We’re so pleased to welcome authors Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen to The Novel Approach today on their blog tour for Skip Trace, book three in their sci-fi series Chaos Station.
Enjoy their guest post and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget to enter for the chance at some great prizes (details below).
Inventors by Necessity
Part of creating a sci-fi setting is coming up with cool futuristic stuff. This is a fun thing—but also kind of a stressful one. See, I’m not a scientist. I’ve never wanted to be a scientist or an inventor. I have a rudimentary knowledge of how various things work, like car engines, the internet, computers, etc. But as a writer of sci-fi, I also need to become an inventor of things that aren’t possible…but might be. Someday.
For the Chaos Station series, which is set about 250 years in the future, Kelly and I wanted to have tech that readers could relate to. Here are a few of our inventions.
Wallets – Similar to today’s smartphones, but more—they handle credit transfers as well as communications. Wallets are made of flexible plastic so they can be folded into a user’s pocket, but then unfolded to present a large surface for holographic manipulation.
Smart fiber technology (SFT) – Most clothes have SFT, which uses nanotech to break down dirt and sweat particles to keep fabric looking nice and clean. This cuts down on the need for in-space clothes laundering.
Active tattoos – Ink for tattoos is no longer static; tattoos can be imbued with motion, lights, changing colour, etc.
Jazer – Expensive and very secure point-to-point communications that have no lag in transmission time.
One of the biggest challenges for our world is the limitations placed on people and technology because of jump-space. J-space is the quickest way to travel between two points in space (think a wrinkle in a string), but it’s a different reality and therefore has different rules. Anything that is too delicate can’t survive in j-space—for example, fruit needs a special container, or it will turn to mush.
The biggest drawback of j-space, though, is how it interferes with biotech. Humanity has the knowledge and capability to replace lost limbs with cybernetics, or to outfit people with implants that allow the user to interface directly with computers, but this tech is too delicate for j-space. Implants and cybernetic limbs will short out as soon as a ship jumps, possibly damaging more than just the limb or implant itself. This limitation has influenced the development of the Chaos Station world (and actually plays a big part in book 4!).
What are some of your favourite sci-fi inventions? Alternatively, what tech do you hope will become available in the future?
Blurb: Zander Anatolius has been revived from the fatal effects of the super-soldier program, but now he has to face his estranged family and tell a story few would believe. With his lover and the crew of the Chaos at his side, Zander returns home to a media frenzy, threats from the military and pressure to join the family business.
Felix Ingesson still struggles with the horror of believing Zander dead. And no matter how strong their emotional connection is, Felix feels out of place in the glittery world of Zander’s rich family. His lover would be better off without a broken, low-class ship’s engineer holding him back.
When the crew receives word that another of Zander’s former teammates needs rescue, Felix travels with the Chaos…setting Zander free. But when Zander is arrested for treason, the men realize they need each other as much as ever—not only to survive, but to make their lives worth living.
Bio: Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.
The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.
Prize: The first two books in the Chaos Station series, Chaos Station and Lonely Shore, and a $10 gift card to your favorite online bookseller.
Signing up for our newsletter gives access to our free Chaos Station story, “Graduation”.
Terms: Two prizes. Rafflecopter runs from 12:00 AM EST 10/05/2015 to 12:00 AM EST 10/09/2015. Giveaway is open internationally. Gift card value is US dollars. Winners will be contacted via email. If a winner already has one or both of the books, gift card value will be increased to $15 USD.
The Fine Print:
*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law