Yay! Congratulations to all the SFR Galaxy Award winners!
To celebrate, I’ll send three winners three books each. Since some books are in a series, winners can pick the first book in the series as their prize instead. Winners can choose from the list of paperbacks and ebooks. For more on the books, visit the awards page.
Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams
Prodigal by Jody Wallace
Jumper’s Hope by Carol Van Natta
Dark of Light by Audrey Sharpe
Star Cruise: Outbreak or Hostage to the Stars by Veronica Scott
Nobody’s Hero by Bec McMaster
Vortex of Crimson by Lise MacTague
Pirate by Eve Langlais
Gladiator, Hell Squad:Holmes, or Hell Squad:Niko by Anna Hackett
The Champion of Barésh by Susan Grant
Vellmar the Blade by Fletcher DeLancey
The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time by Cherie Dimaline, Gwen Benaway, David Robertson, Richard Van Camp, Nathan Adler, Daniel Heath Justice, Darcie Little Badger, and Cleo Keahna
Crash and Burn by Cynthia Sax
Through Uncharted Space by Anna Hackett
Fools Rush In by Donna S. Frelick
Gambit by PJ Dean
The Rule of Luck by Catherine Cerveny
Warrior Wench by Marie Andreas (Amazon only)
Pets in Space anthology by Alexis Glynn Latner, Cara Bristol, Carysa Locke, Laurie A. Green, Lea Kirk, Pauline Baird Jones, S. E. Smith, Susan Grant, and Veronica Scott
Winners will also get their pick of a shorter work:
Quickshot by Pippa Jay
Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post letting me know at least one book you’d choose from this list and why. The giveaway will end 5PM Pacific Standard Time on 8 February. Winners can be from anywhere on Earth.
I’m working on my mental health with a treatment that sound pretty science fiction: HF-rTMS, which stands for high -frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. I spend about twenty minutes sitting in a chair every day with a figure-eight-shaped magnetic coil attached to my head. A series of electric pulses travel from a generator through the coil to my skull in quick succession, then pauses, then repeats. The therapy targets the left prefrontal cortex, which shows reduced resting activity in depressed people. It also contains a lot of motor neurons.
The sound is much like there’s a metal woodpecker inside my skull. The feeling is less painful, but it’s not something I’d do for fun. Often my eyes twitch during the treatment and afterwards I feel extra twitchy and shaky, because my already overstimulated (due to myoclonus-dystonia) motor neurons have also been getting more current.
The side effect is that sometimes I have a headache afterwards, which is common. I’ll take headaches for the chance to make a long-term improvement in my mental health. The neuropsychiatrist told me that about two thirds of patients respond. So far, no positive change in mental health, but I’m only two weeks in, and they see most responses begin in week three or four. As to why exactly it works…well, scientists are still working on that one. Best theory seems to be that evening out an electrical balance alleviates some of what can cause major depressive disorder.
It’s an every-weekday for six weeks treatment, after which there are three more weeks of tapered treatment. If I start responding on week six, I get another few weeks of it. It’s a hassle to get to and from the center- I have to leave work early. I get to spend the time in the chair reading, at least. So far I’ve read N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Kingdoms, Jeffe Kennedy’s The Mark of the Tala and Lonen’s War, and Joan Vinge’s The Snow Queen. I’ve been too tired to work on my novel, but at least I’ve been filling the creative well with a lot of books.
Andira Tal is recovering from an attempt on her life with her new love by her side when the machinations against her finally bear fruit. Her resources are depleted, and she has very little time to counter the threat. Can she get out of this mess with her job, her family, and her life intact?
DeLancey has given a ton of attention to detail in the world and plot. I felt Alsea as very real and cohesive, and the plot is complex but not difficult to understand. The action scenes are easy to follow, and so are the foreign-to-me celebrations and traditions we see.
The love story has some credible conflict and two incredible women, and the familial and friendship relationships are rich and believable. Andira’s lady shows incredible resolve and strength while remaining human. She grows to assert herself even more in this book, and that makes Andira grow and change for the better in response.
The idea of someone (divine or technological) selecting soul mates for each other doesn’t grab me. As TV Tropes says, your mileage may vary.
Some of the issues highlighted in the first book felt like a distant memory here. I wanted to know the status of the named asylum seekers and troubled veterans, since I’d grown to care about them and I thought they were situations that still needed more addressing. Perhaps that will come up in further books.
Read if you
Can handle many twisty plot threads
Want many strong characters to sigh over
Skip if you
Can’t deal with a little nonhuman biology (think Star Trek aliens)
Need a quick, light read
Are creeped out by empaths
I received a review copy, but also borrowed this book from the library for the time it took me to read it. Almost everything gets wrapped up in this novel, after three long books! The couple and memorable secondary characters each get their deserved resolution or at least a break after so many exhausting trials. I’m curious to know what will be next for the world of Alsea- I look forward to reading about the further adventures of several intriguing characters. I’m no television buff, but I believe that these books would translate well to a miniseries. Someone pick up that option!