Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blog Tour: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Guest Post & Giveaway)

I am so excited to be part of The Midnight Garden's Blog Tour of This Shattered World today! I loved These Broken Stars when I read it last year and I can vouch for the fact that this companion novel is just as brilliant and romantic as its predecessor. If you're even the tiniest fan of science fiction, you'll want to pick up this series for sure!  

Today I'll be welcoming the authors of This Shattered World, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner to talk about the world-building in their science fiction realms. If you're a frequent reader of the blog then you'll know that I love nothing more than a well-developed world, especially one grounded in reality, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading what Amie and Meagan had to say about their world-building. I think you will too. :)

Secrets of Starbound Unlocked: Science and Settings

The Starbound trilogy might be set in the future, but it’s grounded solidly in today’s science. We check our science is correct by consulting with physicists, doctors, botanists and others, or we check our science is plausible, if we’re getting creative. Some things (like hyperspace travel) we can’t do yet, but we try to make sure that nothing is scientifically impossible based on what we know right now.

Back when we were drafting These Broken Stars, our editor asked us to put together what we now call the Starbound Encyclopedia. It’s nearly ten thousand words of vital information about the characters and worlds you’ll encounter as you read these books. Here are a few excerpts that will tell you a little bit more about what you’re going to find on Avon in This Shattered World!

Terraforming: A Brief History

Mankind’s first experiments in terraforming took place on Mars in the mid-21st century, but the process did not become viable until after the discovery of faster-than-light travel almost a hundred years later. With the advent of interstellar exploration, the transportation of materials to Mars for terraforming became much cheaper and quicker, and the Mars Company took over from the government-funded scientists. By the time Mars was (barely) habitable, mankind had discovered dozens of other candidates for terraforming outside of our solar system, and had begun to apply the same process to them. These days, Earth is little more than a vast museum of mankind’s history, with environmental stabilizers to prevent complete ecological collapse. Thus far there have been no signs of life elsewhere in the galaxy, intelligent or otherwise… as far as the public record shows.

Avon: Planetary Purgatory

Avon is a recently terraformed planet, unable to sustain human life without the aid of respirators until only a generation ago. It’s co-owned by NovaCorp and Terra Dynamics. It should be much further along in the process than it is, but for generations the planet has been “stuck” at a particular stage in its development. Much of the planet is infertile swamp land, and the plant life is limited to algae and reeds. Its skies are constantly obscured due to a thick, constant cloud cover shrouding almost the entire planet.

The Fianna

Ten years before the start of This Shattered World, some of the descendants of Avon’s original colonists rose up in rebellion against Terra Dynamics and NovaCorp. Calling themselves the Fianna (Irish for warriors), they were led by a young woman named Orla Cormac. They demanded to know why Avon’s terraforming hadn’t progressed—until the planet becomes self-sufficient, Avon’s colonists are not considered citizens, and have no representation in the Galactic Council. The rebellion was unsuccessful, and Orla was executed for her crimes. The military has had fully-operational bases there ever since, acting as the planet’s police and security force until it becomes self-sufficient enough to have its own local governmental forces. Now, Orla’s little brother, Flynn Cormac, has inherited the rebellion. Unlike his sister, Flynn longs for peace, and hasn’t given up on the idea that there’s a way out for his people that doesn’t involve bloodshed.

Avon: The Fury

Though the locals are unaffected, soldiers posted on Avon succumb to a creeping madness called the Fury, which begins with disturbing dreams and escalates into an outburst of (usually fatal) violence. Most soldiers last only a few months before being reassigned to other planets. Despite numerous studies of the environment by doctors and scientists, no one has been able to determine a cause for this affliction. The only cure, once symptoms begin, is to be transferred off of Avon.
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, NC, while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts.
Tour Schedule:
Monday, December 8          The Midnight Garden    Secrets of Starbound: Characters

Tuesday, December 9         The Book Smugglers    Making an Audiobook
Wednesday, December 10  Ivy Book Bindings        Secrets of Starbound: Science and Settings
Thursday, December 11       Cuddlebuggery             How Amie & Meagan Met
Friday, December 12            Little Book Owl             Video Interview
Monday, December 15         Mundie Moms               Shooting the Cover
Tuesday, December 16        Xpresso Reads             Starbound Inspirations
Wednesday, December 17   A Book Utopia               Video: Your New Book Boyfriend
Thursday, December 18       Supernatural Snark       Q & A
Friday, December 19            Love is Not a Triangle   Gender in Science Fiction


We have some incredibly cool giveaways thanks to the authors and Disney-Hyperion. Not only do we have 5 hardback copies of This Shattered World to give away, but we also have a grand prize that’ll make fans of the series super, super excited!

Grand Prize:
Autographed copies of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World
Starbound Swag
A secret letter from Tarver to Lilac, which you may keep secret for yourself, or may be posted and shared with others
Your choice of coffee with the authors at one of their upcoming U.S. tour stops (locations TBD) OR a Skype chat!

All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a thoughtful comment below telling us why you’re specifically excited to win this prize! Don’t forget, you may earn additional points by sharing this giveaway on social media and by visiting the other tour stops as well.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
A huuuge shout out to Wendy @ The Midnight Garden for organizing this blog tour and for selecting me to be a part of it. I had a blast, Wendy, so thanks a bunch! If you haven't already, be sure to check them out! :)
Also, be sure to look out for my review of This Shattered World soon to find out more about these characters, their journey, and, most importantly, their love story!


