Michèle Laframboise's Blog

June 17, 2020

28 YA titles to do good!

the YA megabundle

Clouds of Phoenix and 27 others YA titles, available until June 20th.

StoryBundle was created by Jason Chen to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price.

The YA MegaBundle organizer, Anthea Sharp, explains her motivation to link readers and writers with a super ebook deal. I met Andrea in 2016 and she is a talented musician as well as a writer. So I was delighted to be included in the Bundle with my YA SF novel Clouds of Phoenix!

From Anthea Sharp:

And not only are these 28 books packed with fabulous adventure, the bundle itself is an amazing deal. In the spirit of generosity and providing hope, authors have included books that, combined, would cost over $50 if bought at regular retail price. Half the MegaBundle profits will go to Mighty Writers, a non-profit organization benefiting children’s literacy that is also doing some important food security outreach right now for the disadvantaged population it serves. Check out more at Mightywriters.org.

Still three days left: the YA megabundle
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Published on June 17, 2020 18:31 Tags: joint-promotion, storybundle-com, writing, ya-novels

April 19, 2020

Here Be Brave New Worlds!

It is a daunting task to adjust to every changes the COVID19 pandemic has wrought upon us.
The landscape has changed incredibly fast.

So here's a nice bundle curated by the British author J.D. Brink Here Be Brave new Worlds


Worlds on the brink of apocalypse, or already there. Nature’s wrath and dominion over humanity, and humanity’s folly incarnate.
Dark magic, terrifying tech, greed, ravaged environments, rare courage and grim hope in lost cities and fallen worlds.

Brave new worlds or last best hopes — Dare you glimpse the future?

Here Be Brave new Worlds – 13 SF & fantasy futuristic stories, novellas and novels, collected by U.K. author A. L. Butcher, reunited for 4.99$!

I have read gripping and fun stories by J.D. Brink, Rob Jeschonek and Leah Cutter previously, and their stories are a fine level.

My contribution is the dystopian story "Ice Monarch."

Come and get it, before the end of April!
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Published on April 19, 2020 20:00 Tags: bundle, joint-promotion, writing

March 4, 2020

Recent SF readings

(Warning: some of the reviews are in French.
Warning 2: not an exhaustive list of the stories, because I concentrate of SF stories, but some texts sit on the fence.)

Neil Clarke – Best SF of the year, 2019 edition.

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 4 The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 4 by Neil Clarke

When we were starless Simeone Heller. An alien species makes contact with a leftover AI from a human museum. A delayed first contact story filled with hope.

Intervention by Kelly Robson.
That story’s central theme is the caring attributes of a man (Jules) who fully embraces a “female” job of raising pod of children.

Une superbe histoire dont les héros sont des responsables de crèche et suivent un pod de six jeunes. C'est rare une histoire qui porte autant sur le "caring", et celle-là est une réussite pour moi. Surtout que le narrateur Jules, centenaire, montre des qualités d'affection émouvantes.

The time we have left by Alyssa Wong suit une jeune femme défigurée qui visite une copie de la leader de son ancien groupe rock, décédée accidentellement. On comprend qu’elle s’en veut d’avoir involontairement causé la mort des membres du groupe, par dépit, mais découvre au-delà de la mort que Hime avait eu une confiance inébranlable en son potentiel.

Domestic Violence de Madeline Ashby, quand les maisons intelligentes deviennent des prisons sadiques. Doublée d’une histoire d’abus conjugal. Notre HR specialist va-t-elle s’en sortir? / When too-intelligent houses become complicit in domestic abuse. The past of our MC, and the way she disposes of problems, is not clear to me.

(in English!)

Prophet on the Road, par Naomi Kritzer, A dominant AI called the Engineer divided wants to find its other pieces to reunite, pushing the guilt-ridden ex-soldier forward. As he meet a Engineer-carrying person with a piece more akin to the humans, its priorities eventually change from domination to helping.

Traces of us, by Vanessa Fogg. IA intelligences in far future, and humans in present day. A promise. To reach out, held eons later. Cute. Uploading of consciousness.

Theories of flight by Linda Nagata is set in her universe of the white destructive-creative fog that forces people to live beyond walls on hill tops. Yaphet is a secondary character from her other novel where people are “players” and reincarnation is admitted. The story is an engineering problem solved at the end, prodded by compassion. Mishon: “The fault is in the code from which I was written.”

