Thursday, September 27, 2012

Some Thoughts on Speculative Fiction ~ guest post by Kathy DiSanto

We're pleased to welcome speculative fiction author Kathy Disanto to the Salon today, giving her take on Speculative Fiction. Be sure to check out her latest release, Amanda's Eyes.

Some Thoughts on Speculative Fiction
Kathy DiSanto

I’ve been thinking a lot about speculative fiction lately. 

According to Wikipedia, the world’s would-be authority on just about everything, “Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history ….”  Etc.

My first thought was, “Who knew weird fiction was a genre?”  But I was afraid that would make me look ignorant, so I decided to run with my second and third thoughts here.   Nobody wants to come off dumb when they’re guest blogging, right?

Speculative.  As in, speculation.  Bottom line, isn’t that what all fiction is?  You see a woman running in the rain, desperately trying to catch a bus already pulling away from the curb.  If you’re a writer, you might start to speculate.  Where was the bus supposed to take her?  What happens now that she’s missed it?  Does the tall, dark, handsome stranger sitting near the back hook up with someone else?  Does she arrive late for that job interview, lose out, and wind up living in a Pontiac?  Or does she miss the hijacking and live to run in the rain another day?  If you speculate long and hard enough, you might end up with the next New York Times bestseller.

So if all fiction is speculation, what makes us so special?  Why do we get to be speculative?  Fantastical?  (Gosh, that sounds neat.  I could really get into being fantastical.)

Here’s my take on that.   For what it’s worth.

Human nature is complex, fascinating and, at the root, unchanging.  We’ve been story-tellers, artists, lovers, scrappers, thieves, and liars since Adam.  We’re continually curious, forever intent on finding a better, easier way to do whatever.  We get proud of ourselves and down on ourselves.  We’re noble and depraved and kind and self-serving.  Just like we’ve always been.

That’s my theory, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.

IMHO (not bad for a junior senior citizen, eh?) speculative fiction looks at human nature and says, “What if?” in a big way.What if he could fly?  Or read minds?  What if she came face to face with the dead-slash-undead?  What if our enemy had weapons so powerful, we had nothing that could withstand them?  What if he woke up as a six-foot cockroach?  How would human nature express itself then?  Would we triumph, or would we all fall down?

As speculative fiction writers, we take our readers on journeys of exploration by unleashingfantasticalpossibilities.  We teleport folks to places they’ve never gone and drop them into situations most of them couldn’t have imagined without us.

Listen, people.  Do we know how to push the envelope, or what?

Now here’s the best part.  The morefantasticalthe story, the more our readers are liable toget in touch with who and what they are.  With who weare collectively.  Whether they know it or not, they’ll be faced with questions about what it means to be human and to live among other humans, then and now.They’ll visit worlds where they cancontemplate the boundaries of our shared humanity andour place in the universe.  Maybe beyond.

“But wait,” you say.  “All I ever wanted to do was spin a whopping good yarn.  Scare the pants off them or weird them out or transport them to a galaxy far, far away.”

That’s all right.  Just because you don’t mean to dig deeper, doesn’t mean you’re not.You are, after all, fantastical.

Amanda’s Eyes

Waking up is the pits when you come to in a hospital with a broken arm, a colorful assortment of abrasions and contusions, and a face swathed in bandages.  It’s even worse if you can’t remember what hit you.

The bad and the ugly are crime reporter Amanda “A.J.” Gregson’s business.  But learning she had a ringside seat for an explosion that killed two agents of the Continental Intelligence and Investigative Service (CIIS), incinerated an entire block of warehouses, and did so much damage to her eyes they had to be surgically removed?  Well, that gives the darker side of life a whole new meaning.
Haunted by elusive nightmares, A.J. waits for her transplant and struggles to remember the events leading up to the fateful night of September 4, 2075.  Weeks crawl by without a glimmer, before memory finally floods back the night before surgery, every detail brutally clear.
The explosion had been the work of the Ferrymen.
“The Ferrymen.  My not-so-magnificent obsession for more than a year.  Only a cataclysm could have made me forget.  I guess you could call them hitmen.  You could also call Einstein a math whiz.  Think ruthless.  Think unstoppable.  Think killers so proficient ‘caught the ferry’ was fast replacing ‘bought the farm’ in common usage, and you have the Ferrymen in a nutshell.”
The transplant surgery goes off without a hitch—welcome news, because A.J. is raring for a rematch with Hell’s Boatmen.  But contrary to popular belief, what you see isn’t always what you get.  Take her new eyes, for example.  Those baby blues may look perfectly normal, but they possess a power that turns her world upside down—the power to see into the hidden dimensions of the human heart.
When the Sight unmasks the mastermind behind the Ferrymen, the unveiling is as stunning as it is unbelievable. The revelation sets her on course for a second head-collision with evil.  Will she survive the final encounter?

