Review: Barbary Station

When someone pitches a book to you as “lesbian pirates in space,” it’s hard not to be interested especially when you’re talking to someone who writes for Tosche Station. (We have a type here and we’re not sorry.) That’s how Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns was pitched to me: lesbian space pirates along with a side of Firefly. Who wouldn’t be intrigued? If only the book itself had caught me as fast as the premise.

Stearns’ debut novel, Barbary Station, is about two engineers who decide that their best way forward in life is to hijack a spaceship and join a pirate crew. One problem: they don’t know that the pirate crew is stuck on a space station that’s controlled completely by a rogue AI and won’t let anyone leave. That makes it a little tricky for a pirate group to successfully lead a life of crime and profit and it especially makes it hard when the Pirate Captain won’t accept you into as a part of their crew until after you beat the AI thereby freeing them from the station. What could possibly go wrong? (A lot. A lot of things are going to go wrong.) Continue reading

Review: The Serpent’s Head

What happens when a lone hired gun ends up responsible for a trio of children who have lost everything and want revenge?  The Serpent’s Head by Bryan Young is a science-fiction western that asks not only that but so much more in a enjoyable and fun novel that will keep readers turning the page.

The gunslinger known as Twelve comes to the planet of Glycon-Prime looking for work but instead of finding any he stumbles upon Nine Mine City.  It’s your typical frontier town except for one thing: the entire city has been massacred leaving three children as the only survivors.  Twelve soon finds himself caught up in the children’s quest not only for revenge but to rescue Miri, the only other survivor, from the mutant Glicks.

Continue reading

Grant Us The Serenity!

jayne-hatAnd where Joss Whedon and Firefly is concerned, forget your ideas of what fandom can and cannot change and rejoice because they can’t stop the signal.

Dark Horse Comics just announced that their new comic series will pick up where the 2005 movie Serenity left off, with River Tam sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, and Zoe Washburn struggling to adjust to the death of her husband and the realization that she’ll be raising their soon-to-be-born child alone.

Buffy Season 8 artist George Jeanty has been announced as the artist, while the writer and the launch date are still up in the air.

I think this is just shiny.

A.C. Crispin bids farewell to her fans.

150px-TheparadisesnareA.C. Crispin, author of the Star Wars Han Solo Trilogy, posted a farewell to her fans yesterday on  Ann, who has written for a variety of franchises, including Star WarsStar Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as her own original Starbridge universe, made the announcement that her battle with cancer is nearing its end.

Crispin thanked her fans for their support and assured them that she was receiving excellent care, let them know that her husband was collecting messages sent to her, but warned them that she may not have the strength to post to her Facebook or website again.

In addition to being a prolific science-fiction writer, Crispin has also served as the Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and with colleague Victoria Strauss, founded Writer Beware, a offshoot of SFWA that helps writers avoid publishing scams and assists law enforcement in shutting down criminal activity in the publishing world.  She has also been a leader in ensuring female voices and representation among the science-fiction community.

Ann’s Star Wars resume includes the Han Solo trilogy and two short stories, one for both Tales of the Mos Eisley Cantina and Tales from Jabba’s Palace.

Stuff We Love: Welcome to Night Vale

nightvaleImagine Neil Gaiman got drunk and started writing the local dispatches for a small town NPR station.

Welcome to Night Vale.

Here at Tosche Station, we like to bring you the very best of non-Star Wars geekery and flail about the awesomeness of things like Mageworlds and Pacific Rim, in addition to our main mission.  Now we are adding Welcome to Night Vale to our collective list of things to be enthusiastic about.  In June, Welcome to Night Vale overtook NPR’s This American Life to become the #1 most downloaded podcast on iTunes.  (You can listen to NPR’s interview with Night Vale creators Jeffery Cranor and Jeremy Fink here.)

Night Vale has slowly been taking over Tumblr lately.  It’s the second best podcast on iTunes (after Tosche Station Radio, of course), featuring the news and events from Night Vale, a small desert community somewhere in the American Southwest where all sorts of strange things happen.  Narrated by the sonorous tones of Cecil, listeners can keep up with what’s going on around town, what new civic works are opening (like the dog park), public service announcements (people and dogs are not allowed in the dog park), and be reminded that the sheriff’s secret police and a vague, but menacing government agency are always watching.

It may take a few episodes for the humor to truly sink in, but Night Vale also produces a number of incredibly quotable comments that you can then use to torment your friends and relatives, such as “The future is here, and it’s about a hundred feet above the Arby’s”; “Wednesday has been cancelled, due to a scheduling error”; and “ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD” (The Glow Cloud now being the Night Vale school board president).  Citizens of Night Vale include Cecil, the radio broadcaster, Carlos the Scientist with his perfect and beautiful hair, Teddy Williams, owner of the Desert Blossom Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex and its mysterious city under Lane 5, Old Woman Josie and her angels, the Hooded Figures, City Council, and Hiram McDaniels, a 3600 lb. 5-headed dragon currently incarcerated for insurance fraud, among other notables.

If you listen to only one podcast, it should be Tosche Station Radio.  But if you listen to only TWO podcasts and have have a yen for something that might have resulted if H.P. Lovecraft had lived in the American Southwest and had a sense of humor, and you also have about thirty minutes twice a month, then we suggest adding Welcome to Night Vale to your iTunes subscription list.

(Trust us, you won’t regret it.  Until you will.  Good night, dear readers, good night.)

(Also, if you *do* listen to Night Vale and didn’t read this post in Cecil’s voice, you totally should have, because that was completely how I wrote it.  For shame, readers, for shame.)

Kickstart Time Traveled Tales

How would you like a speculative fiction anthology featuring works by authors like Timothy Zahn, Aaron Allston, Mike Stackpole, Janine Spendlove, and Bryan Young? Good news, there’s a Kickstarter for that.

At the $5 level, you’ll get an ebook version of the anthology. At $20, you’ll get the limited Kickstarter edition.

Rogue Squadron Product from Her Universe Incoming?

Working with a staff that’s predominantly female has taught me a few things. One, Her Universe products are amazing. Two, Her Universe should totally get a Rogue Squadron shirt in their lineup. Weeelllll about point two …

If you click on that Instagram link in the embedded tweet above, you’ll see that it appears to be ‘Rogue Squadron’ stenciled over what appears to be a Rebel flak vest.


Want to see this product become reality? Let Ashley know!

Why I Like Science Fiction, by A Woman

This weekend, a Tumblr post appeared on my dash, about the 2009 Star Trek movie. Apparently, during the initial planning meetings, the writers asked themselves how to get women to go see this movie.


Women don’t like sci-fi, get it?

I read this and, understandably, got angry. Why, in 2013, do people still labor under the idea that women don’t like sci-fi? That sci-fi is something for only men to enjoy? That men must somehow trick women into seeing sci-fi movies by inserting story elements that appeal to them?

This is a famous science fiction writer saying this, by the way, not some Joe Schmoe nobody’s ever heard of. Go Google Damon Lindelof if you don’t know who he is. I’ll wait. Now that you know his credentials, one would think that he’s been around long enough not to fall into that old “women don’t like sci-fi” trap, right?

Apparently not.

Continue reading