Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

This isn't entirely on-topic of gaming, but I'm trying to work myself out of a major writer's block (partially due becoming more involved with game design and promotion on TactDecks than I ever intended).

Of the two YA manuscripts I'm considering writing, both would probably classify as sci-fi:

The first is a modern-day thriller/conspiracy/paranormal hybrid with sci-fi overtures involving memory wipes and person replacement - sort of like a YA Total Recall. The plot for this is mostly developed, as is the framework of the main characters, however I'm not quite "feeling it" just yet. I'd talked my agent close to a year ago about this concept. She liked it, and I fully intended to have been completed with my first draft by now, but life, design, and writer's block is getting in my way.

The other idea is less developed, but is something of an "epic" YA space opera involving aliens (aside from a human protagonist), lots of medieval-era weaponry and world-hopping combat, and social rebellion. It sort of plays out in my head like a mix of the old Alien Legion comics, a simplified Dune, and Ender's Game. I have more motivation to write this than the other concept, however less genre "research" has been done. There's also the added issue that my agent thinks I'm working on idea 1, and I haven't even told her about idea 2.

Ok - rant over - what I'm basically looking for is recently published (within the last 5 years?), YA-targeted sci-fi, that (hopefully) involves aliens and (possibly) war. I'm not looking for Ender's Game, or any of its derivatives, nor am I really looking for any of the current crop of ad nauseum dystopian fiction, a la Hunger Games.

I realize this shrinks my list down quite a bit - straight YA sci-fi isn't a huge genre at the moment - but maybe someone can suggest something?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian McCormick
United States
Lansing
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Tasteless Brute
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Read some Isaac Asimov, especially his short stories. Appropriate for most any age, and utterly engrossing. Content is king. Content is always king. Focus on good content and you'll have your book.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Netherlands
flag msg tools
       This space              intentionally              left blank.
badge
John Scalzi: Zoe's Tale is pretty much spot on what you're looking for.
And in the urban fantasy corner, but worth recommending as it's one of the best books of the last year: Jo Walton: Among Others.

Note that neither is strictly marketed as YA, but both appeal to both the adult and YA markets due to teenage protagonists.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Etherton
United States
Carlsbad
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd say Nathan Lowell's Quarter Share series might qualify as YA-targeted sci-fi. However, it does NOT involve aliens or war. I've read the first two, and the first one was very much YA. The second one had some sex in it -- but it wasn't particularly graphic. I don't think either one had excessive (if any that I can recall) profanity in it.

http://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Share-Nathan-Lowell/dp/0982514...

I'm not sure if James S.A. Corey's (actually a pseudonym for two authors) Leviathan Wakes qualifies as YA, but it certainly has aliens and war.

http://www.amazon.com/Leviathan-Wakes-Expanse-James-Corey/dp...

I also just finished John Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation. It's got aliens and a little bit of war and I'd say it definitely qualifies as YA.

http://www.amazon.com/Fuzzy-Nation-John-Scalzi/dp/0765328542...

Of course this all depends on what your definition of YA is. To me, it's anything I'd be comfortable having my young teen read, even though there may be occasional "mature" (not necessarily sex) topics.

-Dave

EDIT: Fixed link to Fuzzy Nation
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Etherton
United States
Carlsbad
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Aurendrosl wrote:
Read some Isaac Asimov, especially his short stories. Appropriate for most any age, and utterly engrossing. Content is king. Content is always king. Focus on good content and you'll have your book.


Not sure Asimov qualifies as "published in the last 5 years" otherwise I would have recommended just about anything Heinlein published in the 1950's :-)

-Dave
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Vines
United States
Blue Springs
Missouri
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm gonna go with the obvious.

Warhammer 40k series specifically the Horus Heresy line. Seems to hit a lot of the things in arc number 2 at least.

For #1 maybe read at least the first Ciphas Cain Novel (also warhammer 40k) called For The Emperor. The narrative style is somewhat unique, as is the protagonist. May give you ideas for an angle to give the story the "feeling" you are looking for.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian McCormick
United States
Lansing
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Tasteless Brute
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
etherton wrote:
Aurendrosl wrote:
Read some Isaac Asimov, especially his short stories. Appropriate for most any age, and utterly engrossing. Content is king. Content is always king. Focus on good content and you'll have your book.


