Monday, May 20, 2019

Are we becoming cyborgs?

The future is here. Many of us already have surgical implants, heart valves, pace-makers, artificial knees, bionic legs, hands and arms controlled by the mind. Some have artificial lenses in their eyes, cochlear implants to allow the deaf to hear. 



Science can now regrow in a lab new body parts or make them from biological material with 3D printers.

Babies can be born with the DNA of three parents. Animals have been cloned. Human cloning is illegal, but how long will it take for some governments to secretly grow their own human clones?



In China, tests have proven successful in creating improved babies by replacing DNA strands with stronger ones, or different ones. Soon, parents will be able to have designer babies, choosing the hair and eye color, the physical strength, the intelligence, the immunity to known diseases. 

Nanotechnology (tiny microscopic machines introduced in the blood stream) will allow us to repair or rectify any malfunction in the human body, cure any disease. Some day humans will be quasi-immortals... and part robots. Linking the brain to computers will increase the capacity of the human brain.



The next step will be to produce super-intelligent human beings, super-soldiers, special individuals adapted to live in  specific environments, like space, or on different planets.

These changes are happening quickly and soon, we'll have to deal with the problems of the future. We'll need new laws, new guidelines, to accommodate the progress of science. That's what makes science fiction fascinating.



And if you like reading futuristic fiction, you may want to try my latest series, Azura Chronicles, set on a tropical planet inhabited by angelic beings. amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo

  

There is a planet out in the universe, emitting a strange turquoise glow. A long time ago Azura refused to join the Trade Alliance. The Alliance sent their military fleet to destroy the Azurans, but their powerful supernatural abilities spread fear even among the fiercest Devil Dogs. Since then, records have been erased. Rumors and legends all but died. Azura is strictly forbidden, and the daring few who ventured beyond the warning space beacons were never seen again...

Vijaya Schartz, author
 Strong heroines, brave heroes, romance with a kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cover reveal - BLACK DRAGON - Byzantium Book 1

My cat character in my June 7 release made such a impression on my publisher, that they decided to have Marshmallow on the cover. Here he is, the spoiled telepathic cat, in all his cuteness, at the helm of a spaceship. Well, he's not really piloting, just enjoying the view... like all cats do.

Preorder it on amazon or Smashwords


As for the story, it goes like this:

A gambler is cheating in a den of the Byzantium space station, and Lieutenant Zara Frankel intends to catch him in the act. She always gets her man, but this one could prove more than she can handle.

Captain Czerno Drake, code name Black Dragon, has come under cover to break his innocent uncle from the most secure penitentiary in the galaxy, on the Byzantium space station. He will stop at nothing to succeed, even enrolling the help of Zara, the lovely straight arrow GTA enforcer. When Zara realizes that she’s been duped by a shrewd but seductive rebel, her reaction surprises everyone, most of all herself. 

"I love this one by Vijaya Schartz. As always, her action-packed, well-plotted out prose kept me glued to the pages of Black Dragon from start to finish." TwoLips Reviews 5-kisses and a RECOMMENDED READ 

"I like the balance of humor and danger in this story, and the action kept me glued to the pages... I enjoyed watching as suspicion turned to admiration, and admiration became the first flickers of love between Czerno and Zara... Pick up a copy of Black Dragon, by Vijaya Schartz, and enter a world of adventure, romance, and a spoiled cat named Marshmallow." 4½ stars sensual, Long And Short Reviews 

"Vijaya Schartz is known for her strong female characters and Zara is no exception... gives the reader lots of action and a sweet love story." Single Titles Review 4½ stars 

So, if you like sci-fi, romance, and cats, this is the book for you. You can pre-order the ebook now from amazon and Smashwords. The paperback is coming live early. 


Happy Reading.


Vijaya Schartz, author
Strong heroines, brave heroes, romance with a kick

http://www.vijayaschartz.com
amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo  -  FB 
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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Polishing my next novel - The best part of writing it.


I just finished the sixth or seventh rewrite of Black Dragon, to be released in June, the first book of a new series. It is set on a space station named Byzantium, featured in the Azura Chronicles series, and set in the same universe. Like all my novels, it has a lot of action, adventure, and romance… a courageous heroine, and a brave hero… as well as a spoiled telepathic cat, a white Angora named Marshmallow.

When I went searching for illustrations of my setting, here is what I found: 


 Polishing is my favorite part of writing a book. It has been read by my critique partners and beta readers, and now that I have the finished product, comes the task of making it shine. 

Polishing is the most important part of a writer’s job. It’s an art. It can turn a mediocre first draft into a decent read, and a great story into a fantastic book. But the lack of polish can also destroy a potentially great novel by washing it out, diluting it in too many words, and leaving it vague, ordinary, or forgettable. 

