Jennifer Brozek | All posts tagged 'review of me'

Bubble and Squeek for 18 Mar 2015

Article: Black Gate Magazine calls JAZZ AGE CTHULHU a new treasure. It's got my novelette, "Dreams of a Thousand Young", in it.

Cover Art: Catalyst Games Lab revealed the cover art to my Shadowrun novella, DOC WAGON 19. It's wonderful.

Release: Rogue Games has released COLONIAL GOTHIC: ROANOKE ISLAND. My take on what happened to the colony in the Colonial Gothic RPG world.

Release: CHIMERA INCARNATE has been released to the world. Cover art by Amber Clark.

Chimera Incarnate
Karen Wilson Chronicles #4
This is the final book in the series.
More InformationBuy Now.
Amazon | B&N | DriveThruFiction

Bubble and Squeek for 27 Jan 2015

I'm all edits all time. Between finishing up NEVER LET ME LEAVE and getting the final proof notes on CHIMERA INCARNATE and having edits come back on my Shadowrun story, all I can give you is some Bubble and Squeek.

Article: I popped over to Clarissa Johal's journal to talk about how I put together the table of contents for APOCALYPSE GIRL DREAMING.

Book Release: Happy book release to me! APOCALYPSE GIRL DREAMING is available in ebook (physical copy coming soon). I'm so in love with this book. It's getting some great reviews.

Interview: I had an interview with Vagabond Saint. We talks about all sorts of things. It was a fun interview.

Review: I got a review of APOCALYPSE GIRL DREAMING from the Fantastical Librarian. I love it when librarians review my work. I think the Fantastical Librarian had some great things to say.

Review: This is a review of the Valdemar anthology, NO TRUE WAY, and it has to have one of my favorite lines about any one of my stories to date. "This was one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read, I feel like I will be recovering from it days from now." How can you not love that?

Review: The Exploding Spaceship reviews SHATTERED SHIELDS and had some great things to say.

Bubble and Squeek for 16 Dec 2014

Editing. Writing. Getting end-of-year things done. Here's some links for you. Hope your December is as awesome and productive as mine is shaping up to be.

Review: GeekDad reviews Chicks Dig Gaming. He gives it a big thumbs up.

Review: GeekMom reviews Chicks Dig Gaming. She also gives it a big thumbs up.

Review: SFRevu Review by Bill Lawhorn of Athena’s Daughters anthology where he gives a great shout out to my story, “Janera."

Article: How I remain productive while traveling. I wrote this for the SFWA blog while traveling.

Book Release: Jazz Age Cthulhu anthology with my 1920s Lovecraftian novelette set in Assam India, "Dreams of a Thousand Young."

Book Release: New Valdemar antholog, No True Way, with my dark YA story, "Written in the Wind."

Bubble and Squeek for 3 Dec 2014

Article: An SFSignal Mind Meld on the Best Book Openings.
 
Interview: Wag the Fox interviewed me about Apocalypse Girl Dreaming

Podcast: Baen Books Podcast: BFRH 2014 11 21. Bryan and I talk about Shattered Shields.

Review: SF Crowsnest reviews Shattered Shields. It appears that the review, Kelly Jensen, really liked it. Awesome.

Review: Bookwraiths review of Shattered Shields. 3 out of 5 stars but really like it.

Sale: Apocalypse Ink Productions is running a Winter Special. Code: WINTER2014. 20% entire order. If you ever wanted my Karen Wilson Chronicles, or Industry Talk... or Jay Lake's Process of Writing... or Ivan Ewert's Gentlemen Ghouls series... or Peter M. Ball's Flotsam series... or Dylan Birtolo's Sheynan series... now is the time.

Writers: I am now open to edit your work. Here are my freelance editor rates.

Bubble and Squeek for 18 Nov 2014

Heads down on my novel, NEVER LET ME LEAVE. Have some links and podcasts and reviews and books!

Article: Writing Tips by Amanda Pillar. These are worth a read.

Article: Suvudu editor Matt Staggs asked for an article on anthologies. I decided to write about the little-discussed art of putting a Table of Contents together.

