Review: Starfire

Greetings,

Starfire - Stuart Vaughn Stockton

Starfire - Stuart Vaughn Stockton

Here I am again to review yet another Marcher Lord Press novel, and again, this is one of my favorites (no, I won’t say that about all of them, but probably about most of them, haha).

Starfire, by Stuart Vaughn Stockton. Awesome book. Pure awesomeness.

His characters were deep, memorable, connectable (i.e., I empathized with them); his world’s premise, development, weaving, and execution were absolutely stunning; and his story’s plot, intricacy, concept, and progression were perfectly crafted.

And it was beautifully unique: I mean, who has ever thought of doing a high fantasy sci-fi story with a world populated entirely by dinosaurs? I know I never did, but I wish I had. Brilliant idea, hard to execute though. But he did a marvelous job of it.

And then, who wouldn’t like to read a book from the perspective of someone tasked with the creation of a world-wide catastrophe??

These kinds of things make it really hard to publish, though, at least with regular publishing venues. With Marcher Lord Press and other companies like them, it becomes very possible to get awesome stuff like this into the hands of voracious and thankful readers like me. And like you. 😉

Starfire stands out in my mind as a Wow Book. I can’t wait to read it again.

The morals, the theme, the lessons, could even be described as life-changing. Powerful stuff, deep thinking, great challenges.

Another six out of five. 🙂 So go check it out.

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Holy Worlds Christmas Contest!

Hey everyone!

I got great news for you all: Holy Worlds is having a writing contest for Christmas! Here is the announcement:

Greetings and Excited Felicitations,

I am pleased and proud to announce that Holy Worlds will be having a Christmas Contest, with the prize being a free book from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

They have kindly given us five copies of The Skin Map to give away to you all. This is Stephen Lawhead’s latest book, and highly recommended by me and the others who have read it. You can read my review of it here, and our very own Robert Treskillard’s review series of it over here.

The contest will have five categories, one for each book. You will have to pick your category, because you can only enter once. Here are the five categories:

  1. A short story consisting of exactly 100 words. No more, no less. This is known as a Drabble, and you can read more about them over here.
  2. A poem consisting of not more than 1500 words.
  3. A short story consisting of 1000-2000 words.
  4. A story hook, consisting of no more than the first 2560 characters of a story.
  5. A description of a fantasy creature consisting of not more than 1000 words. You can choose out of the following creatures to describe:

We have judges right out of our very own Honor Roll Members and Forum Team, ready to judge these categories, so make sure you do a good job on those entries!

Submissions should be submitted by email as attachments (in .doc, .odt, or .rtf format) tocontests@holyworlds.org, or by private message as attachments (in one of the same formats as above) to me, Sir Emeth Mimetes, on the Holy Worlds Fantasy Forum. If you submit it via email, make sure you mention your username on the forum, so we know who you are.

This is open to members of the forum only, so if you aren’t a member yet, register now!

The deadline is Christmas day (December 25th), so you better get moving with those writing utensils.

Make sure that your entry is clean, Christian, and fantasy based, or we will disqualify it. The judges reserve the right to disqualify any entry for any reason (we won’t be mean about it though, haha). We want to be able to publish the winners (and maybe even Runners Up) all over the place, so we don’t want stuff that we wouldn’t want our little siblings to read.

Speaking of which, if you are worried about copyright, you retain all rights and ownership of your entries, just we get permission to post the entries for promotion purposes and whatnot.

And it all free! We will even pay the shipping costs to get the prizes to y’all!

So here is what you need to do:

  1. Get excited! Well, you probably already are, so check that one off.
  2. Register for the forums. Of course.
  3. Pick your category.
  4. Start writing!
  5. Tell everybody about it!

Yes, even though it might mean more competition, we want as many people as possible to participate. The main point of this contest is to get more people on the forums and to encourage you guys by giving you something to participate in.

If you have any questions at all, email them to contests@holyworlds.org, or to me at jay.lauser@sir-emeth.com, or private message a Marcher Lord on the forums.

The lines are open, get started! Have fun, and I can’t wait to see what you all come up with.

With joy and peace in Christ on behalf of the Holy Worlds Forum Team,
Jay Lauser aka Sir Emeth Mimetes

A Review of Stephen Lawhead’s Skin Map

 

The Skin Map

The Skin Map

 

When I got The Skin Map from Booksneeze (at no charge, no obligations, very awesome), I really had no idea what to expect. I had already read a few of Stephen Lawhead‘s books, and I knew that he had a diverse range of style. So I dug in with no preconceived notions about what it would be like.

And I loved it.

