Archives for posts with tag: teenagers

A Philip K. Dick Award Finalist

A San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book

“A fine novel packed with vivid detail, colorful characters, and genuine insight.” Washington Post Book World

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

“Captures the moment perfectly and offers a tantalizing glimpse of its wonderful and terrible consequences.” San Francisco Chronicle

A harrowing coming of age. A friendship ending in tragedy. A terrifying far future. A love spanning five centuries. And a gritty portrait of a unique time in American history.

“Remarkable. . . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” Locus Magazine

“Mason has an astonishing gift. Her chief characters almost walk off the page. And the story is as significant as anyone could wish. This book will surely be on the prize ballots.” Analog

“A priority purchase.” Library Journal

Summer Of Love, A Time Travel is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.

Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

 Summer of Love Cover Final

Twenty five-star Amazon reader reviews
New Five-Star Amazon Review: “Just checked to see if this book was on Kindle. It has been many years since I’ve read it but I remember it as one of my very favorite books. Time to go back and re-read it!!!”

“This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.”
“More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well.”

“My favourite SF book of all time: beautiful, cynical, and completely involving” From Goodreads

5 stars Calling All Fans
“Summer of Love is an important American literary contribution that may very well have a strong and viable fan base. Where are you? Join us!
This novel is loads of fun to read. The majority of the characters are hippies from the 1960s who meet a stranger from the future who’s looking to save his world. This fellow, Chiron, needs to find a troubled adolescent teen named Susan (a.k.a. Starbright) for a very compelling reason. The book has a great deal to offer: swift action, lovable characters, spiritual insight, and well-chosen primary documents such as essays, poems, and news articles which round out the reader’s understanding of the worldview of the novel.
Some books talk about the sixties. This novel IS the sixties, thanks to the spirit and scholarship of its author. And, as one reader aptly put it, ‘the sci-fi stuff is just plain off the hook.’ Get a copy. Most people who have read it seem to respect it and enjoy it every bit as much as I do.”

5 stars I think it’s a great book. The level of character development is much higher than what we have come to expect in Scifi-Fantasy.

What I can add is that Lisa Mason has done a meticulous job of researching what the sixties were REALLY like, not the candy coated version of them which one normally sees in the media. That one could go to the Fillmore and see Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Jefferson Airplane, legendary groups almost any night. The idea that this quality of music would last forever. The naive optimism about the future mixed with the omnipresent paranoia about the Man or the System. The wide open experimentation with living styles. The idea that anyone who dressed like you was your brother/sister. The dark side of “free love”. That someone with bell-bottomed pants and bare feet would hitchhike across the country to San Francisco with little or no money because a friend was there (somewhere) and a record said in the “Summer of Love”, all you needed was a “Flower in Your Hair”. The individual acts of giving and charity mixed with the fundamentally parasitic nature of the “Love” generation.

Ms Mason’s love of San Francisco shines through her story so one can taste and feel “Haight Ashbury” locale of the 60’s.

5.0 out of 5 stars Born in the wrong decade…shed a lot of light on my ideas This book is a wonderful book. I’ve read it approximately 5 times….My mom always used to tell me I was born in the wrong decade, and I believe that is true. This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.

5.0 out of 5 stars More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well This is a wonderful book for anyone who’s ever dreamed of time travel. It also shows you a first-hand view of the Summer of Love. Mason does an excellent job of describing her characters and how they feel, even when under the influence. Her view of the future seems realistic enough (although we’ll never know) and the way she twists the plot around Chiron, Starbright, Ruby, and the other characters is quite clever. All in all this is a book that I will read many times.

A high-powered executive is about to lose his estranged teenage daughter to critical burn wounds and only desperate measures may save her life.

Tomorrow’s Child started out as a script for a medical documentary for the 3M Company, transformed into a lead story published in Omni Magazine, optioned and then sold outright as a feature film to Universal Studios where the project is presently in development.

The ebook includes my 30-day blog, The Story Behind The Story That Sold To The Movies, describing the twists and turns the story took from inspiration to a six-figure movie sale.

This is a high-concept story that sold to a magazine editor who needed to have the language super-tight. My film rights agent said he cried at the end. The president of Burn Victims of America wrote me a fan letter.

So there you have it, my friends. Tomorrow’s Child is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Tomorrow’s Child is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Japan, and India.

TCCoverBIG

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

Whew! Did I forget anything? I don’t think so, but I didn’t include every title in my whole list, either. For that—

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, on Wikipedia, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Lewis Shiner, the author of Frontera in the Philip K Dick Award Storybundle, posted this review on Facebook after the bundle launched.

