I am very saddened by the news that James Horner passed away the other day in a plane crash. I believe he is one of the greatest film composers, next to John Williams, of our time. In addition, like John Williams, he had long standing collaborations with directors including Ron Howard and James Cameron. Some of the wonderful soundtracks he composed included An American Tail, Cocoon, Willow, Krull, Titanic, Avatar, The Rocketeer and my favorite of his Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn. I was just thinking on the morning he passed away, when driving to work, that James Horner would be the perfect composer to take over the Star Wars sequel or anthology films because his style compliments the styling of John Williams.
To celebrate James Horner’s legacy, I am going to share with you my Top 5 favorite themes and tracks from his soundtrack scores.
1) Surprise Attack from Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn
2) Willow’s Theme from Willow
3) Ride of the Firemares from Krull
4) Theme from Cocoon from Cocoon
5) Somewhere Out There from An American Tail
So which themes or tracks from James Horner soundtracks make your Top 5 list?
#AtoZChallenge: Books on my TBR pile
I have lots of books in my TBR <To Be Read> pile. These are books that I bought, but for one reason or another have not started reading yet. Here is a peak at the most recent books that I have added to my TBR pile:
Butterflies, Flower by Yuki Yoshihara
Choko Kuze is the sensible daughter of a venerable family who went bankrupt. She joins a real estate company as an entry-level office worker, but her eccentric boss is harder on her than anyone else in the company! After hearing him inadvertently call her “milady,” she realizes he was the young servant boy she knew as a child. At work he’s a tyrant, but after hours he insists on treating her like a lady of the nobility. Is romance even possible for a couple locked in such a crazy role reversal?
Three Weeks With Lady X by Elosia James
Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized facade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India. Exquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks. But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them. Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option. But there is only one thing that will make India his. The one thing Thorn can’t afford to lose–his fierce and lawless heart.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron by Michael Stackpole
They are sleek, swift, and deadly. The are the X-wing fighters. And as the struggle rages across the vastness of space, the fearless men and women who pilot them risk both their lives and their machines. Their mission: to defend the Rebel Alliance against a still-powerful and battle-hardened Imperial foe in a last-ditch effort to control the stars! Its very name strikes fear into enemy hearts. So when Rebel hero Wedge Antilles rebuilds the legendary Rogue Squadron, he seeks out only the best — the most skilled, the most daring X-wing pilots. Through arduous training and dangerous missions, he weeds out the weak from the strong, assembling a group of hard-bitten warriors willing to fight, ready to die. Antilles knows the grim truth: that even with the best X-wing jockeys in the galaxy, many will not survive their near-suicidal missions. But when Rogue Squadron is ordered to assist in the assault on the heavily fortified Imperial stronghold of Black Moon, even the bravest must wonder if any at all will survive. . . .
Shall We Dance by Chris Keniston
Success in the courtroom comes easily for J.P. Hartley, but not so much in his love life. Tired of superficial pretty faces, after a bitter loss in court all he wants is to unwind with his best friend and colleague Kimberly Anderson. That is, until a snazzy blonde forces him to face what—or who—has always been right in front of him.
Nebula Nights: Love Among The Stars
11 Sci-Fi Romances that’ll sweep you away!If you like your science fiction blazing with adventure and your space opera spiced with romance, this boxed set is for you. From first contact to battles for survival and love on war-torn planets, this collection from bestselling & award winning authors will leave you sighing with satisfaction
It is now Spring and for many Fangirls and the Fanboys who support them, this means the beginning of the ‘con season’. During the con season there are at least one or two fan related conventions almost every weekend.
These conventions can vary in both size and in scope. Some of the can be small, some can be big, some can include multiple fandoms or franchises, while others can focus on just one fandom or franchise. No matter which of these conventions you plan on attending, if you are a newbie or a veteran attendee, these tips may be of help to you.
If you want to do it or buy it, then do not hesitate
There are plenty of opportunities and choices when attending a convention. Whether it’s attending a panel or special event, meeting a celebrity, or buying a piece of artwork, or collectible these opportunities may not come up again. Therefore, if you have the time or the money required, then do not hesitate or else you may regret it.
Best laid plans can be changed or interrupted
Many survival guides out there recommend that you plan before you go to the convention. Planning is a great way to determine which panels or special events to attend. However, the best laid plans can be derailed due to crowds, changes in programming or any other unexpected circumstances. Therefore, as part of your planning, include some contingency plans as well, just in case. If Plan A does not work out, then Plans B, C or even D, may be just where you needed to be after all.
Bring extra clothes and accessories, epecially if you are cosplaying
Wearing fandom related clothes or dressing up as a favorite character can be really cool and enhance your overall convention experience. However, there can be times when an unexpected incident could happen to your clothes or outfit, such as food or drink being dropped into your lap. Those types of incidents cannot be fixed quickly without having extra clothes or accessories with you. If you have these items with you when these types of incidents happen, then you have a greater chance of correcting this quickly and getting back to the fun!
Breaks are a must, not an option
No matter how busy you are during the convention it is important that you get as many breaks as you can. Even a couple of short breaks can help can keep you going longer. Sitting down away from all the hustle and bustle, eating a snack, drinking some water or just talking with friends and other attendees can revitalize you and help you get ready for your next experience at the convention.
