Spotlight on Devastation Class (Elaine Mongeon & Glen Zipper), Guest Post, Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to spotlight Devastation Class by Elaine Mongeon & Glen Zipper.
Read on for more about Elaine & Glen and their book, an guest post, plus an giveaway!
Meet Elaine Mongeon & Glen Zipper!
Glen Zipper produced the Oscar-winning documentary Undefeated, and the hit Netflix series Dogs. Born in New York City and raised in Fort Lee, NJ, Glen currently resides in Los Angeles, where he enjoys motorcycle riding and stopping to pet every dog he sees. Follow him on Twitter @Zipper and Instagram @glenzipper.
Award-winning filmmaker Elaine Mongeon wrote and directed the short films Good Morning for Warner Bros. Pictures and Swiped to Death for Hulu and the Sundance Institute. She also served as an associate producer on Magic Mike XXL. Elaine has a love for the outdoors and has been known to spend her time traversing glaciers in Canada and precision motorcycle riding. Originally from New England, she currently resides in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @E_Mongeon and Instagram @elainemongeon
Meet Devastation Class!
An annihilation force of invading aliens. Human civilization on the brink of extinction. Earth’s only hope—seven cadets and the legendary starship they were never meant to command. No matter the cost, they will stop at nothing to survive. No matter the odds, they will fight to save their future.
The distant future. Earth’s Alliance forces have emerged victorious from a brutal nine-year war with the mysterious Kastazi—a vicious, highly advanced alien race. In the dawn of a new peace, the Alliance Devastation Class starship California embarks on a mission of science and learning with a skeleton crew of seasoned officers, civilian students, and inexperienced military cadets in tow.
For JD Marshall and Viv Nixon, gifted cadets and best friends, the mission holds special meaning: It offers an opportunity to prove themselves and begin to escape the long shadows of their legendary war hero parents.
Suddenly ambushed by a second wave of invading Kastazi forces, JD and Viv make the impossible decision to spearhead a mutiny to save the California and everyone on it. In command and quickly out of options, they are forced to activate the ship's prototype Blink Reactor—an experimental technology they expect to send them to the safe, distant reaches of space. When their escape transports them to a reality they don’t recognize and reveals unimaginably terrifying secrets, they must fight their way home to save not just everyone they love but also humanity itself. Standing in their way are an insurmountable enemy, saboteurs from within, a mystery eons in the making, and the fabric of time and space itself.
~ Guest Post ~
Seminal novels that blew our minds
By Elaine Mongeon and Glen Zipper
Back in middle and high school, long before we knew that we’d be science fiction writers, we were science fiction readers. We both loved genre fiction, especially SF and horror, and the books we loved as kids imprinted upon us as we grew, shaping us into the creators we are today. These books blew our minds and changed our perspectives on life with their original, intense, and prescient story lines.
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin O'Keefe.They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.
Why It Blew Our Minds: We both recall A Wrinkle In Time was one of our earliest introductions to sci-fi / fantasy. Tesseracts. Alien planets. Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which. Kids combatting a darkness threatening to take over the universe. Saving a parent. What wasn’t mind blowing? It was hard not to be envious of and inspired by Meg, the young female protagonist who finds her confidence and inner strength, emerging victorious in the end. And even though the story is fantastical, it’s humanist at its core.
Babel-17 - Samuel R. Delany
Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1966. A retired telepathic codebreaker turned famous poet bent on deciphering a secret language that is the key to the enemy’s deadly force must travel with a splendidly improbable crew to the frontlines of a galactic war.
Why It Blew Our Minds: The world building struck us – but within the vast scope of this space opera, the book explores groundbreaking ideas for its time, including queer inclusion and technological advancements. And the idea of language as a weapon feels particularly relevant at a time when First Amendment rights and inflammatory speech are an evergreen part of the cultural conversation.
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story's protagonist.