Lab B-15 by Nick Wolven. Why is Dr Jerry Emery experiencing time loops each time he crosses the Lab B-15 door? What if is was dead and recreated, like the rich clients hoping for a second life? Good riddle. Try, reach, feel. Which is a life lesson for everyone.

Requiem by Vandana Singh. Varsha follows the steps or a dear departed aunt in a research center in the glacial north, where the aunt was studying whale’s communication, and a company sends “T-Rex robots” to dig for remaining oil. The aunt and her Eskimo lover also tried for a whale-shaped submersible now currently missing. What if… A long story well told, without violence which I appreciated. With a touch of nostalgia. The story addresses cultural gaps, Eskimo life, community sharing of the meat of one whale, and inheritance. My favorite, even if on the long side.

Sour Milk Girls by Erin Roberts. In the tedious environment of a “agency”, orphans wait to be adopted or turn 18 before retrieving their childhood memories, that technology allows to exchange engrams. Sour milk is their mood, and hot sauce is the rebellion they carry inside. Acceptation and rejection are high on the theme list.

Mother Tongues by S. Qiouly Lu tackles the engram transfer theme, too, but with languages that you can sell for someone not eager to learn. Problem is: your own brain cells gets fried in the process. But a Mandarine speaker is ready to sacrifice her mother tongue to get her girl through college.

Singles Day, by Samantha Murray, overpopulation background. We follow four persons around the world, all in difficult circumstances, all having to make a life-changing decision. Because a great ship will be leaving the over crowded Earth soon, for good. (The Rift) Yu yan, Xanthe, Tea, Carren) Over connected world. One of my fave.

Nine Last Days on planet Earth… by Daryl Gregory follows the progress of several alien invasive plant species arrived by meteor, over a life span (10 to 97!) of “LT” the narrator, and his personal/family life, a moving gay relationship and adoption of a baby girl who will grow through the story (and his mother!). The tale is not one-sided as the alien remains alien, and humanity manages to adapt (finds a microbe that helps digest the alien plant species. Lots of biology. The kind of story that prods you to revise your botanic notions.

The Buried Giant, by Lavie Tidhar. A post-apocalypse tale, told to two children by an old man in a strange junkyard besides a mountain that may or may not be the outline of a giant robot. The opening by the narrator (May), stated the truth of “We believed we had all the time” and once that belief is gone, it couldn’t be recaptured, is a tug at the heart of the human reading the same. The magic of the writing, eyes like blackberries at the end of summer” is stunning. A very good story inside a story.

The Anchorite Wakes, by R.S.A. Garcia has a stunning puzzling setting that reveals itself as we read the story of sister Nadine, living in a Church, tasked with dispensing advice, and choosing for a Harvest directed by entities unknown. But one day her senses are awoken by a little girl. Hymns involved, and many worlds with anchorites. A story of hope. More fantasy that SF.

Entropy War by Yoon Ha Lee. Entropy explained as a role-playing game, The short story didn’t work for me.

An Equation of State, by Robert Reed (300+ published, exp. author) a powerful shape shifter soldier from an alien army studies the primitive “water” creatures on Earth at first as a horse, then as a rat, then… , and their war, and gets closer empathic to them. Interesting, but the ending is unclear for me.

Quantifying Trust, by John Chu. (Dérivé de l’épisode d’une IA apprenant le racisme sur Internet.) Maya, a young Chinese-looking student experiencing racism, tries to train an IA to learn to evaluate trust. Her post-doc is a weird man-construct project named Sammy. Lots of tech details in the opening almost threw me out, until I recognized the real-life incident of the racist-trained IA exposed to Internet. But she is aware she is passing her own bias along.
At the end, she disconnect (reboot) Sammy and go out with the post-doc. Long.

Hard Mary by Sofia Samatar
Five girls living on a farm compound with strict scriptures, find a half statue from Profane Industries. They fear it is evil, but pray. One changes her battery heart. The hard Mary is a robot. They start educating her.
This is a fun weird whacked-up world story. Talking animals, robots, and the light of friendship. The end is unclear, and there’s lot to understand about this world.

Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, Nebula Awards Showcase 2019NEBULA AWARDS SHOWCASE 2019 Nebula Awards Showcase 2019 by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Welcome to your authentic Indian experience, by Rebecca Roanhorse, a very cruel, bet efficient tale of cultural appropriation/ simulation. You root for the main character whose life is turned upside down. Second reading, since I read it first in Apex Magazine.

A series of steaks, by Vina Jie-Min Prasad, is the best ever story I read, it has every quality I like in a story: dripping suspense in poverty setting, the plight of contract artists, a couple of savvy Asian protag girls with a gray-toned morals but finally OK in my book, and the printed meat question. And the narrative voice, Opening and Ending.

Weaponized Math, by Jonathan P. Brazee. The ups and down of the sniper life, with a very talented lady, and the second by second calculations of range and angle in her head. The author really plunges us inside a war zone. Plus the details of rounds, caliber, and jackets to satisfy the appetite of any gun amateur.

Utopia, Lol? by Jamie Whals. A man lands on a Tour guide to the Future led aby an over enthusiast girl-AI, into various simulations. Humanity lives plugged to simulations. The story poses the question: is an utopian existence of simulated environments satisfying in the long term? Unless the IA convinces the human to hop in a long-range probe…
p. 39 “Post singularity humanity now exists entirely as uploaded consciousness in distributed Matryoshka brains, living in trillions of universes presided over by our friendly AI, Allocator.”
So fun to read, I re-read it a second time. Lots of narrative tricks like texting between Kit and the IA.

Fandom for robots by Vina Jie-Min Prasad, is a fun story about a square boxy robot getting acquainted with an anime program featuring a square boxy robot and human, and get dragged into fanfic and fandom. A pleasant read with texting.

All Systems Red, Martha Wells. A “murderbot” android protects scientists prospecting an alien world for a company. Then when glitches in the map are revealed, and all contact with another prospect team is lost, the guileless and genre-less murderbot (who likes watching the entertaining channels it access since hacking this commander module) has to go over its repulsion of humans to help the team survive. Who is masterminding the sabotage?
A very surprising thing is that this story grows on you, and I got attached to the nameless murderbot. A very good short novel or novella. Surprised me.

Wind Will Rove, by Sarah Pinkster, a generation ship’s memory back-ups have been tempered, leaving the essentials but erasing all Literature, culture, movies, music banks, along with the simulated environments. The narrator grandmother was an astronaut and a violinist. She played the title song.
The narrator wants to revive the music. People painted, played instruments, to reconstruct a culture lost. The story plays upon the importance of music, and knowing history to avoid repeating it. But also as each one re-create an opus as they reinterpret it.
The feel and rhythm is slow, the reveal coming drop by drop about the Black out.

The last novelist / Dead Lizard in the yard by Matthew Kressel is a moving piece, even if at first I grounded my teeth: another self-reflecting story about a writer who… But it turned into a tentative friendship story in a SF setting, with death looming over and the power of creativity. When nobody reads anymore, why continue writing? The Thoughtships are a oniric means of transportation, but not the basic of the story.

Carnival Nine by Caroline M. Yoachim
A moving transposition of life with windup dolls. Fantastic piece, but… fantastic more that SF. And the counting in turns, like the spoon concept, is genial. Moving. And about caring for a disabled children and acceptation. Surprised. Fantasy?

Small Changes over a long period of time, by K. M. Szpara, is a vampire story, in a society where they are incorporated in mainstream society with regulations. And the MC is a trans man.

Clearly lettered in a mostly steady hand, by Fran Wilde, is a guided visit of a strange museum where the visitor will be changed… in more ways than one. Fantastic.

Human Stain, by Kelly Robson is a fantastic/horror story. Hang on to your teeth!
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June 28, 2019

Ten exciting SF books for this summer!

As the summer heat and Canada Day are upon us, most of you are looking for a place to spend your vacations… and for good science fiction adventure books to read!

So I look forward to dive into refreshing novels.

The choices are so much diverse than when I was a teenager looking for space adventures, and finding only guy’s adventures. Now, when I dip into the waters of an enthralling story (like The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal ) and explore its depths, forgetting all about the outside world.

The aftermath of Reading Good Books / Quand on termine une bonne lecture...

Quand on sort d'une bonne lecture

When you emerge from a powerful and moving story, gratitude floods you, along with a faint regret of having finished the book… but there are many other waiting!

