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Traveling In Space Paperback – October 21, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Superbly entertaining and unique...thought provoking." -- The Mindquest Review of Books

"Many of the aliens' encounters with human beings are downright funny...much to think about and I'm sure that "Traveling in Space" will play on my mind for some time to come" -- Russell Blackford, Neworld Review & Metamagician and the Hellfire Club blog

In 'Traveling In Space', we have a book of three parts. It starts with the humorous meeting of two civilisations followed by the contemplation of the rights and wrongs of each one...I'm not going to divulge to much more here as I'm running the risk of revealing spoilers. What I will say is that it's a good ending. A satisfying ending, in fact...It's well worth a read-- Andy Whitaker, SFcrowsnest

"A unique spin of science fiction... With much humor and much to think about...not to be overlooked" -- Midwest Book Review.                                                                                             

From the Author


"Steven Leiva not only promises, but delivers. Beautifully Written" --Ray Bradbury.

"Traveling in Space's humor and refreshing perspective are thoroughly enjoyable"  -- Diane Ackerman, New York Times bestselling author of The Human Age and A Natural History of the Senses

"Leiva's immense gifts are matched only by his wry, biting wit" -- Paul Provenza; author of "¡Satiristas!" director of "The Aristocrats," host of Showtime's "The Green Room with Paul Provenza."

"Wry humor, intellectual insight and terrific story telling are the consistent signatures of Leiva's work." -- Ken Kragen, legendary Hollywood producer/manager and space buff.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Bluroof Press (October 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615478506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615478500
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,557,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

STEVEN PAUL LEIVA was kidnapped by Hollywood in his twenties, and toiled there for many years as a producer and writer, working with the great and the not-so-great, who were often, oddly, one and the same.

Eventually he escaped -- or was expelled -- after producing the animation for "Space Jam," pairing the witty Bugs Bunny with the sweaty Michael Jordan.

And beyond the prison walls of Hollywood:

His play, "Made on the Moon," had its world premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has been performed in America by such actors as Paul Provenza, Robert Picardo and John Billingsley.

His Hollywood satiric thrillers, "Blood is Pretty: the First Fixxer Adventure" and "Hollywood is An All Volunteer Army: The Second Fixxer Adventure" have been published by Crossroad Press and feature, not surprisingly, the mysterious character, The Fixxer.

Leiva's science fiction satire on man's place in the universe, "Traveling in Space," a unique first contact novel told from the aliens' point-of-view, has been published by Bluroof Press.

Bluroof Press has also published "Searching for Ray Bradbury: Writings about the Man and the Writer," eight essays that Steven wrote about his friend and colleague from 2009 to 2012

In 2010 Steven created and organized RAY BRADBURY WEEK IN LOS ANGELES in celebration of the literary master's 90th birthday, and directed, as part of the celebrations,Bradbury's one-act play, "The Better Part of Wisdom," starring James Cromwell, Seamus Dever, and Jeff Cannata. A historical record of RAY BRADBURY WEEK, with photos and videos, can be found at the RAY BRADBURY WEEK Facebook page. Steven also spearheaded the effort to name the major downtown Los Angeles intersection of Fifth & Flower, Ray Bradbury Square.

Steven's latest from Crossroad Press is the comic comic novel, "By the Sea", a modern adult fairy tale with an ensemble cast of Cinderellas.

Steven has written articles, essays and reviews for such publications as The Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety, The Bulletin: the quarterly magazine of The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Massimo Pigliucci's Scientia Salon, and the New York Journal of Books. He became a blogger for the Huffington Post in 2012 on the recommendation of the Huff Post's then great Senior Science Correspondent, Cara Santa Maria.

Steven lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Traveling in Space" is a "history" written by a member of a large group of alien beings who, by random chance, encounter our earth. The give and take between the two cultures is insightful, imaginative and exciting to read. Here is a book of science fiction in which the psychological and sociological elements are as valid and accurate as the scientific ones.

"Traveling in Space" is spiced throughout with wit and humor. Not to allow any cats from bags, while reading chapter 21 "Angel Voice! You're My Choice!" I was laughing so hard I had to keep dabbing my eyes so that I could see the words on the page. As the book's remaining pages become fewer and we readers know the end is near Mr. Leiva leaves only the most touching question unanswered...at least until the final sentence. In that sentence the author gives us a funny little surprise, but so packed with significance that we fully understand this most satisfying ending.

