Monday, December 31, 2012

The Old Year Ends; A New Begins

by Stephanie Osborn

I wanted to do something kind of special for this New Year's Eve. When I discovered the poem below by the celebrated William Cullen Bryant (who may or may not have been my kinsman), I knew I had found my "something special." Sit back, sip a cup of something hot and soothing, and reminisce over the year 2012, as you read this lovely, thoughtful goodbye.


A Song for New Year's Eve

by William Cullen Bryant

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay— 
     Stay till the good old year, 
So long companion of our way, 
     Shakes hands, and leaves us here. 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong, 
     Has now no hopes to wake; 
Yet one hour more of jest and song 
     For his familiar sake. 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One mirthful hour, and then away.  

The kindly year, his liberal hands 
     Have lavished all his store. 
And shall we turn from where he stands, 
     Because he gives no more? 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One grateful hour, and then away.  

Days brightly came and calmly went, 
     While yet he was our guest; 
How cheerfully the week was spent! 
     How sweet the seventh day's rest! 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One golden hour, and then away.  

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep 
     Beneath the coffin-lid: 
What pleasant memories we keep 
     Of all they said and did! 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One tender hour, and then away.  

Even while we sing, he smiles his last, 
     And leaves our sphere behind. 
The good old year is with the past; 
     Oh be the new as kind! 
          Oh stay, oh stay, 
One parting strain, and then away.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Thoughts

by Stephanie Osborn

It's Christmas week, and my family and I will be celebrating it together, as we have ever since I can remember. Each Christmas Eve night, my father gets down his Bible and reads the Christmas passage from either Luke or Matthew. It's a tradition in my family, and a very special time. This is, after all, what Christmas means - the word derives from "Christ Mass." Yes, yes, I know that it's celebrated at the time of the winter solstice, and I know that many of our customs and traditions have their origins in pagan festivals of the season. I know that Jesus almost certainly wasn't born at this time of the year.

But it turns out that one theory may be able to place the arrival of the Magi at this season, during the Jewish celebration of Chanukah, no less. And one of the passages I mentioned provides data from that theory. And so I thought that I'd share my family custom with you by "reading" that passage with you.

* * *


Matthew 2

King James Version (KJV)
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

* * *

To my family, my friends, and my fans, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, God Jul. Peace on Earth, and goodwill to men.

-Stephanie Osborn
Christmas Eve 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Excerpt - The Case of the Cosmological Killer: Endings and Beginnings

Time for a Christmas giftie to my fans! Book Four of the Displaced Detective series, The Case of the Cosmological Killer: Endings and Beginnings, is now available in print, just in time for the holidays! Here's a peek inside!
-Stephanie Osborn
Chapter 1
Skye was sleeping peacefully in their bed in Gibson House, and Sherlock was deep in her hyperdimensional equations, reviewing them with all the grey matter he possessed, when a whiff of ozone reached his nostrils.

“Good day to you both,” he said into the air without raising his head. “How are matters progressing?”

“We have hopes,” his own voice came back to him. “The experiment devised by the firm of Chadwick & Chadwick, Limited, looks to prove successful.” Holmes’ voice was tinged with humor. “Or perhaps I should say, Chadwick & Chadwick-Holmes, Limited.”

“I am glad to hear it,” Sherlock said softly.

“Speaking of Skye, where is she?” Chadwick wondered. “I wanted to give her the experimental setup and double-check for updates. We told her we’d come back at this time.”

“Oh, I am sorry. I am afraid she did not mention that,” Sherlock raised his head and shot a regretful but firm glance in the direction of the voices, knowing that the other Holmes would read his thought in his expression. “She is in bed, soundly asleep. She worked most of the night and barely ate at all today. I finally convinced her to take tea with me, and then discovered she was too inflexible to even stand upright. She permitted me to manipulate her musculature sufficient to release the kinks, but by the time I had done so, she was in a deep sleep. She is nigh exhausted.”

* * *
“Damn,” Chadwick breathed.
“He has a point, Chadwick,” Holmes observed quietly, referring to the refusal to awaken Skye he had noted in the other man’s face. “It does us
no good if she exhausts herself on our behalf, and falls short of the mark when her body and mind cannot take any more.”
“I know,” Chadwick agreed. “That’s what I meant, not, ‘damn, she didn’t get the work done.’ She’s me, remember? And she’s pushing herself as hard as I do.”
“It appears so,” Holmes agreed. “And that is saying quite a bit.”