And, speaking of good books…

The Space Travelers Bundle reunites several wonderful writers, and I am proud to be a part of it with one novel (Clouds of Phoenix, featuring a disabled heroine on planet Phoenix) and one short-story (Closing the Big Bang) in the Space Travelers Anthology.

This bundle is a joint promotion that gets 10 very affordable books in your hands, and helps you discover new writers along the way.

More details about how the Bundle works are explained on site.

The gist is: you pay what you want for the ebooks, and they will get into your reading device, whatever formatting you use. This gives the authors a tremendoux help into reaching new fans!

And fans, my friend, are the life and blood of creatives.
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Published on June 28, 2019 19:36 Tags: joint-promotion, storybundle-com, writing

January 6, 2019

Pages féériques et modernes

ces petites fleur bleues

J’aime lire les contes de fées, particulièrement quand ils ont été repris par des auteures avec de belles surprises.

Je propose, dans ce sens les livres suivants :

Beauty, by Sheri Tepper
couverture reprend avec finesse le conte de la belle au Bois dormant dans un contexte de SF écologique qui se promène à toutes les époques! Accrochez-vous! 463 pages époustouflantes.
Ce livre-là m'a beaucoup marquée.

L’auteure Robyn McKinlay a créé plusieurs romans reprenant des contes. Beauty, a Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

est son plus connu, ainsi que Rose Daughter : les deux reprennent La belle et la Bête, deux interprétations différentes!

Parke Goodwind, Sherwood
suit le jeune Robin des Bois mêlé à l’invasion des Français… J’ai bien aimé car la mère de Robin (si,si!) et son amie Marian sont très présentes.
Et le sheriff de Nottingham qui fait partie des envahisseurs normands s’avère un bon bougre!
Tout est nuancé. L’auteur n’a pris qu’une liberté en plaçant l’époque historique en 1066 lors de l’invasion des Normands (imaginez s’ils étaient restés, les Anglais parleraient français aujourd’hui!)

Une autre auteure qui reprend des contes est Jane Yolen, auteure britannique établie aux États-Unis

Twelve impossible things before breakfast

Elle nous avait déjà dit en 2006 There is no such thing as a time-fairy!
Twelve impossible things before breakfast rassemble des contes humoristiques.
Ces contes et bien d'autres nous emmènent loin du présent écrasant, des vacances mentales bien méritées!

Bonne année 2019!
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Published on January 06, 2019 13:51 Tags: contes, féérie

September 8, 2018

Mon roman "La ruche" est finaliste au Prix des Horizons Imaginaires 2019!

(English summary below)
La Ruche by Michèle Laframboise

Mon roman de science-fiction La ruche, publié par les Six Brumes, figure parmi les 5 finalistes annoncés pour le prix Horizons Imaginaires 2019.

Curieux? Allez voir la page Goodreads du livre! La Ruche

Un comité de sélection composé de libraires, d’éditeur et d’un étudiant a choisi les cinq ouvrages finalistes dans le champ de la science fiction et du fantastique. Le communiqué complet figure sur le site de la revue Les Libraires.

Pendant l’année scolaire, les romans finalistes seront lus par des étudiant-es au CEGEP.

L’oeuvre gagnante sera annoncée lors du 40e Congrès Boréal qui se tiendra à Sherbrooke.
Et oui, il contient un hommage à Marilyn Monroe!


La Ruche by Michèle Laframboise
La Ruche

My science fiction novel “La ruche” (The hive), published by Les Six Brumes, is among the 5 finalists announced for the 2019 Horizons Imaginaires Award.

A selection committee composed of booksellers, publisher and a student has chosen the five books of science fiction/fantasy/horror.

And, as the cover tells you, it contains an homage to an iconic actress!
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Published on September 08, 2018 08:44 Tags: canadiansf, dystopian-sf, marilyn-monroe, michèle-laframboise, novel, science-fiction

January 27, 2018

The last time I saw Ursula

I am still coming to terms with the loss of Ursula K. LeGuin.

I had the joy of meeting her once in 2007, in Madison, Wisconsin where I could appreciate her wits and zen-like humor.

I gave my own testimonial in my blog, along with a picture I made of her - and that she signed! https://sundayartist.wordpress.com/20...

I am reading Late in the Day: Poems 2010–2014 her last poetry collection.


