Google+ Reading Teen: FUTUREDAZE Authors Talk About Their Stories + Giveaway

Thursday, February 7, 2013

FUTUREDAZE Authors Talk About Their Stories + Giveaway

Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction includes 33 original short stories and poems that spark the imagination, twist the heart, and make us yearn for the possibilities of a world yet to come. Futuredaze includes pieces by Jack McDevitt, Nancy Holder, Gregory Frost, Lavie Tidhar, Sandra McDonald, Brittany Warman, Stephen Covey, E. Kristin Anderson, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Jenny Blackford, and many more!

Reflecting many of the ideals first set forth by science fiction icons such as Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, and Ray Bradbury, Futuredaze challenges the imagination with young adult fiction that includes far-flung futures, dystopian alternate worlds, life among the stars, and a host of startling stories that embrace the idea of “What if?” that has driven the science fiction genre forward for more then a century. Now, it’s time to give voice to the next generation of science fiction readers and to those of us still young at heart.
Book Page:
Buy the Book:  Amazon 

The Spark That Inspired Futuredaze
By Erin Underwood

As a former teen reader myself, deciding to co-edit Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction was a no-brainer. Growing up as a geek girl, I routinely consumed science fiction "like it was going out of style" as my mom use to say. Being me, I would respond that "SF was never going out of style. It's the future!" So, here I am a good decade or two later, doing my part to make sure science fiction doesn't go out of style by co-editing a brand new anthology of science fiction that was specifically written for teens.

Anthologies like Futuredaze come from a spark of an idea that gets nourished and honed into something with certain parameters and rules that are often governed by the publisher. However, the "spark", that instance of original idea creation, usually comes from the editor. In this case, that spark came when I was standing in the YA section of a Boston Barnes & Noble bookstore and I didn't find a single young adult science fiction anthology on the shelf. From there the idea grew into Futuredaze, which comprises 33 pieces of original fiction and poetry--all of which were born from a similar spark within our contributors' minds, and that spark turned into the ideas and words that you will find within our anthology. Since I shared where the spark for Futuredaze came from, I thought it might also be fun to ask some of our authors about the spark that inspired their stories and poems.

Prospect of a World I Dream by Alex Kane
“Prospect” began life in a college survey class on American literature, with an essay called, according to my Google-fu, “The Coast of Pearls, Paria, and the Island of Trinidad.” My instructor always referred to it simply as “Pearl Diving.” Anyway, the idea of children mining asteroids stuck with me for months as I tried to puzzle out the details of an alien society that might need that kind of labor; but eventually, I realized that humankind had been inhumane enough in its own past to not require alien overlords in my otherwise science-fictional plot. The rest took shape when I realized that the story was really about teen suicide.

Me and My Army of Me by Katrina Nicholson
I got the idea for “Me and My Army of Me” from a diagram of a black hole in my college physics textbook. First I did a series of stick cartoons about me collecting enough of myself to overrun the world. Then I wrote a short story with Miles as a seven-year-old. It wasn't until Futuredaze came along that I finally made it work – by combining the stick cartoons with a teenage Miles.

Out of the Silent Sea by Dale Lucas
“Out of the Silent Sea” was supposed to be part of a book series that I still haven't written, following a group of four friends as they fight on different fronts in an interstellar war.  After I hit upon the notion of jump troopers, the question naturally arose: what would happen if such a trooper was left adrift—but very much alive—in the vast emptiness of outer space?

The Teenage Years of Ed Nimbus (a moral tale) by Neil Weston
My poem, The Teenage Years of Ed Nimbus, is based on how I foresee androids evolving.  It would be intriguing to see them marry and desire a family.  I have a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and because of their mechanical characteristics; I would love to take them off world when they reach teenage years.  Humans are not very accepting of anything perceived as different.  On the flip side, it's a wonderful trait for Science Fiction, which I wanted to explore. 