This is the time to deepen the characters, make sure their motivations are on the page, find the secret links and motivations you may have overlooked or understated, show, rather than tell, and deepen the point of view. Ramp up the emotion, or was poetic on some descriptions or feelings, make the setting part of the story, etc. 

The process will take me a month, then the book will go to the editor. If you want a taste, here is what it’s all about: 

Czerno Drake, AKA Black Dragon
A gambler is cheating in a den of the Byzantium space station, and Lieutenant Zara Frankel intends to catch him in the act. She always gets her man, but this one could prove more than she can handle. 

Captain Czerno Drake, code name Black Dragon, has come under cover to break his innocent uncle from the most secure penitentiary in the galaxy, the Fortress, on the Byzantium space station. He will stop at nothing to succeed, even enrolling the help of the lovely straight arrow GTA enforcer. When Zara realizes that she’s been duped by a shrewd but seductive Resistance fighter, her reaction surprises everyone, most of all herself. 

Zara Frankel, undercover security forces

A previous and much shorter edition several years ago, received this review: 

"I love this one by Vijaya Schartz. As always, her action-packed, well-plotted out prose kept me glued to the pages of Black Dragon from start to finish." TwoLips Reviews 5-kisses review and a RECOMMENDED READ


Vijaya Schartz, author
High Octane Romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com 
amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo  -  FB  - 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

IMAGINING THE FUTURE


You can’t stop the proliferation of technology. The visionaries warned us in the nineties that progress would require a severe loss of privacy. They weren’t kidding.

We already have AIs in our homes, who talk back and do our bidding. They tell us when to get the pie out of the oven, when to order more milk and when to change the air filters. They can also record our conversations. The cameras on our computers can be activated without our knowledge. Most houses have motion-activated cameras that capture the life of the entire neighborhood.

Self-driving cars are delivering our groceries.
We can clone body parts. Our cars drive us, not the other way around. We find our mates on dating sites that match our profiles. Our phones have become banking machines, movie screens, and a lifeline to all the people in our lives, whether we know them or not. Our daily lives are displayed for all to see and judge on Social Media. The authorities have access to all this information and our DNA can be used to solve cold cases... 

More and more teenagers who are not strong enough to sustain the pressure and the bullying on Social Media commit suicide. I see it as a gruesome reminder of what unchecked technology can bring to our lives. Or is a natural selection occurring, weeding out those unable to adapt?

Let’s face it. It’s a new era. Where will it stop? What will the future look like? Soon we might improve embryos in the womb, or grow babies in test tubes. We might even make ourselves more intelligent.

Human nature can adapt, but not as fast as our technology. I believe there will be a breaking point, and a severe backlash. Some visionaries believe in robot uprising. It could happen. Or the divide between the rich and the poor will cause a revolution and topple governments. Or a war, or a computer glitch will destroy most of the planet, and leave society in shambles. These are the usual themes of dystopian novels and movies, like the Hunger Games, the Divergent series, the Mad Max series, the Postman, the Terminator series, and many others.


I’m of the opinion that yes, some segments of society might rebel, and no, we will not destroy ourselves or lose all our technology. We shall adapt enough to survive. Then, when space exploration develops and becomes accessible to most, I believe many of us will sail into the unknown, like the adventurers who followed Christopher Columbus, like the pioneers who rode their wagons West. Some will look for riches, others for fame, for adventure, or for knowledge and the study of alien species. Others yet will look for a simpler way of life, for religious tolerance, for a chance to raise their family in peaceful surroundings.

Despite the rapid evolution of our technology, I believe we humans will slowly evolve, but our passions will remain the same. We’ll learn from our mistakes, we’ll love, we’ll fight for our freedom, and we will continue to do so, as long as the human race exists in this universe.

That’s why I enjoy writing the future. No matter what the technology becomes, humans will always be humans.

My latest novel, ANGEL FIERCE, is now available.
amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo

Something’s rotten on the angel planet. When Avenging Angels turn up dead, Urielle, their Legion Commander, suspects the handsome intruder brought unspeakable evil to Azura.


Maksou never met a woman he couldn’t seduce. He came to the forbidden planet to rescue his friends and get rich in the process, but the jungle crawls with lethal life forms… including a gorgeous warrior angel, who saves his life but keeps him prisoner and challenges his irresistible charm.


Urielle, sworn to protect Azura at all costs, has no use for a maverick who ignores the rules and endangers the planet… no matter how attractive. Especially when the Galactic Trade Alliance (GTA) wages a secret war to get their greedy hands on the priceless crystal at Azura’s core.
HAPPY READING!


Vijaya Schartz, author
 Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo  -  FB

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A future society of mind readers?


