Monday, April 16, 2007

Humanity's Edge by Tamara Wilhite

Humanity's Edge contains 13 science fiction stories that take readers to the edge of what it means to be human. Whether genetic engineering or social engineering, cybernetics or simply the end of the world, humanity will be faced by the changes it has wrought and whether, in the end, we are still ourselves.

Humanity's Edge is available for sale through (, Abebooks (, and Blu Phi’er Publishing (

Friday, April 06, 2007

Best of the CFRB Tour

It's been a fun week, and for the last day, I wanted to thank the crew on the Christian Fiction Review Blog roll for hosting me. Here are some highlights from the others:

From the Lost Genre Guild:

All of the ISIG short stories are well-crafted and entertaining—the latter a real surprise for me considering that I do not number among the millions of sci-fi fans in this world. The range of intensity in this volume kept me reading because I couldn't predict what I'd discover when I turned another page. We see the teenager Frankie off to evangelize to alien beings; we sit with Saint Francis of Assisi as he ministers to the needs of a mannaro; we make the pilgrimmage alongside an IRA 'terrorist' as he makes his way through the stations to enlightment. The three described above: "Interstellar Calling," "Canticle of the Wolf," and "A Cruel and Unusual Punishment" were my favourites. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the stories included in Infinite Space Infinite God and liked the fact that they forced me to ponder and question. And one more thing, it is pretty darn refreshing to read good fiction that does not haul out the fictional stereotypes of manical monk or preying priest or nasty nun.

From David Brollier on

About "The Harvest": This was one amazing and complex story of the unfolding of truth, the revealing of evil and the emergence of love. Lori… did an absolutely superb job in answering a universal question about what it means to be human. This carries with it so many other lessons that it could easily have been the only story in the book and I would have loved it none-the-less. Thank you for helping us to see a universe a bit larger than the one we had believed in beforehand.

About "Hopkins' Well": The feeling of “being there” in this story is powerful. No writer could ask for a better portrayal.

About "Interstellar Calling": I truly loved this story...because the story spoke to my heart.

About "Mask of the Ferret": It's the complexity and drive of the story that gets to you… Excellent. Truly wonderful.

About "Little Madeleine": I enjoyed the story, especially since accepting the truth was in itself another battle that she needed to fight… “Little Madeline” is one of those rare stories that takes you smack dab into the center of life's problems and then shows you the choices you, or rather that of the heroine in this case, have.

From Caprice Hokstad on
I always want more, more, more. Just as I was starting to get to like a character or a setting, BAM, the story was over!

From Grace Bridges at
Are you ready to have your imagination expanded beyond what you thought possible, while doing some serious thinking? Then this is the book for you...

This anthology blows classic speculative fiction out of the water time and time again with amazing twists on the eternal question: “What if…” while giving you just enough time… to ponder a little along these lines for yourself…. “What if” really is a much bigger question than I ever thought…

I believe good science fiction should, among other things, always stretch your brain – and that’s just what this collection has done for me…fifteen times over. Watch out world – the Fabians are coming! And it looks like they're bringing their friends...

Oh, yes, we are, Grace! Watch out for the arrival of Infinite Space, Infinite God, coming to Amazon, B&N online and by order from other fine bookstores starting August 15.

Title: Infinite Space, Infinite God
Author: Karina and Robert Fabian, editors
Category: Science Fiction
ISBN: ISBN 1-933353-62-7
Format: Trade paperback
Publication Date: August 15, 2007
Pages: 288
Price: $18.95 US
Available from: Twilight Times Books,
For More Info:

Marketing ISIG--The Real Work Begins

You'd think the real work in compiling and editing an anthology like Infinite Space, Infinite God would be in the gathering of stories, the copy-editing, the research in the introductions, and the selling it to a publisher.

Oh, no. That's the easy part.

The hard part is finding the readers who will want to lay down the $18 for a copy--or convincing potential readers that your book is worth $18.

