From the “I” in Facts I Just Made Up:
VALHALLA: An epic sci-fi action novel
Violet MacRae is one of the aimless millions crowding northern Scotland. In the year 2330, where war is obsolete and only brilliant minds are valued, she emerges into adulthood with more brawn than brains and a propensity for violence. People dismiss her as a relic, but world peace is more fragile than they know.
In Valhalla, a clandestine base hidden in an icy ravine, Violet connects with a group of outcasts just like her. There, she learns the skills she needs to keep the world safe from genetically enhanced criminals and traitors who threaten the first friends she’s ever known. She also meets Wulfgar Kray, a genius gang leader who knows her better than she knows herself and who would conquer the world to capture her.
Branded from childhood as a useless barbarian, Violet is about to learn the world needs her exactly as she is.
For sale now at the following locations:
And don’t forget there’s an all-Valhalla blog at the-walrus-squad.tumblr.com!
Does this mean that feeding beef to my dog is forcing him into cannibalism?
No more than if you ate a Canadian.
Right here. Thank you!
The Fate Of The Space Shuttles
With the Space Shuttle program ended, NASA has sold off the shuttle remains on eBay. Having been scraped of all useful equipment, the hulls of these once magnificent vessels have been auctioned to the highest bidders, the Discovery selling for only $1,899.99 to a collector in Texas.
Seen above, the Endeavor’s body was transported by barge to the swamps of Louisiana where it will be refitted as the Gator World tour shuttle. The shuttle Atlantis was sold to Disney World, where it will be repainted and open to tours as part of Tomorrow Land.
This isn’t the first time NASA has sold off its old equipment. The first Saturn V rocket boosters were purchased by Tim Allen for use as the worlds largest grill, which can be seen off of I-70 in Kansas. The Gemini rocket was sold whole to Barbara Hillslanger of Norbit, Illinois for “Personal Uses,” and Skylab itself was bought by Russia, who has presumably fitted it with nuclear arms with which to kill us all.
-cont I just thought I might send something to you because I haven’t seen this come up really, and it’s been bothering me for a couple of days now. It just really hurts to constantly see someone “defending” lesbianism by minimizing its existence.
Please note first that most if not all of the posts mentioning the character’s sexuality are asks and replies. It’s never been a selling point for me, I’m not using lesbianism as a cheap draw.
But to answer your criticisms, I’m not in any way minimizing her being a lesbian, I’m minimizing the romance aspect of the book. It’s an action book and I don’t want people to think it’s a book just about being gay or centering on a romance.
This is in absolutely no way to reassure straight people of anything, if they can’t deal with the main character being lesbian I don’t really want them reading it anyway. It’s to assure readers that this isn’t another book where a gay character is reduced to their sexuality or defined by it. Frankly I find it offensive that nearly every book with a gay protagonist has to make the whole story center on them being gay. I find this to be much more reductive than not mentioning it at all.
I do not in any way whatsoever erase or undermine her sexuality in-text. She’s gay and has a crush on a woman and that’s part of the story. In the sequel there’s much more of a relationship. I maintain it’s not a significant plot point in Valhalla because the book is all about the action and spycraft. I feel it’s important to let potential readers know that. I’d not want people to read it just because they think it will have a story about being gay, nor do I want people avoiding it thinking it’s a book primarily about being gay which also has some action scenes. It’s a sci-fi action novel, so when asked again and again about the main character’s sexuality, I feel it important to remind those who ask that the book isn’t focused on that. It’s focused on explosions and flying cars and ray guns.
I did not set out to defend lesbianism. I don’t claim to, I don’t even think it’s this book’s place to try. But some readers feel that representation is important, and others feel that representation without comment is also important. When I reply to those readers, I’m happy to clarify that this book features a few gay characters without further comment on their sexuality.
I’m very sorry that you feel minimized by that. It’s not in any way designed to minimize you or your sexuality. It’s meant to treat it realistically, and that means when you’re shooting bad guys and blowing up bridges, you’re not polluting the book with ruminations about the main character’s love life.
I hope this at least explains why I’ve posted what I have and clarifies that it’s not my intent to minimize lesbianism in any way. More than that I hope you’ll take a look at the novel so you can see that it’s not de-sexualizing its character in any way, and that you’ll consider the offending posts in context- As tumblr messages and replies about a subject that’s not the focus of the book.
Sort of like if people kept writing to J.K. Rowling to ask about Harry’s heterosexuality. It’s there and it factors into the books, but she’d no doubt prefer readers read the book on the merits of the world and story she’s created. Harry’s straight, but the books are about him. Not him being straight.
Violet’s gay, but the story is about her. Not her being gay. If every book about a gay character had to focus on the fact they’re gay, that would be far more minimizing by suggesting that gays are defined exclusively by their sexuality.
Sorry if this post is longer than you hoped, I just want to be very clear on my intent. Which is not to minimize or erase lesbianism, here or in the novel.
I really hope you’ll give the novel a chance. I think you’ll find it very respectful and complete.
When I talk to people about what kind of books they want to read that involve LGBTQ+ main characters, they want books like Valhalla. They want characters who are LGBTQ+, but it’s just another part of them like having curly hair or brown eyes or dark skin or braces or freckles. Many of the people I’ve talked to want a Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen or Percy Jackson or Hazel Grace who happens to identify as LGBTQ+. None of their stories revolve around those characters being straight, even the ones with romance (other than the obvious bit of the romance being with a presumably cis person of a different gender). So why should a story with an LGBTQ+ protagonist?
In Valhalla, the fact that Violet is a lesbian is as important as the fact that she has violent tendencies, that she doesn’t know how to read, that she’s from Scotland, and that she sometimes herds walruses. Those things all play a part in who Violet is and they shape her choices in the story, but the plot doesn’t revolve around any of them.
Valhalla doesn’t minimize the fact that Violet is a lesbian. It comes up when it’s relevant and there was never any doubt in my mind that she was lesbian when reading the manuscript. What Valhalla does do is refrain from giving her a romance. No one else has a romance either. It’s just not that kind of book.
I think that Valhalla is exactly the kind of book a lot of people I’ve spoken to are looking for: one where the main character is LGBTQ+ but the story doesn’t revolve around that.
Reblogged with an addition from the publisher. I hope this further clarifies things. Please feel free to write again and let me know if it does, my ears are always open.
The First Hard Drive
The first hard drive ever built weighed 74 tons and took 5 people to operate. It drew so much power from the Arlington Power Plant that a special circuit was built to accommodate it. Its magnetic field was strong enough to block radio waves around it, and numerous early airplanes crashed as a result of its being turned on and off- So many that electronic devices are still required to be turned off during flight. Still it proved critical in serving its function- Recording meal plans for the MacKenzie Home For The Elderly.
It held just under 6 KB, and took 3 hours to access each byte.