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Sherwood Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sherwood Smith
Born1951 (age 67–68)
United States
OccupationAuthor, retired teacher
GenreFantasy, science fiction, historical romance

Sherwood Smith (born 1951) is an American fantasy and science fiction writer for young adults and adults. Smith is a Nebula Award finalist and a longtime writing group organizer and participant.

Smith's works include the YA novel Crown Duel. Smith also collaborated with Dave Trowbridge in writing the Exordium series and with Andre Norton in writing two of the books in the Solar Queen universe.

In 2001, her short story "Mom and Dad at the Home Front" was a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Smith's children's books have made it on many library Best Books lists. Her Wren's War was an Anne Spencer Lindbergh Honor Book,[1] and it and The Spy Princess were Mythopoeic Fantasy Award finalists.[2] She is the current Royal Historian of Oz.

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  • ✪ Weekly Wrap-Up | November 15, 2015
  • ✪ Weekly Wrap-Up | December 27, 2015 #booktubesff

Transcription

Hello everybody! My name is Rachel and it's time for another weekly wrap up. Today is November 15, 2015. I finished five things this past week. I read a bunch of things that are parts of series or they're difficult to explain; they're extremely convoluted. And I don't want to sit here for ages trying to explain things that I probably can't talk about because of spoilers or because I'm going to get something wrong. So I'm going to give you more of a reactionary wrap up than just like plot summaries. So what I read this past week. The first book that I finished was The Fox by Sherwood Smith. This is the second book in the Inda series and this is the one that I can't explain the plot. So many characters, so many locations, so many different political schemes going on. I really enjoyed the first book in this series. I really like Inda as a character and I'm quite attached to a bunch of secondary characters that also have points of view. I feel so terrible for Hadand and Evred. That relationship is so fraught with difficulties but I want them both to be very happy. And of course I still really liked Inda in this book but I think my main issue with The Fox is that there was too much going on. Individual parts of it I enjoyed. But there were too many points of view or parts of the action - like the whole perspective from the Venn in the second half of this book - I didn't care about. I felt like probably half of the POVs could have been just cut from this and it would have been more streamlined, more focused and there would have been other shorter, brief ways of explaining what was going on politically. I'm going to keep reading. This was a little bit of a dip in the series for me but I have high hopes for the next book. I ended up rating this book three out of five stars. There were some moments that I felt were very emotional, shocking, and exciting but that was very much evened out by parts that I felt dragged way too much or were just completely unnecessary. Next I finished Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. This is the big puzzler of the week. This is the first book I've ever read by Robinson. He's a huge name in science fiction, especially with his Mars trilogy, which I really want to read. And I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading this. I knew nothing about the types of stories that he tells or his writing style. This book was nothing like what I maybe subliminally expected. I just felt kind of taken aback while reading it. Maybe it just didn't work very well for me, on many levels. The book is about humanity's first multi-generational spaceship sent to colonize an alien planet. It starts a couple of years before the ship reaches its destination. They're slowing down in preparation to stop. So it's about that multi-generational ship life and how people sustain their life in a closed system, in a closed loop, and the difficulties in that, especially when you've been in space, for a certain point, over 200 years. How do you keep things going? But then there's this point where things change and at that point I did not understand what this story was really about. I have to be honest. It must have just flown straight over my head. I don't understand what this was about. So, if you've read this book and you have thoughts about what this book is about, tell me, like private message me or something, because I feel like I really missed something and I feel bad about that. I haven't even been able to rate this book on Goodreads because I just don't know how I feel about it. Most of it is narrated by the AI of the ship, which is a really cool idea but the way that the AI talks kind of annoyed me! I just never felt immersed in the story. I never felt like I was in the groove, in the rhythm, of reading this. Even though I read 2/3 of it in almost one sitting, I never felt like I was just IN it and going along for the ride. Yeah. So I still haven't rated it. I think it's probably just an OK book for me, it's probably going to end up being about 3 stars... and I wanted it to be a lot better than that. But not every book suits every person. Next I finished my audiobook, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall. This was really good! I really enjoyed this and I think I probably need to listen to the audiobook again in order to capture or understand more of the technical and scientific detail. It ended up getting way more detailed than I initially expected. I thought this was going to be more high level, but really Randall went way more into explaining comets and asteroids and the difference between meteroids, meteorites, and meteors and then a big discussion of dark matter, theories about dark