To celebrate the birthday of the main character in my young adult science fiction novels, I decided to do a book giveaway of three copies of "Stray." Being an industrious and greedy bookworm, I used said giveaway to harvest reading recommendations, asking people to Tweet their favorite science fiction novels. (Winners were selected based on who Tweeted the nearest to three randomly-picked times).
The first winner, @jessgottlieb, chose A Wrinkle in Time, which almost feels like cheating, no? It's such a simple, lovely classic that transcends genre. I've met people who insist they would never read science fiction, but later confess that they love the Wrinkle series. When Madeleine L'Engle died in 2007, I wrote a little appreciation for A Wrinkle in Time, and its impact on all of the misfit mathletes who loved it over the years. Of course this would be listed as a favorite. It's a science fiction ur text.
The second winnder: another book that is "not really science fiction," according to people who believe science fiction must involve aliens and lasers and computers named Hal. The Eyre Affair is librarian science fiction, a book in which a detective pursues a criminal who is hiding inside the novel Jane Eyre. Or so I've been told. Never got around to reading it, despite many recommendations. @tabcolarules said it was her favorite book, though, and she won the second signed copy of Stray. I'm downloading it onto my Kindle; it's coming with me for Christmas.
Now, this is what a science fiction novel is supposed to look like. I'd never heard of it. It takes place in space, in the future, starring a character named Honor Harrington. Honor is a...soldier? Drum major? She owns some kind of...cat? Lynx? Animagus? No matter -- @wmslawhorn nominated On Basilisk Station as a favorite, and I'm going to go all in.
It's a knee-knocking thing, to launch the first line of a first post of a new blog on a new site. People judge first lines (don't judge this one; just skip to the end and judge that instead*).
Luckily, I have a bit of a crutch, because I have a bit of a reason for launching the site this week. Today is the birthday of Lona, the main character in my science fiction series, "Stray." She turned...two and a half, I suppose, if you're counting back to when I first thought of her? Or she turned...sixteen or seventeen, the ages she is in the books? However many years old she is, I know December 15 is her birthday, because all of my characters' names are actually based on their birthdays. Lona starts with an L, because December is the 12th month of the year like L is the 12th letter of the alphabet. (For a whole explanatory post about how the names work, go here).
I'm a bad character-mom. I neglect my imaginary children all of the time. Just the other day, Lona was like, "Do you want to write a short story about me for Christmas?" And I was like, "No, I want to eat cinnamon cookies and watch White Christmas." But as slackerly as I am, even I can remember my protagonist's birthday. I can celebrate with presents, too. I decided to give away three signed copies of "Stray" to readers who Tweeted me (@MonicaHesse) about their favorite science fiction books. It's not too late to enter: I'll announce winners tomorrow. See, Lona? Mommy loves you after all.
*Call me Ishmael.