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Brenda Cooper

Brenda is a technology professional, a science fiction writer and a futurist. As a writer, Brenda has worked extensively with the well-known science fiction author Larry Niven. She and Larry’s collaborative fiction has appeared in Analog and Asimov’s science fiction. Her solo fiction has appeared in Nature, Analog, Strange Horizons, The Salal Review, and multiple anthologies. She is the author of the Endeavor award winner for 2008: THE SILVER SHIP AND THE SEA, and of the sequel, READING THE WIND. By day, she is the City of Kirkland’s CIO. Learn more at Brenda Cooper’s website.

The Creative Fire: Only partially successful

The Creative Fire by Brenda Cooper

The Creative Fire (2012) is the first book in Brenda Cooper’s series RUBY’S SONG, a sociological YA science fiction story set on the generation ship The Creative Fire. Ruby Martin lives in the outer/lower levels of the ship, repairing robots. She is a “gray,” one of those who maintain the machines, cleanse the water, grow the food and keep the ship clean. The grays (the color refers to their clothes or uniforms) are brutally oppressed by the reds, who allegedly keep the peace. In other parts of the ship, the blues are responsible for logistics, and the greens command.

Ruby is a gifted singer. She has a compelling voice and writes her own songs, but they are not heard outside of her circle of friends. During an accident on the ship, Ruby meets and rescues Fox, a man from the blue levels. Ruby begs Fox to take him with he... Read More

Edge of Dark: Humanity vs. the natural and the unnatural

Edge of Dark by Brenda Cooper

In Edge of Dark, Brenda Cooper comes back to the world she created in her RUBY'S SONG duology. In it, humanity has driven AI robots to the edge of the galaxy — to the titular “Edge of Dark” — and maintained their own perimeter of ships and space stations, called The Glittering, around habitable planets, keeping warmth and life to themselves. However, the robots (called, ominously, The Next) have come back, invading a lone scientific space station, killing most of the crew, and uploading the consciousnesses of a chosen few into “soulbot” bodies. As a result of this, human and robot denizens of the three worlds — the planets, the Glittering, and the Edge — are thrown together in a tense political, environmental, and metaphysical drama that spans the galaxy.

If this soun... Read More

Twenty-First Century Science Fiction: Packed full of excellent SF stories

Twenty-First Century Science Fiction edited by David G. Hartwell

Twenty-First Century Science Fiction is packed full of excellent science fiction stories. I've been reading anthologies lately, partly to improve my own short story writing, and this is the best I've found so far. It contains stories by authors such as Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow, Catherynne M. ValenteJohn Scalzi, Jo Walton, Charles Stross, Elizabeth Bear... Read More

More books by Brenda Cooper

Silver Ship — (2007-2009) Publisher: The colony planet Fremont is joyous, riotous, and very wild. Its grasses can cut your arms and legs to ribbons, the rinds of its precious fruit can skewer your thumbs, and some of the predators are bigger than humans. Meteors fall from the sky and volcanoes erupt. Fremont is verdant, rich, beautiful, and dangerous. Fremont’s single town, Artistos, perches on a cliff below rugged mountains. Below Artistos lie the Grass Plains, which lead down to the sea.  And in the middle of the Grass Plains, a single silver spaceship lies quiet and motionless. The seasons do not dull it, nor do the winds scratch it — and the fearful citizens of Artistos won’t go near it. Chelo Lee, her brother Joseph, and four other young children have been abandoned on the colony planet. Unfortunate events have left them orphaned in a human colony that abhors genetic engineering — and these six young people are genetically enhanced. With no one to turn to, Chelo and the others must now learn how to use their distinct skills to make this unwelcome planet home, or find a way off it. They have few tools — an old crazy woman who wonders the edges of town, spouting out cryptic messages; their appreciation and affection for each other; a good dose of curiosity; and that abandoned silver space ship that sits locked and alone in the middle of the vast grass plain…

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsA Lingering Scent of Bacon — (2009) Publisher:Elise is hungry and tired. A fat old man just tried to talk her into bad sex and dumped her by the side of the road for telling him no. And that’s just the first thing that’s happened since she woke up. The next thing starts with the deliciously evil smell of bacon frying behind a berry bush. Originally published in the anthology Maiden, Matron, Crone, edited by Kerrie Hughes and Martin Greenberg.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsSavant Songs — (2009) Publisher: What if an autistic scientist was the only person who knew how to travel between dimensions? Read Brenda Cooper’s award winning Science Fiction story about a tortured, brilliant woman who struggles to understand the tortured and beautiful universe in hopes that she can find freedom in knowledge.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Licit Zone — (2009) Publisher: Ever feel like we’re moving to a world where everything bad needs to be hidden? A sweet with transfats? A cigarette? And then there’s beer and hard liquor and…. Maybe everything bad in every city has been pushed out of normal life, and hidden in The Licit Zone.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsMayan December — (2011) Publisher: Dr. Alice Cameron is a famous scientist — an archeoastronomer — devoted to studying ancient Mayan culture. The era driving her career has always been the end of the Mayan baktun, so she’s on the Yucatan Peninsula in December 2012 with her daughter Nixie… and so are fellow serious scholars, plenty of end-of-the-world crazies, and – at an international summit — the President of the United States and other heads of state. When Nixie disappears into the past in the Mayan jungle, rationality and mysticism, the present and the past start merging. Meanwhile, Alice is drawn into the machinations of statecraft by an old friend. A savvy scientist, a handsome dreadlocked time-traveler, an ancient shaman, a noble Mayan couple, a computer nerd, and an 11-year old traverse the past and present in a search for the meaning of life and a way to save two worlds.