His mastery of the art of description is beyond belief (I had to stop several times to jump up and down because I loved his style so much, seriously). His level of attention to details like period mindset and speech is a delight to behold (especially for die-hard background-first novelists like me).

My only quibble was that he doesn’t end the first book as a stand-alone. He makes you need to read the next one to continue the story arc properly. And that isn’t out yet, which is maddening.

And for those of you who are worried about inappropriate content (I was a bit, since his Song of Albion trilogy had some), don’t be. It is completely clean. Utterly. I couldn’t have been more pleased on that score (and promptly gave it to my little siblings to share).

5 out of 5 stars, very recommended.

A Party and a Very Special Announcement!

Hey there everyone!

* Is very excited *

A year ago, on September 20th of 2009, I started a forum on a whim. I did it mainly because I was lazy and wanted one centralized location on which to discuss my stories and world with my few fantasy friends. So I guess it was sort of ego-centric too (except I wanted to hear about their stories too, but whatever).

I invented a name more or less off the top of my head, threw together a forum, grabbed a theme off the internet, cobbled together some neat sounding names, and let my friends know. There were maybe 6 or so of us, but we liked it.

More than I expected. They loved it, and started telling everyone about it. I thought that was cool, so I told more of my friends about it too, posting on the different forums I am a part of, and etcetera.

And so people started to flood in. And they all loved it!

That was a shock to me. I mean, managing forums and communities is work, and I was kind of busy (I did, after all, start it because I was lazy and trying to save time, never mind about that…). But it was also kind of cool.

I mean, really cool.

There were these brilliant people all working together and talking and making friends and posting awesome stuff and in general being a model community. Very awesome. I loved my people (I still do, too). So I started improving the forums, adding mods and hacks and bbcodes and a logo and a website and a blog and a domain name and whatnot. All the stuff a real community ought to have. It was fun. 🙂

Well, it has been a year, and it is well over a hundred members strong, and I have a core team of dedicated Moderators and Marcher Lords and Honor Roll Members and Editors and etceteras. I also have an inner circle of lovely people who have joined together with me to take Holy Worlds to its extreme limits for the glory of God.

We have great plans.

And so that is why we are all very excited about October 21st. Why?

Because that is a year, a month, and a day since the founding. And we are going to celebrate by having a massive party on the forums. And you are invited. 😀

We want to break the record for the most number of users online at once (it is 30 right now, so this is going to be fun). We are going to invade the chat room (yep, we got one of those too in there). We are going to have contests and surprises and presents for everyone.

And…

We are going to officially open the Holy Worlds Sci-Fi Forum!

Yes, we are expanding to include a sci-fi forum just for all you space-heads out there (well, me too, ’cause I like sci-fi too).

So if you are a member of HW, make sure you come at or around noon (EST) on the 21st of this month to www.holyworlds.org. And see if you can bring a friend! We will have admins standing by to activate new accounts, so if you got a friend who loves Christian fantasy or sci-fi, tell them to come and register. We would love to have them! This is a great time to tell people about us.

See you all then!

What Do You Want Me To Write? :D

The book

Image by Dave Heuts via Flickr

Hey everyone!

I am planning to write a book (well, several books). I have a few topics for non-fiction books, and I have well over 20 concepts for novels in various stages of development, in both fantasy and sci-fi genres. I know roughly what my writing plans are for the fiction end of things will be…

But I am also planning to write a non-fiction book and publish it. It will be along the lines of what I am writing here in this blog: advocating outside-the-box, logical, Biblical lexicology and hermeneutics. I will take a set of concepts that I have expounded on here, and expand on them, examining all the different facets, and answering objections, and present them in a book form.

And, knowing me, it won’t be dry theology either. Be prepared for lots of humor, drama, and probably short stories illustrating points (you can’t keep me from writing fiction even when I am writing non-fiction). 😉

And also expect to have a hand in helping me bring it to fruition. This is a community project as much as a Jay Lauser project. I want you, my loyal friends, to help me in every stage of this creation. From picking a topic, to figuring out what to include, to helping present counter-points, to giving feedback, to editing, and of course to get all of that you will be getting insider reports on my progress and reading my stuff before anyone else in the world. Happy yet?

So First Things First. What topic would you most like me to publish a book on? Ask your friends, look at the state of the world, at what our generation most needs to hear, look back at my old posts, and think about what we have talked about, and let me know what you think I should present as my debut non-fiction work.

I can’t wait to hear what y’all say. 🙂

(Oh, if you don’t want to comment below, you can email me at jay.lauser@sir-emeth.com.)