Guest Post & Giveaway: Lexi Ander – “Mixing Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Is It Still Sci-Fi?”
A big thank you to Piper for having me on the blog today! I wanted to talk a bit about blending genres. I see it all time when I’m looking at publisher calls for submissions. The more an author blends genres into the story the better. I love it. To write a vampire BDSM dystopia would be awesome but there are some who would rather read a single genre. Adding BDSM to a shifter story may not be their cup of tea because they feel it takes some of the realism out of the BDSM. I totally get it because I don’t like mixing shifters with sports themes. Sometimes, adding one genre overshadows the other genre.
If you’ve read Alpha Trine, you know that I blend Sci-fi with mythology elements. What I had used of mythology didn’t fall into fantasy, but when I was writing Striker I agonized over adding the Mar’Sani triplets. Over the years, I’ve heard some science fiction enthusiast insinuate that adding fantasy elements to a sci-fi story removes it from the science fiction genre. They believe the addition of fantasy elements cheapens a sci-fi story because both cannot co-exist. One is factual and the other is not.
So I’m sitting there staring at the screen wondering if I could write the scene without bringing the triplets into play, the GyrFalconi navigator, Axis, was throwing a fit that I was even considering leaving the triplets. His hissy fit was distracting, to the point that I couldn’t think. I traded emails with a friend. Tossed the idea about some more. I took a walk with my husband and spilled all of my worries. Would readers still consider the story science fiction if I added the fantasy elements that I wanted. Would it make the story less or add to it as I had planned? It was such a small element for a tiny part of the story.
The answer from both of them—after listening to me go on and on forever—was, “It’s your story. Do whatever the hell you want.” It’s sort of awesome that my husband and my friends don’t beat around the bush. (On a side note, if I was angst-ing over such a small issue, can you image the bigger ones?? ^_^ )
I did add the Mar’Sani triplets, the feared and revered Chimera assassins. No they don’t play a huge part in Striker, but they have the potential to be bigger characters in a future volume. Plus Axis is really happy about it. I’m considering writing a free short for just him, IF I find the time.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into the Valespia-verse and found it to be informative, insightful, and fun. Thank you for stopping by and reading!
BLURB: The peaceful respite for which Zeus and his intended, Dargon and Alpha, had been hoping is shattered when Zeus is unexpectedly drawn to the Waters of Poseidon and told that the safety they’ve been promised is a trap. But the Fal’Amoric aren’t the only important cargo on the Oethra 7, and countless others are depending on the success of their mission. If Zeus hopes to break the silent siege on Valespia and protect those most precious to him, he will need not just powerful allies but the fortitude to survive overwhelming odds.
The view of the night sky alleviated his momentary doubt and confirmed where he was drifting. A blanket of midnight blue covered the heavens, bedecked with the brilliant points of stars shining like precious jewels. The primary moon sat fat and heavy with a red sliver of the secondary moon peeking out the side, reminding people that two moons hung in the Atlaintician sky. The pale white glow of the primary caused the waters to appear slick and black. Zeus awakened floating on the warm Waters of Poseidon. He did not know how he came to be there but instinct, or possibly his deep need for home, identified where he was; the waters surrounding him soothed his longing.
He searched for his sister, Shaneva. Only she brought him to the Waters of Poseidon. As one who was born with the Longing, the waters became her home when she turned fifteen summers. Strangely, the waters appeared empty of people. Both times he had been called here other souls floated nearby, not close enough to disturb them but silhouettes drifting in the distance nonetheless.
“Shaneva sleeps this night.”
Treading water, he turned toward the masculine voice. Not an arm’s length away swam a male unlike any Mar’Sani Zeus had ever seen. Zeus had never met a being as visually intriguing. Something nagged at him. He had never seen the male before, but the voice stirred old memories he wished to forget, haunting his darkest dreams. Since none had met with harm while dreaming of Poseidon’s waters, Zeus momentarily put aside his anxiety and studied the being before him.
The Mar’Sani’s body was covered in a combination of yellow, leathery skin and prominent green scales rimmed with a vibrant blue-green. The scale’s pattern resembled sharp tipped stripes flowing down his neck, arms, and what Zeus could see of his back. Stunning large green reptilian eyes stared at Zeus from between long thick eyelashes. Zeus decided the face of the being appeared much like his own, with a small nose and wide full mouth. When the male smiled, his teeth were sharp but did not resemble the needle-like ones of Zeus’s family. A thick ridge above the brow supported a spiked crest which rose a couple of centimeters tall in the front, increasing in size to as much as six centimeters at the back of his crown. A deep red membrane made an arching bridge between each spike, giving the strange impression of a royal coronet.
“Why am I here? Shaneva only brings me here when I’m injured.” Zeus’s frowned in thought. “There is nothing wrong with me.”
The male grinned. “As I am well aware. You found your life partners and soon will be a father. Congratulations, brother.”
