Brain to Books Cyber Convention (FAIRGROUNDS) discussion

A.M. Justice
This topic is about A.M. Justice
18 views
2017 Archives > 2017 A.M. Justice, SciFan Author Showcase

Comments Showing 1-30 of 30 (30 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by A.F. (last edited Feb 26, 2017 09:04AM) (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 369 comments Mod


A.M. Justice

A.M. Justice

A Wizard's Forge
(The Woern Saga, #1)

Scholar. Slave. Warrior. Wizard.
On a planet far from Earth, descendants of marooned space travelers fight a decades-long war. Shy scholar Victoria knows nothing of this conflict until pirates kidnap and sell her to the sadistic tyrant behind it. He keeps her naked and locked in a tower, subjecting her to months of psychological torture. After seizing an opportunity to escape, Vic joins the fight against her former captor and begins walking a bloody path toward revenge.
As the Blade, Vic gains glory raiding her enemy’s forces, but the ordeal in his tower haunts her. Bitter memories keep her from returning the love of the kindhearted Prince Ashel, whose family has fended off the tyrant’s invading army for a generation. When enemy soldiers capture Ashel, Vic embarks on a quest to rescue him and, on the journey, discovers a source of spectacular power. With wizardry, Vic can rescue the prince, end the war, and wreak the vengeance she craves, but she might also destroy her only chance for peace.




message 2: by A.M. (last edited Apr 04, 2017 03:16PM) (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Who Is A.M. Justice?

I'm an award-winning author of science fantasy from Brooklyn, New York. Although I spend most of my days at my keyboard, I love the outdoors and am happiest donning dive gear and swimming over coral reefs, looking for the creatures hiding within them. I recently visited Thailand, and if you visit my Instagram page, you'll see some photos of that trip along with Eric Clapton's last concert, some family fun, and the amazing Women's March on Washington DC: https://www.instagram.com/amjusticeau...


message 3: by A.M. (last edited Apr 06, 2017 08:53PM) (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments

I won this award in the science fiction/fantasy category for a short story entitled "The Weight of Bliss." The story will be published on the Writers Digest website in June 2016, but if you collect my Grab Bag during the CyCon, you can read it as a PDF.


message 4: by Wordwizard (new)

Wordwizard (wordwizardw) | 29 comments Dear A.M. Justice (Is that short for I AM JUSTICE?):

Will it be available in a Kindle-format? My Kindle will not play nicely with PDFs.


message 5: by A.M. (last edited Apr 04, 2017 03:34PM) (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Why Do I Write Science Fantasy?

I love stories about people living somewhere else: another time, another place, another world--the farther removed from my time and world, the better. I've never liked contemporary fiction. Growing up, while the other girls were reading Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, I was devouring Lord of the Rings. Now my reading tastes lean toward historical novels (the farther back, the better) as well as science fiction and fantasy.

But, I'm also a professional science writer. In fact, I spend most of my time writing about the evidence base of medicine. I like to know why things happen, even in fantasy where it's magic! is often the only explanation. So when I began writing my own fantasies, I wanted a plausible, science-based explanation for my characters' powers as well as their presence on another world. A lost space colony setting provides the perfect foundation for my work.


message 6: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Wordwizard wrote: "Dear A.M. Justice (Is that short for I AM JUSTICE?):

Will it be available in a Kindle-format? My Kindle will not play nicely with PDFs."


Right now it's only formatted as a PDF but if I have time before the CyCon starts, I'll try to make a Kindle version. Thanks for the suggestion!


message 7: by Wordwizard (new)

Wordwizard (wordwizardw) | 29 comments Dear A.M.:

I appreciate Fantasy where the magic has a plausible set of rules and limitations. That's what makes it fun, rather than hand-waving. What you write is the best kind of Fantasy. However, just the same, how does that make it SCIENCE Fantasy? The two words are still contradictory, even if the magic is based on pseudo-science, or sounds sciencey, but defies what we know. Either something fits within what we can (try to) scientifically explain, backed by evidence and experiments, or it does not, and is fantasy. What say you?


message 8: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Wordwizard wrote: "Dear A.M. Justice (Is that short for I AM JUSTICE?):

Will it be available in a Kindle-format? My Kindle will not play nicely with PDFs."


Oh, "A.M. Justice" is my real name. The initials stand for Amanda Merri. It'd be totally awesome if I wrote mysteries or Westerns!


message 9: by Wordwizard (new)

Wordwizard (wordwizardw) | 29 comments Dear A.M.:

It might be, but writing fine Speculative Fiction is better than letting you name force your genre! Austin Dragon writes both SF and Fantasy, but refuses to write about dragons, BECAUSE of his (real) name.


message 10: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Wordwizard wrote: "Dear A.M.:

I appreciate Fantasy where the magic has a plausible set of rules and limitations. That's what makes it fun, rather than hand-waving. What you write is the best kind of Fantasy. However..."


