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Tracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014



Tracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014


Tracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Trilogy: The Royal Imperial Boxed Set by Ian Doescher is my top choice for humor. The gorgeous set, which was released this October, includes Verily a New HopeThe Empire Striketh Back, and The Jedi Doth Return. This series delivers laughs along with a few tugs on your heartstrings. Who would have thought iambic pentameter combined with Star Wars would be the books you’re looking for? (See TrintyTwo's reviews of the Star Wars Trilogy here.)



Tracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014
My favorite sci fi for 2014 is The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. Martinez. Why is it a standout? It’s smart and exciting with the added bonus that Martinez created characters I care about. I really enjoyed its unique historical fiction meets sci fi element. (See TrinityTwo's review of The Enceladus Crisis here.)


Tracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014Tracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014








Looking for exceptional adventures? You’re in luck as I have two in the fantasy category. Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan and The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley are such brilliant fantasies that I simply must mention both. Staveley and Ryan are both wonderful world builders and although I give Tower Lord a slight edge, The Emperor’s Blades is an extremely close second. (See TrinityTwo's reviews of Tower Lord here and The Emperor's Blades here.)











I’d like to give honorable mentions to three more books that I really enjoyed this year: White Heart of Justice by Jill Archer (review), Night Owls by Lauren M. Roy (review) and Phoenix Island by John Dixon (review) . I think I am bending Sally’s rules a bit but I read a lot of really good books. If you haven’t done so already, get out there and buy a book! You deserve it.

Tracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014Tracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014Tracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014

Reviews: The Enceladus Crisis and The Gravity of the Affair by Michael J. Martinez


The Enceladus Crisis
Author:  Michael J. Martinez
Series:  Daedalus 2
Publisher:  Night Shade Books, May 6, 2014
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  $15.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781597805049 (print)

Reviews: The Enceladus Crisis and The Gravity of the Affair by Michael J. Martinez
Two dimensions collided on the rust-red deserts of Mars—and are destined to become entangled once more in this sequel to the critically acclaimed The Daedalus Incident.

Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. But there’s competition and complications when she arrives aboard the survey ship Armstrong. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets deep under its icy crust. And back on Earth, Project DAEDALUS now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions. But there are other players interested in opening the door between worlds . . . and they’re getting impatient.

For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase an escaped French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the enigmatic and increasingly unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. Meanwhile, in Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces . . . and finds the true, horrible reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.

The thrilling follow-up to The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis continues Martinez’s Daedalus series with a combination of mystery, intrigue, and high adventure spanning two amazing dimensions.


Trinitytwo’s Point of View

I was truly looking forward to this book’s release because I was heavily invested in the characters, and I absolutely loved the meshing of the two timelines: Historical Fiction meets Science Fiction = Fantastic Fiction. However, I wasn’t prepared for Martinez to immediately blast his readers with a startling and thoroughly exciting opener. Meeting Napoleon, albeit briefly, was so cool and unexpected; it snagged me, hook, line and sinker. Book Two revs up the intensity and action a few notches, and it transformed my perception from a fun read to a book I couldn’t put down. There is so much going on here between the alternate histories, different planets, and four separate plotlines that it should have become confusing, but Martinez, expertly conducts his storylines to create an exciting and brilliant symphony of action.

Definitely put The Enceladus Crisis on your summer reading list, but make sure to read The Daedalus Incident first. (my review here) It lays the foundation and sets the stage for what’s to come. Daedalus puts you in on the ground floor of the story’s technology, and allows readers time to grow fond of its characters. Then for good measure, add the novella, The Gravity of the Affair (see review below) to your list too. The Enceladus Crisis will complete your reading pleasure and packs an astounding wallop of adrenaline. This is a smart, well-written and outstanding series; no sophomore slump here, Book Two is even more exciting than the first one.


~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~


The Gravity of the Affair
Author:  Michael J. Martinez
Series:  Daedalus eNovella
Publisher:  NLA Digital LLC, December 6, 2013
Format:  eBook, 61 pages
List Price:  $2.99

Reviews: The Enceladus Crisis and The Gravity of the Affair by Michael J. Martinez
Before his victory at the Nile.