Warm affection blossomed in his chest at the thought of Dargon and Alpha. Zeus’s fingertips skirted the edge of the dark green dot on his forehead that proclaimed him a part of an Alpha Trine and allowed him to communicate with Alpha, Dargon’s symbiote.
“You called me brother.” He searched the face before him, looking for but not seeing anything familiar. The voice though; the sound niggled at his memory and yet he could not place the countenance.
“All in good time.” The male flashed his sharp teeth, humor lighting his green eyes. “I did bring you here for a reason. You need to warn our brothers they are heading into a trap. The space over Valespia is no longer safe.”
“What do you mean? What waits there?” Zeus asked in alarm. How did he know where they were heading? Zeus should be suspicious of anyone other than the crew of The Gorgon or the Oethra 7 knowing their destination. And yet, the sense of familiarity, the knowing that came from his gut caused him to want to trust his male because—brother—did he dare to hope?
The male continued, unaware of Zeus’s inner turmoil. “What indeed. V’Saar are slipping through the defense grid near the Milky Way and they have partnered with one of the four Terren companies.”
The V’Saar, commonly called bugs, voraciously consumed all in their path, and should be trapped behind a grid built by the Ancients because the. A long ago treaty reinforced an uneasy truce between the Ancients and the V’Saar queen, Isolt. The Valespian Pact brought together the peoples of the galaxies on this side of the grid, requiring a triad of galactic emperors to power the grid keeping the V’Saar from overrunning the galaxies and destroying more innocent lives. But the galactic royals were old, causing the grid to weaken in places as their power waned. The control of the grid should have passed to the crown princes, allowing the next generation’s youth and vitality to renew the shields, but the third crown prince, the Bespoken, had disappeared.
Zeus moved to float on his back as he turned the information over, the sky lightening with the colors of the coming dawn. For some reason he trusted the male next to him, who seemed more than simply a strange Mar’Sani. If what he said was true then the V’Saar had gained allies and Valespia lay under siege.
The male rested in the water next to him. “The V’Saar destroy or enslave all races they encounter. Why then have they not overrun the human’s solar system? You and our brothers will need to puzzle out the answer. What I do know is you need to seek the Feteine’s help. If you decline to do so … no, you must. With their assistance, you can survive what will occur when you reach Valespian space.”
Zeus turned to the male and stared hard, his heart squeezed with sudden recognition. He now recalled where he had heard the voice before. Many years ago, when he had been thirteen summers, Shaneva brought him for the first time to the Waters of Poseidon in an attempted to save him as he suffered at the hands of Chtichlians. After being attacked and seriously injured, his father had insisted on repairing his blindness. But the Chtichlians used the procedure to steal something far more precious to him than his sight. Shaneva had not been alone. A male had accompanied her. Certain of his identification, Zeus slid his fingers through Canry’s slightly webbed ones, careful of the wickedly sharp claws.
Zeus’s hesitancy to trust the information given to him slipped away. “Is there anything else I should do?”
Canry drew in a shuddering breath. “You believe me?”
“Of course, you are our brother.” Zeus shook with barely controlled elation. He could not wait to tell his brothers and parents.
The sun kissed the edge of the ocean, washing the sky with brilliant shades of red and orange. “A storm is coming.” Zeus glanced at Canry who echoed his words.
“You are more sensitive than you know, Zeus. If you must fight on land, find a pool of water. It can be as small as the size of my palm. Submerge your fingers and call my name. I will come to your aid. Promise me you will.” It was less a question than a demand.
He moved to tread water once again. “What do you see?” Zeus suspected Canry was touched by Poseidon. He may have more information that would help Zeus on this quest to seek out the Feteine, or provide assistance on how to navigate Valespian space safely.
Attached is the blog tour schedule. Striker’s release date is Wednesday, June 4th at Less Than Three Press (http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=95&products_id=616)
The giveaway ends at midnight, June 7th. Enter at Rafflecopter for a chance at a Kindle Fire HD or a paperback copy of Striker!
June 1st – Hearts On Fire Reviews (http://heartsonfirereviews.com/) Striker: The next leg of the journey, Atlainticia, the Ancients, and Alpha
June 2nd – Ethan Stone (http://www.ethanjstone.com/) The Makings of a Warrior
June 3rd – Prism Book Alliance (http://www.prismbookalliance.com/) Antiheroes
June 4th – GGR Reviews (http://www.ggr-review.com/) You Sunk My Battle Ship!
June 5th – Piper Vaughn (https://pipervaughn.wordpress.com/) Mixing Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Is It Still Sci-Fi?
June 6th – Read The Rainbow (http://readtherainbow.weebly.com/) Building Valespia-Verse, What Readers Don’t See
June 7th – Allison Cassatta (http://allisoncassatta.blogspot.com/) Fal’Amorics, The Galaxies Best Kept Secret.
Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.
Web site: http://www.lexiander.com/index.html