Kathy DiSanto writes speculative fiction, specifically, science fiction with a paranormal twist.  Her near-future thriller, Amanda’s Eyes, is currently available for download through Amazon.  She will self-publish a straight sci-fi novel, Why Live?, this December.  Mind Games, the second book in the A.J. Gregson series, is already in the works.  Find out more about Kathy by visiting her website.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Urban Fantasy Review: In a Fix

There aren’t many urban fantasy titles that I would describe as being a perfect breezy beach read, but now I’ve found one. In a Fix by Linda Grimes is a fun fast-paced story that is so entertaining I would recommend it to anyone, regardless of their usual genre preferences. Here’s the blurb:

Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.

Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

Ciel isn’t what you’d call a serious or deep character, but she certainly has plenty of spirit and she's always in the company of daring hot guys (who doesn't love that?). I was particularly intrigued with the invention of this apparent magical ability she shares with her family of aura adaptors, which gives them the ability to take on the appearance of other people often for very comic effect. In fact, some of the humor is so ridiculously slapstick that you wouldn’t think the story could hold up as anything but silly drivel, but somehow the thrilling adventure still comes through.

The fact that every person in her life treats Ciel like a baby sister gets a tad repetitive, but leaves lots of room for the character’s growth. Plus, the snappy dialogue between Ciel and Billy pulls the plot along so quickly that you get sucked into it till the end. These characters have a great relationship and a lot of heart, and it's impressive how easily the author brings these things across.

Although I prefer UF that has a broader range of myths and creatures, I still appreciate the shift toward lighter fare in this typically dark genre. It might even be a little too light for my tastes, but it won’t stop me from checking out future titles in the series if they come. If you’re looking for something funny and a heroine with lots of moxie, this one’s for you. Check out Linda Grimes's website for more info.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Cartographer’s Guild

After many attempts of searching the internet for a cartography forum, I finally found one! It has been a task I thought I would never complete before I finished my novel. I’m sharing my find with everyone so no one has to go through the same trouble.

In my short time on the forum, Cartographer’s Guild is wonderful community to learn, share and talk about making maps. You can commission a professional to create a map for your novel or personal use. Using tutorials provided, you can create your own map for review or enter in their monthly challenge. An entire sub-forum for maps discussion for towns, building, regional, board games and more are available for your specific needs.Critiques are provided in this section as well. 

The best part of the site is the maps posted. Here are some of my favorite ones below:

Created By User:  LonewandererD

Created By User: jfrazierjr

Created By User: Sapiento

The maps above are the tip of what is available to view on the forum and I can't wait until I explore even more maps. When the time comes, the map of my fantasy will be created with the help of this forum.

Have some time this weekend? Take a look around and let me know what you found.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Trend Toward Darker Fantasy

darkeness-withinMuch of fantasy written today is darker in nature than what was popular in the 1950s and earlier. Most often that trend is attributed to harder economic times with literature acting as a mirror of our collective economic well-being. But beyond that, I’ve often wondered about  the social implications of this shift in fantasy content. Recently, I read an interesting article by Diane Wing, entitled “Embrace the Darkness Within,” published in OM Times Magazine earlier this month. That article helped answer my question. She claims we need to embrace the dark side in order to survive. 

The dark side of humanity need not be evil; it is a source of power just as love is.  The dark force energies allow us to defend, to avoid negativity, to prevent injustice, and to remove energies that do not serve us on our path.  Love can create brightness and the dark forces can create personal power that when embraced, acknowledged, and honed, can show us the way to stand up for what we believe and to come more fully into ourselves.

Allowing fantasy fiction to illustrate the darker sides of human life helps readers explore and consider these darker energies in a safe environment. Just as fiction often contains positive themes that serve to model ethical and moral behavior, so too does exposing the shadows teach life skills.