I didn't know a thing about marketing, but fortunately, my publisher Lida at TwilightTimes Books is full of ideas. She also directed me to the MuseOnline writers conference. And I got bit by the bug.

Since that fateful October, I've been a marketing hound--media releases, websites, networking, workshops… You name it, I'm doing it or trying to learn about it. About the only thing I can't do is wander around town with a book in my hand and a sign saying--"Did Work for Fame--buy my book." And I'm having a great time.

The things that have been the most fun:
--The website: I've got interviews, photos, events, summaries and reviews--and I'm glad to add anything else I can. It took several hours and a lot of hair-tearing to get it done, but now that it's up, I love it. I update it at least twice a week, too, so go check out what's new.
--FabChat. This started out as a separate thing. I'd seen another conference buddy make a chat on her site and it seemed like a great way to give authors a chance to talk about their works. I also attend the Writers' Chat Room author chats. So I decided to add that for some of my friends, too. It grew so fast, I finally had to select a regular day and time or it was going to take over! FabChat meets Thursdays at 8 PM EST. go to and click on FabChat. (There's a list of guests so you can see who's guest of honor. I'm booked into August!)
--The Book Trailer. Here's another hair-puller, but one I enjoyed and am eager to try again. With Window's Movie Maker and some cobbled-together graphics and royalty-free photos, I actually made my own movie! That is so cool! (Look on March 31st's entry to see it.)

What's great about this, too, is that I can apply the lessons I'm learning now to every book I write--and even those I haven't written yet. I've got a great character and world: a private detective dragon in a fantasy noir universe. Dragon Eye, PI, has a few short stories out, but already I have a website and am starting the publicity train. Check him out at Vern (the dragon) blogs once a month, and there's a mystery serial you can read.

I'm still hard at work, with sell sheets and review requests. I'm like a dog with a favorite squeak toy. Last week, when I spoke to my publisher, she told me, "Slow down until June at least! The book isn't even out yet." So I'm trying to calm down some.

An Interview with Joyce Anthony, Author of Storm

Just what DO an abused child, a prostitute, a disillusioned minister, a Vietnam vet and a homosexual have in common?
First--all of these belong to what I call "the forgotten"--people we meet every day, yet barely noticed and almost never get to know. Even the minister represents all those alone and lost in society. Secondly, my MC comes into all of their lives, and in some way changes all of them internally, except in one case where he is changed.

What drove you to write this story?
Storm wouldn't let me rest--I thought of him at odd hours of the day, dreamt of him at night--he wanted his story told and was determined I was going to tell it. I figured if I was going to get any rest, I'd better write the book :-)

Did anything in the characters or plot surprise you as you wrote it?
This book was full of surprises for me--Maggie, the amethyst-eyed
dog, just appeared out of nowhere--I didn't know she was there until she appeared. A couple other characters were the same way--it was almost as though I watched them walk into the story all on their own. I didn't do any outlining on this book. I knew the beginning and the end--and the rest just fell into place as I wrote. I started to feel at times like the story literally did write itself.

Why StarPublish for the publisher?
I wanted the control I could have with POD, but also wanted quality. I wanted to go with a place that actually was picky about what books they accepted--and was willing to speak up if something was lousy. Kristy Maguire, head of Star Publish, is like that--she maintains very high standards and isn't afraid to speak up, make suggestions, etc.. I trust her to see that I have put my best out there. In a way, I got the best of both worlds, quality that is expected by the big name publishers, yet more control that comes from POD.

What do you want readers to get from this book?
I want my readers to think. I want them to examine their lives and see the people around them in a different light. I want them to feel so strongly they can't just go about their lives as they are now--but instead need to act to change something, whether within themselves or within the world around them.

What are your future writing plans?
I am currently working on my second book, a nonfiction piece entitled Spirit of the Stallion. I also have two books planned out after that, a YA historical/paranormal entitled The Trees Remember and a young reader's book, The Gospel According to Rex.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

In an interview on Dust of the Time last December, DustIAm asked about our title, Infinite Space, Infinite God. How can God, which is infinite, create something infinite? We replied:
Infinite space, infinite numbers, infinite possibilities… Can they really be infinite? When it comes to our limited human perceptions, the answer is, "Yes, of course." But just like in mathematics, there are different infinities.