To my delight, I was guided to this book by a friend and I hope you will allow me to expand on that favor and be your guide in discovering this brilliant work.
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Format: Paperback
This book is as good as anything in my science fiction collection. Heinlein, Brin, Adams, Brust, it doesn't matter, Steven Leiva deserves to be in their company. The book is funny, sure. Laugh-out-loud-as-you-are-reading-it funny even. But the humor is grounded in insights about how we live and how we think. Authors who can do that consistently are few and far between, but Steven Leiva is one.
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I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book as much as Traveling In Space. The characters, dialog and situations were unique and interesting from start to finish. I have read many, many "First Contact" books and stories over time, but never had read one that had such a fun premise.

The entire story is told strictly from the point of view of the aliens, who come from what they call,The Living World. That does take a bit of getting used to at first, in the way the aliens think and speak, (we are simply called, Otherlife) but isn't that the fun of really good SF, getting you out of your comfortable human zone? The best ones allow an examination of human culture from an otherworldly point of view, making us think long and hard about who we are as a species. Leiva does a great job here, keeping the aliens consistent, and always engaging.

Any SF story is allowed at least one "gimme" and this one is, admittedly, a doozy, but just go with it and enjoy the ride. There is a bit of fantasy element at work here as well, the Living Worlders look exactly like us, except that they are so genetically advanced that they appear extremely beautiful to Earth people. You just have to go with that, and the plusses and minuses of their advancements are explored in full, and are part of the plot.

This is his first SF book, and I was expecting some creaky technology. However I was knocked out by some of the unique ideas, especially the frequent use of the different kinds of "bubbles"; very cool indeed. Bubbles are difficult to explain in this short review, but as the story moves along they start to make more sense. It allows Leiva to get around the "Treknology" problem of creating new miraculous devices as the plot gets sticky and harder to resolve.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
I discovered the science fiction novel Traveling in Space because I am a huge fan of up-and-coming actor and Internet celebrity Jeff Cannata (formerly of the former Totally Rad Show and the former podcast Weekend Confirmed, now producing amazing content such as the DLC podcast and We Have Concerns). Jeff (did I mention he has a YouTube show called Newest Latest Best?) always produces entertaining, thoughtful and often hilarious content. (You can also follow him on Twitter: @jeffcannata or hear him as the third chair of the /Filmcast — Jeff is everywhere!) So it was a very smart move for author Steven Paul Leiva to collaborate with Jeff to produce the audiobook version of his sci-fi story because I can’t be the only nerd driven to sign up for Audible to hear Jeff’s voice acting.

If you’re not familiar with Leiva’s work, that’s OK, I wasn’t either. But the man has had an interesting career and has done lots of fun things — heck, he produced the animation for Space Jam. Space Jam! I think it’s only a matter of time before Leiva is more well known in sci-fi circles because his writing is stellar — some might even say it’s interstellar, in fact. You’d be just as well served to read Traveling in Space, but paired with the range of Cannata’s voices, it’s an excellent listen also.

If you’ve already glazed over because sci-fi isn’t your thing — wake up! This is not your average UFO story for a few key reasons. First, it’s a very adult book with adult themes and some mature language. Second, this is a story told entirely from the aliens’ perspective. And finally, Traveling in Space is not an action story about going to war against aliens in the vein of Ender’s Game, Independence Day or other alien invasion stories with which you might be familiar.
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Format: Paperback
I don't care for science fiction. I have read, maybe 4 scifi books in my entire life. The only one I liked was Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. When I was asked to "take a look" at Traveling in Space, I did so with great reluctance. I figured I'd read a few pages and then give it to a friend of mine. 200 pages into it, I realized that my friend would have to wait. This is an interesting read. I am no expert on the genre, so take my opinion for what it is, that of a novice. The premise is unlike anything I have seen or heard before. Quite contrary to the "space aliens invade earth" of the War of the Worlds or Plan Nine from Outer Space (My all time favorite Ed Wood movie. Still can't believe it wasn't a parody.) But I digress. Traveling in Space reverses the role most aliens take and creates an fascinating opportunity to look at ourselves through in interesting mirror. This is a story of largely benevolent higher intelligence encountering Earth, with the inevitable miscalculation on the part of both civilizations. The questions it raises had me thinking for days after. I did not read this book all at once, I read it in chunks of 50-100 pages over a week's time - largely because of my limited time this week, but I found myself contemplating the questions that the book raises between readings. I am author of four books and my goal is to get my readers to think, to examine their assumptions, to recognize their blind spots, among other things. I consider my own writing a success if it causes thought and consideration of new viewpoints. Traveling in Space, did that for me. It challenged me to consider many new angles to our existence, relationships, sexuality, and religion. If you are not a science fiction fan, but open to challenge, I think you will like it.Read more ›
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