This can be likened to the balance of Yin and Yang, masculine and feminine. We each possess light and dark within our natures to different degrees. Exploring both of those sides in the controlled environment of a fantasy story provides a safe means for an individual to learn about himself/herself and be more in tune to that balance. Opening to that delivers powerful  knowledge of the self, providing the impetus for personal development and self-improvement.  The darkness serves as a catalyst for growth.  The darkness is only detrimental when you choose to stay within it and not strive for the glimmer of light that waits on the other side.  The darkness of fantasy fiction helps us to reject that which is not appropriate to our well-being and serves to show us where we need development. 

Additionally, writing fantasy fiction with attention to dark forces makes the story more believable, one a reader can relate to more easily. According to Wing, “Even love has its dark side, such as jealousy or hatred, while darkness has its light by way of defending and protecting.  Everything is a blend.  Nothing is pure.  We are a mixture of all energies.  This gives us depth and the ability to create in a multitude of ways.” Allowing our fantasy characters to embrace that depth adds richness to the writing.

While darker fantasy plots and characters do reflect our economy and remind us of hardships, there is a greater good that lies within this trend—a balance of light and dark.
~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, and Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED. She has also authored the Ciel's Legacy series, with fast action mermaid/pirate storylines: TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE and TORTUGA TREASURE.  For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welcome Back ElfQuest!

If there was ever a series that I could say was the one that really got me hooked on comics as a kid, it was ElfQuest. Superheroes were OK, but this series was truly unique, blending fantasy and science fiction on a world much like our own. It has elves and wolves and aliens, oh my! I eventually collected all the graphic novels and I always get a bit nostalgic when I see them on the shelf.

So I was really excited when it was announced that BoingBoing would be publishing an all new online ElfQuest story. The first installment came out on Monday, and can be seen here, while you can catch up on all 6,500 pages of back issues here.

One page a week is almost like torture to wait for, but I'm just happy to have more adventures on the World of Two Moons. While the title of this new story is The Final Quest, I'm hoping it's far from it. Who's with me?


Monday, September 17, 2012

Self-Publishing Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Our special guest today is author Wynne Channing, who's sharing some great tips on how to avoid some of the pitfalls of self-publishing. Her new book, What Kills Me, is a fantastic new vampire story and will be available for purchase for only $0.99 during this tour. Wynne has also provided a prize for one lucky commentor which includes a signed bookmark with butterfly charm and an e-copy of What Kills Me. Details are at the end of the post. This giveaway is for US & Canada only.

An author's redo: Three self-publishing mistakes that I regret.

It took me less than six months to write my YA paranormal adventure What Kills Me. Then I put it away for more than a year unsure of what to do with it. One day, the books editor at the newspaper where I work showed me how to submit my e-book to Amazon. It looked easier than setting up a Facebook profile.

It is not. But I was fooled enough to launch myself down the path of Indie Author-dom.
And now I have the honor of appearing on The Speculative Salon as part of my first blog tour! I’d like to share a few words of advice to anyone thinking of taking this amazing, exciting, and scary step.

Okay, the title is a little misleading. I can’t really regret my choices since I’ve learned from them. And they are not mistakes. What is wrong for one author can be right for another.
But here’s what I would redo if I had a time machine or could mail myself a letter like that nonsensical romantic film starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Here are three “mistakes” that I would redo:

Wait to start promoting your book: Hang on, Wynne. I haven’t finished the book yet. How can I promote it? Yeah, that’s the conversation that I had with myself...which I regret. It’s never too early to start talking about your upcoming project. Sign up for Twitter. Identify yourself as [insert name here, author of the upcoming amazing book..., etc.] Start amassing followers. Connect with other writers and book bloggers. Start a blog. Tell people about your progress. Do a cover reveal. Collect emails so you can inform your new fans exactly when they can grab a piece of your literary genius.

Attempt to format your book yourself if you are techno-twit: Here are some things I could have been doing in the three days that I spent trying to format What Kills Me for publication: have tea and cake, plot the sequel, set myself up on Goodreads, work on my Amazon author profile, have tea and cake. Instead, I had a bald spot from scratching the same spot above my brow and an e-book with no working hyperlinks and strange spacing. By all means, try it. There are a lot of sites that offer great advice on how to do it yourself. But if it is making you want to throw your computer, hire an editor or formatter. Then go for tea and cake.

