Friday, November 29, 2013

A Sci-Fi Lover's Gift Giving Guide

It's Black Friday! And I'm itching to go out to one of the sales even though (a) I hate crowds and (b) there's nothing I really want anyway. Also (c) have I mentioned I hate crowds? So, instead of doing any of that, I'm going to make up a gift-giving guide from the comfort of my couch--while I watch Doctor Who, natch!

For the Sci Fi Novice

My friendship test is based on how much you love this short-lived television series.
It's about being bad guys in space, and I love it.


For the Aspiring SF Writer

This book is done mostly as an interview with Russell T. Davies, lead writer for Doctor Who in the reboot series. If you love the show, it's a fascinating peek into the behind the scenes. And if you're a writer, it's a fascinating peek at the process. Definitely worth a read.


For the Fashionista Sci Fi Geek

I totally got this bracelet to wear on tour for my next book.


For the Coffee-Drinking Sci Fi Nerd

Fact: Coffee tastes better when you can point it at someone and say, "pew, pew, pew."


For the Tea-Drinking Sci Fi Nerd

Fact: Tea tastes better when it comes from a rocket ship.
Bonus points if you make very hot Earl Grey. 


For the Sci Fi Girl You Really, REALLY Like

Hint, hint.


For the Spaceship Captain 
with Free Space on the Rocketship Walls

Megan Lara is one of my favorite artists--and she has a huge variety of prints available from all the wonderful nerdy things I love--Doctor Who, Firefly, Harry Potter, and more. Often used in t-shirts, phone cases, and more, you can see all of Megan's art here.


For the Trekkie Foodie

BRB, eating pizza with Christopher Pine.


For the Authentic Space (Wo)Man

Seriously. A piece of the moon. If you don't want that in your Christmas stocking, then you might be from Mars. By the way, they have freaking pieces of MARS for sale, too.


For the Fashionable Reader

Dear Husband, please buy this for me.
I mean, come on! How cute is this?!


For the Scientific Princess

If you don't think Princess Bubblegum is the greatest scientist 
after the Mushroom Wars, you're wrong.


For Someone Who Needs to Carry It All

This Etsy artist has lots of book purses for sale, including A Wrinkle in Time, HP Lovecraft, Doctor Who and lots more. But I have to admit: I wish this Hitchhiker's purse was $42.


For the Stamped Sci Fi Nerd

These postage stamp necklaces are made by book blogger and librarian Leila from Bookshelves of Doom. But you can't have this Tardis one, because I totally bought it before you could. (But message her; she might have more!)


For the Ones Who Still Believe in Cake

True story: I made my husband destroy my companion cube in Portal because I felt too bad to do it myself. Also because I have bad hand-eye coordination. But also the feels!


For the Best SF Christmas Cards

In addition to having a variety of cute clay pendants, buttons, bookmarks, and more, Lesley at SweetGeek has a line of cute Christmas cards perfect for the nerds in your life. Also? Ornaments! And wreaths!

For the Sci Fi Nerd You Love the Best

Heh. I just couldn't help myself. But if you realllllly love someone, get 'em the AtU books! And if you order them from Malaprops, you can get them signed! They ship internationally :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Boston Area Event!

  Attention Boston! These hot people are coming to your area!

  • Me, author of the Across the Universe series
  • Alan Gratz, super cool guy who writes middle grade, YA, and even a Star Trek novel, featuring his latest title, a true-life story inspired by a Holocaust survivor
  • Myra McEntire, one awesome chick and author of the Hourglass trilogy, the last book of which I totally helped brainstorm in a Panera, and I'm so stealing credit for that because it's brilliant
  • Jeri Smith-Ready, who has a brand-spanking new haircut, a husband who answered some of my science questions for Shades of Earth, and several amazing, totally unique books in both YA and adult, including her latest, This Side of Salvation
What: A q&a panel followed by a book signing
When: THIS SUNDAY, November 24, at 2pm
Where: Wellesley Bookstore, 82 Central Street, Wellesley MA

More info!

This event is going to be loads of fun, and we're all signing books afterwards. I really hope you can make it--and if you're attending NCTE/ALAN that weekend, all of us will be there, too. Come say hi!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Free Short Story: "The Turing Test"

Today my short story, "The Turing Test," is available for free from Lightspeed Magazine. Before I get into the story, I just want to say how awesome Lightspeed is. They're really very innovative, offering the magazine for a remarkably cheap price (only $3.99 for an individual issue; subscriptions cheaper), and yet they consistently provide amazing short stories in fantasy and sci fi, and they make them free to the public after the magazine launches. If you like to read fantasy or sci fi, do yourself a favor and check Lightspeed out.

(Also, my fellow nerds, can I just point out that I'm in issue #42? Wheee!)

Right! So, my story, "The Turing Test" is now available for free here. I really quite like this story, inspired by a conversation with my husband at Subway. Who knew Italian subs were so story-sparking?!

