Tag Archives: Jules verne

A Nautilus Escape Room! and Other Book News

Recently I celebrated my 38th birthday and my 17th wedding anniversary (2 days apart) so my husband and I celebrated by doing an escape room! We live in Los Angeles, so there are a variety around. (I highly recommend the 60out locations if you live around here.)

So anyway, we were browsing the different options–we wanted medium difficulty, not horror, etc.–and we found one based on Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Having recently participated in an anthology commemorating the book, I had to do it.

And it was really cool! Very steampunk aesthetic. We started in a small dark room–really dark–and eventually felt around and found flashlights (lanterns?) in a cabinet. With the flashlights we were able to see to fix the piping and repressurize the rest of the “ship.” There were several other tasks–cranks to turn, valves to get to certain numbers, electrical cables to rewire.

Once we did those the door opened to Captain Nemo’s study. We had to find his journal, then pass a series of tests to open the engine room and activate the life boat. There were knicknacks to align in a certain order. We had to use a list of completed books in his journal to rearrange the books in his personal library.

Then there was a map of the world to figure out, a piano (pianoforte?) to play, and a few other puzzles I can’t even remember. The final engine room had a periscope which showed the giant squid! That part was a little hokey, but it was still really fun. One person had to figure out depth and distance while another person physically loaded torpedos and adjusted power and angle. After three “shots” the squid was defeated and the lifeboat was activated.

We needed a few hints from our minder, but she did a good job of only helping us if it was clear that we’d completely not seen a key detail. Or once when we thought we actually broke something and were embarrassed and trying to fix it, lol

Anyway, it was a fun outing and such a clever use of theme! I wish more of these companies would make literary based escape rooms–such a great idea!!

In other book news, I am working furiously on From London with Loyalty and it is taking shape.

Onward!

Good short stories

I don’t know exactly what makes me love a short story, but it has something to do with humor, surprise, and a “real” ending. I wish I could write them that way! Humor especially seems to escape me, and all too often my short stories turn into first chapters (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but sometimes they don’t have the ending feel that I want.

Anyway, that being said, I finally got to read the stories in 20,000 Leagues Remembered! And just in time for the Facebook launch party for the paperback.

There’s too many to write about every one, but here are my favorites, in no particular order:

At Strange Depths by Jason J. McCuiston – so clearly written, forgot I was reading. An eerie extension of the book just after Professor Arronax escapes.

The Maelstrom by Maya Chhabra – fantastic character study, dark and moody and richly textured. It braids Nemo’s former life with the present and has a satisfying end emotionally, possibly the best of the bunch for me!

The Silent Agenda by Mike Adamson – ha! A curiously engrossing fireside chat between a publisher and a translator as they plan to edit Verne’s work to oblivion. Great dialogue, makes a writer and book lover and historian just cringe! In a good way.

Fools Rush In by Allison Tebo – Cracked me up. The would-be thieves have great chemistry as a group. I wanted more! Juliette with her single-minded balloonist goals, Lopez depressed and fatalistic, Casper making glorious speeches at inopportune moments… probably the funniest of the lot.

Homework Help From No One by Demetri Capetanopoulos – Okay, wait, maybe this was the best of the bunch for me! I really tasted the ingenuity, danger, and wonder of the original with this one, and a great ending!

I enjoyed others as well, Raise the Nautilus by Eric Choi is great, particularly for hard sci-fi readers, Leviathan by Michael Winkle went all in from a sperm whale (cachalot’s) perspective which was super creative…

Short story appreciation is definitely a matter of personal preference, but it seems like there’s something here for most to enjoy.

Cheers!

Corrie Garrett

Free day for Manipulate, and a Jules Verne anthology

Manipulate SMALL slap a spaceship on it

The first ebook in my Alien Cadet series is free today (ends at midnight!) so grab a copy if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, I am excited to have a story included in an anthology celebrating 150 years since Jules Verne published his famous novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. That book was published June 20, 1870, and it has inspired countless scientists, engineers, and explorers. And Captain Nemo, with his tragic past, murky motivations, and terrorist tendencies, is a conflicted (anti?) hero who honestly fits right in to our world in 2020!

20KLeagues_Front CoverThis anthology is full of stories that pay tribute to Nemo and/or his ship the Nautilus, and it’ll be available June 20, exactly 150 years to the day! You can pre-order now on Amazon.

In other news, I hope everybody is hanging in there with lockdowns and quarantine. In the US, it seems like a lot of places are opening up and I hope that will mean more jobs will return, and hopefully we have learned enough to control any major Covid-19 spikes! Here in Los Angeles, things are a little slower to open, so I will continue to sit tight with my four kids while we make mazes, sketch pretty doodles, or watch the Holderness channel and laugh.

Don’t forget to pre-order soon! Happy reading, everyone!

Corrie Garrett