Not sure Asimov qualifies as "published in the last 5 years" otherwise I would have recommended just about anything Heinlein published in the 1950's :-)

-Dave

I recommended it because I really don't understand why the OP needed inspiration from YA sci-fi from the last 5 years and the last 5 years alone. So, I ignored his parameters.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Etherton
United States
Carlsbad
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Fair enough -- I ignored his "needs aliens and war" parameters for my first suggestion :-)

-Dave
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Aurendrosl wrote:
etherton wrote:
Aurendrosl wrote:
Read some Isaac Asimov, especially his short stories. Appropriate for most any age, and utterly engrossing. Content is king. Content is always king. Focus on good content and you'll have your book.


Not sure Asimov qualifies as "published in the last 5 years" otherwise I would have recommended just about anything Heinlein published in the 1950's :-)

-Dave

I recommended it because I really don't understand why the OP needed inspiration from YA sci-fi from the last 5 years and the last 5 years alone. So, I ignored his parameters.


Literature of all kinds - but especially middle grade and YA, experiences frequent shifts in writing style, tone, topic, and themes. When reading to familiarize myself more with specific genres, I typically do one of two things (or both):

1) Read a few current books in the genre I'm writing for in order to get an idea of the current writing climate.

2) Read "original source" type material, if available. For example, the last thing I wrote was a modern fantasy involving a teenage gadgetsmith - so for a "source" I looked toward the original Tom Swift. I also wanted a more personal, rather than epic, fantasy feel, so I also consulted the early 30's Conan stories as well.

In the case of sci-fi, I wouldn't call myself an expert by any means, but I'm well-versed in enough of the "source" material to not bog myself down too much in the Asimovs, Heinleins, Clarkes, etc. What they wrote certainly informs modern sci-fi (and by tangent, modern YA sci-fi), but it typically doesn't READ modern.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Skip Maloney
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Right at the edge of the YA parameter, I'd place the series of five books by Stephen R. Donaldson, known as The Gap Series. Definitively on the adult side of the fence, it would be a challenge, no doubt, but since the OP seems to be in search of some sort of inspiration to dislodge himself from a form of writer's block, I'm guessing that Donaldson would work. It'll take him, or anyone else, quite a bit of time to get through the series, and full engagement and comprehension of just what the hell is going on won't happen until, at minimum, the second book. That said, the full-blown tale is breath-taking in its scope, and riveting in its execution.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K Septyn
United States
Unspecified
Michigan
flag msg tools
SEKRIT MESSAGE SSSHHHHHHHHH
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SkipM624 wrote:
Right at the edge of the YA parameter, I'd place the series of five books by Stephen R. Donaldson, known as The Gap Series. Definitively on the adult side of the fence...


Given the literal mind control technology and predicable sexual abuse present in the first part of the arc, I would place this about as far from YA as possible. However, I agree entire tale is breath-taking.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Abraham Drucker
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
MOAR GAMES
badge
Damn Dirty Ape I Love You
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MOTHDevil wrote:
In the case of sci-fi, I wouldn't call myself an expert by any means, but I'm well-versed in enough of the "source" material to not bog myself down too much in the Asimovs, Heinleins, Clarkes, etc. What they wrote certainly informs modern sci-fi (and by tangent, modern YA sci-fi), but it typically doesn't READ modern.


Is that because they keep talking about slide rules and planet sized computers?

Unfortunately for me, that's what I read as a young adult, and started using some antiquated vocabulary when I was young. Good times.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Taylor
United Kingdom
Staffordshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
Forgive my ignorance: What is YA?

Sounds like a posh person saying yes "OK Ya, I'll be there at 6"
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Etherton
United States
Carlsbad
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Young Adult

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young-adult_fiction
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David
United States
DURHAM
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ergates wrote:
Forgive my ignorance: What is YA?

Sounds like a posh person saying yes "OK Ya, I'll be there at 6"

Young Adult.

I'm not as such young and only debatably an adult but I'll give a +1 to Fuzzy Nation - we liked it in our house and my wife especially tends to like YA fiction.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ze_stom wrote:
MOTHDevil wrote:
In the case of sci-fi, I wouldn't call myself an expert by any means, but I'm well-versed in enough of the "source" material to not bog myself down too much in the Asimovs, Heinleins, Clarkes, etc. What they wrote certainly informs modern sci-fi (and by tangent, modern YA sci-fi), but it typically doesn't READ modern.


Is that because they keep talking about slide rules and planet sized computers?

Unfortunately for me, that's what I read as a young adult, and started using some antiquated vocabulary when I was young. Good times.



LOL.


That, and the pacing and dialogue typically reads slow and/or off.

