This list is posted in conjunction with OWS CyCon, a massive cyber book convention happening in just a few weeks. In addition to this post, I’m participating in a Sci-Fi Punk Blog Hop, Cover Wars, and I’m taking over the Fantasy and Sci-Fi Readers Lounge on Facebook, on Saturday 5/18 from 4-5pm.
Here’s a link to my booth on the OWS CyCon site and there’s more information on CyCon at the end of this post: https://owscycon.ourwriteside.com/forums/topic/alison-lyke-author-booth/
I decided to write my Top 5 post about my favorite places in science fiction so that I could honor the worlds I love and span multiple genres.
5. Tatooine from Star Wars
A "wretched hive of scum and villainy." – Obi-Wan Kenobi
As the first planet in the 1977 debut of the saga, Tatooine introduced Star Wars. I have an affinity toward the desert, perhaps because I was born there or maybe because I live in a cold place and I covet all that warmth. I love Tatooine’s city, Mos Eisley, because it’s an intergalactic melting pot with an unseemly underbelly.
4. Mars from Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles
“Perfect, faultless, in ruins, yes, but perfect, nevertheless.” ― Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
To clarify, I mean Mars before the human colonization. Although the “There Will Come Soft Rains” Mars does have a kind of horrifying beauty. The Martians with their surreal homes and alien minds are the best part of the book, even though they don’t claim much of the narrative.
3. The Republic of Gilead from Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale
“This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.” ― Margaret Atwood, A Handmaid’s Tale
Gilead is a place that once was for all of us and still is for some of us. More importantly, it’s an emotional reality for every woman who has been underestimated, demeaned, and abused. The first time I read this, I cried through the whole novel because I felt it and because I was relieved. I was relieved to find out that someone was speculating on the consequences of modern misogyny.
2. USS Voyager from Star Trek
“Who wanted to muck around in the dirt when you could be studying quantum mechanics?” - Captain Janeway
I’m a fan of all of the ships in Star Trek, especially the new Discovery, but the USS Voyager is the most interesting. With the ship hopelessly lost in space, Captain Janeway pulls together two warring crews and navigates the starship through the unknown using a mix of resolve and compassion. Voyager is untethered from the Federation, so they are free to explore original places and dilemmas.
1. The Republic of San Lorenzo from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle
“Life is a garden, not a road. We enter and exit through the same gate. Wandering, where we go matters less than what we notice.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle
San Lorenzo is a fictional banana republic in the Caribbean and the setting of my favorite book by my favorite author. It’s a gorgeous, lush, warm paradise with its own strange religion, banned by the government to make it more popular among the citizens. The foolishness and despotism of the leaders of San Lorenzo have far-reaching and globally devastating consequences. An important reminder in these times.
That's it for my Top 5 Sci-Fi Places - what are yours?
OWS CyCon Information
OWS CyCon officially runs May 17-19 with the CyCon website and Facebook events acting as the hub for all of our events. Sign up for our newsletter or RSVP to the event to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the bookish goodness we have to offer. Plus, you can read more about our participating Sci-Fi authors and their Top 5 favorites in Sci-Fi before CyCon starts. Visit the blog hop page any time leading up to CyCon for the latest posts and your chance to enter our MEGA giveaway (open May 10)
Celebrating the Last Season of Game of Thrones
I thought I'd have a little fun with some medieval foods. These recipes were taken from A Feast of Ice and Fire and they are all dishes that are mentioned in the Song of Ice and Fire books.
For each dish, A Feast of Ice and Fire splits the food up into the includes a quote from the book discussing the meal, a recipe for a medieval version of the dish and a recipe for a modern version.
What's on the Menu?
From Winterfell: Beef and Bacon Pie and Onions in Gravy.
The pie was tasty and filling, and it looks like it's hard to make, but it's not. It was a huge hit with all the guys in my house. The onions were good, but the gravy took too long to thicken. I gave up and we had thin gravy.
From the Riverlands: Leek Soup served at the Red Wedding!
This soup was flavorful and a little spicy. However, I wouldn't want it for a last meal.
From King's Landing: Oat Bread and Sansa's favorite Lemon Cakes.
Tyrion always eats oat bread, so I had to try it. It was a heary compliment to the rest of the meal. Sansa's lemon cakes were amazing! They're chewy with a crisp crust and super lemony. I modified the recipe to make it even more lemony by making the glaze lemon-based instead of milk-based.
Have fun this weekend and watch out for dragons!
I have been practicing daily meditation for eighteen years and yoga for sixteen years. I’m a naturally anxious person. In a previous generation I may have been called a “worry wart,” but in the modern era it’s called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Anyway, practicing yoga and meditation keeps me calm(er) and focused.
These are some of the books, products, website and apps that have helped with my daily practice. My top suggestions are bolded. As a side note, these recommendations are not sponsored or affiliate links.
The Crunch Candlelight Yoga
Includes a lot of modification for poses, so this is perfect for someone who has never done yoga or rarely practices. It’s also great if you’re injured or you need to relax without any “challenge” poses.
Namaste Yoga (with Kate Potter)
This is my favorite yoga practice and I’ve been doing these 22-minute flows for almost two decades. Unfortunately, the DVDs are pretty hard to find and the digital downloads are pricey. The good is, they still play these as episodes on television, so if you find them, DVR them and keep them forever.
Yoga with Adrienne
Adrienne has a yoga practice for every skill level and every situation! I always use her pre and post run stretches for my jogs.
Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventures
This is great for getting young kids into yoga. These short videos use yoga movements and a green screen to guide children through an exciting adventure and meditative practice.
Meditation Videos, Websites, Apps
A large collection of breathing and relaxation instruction and guided meditations.
Amazing guided, silent, and sleeping meditations using binaural beats. Binaural beats are a whole other, extensive topic, but in short, they’re sound frequencies designed to stimulate different parts of your brain.
A guided meditation phone app offering dozens of courses and daily meditations. Very useful, but also expensive at around $100 per year.
Similar to Headspace, but free. With over 150,000 meditations of varying quality, it can be hard to navigate.
Zen and the Ways by Trevor Leggett
Gives a sweeping history of Zen Buddhism and its relationship to other aspects of life. Also includes translations of rare Buddhist texts.
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
A collection of ancient Zen koans, which are stories meant to encourage meditation and introspection.
The Web that has no Weaver
A discussion on Chinese medicine and how to incorporate Eastern ideas into Western medical treatments.
What are your favorite yoga/meditation guides? Let me know in the comments!