I don’t read science fiction, but I loved this book by Fletcher DeLancey (PLUS SOME FREE BOOKS!)

The Caphenon 1000x1600 BN

Hi all! The winners have been drawn and Fletcher is in the process of notifying them now. I’m not sure how they are divvying up the ebook/paperback split, so I’m not including the announcement here for fear I would announce it wrong. Because, you know, I’m me and that’s just the way I roll, a little wobbly and veering constantly to the left.

Anyway…Congratulations to the winners and thanks to Fletcher and Ylva for their generosity.

Excuse me while I have a SERIOUS fan-girl-sqee moment.

***pause for dramatic effect***

Did you see the title up there? Fletcher DeLancey is here. Let me repeat that. FLETCHER FREAKING DELANCEY IS HERE. Today. Right now. And, she’s celebrating the release of The Caphenon.

Now, let me explain my love for all things Fletcher. She’s amazing. No, really. AMAZING! Or, rather, her writing is. We’ve never met, I’ve only swooned from afar, so I can’t actually attest to her awesomeness. But I bet it’s awesome nonetheless.

And she has this awesome website: http://www.chroniclesofalsea.com/

You know what? Read her blog, and then buy her book, and then let me know how right I am. If you need further proof, check out her interview over at Cocktail Hour. BUT, before you run off to do that, I should tell you that her publisher, Ylva Publishing, is giving away FOUR FREAKING COPIES OF THE CAPHENON. FOUR! Two paperback, and two ebook. Leave a comment below and that’ll enter you in the drawing. I’ll pick the winner on Friday, March 27. And I promise not to draw my own name four times. That’s impossible anyway, since I’m not allowed to enter…

Yeah. So, good luck!

I don’t read science fiction, but I loved this book
by Fletcher DeLancey

My science fiction novel The Caphenon was released two weeks ago, and I’ve learned something interesting since then: many people think they don’t like science fiction. But if they’re asked, “Do you like books with great character development and emotional connections?”—then the answer is usually yes. Which means, they like good science fiction.

Science fiction and its sister genre, fantasy, both carry a reputation for being all about dressing rather than heart. Fantasy brings to mind dragons and wizards and shapeshifters, and if you’re not into those, why would you read it? But the Harry Potter series was fantasy. Millions of people who probably never thought of themselves as fantasy fans read it and loved it, because it was really about people.

By the same token, science fiction brings to mind spaceships and robots and massive laser-gun battles…but the original Alien was a tight, gripping psychological thriller in which we rooted for Ripley because she was smart and courageous, and she had to overcome the doubts of her coworkers, the evil machinations of her employer, and her own self-doubt to survive. Alien could have been called Ripley, because the movie was really all about her. It wasn’t about the spaceship she rode in on, or even about the alien.

Now, here’s where science fiction gets its bad rep. Alien had several sequels. Though the first sequel was not as good as the original, it was still decent science fiction—because it was still about Ripley and her transformation from a lonely, haunted woman who had no life to an adoptive mother willing to face down her greatest terror to save a little girl. But then came the other sequels. They stopped being about Ripley, or about any personal journey, and were instead about killing and/or developing monsters. Period. And that’s when they stopped being good science fiction. (Opinions may vary, of course.)

Good science fiction is about people. It’s about personal journeys, and making decisions—good or bad—and then having to pay the consequences for them. It’s about why people do what they do, and how they change and grow. Everything else, whether it’s ships, aliens, robots, or lightsaber battles, is just the framework that holds the personal story in place.

In good science fiction, that framework almost disappears—which is to say, its importance lies solely in how it supports the characters’ stories. In The Caphenon, the titular ship is not important because it’s a gee-whiz spaceship. It’s important because its arrival on the planet Alsea sets off a whole avalanche of politics, competing motivations, Machiavellian manipulations, love, betrayal, and a journey of revelation and growth that carries along not one, but three powerful women who find themselves on different sides of a conflict.

The presence of aliens in The Caphenon automatically puts it into the science fiction category, but how do you decide who the aliens are? The ship carries aliens who are revealed to be human…which means the Alseans must be alien. But to the Alseans, the humans are the aliens. Telling a story from both sides means everyone’s an alien—and they all have personal stories.

