Contest! Win Signed Paperbacks of Starshine and Vertigo

In my last blog post, I mentioned there were Easter eggs (subtle nods or homages to geek/literary/pop culture) in both Starshine and Vertigo. I’m running a giveaway over on Goodreads for a couple of Vertigo paperbacks, but I wanted to reward you guys specifically, because you’re awesome for coming to the website and following me on this adventure. So I came up with a little contest which hopefully will be fun for everyone. Here’s how it's going to work:

  • I will list in general terms what movie/book/game/show each Easter egg references.

  • Readers can respond in the comments to this post with the Easter egg from the particular book, either by including the snippet of text containing it, or with a chapter number and the “answer.”

    • An example: In Vertigo, there is a reference to Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law. A correct answer would be (a) [the quote from the text] “then he recalled Sir Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” or (b) “In Ch. 5 Marcus thinks, 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,' which is Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law.” (Of course the actual Easter eggs don’t explicitly state their source, else there would be no contest!)

  • Two sets of signed paperbacks of Starshine and Vertigo will be awarded:

    • One set to the person who correctly identifies the most Easter eggs across both books.

    • One set to the person who provides the final unidentified Easter egg across both books.

    • If the same person meets both criteria, one of the sets will be awarded to the person who identifies the second most items.

  • Bonus: If you call out an Easter egg I didn't include below and I agree (I am familiar enough with the source material for it to influence my writing - you'll simply have to trust that I'll be honest on this - and it is a clear, unambiguous reference), you get your choice of a signed paperback of Starshine or Vertigo.


Now for the clues! The Easter egg can be (a) an item, place or character named after the same in the original, (b) a quote from the original (see the qualifier below) or (c) a significant fact relating to the original.


Starshine easter eggs:

  1. The 1993 film Jurassic Park (not the book, as the reference does not appear in the novel by Michael Crichton)

  2. The classic Travis McGee detective novels (1964-1984) by John D. MacDonald

  3. The 2012 Bioware video game Mass Effect 3

  4. The 1979 Douglas Adams novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and/or the 2005 film adaptation starring Martin Freeman (the reference appears in both) (it may appear in other adaptations as well, but my fandom only goes so far)

  5. The Valve video games Portal (2007) and/or Portal 2 (2011) (the reference appears in both)


Vertigo easter eggs:

  1. The 2009 film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (not the book, though the film segment was adapted from text in the book)

  2. The Doctor Who television episode Blink (David Tennant as the 10th Doctor in the 3rd series, airing in 2007)

  3. The 2005 novel One Shot by Lee Child and/or the 2012 film adaptation Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise (the reference appears in both)

  4. The 2007-2008 Bioware video game Mass Effect 1

  5. The 1990 film Pretty Woman starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts

  6. The astronomer and author Carl Sagan’s…life story, shall we say

  7. The id Software video games Doom (1993) and/or Doom 3 (2004) (the reference appears in both)

I considered rating these for difficulty, but then I realized the difficulty depends almost entirely on your area of geek expertise. The gaming ones will be easy to gamers but difficult to everyone else; the same for the voracious readers and the film experts.

If the Easter egg is a quote, it will not be an exact quote, but it will be close enough to the original to be easily recognizable. For instance, if there were an Easter egg homage to the first Terminator movie, it might read, “Come with me if you want to not die” (props to The Lego Movie).

A few obligatory rules:

  • The contest will run until the earlier of October 25th or all Easter eggs have been identified. If on October 25th not all Easter eggs have been identified, the winner of the first set will be the last person to correctly identify one, and the second set the person who identified the most of those successfully guessed.

  • Beta readers of Vertigo can’t compete, since they have an unfair head start. But it’s okay, because they’re getting free copies of the paperback anyway, as the smallest token of thanks.

  • If you happen to win a paperback in the Goodreads giveaway (which ends next week before Vertigo is released), you can’t win here as well. I need to spread the love!

  • Winners will need to provide me their mailing address via email to gsjennsen at gmail dot com.

  • The contest is open to residents of all countries (I just hope none of you live in North Korea....)

Obviously, feel free to provide answers for the Starshine homages right away. One reason I’m starting the contest now is to provide an excuse to, if one wanted, re-read Starshine again before Vertigo releases.

Check back often! I will update this post as correct answers are provided in the comments, so you don’t spend time chasing down answers others have already found.

And most of all, have fun—I certainly did when I was weaving these little homages to art and entertainment I enjoy into Aurora Rising.