Story: Corr and Allon in Nursery Canyon

Corr and Allon in Nursery Canyon

The Big-eared Rabbit with a Large Tail[This is the first of a series of stories from the World of the Tsaeb that I created for young readers.]

Corr Syl’s parents had brought a picture to their new residence in Nursery Canyon. His father had explained, “Long ago Corr, when creatures first learned body control, warrior rabbits grew long tails. They carried two swords, just as warriors do today. This rabbit could be one of your ancestors, Corr—a very famous one.” Continue reading

Intelligence and Rise of the Tsaeb Civilization

What is Intelligence and How is it Used in Fiction?

NASA Header ImageFamiliar components of intelligence are reaction time, sensitivity, problem solving, foresight, and memory.  Novelists often elevate one or more of the components to make their characters more interesting or to give them the necessary ability to achieve plot elements.  Sometimes we pick up hints that a character is intelligent and then we are delighted when she almost magically connects disparate clues and solves the crime.  Dr. Who and Sherlock Holmes are spectacularly successful at this.  In other instances we enjoy watching a character’s routine use of his powerful intellect.  It is fun to watch Lee Child’s Jack Reacher use his exceptionally acute hearing to follow the progress of a professional tail who thinks Reacher is totally unaware of his presence.

Characters are also defined by their temperament, they way they experience and express anger, love, jealousy, regret, and so forth.  Temperament might seem to be the only real concern for character building, because it so clearly distinguishes individuals.  Intelligence, however, sets limits on the expression of temperament.  A smart wise-ass is more likely to produce interesting insults than a dumb one.  And an intelligent character is more likely to notice a detail such as the shape of a tree and see the connection between shape, competitive ability, and history of the tree.  Intelligence determines the depth and richness of a character’s response to experience.

What produces intelligence?  We know that brain size, composition, and internal connectivity are involved, but we only know that these are correlated with measured intelligence (see the references).  We do not know how they work, and we do not know the full list of factors that are necessary.  Perhaps high intelligence requires the presence of structures such as complex hands, thumbs, and voice box, or perhaps an undiscovered chemical.  Whatever the requirements, why haven’t they been met in many complex organisms?  Why aren’t all animals intelligent?

The theme and plot for “Corr Syl the Warrior” required highly intelligent characters with powers of thought beyond human ability.  I used evolution to create them.  I imagined an Earth on which evolution, in its gloriously random way, included intelligence among the traits of the first higher organisms.  I imagined that intelligence was common to all animals, and that along with other character traits, natural selection would continue to improve intelligence.  By the time dinosaurs appeared, most animals were as intelligent as humans are now (see the references).

Before I could use intelligence in my story, I had to answer numerous questions.  A central question concerned competition and conflict.  Would the many intelligent species on Earth have lived and worked together peacefully?  Or would they have built weapons and fought wars?  Observing the warlike tendencies of our modern human civilization, we might expect that universal intelligence would have raged across the Earth like a firestorm leaving nothing behind, perhaps not even the planet itself.  So this is what I decided must happen:  🙂 Continue reading

Reviews of Corr Syl the Warrior

Reviews of Corr Syl the Warrior

Corr Syl the WarriorRecent reviews:

  • “A beautifully written YA novel that will captivate environmentalists and sci-fi fans of all ages.”  Kirkus reviews (starred review). 
  • “It is an outstanding book. It’s one of those books you get excited over; that have you turning to the next page and reading more, even if it’s two in the morning.” Amazon Review by MaryAnn.
  • “Unique and highly original.  It drew me in and was difficult to put down.”  Goodreads review by BozBozo. 
  • “I found it refreshing, extremely unique with funny, laugh-out-loud moments, too.  It’s targeted at YA, but anybody who enjoys hard fantasy will like this book.”  Louise Wise at http://louisewise.com. 
  • “This is undeniably a commendable story, one that sci-fi and fantasy fans will definitely love and talk about for a very long time.”  -Barnes and Noble Readers’ Favorite review at by Lit Amri.
  • “There is really nothing more you can ask of a story than is found here in Corr Syl the Warrior. The pace is brisk and keeps you engaged, the characters are so believable that Lactella gives me the creeps long after I’ve finished, and I’ll be glad to find what Corr and Rhya are up against in the promised sequel. ”  Amazon review by Paula H. 
  • “Three Words: Action, adventure, thrilling.  Age Recommendation: Whenever, it’s perfect for those looking for a thrill, no matter if your 9 or 99.”  Bianca Blossom, Cherrybooksomtree.wordpress.com.
  • “…a most unusual and interestingly told tale that elicits empathy for the characters as well as the conditions it describes.”  Amazon review by John H. Manhold.
  • “The truly hardcore, sci-fi fan will be delighted and entertained by the pace and deep thought involved in this novel. A must for the serious sci-fi reader.” –Barnes and Noble Readers’ Favorite review by Bill Howard.
  • “Part two was where the book really captured my interest with a very interesting and creative choice of villain.  I was hooked at this point and the story started to fall into place for me.  I started to notice a hint of humour in places and I found myself not wanting to put the book down.”  Amazon review by Chettsgeni.
  • “It has cool action scenes and a few interesting side plots to go along with it.  I really like how the writer makes an effort to explain the science and the way the Tsaeb work as a society in a way that makes logical sense.  I really enjoyed this book.” Claireamber.blogspot.com. 
  • “Engaging and entertaining, it has all the literary ingredients of a successful novel. Indeed, this is more than just a story about a young warrior’s adventure but is also a reminder of how humans are abusing the environment.  This is a concern that has been expressed in very many ways but this one is certainly one of the most imaginative. -Barnes and Noble Readers’ Favorite by Marie Beltran.
  • “For a first novel, I have to say this book is as well written as any I’ve read, and I read a lot.  I liked it.”  Unpublished Review sent to author by Truman Burgess.
  • “An original story, great concept, I want more!  Rogers has developed an alternative Earth, where we are the invasive species!  An original approach to force the reader to evaluate how interconnected we are with everything alive on this planet.  Excellent presentation of the politics of conflict and a thorough understanding how even amongst like species there can be political agendas.  The book should be titled ‘Corr Syl the Negotiator and Strategist, Scientist, and Warrior’.  I read it in one sitting – I like that, when a book grabs hold of me, makes me see things from another perspective, makes me think – and then makes me want more when I put it down.”  Amazon review by Kristine Uhlman.

#CorrSyl #EcoSciFi Giveaway on Goodreads Has Ended

Free copies of #CorrSyl the Warrior Shipped

#CorrSyl the Warrior CoverThe Goodreads ‘giveaway’ for Corr Syl the Warrior has ended.  Twenty-one copies shipped to readers in Australia, Brazil, Canada (3), Denmark, Great Britain (4), India (2), Mexico, Portugal, and USA (7).

The book may be purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Independent Bookstores everywhere.

About #CorrSyl

A beautifully written YA novel that will captivate environmentalists and sci-fi fans of all ages.  Kirkus Reviews (starred review).

On an Earth on which intelligence evolved long before humans appeared, tensions are rising between humans and the ancient multi-species Tsaeb civilization.  When an armed human patrol crosses the border into a small neighboring Tsaeb district, the district council asks a young Tsaeb warrior named Corr Syl to investigate and prepare a response.  Corr learns that spies have infiltrated his district, and he realizes that many lives are at risk.  He catches a glimpse of something truly evil, and with no time to spare, works out a response that will end the immediate dangers, but that might start a war.

Click here for more about the book.