Great question. Anne McCaffrey used to insist her Pern series was science fiction, not fantasy, even though it was always classified as fantasy because it involved animals called dragons and the tech was pre-industrial. However, I always agreed with her that her Pern stories were scifi, not fantasy.

Where does that put my books? Well, my characters do have supernatural powers (most are telepathic and two have telekinetic abilities). The latter has a biological explanation: there's a neurologic parasite called the Woern that confers telekinesis on people who survive being infected with it. In my world, telepathy is a learned skill, although the world's scholars (ie, me, the author) believe it may have originated from a more benign Woern-like species that is now endemic in the human population.

So because my "magic" system has a scientific rather than a mystical explanation, I tend to fall into McCaffrey's camp and insist that my work isn't fantasy at all, but science fiction. However, many hard science fiction readers wouldn't accept my story as genuine scifi because of the pre-industrial tech. So, it's partly a marketing thing.

All that said, if you're still with me, check out the definitions of science fantasy on http://scifan.org. Also check back here because starting Friday I'll post links to blogs I've written about my influences.


message 11: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Where Can You Find Me?

Besides the Goodreads links above, you can find me at:

My website: http://www.amjusticeauthor.com
My blog: https://amjusticeauthor.wordpress.com
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AMJusticeaut...
My Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/AMJusticeWrites
My Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amjusticeau...
My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amjusticeau...


message 12: by A.M. (last edited Apr 04, 2017 07:46PM) (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments What Else Have I Written?


A Kindle Short called "The Coward of Maldon" is based on an Old English epic poem called The Battle of Maldon, which chronicles a historic battle between the Saxons and the Vikings in the late 800s. Godric, the coward of Maldon, panicked and left the field on the Saxon leader's horse, which their countrymen took as a signal to retreat. As a result, the Saxons lost. My story is about how Godric deals with the consequences of his actions.

The Woern Saga
A Wizard's Forge is the first book in a series called The Woern Saga. The second book in the series, A Wizard's Sacrifice, will be out in late 2018.


Insider's Trivia: The Woern Saga is a reboot of a series called The Woern Chronicles. Those books are out of print, but you can still read their reviews here on Goodreads.


message 13: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Grab Bag

During the B2BCyCon, you can drop by my website (http://www.amjusticeauthor.com) and collect your Grab Bag. What's inside? Go to my website to find out!


message 14: by Wordwizard (new)

Wordwizard (wordwizardw) | 29 comments "Where does that put my books? Well, my characters do have supernatural powers (most are telepathic and two have telekinetic abilities). The latter has a biological explanation: there's a neurologic parasite called the Woern that confers telekinesis on people who survive being infected with it. In my world, telepathy is a learned skill, although the world's scholars (ie, me, the author) believe it may have originated from a more benign Woern-like species that is now endemic in the human population.

So because my "magic" system has a scientific rather than a mystical explanation, I tend to fall into McCaffrey's camp and insist that my work isn't fantasy at all, but science fiction. However, many hard science fiction readers wouldn't accept my story as genuine scifi because of the pre-industrial tech. So, it's partly a marketing thing."

I don't consider a pseudo-scientific explanation for supernatural powers sufficient to make something into Science Fiction. There's no realistic mechanism by which a parasite could confer telekinetic abilities, since there's no plausible mechanism by which telekinetic powers could work, period. Likewise telepathy. Pre-industrial tech is still tech that actually works according to an scientific understanding of the world, so that doesn't bother me.


message 15: by A.M. (last edited Apr 05, 2017 08:13AM) (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Wordwizard wrote: ""I don't consider a pseudo-scientific explanation for supernatural powers sufficient to make something into Science Fiction. There's no realistic mechanism by which a parasite could confer telekinetic abilities, since there's no plausible mechanism by which telekinetic powers could work, period. Likewise telepathy."

Love this discussion!

True, there's no realistic or plausible explanation for any known parasite to confer any special mental abilities, which is another reason to justify putting my book into the science fantasy genre. However, many science fiction tropes aren't terribly well rooted in known science. There are now theoretical models supporting warp drives (http://www.iflscience.com/space/nasa-...), but when authors first started writing about space travel, no one thought faster than light travel was remotely possible. To my knowledge there's still no plausible foundation for the transporters in Star Trek or for Doctor Who's TARDIS with its more or less unlimited power to hop around in time and space. And let's not forget that the communicators in the original Star Trek series seemed pretty miraculous back in 1966, yet we all carry one in our pocket now.