Why It Blew Our Minds: Before 1984 and A Handmaid’s Tale, THX 1138 and Blade Runner, there was Brave New World, written in 1931 and published in 1932. The futuristic world Huxley created was shocking, scary, and intriguing – and yet tonally he achieved a levity that makes the story easy to consume. Like most of the novels on the list, Brave New World is a thought-provoking, satiric, and prophetic novel, predicting the use of science and technology for better or worse.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
It's an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. Earth is destroyed shortly thereafter to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, and Arthur’s best friend has just announced that he's an alien. At this moment, they're hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON'T PANIC.
The weekend has only just begun…
Why It Blew Our Minds: Quite simply, it explores big ideas in absurd, hilarious ways, making for a truly remarkable reading experience :)
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler
Published in 1979. Danais celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported back in time to the antebellum South. Rufus, the son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is inexplicably drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.
Why It Blew Our Minds: We found Kindred to be a painful, artful, and deliberately uncomfortable and complicated book–its eye-opening depiction of racism and antebellum-era enslavement is grisly and uncensored, which Butler intended. Reading about a modern Black woman unceremoniously dragged back to that time was a reminder that we are not always as far from the past as we might like to think.
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
A lone human ambassador from an enlightened version of Earth, where race is no longer a source of division, is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants’ gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the intriguing culture he encounters...
Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.
Why It Blew Our Minds: The novel is fearless in its ideas and deliberate activism, and overall it changed the way we viewed sci-fi and storytelling because of its emotional richness. Published in 1969, a novel ahead of its time, The Left Hand of Darkness challenged gender norms, the binary, feminism, and the science fiction genre itself.
Momo - Michael Ende
Published in 1973. At the edge of the city, in the ruins of an old amphitheatre, there lives a little homeless girl called Momo. Momo has a special talent which she uses to help all her friends who come to visit her. Then one day the sinister Men in Grey arrive and silently take over the city, stealing time and its inhabitants’ lifeblood. Only Momo has the power to resist them, and with the help of Professor Hora and his strange tortoise, Cassiopeia, she travels beyond the boundaries of time to uncover their dark secrets.
Why It Blew Our Minds: Another book that drew us into fantasy at a young age, the story was peculiar and intriguing and unlike anything else we had read to that point. Momo, the young heroine who seems to come from nowhere, is pulled into a time-bending conflict in order to rescue adults. The Men in Grey are creepy and scary. And time is tangible in the book, which caused us to view time in a new and different light.
The Stand - Stephen King
This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides -- or are chosen.
Why It Blew Our Minds: Mad Max was our intro to the post-apocalyptic genre. But The Stand took the genre to a whole other level. [It should be noted that we both saw Mad Max (released in 1980) before reading The Stand (published in 1978)]. The Stand is epic, frightening, violent, and emotional with multidimensional, dynamic characters. Neither of us could put it down. And now of course, the near prescient themes are mind-blowing.
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
In this pulse-quickening novel published in 1956, Alfred Bester imagines a future in which people "jaunte" a thousand miles with a single thought, where the rich barricade themselves in labyrinths and protect themselves with radioactive hit men — and where an inarticulate outcast is the most valuable and dangerous man alive.
The Stars My Destination is a classic of technological prophecy and timeless narrative enchantment by an acknowledged master of science fiction.
Why It Blew Our Minds: A precursor to cyberpunk novels, The Stars My Destination is considered to be one of the best science fiction novels, by one of science fiction’s greatest authors. Even Carl Sagan, who is often critical of science fiction, even described it as “tautly constructed” and “so rich in accommodating details.” As filmmakers, the other thing that blows our minds is that it still has never been adapted into a film… although there have been many false starts we’ve read about.
By: Elaine Mongeon & Glen Zipper
Release Date: September 8th, 2020
Two winners will receive a copy of Devastation Class (Elaine Mongeon & Glen Zipper) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
This sounds like an epic sci-fi movie but in print form! The cover is really eye-catching, almost like that of a graphic novel.