Be humble: Modesty is one of my father’s tenets. Don’t brag, he would always say. Growing up, I didn’t need to brag because I had subterranean self-esteem and as an adult, my self-deprecating humor helped me at parties.
But it prevented me at first from talking about What Kills Me. “Oh, I wrote a little something.” Uhh, no. I wrote a novel. I chose to publish it myself. And within two months, it won a reader’s choice award and almost 100 people have praised it with reviews. Once I started openly talking about the project, it invited dialogue. I met a lot more people, received great advice, and invaluable referrals.
Be proud of your accomplishments. Writing is hard. Whether you’ve started your first chapter, or you’ve just pressed “publish” on Amazon, tell someone. Hell, tell me! I will say that I am proud of you and please know that you deserve the praise.

Contest: Ok everyone, you know the drill. Leave us a comment and you'll be entered to win the lovely bookmark and ebook of What Kills Me. Please include an email address where we can contact the winner who will be chosen at the end of the tour on September 25th. Again, this contest is for US & Canadian residents only.

What Kills Me Links

What Kills Me is now $.99 on Amazon and Smashwords

About the book: An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

About Wynne: Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist. Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite). She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”

Connect with Wynne

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What is Fantasy? ~guest post by Jane Toombs

We're pleased to have author Jane Toombs here with us again at the Speculative Salon. She offers an interesting post that answers the question--What is fantasy? Enjoy her post and also, please, check out her latest fantasy release, Taken In

                                              What Is Fantasy?

The dictionary describes it as: “The creative imagination; unrestrained fancy.   Also  literary or dramatic fiction characterized by  highly fanciful or supernatural elements. Illusion; hallucination.”

    Ah, supernatural.  In other words, paranormal.  That’s the sub-genre of fantasy I usually tend to write. How each author approaches fantasy tends to be different.  Take werewolves for example.

   Some authors apparently feel that since wolves run in packs,  therefore their man-wolf or woman-wolf also has a pack. That’s certainly one way to present them.  But I don’t feel that way.  This being is not only a wolf but a man.  Men do not need to run in packs so my werewolves tend to be loners.

    Sometimes my shifters aren’t any species of animal, they’re simply a beast when they shift. This is true of my MOONRUNNER  TRILOGY--beasts that can stand erect, but can also run on all fours. After all, since it’s my “creative imagination” I can do anything I chose to do as long as I keep to my own guidelines of what such a creature can do or not do.

    When I wrote my chapter of  The  Guide To Writing Paranormal  Novels, Volume 1, I mention this.  My chapter is Dropped Eyes And Unattached Tentacles, where I also go into what bothers me as a reader--having a character, whether paranormal or not doing something impossible--like a human dropping his eyes or a creature flinging off a tentacle to capture prey.  While humans cannot literally drop their eyes, an imaginary creature can certainly fling off a tentacle if necessary, but as a reader I need to be prepared to know this, even if the prey has no idea it can do Though octopi, as far as I know, cannot detach tentacles, imaginary creatures can do anything the author sets them up to do.

   I agree that in a story, it might be the character does not know what an imaginary creature’s abilities are, so the reader finds out along with the character. That’s fair enough.

   I call many of my stories Paranormal Suspense Romances, because that’s what they are. I always try to keep the reader aware of what any shifters I write about can do. But in some cases, like my DARKNESS OF DRAGONS TRILOGY, some of the characters don’t even know they’re capable of shifting, so the reader has to find out when they do.   

  Fairy tales, whether or not they’re meant to illustrate a point, are also fantasies. In many cases about cultures which no longer exist. I write those, too, in my UNDERWORLD SERIES about gates between Earth and other worlds.

   My latest trilogy, DAGON HOUSE, has the first book out now--Taken In.  And this one is about ghosts.  Whether or not they do exist, they still fall into the fantasy genre.  I personally have never seen or felt a ghost, but I know others who believe they have.  I never disbelieve what others tell me they’ve felt because I guess I sort of like to believe they could exist.    
BLURB for Taken In:
Gail Sarandon flees New York City after seeing the murder of a man she knows--with both the hit man and Jason Tregarth, a Special Agent following her trail. Jason finds her first, but the hit man arrives before he can get her to safety. Gail with him, Jason manages to elude the hit man, only to crash on a lonely mountain road, totaling the car. He's injured, but Gail’s able to get him to the only shelter around--Dagon House. She believes they're safe, but she's wrong...

