Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Far Horizon - Patty Jansen

The Far HorizonKindle Price:
Of all the things ten-year-old Cory Wilson expects to do when he moves to Midway Space Station, saving aliens from humans isn't one. An important conference is about to start at the station, not usually the sort of thing kids care about, not even when the conference is between humans and aliens, and half your family is alien. However, when bullies tease Cory, he ends up in a prohibited area where he overhears some men planning to plant a bomb at the conference. Because the terrorists hide their messages in computer games, no one believes Cory, not even his father, the station director. Kids at school think he’s crazy, some even think aliens should be bombed. The conference starts, the aliens have brought a very important person, and Cory's teacher, one of the terrorists, locks Cory in the classroom. Can he get out in time? If he does, will anyone listen?

Besides a writer of crazy fantasy and hard Science Fiction, Patty Jansen is slush reader and editor at Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. She blogs at, about writing, about science and about editing and slush piles. Patty is a winner of the second 2010 quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest and has published in the Universe Annex of the Grantville Gazette and has a story forthcoming with Redstone SF.

What will readers like about your book?
I wanted to write a story that highlighted a child’s perspective on life in space. How cool would it be to explore a space station, to get into trouble for doing so, and to see and overhear things that no one expected you to hear? In books, life in space is almost exclusively the domain of serious adults. Playful children have little place there. But when we consider settlement in space, there will inevitably be children.
This book is about that experience. It is about kicking against the clique mentality of closed communities, about making friends where you never thought you would find any. While I wrote this with readers of 8-13 years in age in mind, I also slipped in some references that adults might enjoy

Why did you self publish?
I decided to self-publish because I always knew I would do it. I've done it before, in non-fiction, of the full-colour, print-in-Hong-Kong and market to bookshops variety. I quite liked that experience, and self-publishing online is just SO much easier. You have no idea.

Anyway, I made an agreement with myself that I wouldn't self-publish until I had some solid writerly credentials. In the SF/F genre, that means, until you've made sales that qualify you for SFWA membership. I did, and so here I am.

One of the very good things about self-publishing is that although I would still be interested in a traditional book deal, it's taken a huge pressure off my mind. Before I made those pro-level (short story) sales, I was offered some really crappy book deals with small presses. They asked for everything (including creative and print rights, where the release would be as ebook), and were inflexible about it. It really hurt me to walk away from those contracts.

Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
C.J. Cherryh, Stephen Baxter, Sean Williams, Gregory Benford

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