When you sell a book on Amazon, you’re limited in how you can keyword it. Is it science fiction or romance? Is it fantasy or mystery/thriller/suspense? Is it gay and lesbian, or is it literature and fiction?

Why do I have to choose? The Caphenon has a romantic subplot. (Its sequels, the two volumes of Without A Front, feature an epic romance front and center.) It has fantasy elements in the world of Alsea. It certainly has mystery, thrills, and suspense. It has both gay and lesbian relationships, and at the risk of sounding immodest, I consider it literature—at least, by my personal definition, which is “a story complex enough to reward multiple readings.”

But Amazon makes us choose, so we chose science fiction. It’s just a category. Don’t let it stop you from reading the book, because if you enjoy personal stories with a lot of emotion and character development, and some holy-cow plot twists thrown in, you’ll enjoy this.

And then, if I’ve done my job properly, you’ll say, “I don’t read science fiction, but I loved this book.”


Fletcher DeLancey spent her early career as a science educator, which was the perfect combination of her two great loves: language and science. These days she combines them while writing science fiction.

She is an Oregon expatriate who left her beloved state when she met a Portuguese woman and had to choose between home and heart. She chose heart. Now she lives with her wife and son in the beautiful Algarve, where she is still adapting to the glorious weather.

She is best known for her five-book Star Trek: Voyager fan fiction epic, The Past Imperfect Series, and for her geeky romance Mac vs. PC. Currently, she is working on the next books in the Chronicles of Alsea and as an editor for Ylva Publishing.

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49 thoughts on “I don’t read science fiction, but I loved this book by Fletcher DeLancey (PLUS SOME FREE BOOKS!)

  1. Remember yesterday’s comment about a sci-fi book that kept me up loooong past a reasonable bedtime. This was it. Excellent book and I’m still thinking about it.

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  2. I love Fletcher DeLancey’s books. The Past Imperfect Series is plain awesome! Looking forward to reading this one.

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  3. Actually I DO read science fiction and look forward to reading this. So I just need to find the time to read it slowly. Normally I devour books but feel that this may be best enjoyed when savoured slowly.

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  4. I almost can’t keep up with all the new authors I’m introduced to right here at Woman and Words!! It’s absolutely fantastic.
    Will definitely check out Fletcher DeLancey’s work and wouldn’t mind a free eBook to start with :-):-)

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  5. Because of your fan-girling, I decided to check out Fletcher, and now I’m a fan-in-the-making! How have I not known about this incredible author before today? Now I want to read everything she’s written. Thanks for that, I needed another obsession (in a good way)
    I MUST read The Caphenon!

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    1. Yay! Carolynmcb, you’ll be happy you did. I’m not big on fangirling, but when it happens, it’s really, really deserving. You really, really must read The Caphenon. Your life will be better for it.

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  6. This is one I’d love to read. I started out writing fantasy and science fiction short stories, until I was seduced by that other “I don’t read, but…” genre, erotica.

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  7. Always loved sci-fi and fantasy so couple them with Lesfic and you get a great combo…enter me please…and I have checked out Fletcher DeLancey prior to today and her books are on my MUST READ list 😉

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  8. I absolutely love the way Fletcher writes and really enjoyed her voyager series. I am looking forward to reading this book.

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  9. The Caphenon is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
    First I found the Past Imperfect Series (recommended to me by a straight coworker) and couldn’t stop reading. I made my partner watch the complete Voyager series on DVD and whined the whole time about the lack of certain characters. (now she has a crush on Janeway and thinks I’m crazy.) I bookmarked Without a Front on the website and came back a week later to read it and was shocked to find it gone… After the long wait I read The Caphenon now in one session on a long distance flight (which reinforced my partner’s doubt in my sanity). I loved every minute of my first read and would really like to win a paperback copy for a slower second, third and fourth read. (And to lend it to my coworker…;-)

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  10. Ah, the Chronicles of Alsea! One of my all times favorites. 🙂
    I’d love to own a paperback copy… signed by Fletcher, if possible. 😉
    for now, I’m just e-reading The Caphenon on my IPad (first generation…), and enjoying the voyage.