matter, ways that people and her team is trying to prove that dark matter is actually out there. The hunt for evidence and everything. It was just really cool! The premise, the theory, that this book is supposed to be based on got kind of lost. There was a lot of explanation and it wasn't until like the very last chapter where she brought all the pieces together. Because she's basically presenting a theory that dark matter in our galaxy could have been responsible for knocking comets into our solar system at a certain period, at a certain rate that is detectable, and that the big calamity that killed all the dinosaurs was one of those events. Which is a theory that feels ripped from the headlines, and she actually talks a little bit about how the media latched onto this idea because it was just so almost outlandish. So I feel like she's really, really good at explaining science. She has a lot of really great analogies that help you understand things like scale or just how things work, relating it to something you can already understand. She does a really good job of that. If this sounds interesting to you, I'd say pick it up because it was quite well done. Lisa Randall is a model builder and I was really impressed that she went so much into detail about presenting the method of scientific research, coming up with models, proposing them, testing them, and working with other people on them. I think that's something - the actual process of doing science and creating the models and theories - is something that I haven't read that much about. We all learn about the scientific method in elementary school, high school, and university, over and over again. But this is a real scientist telling you about a real project she worked on which was very theoretical. And I thought that was really just an interesting perspective. Then I read The End of All Things by John Scalzi. This is the sixth book in his Old Man's War series which I've really enjoyed. This book, I can't tell you anything about it, nothing about the plot, because it'd be super spoilery. It did not work very well for me. I wanted to like this so much but it just did not click with me. Like The Human Division, this has the format of the short stories or it's more like novellas in this one, and each one is from a different character's perspective. So it's not one straight narrative. And so you have four perspectives, four main characters. Two of them I liked. The first guy, Rafe, who - this is not a spoiler - brain in a box, that's the first sentence. That was a really interesting perspective. If the entire book had been from Rafe's point of view, I probably would have liked that a lot, because I liked his character, I liked his personality. And his situation, there was so much room to explore the psychology of that and Rafe's decisions about that, in more detail. That could have been really cool. But instead you went on to three more stories. I got super pissed off at the Conclave. I got super pissed off at the Colonial Union. I didn't really like Hafte Sorvalh, who's the alien from the Conclave. She's been in previous books - I think - and I liked her more in previous books. I just did not like her in this one. When I put all this stuff together, I'm like I didn't care. I felt like the heart, the emotional center, of the story got lost somewhere because I just didn't feel like real people were involved. I just felt like it was a lot of rather dull political maneuvering and the situation was fixed very quickly and I didn't think it should have been that easy. So this was an OK installment. Not the best. I'll keep reading the series. I've heard that Scalzi had some difficulty getting started with this novel, like it took a while to gel, and I'm afraid that that might show a little bit. The final thing that I read was Dracula by Bram Stoker. I have expressed my disinterest in this book for a couple of weeks now, and yeah, I didn't like it anymore by the time that I finished it. It's an OK book; I don't want to bash it. It's OK. It's the original story, it's the original Dracula, and I think there's some value there in knowing where it all started rather than just the Hollywoodized distorted versions of vampire stories. Mostly I think that it was boring and slow and repetitive for me because of the way it was written. It is told in day by day, sometimes hour by hour, detail through five characters' journals, notes, letters, telegrams, all sorts of stuff like that. And I didn't need to know every single step of the way, especially near the end of the book when they're on this journey to the conclusion of the story, they were literally repeating the same stuff every day, and I was like we could just skip a couple of days to the exciting bit and it wasn't very exciting and the ending was not that detailed, so... I don't know. I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy this classic because I've had such good luck recently with enjoying classics that I never thought that I would like that much, so I wanted this to be another one of those surprising exceptions, and it wasn't. On the other hand, it's kind of in the vein of Frankenstein for me, so I feel like maybe there's this type of classic literature that doesn't work so well for me, like gothic horror, or whatever this is categorized as, maybe just isn't my thing. But yeah... I didn't like Frankenstein very much, though I think it was better written and more intense than Dracula. Oh well. Oh well! Sorry if it's your favorite book! That's everything I read this past week. If you have any explanations or elucidations of things that I missed or that puzzled or confused me - which was most things this past week... now that I think about it... please by all means, comment down below and enlighten me. And I will be back to talk at you again sometime this coming week, and until then - bye!