“I haven’t kept up with SF for some years, so I didn’t know about Lisa Mason’s SUMMER OF LOVE until she approached me about the PKD Award Storybundle (http://storybundle.com/pkdaward). I was immediately intrigued because I am currently working on a huge mainstream novel about the sixties that includes a long section set in San Francisco in August of 1967, which I had researched in print, on the Internet, and on the ground with the help of music historian Richie Unterberger.

The book completely knocked me out. I recognized everything, from the geography of Golden Gate Park to the stores in the Haight to the historical figures like Digger honcho Emmett Grogan (thinly disguised as “Leo Gorgon”) and biker Chocolate George (as himself). The Dead and the Airplane and Janis are all here–there’s even a historically accurate cameo by George Harrison. The fictional characters ring true, and they cover the spectrum from the childlike to the predatory. You can smell the pot smoke and patchouli and Loveburgers.

What elevates the book to greatness, though, is its heart and its moral center. Mason somehow captures the playfulness and guilelessness of the era without once turning away from the squalor and violence and hypocrisy. She has no sympathy for the narcissism of the Diggers, the sexism of the gurus, the foggy incompetence of the constantly stoned–and nothing BUT sympathy for the believers, the innocents, the ordinary folks trying to get by from day to day.

It is a tribute to Mason’s courage that, after showing us rape, addiction, rip-offs, and murder, she remains unshaken in her idealism. In this wonderful novel, the sixties are not a clown show or a costume party, not a joke or political cartoon. They are, as I believe them to be in my own heart, the key to the survival of the human race.

SUMMER OF LOVE is just one of 11 novels in the Philip K. Dick Award story bundle.”

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle runs only until October 15. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! Download yours today at http://storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

Review of Summer of Love in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Books To Look For by Charles De Lint

Lisa Mason has a different take on time travel. Where Robert Sawyer uses it to have some fun—albeit he is serious in his speculations on dinosaurs—Mason uses time travel to explore the sensibility of the sixties and environmental concerns. On second thought, perhaps there isn’t that much difference. These days, true hippie culture is as much a dinosaur as those behemoths that once roamed the world, and part of Mason’s thrust is to explore how it died off—was dying even as, to all intents and purposes, it appeared to be in its heyday.

Her time traveler, Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, has his origin in our own far future. He comes to San Francisco during the Summer of Love because that summer in 1967 is a “hot spot” on the time line. Something happens during those few months that has repercussions through the centuries until, in Chiron’s own time, data is mysteriously disappearing from his people’s data banks. He’s been sent to stop it.

His mission begins with trying to track down a young woman names Starbright, his only clue a film clip from the CBS news. But finding her is only a part of the problem. Once he’s found her, he has to protect her from danger until the “hot spot” closes.

Starbright—we learn well before Chiron—is actually Susan, a fourteen-year-old runaway from the suburbs of Cleveland who arrives in Haight-Ashbury to find herself. Much of the story is told from her point of view, as well as that of an older woman named Ruby who befriends both Susan and Chiron. Ruby is an old beatnik who has made the natural transition into hippiedom as did many of the beats at the time, and her take on the scene is particularly fascinating.

The story progresses from there and is quite engrossing as the fated summer unfolds and we experience the group dynamics between the three and various secondary characters. But there’s more to the story than the (fairly) linear plot line. Mason is using Summer of Love to explore present day environmental concerns as well as old hippie culture. Her extrapolations of how the future will turn out are firmly based upon the present misuse of the world’s resources, and while she doesn’t beat the reader over the head with her message, she makes a good case for the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Unfortunately, she’s probably preaching to the converted because one’s interest in this book is undoubtedly directly proportional to one’s sympathy to the counterculture as it rose up during the sixties.

That said, I have to admit (my age showing) that I found Summer of Love to be a clear-eyed look at the past, rather than one warped by the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia. Her characters are captivating and I enjoyed the stream-of-consciousness style of writing that opens many of the chapters as well as the clippings and quotes of the times that are interspersed with the main body of the text. She’s managed to capture both the innocence of the hippie culture and the streetwise cynicism that eventually brought it down.

Summer of Love is a far cry from the hard-edged cyberpunk sensibility of her earlier novel, Arachne, but I happen to consider that a good thing. There’s nothing more tiresome than an author continually rewriting the same book, and that’s certainly not the case here. Mason has given us an enchanting foray into the near past, as seen through the eyes of the people of its times, as well as through the eyes of an individual from our own all-too possible far future. In that sense it’s both a history lesson and cautionary tale, but one that doesn’t forsake the first tenet of good fiction: there’s an entertaining story at the heart of it all.”

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle runs only until October 15. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! Download yours today at http://storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

Here’s the 1994 review of Summer of Love by Faren Miller in Locus, the Magazine of the Science Fiction Field:

“[In] Lisa Mason’s Summer of Love, the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.