Before his scandalous personal life made headlines.

Before he crushed the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar.

Before he died a martyr.

Horatio Nelson, England’s greatest naval hero, assumed his first command, the 12-gun brig HMS Badger, at the tender age of 20. History tells us his first voyages as captain were unremarkable. Yet in the Known Worlds, where sailing ships ply the Void and the mystic science of alchemy works wonders, Nelson’s first command goes quite differently. With his brashness and emotions untempered by experience, Nelson’s rash actions as captain of the Badger threaten his heroic destiny.

The Gravity of the Affair is a novella set in the Known Worlds of The Daedalus Incident, with events that tie into the novel (though both works may be enjoyed independently of one another).


Trinitytwo’s Point of View

The year is 1779 and a young Horatio Nelson is the commander of the HMS Badger, a small sailing brig assigned to patrol the Void in author Michael J. Martinez’s alternate universe, the Known Worlds. A pirate frigate raids a settlement where the Badger is laying over, steals precious goods, and presses into service some of the locals. Nelson decides to pursue and eventually engage the vessel, with disastrous results. The Gravity of the Affair is the account of the Board of Inquiry investigating Nelson’s decision to pursue the larger and more powerful vessel, and his thoughts and motivations behind this fateful act. It’s an excellent companion to Martinez’s series and gives readers a glimpse into events that shaped Nelson’s destiny before he became renowned as Britain’s most heroic sailor. I read this novella in between The Daedalus Incident and The Enceladus Crisis and it happily filled a void for me while waiting for Book Two to be published. I must admit, I didn’t care for Horatio Nelson overmuch; he’s too pompous. But the author’s depiction of this historical figure rings true and I did enjoy learning of the events that shaped the young naval commander. While it isn't required reading to enjoy the rest of the series, this novella gives insight concerning Nelson's cameo in The Enceladus Crisis, and adds yet another layer of back story to the rich alternate universe.


Cover Revealed - The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. Martinez


Michael J. Martinez has revealed the final cover for The Enceladus Crisis, the second novel in the Daedalus series, which will be out in May. I think it's fantastic!


The Enceladus Crisis
Daedalus 2
Night Shade Books, May 6, 2014
Trade Paperback, 320 pages

Cover Revealed - The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. Martinez
Two dimensions collided on the rust-red deserts of Mars—and are destined to become entangled once more in this sequel to the critically acclaimed The Daedalus Incident.

Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. But there’s competition and complications when she arrives aboard the survey ship Armstrong. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets deep under its icy crust. And back on Earth, Project DAEDALUS now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions. But there are other players interested in opening the door between worlds . . . and they’re getting impatient.

For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase an escaped French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the enigmatic and increasingly unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. Meanwhile, in Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces . . . and finds the true, horrible reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.

The thrilling follow-up to The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis continues Martinez’s Daedalus series with a combination of mystery, intrigue, and high adventure spanning two amazing dimensions.


Previously in the Daedalus series:

The Daedalus Incident
Daedalus 1
Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)

Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!



The Gravity of the Affair
Daedalus eNovella
December 6, 2013

Cover Revealed - The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. Martinez
Before his victory at the Nile.

Before his scandalous personal life made headlines.

Before he crushed the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar.

Before he died a martyr.

Horatio Nelson, England’s greatest naval hero, assumed his first command, the 12-gun brig HMS Badger, at the tender age of 20. History tells us his first voyages as captain were unremarkable. Yet in the Known Worlds, where sailing ships ply the Void and the mystic science of alchemy works wonders, Nelson’s first command goes quite differently. With his brashness and emotions untempered by experience, Nelson’s rash actions as captain of the Badger threaten his heroic destiny.

The Gravity of the Affair is a novella set in the Known Worlds of The Daedalus Incident, with events that tie into the novel (though both works may be enjoyed independently of one another).

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013


Please welcome Michael J. Martinez to The Qwillery. Michael is the author of the Daedalus series. The Gravity of the Affair, an eNovella set in the Daedalus world, will be published on December 6th.



Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013




Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days

Explaining the premise behind The Daedalus Incident and its sequels and tie-ins requires a certain degree of finesse. It’s steampunk without the steam, historical fantasy without a lot of magic, a hard SF future crossed with a space-opera past. Alchemy-punk has been used once or twice, but there’s little actual “punk” in it.