Thomas Aquinas said that things other than God can be relatively infinite without being essentially infinite, and that when you speak of infinity, you are speaking about the potentiality of an object rather than the form of the object. (Summa Theologica, Question 7: The Infinity of God)

So "Infinite Space, Infinite God," as a title, presents a juxtaposition of infinities--relative vs. essential--and alludes to the incredible potentialities of space. What better image for an anthology of Catholic science fiction?
With 20-20 hindsight, "Infinite Space, Infinite God" is a very appropriate name for a Catholic SF work, yet when we thought of it, it was just a place-holder until we could come up with something better. Lida, publisher at Twilight Times Books, liked it and that's what we contracted under. And it is a cool name.

Still, there's a part of me that wishes we'd picked another title. One that's easier for me to type.

First, there's the word "infinite." -ite is such a common ending, so why can't I get it right? Half the time, I end up with "Infintie Space." As often as I've typed it--and it must be tens of thousands of times by now--I still transpose the I and T. I'm changing my name to "Fingers-Stumble-Over-Keyboard." At least spell check hasn't corrected it to Infantile Space….yet.

Then there's the comma in the middle. It makes an impact when looking at the title alone, but when you put it in a sentence (Our latest book, Infinite Space, Infinite God, is coming out in August.), it looks wrong. Maybe a colon instead?

Finally, it's long. Again, not on its own, but after writing it a half-dozen times in a letter, it gets old. As a former military officer and a military wife, I'm fond of acronyms, so I've shortened it to ISIG. Rob and I pronounce it I-sig. I like the flow. Lida, our publisher, says each letter. I've no idea how anyone else says it. As long as they recognize it in print, right?

So here's a hint for all of you authors: Before you title a piece, run it through the Title Test:
--Type it 10 times fast. Can you spell it right?
--Put it in a sentence. Does it look right with all the commas and other words? Does it stand out?
--Put it in a press release. Does it look annoying to say the title again and again, or dies it flow?

It's a little late for changes now (though I may ask Lida about that colon), and besides, Infinite Space, Infinite God really does project the feel of the anthology. It makes an impact.

Now, if I could just get my fingers around that ite.

ite ite ite ite ite ite....

Storm by Joyce Anthony

Today and Tomorrow, I'm touring Storm by Joyce Anthony as well as Infinite Space, infinite God. Look later for another behind-the scenes post about the ISIG's title (and why I say ISIG nowadays). In the meantime, enjoy the Storm.

What do a prostitute, an abused child, a disillusioned minister, a Vietnam Vet and a homosexual have in common? These and many others find their lives changed when they meet Storm and his companion, an amethyst-eyed dog named Maggie. As you follow Storm on his journey to discover his true identity, you will meet many of society’s forgotten people. You will laugh, cry and get angry—whatever the emotion, you will feel deeply. When Storm realizes who he is and why he is here, the world is completely changed and not one soul remains untouched. Upon closing the covers of this book, you will see the world around you in a far different light and find yourself wondering—is it really fiction?

Multi-published author Janet Elaine Smith stated, “This book will not leave you alone. It will fill you with passion, compassion, faith and a zest for life unequal to anything you have ever imagined…This is a must read for readers of all ages. To miss it is to ignore the best book you will probably ever read.”

Marvin D. Wilson, author of I Romanced the Stone, said, “In an age when ‘God’ has become a four letter word, and in a contemporary society that by and large considers all things Biblical to be babble, author Joyce Anthony brings us home to all things spiritual and meaningful with this charming and insightful story… Plan on a few hours of uninterrupted trance-like reading, you won’t want to do anything else except keep turning the pages once you’ve started.”