All of my books are featured on my web page along with buy links.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shoes For Every Genre

When I read Melanie's post yesterday, I instantly thought of a recent article that put a smile on my face. We've talked about being drawn to certain fairy tales and stepping into the shoes of our favorite childhood heroines, but these days we can go even further. Especially if your favorite princess is Cinderella, because thanks to designers like Marc Jacobs and Christian Louboutin, you can walk in her shoes any time you want.

Of course, if you're on a budget, you might want to check out the Glass Slipper Collection from DSW instead. They're all quite lovely, and it got me thinking how much their shoes can do a great job of helping heroines from almost any speculative genre stand out.

Sci-Fi Diva
Steampunk Girl

Fantasy Fairy
Lady Death

I could do this all day (really, I love me some shoes). A woman's shoes say a lot about her personality, and the same goes for characters of any gender or genre. Wear some special shoes today, be the heroine of your own story and really strut your stuff!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What's your story?

I've been taking a Tarot class to add to my writing workbox and it's been opening up interesting channels.  One of those was an image of me entering Winter. No, not the Winter of George RR Martin's world. This winter was a little more interesting. More personal.

It is the Winter of the Snow Queen! Listen, to Sur la Lune...

Kay looked at her, and saw that she was so beautiful, he could not imagine a more lovely and intelligent face; she did not now seem to be made of ice, as when he had seen her through his window, and she had nodded to him. In his eyes she was perfect, and she did not feel at all afraid. He told her he could do mental arithmetic, as far as fractions, and that he knew the number of square miles and the number of inhabitants in the country. And she always smiled so that he thought he did not know enough yet, and she looked round the vast expanse as she flew higher and higher with him upon a black cloud, while the storm blew and howled as if it were singing old songs. They flew over woods and lakes, over sea and land; below them roared the wild wind; the wolves howled and the snow crackled; over them flew the black screaming crows, and above all shone the moon, clear and bright,—and so Kay passed through the long winter’s night, and by day he slept at the feet of the Snow Queen.

The Snow Queen is one of the tales I felt drawn to as a kid. I remember sitting in the first foster home watching it on TV.  I wanted to be Kay then.  Since, however I have felt the attraction of other tales and recognized having been drawn to different stories before the Snow Queen.

When I was still living at home and reading the colored Fairy books, I was never the princess waiting to be rescued. I was the prince with the cloak of invisibility doing the rescuing. Eventually.  I was the witch, doing cool stuff instead of bother with princes and princesses, like keeping my stuff for my own use!

I did serve a term as mermaid, but nothing like either the Andersen or the Disney kind.  Just went exploring under the water.

It was recognizing myself as Rapunzel that was most significant in my later years. No one else would recognize me that way though. Unless you were just looking at the tower.  I wanted the tower to be a library and the witch who lived with me there to be my teacher or guide.  Or to just leave me the heck alone so I could get on with my own work.

In my version, I do eventually get "rescued" but only to go on real Adventures. That was about the time I started Aikido, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Somewhere in there I identified with the story of the Seven Swans, the one where the sister is silent through all kinds of torment while she knits seven nettle shirts for her brothers.  Not sure when I let go of that one.  Could be when I took up nursing in real life.

Now, though, I am approaching the winter of my life.  I have not been terribly conscious of growing old. let along growing up or older.  There are elements of the story, though, that appeal to me. I know who my Kay is. I know what the frost and ice are.  Now, to discover who Gerda is...

So, what stories have been mirrors of your life?  Characters?  Which ones would you change around to fit how you really are?

Happy Tales!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hot New Fall Television Series

There is now an unfortunate coolness to the air as fall is fast approaching. While I don't particularly enjoy cold weather, which is pretty avoid living in Canada (and no, we don't live in igloos), there is one thing that helps to keep me from a tailspin from summer.

While my summer is filled with a reading list (that I have not quite completed), my fall is filled with new T.V. series. And I am especially excited about three new that I will be adding to my "Must Watch" line up.