Here's the first little bit of the story:
“Do you know why you’re here?” Dr. Philip asks.
I laugh. “I would be rather stupid if I didn’t.”
Dr. Philip’s smile is indulgent, which frustrates me. I uncross my legs at the ankle and re-cross them at my knees, not bothering to readjust my skirt. Dr. Philip blushes and looks down at his clipboard.
“I need you to state your reasoning,” he says. “For the record.”
He might be a professor, but he isn’t much older than me. Not more than a decade. Just about right.
“My name is Elektra Shepherd,” I say. “I’m eighteen years old. A freshman in university, majoring in artificial intelligence. Today I am a participant in a Turing test. For the record,” I add in a lower voice, just so I can see Dr. Philip blush.
“Thank you, Ms. Shepherd,” Dr. Philip says.
I smile at him, relishing the feel of my heavy lipstick on my lips.
“And could you state what you think a Turing test is?” he adds.
I raise my eyebrow at him.
“For the record.”
“A Turing test is a test developed to determine whether or not artificial intelligence has, well, intelligence. Essentially, a person—me, in this case—is separated in one room. Across that wall,” I point to the wall directly opposite me, “is another room. Inside the room is one person and one A.I.. All three of us are going to have a little conversation, and then I’m going to tell you which one the person is.”
“Which one you think is the person,” Dr. Philip says, making a note on the paper in his clipboard.
I roll my eyes. “Come on, Richard.”
“Dr. Philip, please.”
“Come on, Dr. Philip. I know I’m just a freshman, but I think I’ll be able to figure out the difference between a computer and a person.”
Dr. Philip laughs, and something in the harsh sound makes me uncross my legs and readjust my skirt. “Oh, you’d be surprised,” he says. “A.I. has come quite a long way in the last five or so years.”

Keep reading here! And if you're curious about my inspiration--which includes Blade Runner, Doctor Who, and more--you can read this wonderful interview here. Seriously--it's quite a good interview, one of the best I've ever done. Jude Griffin, the interviewer, asked wonderfully in-depth questions and it was simply wonderful working with her on this.

I do hope you check them out and enjoy the story! It was a blast to write!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

SHADES OF EARTH paperback release!

Today is the paperback release of SHADES OF EARTH!

I am so excited that this book is finally available in paperback to everyone in the US—and, for the first time, the entire trilogy matches in size, cover, and design! Whee!

More information on all the books (along with pics of the original covers) here.

You can buy signed copies of any of the books:

Monday, November 11, 2013


First, I want to thank everyone for helping me spread the word of the Shades of Earth paperback release--which is happening this week! If you didn't win, remember you can always order signed copies from Malaprops.

When I announced this contest, I said it would be a bit of an experiment--I wanted to know which platform worked best for spreading the word. I think the clear winner of this was Tumblr, with nearly two-thousand entries. If you're a writer or blogger interested in an analysis of the giveaway, head over to the YA Reddit.

Okay! On to the exciting bit!! The Winners!

Tumblr: TheHodgenator 
Facebook: MichaelaJ 
Twitter: @Sarah89163266 
Extra Winner From All Followers:

I'm in the process of contacting all the winners right now, but again, I just want to say thanks to everyone for playing along! And trust me, the next time I have an announcement, I'll be doing another giveaway :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Win a Signed Trilogy! The Great Social Media Contest Experiment

The paperback of SHADES OF EARTH comes out on November 14, and I am super excited. Because, well, this is the first time the entire trilogy has matched. Look how beautiful they all are--all the same size, with the same cover design!

And of course, you guys know I celebrate with giveaways! But for this one, I really wanted to see what would be the best method of giving away things. I've done lots of different giveaways in the past, but which kind is more effective? Which kind reaches the most people?

So I thought...let's turn this into an experiment. Four giveaways, all happening simultaneously, across different social media platforms. You can enter each competition if you like, and it's open internationally. I'm going to keep track of the entries, and see which one is more popular, so I'll know where best to do giveaways in the future.

The prizes? A complete signed trilogy of all three books. Within each contest, there will be one winner who will get Across the Universe, A Million Suns, and Shades of Earth, all signed.

The rules?
  • The contest is open internationally
  • The contest opens November 1
  • The last day to enter is November 10
  • You can enter once per day, and you can enter all four contests each day (i.e., one tweet, one FB comment, one reblog in tumblr, and one instagram photo per day is the max number of entries)
  • Five people will win three books, signed
  • Accidental duplicate entries will be deleted. Purposefully trying to scam the system and enter tons of times will result in disqualification.

Remember: Each is separate contest, 
and you can enter as many as you want, once per day.

To enter the Facebook Competition, just comment on this picture in my author page, tagging someone you think will like the books or share the post in your newsfeed. From my understanding, you do not have to automatically like my page to do this--you can go directly there and just leave a tagged comment. You can do this entry once per day; follow me and get one more additional entry.

To enter the Twitter Competition, just tweet the following message (or just click here to have it auto-generated):
I want to win a signed trilogy by ! #ShadesOfEarth comes out in paperback Nov 14. RT to enter! Details: 
You can do this entry once per day; follow me and get one more additional entry.

To enter the Tumblr Competition, just reblog the post here. You can do this entry once per day; follow me and get one more additional entry.

To enter the Instagram Competition, repost the contest picture here. You can do this on your phone by simply taking a screenshot and then posting in your instagram. You can also do this online with the image below. You can do this entry once per day; follow me and get one more additional entry.

Just for fun, you can also follow this fan-made instagram account for the AtU series, @silence_and_stars!

That's it!  Oh, except for one more thing: It's not required that you follow me to enter, but I will be selecting one additional winner from the entire pool of entries who follows me on any of the social media platforms as a winner. For example, tweeting the message is an entry, but if you also follow my Twitter account, that's an extra entry. Same for all the other social media platforms.

So, there will be one winner from Facebook, one from Twitter, one from Tumblr, one from Instagram, and one from my followers. This means:

That's right: five winners. Fifteen books.

Also: You can always order your own set of books from Malaprops. They ship internationally, and you can get all three in paperback for about $30. Just tell them you want them signed and/or personalized!