Joyce Anthony shares her Pennsylvania home with her teenaged son and mini-zoo. She has written numerous articles and has published one short story. She is one of the founders of WINGS, an advocacy group. When not writing, Joyce spends time home schooling her son and working on her photography. She is currently working on her next book, Spirit of the Stallion. A portion of all royalties from Storm will be donated to StopItNow.

For more information, go to or

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tao of Collaboration

Tuesday, I promised to tell you why I love collaborating with my husband Rob.

Rob and I are truly soul mates. We just seemed to naturally mesh, both in ideals and ideas. So it's kind of surprising that our actual thinking styles are so different.

Rob has the most amazing mind of anyone I've ever known. He's not only got a terrific memory for detail, but he can see how those details--whether the technical aspects of a satellite, the myriad regulations in a military procedure, or the fine points of an complex task--all fit into the big picture. (Remember those logic puzzles that used to be an extra section on the SAT? He maxed the score, and he just did them "for fun.") This has served him extremely well, not only in his military career, but in our writing.

When we go on our dates, we pick around at ideas until we find one we like. For me, that means something I can envision a character for. For Rob, the situation usually grabs him. Then we take off:
Me: What if Sister SpaceCadet did this?
Rob: Can't happen, because of this. But she could do that.
Me: Bit if she did that, she's going to feel like this, so maybe then...

Once we have the story hammered out, it's on my shoulders to write the draft. Then Rob gives it the logic check. Like a precision instrument, he'll hone in on any trouble, from the misapplication of orbital mechanics to the illogic of someone's actions to a misplaced plot complication. He'll also catch my writing flaws, from misspellings to my penchant for front-loading information. Sometimes, that means major re-writes (like in our novel-in-progress, Discovery.) Other times, it leads to exciting new plot complications.

Collaborating on an anthology is a little different, but we still benefit from his brilliance. I tended to judge a story on character and writing style first, and then he evaluated the more technical aspects. When we almost liked a story, he would find on the spots that needed improving. And he was always there to keep me focused on the big picture--like when someone I'd rejected wrote me back that I "didn't understand" his story. Rob reminded me that it wasn't my job to understand him; it was his job to be understood.

Oh, and let's not forget that his style of thinking makes it easier for him to understand and work with computers. He's become very familiar with hearing, "Babe, how do you...?"

Some folks think I'm odd, but I believe the most attractive feature about my husband is his mind. But when writing is your vocation, avocation, and day-to-day pursuit, a good man with a great mind is the very best kind of man to have.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reading a Book Backward

Gotta do a short post today because I'm proofing the copy of Infinite Space, Infinite God for the publisher. The pre-release promotional copies come out by end of April--if I can get the galley copy to Lida at Twilight Times by Saturday.

I remember the first time I'd seen a galley copy--now called a proof copy by some. I had interviewed Kathleen and W. Michael Gear, and they sent me a copy of their latest book to review. I'd thought it was called "gallows copy," which seemed to fit in my mind. Simplistic gray cover, every error still unchecked--it looked pretty grim to me. I remember being astounded at the errors you found.

Loved the book anyway.

Now it's my turn to put on my editor's hat again, switch my mind to "Anal-retentive grammarian" and read Infinite Space, Infinite God yet again. Only this time, I'm reading it backwards.

Yes, backwards. There's no better way to catch a missing comma, a mis-capitalized word or an awkward phrase than to remove the sentence from its context and look at it in isolation. It's interesting, too, how seeing it in the book form makes a difference. Even though it's been checked twice by me in print and on the computer, by my editor, by a copy editor and again by me on-line, I'm still finding errors, missing words and differences in format. (BTW--you may not realize it from my posts sometimes--I tell folks my Native American name is "Fingers-Stumbling-Over-Keyboard"--but I'm a very good editor when I put my mind in reverse.)