Contents

Biography

Sherwood Smith was born in 1951.[2] On her website, Smith describes herself as a middle-aged woman who has been married for over thirty years. Besides writing, she taught part-time at a K-8 school. She has "two kids, rescue dogs, and a house full of books."[3]

Smith began making books out of taped paper towels when she was five years old.[2] When she was 8, she started writing about another world, Sartorias-deles, though she soon switched to making comic books of her stories, which she found to be easier. Although she first tried to send out her novels when she was 13, nothing sold. However, some of the novels Smith first wrote as a teen, including Wren to the Rescue, were sold after she learned to rewrite.[3]

In the years it took her to learn to rewrite, Smith "went to college, lived in Europe, came back to get [her] masters in History, worked in Hollywood, got married, started a family and became a teacher."[3] In 2010 she became a member of Book View Cafe.

Smith currently resides in California.[2]

Partial bibliography

Smith has co-written The Change Series with Rachel Manija Brown.

Books written under other pseudonyms

Smith has written some of the books in the Planet Builders series as Robyn Tallis. She has also written four books in the Nowhere High series as Jesse Maguire and one book in the Horror High series as Nicholas Adams.[4]

Novels

Wren Books

Sartorias-deles

Sartorias-deles is the name of the fictitious world that is the setting for many of the books by Sherwood Smith. It is one of four inhabited planets in the Erhal system.[5] According to Smith, humans first arrived on Sartorias-deles through world gates untold millennia ago. Occasionally, still more humans arrive. However, in non-canon commentaries the author informs readers that most of the early human history on Sartorias-deles has been lost since the so-called Fall of Sartor approximately 4,000 years before the events of the books such as Senrid.[5] Smith does indeed appear to intend these humans be portrayed as having been Terrans prior to their immigration to the Erhal system. For example, in numerous references throughout the stories, they appear to have brought with them several domesticated animal species, including cattle, horses, and dogs, as well as many foods such as coffee, rice, the tomato,[6] and concepts such as the seven-day week.[7]

  • A Stranger to Command (2008), prequel to Crown Duel telling the story of Shevraeth's training
  • Crown Duel (1997/1998), previously published in two parts as Crown Duel and Court Duel. Issued in a single volume by Firebird Books in 2002, an e-book in 2010, with additions of scenes from Vidanric's point of view
  • Inda (August 2006) DAW Books
  • The Fox (August 2007) (sequel to Inda)
  • King's Shield (July 2008) (sequel to The Fox)
  • Treason's Shore (July 2009) (sequel to King's Shield)
  • Banner of the Damned (April 2012) (set 400 years after Inda quartet)
  • Once A Princess (June 2008)
  • Twice A Prince (July 2008), sequel to Once a Princess.
  • Senrid (May 2015) Book View Cafe
  • The Trouble With Kings (February 2008) Samhain Publishing
  • Over the Sea: CJ Notebook One (2007) Norilana, e-book (2010) Book View Cafe
  • Mearsies Heili Bounces Back: CJ Notebook Two (2008) Norilana, e-book (2010) Book View Cafe
  • Poor World: CJ Notebook Four (2011) Book View Cafe
  • Fleeing Peace (March 2011) Book View Cafe
  • The Spy Princess (August 2012) Viking
  • Sartor (Sequel to The Spy Princess (August 2012) Book View Cafe

Other:

  • Coronets and Steel (September 2010) DAW Books
  • Blood Spirits (September 2011) DAW Books
  • Revenant Eve (September 2012) DAW Books
  • Danse de la Folie (September 2012) Book View Cafe
  • Rondo Allegro (September 2014) Book View Cafe

Exordium

  • The Phoenix in Flight (1993) (with Dave Trowbridge reissued in a second edition as e-book, 2011)
  • Ruler of Naught (1993) (with Dave Trowbridge reissued in a second edition as e-book, 2011)
  • A Prison Unsought (1994) (with Dave Trowbridge)
  • The Rifter's Covenant (1995) (with Dave Trowbridge)
  • The Thrones of Kronos (1996) (with Dave Trowbridge)

Andre Norton's Solar Queen Universe

Andre Norton's Time Traders Universe

  • Echoes in Time (1999)
  • Atlantis Endgame (2002)

Oz Series

TV tie-in Novels

Short stories

  • "Monster Mash" (1988), in Werewolves anthology
  • "Ghost Dancers" (1989), in Things That Go Bump in the Night anthology
  • "Faith" (1993), in A Wizard's Dozen anthology
  • "Curing the Bozos" (1994), in Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens anthology
  • "Echoes of Ancient Danger" (1995), in Orphans of the Night anthology
  • "I Was A Teen-Age Superhero" (1995) in Starfarer's Dozen anthology
  • "Daria's Window" (1996), in Sisters in Fantasy II anthology
  • "What's A Little Fur Among Friends?" (1996), in Bruce Coville's Book of Spinetinglers anthology
  • "Visions" (1996), in Bruce Coville's Book of Magic anthology
  • "Illumination" (1996), in Nightmare's Dozen anthology
  • "And Horses are Born With Eagles' Wings" (1997), in Realms of Fantasy Magazine
  • "Mastery" (1997), in Wizard Fantastic anthology
  • "And Now Abideth These Three..." (1998), in Realms of Fantasy Magazine
  • "Finding the Way" (1999), in Alien Visitors anthology
  • "Mom and Dad at the Home Front" (2000), in Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Year's Best Fantasy ed. David Hartwell, and New Magics ed. Patrick Nielsen Hayden
  • "Excerpts from the Diary of a Henchminion" (2000), in Faeries magazine (French)
  • "Beauty" (2003), in Firebirds anthology
  • "Court Ship" (2008), in Firebirds Soaring anthology[8]
  • "Commando Bats" in Athena's Daughters anthology
  • "Zapped" (2015), A Tor.com Original

References

  1. ^ "Previous Winners". The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. Archived from the original on April 11, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Sherwood Smith". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  3. ^ a b c "Frequently Asked Questions". Sherwood Smith's Website. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  4. ^ "Featured Review: The Crown and Court Duet". SF Site. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  5. ^ a b "Sartorias-deles: The Underlying Concept". Official Sherwood Smith Site. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Wren to the Rescue, page 38, paragraph 7 (2004 Firebird edition)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "News". From the Desk of Sherwood Smith. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 December 2018, at 22:33
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