If you belong to the boomer generation, you’re already a traveler in time. The world of 1967 had 30-pound ‘calculating machines,’ AIDs-free sex, largely voluntary homelessness amid continuing postwar prosperity; hip was ‘groovy,’ unhip ‘square’ or ‘plastic.’ For those in the right place, musical legends could be seen onstage any night of the week, five bucks a show. In short, a lost and now increasingly alien time. But it was far from an edenic Golden Age, as Mason soon makes clear. When Starbright (nee Susan Bell) runs away from her uptight and increasingly dysfunctional family in Cleveland and hops on a plane to San Francisco in pursuit of the hippie dream, she is engulfed in a scene mingling innocence and squalor, idealists and hustlers, joy and pain in equal measure.

Everyone who lived through those days, whether at their cultural epicenters or far on the sidelines, can look back with the benefit of 27 years’ hindsight. But young Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco has a much farther way to go, in the eyeblink of near-instantaneous transport of the “ME3 Event” taking him from the San Francisco of the 25th century to the city chaotically celebrating the advent of the Summer of Love on Solstice Day, 1967. Chi is armed with centuries of perspective on the mess humanity was already making of its home planet: it will take all those centuries just to clean up after the profligate Industrial Age and advance a few cautious steps forward, into experiments with terraforming Mars and using a still not completely understood higher physics for a venture back in time. His armament also includes an array of ‘nutribeads’ and ‘prophylac’ wraps designed to shield him from the germ-crawling horrors of the past. Viewed from any standpoint but his own, he’s a slumming young aristocrat, absurdly finicky, unaccountably grave, and strange enough to be ‘far out’ yet not quite hip. He’s also a committed feminist, to the bemusement of most folk in that benighted year of ’67.

The plot element that brings Chi to the past, in search of Starbright, has that somewhat melodramatic air shared by most science-fiction notions-of-convenience, even in hard SF. Starbright is the most likely candidate for being an ‘Axis’ of catastrophic change in the ‘hot dim spot’ of 1967—a time whose archival remnants have begun to degrade in some bizarre space/time software glitch involving sinister antimatter doubles from an alternate universe and . . . well, even SF’s old master used such gimmicks at need.

However, the science fictional heart of this novel – its sharp intelligence – doesn’t need to rely on gimmickry. Cybernetics, sociology, ecology, and speculative physics all get their due in an atmosphere of mental exhilaration far removed from the Haight’s druggy ambience. Starbright herself is a bright girl, a one-time high school science whiz with a flair for mathematics that will help her calculate the arithmetic behind a San Francisco drug deal, if not the dangers of having anything to do with it. Chi, of course, has the brains to use his camouflaged future-tech with a good understanding of the principles behind it.

So, science is grounding as well as plot mechanism here. Well and good. But the wisdom of this book, along with its sparklings of wit, have a more immediate human source in a character more pivotal than any transtemporal Axis. That character is Ruby A. Maverick, proprietor of the Mystic Eye herbal/cosmic bookstore. Strong-willed businesswoman, sadder and wiser survivor of the Beat experiment, mixed-race black/Native America and ‘southern cream,’ she is a formidable woman even in her rare moments of vulnerability, and not wet-behind-the-ears redheaded kid, not even a futuristic ‘Man from Mars,’ stands a chance of besting her. When Chi and Starbright both end up in her orbit, the byplay is delicious – and we see just how much a boy from the future can learn about himself and his times, from this woman of the past.

Summer of Love offers a whole array of beautifully portrayed characters along the spectrum between outright heroism and villainy. It turns a clear eye on a time and place whose own inhabitants experienced with blinkers on, whether these consisted of youthful self-absorption, hard-grained bigotry, or a haze of drugs. And it looks ahead, to a future whose relative wonders derive more from hard work, sacrifice, and a painfully achieved maturity than from the whiz-bang baubles of limitless high technology.

Not what you expected from a book with flowers in its hair? Well, make no mistake, this is a remarkable second novel from another in the sudden array of talented, new, coincidentally female SF writers who seem ready to provide their own definition of a Golden Age for our field.”

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle runs only until October 15. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! So you must act now and download yours today at http://storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

A Philip K. Dick Award Finalist

A San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book of the Year

 

3.23.14SOLATTCVRMED

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away to San Francisco to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

A harrowing coming of age. A friendship ending in tragedy. A terrifying far future. A love spanning five centuries. And a gritty portrait of a unique time in American history–the Summer of Love.

From the author of The Gilded Age (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book), The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery), and Strange Ladies: 7 Stories.

