It is a pleasure to welcome Corie Weaver editor of the Sci-Fi Anthology series, Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.
What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?
We chose the name Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide because we wanted to create a sample of science fiction stories for readers of all ages. Every collection includes stories that represent the wide spectrum of science fiction, from rocket ship adventure, to weird west to post- apocalyptic to steampunk and more.
What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?
A random conversation with a friend back in 2014 sparked a new multi-year project – so be careful! My best friend was looking for new books for her young daughter. The qualifications seemed simple: Science fiction or fantasy, female protagonist, no romance. It was harder to find titles than I thought it would be. Sure, there were options – Wrinkle in Time, Zita the Space Girl, The City of Ember…. But not as many as I’d assumed. Turns out, according to a 2011 study of 6,000 children’s books, only 31 percent had central female characters, and even fewer featured main characters of color.*
I love science fiction. I believe it can bring us to a brighter future. So, I did the only logical thing, and put out a call for submissions for an anthology of science fiction shorts for middle grade readers, with a focus on diversity and representation. Girls, boys, robots – everyone is welcome here.
* “Gender in Twentieth-Century Children’s Books: Patterns of Disparity in Titles and Central Characters.” (http://gas.sagepub.com/content/25/2/197.full.pdf+html) The results of the study are also discussed in this Guardian article: (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/may/06/gender-imbalance-children-s-literature)
What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing or the writing of the authors of the series?
Tamora Pierce, Isaac Asimov, Usula K. LeGuin, Terry Prachett, Neil Gaiman – the list goes on and on. But one story I read in Asimov’s Magazine *mumblemumble* years ago has stuck with me for years – Beggars in Spain, by Nancy Kress. I reached out to Nancy when we started the anthology project, and she’s sold us a story every year. When I asked why she was such a strong supporter, she answered:
“When I was a child, the school library had a Girls’ Section, which included fairy tales, and a Boys’ Section, which included all the science fiction. Things have changed, of course, but not enough. There is a strong need for science fiction, as opposed to fantasy, aimed at girls, especially in the middle grades. This anthology is an important contribution to the effort to fill that need, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.”
If someone is interested in learning more about the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, where would they go?
The 2018 collection will be on Kickstarter starting June 13th, shipping in December.
Also, the 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide is now available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is also available for Libraries! Learn more at http://dreamingrobotpress.com/2017-young-explorers-adventure-guide/!
AtoZ Blog Challenge 2017
Today starts the April 2017 AtoZ Blog Challenge.
What is the AtoZ Blog Challenge?
The challenge is where bloggers from around the world post a topic each day during the month of April, except on Sundays, related to a particular letter of the Alphabet. Basically, a blogger would post an article on April 1st with a topic related to the letter A and continue through the alphabet until April 30 with a topic related to the letter Z. To help visualize this, below is a schedule for the 2017 AtoZ blog Challenge:
You can participate by reading the articles that are posted each day. What good is an article posted that is never read?
Those bloggers participating in this Challenge will be posting links to their articles via the official A to Z Challenge blog, the AtoZ Challenge Simulcast Blog (for WordPress bloggers), or the AtoZ Blog Challenge Facebook. Bloggers can also use Twitter and Instagram to post links with the hashtag #AtoZBlogChallenge. There are also some blogs that do a good job of consolidating the links that are shared via Twitter for example, The #AtoZChallange Daily.
I participated in this Challange for several years and it helped me when I first started blogging. This Challenge is an excellent and exciting way to gather new readers, focus writing and showcase or expand the talent of writers and bloggers. If you have not read these previous AtoZ Challenge Blog posts you can find them here.
Although I am not participating in this year’s Challenge, I still want to support those that are. Therefore, good luck to those that are participating and I look forward to reading and sharing those that peek my interest.
So are you participating in the Challenge?
I am very sad to hear that Carrie Fisher has passed away. There are no words for how I feel that expresses my thanks to this wonderful person. However, I will do my best.
Carrie was a wonderful role model for many, especially this Fangirl by showing that there are self rescuing princesses. As I grew up, she also showed me that you can overcome many life struggles with humor. Her problems with her Mother and family really echoed some of the relationship problems I have faced in my life. Her dedication to her writing, showed me that a beautiful women can be many things in her life. Her wit and humor showed me to laugh even when things looked bad. Her love of the fans is one of the things I really liked about her.
Carrie took the time to interact with everyone she met. By spreading glitter on her fans at the conventions or even briefly talking to people, like my husband, as he was standing in line to get a diet pop at Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando.
You will be missed Carrie.
May The Force Be With You, Always…
Sailor Moon R The Movie in Select Theaters Starting 1/19/17
Sailor Moon comes to the big screen in her first dazzling movie! Uncut and for the first time in theaters. Join Sailor Moon on an adventure to save not only the world, but also her true love! This limited engagement also includes the North American debut of the original theatrical short, Make Up! Sailor Guardians and exclusive extras. A special bonus gift will be given to ticket holders while supplies last.
Looking at the list of theaters, this Fangirl is disappointed that only one theater, The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township, MI, will be showing this in my area. However, the good news is that there will be two showings, one of 1/19/17 and the other on 1/23/17, both at 7PM. Tickets are not available to buy for these showings yet. Hopefully, I will be able to buy tickets to one of these. Otherwise, I will have to wait until this is available on BluRay or via streaming.
You can find more details on other locations in the U.S. and to buy tickets here.
