This week it finally got hot. Suddenly going outside in the middle of the day doesn’t feel so good anymore and my new found love of working in the yard turned into less of a love and more of a like. Thankfully, the evenings and mornings are still nice and I found a hammock to fit in my hammock stand.
Sneaking out in the evenings with a book? Yes, please.
More work got done on book three. I delighted in sending both Katira and Isben to be punished for a misdeed. Nothing horrible, just an icky chore that no one else wanted to do. I also planted a few lovely seeds that will grow up into some cool ideas later in the book.
This week I also got to hang out with guys at Dungeon Crawlers podcast and talked about all sorts of nerdy fun ranging from Star Trek to where story inspiration comes from. When I get the air date, I’ll let you know.
Back in January, I shared a little about the magic system that exists in Stonebearer’s Betrayal. Today I’d like to dive deeper into the magic system and talk more about Travelers.
Star Trek fans can appreciate the science and technology surrounding the idea of teleportation and how useful it can be. If you can move from one place to another in moments rather than hours, a whole new reality presents itself. With this ability, escaping from danger or running to the rescue can happen in a heartbeat. No prison can hold a Traveler and no location is secure, unless protected by a greater magic.
In the Stonebearer universe, the use of magic is dangerous and therefore those who possess it must use caution. Those who have a talent for Traveling, are able to manipulate objects and themselves through space using a series of magical symbols or glyphs.
The most important rule a Traveler must adhere to is that they can only send themselves the same distance they can travel on foot in the course of a day. Pushing to move themselves farther than this drains their energy beyond what is considered safe and they risk loss of consciousness or even death.
When sending objects, a Traveler must consider the items weight and the distance. The lighter the item, the further it can be sent. This is why Travelers tend to be great spies. Not only can they escape from danger, they can send messages to someone days away. The places they can travel to, or send things to, are limited to where a Traveler has visited personally.
The energy to work all magic, including Traveling glyphs, comes from within and can be replenished with rest and time. In an emergency they can draw this energy from other people, but avoid doing so.
In Stonebearer’s Betrayal, the most conspicuous Traveler is the High Lady Alystra. Not only is she the head of the Stonebearer Society, she is head of the Traveling Order. She uses her power to maintain lines of communication among the Society as a whole and has a network of spies that help her stay informed. Her head spy is Bremin, a member of the order of Seekers and her bonded companion.
If you love a great magic system, you’ll love Stonebearer’s Betrayal.
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This month I ventured into a new and unfamiliar land where reality collided with fiction in a fun and thoughtful way. In the Star Trek universe the sad fact exists that if you are wearing a red shirt and are sent on an away mission, chances are you are going to die.
Scalzi’sRedshirts takes this truth and turns it on it’s head. The crew start asking questions when they notice the abnormally high death rate on their vessel. Crew who aren’t in the officer line have watched their friends leave on away missions never to return. They have learned it’s best to avoid the senior officers at any cost. Being found by one certainly means being assigned to another of these deadly away missions.
Another Star Trek truth that Redshirts makes fun of is the magic box that solves the most insanely complex problem the same way that a microwave heats food. You insert the correct samples, set the timer for slightly less than when the catastrophe is going to occur, and wait patiently for it to finish. The data it produces is then taken personally to the bridge and presented to the captain, always stating that there is some sort of random made up problem. This is when the captain dramatically looks over the data and within seconds solves the problem, showing just how awesome of a hero he really is.
There are several more of these little gems hidden inside the book, if you want to find them, I suggest you read it.
Our main character, Dahl, is one of these minor members of the crew who are often targeted. The older crew don’t warn him of the dangers in an attempt to save their own skins and he is assigned to an away mission where he barely survives. When he returns, he wants answers and he demands to be told everything. This line of questioning leads him to the mysterious Jenkins, a hermit who has sealed himself into the utility passages of the ship. Jenkins has a crazy theory that logically explains why the ship works like it does. It’s the alternate reality created when Star Trek was written. Every death, every dramatic rescue, every inconsistent part of their world is there because some writer has invented it to make entertaining television.
Dahl comes up with an insane plan to get it all to stop, and it involves jumping dimensions.
I got a kick out of this book. For anyone who likes Star Trek but finds some of the science and story lines far-fetched, this book is a joy ride. It’s written in a very direct and to the point way, not wasting any time to dwell on the scenery or the deep internal turmoil of the characters. What I found most unique is that the characters start to become self-aware that they are indeed characters being written. If you like light sci-fi parodies, discussions on inter-dimensional theory, and paradoxes, this is a great book for you.
However – reader be warned. There is a fair amount of rude language sprinkled throughout, enough to make it rated a solid R. There is also casual innuendo, violent (but humorous) death, and an absence of a bad guy. Although I didn’t find it a problem, some might not like the three-part coda ending where after ending of the principle story, there are an additional three sections that explore what happened to three of the minor, but significant characters.
It’s Friday, and it’s a pretty great day to celebrate some of my favorite fandoms.
I’ve always been more of a Trekkie than a Star Wars fan, although I appreciate the latter for the sheer scope of its franchise.
I loved Lord of the Rings before it was cool. I read the books in college and in high school. Naturally, the first movie came out I was living out of the country and I had to wait.
As evidenced by my previous post, yes I do love Harry Potter. I am guilty of dressing up as Hermione for line parties and even as Lockheart’s personal assistant for local magic shows. As an unrelated side note, there are a LOT of really great Potter memes.
I recently dove into the Doctor Who universe and am currently up to series 4. I’ve heard you either love Doctor Who or hate it, and I can wholeheartedly say I love it. I think I have a little crush on David Tennant as well… Don’t tell my hubby.
There’s also Warehouse 13, Sherlock, and Once Upon a Time that I watch, but have yet to develop true feelings for. They are entertaining and often well written, but I wouldn’t cry if they disappeared for some reason. Well perhaps if Cumberbatch disappeared…
What about you, dear reader? What fandoms are you a part of?