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  11. Omg. Love the online story and can’t wait to read this version. Please pick me. I’ll take either paperback or ePub. Pick me!!!

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  12. Love all things Fletcher DeLancey so, yes, I would love an eBook version. Thanks Jove Bell for posting this…….Now, go fix the first Flether in your headline!!!

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    1. Lol, Keltie1, I fixed it! I have such a serious case of fangirl squee going for Fletcher that it affected my ability to spell. Should I assume that’s the reason you left the ‘e’ off of my last name. 😉

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  13. I love reading the Past Imperfect series, I try to reread it every 12 months. I have The Caphenon on my little Kindle (starting tonight so don’t interrupt me until Friday) 😆.
    All I can say is yay! Fletcher DeLancey is publishing. I’d love a paperback to read while sitting outside under a tree.

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  14. “I don’t read science fiction,” but I am willing to try it to see if I love this book, because I really enjoy reading her blog …

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  15. I’ve really enjoyed this writer’s Voyager fanfic and would really like to read this new series! I’d prefer an ebook.

    Thank you,
    jmg

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  16. I’d love to win a copy of this book. It sounds really good. Btw, science fiction is one of the genres I do read.

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  17. I do read science fiction and I love this book. My recommendation if you don’t win a copy, rush out and buy it. (I have a copy so don’t enter me in the draw.)

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  18. This is the best description of the beauty of ‘good’ science fiction I have ever read. Yes, whether it is a story with spaceships or horses in a western, you are so correct; what makes it a good story is the character development and the author’s ability to get us to care about those characters. The rest is a backdrop to how and why those characters interact they way they do.This looks like a fascinating read. Please drop my name in the hat! Thanks.

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  19. Categorizing reading can complicate the process for readers, especially if one is exploring a new author. I discovered a new interest in some “military” themed novels by taking a chance at the book store. If the characters grab me, then I stay. I do enjoy SciFi, however, and will agree that the presense of dragons cannot always save a fantasy storyline. Thanks for the blog update. I look forward to reading a new author, whether I score a “freebie” or not.

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  20. I’ve been slowly becoming acquainted with sci-fi novels since reading Ancillary Justice Novel by Ann Leckie, which I highly recommend. I also really want to read The Paradox Trilogy by Rachel Bach. So, I’d definitely be interested in reading The Caphenon.

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  21. Like some of the other commenters, I do read and enjoy science fiction, and I certainly prefer “good” science fiction. Fletcher, I agree with your assessment that good science fiction should incorporate strong character development. I’m definitely planning to read The Caphenon!

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  22. I first met Fletcher Delancey in Mac vs. PC. Not only was it a great romance, with our protagonist a snob-in-hiding who has to confront her own issues and realizations about her blue collar background, but it also made me want to go buy a Mac. When I read the blurb about The Caphenon at the back of one of Ylva’s books, I immediately went to purchase it. I proudly admit I am a geek and a nerd and love sci-fi/fantasy. I was disappointed when I found out it hadn’t been released yet. (Shaking my fist at the sky) Darn you for your teasers, Ylva Publishing! So yeah, I’m excited that it’s out. And hey, being a poor working girl, free would be great! But I’m getting it soon, regardless!

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  23. Annoyed I missed the competition, but you’ve convinced me I need to read this book anyway. I do read science fiction, and fantasy, and coming across lesbian-related fsf is real treat.

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  24. Darn, I’m sorry I missed the “give-away” but wanted to say … yep, I’m one of the people who say ‘I don’t like science fiction/fantasy’ etcetera. But, you made a VERY important point. I don’t like poor storytelling. Scifi, like other genres, can get ‘side-tracked’ by their ‘science/technology’ elements, as can fantasy, supernatural … you get where I’m going. Anyway, I’ve read a few of your short stories and though I ‘don’t (generally) like scifi’, I’m interested in The Caphenon. Good luck!

    P.S. it is/was Andi Marquette’s Far Seek Chronicles that make me a-there-is-good-scifi-believer. 🙂

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