Interesting world, one where people do not need to talk to communicate, but can simply access each other’s mind. In the Azura Chronicles, my angel planet harbors beings able to read minds… among other psychic powers. In my new series, Byzantium, starting this June, these angels and other mind readers interact on a space station.

But would mind reading be such a rarity in the future? With the help of a little electronic implant, could we access other peoples’ minds like we access a phone or a computer by asking Alexa? Of course, it would start with such implants for government spies and rich magnates. But if it spread to the population at large, what would be the social repercussions of such technology? No more lies? No more crimes? No more privacy?

Would we behave the same way if our mind were an open book? Would thoughts be monitored by the authorities to deter crime and terrorism? Would people get arrested for criminal intent without actually committing the crime, like in the Minority Report movie? Would more people commit suicide to avoid public shame?

Of course, the bad guys would find a way to circumvent the technology. Some governments might want to do the same. All governments keep secrets. Can we handle full transparency?


The same way pioneers went west to escape war, misery, and strict political and religious rules, I believe people would try to escape such invasive technology to return to a simpler way of life. And there are plenty of opportunities in space. Wild planets needing settling, living off the land, etc.

As a writer, I find all these issues fascinating, and I see many potential stories there. I believe writing the possible future takes a dose of philosophy... and some responsibility. I like to think my picture of the future sheds light on potential future problems, and brings some hope for those who will follow in our footsteps.


Read my latest Azura Chronicle novel, ANGEL FIERCE, Book Two, a February 2019 release from BWL Publishing:
amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NCXHZJX 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/921518 

All Maksou wanted was to rescue his trapped friends and get rich in the process. But this forbidden blue planet crawls with lethal life forms… including Urielle, a gorgeous angel of frightening power, who saves his life but shuns his irresistible charm.

Urielle, Legion Commander of the Avenging Angels, is sworn to protect Azura at all costs. She has no use for a maverick intruder who ignores the rules and endangers the planet by his very presence… no matter how handsome and charming. Especially when the Galactic Trade Alliance (GTA) wages a secret war to get their greedy hands on the priceless crystal at Azura’s core.

When immortal angels turn up dead, Urielle springs into action… and Maksou is in her line of sight.


HAPPY READING!


Vijaya Schartz, author
 Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo  -  FB

Monday, January 14, 2019

Yay! ANGEL FIERCE has a gorgeous cover - by Vijaya Schartz


This is my new cover, ANGEL FIERCE, Book 2 of the Azura Chronicles series, is coming out next month. I am thrilled by the great work Michelle Lee, the artist who designs covers for my publisher did on this. She used the images I suggested and it always amazes me how she can put them together to make a book cover. Great job, Michelle.

In the meantime, here is what the story is about:

All Maksou wanted was to rescue his trapped friends and get rich in the process. But this forbidden blue planet crawls with lethal life forms… including Urielle, a gorgeous angel of frightening power, who saves his life but shuns his irresistible charm.

Urielle, Legion Commander of the Avenging Angels, is sworn to protect Azura at all costs. She has no use for a maverick intruder who ignores the rules and endangers the planet by his very presence… no matter how handsome and charming. Especially when the Galactic Trade Alliance (GTA) wages a secret war to get their greedy hands on the priceless crystal at Azura’s core.

When immortal angels turn up dead, Urielle springs into action… and Maksou is in her line of sight.

If you missed Book 1, here it is:
ANGEL MINE
Azura Chronicles, Book 1
Click HERE to find it everywhere

What in the frozen hells of Laxxar prompted Fianna to pursue her quarry to this forbidden blue planet? Well, she needs the credits... badly. But as if crashing in the jungle wasn't bad enough, none of her high-tech weapons work. She'll have to go native, after the most wanted felon in five galaxies. It's not just her job. It's personal.

Acielon has never seen an outworlder like this fascinating female, strangely beautiful, and fierce, like the feline predator loping at her side. He always dreamed of exploring the universe, despite the legends... and the interdiction. Is it truly a hellish place of violence, lies and suffering? If it spawned this intriguing creature, it must also be a place of wonders, adventure and excitement...

Fianna's instincts tell her someone is watching. Sheba, her telepathic feline partner, doesn't seem worried... yet, something on Azura isn't quite right.

"... fast-paced space adventure/romance with lots of twists, turns, and enough action to satisfy sci-fi enthusiasts... story telling is imaginative and action scenes vivid... pleasing happily ever after that sets up a sequel." Ind'Tale Magazine.

HAPPY READING!

Vijaya Schartz, author
 Romance with a Kick
 http://www.vijayaschartz.com
 amazon  -  B&N  -  Smashwords  -  Kobo  -  FB