This challenge started out strong with posts being completed and scheduled ahead time. Unfortunately, as the month progressed, due to family medical issues, my posts were harder to create, let alone schedule ahead of time.
However, thanks to the encouragement of my readers, over 100 of you, I completed this year’s challenge!
Now that this goal has been achieved, I can proudly display the 2016 A to Z Challenge banner image on the About page of this blog!
Thanks so much for going on this journey with me. Everyone who visited the blog and read some or all of the posts during this challenge are precious to me. I really hope you were entertained by the theme, the topics and content generated by this challenge. In addition, I hope that many of you will come back and visit my blog again soon.
Why grammar programs aren’t ready to go on their own yet.
One would think that teaching a computer to learn would be harder than teaching it to write correctly, but learning how to build a car, or hack into the Federal Bank might actually be easier than writing a novel with proper grammar, dialect, and regional expressions.
Cars are made in a precise order, with precise actions.
The bank has a specific code, and possibly an eye scan you need to acquire to enter its vault.
To properly write a person speaking, the program needs to know the grammar used in that region, and also the standard grammar which should be used in the non-dialogue parts of the story. Only problem is, there isn’t one standard. In the USA, there are three main manuals: The Chicago Manual of Style, The Associated Press Stylebook, and The Elements of Style, and rest assured, they do not agree with one another on all points. But in specific categories there are even more style manuals, the total exceeding thirty different manuals depending upon the field you work in.
And even if a program coded every rule and could figure out which manual to use for the purpose at hand, it would still get into trouble as the examples provided by my grammar program shows.
Our language is messy, creative, whimsical, and ever-changing. Then to make matters worse, we make up expressions that make no sense to anyone not from the region. Australia is notorious for their strange expressions like ‘flat out like a lizard drinking’. Is that lizard thirsty or tired? Are we even talking about a lizard at all?
England’s no different. It’s gone completely pear-shaped with sayings.
And the U.S.? We have our own weird sayings like “Going postal” which I could not get my Australian friends to believe was a real saying. Worst yet: we still use illogical punctuation rules created due to our crappy printing presses back in the 17th century.
But how does a computer deal with these illogical phrases and multiple rules on punctuation? This is far trickier than duplicating an eye scan and hacking a code.
In fact, it might even be harder than comprehending emotions…
No…I think emotions will still be harder. We cry when we are happy and sad. We laugh through pain and in joy. We sulk prettily when we want something, and truly sulk when we don’t get it. We connive, we plot, we manipulate, sometimes to make something better, and sometimes for revenge. Honestly, we have got to be the most inconsistent and confusing creatures on Earth.
Hacking into the Fed Reserve would be child’s play in comparison to understanding and successfully emulating a human.
Yet by working with Carla as her ‘grammar program’ for years, her program can clean up not just the grammar issues, but the factual issues as well, while she “becomes the character” and teaches it about emotions in all their messy splendor. Her program has managed to categorize all the nuances of emotions, facial tics, etc, and in book 2, he develops into a human, superior in all ways.
My program has no such aspirations.
Here’s a few of the funny changes my program wished to make to my novel Public Secrets:
|What I wrote:||What my program thinks I should say|
|“You can get away after the book.”
—Editor wanting her to finish writing the book before Carla takes a vacation…
|“You can get away from the book.”
—Sure you can. Just run! Books are really slow!
|“I can see why,” she murmured.
|“I can see why” she murmured.
—For some reason, the program wished to remove the comma. Evidently ‘murmured’ is not considered a replacement for ‘said’ in its data bank.
|He remembered the deference she’d been shown by both the attendant and the captain.||He remembered the difference she’d been shown by both the attendant and the captain.
—Liza loses all respect for the program…
|His ill-tempered assistant reamed a porter for bumping the luggage against the frame of the elevator door.
|His ill-tempered assistant dreamed a porter for bumping the luggage against the frame of the elevator door.
—Liza bangs her head against the door.
Shouldn’t an ill-tempered assistant at least dream of killing the porter?
|How the hell had she gotten herself into this situation?
|How had the hell she gotten herself into this situation?
—Who let Yoda in?
|Steadied by these positive thoughts, she decided she didn’t want to be killed while cowering in the ceiling.||Steadied by these positive thoughts, she decided she didn’t want to be killed while covering in the ceiling.
That makes so much more sense!
Book 1 of the AI Sci-Rom Series
Carla Simon is a best-selling novelist besieged by death threats and lawsuits because her stories keep turning out to be true. She is considered an extraordinary researcher, uncovering facts unknown by field experts.
The truth is far simpler and more disturbing. Carla has a software program that “fixes” her mistakes and rewrites her novels so they are error-proof both in presentation and in content. The result is beautifully written and completely accurate stories about real people and events.
Some of those people want her silenced forever. When a woman, mistaken for Carla, turns up dead in New Zealand, she must face the hard truth about her program. But first she has to survive the assassin who has never failed to deliver on a contract.
Free with Kindle Unlimited
Coming Very Soon
Birth of Adam
Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors have given her lots of fodder for her books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
You have been warned.
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I cannot believe that it has been three years since this blog started. In that time, this blog has posted over 400 separate posts. I want to thank all of those that take the time to read and contribute to this blog! I hope that The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl continues to entertain and inform.
If you have any suggestions for future posts, please do not hesitate to make them in the comments below!
PattyBones, the Everyday Fangirl