It's somewhat like the difference between 1960's Star Trek and 2000's BSG. Both are generally considered excellent examples of TV sci-fi (yes, I realize everything has its detractors), but much of the 1960's Trek (and actually it's subsequent TV sequels, which mostly failed to evolve with the times, IMO) has a much slower, almost naive approach to much of its subject matter. Sets, effects, and costumes aside, you could replace 1960's Trek with present day production values and it would still come across as "quaint." I realize that some episodes are timeless, but they can be few and far between.

I understand the difference between "good" and "outdated" or "aged," but my target reader isn't viewing the future through nostalgia glasses.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Today, we're all Spaniards!
Avatar
.
Wow, I actually have something to contribute for a change! I recommend the Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. It's YA fiction, post apocalyptic, with a science fiction edge to it. My wife and I loved it.

Here's an Amazon Blurb:

Grade 6–10—Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers.


Joseph
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian F.
United States
Springville
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MOTHDevil wrote:

The first is a modern-day thriller/conspiracy/paranormal hybrid with sci-fi overtures involving memory wipes and person replacement - sort of like a YA Total Recall. The plot for this is mostly developed, as is the framework of the main characters, however I'm not quite "feeling it" just yet. I'd talked my agent close to a year ago about this concept. She liked it, and I fully intended to have been completed with my first draft by now, but life, design, and writer's block is getting in my way.


This description made me think about the book "Variant" by Robison Wells. It isn't out until October, but is YA and the plot seems like it has some similarities to what you are doing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ositobrian wrote:
MOTHDevil wrote:

The first is a modern-day thriller/conspiracy/paranormal hybrid with sci-fi overtures involving memory wipes and person replacement - sort of like a YA Total Recall. The plot for this is mostly developed, as is the framework of the main characters, however I'm not quite "feeling it" just yet. I'd talked my agent close to a year ago about this concept. She liked it, and I fully intended to have been completed with my first draft by now, but life, design, and writer's block is getting in my way.


This description made me think about the book "Variant" by Robison Wells. It isn't out until October, but is YA and the plot seems like it has some similarities to what you are doing.



Hmm... the Amazon description doesn't read anything like that. What info were you looking at?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mohit Goel
India
Mumbai
Maharashtra
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Simoquin Prophecies by Samit Basu.

Its a trilogy - more fanstasy than sci-fi

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
And not available for Kindle.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harlan Rosenthal
United States
Fair Lawn
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Diane Duane, "So you want to be a wizard" & sequels


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Guys..... sci-fi, sci-fi!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Sci-Fi is crap hack work, typically lurid adventures with few redeeming qualities and an over-abundance of defects. SF is (variously) Speculative Fiction or Science Fiction. Which do you want?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Bergom
United States
Towson
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
"Sometimes it would be nice to be wrong about people." -Commander Samuel Vimes
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No aliens, but if you want some really good, solid YA Science Fiction, check out Cory Doctorow's Little Brother. It may not be guns blazing war, but if you want to include espionage in your books, there's plenty.

Here's the Amazon blurb:
Quote:
When he ditches school one Friday morning, 17-year-old Marcus is hoping to get a head start on the Harajuku Fun Madness clue. But after a terrorist attack in San Francisco, he and his friends are swept up in the extralegal world of the Department of Homeland Security. After questioning that includes physical torture and psychological stress, Marcus is released, a marked man in a much darker San Francisco: a city of constant surveillance and civil-liberty forfeiture. Encouraging hackers from around the city, Marcus fights against the system while falling for one hacker in particular. Doctorow rapidly confronts issues, from civil liberties to cryptology to social justice. While his political bias is obvious, he does try to depict opposing viewpoints fairly. Those who have embraced the legislative developments since 9/11 may be horrified by his harsh take on Homeland Security, Guantánamo Bay, and the PATRIOT Act. Politics aside, Marcus is a wonderfully developed character: hyperaware of his surroundings, trying to redress past wrongs, and rebelling against authority. Teen espionage fans will appreciate the numerous gadgets made from everyday materials. One afterword by a noted cryptologist and another from an infamous hacker further reflect Doctorow's principles, and a bibliography has resources for teens interested in intellectual freedom, information access, and technology enhancements. Curious readers will also be able to visit BoingBoing, an eclectic group blog that Doctorow coedits. Raising pertinent questions and fostering discussion, this techno-thriller is an outstanding first purchase.—Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library

If you're interested, you could actually read it right now. For free. It's a legit ebook, hosted on Doctorow's own site.

Also, +1 for John Scalzi's Little FuzzyFuzzy Nation.

EDIT: Oops, got the Scalzi book mixed up with the book off of which he based his.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.