Interview: I was interviewed by Kindra Sowder for Horror Geeks magazine: Gamer Nerd and Wordslinger. Horror Geeks magazine is really neat. I like it.

Podcast Interview: Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing. Talking about Shattered Shields with Bryan Thomas Schmidt. The topics ranged from marketing to diversity to RPG books.

Podcast Review: Game on Girl by Regina and Rhonda reviews Chicks Dig Gaming. My Google alerts gave me this one. It's really a fun look at the anthology. Especially when they refused to name author names but I recognized who and what they were talking about.

Review: Attack of the Books Reviews Shattered Shields. The reviewer, Daniel Burton, really enjoyed the anthology.

ReviewPaul Weimer of SF Signal reviews Chicks Dig Gaming. 4 out of 5 stars. He enjoyed the book and asked some of the questions I asked.

Pre-order
: JAZZ AGE CTHULHU with my novelette, "Dreams of a Thousand Young." Visit Assam, India, where a British dilettante wakes up one morning covered in bruises and welts, with a dead man in her bed and no memory of what happened in the last 24 hours. Her only clue is a trashed invitation to the exclusive Black Ram Club.

Publication: Short run boxed set: Under an Enchanted Skyline. Apocalypse Ink Productions has joined Martain Cantina's boxed Urban Fantasy set. 8 novels and novellas. $0.99. From now until December 30th. Includes my mosaic novel Caller Unknown and fellow AIP author Peter M. Ball's Exile.

Bubble and Squeek for 3 Nov 2014

Busy-busy writing. I will be at OryCon this coming weekend. Have some links.

Announcement: Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Colony. February 2015

Article: John O'Neil writes about the Apocalypse Girl Dreaming in Black Gate Magazine as a "future treasure." Awesome!

Cover Reveal: Evil Girlfriend Media revealed the cover of Apocalypse Girl Dreaming as well as their 2015 Publication schedule which includes a project of mine I had not yet announced.

Kickstarter: Not Our Kind. Tales of not belonging. $3000 to go in 6 days. I really would like to see this one funded. I'm very pleased with my story for this anthology. Help an anthology out?

Review: Chicks Dig Gaming. By Victoria Elisabeth Garcia in The Cascadia Subduction Zone magazine: "This piece [How to Design Games for Boys] is one of the book’s very best pieces. Lynnea Glasser’s “How to Design Games for Boys” is a knife-sharp satire of the sexist and fallacious assertions that are often made about why girls aren’t interested in games. Glasser delivers her first coup de grâce before the end of the first paragraph. Later lines about “trashy boys’ romance” and tribble-petting will likely make many CSZ readers laugh out loud. !is piece has the makings of an instant classic and seems destined to be read, quoted, and forwarded for years to come."

Review: Coins of Chaos by True Review. They appear to like it.

Review: Human Tales by the Geek Girl Project. They really liked it.

Bubble and Squeek for 14 Oct 2014

Busy, busy, busy writing and editing. Here are some links for you.

Authorgraph: You can get a number of my books electronically signed by me.

Article: The Anthology Balance. I wrote an article for the Locus blog about the balance between diversity and what sells. Hint: diversity sells.

Review: Shattered Shields video review by Other Realms Book Reviews. This is a first for me. Kind of exciting. She liked it.

Review: Shattered Shields. This one is from 50 Book Challenge. Another good review.

Podcast: Geekerati interviews me and Bryan Thomas Schmidt about Shattered Shields and a myriad of other things.

Horror Selfies: Read more horror! It's good for your heart. Also, don't forget about All Hallows Read. Give a scary book for Halloween.

Bubble and Squeek for 24 Mar 2014

REVIEW: My anthology, Coins of Chaos, was reviewed by The Nameless Zine. They liked it.

INTERVIEW: Sarna.net interviewed me about The Nellus Academy Incident.

ARTICLE: FlickFilosopher wrote an article about the TARDIS Little Free Library I have in front of my house.

COVER REVEAL #1: The Future Embodied anthology has revealed its final cover by the amazing Galen Dara. This has my story, "The Bathory Clinic Deal," in it.