* * *

“Is that her work you were looking over?” Chadwick asked Sherlock.

“It is,” Sherlock admitted.

“Can you make anything of it?” Holmes wondered.

“I can,” Sherlock confirmed. “And it looks good, insofar as it goes. But it is incomplete. And as I have not been in this continuum as long as you have been in yours, I do not have sufficient knowledge of the science as yet to consider even attempting to complete it for her.”

“You are the expert here, Chadwick,” Holmes admitted somewhat grudgingly. “What do you wish to do?”

“Might I make a suggestion?” Sherlock offered.

“Please,” Chadwick said.

“Dial back in around noon tomorrow,” Sherlock advised. “It will not delay your experiment overmuch; for you, it is a matter of minutes. And this will give Skye time to ‘catch up’ her sleep—she has slept scarcely more than ten or twelve hours total in some three days—and I will see to it that she eats properly whenever she awakens. Then she will have the morning to complete her calculations here,” he waved the notebook at them, “and she can give them to you at noon, then eat lunch.”

“Ha! I know what you are doing,” Holmes discerned with amusement. “Just as I—just as we—once managed Watson’s finances to ensure he did not come to ruin, you are taking control of her schedule to ensure she obtains adequate rest and nourishment. I have been known to do that once or twice with Chadwick, here.”
“And, I would suspect,” Sherlock retorted with the faintest hint of a smile, “she has likely done the same with you, on more than one occasion.”
“She has,” Holmes admitted, and this time Sherlock did not hear begrudging in the other man’s tone. “We four can become amazingly single-minded when need drives us.”
“Indeed,” Sherlock nodded.
There was a brief silence, and Sherlock could picture Chadwick gazing at Holmes with a sort of grateful, wistful expression.

Open your eyes, man, and see the treasure you have in front of you, before it is too late, he thought with some vehemence.

Eventually Chadwick spoke again, and this time there was a soft smile in her voice.
“That sounds like a plan, Mr. Holmes, and we’ll follow it. Tell Skye we’ll see her at noon tomorrow. Meanwhile, you take good care of her, okay?”
“As much as in me lies,” Sherlock nodded.
“Which is considerable,” Chadwick chuckled.
The air crackled, another surge of ozone wafted through the room, and they were gone.
Hope you enjoyed it, and check out my website for purchase links as they become available!
-Stephanie Osborn

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sarah Hoyt's Darkship Renegades!

by Stephanie Osborn

So what is Sarah Hoyt's Darkship Renegades, you ask?

Why, it's the eagerly-awaited sequel to the Prometheus Award Winning Darkship Thieves, in which Thena discovers the worst tyranny might be one that happens so slowly you never rebel, and also that home is the place you’ll fight for. (With burner battles, spaceships, a hot red-headed girl engineer and a mad cyborg.)

According to Baen's website:

After rescuing her star pilot husband and discovering the dark secret of her own past on Earth, Athena Hera Sinistra returns to space habitat Eden to start life anew. Not happening. Thena and Kit are placed under arrest for the crime of coming back alive. The only escape from a death sentence: return to Earth and bring back the lost secret to creating the Powertrees, the energy source of both Eden and Earth whose technological secrets have been lost to war. But that mission is secondary to a greater imperative. Above all else, Thena must not get caught. If she does, then suicide is to be the only option.

With the odds heavily stacked against not only success, but survival, Thena comes to understand what her cynical accusers do not: it is not merely one woman's life on the line anymore. For it's on Earth where the adventure truly begins, and a secret is discovered that must be revealed and exploited, else humanity's days are most certainly numbered. Thena realizes that what is truly at stake is the fate of Eden and Earth alike, the continuance of the darkship fleet—and freedom for all in the Solar System—and beyond.
 The cover art is as cool as the book, and is by David Mattingly.

Wanna buy the first one, Darkship Thieves? That's here. Unless you want it in ebook format, and that's here.

To buy Darkship Renegades, go here for print, and here for ebook.

Now, if you want something REALLY cool, I have authorization from Sarah to have a contest for a Darkship Renegades t-shirt! There won't be very many of these, folks, so this is primo! It's going to be a trivia contest. Send your entries to!

