The Flight of the Phoenix – podcast

This is your chance to hear me displaying all kinds of bravado on Release the Geek, the official GeekXP.co.za podcast!

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Les (from Release the Geek) actually podcast ambushed me one sunny day while I was at home with my son (who was almost 3 months old at the time)…so, you might get to hear a little baby voice here and there. *blush*

All in all, I think it went quite well. And I put my foot in my mouth less often than usual.

Click here to listen to the podcast!

The Flight of the Phoenix – Authors

I met Andrea Vermaak over a decade ago at the University of Pretoria. Back then, she was studying publishing and was a member of the Inklings (the creative writing society).  It didn’t take much for us to recognise kindred spirits and we have stayed in contact ever since. What a pleasure to have her right next to me, chasing our dreams!

Andrea’s interview:

What has been your high so far with The Flight of the Phoenix?
I have been able to rediscover my passion for writing short stories. This particular passion has been long dormant. I’ve also had the opportunity to write a story that has been burning a hole in my mind for quite some time already. Being able to complete a story is always most satisfying.

What was your worst low?
I think my lowest point was trying to write the middle of my story. I knew how I wanted to begin and end it, but finding plot points for the middle and trying to sustain Draca’s torn state of mind was very difficult. I, however, learnt a lot about myself, as well as writing, during this journey.

What are your future writing plans?
I want to finish the novel I started writing years ago. It has undergone many changes and many drafts have been written. It is now time to polish it off and send it out into the world. I’m definitely going to write my short stories for Siygrah Books too. It has been a pleasure working with and learning from this amazing group of people.

Get into contact with Andrea:

Blog: andreavermaak.worpress.com (Beyond Words).
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AndreaVermaakWriter
Twitter: @AndreaVermaak
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AndreaV83
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=47213899&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

The Flight of the Phoenix – Links

It’s time to get your hands on The Flight of the Phoenix!!! Pre-orders are open! Now, since we are not in charge of how our platforms work, we’ve had to get creative with how we’re doing pre-orders.

CreateSpace (print-on-demand via Amazon – so, worldwide distribution) and Amazon (eBook). To get your pre-order discount, please contact us via our Facebook page and I will personally send you a coupon code.

For our local South African print run pre-orders, contact all authors directly. We are all reachable on Facebook.

Elmien GroveRyhen E KnightHJ KrugerCaldon Mull
Natalie RivenerAndrea VermaakRichard T Wheeler

Please note: The pre-orders are limited to the period before 16 July 2015. From there on, they will be available only at the full price, so, don’t wait! Get your discount now!

FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX COVER FINAL copyThe Flight of the Phoenix on Amazon, CreateSpace
and in South Africa!

Leave us a review on Goodreads if you like it!

The Flight of the Phoenix – RSA print run pre-orders open!

The South African print run The Flight of the Phoenix  is finally open for pre-orders! This fantastic anthology has been long in the making, but it has been worth the wait! You will be hard pressed to find another anthology with such a good selection of fantasy, science fiction and horror stories.
If you order before the end of June, you will receive a 25% discount on the normal price of R150*! This means you will be paying only R112.50* per copy you order.
*Please note that the price does not include shipping!
When will I get my book(s)?
Our official release date will be on the 16th or 25th of July this year. As soon as the date has been set, we will let you know. Alternatively, you can specifically request to fetch them from us at the book launch on 25 July, 14:00 at the Rooihuiskraal Public Library. (You can get your copy signed and photo taken with one of the authors!)
Thank you for your support and encouragement. You’re making our dreams a reality!
If you do not live in Gauteng or anywhere near South Africa, do not despair! We will be doing print-on-demand and ebooks on Amazon! However, the pre-orders will only open in June.
Place your pre-order for the RSA local print run now:

The Flight of the Phoenix – Book launch in the making

Wow! What a lovely feeling when everyone is pulling together! My authors are super excited about this project.

In July this year, we will be releasing The Flight of the Phoenix on Amazon (both ebook and print on demand) and we will hold a local book launch!

Mark the 25th of July on your calender if you live in (or around) Gauteng and we’ll see you there!

Please note that pre-order prices will be cheapest (25% less than the normal price). At the book launch itself, it will be 20% less than the normal price. The final pricing is still being calculated.

Flight of the Phoenix – it’s happening!

I’ve been keeping this under wraps but, despite my many misgivings, it looks like Flight of the Phoenix will be making its appearance in the next two months!

What is this now?
Flight of the Phoenix is an anthology of fantasy, sci-fi and horror short stories written by seven different South African authors.