Here is the T.V. Guides write up on the shows that I won't be missing:

Premieres: Wednesday, Oct 10 at 8/7c
This is not your older brother's Oliver Queen. Stephen Amell stars as Queen, aka the Green Arrow, a wealthy playboy by day and a vigilante crime-fighter by night, in a gritty, brooding retelling of the famed superhero. Queen honed his archery skills on a deserted island for five years after surviving a boating accident that killed his father and girlfriend's sister, with whom he was having an affair. He returns to civilization to take down his dad's enemies to clear his family name (how Revenge-like!). Katie Cassidy co-stars as Queen's girlfriend, Dinah "Laurel" Lance, who may or may not be the Black Canary.
Arrow Trailer

Beauty and the Beast  
Premieres: Thursday, Oct 11 at 9/8c
Kristin Kreuk and Kiwi Jay Ryan star in the titular roles, but don't expect dancing candelabras or even a hairy beast. Ryan's Vincent Keller/beast will have nothing more than a scar on his face, though his actions will get "beastlier," as the producers put it, as the series progresses. The show is a remake of the 1987 procedural starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. Hamilton sent Kreuk and Ryan notes and photos wishing them good luck.
Beauty and the Beast Trailer

Premieres: Monday, September 17 at 10:00/9:00c
Leave it to J.J. Abrams (Lost) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural) to come up with a mythology-heavy drama. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where there is no electricity, the series stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Tracy Spiridakos, Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito as a group of people struggling to figure out how the technology vanished and who holds the figurative power among the survivors. We don't think this is what people meant by going green.
Revolution Trailer

Any new fall shows that you are excited to see?

R.J. Garside :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Once, Season Two—Magic as We Know Always Comes With a Price

Many fantasy fans are on the edges of their seats, waiting for the start of season two of the TV series Once Upon A Time. I sure am! So much so, that I poked around for a few hints about what to expect in the coming season. I found tidbits, but even those are enough to make me even more eager for episode one, which premieres on September 30th.

There are plenty of new cast members slated for episodes.

Julian Morris, a British actor known for his role on Pretty Little Liars, will guest-star as Prince Phillip.
Irish actor, Colin O'Donoghue will play Captain Hook, the Peter Pan villain. Best known to American audiences for a role in Showtime's The Tudors, O'Donoghue will show up for at least one season two episode. Captain Hook that will be a part of Once is said to be a character who is a violent and arrogant pirate when working but a stylish and polite gentleman the rest of the time. Sounds intriguing to me!
Last month, it was reported that True Blood’s Michael Raymond-James had joined the season's recurring cast in an unknown role, described only as "mysterious.” Fans have speculated he may portray Baelfire, Rumpelstiltskin’s long-lost son who fell into a portal from the fairytale world (and presumably to our reality).
As a Lost fan, I’m super excited with the news that former Lost star Jorge Garcia will rumble into Storybrooke as The Giant, of Jack and the Beanstalk fame. I loved his acting on Lost. Not much is known about Garcia’s role or who he’ll end up allying himself with, but it’s rumored he’ll most likely appear in a multi-episode story arc. Garcia will reunite with fellow Lost actress Emilie de Ravin (Belle) – who has been promoted to a series regular this season. It’s no surprise Garcia has been hired, since the creators of Once, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, wrote all the Hurley-centric episodes of Lost.
 Other newcomers:

And what will the plot be like in season two?  According to the creators, regret and redemption will be a theme for the season.

Things are going to change in the little town where time stood still due to the Evil Queen Regina’s wicked curse. In a Lost-esque nod to the black smoke monster, a wave of thick purple smoke surged through Storybrooke in the season one finale when Emma Swan finally fulfilled her destiny by shattering Regina’s evil curse. Emma’s action restored the resident’s former fairytale identities and started the ball rolling for magic to enter the town.
The first focus will be on the relationship between Emma and Snow White in an episode titled, “Broken,” and will pick up right where the season 1 finale left off—minutes after magic has been released into Storybrooke.
Co-creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis commented about the consequences of the first season finale’s events, stating, "Magic as we know always comes with a price and we are introducing it to a world where it has never been before and I think that’s going to have unpredictable results. It’s going to affect everybody this season because that’s what’s more fun." said Kitsis. Concerning what happens when everyone in Storybrooke suddenly regains their memories of the past, Horowitz said, "One of the things that’s interesting to us to explore is this notion that just because the memories have returned does not mean that the past 28 years did not happen. Those memories, the Davids, the Mary Margaret, the Mr. Golds, all those people, who they were existed and what they did actually happened and those are the things that will have to be dealt with." This sounds wonderfully complex to me!

Okay, I’m pumped! And if this doesn’t get you thoroughly amped for the upcoming season of Once Upon a Time, then you may be suffering the effects of a curse and should avoid questionable looking fruit. Are you ready?

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Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, and Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED. She has also authored the Ciel's Legacy series, with fast action mermaid/pirate storylines: TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE and TORTUGA TREASURE.  For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.
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