"I just want smart books that are fun to read."
To all of these I answer, "Then why aren't you reading Tobias Buckell?"
In 2006, Tobias Buckell published CRYSTAL RAIN, a novel that combined aliens, outer space colonies, and Buckell's own multi-cultural Carribean heritage. It was followed by two more books in what came to be called the Xenowealth series, RAGAMUFFIN and SLY MONGOOSE. RAGAMUFFIN was even a finalist for the Nebula Award for best novel.
SLY MONGOOSE opens with Pepper, a reoccuring character in the series, doing an orbital re-entry to a planet with nothing more than a spacesuit and a heatsheild.
"Pepper lay strapped to a blunt, cone-shaped heatshield with a hundred miles of Chilo’s atmosphere to fall through yet. The edges of the 2,000 degree fireball created with the shockwave of his reentry licked and danced at the edges of his vision. A small taste of hell, he thought, as the contraption under his back wobbled and threatened to overturn...."
If you love SF, how can you not LOVE that?
From the start, Buckell planned this as a 5-book series, with the 5th book bringing all the threads together in Pepper's story. But with all the changes happening in publishing, Buckell's publisher decided not to bring out the last 2 books in the series. Yeah, that's right: they published the beginning and the middle but they aren't going to publish the end.
So Buckell is going straight to readers with Kickstarter to raise the money he needs to write the next book. Kickstarter is a no-risk venture for readers. You pledge your money in advance; if Buckell reaches his goal, your account is charged, and six months from now (depending on how much you gave) you get a copy of the book. If he doesn't get enough pledges, then the project isn't funded, and you get all your money back.
But you also get no book. And my guess is, that if you love SF, you want this book to exist in the world.
There are only 2 days left before the project is cancelled, and the book still needs to raise a little more than $2000. Like I said, there's no risk to you. Pledge your money. Either you'll help bring a great book into the world or you'll get your money back.
Click here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1548859355/the-apocalypse-ocean. Look it over. If you like the story you see, give some love to the project.