COVER REVEAL #2: Evil Girlfriend Media reveals the cover for my anthology, Bless Your Mechanical Heart. The cover art is by the wonderful Larry Dixon!

COVER REVEAL #3: Baen Books has revealed the cover of my anthology, Shattered Shields, co-edited with Bryan Thomas Schmidt, by the talented Todd Lockwood.

I absolutely win the cover art game this week. I am happy dancing all over the place.

One Parent's Review of The Nellus Academy Incident

I love this review. I think it's a great look at the novel, even if the choice at the end wasn't to share it with his young daughter, yet.

--

The Nellus Academy Incident (review)
I went through The Nellus Academy Incident in a night. Not surprising: it's a YA novel that was originally written as a web-serial.

I have to approach this as an old BattleTech Gamer, as a Parent, and just as a general reader. I'll try to be clear which voice I am using. I am also going to do my very best to avoid spoilers.

Gamer first: I can't find anything in terms of BT Canon or Tech that she got wrong. That is the first (and for some, only) thing that many will look at, and if she made a mistake, it's going to take somebody far more anal-retentive about these things than I am to find it.

Well, let me take that back. There is one thing that Jennifer got very wrong, and in doing so, she finally got it right. I don't care if the BT purists disagree with me on this!

See, it is an article of faith in Battletech fiction and gameplay that Ton For Ton, Nothing Matches A BattleMech. Oh, sure, Aerospace Fighters can fly...but a 'Mech can shoot them down easily enough. Tanks are cheaper, but 'Mechs just step on them: they are nothing more than a distraction. Infantry is useful for guarding the barracks where the 'MechJocks sleep, but in a real fight, they are only good for suicide attacks against a Mech's kneecaps--and then only if the MechJock is stupid enough to let them get that close. Traditional BattleTech is a story where the real heroes are giant robots in a world populated by parasites called humans and also annoying things like aerospace fighters, helicopters, tanks, hovercraft, and gun emplacements--and occasionally useful things like DropShips and JumpShips. Oh, and WarShips, but no 'Mech really likes them. They cheat: they bombard from orbit.

Jennifer Brozek breaks that rule repeatedly, consistently, and in an authentic manner. A Mech is still a very powerful piece of equipment, and it can do things none of the others can do and do them very well. But a Tank is nothing to sneer at, Aerospace can ruin your whole day, even Infantry is a serious threat. In this relatively short story, she manages to showcase each of these things without going all grognard on us (another common flaw in BT fiction). The characters have a Combined Arms/Team philosophy where every part is an important piece of the whole. The first person to seriously kick ass is the Medic: yes, there are some ugly things you can do with a medkit. Nobody looks down on the tech or the groundpounder or the pilot. They all have a job to do.

So, the author got all that wrong, but it's a wrong that has been too long in coming. Kudos!

Now for the "General Reader" voice:

The youthful characters are believable. For no particular reason other than "feel", I found myself reminded of Taps: a group of cadets--kids, really--in a situation that would challenge many adults, doing the best they can with what they have. These kids are the product of a formal military education, and one is, technically, already a veteran. Compare what they accomplish with the feats of kids the same age in Poland in World War II who did not have the advantage of military training, and you have to say, "Yeah, they could have pulled that off." I liked the way they handled the shock of combat and death: having lived with a combat vet who still had nightmares years later, I find their reactions all too authentic. This is not a game....

Quick-paced and you never know where the next threat is coming from. These are kids up against professionals, including a rather sociopathic antagonist. To say more would be to get into spoiler-land.

As a Parent, and also that guy with a degree in teaching Junior High/High School English:
The one thing that gave me pause was the amount of profanity. I realize that I am a product of my culture, here: somebody getting shot in cold blood is OK in a story, but shouting "Fuck You!" is a problem. It would be a bar to getting this book into a High School Library in many places.

I was mostly viewing it as the parent of an almost-10-year-old who is reading on the High School level. This isn't something to lay at the feet of the author, it's just the classic dilemma of "finding appropriate reading material for the young Gifted child." We won't even talk about what I was reading at that age, thanks to a clueless librarian. I pay closer attention now that I am Daddy.