Bring Hand Sanitizer and Wipes
Either during or after a convention many people come down sick with what is commonly know as ‘con crud’. The best may I found to help reduce the likelihood of coming down with something is to bring and use both hand sanitizer and wipes. The use of both a hand sanitizer and wipes will help you reduce the possibility of coming into contact with bacteria or germs that can cause the ‘con crud’ In addition, using these may help prevent the spread of bacteria and germs to other attendees. A win for everyone!
And last, but certainly not least…
Bring your patience, your manners and most of all your respect
Whether big or small, a convention is a great way to celebrate your fandom. However, some attendees, especially those that are new to THAT con, may not be prepared for the size, the variety, the crowds or the long waits. Even those that are prepared and have attended multiple times need to remember that there are plenty of others that may not be. If attendees, both newbies and veterans, brought their patience, their manners and their respect, then everyone can have an awesome convention experience and go home happy!
I have been challenged by few of my friends on Facebook to name 10 books that changed or influenced my life. However, I have so many books, stories and series that changed or influenced my life that I cannot possibly only name 10. Therefore, below is my attempt to limit this list to only the top books, stories or series that changed or influenced me throughout my life so far!
Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
This was actually one of my Mom’s favorites. It influenced her so much that she made a gift of this book to me as an adult. My Mom told me, when she gave me that gift, it was to remind me that there is always a silver lining no matter how dire things are. Now that she has passed away, this story is even more precious to me and will continue to remind me of her for years to come.
Poky Little Puppy A Little Golden Book
This was a favorite story when I was in elementary school. I am not sure how it changed or influenced me, but I read and re-read this book so much that I wore the binding out and pages fell out of the book.
Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene
I was first introduced to these stories in elementary school, by the school librarian. The first story of the series I read was The Hidden Staircase. These were first set of stories that I became obsessed with and just had to read!
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
I first read an excerpt of this story in Middle School as part of an overall reading assignment in the textbook. However, it was the scene where Mr. Collins proposed to Elizabeth and her response to that proposal. The character of Elizabeth was just so powerful in that short scene that I just had to find out more about her and her life. It influenced me to seek out the novel and of course all of the other iterations and adaptations.
Once and Always by Judith McNaught
This is my very first adult historical romance novel. The story, characters and the steamy romance scenes really caught my attention. For a long time, this is the historical romance story I used to measure all the other stories I read in the same genre!
LONG, TALL TEXANS SERIES by Diana Palmer
This series has been a part of my life since 1988 and I mentioned that this was one of my favorite series before. I bought the first story in the series, Calhoun, with money that I earned working part time at a local Kmart store. I was so proud that I was able to not only read such an amazing story with great characters, but that I was able to buy it new with my own money!
Mallory-Anderson Series by Johnanna Lindsey
This is another series that I have mentioned before and has been a part of my life for over 25 years. The first story in the series, Love Only Once, introduced my favorite male character, James Mallory, and I was NEVER the same since.
Legacy by Jayne Ann Krentz
This is the first story that I found by one of my favorite authors, Jayne Anne Krentz. I found this at a used book store one Saturday afternoon. The book was so good that I went to find all her previous books. In addition, because all the other books were just as good as the first, Jayne Ann Krentz became a must read and buy author from that time on.
Flirting With Trouble by Cathie Linz
This is my first signed book by the author! I met the author through an online Bulletin Board while I was in College. The members of the Bulletin Board decided to have a meet up in Cathie’s home town. Not only did I get to meet this amazing author and have this book signed, but it found a life long friend as well.
A Night In the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
This story is one that my husband and I re-listen to every year during the month of October for Halloween. Each time we listen to it, it feels like brand new all over again. In addition, we have the rare audio version of this story narrated by the author himself!
And, but definitely not least…
Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold
I have mentioned this series before. Every single story in the Vorkosigan Saga constantly changes and influences me, even in small ways. However, if I had to choose one book from this amazing series to list it would be Shards of Honor!
In honor of #WorldCatDay today, I am sharing my list of favorite cats from anime stories.
Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service
The Cat Bus from My Neighbor Totoro
Kyo Sohma in his cat form, from Fruits Basket
So how are you celebrating World Cat Day?
What cats are on your list?
There are so few Moms in Science Fiction, even this top 10 list added a Fantasy Mother. There are even fewer in Romantic Science Fiction. However, Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan from the Vorkosigan Saga written by Lois McMaster Bujold, stands out among them.
I am not the only one who believes this either. A recent blog article proclaims that Moms Can Have Their Own Adventures, Too using Cordelia as the example.
She’s an adventurer and a leader, and she has the uncanny ability to figure out how other people work and what they need and want. As a mother, she gives her son room to explore while still providing boundaries and a safety net.
In the Omnibus Cordelia’s Honor, which combines Shards of Honor and the companion story, Barrayar into one volume, not only shows her growing romance with Aral, but also Cordelia in the first stages of motherhood.
What makes Cordelia the Ultimate Romantic Science Fiction Mom?
Throughout the saga whether they appear in the story or not, Aral and Cordelia are shown to still be very much in love with each other, even after 30 years. Now that is a romantic science fiction story that continues to live on even “off-stage”. In addition, Cordelia has continued to pass on, as a mother would, her outlook, concepts and philosophies in life and politics, not only to her offspring, but to EVERYONE she interacts with! These are established through quotes, many contributed to be influenced by Cordelia, used by various characters throughout the saga. Some examples of these are:
“Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”
“Let’s see what happens!”
“When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.”
It is the continuing romance and her influence on the various characters, as a mother even when she is firmly “off-stage”, that establishes Cordelia as the Ultimate Romantic Science Fiction Mom, in my opinion.