Though anthology is aimed at teens to young adults, I have tried hard to get all my writers to provide stories that was wide-audience compatible (i.e. if you are not a teen or young adult, the stories are still enjoyable – like Harry Potter). It has been long in the making but it’s finally looking like we’re moving ahead!

Where did I find all these authors?
I actually started off with 15 writers last year when I decided to jump in head first and compile an anthology. They all seemed keen…but, as time passed, about half of them fell out claiming life interfered, they didn’t have any ideas at the moment, work was eating their time, they weren’t willing to adapt according to feedback received… You know, the standard stuff. At least, one of the writers said “No” because she was busy writing on another story that was taking a lot of time.

Sooo, when’s it out?
Depending on whether my fellow writers are keen on doing hard copy as well, the release date will be either beginning of April (if it’s to be an ebook only) or June (if we’re doing print too) this year. Why the hold-up if we do print? Well, I’d prefer bringing out all the formats at once, rather than it appearing in drips and drabs. And…I happen to be expecting the arrival of my second child midway through April…I can promise you: Nothing will be happening in my life other than keeping my family alive for a month after his arrival.

Updates on progress to follow soon!

To my SAfrican fans: Pre-orders are open!

It’s time! The Pretoria Writers Group anthology, STORM, is coming out in June 2014 and the pre-launch sale is on! This is your chance to get your hands on a print version of STORM (Volume I and/or II)!

If you’d like to pre-order a copy, use the contact form below. 

Fantasy vs Science Fiction

Fantasy in all its forms

So. In my string of posts about Fantasy as an overarching genre that covers all things magic and not yet technologically possible, I pose that Science Fiction is but a subgenre of Fantasy.  Oh dear! What has happened? How could I possibly say that?!? Well, it really depends on your point of view and how you define certain things.

If you argue that Science Fiction covers fictive narratives that have a possibility of becoming possible in our reality of experience, and that Fantasy covers fictive narratives that have no possibility of becoming possible in our reality of experience…then, I guess it really depends on what you, as an individual, find plausibly possible.

All in all, I see it like this: The real difference between pure Science Fiction and pure Fantasy is magic. In Science Fiction, there is no magic. In Fantasy, there is magic.

But, like I have said in other posts, these genres just won’t stay in their own play pens.  Does Steampunk fall under Science Fiction or Fantasy? A lot of the gadgets in Steampunk are actually possible to manufacture right now…so, is it still Science Fiction? It certainly isn’t factual history. I guess it could depart these shores and head off to become Historical Fiction…but, you can ask almost any Steampunk fan and they would tell you that Steampunk falls under the Science Fiction/Fantasy banner. Sooooo….

This is why I put all the piggies in one pen. Sometimes they want to play  together, sometimes they don’t.

 

What do you guys think?

Science Fiction

As a subgenre of fantasy, Science Fiction (or SciFi, as most of us call it,) is actually a broad genre on its own. There are very few hard and fast rules for this subgenre. It can be far in the future, like Battle Star Galactica, or even a “long, long time ago”, like Star Wars. The only real factor is technology or a not-yet-realised scientific future.

Some SciFi is very pointedly a story that takes place in space (any space that’s beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, really) – think Star Trek or Alien – but others may use Earth or a planet like Earth to give the story a more subtle SciFi angle – Æon Flux and Real Steel can give you a bit of insight on this angle.

If you have looked at some of the older SciFi, you will even see that some of the elements that were Science Fiction in those days, are now a reality – like the Internet and nano-machines.

Popular themes:

  • Space exploration
  • Intergalactic politics with alien races
  • Aliens
  • Bio-engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Reviving extinct species (think Jurassic Park)
  • Colonisation of other planets/solar systems
  • Space pirates
  • Bionics
  • Robots
  • Cyborgs
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Domination of the human race by aliens/machines
  • Mystical forces from space (2001: A Space Odessy, AvatarStar Wars  and many more)
  • Alternate realities
  • Mutliverse
  • Time travel
  • Teleportation
  • And lots, lots more…

It’s really so broad, one could write volumes about this subgenre. But, for me, it is important to note that it can easily be used as a flavour in the other fantasy subgenres. Examples of fantasy that typically contain SciFi elements are: Steam Punk, Cyberpunk, Dying Earth and Other Planet.

Never for a moment think that subgenres are mostly found in their pure forms. The very way they have found their way into existence is by developing from other forms of the main genre. The rules are hardly ever set in stone.