Here we go:

  1. Name at least one book I have co-authored with Travis S. Taylor. (points for more than one)
  2. Name at least one book I have co-authored with Darrell Bain. (points for more than one)
  3. Name the artist who does the covers for almost all my books.
  4. Name another book of Sarah A. Hoyt's that is NOT one of the Darkship books. (points for more than one)
  5. Name my three principal publishers.
  6. Name one fiction book I have written entirely by myself. (points for more than one)
  7. Name one nonfiction book I have written entirely by myself. (points for more than one)
  8. What series did Travis start, but I am finishing?
  9. On what television show does Travis star?
  10. What network is it on?
  11. In what city does Sarah live?
  12. What is the song based on my hometown?
  13. Name one genre other than SF in which Sarah writes. (points for more than one)
  14. Name another author Travis has collaborated with. (points for more than one)
  15. Give one of Sarah's pen names. (points for more than one)
Remember, copy, paste, answer, and send to ! All entries must be sent before Christmas Eve!

-Stephanie Osborn

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

by Stephanie Osborn

I was recently tagged as part of The Next Big Thing, a writers' blog journey, by Herika Raymer. Her blog can be found at She, in turn, was tagged by Selah Janel, at

As per Herika, who gave it to me:

Hey there! Here are the questions for The Next Big Thing...your post will go up not this Monday, but next Monday. :)

Rules of the Next Big Thing

***Use this format for your post

***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)

***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Well, this could keep me busy for awhile, since I have several works in progress.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

1) What is the working title of your book?
Work in progress #1 is book 4 of the Cresperian Saga, and the working title is Heritage.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
Travis Taylor and Darrell Bain started the series, and I've inherited it, so I'm kind of following along from there as best I understand it.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Science fiction – military science fiction, mostly.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
That's a good question. I think that Robert Downey Jr. would probably do a very good job of the male lead in this book (each book has different “stars” in the same universe and events). Maybe Reese Witherspoon for the female lead. She has the right “pixie-ish” look for how I envision that character.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“Earth's first contact wasn't quite what we thought.”

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither. I will deal directly with the publisher, Twilight Times Books.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Heh. I'm still working on it! As I “inherited” it, it's proving a bit more difficult to write than I would have expected. Finding my own footing in that world, my own ideas, and making them work within someone else's world can be hard.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Oy. These questions.
Probably some of Travis Taylor's work, since he started the series, and I'm trying to keep it in a similar vein. Also he and I have comparable writing styles.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I would say Nikola Tesla. I've been using a lot of Tesla's concepts in the series once I stepped into it.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This one actually HAS Tesla in it!

* * *

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing, Take Two:

1) What is the working title of your book?
Work in progress #2 is book 5 of the Displaced Detective series, and the working title is A Case of Spontaneous Combustion. Work in progress #3 is book 6, A Little Matter of Earthquakes, and #4 is book 7, The Adventure of Shining Mountain Lodge, which is complete but being polished.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
You know, I really don't know where the Displaced Detective books are coming from. I get these ideas and they just sort of develop on their own. The characters are so real to me, I just have to watch how they react and then describe what I “see and hear.”

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Science fiction and mystery. A touch of action, a hint of thriller, a soupรงon of romance.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Johnny Lee Miller, the Sherlock Holmes of CBS' Elementary series, looks a lot like how I envision “my” Holmes. But he'd need to clean up a bit. My Holmes is clean-shaven, neat and tidy.
To play Skye Chadwick? That's tougher. Cameron Diaz is about the right age and height, I think. I'm not sure if she's how I “see” Skye or not, but she could do the part readily enough.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Let's go with series instead of book. “Sherlock Holmes meets the X-Files.”

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Sullivan-Maxx Literary Agency represents the Displaced Detective books.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Heh. I'm still working on books 5 & 6! I don't recall how long it took on book 7.
Now, if you're talking about the very first book of the series, that's different. I wrote a 215,000 rough draft in two months. A normal novel length is about 80,000-100,000 words. We ended up breaking it into two volumes, The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival and The Case of the Displaced Detective: At Speed. When the plot bunny bites, I can but write.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That would be kind of hard. Not a lot of people blend science fiction and mystery in the way that I do. That's not to say that the two genres haven't been blended; they have and quite effectively by some of the grand masters. But none of them seem to have quite my “take” on such things. Maybe someone else could come up with a comparison, but off the top of my head, I can't.

