His Name In Lights

Rated 4.67/5 based on 4 reviews
A novelette originally published in the Universe Annex of the Grantville Gazette. Why does company boss Eilin Gunnarsson care so much about two young clones that she sends them warnings written on the clouds of Jupiter? More

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Words: 11,750
Language: English
ISBN: 9781466095342
About Patty Jansen

A couple of years ago, Patty Jansen was told by a very large publisher: "This book is well-written and well-plotted, but no one will publish this". The manuscript in question was book 1 in the Ambassador series, and to say that Patty was a little taken aback and shaken is an understatement.

But, against conventional wisdom, she kept writing similar stories, and had some success in the short story market. She won the Writers of the Future contest and took part in the amazing workshop in LA, hobnobbing with big-name writers like Kevin Anderson, Larry Niven and Greg Benford. She sold some stories to Analog. But she prefers to write novels.

She was getting good industry responses to the Icefire trilogy when the GFC hit, and the publishing industry crawled into a hole. She would like to tell the agents who still have the manuscript from back then that it has been published, so they can remove it from their desks.

Patty didn't set out to become a vocal supporter for self-publishing. In real life, she is not a very controversial person, trained as scientist. She loves writing science bits into novels, whether the genre is science fiction or fantasy.

When she was told by yet another publisher not to bother submitting hard science fiction because she is a woman, she finally decided that maybe the publishing industry was not for her.

She might be stubborn, but she believes that people should allowed to be themselves:

- Women should be able to write science fiction (high-tech and space opera, no naked torsos), even though 95% of the bestseller lists in those genres are male.
- They should do so under their own name.
- Writers should write in their local type of English, and not be "required" to make all their spelling and idioms US-centric.
- Writers have the right not to be held to ransom by publishers who take their manuscripts and then take years to make a decision, or grabbing rights (like movie rights, creative rights) which they are not going to use.

With this in mind, Patty, who lives in Australia, writes science fiction and fantasy about people who also believe in those things, or fight for those things.

Want to keep up-to-date with Patty's fiction? Join the mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/qqlAb

Patty is on Twitter (@pattyjansen), Facebook, LinkedIn, goodreads, LibraryThing, google+ and blogs at: http://pattyjansen.com/

Also by This Author


Review by: seandblogonaut on April 18, 2011 :
His Name In Lights is a hard SF novelette by Australian Writer Patty Jansen. Now don’t let the tag ‘hard SF’ scare you off, there’s no Astrophysics or hard science to turn you brains to mush. It’s hard science in the background, in the setting.

The Story

Allion Aerospace Ltd. has been contracted by the ISF(International Space Force) to carry out construction work on the volatile surface of Io (one of Jupiter’s moons). Owing to the dangerous environment Allion have sent two of their aggregates(advanced human machine hybrids), who operate without the need for space suits.

Meanwhile, the Allion ship Thor III is lacing the cloud bands of Jupiter with balloons(hydrogen filled and with remote controlled lights) as part of the solar systems greatest bill board display.

Io being the hazardous environment that it is, causes problems and a mayday signal is sent from one of the aggregates, the Thor III can’t reach them and the ISF grudgingly responds, but things are not as they seem and what started out as a simple tale of construction and human fancy in the outer solar system becomes one of intrigue, danger and surprisingly love.

Plausibility is the name of the game

As a I mentioned above, those of you who aren’t Scifi fans or prefer Star Wars to 2001: A Space Odyssey will find His Name in Lights an accessible story. Jansen does a wonderful job of presenting a plausible setting and plausible technologies (and this is where it deserves the Hard SciFi tag).

I was hooked by the little background details that Jansen sprinkles throughout the text – The Mars war, the tension between pro human ISF and Allion, the political situation this side of the asteroid belt, the briefly mentioned technologies for dealing with space radiation on a huge scale.

Jansen has managed to give the reader a nice self contained story, and at the same time left us with a vision of a much larger ‘universe’- one that I want to read more stories set in.

Five stars from me, Patty’s just scored herself a fan.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Tsana Dolichva on April 10, 2011 :
This novelette follows two characters in the midst of large engineering projects centred about Jupiter and Io. What I particularly enjoyed is that, despite a fairly narrow primary plot focus, it read as though it was happening in a large, well-realised universe with lots of other things going on in the background.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Conrad Wong on April 01, 2011 : (no rating)
I've always enjoyed stories about human near-space colonization, so it comes as a breath of fresh air to have a new author writing in this setting!

That said, I do wish the story were a bit longer, with more details on the setting. It's hard to imagine Daniel and his brother Oscar since there's little to no introductory description. I can piece it together from the narrative, but I hope that the author will give her stories more room to breath in the e-publication framework where there are no page constraints as there would be with magazines.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Greta van der Rol on March 09, 2011 :
Set on Io, arguably the most dangerous of Jupiter's moons, this hard SF novelette reminded me very much of the late, great Isaac Asimov's work. It is a mixture of well-researched science, robots and politics with a very clever technological twist and a good dose of humanity. Mind you, it is now some years since Dr Asimov passed on and our knowledge of robots, computers and the like have come a long way. Jansen has done her homework. The setting and the tech are convincing and the political situation is all too plausible.

The story is written from the point of view of Daniel, half human half robot, and the female boss of the company which created him. Eilinn is a tough, hard nosed woman with a softer side. I particularly liked the way Jansen described the internal wars between Daniel's robot and human sides. Whether there is any significance in her choice of Daniel as her hero's name I don't know. But I, like many Asimov fans, remember Daneel.

This novelette is the forerunner to a novel. I shall look forward to reading it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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