About the Author

Lisa Mason is the author of ten novels, including Summer of Love, a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book, The Gilded Age, a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book, a collection of previously published science fiction and fantasy, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, and two dozen stories and novellas in magazines and anthologies worldwide. Her Omni story, “Tomorrow’s Child,” sold outright to Universal Studios and is in development.

Mason is presently serving as a judge for the 2016 Philip K. Dick Award.

“Remarkable. . . .a whole array of beautifully portrayed characters along the spectrum from outright heroism to villainy. . . .not what you expected of a book with flowers in its hair. . . the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.”
–Locus

“A fine novel packed with vivid detail, colorful characters, and genuine insight.”

–The Washington Post Book World
“Captures the moment perfectly and offers a tantalizing glimpse of its wonderful and terrible consequences.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

“Brilliantly crafted. . . .An engrossing tale spun round a very clever concept.”
–Katharine Kerr, author of Days of Air and Darkness

“Just imagine The Terminator in love beads, set in the Haight-Ashbury ‘hood of 1967.”
–Entertainment Weekly

“Mason has an astonishing gift. Her characters almost walk off the page. And the story is as significant as anyone could wish. This book will surely be on the prize ballots.”
–Analog

“A priority purchase.”
–Library Journal

Visit her at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on her Facebook Author Page, on her Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle runs only until October 15. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Act now and download yours today at http://storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

 

Just in time for the Summer Solstice, and the first day of the Summer of Love, tomorrow, here is Charles De Lint’s original review:

6.11.15FSF.SOL.TINY

“Lisa Mason has a different take on time travel. Where Robert Sawyer uses it to have some fun—albeit he is serious in his speculations on dinosaurs—Mason uses time travel to explore the sensibility of the sixties and environmental concerns. On second thought, perhaps there isn’t that much difference. These days, true hippie culture is as much a dinosaur as those behemoths that once roamed the world, and part of Mason’s thrust is to explore how it died off—was dying even as, to all intents and purposes, it appeared to be in its heyday.

Her time traveler, Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, has his origin in our own far future. He comes to San Francisco during the Summer of Love because that summer in 1967 is a “hot spot” on the time line. Something happens during those few months that has repercussions through the centuries until, in Chiron’s own time, data is mysteriously disappearing from his people’s data banks. He’s been sent to stop it.

His mission begins with trying to track down a young woman names Starbright, his only clue a film clip from the CBS news. But finding her is only a part of the problem. Once he’s found her, he has to protect her from danger until the “hot spot” closes.

Starbright—we learn well before Chiron—is actually Susan, a fourteen-year-old runaway from the suburbs of Cleveland who arrives in Haight-Ashbury to find herself. Much of the story is told from her point of view, as well as that of an older woman named Ruby who befriends both Susan and Chiron. Ruby is an old beatnik who has made the natural transition into hippiedom as did many of the beats at the time, and her take on the scene is particularly fascinating.

The story progresses from there and is quite engrossing as the fated summer unfolds and we experience the group dynamics between the three and various secondary characters. But there’s more to the story than the (fairly) linear plot line. Mason is using Summer of Love to explore present day environmental concerns as well as old hippie culture. Her extrapolations of how the future will turn out are firmly based upon the present misuse of the world’s resources, and while she doesn’t beat the reader over the head with her message, she makes a good case for the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Unfortunately, she’s probably preaching to the converted because one’s interest in this book is undoubtedly directly proportional to one’s sympathy to the counterculture as it rose up during the sixties.

That said, I have to admit (my age showing) that I found Summer of Love to be a clear-eyed look at the past, rather than one warped by the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia. Her characters are captivating and I enjoyed the stream-of-consciousness style of writing that opens many of the chapters as well as the clippings and quotes of the times that are interspersed with the main body of the text. She’s managed to capture both the innocence of the hippie culture and the streetwise cynicism that eventually brought it down.

Summer of Love is a far cry from the hard-edged cyberpunk sensibility of her earlier novel, Arachne, but I happen to consider that a good thing. There’s nothing more tiresome than an author continually rewriting the same book, and that’s certainly not the case here. Mason has given us an enchanting foray into the near past, as seen through the eyes of the people of its times, as well as through the eyes of an individual from our own all-too possible far future. In that sense it’s both a history lesson and cautionary tale, but one that doesn’t forsake the first tenet of good fiction: there’s an entertaining story at the heart of it all.”

3.23.14SOLATTCVRMED

So there you have it, my friends. Full disclosure: I am not now nor have I ever been a hippie. I was fascinated by the time period and spent over two years researching this book. It is intended to be a broader statement about the evolution of American attitudes—for better and for worse—that began in the sixties.

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Gilded Age is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India, and Mexico.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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