Hollywood Forever by Llinos Cathryn Thomas
The thing I've always loved about science fiction is getting to see how futuristic technology and developments would touch real people's lives - if robots were sentient, would they date humans? If we had instantaneous transportation, would we still need countries? So, for this story I wanted to take a standard sci-fi idea - miraculous anti-ageing technology - and see how it might affect a teenager trying to make her way in the world.

Larvae by Gregory Frost
Sometimes you get an idea, and it lies trapped in a notebook, waiting for a context to release it. That was “Larvae.” One night while I was closing a window at 2 a.m. during a thunderstorm, lightning flashed right outside, and the curtain in front of me seemed to shift, an illusion that made half-awake me jump. Before I returned to bed, I wrote down a few notes about insects imitating solid objects. And there they remained until Erin came along with this anthology, setting the idea free.

The Ghost Hunter by E. Kristin Anderson
The Ghost Hunter is a part of a series of poems I've been working on for the last few years about cryptozoology, paranormal phenomena, and things that go bump in the night.  I love exploring different points of views in my poems, and I find that narrative poetry is especially fun to write when you let yourself become someone else.  For this particular piece, I put myself in the shoes of a ghost hunter who has his own cable show (I spent last summer watching them all—they're simultaneously fascinating and ridiculous and fascinating) and is in search of the truth.  A sort of spirit-obsessed Agent Mulder with all the tech in the world but no solid answers.  Other topics in the series include jackalopes, the Bermuda Triangle, and a UFO Investigator.

Learning How to Be a Cat by Jenny Blackford
The poem is almost totally true. My muse, Felix, really does bring me tiny froglets in his mouth, and plop them onto the carpet near the bed, and I really do catch them to release in a neighbor’s safe little pond. Also, he truly is hopeless at jumping and climbing.

The Cleansing by Mark Smith-Briggs
The idea for the story came to me while listening to a news report on the latest global warming summit. It spoke about recommended measures in line with a booming population. I thought what if it was decided the real problem was that there were just too many people? How would they combat that? I put myself in the shoes of one of the affected families and the words flowed.

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by Stephen D. Covey and Sandra McDonald
Smart girls in space. You don't find a lot of them in fiction today. Steve and I wanted to blend his love of astrophysics with my love of adventure, and so Min was born. She's got dreams of being a spaceship captain one day. Steve also invented Zack, who's smart and funny and love-struck. Together they have to survive a short trip gone wrong, and we had a lot of fun helping them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Erin Underwood is a writer, editor and publisher. She is the founder of Underwords Press, a small press that specializes in young adult science fiction, which is also a spinoff of her popular fiction blog, Underwords. She is the coeditor of Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction with Hannah Strom-Martin. Erin has also recently published “The Foam Born” (Bloodstones, edited by Amanda Pillar, Oct 2012) and “Totentanz” coauthored with Nancy Holder (Danse Macabre, edited by Nancy Kilpatrick, Oct 2012). She coauthors the SFWA Bulletin column “The Bag of Holding: Never Underestimate the Power of a Writer". You can visit her online at


  1. Oh yes, quite a few, at least parts of them.

  2. I really like anthologies. I am not huge on sci-fi, but I do enjoy it so this would probably be a fun book to page through and read a story here and there.

  3. I've read several anthologies before. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Erin K.

  4. Yes, I've read an anthology before. :)

  5. I read quite a few anthologies. This is an excellent way to take a test drive on unknown authors works. I've found a lot of new writers to add to my reading list this way.

  6. Yes, i've read science fiction anthologies before!

  7. No I havent but I would like to.

  8. No I haven't! But this one sounds like a good place to start!

  9. Why yes I do believe I have read an anthology before, thank you very much!

  10. Yes I have read quite a few. Thanks for the chance to win!

  11. Enjoyed hearing about all the various seeds of inspiration, and I'm honoured to be included in the anthology!

    "If we had instantaneous transportation, would we still need countries..." that's a great question.


Leave us a comment. Commenting people are our favorites! And we like to give things to favorites :)