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Valerie Valdes Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Chilling Effect (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Valeria Valdes is a science fiction and fantasy author whose work has been featured in “Nightmare Magazine,” “Time Travel Short Stories” and “Uncanny Magazine.” She gained her reputation with the publishing of her debut novel “Chilling Effect,” a critically acclaimed novel that came out in 2019. Valerie studied English literature at the University of Miami, minoring in motion pictures and Creative Writing. She also graduated from the Viable Paradise Workshop and since then has worked as a copy editor and been a professor of speculative short fiction. For more than a decade, she has been the National Novel Writing Month’s Municipal Liaison. She loves to say that she lives with her husband and children in an elaborate meme palace in Georgia where she moonlights as a muse. When she is not writing, she loves to admire the outdoors from her room or craft handmade custom artisanal curses.

While it may sound ridiculous, Valeria Valdes got interested in writing when she was in the first grade. Her teacher had given the class an assignment to write a short story, only for Valdes to submit a two-page story about vicious aliens. She did the same when she was in the fourth grade and the teacher asked the class to write poems. She polished off one in a few hours and greatly impressed her teacher who encouraged her to continue to write. While her early experiences all had to do with school work, the spark was there and just needed some fanning. Even as she showed that she had the potential for writing, she loved reading more and in fact had a habit of reading when she was not supposed to be reading. Valeria remembers her teachers confiscating her books when she was found reading under the desk during lessons. She credits her love for reading from her family that would head to the library on the weekend and come back with a sackful of books that would be exchanged the following weekend. She was a voracious reader and read most of the classics such as “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas,” “The Count of Monte Cristo” and Edgar Allan Poe’s collections of short stories. By the time she was in middle school, she had graduated to the likes of Stephen King and mysteries such as Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew. Her reading was in several genres as she also included the fantasy and science fiction works of authors such as Bruce Coville, Diane Duane, and Tamora Pierce.

The inspiration for the novel “Chilling Effect” came from a hoarding habit that Valdes has had since she was a child. Given how much she likes to hoard, the novel is drawn from different places and sources that she kept in her mind over the years. She had been very interested in the #YesAllWomen movement and this was one of the major sources for the work. The pushback that was aimed at minimizing or deflecting the issues raised by the movement struck a chord with the author. She thought it would be a great idea to write a story about a character that was dealing with a conventional situation in a different way hence her character Pink. However, while the circumstances of the story are a little exaggerated, she also gives real instances of harassment, doxing and stalking that are a reality for many women today. Valdes also made use of her childhood experiences and media such as movies, books, and games combined with a fertile imagination to write the novel. Of particular importance was “Mass Effect” which played a huge role. Reading the novel, it is clear that she intended to write about the Han Solo of her created world rather than Commander Shepherd. She also uses psychic cats probably derived from the fact that she loves and lives with cats.

Valerie Valdes’s “Chilling Effect” has many aspects that will catch the curious eye of many readers. From Eva Innocente the Latina lead character, to an anglerfish looking alien emperor named Glorious Apotheosis, La Sirena battle-weary and irascible captain of the freighter La Sirena Negra, and the adorably psychic yet mischievous cats that they are unable to keep from the cargo hold. However, Rebecca Jones who goes by the pseudonym Pink is a queer character that is likely to be one of the most interesting. She is a cybernetic eyed, dreadlocked smooth-talking ship’s doctor with a knack for getting her friend Eva out of trouble. She is a trans woman and is a talented and incisive character fortunate to live in a world where someone like her is not a big deal. Valdes crafts her novel to illustrate what the future will look like. In her new world capitalist systems still oppress the world but her characters have more agency and can finally love without explanation or apology while being who they truly are. She asserted that she talked to the trans community to find out what it is like living as one of them.

“Chilling Effect” is an offbeat and hilarious space opera tale that destroys everything from video games to pop culture. It features an irascible foul-mouthed captain and her assorted crew, exciting twists, strange life forms and a galaxy full of adventure and fun. Eva Innocente the Captain and the crew of the cruise ship La Sirena Negra travel the galaxy as they deliver packages, even if they don’t make much money. When The Fridge, a syndicate shrouded in mystery syndicate kidnaps her sister Mari, Eva needs to get to her before they can perform cryostasis on her. She needs to go in several dangerous and unpleasant missions to get the money to pay the ransom for her sister. But she is facing all manner of obstacles as the fish-faced amorous emperor is looking to kill her after she rejected him, her ship’s cargo hold has been invaded by psychic cats, and she is getting distracted by her sweet engineer. Things are only get worse and as such force Eva to lie to her family which raises their suspicions even further. But she is willing to risk everything including her life, her crew, and ship to save her sister from the aliens. But once push comes to shove, she learns that she must confront a threat bigger than what she believed she was facing. She needs to make the decision of whether to burn it all down or be cool and strategic.

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