Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Fonda Lee on Sports Celebrity and the Making of Zeroboxer

In which we welcome Fonda Lee to talk about the cult of celebrity, her novel, and giveaway a copy of Zeroboxer!

Today we are delighted to host a guest post from debut author Fonda Lee as we celebrate the release of Zeroboxer – a YA novel about a rising athlete in weightless combat sport zeroboxing. Here to talk about her book and the inspirations and influences behind it, please give a warm welcome to Fonda Lee!

Zeroboxer final cover

Sports Celebrity and Zero Boxer

Before I became a science fiction and fantasy novelist, I had a perfectly practical and respectable corporate career working in corporate strategy at Nike. Once, I was in a room with LeBron James. I was on a team of people presenting our star athlete with product and marketing plans.

nike lebron

LeBron was perhaps twenty-two years old at the time. He leaned back in his chair, a huge young man who dwarfed us suits around the table. He looked bored as we showed him financial figures, but perked up and got excited when we brought out the mock-ups of his signature shoe. At one point, he got up and adjusted the waistband of his shorts. He had requested Portland’s famous Voodoo Donuts, and boxes of them had been laid out just outside the conference room for him and his staff to snack on.

I was struck by how young he was. The youngest person in the room. A college-age boy-man with millions of dollars and the weight of massive expectation hanging on him.

As a martial artist and a fan of combat sports, another athlete came to mind for me: Manny Pacquiao, the champion Filipino boxer, long considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Later elected congressman to the Philippine House of Representatives, his matches would shut down business and rivet everyone in his home country to the television. He is considered a treasure of his nation.

Manny Pacquiao

As a society, we imbue our celebrity athletes with mythic status. Companies create heroic ad campaigns and them. We put up statues of them. We chant their names, we buy their branded shoes and clothes, we scrutinize their every move. If all sport is an allegory of war, they are our Hercules. They cease to be just individual athletes—infused with our hopes and dreams, they become us.

Years after after my encounter with LeBron James, I mulled on a science fiction story about a star athlete in the distant future, who comes to represent the planet of Earth at a time when Earth desperately needs someone inspirational to root for. A prodigious teenager, who has to struggle with the pressure placed on him by an entire planet, amid personal challenges and moral dilemmas he can’t fathom.

Zeroboxer was born.

At its heart, my action sci-fi novel, which released last week, is a sports drama about one athlete, and also about our societal relationship to those we expect to represent us. That’s the power of science fiction, to take what is familiar today, place it in a new context, and hold it back up to us.

Mostly though, it’s about the zero gravity fight scenes.


About the Book:

Zeroboxer final cover

A Sci-Fi Thrill Ride Set in the Action-Packed Sports Arena of the Future

A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr “the Raptor” Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way.

As his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. But when Carr discovers a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he cares about in jeopardy, but they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.

Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Powell’s

Add Zeroboxer to Goodreads

About the Author:

Fonda Lee writes science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. Zeroboxer (from Flux/Llewellyn) is her debut novel. Fonda is a recovering corporate strategist, an avid martial artist, a fan of smart action movies, and an Eggs Benedict enthusiast. You can find Fonda at, on Twitter (@fondajlee), Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads.

For more Zeroboxer excitement, check out the other online and live launch events including readings, blog posts, interviews, giveaways, and special features.


Giveaway Details:

We are giving away one copy of Zeroboxer to celebrate the release of the book! The giveaway is open to all and will run until Sunday April 19 at 12:01am EST. To enter, use the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • The Complete Zeroboxer Launch Schedule - Fonda Lee | Fonda Lee
    April 14, 2015 at 2:54 am

    […] Tuesday, April 14 – Sports Celebrity and the Inspiration behind Zeroboxer at The Book Smugglers […]

  • Stephanie
    April 14, 2015 at 8:29 am

    I don’t know that I have a favorite sports novel. It isn’t normally a genre that interests me. Zeroboxer sounds like the perfect blend of sci-fi and sports that I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I also had a student ask me about this title months ago. I don’t know where he heard about it but he has been anticipating its release for a long time.

  • DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)
    April 14, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I don’t know if I have favorite sports novel, but one that does stand out to me JUICE by Jose Canseco. Despite all of the controversy that surrounded this, I did find a lot of what he had to say in the book rather interesting.

    The story about LeBron was good, but the “zero gravity fights scenes” is totally what sold me 😛

  • Marie-Claude
    April 14, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I don’t have a favorite sport novel, because I simply don’t read them. Zerobower sound really good and I can’t wait to read it. It will be the first sport novel I will read !!

  • Vanessa LaWare
    April 14, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    My favorite sports novel is an oldie – The Last Days of Summer.

  • Peter D
    April 14, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Can’t say I have a favorite sports novel, unless you consider things like “The Hunger Games” sports.

  • Steph @ Scarlet Nerded
    April 14, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I actually haven’t read very many sports novels that I can remember. Really the only one I can think of is a book that I read in high school called Pulling Princes that had fencing in it. So maybe reading Zeroboxer will fill that void in my reading life!

  • Anita Yancey
    April 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    I don’t have a favorite sports novel. I have only read a few over the years.

  • erinf1
    April 14, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    to be honest, I haven’t really read any sports books. This is the first one that has caught my interest in a long time 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Hebe
    April 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I don’t read many sports novels, but Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals made me see football in a whole new way.

  • Mary Preston
    April 16, 2015 at 4:03 am

    I don’t have a favorite.

  • Aila
    April 17, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I’m not a big fan of sports novels to be honest, so I don’t have a favorite! (Unless the manga Prince of Tennis counts haha.) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  • Amanda
    May 26, 2015 at 1:05 am

    I don’t read many books but I want to read Zeroboxer. Yes, definitely, I will write my opinion. Thanks.

  • Madison Hills University
    October 10, 2016 at 11:59 am

    This book is awesome. everything including script, characters, story are best fitted. the script is wonderful, that the reader can get addicted to it easily and quickly from beginning till climax.

  • Masha Winget
    November 13, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Hello to all,

    LeBron James is positioned to become one of 10 players all time to win an NBA.

    Best wishes

  • Viginia Luther
    April 10, 2017 at 2:09 am

    Thanks for the post.

  • Student
    May 30, 2017 at 2:14 am

    OMG I LOVED JUICE. If you’ve followed his life it might be bland but still lovable!

  • tamon
    February 26, 2018 at 10:38 am

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  • college writing
    July 18, 2018 at 5:20 am

    Thanks, for this article.
    At the first time, I thought that Zeroboxer was a Rocky in space, but when I go through it, I realised that It has more than my thinking. According to me, this book is an examination of genetic ethics and, like most science fiction, poses some serious.

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