Under Nameless Stars Blog Tour
Today I’m celebrating Christian Schoon’s Under the Nameless Stars with an awesome list of Christian’s top five favorite alien critters from Zenn Scarlett and Under Nameless Stars. We’re also playing a game, however :D. At every blog tour stop, you can answer a question about the books for an entry in the giveaway which includes both books and a Name Your Own Star Gift Package! That’s right, name your own star :D. This might be the coolest giveaway I’ve ever had on the blog, not really sure how you top naming a star ;-).
To begin, the question!
When Zenn tells Liam about the first Indra she ever saw, she says it was how long?
A. 50 feet
B. 20,000 leagues
C. 400 meters
D. 700 feet
You must answer in the Rafflecopter below to be entered for the giveaway!
And now, one of my favorite parts about the Zenn Scarlett series…
Christian Schoon’s Top 5 Favorite Alien Life Forms
I think many authors would respond to the question of “pick out your fave creations” with the standard “I love all my kids, etc. etc.” But hey, let’s be truthful: some kids are just more interesting, or cuter, or more devlish than others. As far as creatures that Zenn works with at the Ciscan Cloister on Mars, and then meets on her journey off-world in Under Nameless Stars, here are a few that stand out:
- Tanduan Swamp Sloo – At roughly 200 feet long, the plesiosaur-like swamp sloo makes the list simply because it’s big enough to swallow an in-soma pod – the small, streamlined medical vehicle used by exovets when doing internal exams of the various huge alien species known as mega-fauna. How’s a sloo managed to grow so large and not collapse onto the ground? It’s aquatic on its ocean-covered home planet, so, as with Earther whales, its bulk is supported by the water; on Mars, the lower gravity allows it to emerge partially from its pond during Zenn’s distastrous in-soma run.
- Sirenian Bloodcarn – These are wicked fast, bad-ass, bright orange, thirty-foot, carnivorous centipedes with a head section that looks like an enormous tarantula. What’s not to luv?
- Greater Kiran Sunkiller – Grows to have a 1,500-foot wingspan, and drifts on the air currents of its home world, filtering out stratoplankton with the baleen-like plates in its mouth. It’s borne aloft thanks to the hundreds of small, blister-like features that coat the underside of its wings. These are filled with a mix of internally generated methane, hydrogen and other gases that provide lift for the sunkiller, and enable it to stay in the air without flapping its wings. This, in turn, makes for a stable aerial “platform” allowing the native Kirans to construct forts, palaces, and small villages on the creatures’ pasture-sized backs. Why do this? Because the surface of the planet below is infested with uber-predators that make life on the ground decidedly unpleasant and probably brief.
- Dantean Vhulk — These gentle, elephant-sized creatures resemble giant sloths covered with thick armor plating to withstand the searing, triple-suns heat of their home planet. They’re often employed as stokers for the plasma-furnaces aboard high-heat extremophile starships. Minor spoiler: Zenn gets to try out her skin-grafting techniques when she runs into a wounded Vhulk aboard the crusher-ship Prodigious.
- Lithohippus Indra – Also called Stonehorses, the mighty Indra are 700-foot-long, vacuum-dwellers with flattened serpentine bodies and a head something like an Earther seahorse. In their billions of years of evolution, they’ve evolved the ability to process dark matter into warping catalyst in order to tunnel through the space-time continuum (details involve preposterously complex equations and a very large blackboard). Over the past few centuries, Indra have been harnessed to propel starliners across interstellar distances, and these immense ships now knit together the dozen inhabited worlds of the Local Systems Accord. But over the past few years, Indra-drive ships have started to mysteriously vanish without a trace. Hmmm… wonder what’s up with that?
Of course, there are numerous other creatures afoot for Zenn to care for… or run away from… in Under Nameless Stars, and they all deserve their own blogs, let alone their own blog posts. Big thanks from both Zenn and I to Anya for letting me spend a little time here with the On Starships and Dragonwings crew to share a few of these noble beasts with you all. Cheers!
Read an Extract:
Make sure to check out all the other blogs in the tour for more questions and chances to enter!
Thank you so much to Strange Chemistry and Christian for this awesome blog tour for an exciting series! Under Nameless Stars is scheduled to come out on April 1st, 2014, so keep your eyes out!
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