My latest novella, The Gravity of the Affair, is a touch simpler, I suppose, though historical-fantasy-space-opera is as close as it gets, really. When you have Horatio Nelson sailing the Void between Europa and Ganymede, in the shadow of Great Jupiter, well…labels seem inadequate.

Fans of science fiction and fantasy love the notion of subgenre. It’s a short-hand for what you might be getting into, but as with most short-hand categories, not everything fits. Myke Cole’s Shadow Ops series can be described as military fantasy…but so can Django Wexler’s The Thousand Names. They’re both fantastic, but they’re very different books.

I think much of The Daedalus Incident, and most assuredly The Gravity of the Affair, falls into the category of historical fantasy – not that it helps a lot. A recent look through the top 100 Amazon historical fantasy bestsellers puts Daedalus in the company of Diana Gabladon’s Outlander time-travel series, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, Cherie Priest’s Fiddlehead, and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. It’s certainly fine company, but this ain’t exactly apples-to-apples.

There are always going to be books that are hard to shelve, and the books of the Daedalus series are among them. On the one hand, I do wish there were an easy-to-grasp moniker for the kind of work I’ve done, because it might make it easier for folks to talk about my books and recommend them to others. But with that said, I rather like the fact that I’ve written something that doesn’t fit easily into a category. I straddle a lot of different things in my work, and for me, that’s what makes it fun.

My point in all this is that there are any number of books worth reading that might not fit a reader’s preferred categories at first blush. A fair number of my review on Amazon and Goodreads (and if you wrote one of them, thank you!) start with something like “this isn’t what I first expected,” or “I normally don’t like fantasy but….” That gives me all kinds of writerly warm fuzzies.

One of the reasons I’m putting The Gravity of the Affair out there is to give people a taste of what’s in the Daedalus series. Primarily, it’s a fun story that didn’t really fit in with what happened in The Daedalus Incident. Nor would it have been any good if I shoehorned it into the forthcoming The Enceladus Crisis. Instead, it’s a self-contained novella that can be enjoyed on its own – and give fans of the Daedalus series a little something extra to enjoy.

Plus, I’d like to think it eases folks into my little sub-subgenre of alchemy-infused historical fantasy crossed with space opera and hard SF. Space-alchemy-punk, maybe.

Honestly, I’m still working on it. But in the meantime, forget the labels and try something new, whether it’s mine or anyone else’s. Chances are, you’ll be glad you did, even if you have a tough time describing it to others.






Daedalus

The Gravity of the Affair
Daedalus eNovella
December 6, 2013

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013
Before his victory at the Nile.

Before his scandalous personal life made headlines.

Before he crushed the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar.

Before he died a martyr.

Horatio Nelson, England’s greatest naval hero, assumed his first command, the 12-gun brig HMS Badger, at the tender age of 20. History tells us his first voyages as captain were unremarkable. Yet in the Known Worlds, where sailing ships ply the Void and the mystic science of alchemy works wonders, Nelson’s first command goes quite differently. With his brashness and emotions untempered by experience, Nelson’s rash actions as captain of the Badger threaten his heroic destiny.

The Gravity of the Affair is a novella set in the Known Worlds of The Daedalus Incident, with events that tie into the novel (though both works may be enjoyed independently of one another).
Links not yet live: Amazon : Barnes and Noble



The Daedalus Incident
Daedalus 1
Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013
Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!



Forthcoming in 2014:

The Enceladus Crisis
Daedalus 2
Night Shade Books,  April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013
May not be final cover!
Two dimensions collided on the rust-red deserts of Mars—and are destined to become entangled once more in this sequel to the critically acclaimed The Daedalus Incident.

Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. But there’s competition and complications when she arrives aboard the survey ship Armstrong. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets deep under its icy crust. And back on Earth, Project DAEDALUS now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions. But there are other players interested in opening the door between worlds . . . and they’re getting impatient.

For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase an escaped French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the enigmatic and increasingly unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. Meanwhile, in Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces . . . and finds the true, horrible reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.