Jumping back to my parasites, let's just pretend/accept that our current world has genuine mentalists who can bend spoons and read minds (most if not all these people are probably charlatans, but I'll accept the possibility that these abilities could be real). There are organisms that can cause drastic changes in brain function, such as prions that cause Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (mad cow disease in humans), and syphilis that causes dementia. These conditions are obviously detrimental, but their existence still allows us to posit another organism that could enhance the mechanisms that permit mentalists to read minds and bend spoons (if again, we accept the spoon benders' abilities are real). So, I would counter that there is a plausible biological explanation for my alien neurologic symbionts (the Woern are native to another planet) to confer telekinesis and/or telepathy.


message 16: by A.M. (last edited Apr 05, 2017 08:32AM) (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Vote for Vic in the B2BCyCon Character Tournament!




Victoria of Ourtown, aka Vic the Blade, is the protagonist of A Wizard's Forge, and she's as badass as they come. Here's her entry in the B2BCyCon Character Tournament (https://b2bcycon.com/character-tourna...

Imagine this read by the narrator of the "Most Interesting Man" commercials:

She is…the most powerful woman in her world.

Her name is Victoria of Ourtown, but people call her Vic the Blade.

She can manipulate matter with her mind and once destroyed an entire mountain.

She studied ancient history as a child, earning the title ‘Logkeeper’ at age 15.

By 20 she’d become a warrior renowned for her ruthlessness.

She once used a dagger to carve her own declaration of independence into the chest of an enemy soldier.

Her nemesis held her captive in a tower; she escaped by jumping through a portal, believing it would kill her but thinking death was better than life as his slave.

She acquired her telekinetic powers from a society of 18-foot-tall intelligent insects.

She talks to trees, and they answer.

One day in the future, she’ll change the past.

She doesn’t always drink ale, but when she does, it’s with a gifted minstrel, who is also a prince.


Biographical Details
Age: 20 years
Current Occupation: Captain in the Lathan Army
Past Occupations: Logkeeper (a scholar of ancient history), sex slave
Professional Skills: Blade work, dueling, reconnaissance, assassination, military tactics
Hobbies: building invisible walls, memorizing ancient lore, reading, listening to music (especially songs by a certain prince)
Relationship Status: Single, though not for long if the prince can convince her otherwise

Gender: Female
Race: Human - Pale Complexion
Eye Color: Hazel to Green
Hair Color: Red
Weapon of Choice: Dagger
Home of Origin: Ourtown, a remote town in the far north of Knownearth
Special Abilities: Telekinesis, woodcraft, ancient history scholarship

Voting starts April 6 at 4 pm EDT: https://b2bcycon.com/character-tourna...


message 17: by A.M. (last edited Apr 06, 2017 08:58PM) (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Vote for the cover of A Wizard's Forge in the B2BCyCon Cover Wars!




Curious how this gorgeous cover, designed by Steven Meyer-Rassow, came to be? I wrote about it on my blog:

"Long ago, when I first imagined what the cover of this book would look like, I wanted the focal point to be Vic’s hair. I envisioned it flowing down her shoulders and twisting into the point of the totemic dagger that symbolizes her quest for vengeance. The novel, after all, chronicles Vic’s unlikely transformation from a bookish teenage girl to the most powerful and dangerous person on her planet. It also has some thematic roots in the Grimms’ “Rapunzel,” so the hair also has its own totemic symbolism.

The final cover is better than that, because it captures Vic’s grit, determination, and general bad-assery, as well as suggests her transformation isn’t easy. It’s hot and hard; it’s painful, and it’s going to leave scars."


Read the rest here: https://amjusticeauthor.wordpress.com...

Vote in Cover Wars here: https://brackify.com/bracket/3529/B2B...


message 18: by Wordwizard (last edited Apr 05, 2017 07:18PM) (new)

Wordwizard (wordwizardw) | 29 comments I repeat:
"I don't consider a pseudo-scientific explanation for supernatural powers sufficient to make something into Science Fiction. There's no realistic mechanism by which a parasite could confer telekinetic abilities, since there's no plausible mechanism by which telekinetic powers could work, period. Likewise telepathy."

You write:
"let's just pretend/accept that our current world has genuine mentalists who can bend spoons and read minds (most if not all these people are probably charlatans, but I'll accept the possibility that these abilities could be real). "

I don't accept that. There is NO evidence that any spoon benders are anything but charlatans. Honest magicians know how it's done, and are ALWAYS able to debunk them.

You write:
"There are organisms that can cause drastic changes in brain function, such as prions that cause Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (mad cow disease in humans), and syphilis that causes dementia. These conditions are obviously detrimental, but their existence still allows us to posit another organism that could enhance the mechanisms that permit mentalists to read minds and bend spoons (if again, we accept the spoon benders' abilities are real)."