  1. This really does look like it is a great series! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  2. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    I Love the encyclopedia entries!! It's so awesome to see the timeline of the backstory behind the science and the series in general.

    Love how politics are also part of the entries, especially with terraforming and how self-sufficiency means citizenship.

    It should be published!!

    Lovely post!

    thank you so very much :)

  3. Wow, they really did their research. That's awesome. I REALLY want to read the first book...I like that this is a companion novel too, and not a direct sequel.

  4. I love this series so much! I just finished This Shattered World and am now of course obsessing over the next book:) Thanks to this post I'm also obsessing over this encyclopedia, I need more excerpts!

  5. What a great post! I haven't seen anything like it in other tours. It is really interesting to know more about how the world is set up and what the authors were thinking. I'm really itching to get This Shattered World! I can't wait for your review!!

  6. THIS is why the "Starbound Trilogy" is so amazing...I have a weakness for books that have well-thought out science within their futuristic books! The scientific background of sci-fy books can either make or break them (for obvious reasons), and I am so happy for Amie and Meagan that the history to their trilogy has only added to the awesomeness that are the "Starbound" books!
    Reading this blog post makes me really want to read "This Shattered World."

  7. This just makes everything SO much better. I hope they're able to publish the encyclopedia someday! I'd love to read it an have it on the bookshelf next to the other books. So much thought went into everything, it's amazing! I can't wait for This Shattered world ♥

  8. That's so cool that Meg and Amie came up with an Encyclopedia! That shows real dedication and thought, which means it's gonna be a great book! The Fury sounds super creepy... Can't wait!

  9. Wow, I find it totally fascinating that they have a complete encyclopedia with all their information!! I know how much you love a well-developed world, Keertana, so I'm sure you loved reading the excerpts as well. They were so cool!! I can't wait to read even more in the book.

    Thanks for sharing, Keertana! <3

  10. I have been wanting to read this series for some time now. Oh I love this post. Really makes me want to read it even more!!

  11. We've had so many conversations about inferior world-building in science fiction that I knew this was the perfect blog post for you, Keertana! If the world in Starbound passes muster, it's high praise indeed. ;)

    Thanks for being part of the tour! Look forward to your review.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  12. I enjoy science fiction reads that are actually sciencey. Like this could actually happen or scientists are working on it becoming a reality. That's probably my favorite thing about science fiction. I'm absolutely in love with this series. Love this post!

  13. This encyclopaedia post was such an interesting post to share! I love the amount of detail that you've gone into with this world you've created, it truly does make it believable to me! Thanks for sharing this post with us Keertana!

  14. Honestly, the world-building in this series is part of what makes me love it as much as I do. It's so complex and well thought-out, and I really admire that. There are times throughout the story that I just can't help but wonder if this universe Spooner & Kaufman have created is real because it just has so much detail and intricacy. Thanks for sharing Keertana! ♥

  15. Oh my gosh wow! There is so much detail here, and I love how much research these ladies did. It definitely shows in This Shattered World.

    Nice post and thanks for sharing, Keertana! <33

  16. Woha this post just blew me away. I remember when I read These Broken Stars and all things there seemed so unreal so yeah. I love this book and it's really great to learn about all that. Thanks for sharing, Keertana :)

  17. I love finding out all the background work that goes into a series, and especially to discover that these authors faceted checked everything - at least to make sure it wasn't impossible. I can for sure tell how rich this world building is, in it's science in history, but also the social side (I have a great post on friday about this). So happy that you also loved this book. Hope you're well, friend!

  18. I loved the first book! This was a great post, thanks for sharing it:)

  19. I've read TSW - I thought Avon's setting was pretty interesting. Very... raw. Amazing book!

    Thank you!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  20. I love that the science in these books is based on reality. It's great that they did their research!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  21. I love how much thought hey put into the world building for this series! I can't wait to read more about it and learn it through a new set of characters! Thanks for the tour guys!

  22. Have had this on my wishlist since I read the first blurb

  23. I plan to be an author someday, but there's one problem: I lack motivation. And without motivation, how could you complete a book? How could you do the research necessary? I'm so envious of Meagan and Amie for doing so much research on science and even creating an ENCYCLOPEDIA--it's amazing!

  24. The whole background of this planet and the political climate and science of the series is fascinating! I tend to really immerse myself in the world when I read a book. Getting that back story really helps with the imagining of the setting.

    I just started this on audio and can't wait to get my earbuds back in. . . love this series!

  25. I love that the series is actually grounded in real science. There are some other series that I have started (that will remain nameless) that I did not even finish because they were just so unbelievable. I think believability is vital for a good sci-fi story. I am so excited to start reading this series!

  26. I hope I can think that far into the science of my writing in the future!

  27. It's amazing the time and effort that these wonderful ladies have put into their books. The fact that they have researched all of this science to ensure that nothing in their book is strictly impossible makes me appreciate their book even more. It proves to me that they care about their book, it's not just some money-making scheme, and I appreciate that very much.

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