The language...fence-sitting. She hears that language every day: we live in the city that gave us "Rocky Balboa", and whenever we visit his old stomping grounds, we are reminded that the "F-Word" just means that two guys really want the same parking space, and that it can be used as noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and pronoun. The language in this book doesn't begin to approach that level. It's just how teenagers talk when authority figures aren't around. She knows she is not to use that language herself. And she doesn't--at least where we can hear her.

The violence...well, there is a lot of it. It's a war story. She took Pacific Rim, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games in stride, I think she could handle the violence level, but we would really want to talk about it and the context.

And that last is what made me decide that, even though she really loves all things Mecha, my daughter is not ready for this book. Yeah, I am still fence-sitting on the other stuff, but this is what decides me: it's not an entry-level book for any age. It was written for a website full of people who already know the backstory, have probably played one of the games, etc.

In English Teacher mode, I look at it as "The student will already know and understand the following: ER Laser, TAG, neurohelmet, Free Worlds League, Lyran Alliance, Inner Sphere (not mentioned but implied), LRM, SRM, [....]" This is not a flaw: it's written for someone who has already experienced BattleTech.

So, I am going to give it a year. Maybe I'll teach her how to move little mech figures across a hex map and kick my butt the way Mommy used to do when we were younger.

(Permission given to Jennifer Brozek to repost in whole or in part. I don't make public posts for a reason.)

Nellus Academy Blurbs

Here are some great Nellus Academy Incident blurbs! I'm really excited about this first one because the author is also active duty USMC. When I write military fiction, I want military members to enjoy it and not groan at the mistakes. The Nellus Academy Incident release date is 27 Jan 2014. Next Monday!


“This is the first Battletech novel I've ever read, and given that I knew nothing about the “Battletech universe” prior to this as well, I had no idea what to expect going into it.

What did I find? A well written story where I immediately identified with each of main protagonists: eight, hand selected, teenage military cadets. This is a story where it would be so easy to write a “Mary Sue” or “Gary Stu” type character, but Brozek doesn't do that. She not only manages to carefully balance and develop each character, but she does it naturally and through the flow of the narrative, so the story never feels bogged down with extraneous details - instead, it pulls the reader along, making it very difficult to put down.

As an active duty member of the military myself (USMC), I am grateful for the fact that she didn't shy away from broaching difficult/realistic subjects such as courage and fear in the face of battle, loss and sacrifice, and of course the effects of the trauma that the cadets go through. Additionally, like real combat, just because you're a “well developed character,” that doesn't protect you from dying - meaning, there are no “red-shirts” here. No one is safe in this story, no one. And I appreciated the stark reality of that brutality. It hurt my heart to read it, and that's how war should feel: painful.

Brozek creates well-developed and complex characters whose failures and successes, strengths and weaknesses pull you in, making you care about them and their fate.  I would definitely recommend this book for older YA Lit, New Adult, and Adult readers.”
– Janine K. Spendlove, War of the Seasons trilogy, USMC pilot 

“Jennifer is a pro. Her dedication to the Battletech series is worth your time.”
– Ivan Van Norman, Outbreak: Undead and King of the Nerds

 “A fun read. Jennifer Brozek’s Battletech novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, takes us on a wild journey as we follow Cadet Allegra Greene from the classroom to the battlefield. Battletech fans, this one’s a winner.”
– Bobby Nash, Evil Ways and Earthstrike Agenda

“In a solid reworking of the classic rites of passage story, Jennifer Brozek uses solid characterization and great action scenes to make The Nellus Academy Incident a real winner.” 
– Michael A. Black, author of Chimes at Midnight and Sleeping Dragons in the Mack Bolan Executioner series

 “Brozek's made the world of Battletech accessible to those new to the game with The Nellus Academy Incident, all while putting new names and faces into a world beloved by longtime Battletech fans. If you're looking for action-packed, smartly paced sci-fi, then get your hands on a copy of this book.”
– Lillian Cohen-Moore, Convention Book: Void Engineers