My hope is to, using my own style, evoke a hint of Conan Doyle in the background, though. I even go to the extreme of having Holmes' dialogue and thoughts written in British English, as well as any other Brit characters, such as the MI5 lot. It gets confusing from time to time, but I have a great editor who understands and likes what I'm doing with it, and she's a huge help.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I've been a Sherlock Holmes fan since I was a kid. I started this whole series with the concept of, “What if?” What if Holmes got dragged into an alternate future and couldn't go home again? What would he do? How would he react? How far can the great detective stretch before he breaks? What sorts of things would he be interested in? So really the reader should be aware that these books are character-driven as much as plot/science-driven. I'm constantly adding things to poke around in Holmes' psyche, so don't expect to just jump into the usual action, and expect an extended denoument as Holmes and Skye [Chadwick, the co-protagonist] wind down and assimilate matters after a case.

10) What else about your book(s) might pique the reader’s interest?
Holmes has found, in Dr. Skye Chadwick, a woman who is his equal in almost every respect, and whom he can trust completely into the bargain; a woman that he can, and does, make an integral part of his life.

* * *
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing, Take 3:

1) What is your working title of your book?
Well, this one is my (counts on fingers) fifth work in progress, and it's the sequel to Burnout, tentatively titled Escape Velocity.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
From the realization that, after the Columbia disaster, I couldn't let the story end in Burnout, couldn't let it be a one-shot. I had to create some sort of closure.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Science fiction and mystery, once again. I have a tendency to like combining those two genres. Strong element of suspense and thriller too. A good mystery has to have some suspense, in my opinion.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
When I was originally writing it, I had in mind a whole cast of characters – Tommy Lee Jones for Crash Murphy, Hugo Weaving for Dr. Mike Anders, Sissy Spacek for Gayle, and so on. The movie project for Burnout is probably going to go with a revamp and younger actors; that's out of my hands now.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“If you don't take 'em out the first time, better keep looking over your shoulder.”

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither. It's already under contract to Twilight Times Books.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
How is it a work in progress if I've finished it...? Still working. Taking awhile, unfortunately, because of my own emotional involvement in the Columbia disaster, and the fact I worked in the space program for so many years. Please be patient; I WILL get there.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Well, Burnout got compared to Michael Crichton, E. E. “Doc” Smith, and Robert Heinlein. I'm not sure what to draw out of all that.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Well, like I said earlier, I wrote Burnout, and then lost a friend aboard the Columbia disaster, which Burnout predicted in detail saving that the real historical event was truly an accident, and the fictional disaster was sabotage. I had planned – up to that point – to make Burnout a standalone novel, but after the disaster I couldn't do it. I had to have, needed to have, more closure than the end of the book provided. And so I decided to keep on writing the story and see what happened.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Oh, there are always surprises when I write a mystery...

I'm tagging Maria De Vivo, Leia Barrett Durham, Grady Glover, and Dellani Oakes!

-Stephanie Osborn

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A New American Space Plan launches!

by Stephanie Osborn

On November 27, Travis Taylor, Pete Erbach, and Rog Jones of the Rocket City Rednecks appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno! Among other things they did, they promoted the new book, A New American Space Plan, by Travis S. Taylor with Stephanie Osborn!

Now, Travis is one of my best buddies. He's also my writing mentor and (obviously) occasionally co-author. We communicate one way or another not infrequently.

That sneak Travis did not EVEN tell me!

I am SO EXCITED!!!!!!!

Per one of my publishers November 29th: "Now # 4 in Aeronautics & Astronautics and # 9 in Astrophysics & Space Science. # 45 in Physics"

I checked, and found it was currently #29 in ALL of Science & Math! It had moved up to #3 in Aeronautics & Astronautics! (My old friend and colleague Homer Hickam had the #1 spot there, I'm pleased to say.)

We're still high on the lists! Travis will be appearing on Fox & Friends Monday morning about 8-ish, and will be promoting the book there too! Look for him and our book!

Folks, let's keep getting the word out! I think we have a science best-seller on our hands!

To purchase, go here!

-Stephanie Osborn