I'm also finding there's no better way to appreciate the terrific writing of some of the contributors. You can tell who writes the great story and who has great writing in the story. last night, as I went over Maya Bohnhoff's "Cruel and Unusual Punishment," I would pause now and then to share a line with my friend over the IM. I paused with Colleen Drippe's "Far Traveler" to write in the margins, "Like this line!" Now, I'm in Rob's and my "These Three," and there are still lines that make me think, "Yeah, got it that time." I'm gaining a whole new appreciation for the talent that shared their stories with me.

I won't go so far as to suggest that you read your favorite book backward, but it is an interesting exercise in writing. And it's very useful when editing.

So, back to the grindstone--222 pages to go and counting down!

Monday, April 02, 2007

The romance of ISIG II

Rob likes to quote Mercedes Lackey, "If you don't have to write, don't." He says that's why I'm the real writer in the family, while he's more of a writing hobby-ist.

Of course, this causes some friction when collaborating. Since this is my vocation and my passion, I tend to be the go-getter, pushing, writing, forging ahead on the next idea--and dragging my poor husband along.

There are days our collaboration goes like this:

Me: (shouting from my study across the hall to Rob in his study): "We got another story for ISIG! It's pretty good. What do you think?"

Rob: (dragging himself from the news he's reading on the Internet, mental gears grinding from paradigm shifting without a clutch) "Did you shoot it my way?"

Me: (holding back my impatience. I've already screened five stories--can't he look at just one?) "Yes! Two hours ago. You haven't looked at it yet?"

Rob: (holding his tongue. In the last two hours, he's gotten home changed out of uniform, played with the kids, eaten, and had just settled down to read his newsgroups.) "I'll get to it tonight."

And he did, sometimes. Sometimes, we replayed the whole scene over again the next day.

Then there were those dangerous nights I'd bring the laptop to bed. "Hey, honey, what do you think of this?" I'd ask, then I'd read a snippet without noticing he was still engrossed in his book. On the flip side, many a time he's started reading me a funny scene from his book as I was struggling with a paragraph from my own scenes.

So we struggle with timing and with where in the priority list our writing belongs.

When it comes to the actual collaboration, however, there's no one better than Rob, but that's tomorrow's topic.

Learn more about Karina and Rob and all the ISIG collaborators at

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Romance of Infinite Space, Infinite God

It all started with a date.

Rob and I sometimes go out to dinner without the kids. It's one of those thing that the marriage "experts" always recommend as a chance for couples to have time to really concentrate on each other and building good communication.

Except Rob and I have a naturally strong marriage and good communication. Our personalities are such that our goals are in sync, and we'd learned how to discuss our days and dreams around changing diapers and feeding toddlers. So what could we talk about over a private dinner?

We're writers. We talk stories.

This particular date found us in unusual places, interest wise. I'd been researching religious orders for The Wyoming Catholic Register, and Rob was involved in Artemis society, a group dedicated to getting a commercially/privately funded colony on the Moon. For us, it was just one small step to think of nuns in space.

But what would they do? So often, we only think of nuns as teachers or nurses, but they do so much more. Women religious (as they are sometimes called) are research scientists, writers, social workers, pioneers, and businesswomen. They've suffered incredible hardships, rolled up their habit sleeves and done manual labor, and explored the frontier, usually paving the way for more civilized society. They were gentle (jokes about Sister Mary Margaret and her knuckle-breaking ruler aside), but they were tough.

We knew it'd be a long time before families made it to space, and we wanted a presence there earlier. So what could a religious order do that a commercial interest could not? The answer lay with money. We needed a vital service that a company could command a high price for that the sisters could do for "air, supplies and the love of God." Space search and rescue was our choice.

Since that date a decade ago, we've got to dinner armed with a spiral notebook and talked about "our future": a future of spaceships and daring rescues, faith and miracles. As we indulge in our escapist fun, a synergy grows between us. We come back from our dates relaxed and ready for the everyday challenges of life on planet Earth.

So when I say that writing is a romantic venture, I do mean it.

Once we started writing stories of the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue, we naturally wanted to see them published. Of course, there's not a lot of market (in terms of magazines) for Catholic sci-fi, so we began the search that led us to editing the anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God. But that's another story.