The thrilling follow-up to The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis continues Martinez’s Daedalus series with a combination of mystery, intrigue, and high adventure spanning two amazing dimensions.





About Michael

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013
Photo by Anna Martinez
Michael J. Martinez is a novelist, a title which still takes him by surprise now and then. He’s the author of The Daedalus Incident (one of Library Journal’s best of SF/Fantasy for 2013) and the novella The Gravity of the Affair, now available in ebook and Audible audio. The next novel in the Daedalus series, The Enceladus Crisis, is due this spring, and there’s a third book in the trilogy that he should really finish soon. He lives in the greater New York City area with his incredible wife and amazing daughter. He blogs at http://michaeljmartinez.net and Tweets at @mikemartinez72.







Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 2013


Please welcome Michael J. Martinez to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. The Daedalus Incident (Daedalus 1) was published on August 13, 2013 by Night Shade Books. You may read an interview with Michael here.



Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 2013




Voices of the Past

So what, exactly, does a late 18th century British naval officer sound like?

We don’t really know. It’s not like there were digital recorders on the decks of sailing ships, after all.

That was a real challenge for me in writing The Daedalus Incident, in which sailing ships of the 18th century ply the Void between the planets in our Solar System. Voice is such an ephemeral thing in fiction, and yet it’s very important. Done right, voice can bring both character and setting to life in subtle yet profound ways.

The quick and perhaps obvious answer would be to research the written word of the times. However, there’s pitfalls aplenty in doing that. The fiction of the era was quite flowery and purple, with dialogue that doesn’t really lend itself to realistic voice. Seriously, if people actually talked the way they were written in period fiction, nobody would get anything done – they’d still be talking.

Non-fiction, from memoir to written correspondence, is little better. In reading works written during the late 18th century, from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin to the letters sailors sent home from their far-flung voyages, there was a strong tendency for writers to spruce things up, to make their writing as entertaining as possible. (Given the distinct lack of television and the Internet 200-plus years ago, this isn’t surprising.) Again, you’d end up with flowery speech and a distressing tendency toward show-off vocabularies.

So at the end of the day…I fudged it.

Don’t get me wrong – all the research was helpful. But it was a starting point only. Historic accuracy is nearly impossible, so I ended up running with one of my new favorite words: verisimilitude. Also known as close-enough-for-horseshoes. Without really knowing how people spoke on the decks of frigates, I aimed for something that would sound accurate to the modern ear, with just enough loquaciousness, mannerism and oddball dictionary words to give the voice a time and place, but not enough to spoil the meaning or the flow of the story.

The same goes for the structure of those historical fantasy sections within The Daedalus Incident. If you read the novels of Patrick O’Brian and C.S. Forester, whose 20th century works define the Napoleonic-era naval genre, you see sentence construction and story flow that seems to mimic the time period without going overboard, so to speak.

Voice was important for these sections, because The Daedalus Incident also features a futuristic setting – a 22nd century Martian mining colony. I wanted the voice in those separate settings to be distinct in order to subtly highlight the differences in how people behaved and how stories were told. It provided an interesting contrast between the more genteel, yet also more brutal, past and a more blunt, yet less inherently violent, future.






About The Daedalus Incident

The Daedalus Incident
Daedalus 1
Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 2013
Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!





About Mike

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 2013
Photo by Anna Martinez
Michael J. Martinez was a professional journalist and communicator for nearly two decades before he decided to try his hand at fiction. So far, it seems to have worked out well. His debut, The Daedalus Incident, is out now, and its follow-up, The Enceladus Crisis, is due out next spring. He lives in northern New Jersey with his wife, daughter and a very friendly cat.




Website
Twitter @mikemartinez72
Goodreads

Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez -  So what now? Leaving the series behind - and Giveaway - May 18, 2015Review: The Venusian Gambit by Michael J. MartinezTracey/Trinitytwo’s Favorites of 2014Reviews: The Enceladus Crisis and The Gravity of the Affair by Michael J. MartinezCover Revealed - The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. MartinezGuest Blog by Michael J. Martinez - Truth in genre labeling: Hard to come by these days - December 2, 2013Guest Blog by Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident - Voices of the Past - August 15, 2013

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