That mixes up two things.
#1, accepting that spoon bending could be real (which I don't) means an organism could give us telepathy and spoon bending—which does not follow, and
#2 That an organism's ability to mess up the complex organization of the brain Someone could (theoretically) mess up your brain with a pick-axe, but could a pick-axe or a pick-axe wielder give you magical powers?

You write:
"To my knowledge there's still no plausible foundation for the transporters in Star Trek or for Doctor Who's TARDIS with its more or less unlimited power to hop around in time and space. "

True. That makes both Star Trek and Doctor Who fantasy. I don't believe Doctor Who ever claimed to be SF. Star Trek was designed to be a Wagon Train to the Stars.


message 19: by Jamie (new)

Jamie (JamieJJ) | 1 comments I have a general question about writing! What advice do you have for someone who has a lot of ideas but needs some direction on getting started? I know there's no "correct" answer, but any advice or hints would be great! How do you start when you have a big idea?


message 20: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Jamie wrote: "I have a general question about writing! What advice do you have for someone who has a lot of ideas but needs some direction on getting started? I know there's no "correct" answer, but any advice o..."

The short answer is, start writing! The longer answer is, figure out whether you're a plotter or a pantser. There is no "right" way to write, but plotters, who write outlines first, are often more efficient writers, while pantsers can take longer but may have the flexibility to follow the plot down cool avenues they think of on the fly while actually writing. Personally, I lean more toward pantsing--I totally wing it through my first drafts but I may actually outline the second draft if the plot goes off the rails.

But, bottom line, whether your writing begins with an outline or just a spill of words onto the page, START and don't stop. Even if your first paragraph, scene, chapter, dozen chapters are HORRIBLE, don't stop writing, and don't let the voice inside telling you, "this is shit," stop you from getting the ideas out of your head and onto the page. Once you start writing, those ideas will start to take shape, and you can keep molding them and molding them until you have something you're proud of. I think that's important: to remember you can FIX anything you write, so don't let the fear of it sucking stop you from starting.


message 21: by Aaron-Michael (new)

Aaron-Michael Hall | 10 comments This looks intriguing and I LOVE the cover!


message 22: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Aaron-Michael wrote: "This looks intriguing and I LOVE the cover!"

Thank you! Don't forget to vote for the cover in Cover Wars--see above post for the link. :)


message 23: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Aaron-Michael wrote: "This looks intriguing and I LOVE the cover!"

And, a digital copy of A Wizard's Forge is in my Grab Bag on my website: http://www.amjusticeauthor.com


message 24: by Aaron-Michael (new)

Aaron-Michael Hall | 10 comments Awesome! Thank you!


message 25: by R.M. (new)

R.M. Mulder | 8 comments Wordwizard wrote: "I repeat:
"I don't consider a pseudo-scientific explanation for supernatural powers sufficient to make something into Science Fiction. There's no realistic mechanism by which a parasite could confe..."


@Wordwizard - Science Fantasy Genre Manager here. If you have questions about what Science Fantasy is, please go to http://definition.SciFan.org
The term was coined in the early 1950s and has been suppressed. Science Fantasy is not new, it has simply evolved. For further information, please visit http://subgenres.SciFan.org where you can learn more about specific subgenres and how a story qualifies under the genre of Science Fantasy. We further invite you to explore our Genre Tour at https://scifanfic.wordpress.com/2017/...
I hope this helps answer your many questions!


message 26: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine | 53 comments Thank you for the GrabBag :)
A Wizard's Forge sounds interesting.


message 27: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Lorraine wrote: "Thank you for the GrabBag :)
A Wizard's Forge sounds interesting."


Thanks Lorraine. I hope you enjoy it.


message 28: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments A Wizard's Forge Reviews



A Wizard's Forge has earned rave reviews! You can find my favorites on my website, or see the full spectrum of the good, the bad, and the ugly (yep, some of those too) by looking at AWF's Goodreads page: A Wizard's Forge


message 29: by Ame (new)

Ame Terra | 29 comments A.M. wrote: "Vote for Vic in the B2BCyCon Character Tournament!




Victoria of Ourtown, aka Vic the Blade, is the protagonist of A Wizard's Forge, and she's as badass as they come. Here's her entry in the B2BC..."


Love the name. Vic the Blade sure does sound like a badass and so does her description.


message 30: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Justice | 24 comments Ame wrote: "A.M. wrote: "Vote for Vic in the B2BCyCon Character Tournament!




Victoria of Ourtown, aka Vic the Blade, is the protagonist of A Wizard's Forge, and she's as badass as they come. Here's her entr..."


Thanks, Ame!


back to top

154267

Brain to Books Cyber Convention (FAIRGROUNDS)

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

A Wizard's Forge (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

A.M. Justice (other topics)