I am honoured to be part of the Goddess Fish Blog Tour for Mary Patterson Thornburg’s science fiction romance Luke Blackmon’s Rose , which I read and am now reviewing.
(Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.)
Ms. Thornburg has created a very believable future world, with interesting characters and challenges they face. Rose, a white professor, and Luke, a black singer, are from different worlds and times, and are quickly drawn to each other. The science behind Luke’s appearance in his future is believable.
The novel gives us a glimpse at the racial tensions similar to our own, as well as the power of family and friends. All the characters are well drawn and we come to care for them as they face challenges.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel of a future world and would highly recommend it.
To guard herself from the perils of her own sensuality, Rose married a man she didn’t love. Now, two years after his death, she’s not sure she can really love anyone. She’s not even sure she cares…
To achieve what he’d always known was his birthright, Luke had to struggle against tremendous odds. But when science discovered a way to access the past, a powerful bureaucracy found a way to use Luke. Now, torn from his own time, everything and everyone he knew, he can see no reason to go on living…
An instant of attraction, uninvited but inescapable, brings Luke and Rose together. Together, they discover the strength to love, the will to trust and hope. But will these things be enough to carry them over walls of suspicion, guilt, bigotry, and hate?
And then the air in the room changed. There was a tingling, a sort of buzzing not quite within the range of human hearing. She thought, briefly, of what she’d read somewhere about the feeling people get in a thunderstorm when they’re about to be struck by lightning. She wasn’t sure anyone felt it but herself. Mira, who’d gotten up to look in the refrigerator for something, was apparently undisturbed. But then she saw Kingsley’s expression change as he glanced past her toward the living room portion of the greatroom, and she heard—or perhaps felt—soft footsteps behind her. She spun around.
Where the living room carpet ended, maybe three yards from where she sat, stood a very tall, very dark, broad-shouldered man. He was barefoot, dressed in black sweats. She saw him clearly for a fraction of a second before the lightning bolt she’d felt coming struck. In that fraction of a second, she realized why Mira had looked familiar to her. And realized, too, what had been going on with Kingsley since the turn their discussion had taken that evening—if not before. In that fraction of a second, she knew who she was looking at.
Author Bio and Links
Mary Patterson Thornburg has lived in California, Washington State, Montana, Indiana, and again, finally, in Montana. She was educated at Holy Names College, Montana State University, and Ball State University, where she then taught for many years. She’s been reading science fiction and fantasy since she was five, and when she began to write fiction it seemed only natural to write in those genres. Her literary heroes are Mary Shelley, who gave us all a metaphor for technology alienated from its creators, and Ursula K. Le Guin and Octavia E. Butler, inventors of worlds that shine their powerful searchlights on this one. She writes what some people call “science fantasy” (aka “fake science fiction) within as wide a range as possible, but almost always with a bit (or a lot) of romance.
Author Guest Post: “Where do you get your ideas?”
A standard complaint, among writers well enough known to go on book tours and have fans and do readings, is that if there’s a question period after the reading, someone will always ask: “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a cross between a complaint and a joke. One science fiction writer says he sometimes answers, “I have them shipped to me, by the gross, from China.”
It’s really a flattering question, though, isn’t it? (unless it’s asked in the tone of voice you might use to ask “What is that you’ve spilled down the front of your shirt?”) The questioner really wants to know. I suspect that writers complain, often, because they have no idea where the ideas come from – or they have a sort of memory of the source of a story, but there seems to be not much actual connection between the remembered source and the story itself.
A case in point is my story “Fergus,” now published in my collection In the Skull Palace, but first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, the oldest and most prestigious SF&F magazine in the U.S. and the hardest to sell a story to, which I never tire of crowing about from the rooftops until someone reminds me that Pride is a Deadly Sin. It came from an incident that happened eons ago, about which I always thought “I should write a story about that…” but never did. And then one day I did, and who knows why it suddenly went from an interesting but faded memory to the story it became? Not I. No idea. I don’t even remember writing it, and when I re-read it recently it was like reading something someone else wrote. The only connection I could see between it and myself, besides that remembered incident, was the fact that I and the narrator of the story had each recently acquired a cat and named him “Fergus.”
But (you ask), how about your latest book, Luke Blackmon’s Rose? You wrote it last summer, didn’t finish it till September, and it was published just a few days ago. Surely you can’t already have forgotten writing it! So, where did you get the idea for that one?
You’re right. I haven’t forgotten, and I’m glad you asked. Short answer: the story came from a combination of three things: the end of a long, sad, exceedingly dry period; a book I was reading; and, like several of my stories, from a dream.
In 2020, after an illness that lasted about a decade, my husband of 35 years died. For two more years I didn’t function well. I was in what now seems like a sort of fog. I occasionally tried to write, but the words wouldn’t come. Then, one bright day in May, something changed; I didn’t stop missing him, didn’t stop grieving. But I let him go, and I did come out of mourning – which is the closest analogy I can think of: the day a Victorian wife might stop wearing black continuously and start dressing in violet. I didn’t try to write, not yet. But I know now that whatever was blocking the words had been lifted.
In the meantime, I’d been reading a book of essays by Randall Kennedy entitled Say It Loud. It’s a long book of long essays. I’m afraid I might not even have started it, had I seen and lifted the hard-cover volume first. Fortunately, I got the ebook without knowing this about it, and then when I started reading I couldn’t really stop; I just had to put it down every so often and either scream, cry, or swear loudly. Sometimes all three together. Here’s how the New York Times describes the book: “A collection of provocative essays exploring the key social justice issues of our time—from George Floyd to antiracism to inequality and the Supreme Court. Kennedy is among the most incisive American commentators on race.”
And finally, then, I had this very short and rather odd dream: I was setting up for a banquet, in a big room full of long tables. The guest of honor was going to be Paul Robeson, the great American singer, actor, and activist, who died in 1976 at the age of 78. He had somehow been brought into the 21st century by a newly invented time machine.
The next morning, I sat down at my computer and started writing.
Be sure to enter the giveaway!
Mary Patterson Thornburg will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
TOUR DATES (FOR MORE CHANCES TO WIN!)
March 20: MacKade
March 20: Travel the ages
March 21: Fabulous and Brunette
March 22: Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm
March 22: Full Moon Dreaming
March 23: All the Ups and Downs
March 24: Joanne Guidoccio
March 27: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
March 27: Beverley A Baird – review
March 28: Literary Gold
March 28: The Avid Reader
March 29: Sandra’s Book Club – review only
March 30: Westveil Publishing
March 31: Kit N Kabookle
I am so looking forward to reading this book. I was completely intrigued just reading this post.
Thanks so much
Thanks for hosting!
Thank you so much for having me and Luke Blackmon’s Rose on your blog today!
Thank you for such an enjoyable read.
The book sounds very interesting. Thanks!
Nice review, Bev. I’m glad you enjoyed this one.
Thanks Carla. A fun read.
Thank you for sharing your review of Luke Blackmon’s Rose, this sounds like a story that I will enjoy reading myself and I am looking forward to doing so
Thanks Beatrice. Hope you do.