Sunday, January 19, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway with Mindee Arnett, Author of Avalon

Hi, everyone! Today, I have a special post for you! I'm helping Mindee Arnett celebrate the release of her science fiction novel, Avalon! She has graciously agreed to write a guest post - about the parallels between Star Wars and Avalon! Check it out, and enter to win Avalon's prequel, Proxy!

The Avalon – Star Wars Connection

In some ways, I think Star Wars is like the Kevin Bacon of genre stories, you know the idea of 6 Degrees of Separation, how everybody is connected to everybody else and everyone in Hollywood is connected to Kevin Bacon. So when the lovely Alyssa asked me to guest blog about the connection between Star Wars and my upcoming sci-fi thriller Avalon, saying yes was easy. Avalon definitely owes a thing or two to Star Wars. I, like a lot of my fellow writers and readers, was born in a post-Star Wars world. It was responsible for some of my formative ideas about what sci-fi should, or perhaps, could be.

One of the biggest influences the movies had on my book is evident in the main character Jeth. I think anyone who has ever seen the Star Wars movies, might detect a bit of Han Solo’s roguish, I-ain’t-in-this-for-your-revolution attitude in Jeth. He is, after all, a teenage mercenary under the employee of a crime lord—the futuristic equivalent of a mafia boss, although he bears little resemblance to Jabba the Hutt (promise).  Like Han, Jeth isn’t worried about doing the right thing or breaking laws, and he’s chiefly motivated by money. 

However, he differs from Han in one important aspect—he always puts his family and his crew before himself. One of the reasons Jeth’s so concerned with making money is he wants to buy his way out of the criminal life so that his little sister Lizzie can be a normal teenager. But when it comes to his family, you can guarantee that Jeth will shot first, as Han did with Greedo. 

The other big influence Star Wars had on Avalon is the idea of hyperspace, or to be more specific the faster-than-light speed (FTL) travel. And yes, any of you hard sci-fi fans out there are welcome to roll your eyes at the notion. As an adult I now know that FTL travel is impossible and always will be, but as a kid, I never once questioned it. There was nothing cooler than watching the Millennium Falcon zoom into hyperspace, all those bright stars turning into blazing white ribbons streaking by the cockpit windows. This image and idea is a crucial piece of my love of sci-fi. To be honest, the reality of space travel—the notion of spending hundreds of years asleep while your family back on earth grows old and dies—is mostly depressing. Give me my sci-fi with FTL, if you please. 

And so I did. In Avalon, the FTL travel is called metaspace instead of hyperspace, but the premise is mostly the same. Metaspace is a separate dimension from our world, one that allows ships and the people on them to travel millions (billions? trillions? who can say?) across the galaxy in relativity short periods of time.

There are probably dozens of other connections I could make, including the this-ship-is-badass factor, but there’s no need. With any luck, dear readers and fellow Star Wars fans, you’ll enjoy making those connections on your own.  

About the Author:

Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.

About Avalon:

Avalon by Mindee Arnett
Book One of the Avalon series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 21, 2014

Official Summary:

A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.

About Proxy:

Proxy by Mindee Arnett
Book 0.5 of the Avalon series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: December 3, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads):

Proxy is an action-packed introduction to a world like nothing readers have seen before, and it sets a spark to the powder keg that will explode in Mindee Arnett's sci-fi thriller Avalon.

If you need something stolen from any star system in the Confederation, you need look no further than the Shades. Jeth Seagrave and his band of teenage mercenaries have been making a name for themselves for being able to steal anything—and for disappearing before anyone is the wiser. Their latest job, a jewel heist on Grakkus, should be no different. But when Jeth's boss replaces a key member of his crew just before takeoff, and Jeth discovers a betrayal within his own ranks, he begins to suspect that not everyone is going to be coming back from his job alive.

The Giveaway:

I'm giving away a Kindle/Nook copy of Proxy! Open to anyone who can accept either a Kindle or Nook ebook copy. Good luck!


  1. I didn't know this series was this closely related to Star Wars, it makes me want to read it even more! I love both the old and the new movies, I feel like the old ones are just classics, but I do love Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker!
    Thanks so much for this awesome give away! Thank you Alyssa and Mindee :)

  2. I definitely prefer the older films - they're soooo much better than the newer ones.
    I still can't believe that they're filming new films.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I've only seen the old ones and I love them. I'm not sure I want to see the new ones though

  4. I like the old ones better, but I think it's nice that they make the newer versions. The younger generation can enjoy the trilogy. Some a aversion to older movies.

  5. Oooooh!! *claps excitedly* My inner and outer geek is super happy about this post!
    I keep on figuring Jeth as a mix of Han and Mal (which might be a bit redundant since Wheddon itself has said that Mal was very much inspired by Han Solo) and I'm sure I'm gonna love reading Avalon and figuring connections with Star Wars and Firefly!

    Great topic Alyssa, thanks a lot for all the info Mindee!!

  6. I haven't seen either. :( I may as well be the only person who knows close to nothing about Star Wars. I still found the post intersting though. :) Thanks for sharing.

  7. Definitely the old, the new can't compare. If Avalon is six degrees of Star Wars then I must read. Thanks!

  8. Honestly, I was confused a little with this post. Don't shoot me ;D but I've never seen Star Wars... eep.

    I think I learned a few things today now! Yay! Great post, Alyssa and Mindee! (Oh and Alyssa, hope you can make the twitter party.)

  9. I watched the last half hour of the first movie of the new Star Wars. It was okay for something that I was utterly incapable of understanding. Light sabers are pretty awesome, I admit.

  10. I umm..... haven't seen the movies..... don't judge me. I've started them and I've seen bits and pieces of each movie over the years but I've never sat down and actually watched them.

    Thank you for the guest post Mindee. I actually never liked sci-fi books because I could never relate to the whole OUTER SPACE of it all but the summary of your book and what I've heard make me want to give it a try. Maybe your book will make me appreciate sci-fi! :)

  11. I have seen the Star Wars trilogy--the three old movies and the first new one. I hated the new ones. I'm a Star Wars purist. Definitely loved the old three!!!

  12. I love both old and prequel trilogy! We can't have too many Anakin/Vader <3


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