and I am not up against a super-steep deadline, so I’m not in a panic about time constraints. I’ll be back on Monday.

Okay… back to today’s topic…

In general, I am a Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer.  The settings of my stories are different planets, or fantasy worlds.  For my new novel, though, I decided to try something different.  Yes, it is Sci-Fi, but instead of taking my readers to the alien’s planet, I decided to bring the aliens here.

Has this been done before?  Yes, of course.  I’m just putting a little different spin on it that I think will be fun.

So, I need a setting.  Since we are on Earth this time, I can’t make everything up, so I am trying to force the story into buildings and locals that actually exist.

I have to admit… it’s a lot easier to write about another planet.  If I need something for the story, I just create it.  I’m grinding my teeth looking at maps and judging distances.  It’s so much easier to build a world from scratch exactly how you want it.

Where’s my setting?  I chose Southern New Jersey on the East Coast of the USA for two reasons.  #1:  I’ve been there a lot, so I can relay the “feel” of it.  #2:  I need four separate “places” for the story to develop.  South Jersey has all four.  Easy breezy, right?  Well, not entirely.

As I’ve done in the past, I’m going to split this post up into a couple of weeks, because otherwise this post will definitely get too long.  We’ll start next week with the road trip I took with my kids … driving the route my characters would be walking.

What about you guys?  Have you ever tried to develop a story from REAL places?  How’d you do?

A Review of “Alien Hunter” from a writer’s perspective. This is what NOT to do when you write

The other night my husband rented the movie “Alien Hunter”.  Isn’t he a good hubby?  He knows what I like.  Anyway… Alien Hunter.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review.  Probably because everything has been “so so” and I couldn’t think of anything I learned from the movies I’ve seen.

This one was a bit different… because I didn’t like it.  So, let’s discuss why…

Warning:  I usually don’t do this, but there will be mild spoilers in this review.  Don’t worry.  I am not going to ask you to watch the movie anyway.  It wasn’t worth it.

Alien Hunter:  This is far to grand a title for this sleepy little movie.  Even my husband pointed out that there was no “Alien Hunting” in it.

Was there an alien?  Yes.  Was there an explosion?  Yes.  Was there death and mayhem?  Yes.  If you know anything about me, this sounds like a perfect combination to keep me entertained.  So why wasn’t I entertained?

Admittedly, about half an hour into the movie I fell asleep. (Not a good sign)  When I woke up, I asked my husband what I missed and he said, “Nothing.  They are still trying to get the stupid thing open.”  I checked the clock.  I’d been asleep for twenty minutes.

Now, when they got “The thing” opened, and people started to die, I just didn’t care.  (Oooo, she’s callous)  I am willing to admit that I did fall asleep for part of it, but I realized that I had no emotional attachment to any of the characters.  They were in dire peril.  So what?  Even if I fell asleep, I did see enough that I should have cared.  I didn’t.

Poor presentation and poor characterization.  That was the crux of this movie’s problem.

Problem #2:  The plot.  These people have to die.  It is made perfectly clear.  Most of them are okay with this (with almost no emotional response… okay, really?  Don’t you want to try to call your mother or something before they drop a nuclear bomb on you?)

As soon as you realize this, you think… okay, so why am I watching?  Who am I rooting for?   It’s not like they are going to try to escape.

Then, the “Bad guys” decide they are going to try to escape.  Now, if they do escape, every living thing on Earth will die within two days.  Wiped clean.  Disappear.  Done.

My husband and I thought the same thing.  No one would try to escape, especially when they saw what would happen with their own eyes.  It was just not believable.

What was even more unbelievable is the pseudo-happy ending that was really not even explained.

It was one of those times where you click off your television at midnight and wish you hadn’t wasted that precious sleeping time.

Characterization:  We need to care about your characters.  Make them real.  Make them respond realistically.  Even if they decide to do the right thing, and make the ultimate sacrifice, show some emotion.

Plot:  Please…  I mean, come on.  Think it through.  You can have a great idea (and yes, it was a great idea) but you need to follow it through to the end.  You need to root for your characters.  How can you root for characters when you know they are going to die?  And they have to die?

And that ending?  Even my husband shook his head.

I’ve actually found an “Alien-spaceship-explosion” flick that was worse than the second Transformers movie.  I never thought I’d see the day.

Think through your plotlines, and don’t ruin a brilliant idea with a really weak finish.