The last time I saw Ursula

She was enjoying an ice cream cone
in the heat of Madison
sitting in the main avenue
her back to the
large, white, round Capitol dome
as she was savoring her
large, white, round, ice cream
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Published on January 27, 2018 13:36 Tags: poem, ursula-k-leguin

January 14, 2017

Mes Utopiales de Nantes: renversantes!

L'affiche du festival conçue par Denis Bajram
Le festival des Utopiales de Nantes, c'est une ribambelles d'écrivains, de dessinateurs/trices, d'artistes multimédias, de scénariste, de réalisateurs, d'amateur d'animés japonais…

Cet événement m'a impressionnée tant par son ambition que par son accessibilité aux personnes handicapées. Contrairement à la Place Bonaventure et ses interminables escaliers à monter et descendre pour parvenir au Salon du livre, l'entrée du Centre des congrès de Nantes est de niveau avec la cour, ce qui permet à mes confrères en fauteuil mobiles de rouler joyeusement par les grandes portes glissantes.

À la plus grande scène, la scène Shayol, les deux premières rangées étaient réservées. Oui, pour les VIP, vous dites-vous.

Ces sièges accueillent les personnes sourdes ou malentendantes afin qu'elles puissent bien suivre chacun des gestes de l'interprète qui "signe" ce qui se dit sur scène! J'ai compté 3-4 interprètes dans le Centre de congrès de Nantes, et toujours un ou une à l'accueil.

L'autre chose qui m'a impressionnée, c'est la bouffe. De la très haute gastronomie: j'ai goûté des plats et des desserts jusque là inconnus. Des goûts nouveaux ont titillé mes papilles. Chaque auteur invité avait ses trois repas (le déjeuner à l’hôtel collé sur le centre des congrès) et plein de consommations gratuites au bar de Mme Spock. (Si,si, juste en face de l'agora de M. Spock)

Une chose que j'ai beaucoup appréciée, c'est la simplicité de la programmation. Dans un congrès typique, on a des dizaines de "pistes" et on se résoud à manquer bien des tables rondes ou des présentations. Pas ici. Il y avait deux ou trois max, en excluant les films présentés, et ceux-ci passaient deux/trois fois.

La sympathique équipe des Utopiales a droit à toute ma reconnaissance, en particulier Jeanne A Debats, responsable de mon invitation.

Jeanne est l'auteure de La vieille anglaise et le continent, une novella écologique pleine de cynisme et de poésie.
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Published on January 14, 2017 19:16 Tags: accessibilité, festival-littéraire, science-fiction, utopiales-de-nantes

September 21, 2016

Laframboise invitée aux Utopiales de Nantes

Le Festival des Utopiales de Nantes m’a invitée à célébrer les visions de la Science-fiction.

C’est une heureuse coïncidence car mon premier space-opéra se déroulait à bord d’un vaisseau baptisé le Jules-Verne, en hommage au célèbre visionnaire.

Tout en préparant la sortie de deux courts livres cet automne (surprise!), j'apporterai mon humour et ma créativité pour célébrer la diversité de la science-fiction en français.

Le Festival International de Science-fiction de Nantes réunit le monde de la prospective, des technologies nouvelles et de l'imaginaire. Tables rondes, expositions, conférences fourniront autant d'occasions aux scientifiques, auteurs et artistes de partager leurs visions de la SF.

Je ne peux qu'apprécier cette convergence, possédant une formation académique en géographie et génie de l’environnement. Je me livre parfois à la vulgarisation scientifique illustrée dans mon blogue de la Savante folle.

Et comme les Utopiales comportent aussi un volet BD, je vais être gâtée!

Le festival des Utopiales de Nantes m’a invitée à célébrer les visions de la SF.

Le festival me permettra de nouer et renouer des contacts fructueux avec des auteur-e-s qui savent écrire pour les jeunes avec talent et doigté comme Danielle Martinigol et Paolo Bacigalupi.
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Published on September 21, 2016 12:15 Tags: jules-verne, nantes, science-fiction, utopiales

January 22, 2015

Comment j'ai écrit le Projet Ithuriel: un vidéo

Michèle Laframboise se confie à nous dans une vidéo exclusive !

Son rituel d'écriture ? Ses sources d'inspiration ?
Vous saurez tout...
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Published on January 22, 2015 12:55 Tags: anticipation, editions-david, michèle-laframboise, roman, science-fiction, ya-novel