Big News (Updated)!

zombie_gore1Hey all, just thought I’d share a rather interesting and positive bit of news that came to my attention recently. Not more than two weeks ago, I put Whiskey Delta up for public consumption in both paperback and Kindle format. This would be the zombie apocalypse novel that Rami was able to get Max Brooks to mention while he was speaking at Ohio State University doing a talk.

Well, whether it was because Mr. Brooks gave it a mention, or just the inherent appeal zombie fiction seems to have, or a combination thereof, sales have been taking off! In fact, in the last two days, it has sold just over 200 copies! For most writers, that’s a drop in the bucket, but for an aspiring dude like me, it’s a veritable salesquake!

Thanks to all who have taken a chance on this piece of indie fiction. Rest assured, its encouraging and makes me think that Pappa Zulu, the sequel to this first installment, just might be worth publishing too! Who knows, it might force me to buckle down and get to work on the third installment as well, aka. Alpha Mike.

Update: Some reviews have come in, and the new is… generally good!

1: Whiskey Delta (Five Stars):
This was an excellant book from start to finish. I will be looking for other offerings from this author. He knows how to tell a good story, properly his characters and keep a reader riveted.

2: Almost There (Two Stars):
This book started out great but the spelling and gramatical errors really handicapped the book. Charachters change names several times through the book and the military lingo is never completely explained,and at times is very incorrect. There are no gunnery sergeants in the Army or the Air Force. This book has great promise but suffers from terrible editing. The story is great it just needs a little work.

So what I’m hearing is great work, need editing. Huh, tell me about it! My weakness always has been the process which needs to begin after the creative process ends. Well, some would say editing is part of that process, and an intrinsic one at that. But to me, editing and promotions have always been like the clean up and bookkeeping tasks that the artist retreats from in horror. So I either need to change my attitude, or get an editor! But dang, they cost money…

Still, that’s an average of three and half stars after two reviews. I gotta think that’s not bad. And not to be petty or vengeful but did you notice the unfavorable reviews was itself full of spelling errors. Just saying…

Source, Now Available for Free until Nov.1st!

Good news everybody! At least, that’s how Professor Farnsworth would put it. My first novel, entitled Source, is now available for free through Smashwords until November 1st. As my first work of fictioni, it deals with a concept very near and dear to my heart: apocalyptic sci-fi!

In fact, the entire novel was inspired by a short story project I did with my old writer’s group – The Herscher Project – back in 2005. The theme was dark futures, and I used the opportunity to experiment with an idea that was kind of big news for the time.

If interested, go by Smashwords.com and download Source for your Kindle or ereader. Be sure to enter the coupon code: KY62K in the appropriate box, and get your copy for free! Note the old school cover, I’ve since updated that of course.

Delays!

Well, sorry to say but that double-headed gorgon thing deadlines/editing has reared its ugly head again. Whereas I wanted to have Data Miners all polished and ready to go for the month of January, it seems that other stuff has got in the way and forced me to push the release data back to February. I could release it today if I wanted, but I really, really, want this baby to be typo, error, and inconsistency free. I don’t imagine I need to tell anyone that there is nothing more annoying than finding those nasty little things showing up in a work of print.

So, keep your eyes open for it, and for those people in Ottawa that I promised copies to, don’t worry, they will be ready in time for our trip! In the meantime, check out the covers I made for Amazon and Lulu (the second one is a PDF, just click on it):

Dataminers.Lulu

Data Miners, now at Authonomy!

Hello! In preparation for Data Miners release on Amazon-Kindle this month, I’ve provided a sample preview, available for free, over at Authonomy.com. Come on by, have a look-see, and if you’re feeling generous, back the book or even rate it! Note that this is just the first five chapters, the purpose of which is to give audiences a preview. If you’re looking for the whole thing, you’ll just have to wait until I’ve finished releasing it, but rest assured, the finished product will be free for a short time as well. Constructive criticism (hell, even harsh criticism) is always welcome!

New Cover/New Book!

With all the work and build-up to the release of Data Miners, I’ve been somewhat lax in working on my other projects. Like I say, I suffer from a specific kind of ADHD that only attacks the literary part of the brain. As a result, I tend to take on too many projects at once, always start new ideas when I’m in the midst of one, and seem to work on them in a rather cyclic fashion. But during the last few months, I somehow managed to buckle down to complete my novel, and now my attention is roaming free again.

And so I find myself returning to the project of “Fortress”, which for the past two years has been the work-in-progress title for the sequel to Source. The other day, I noticed a comment on free-ebooks where a reader wondered when the sequel would be coming. To answer his question: Soon! The nearly-completed manuscript has been sitting in my file folder for almost two years now. Back then, I attacked the idea of some Source sequels with abandon, having finished the original story not long before. However, the project soon lost momentum as new ideas came to me (of which Data Miners was but one!) But now, having freed up a portion of my creative gland (you don’t need the whole thing for editing, I’ve found) I will be getting back on it and finishing it just as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I also created a cover for it, to be made available on Kindle, Nook, Lulu and Smashwords. Here she is, my first conception of what “Fortress” will look like:

Reviews are In!

Reviews are In!

Recently, I had the honor of enlisting the services of a freelance critic and literary enthusiast named Katy Sozaeva. After our initial meeting and some back and forth regarding what she does and what I write, she agreed to take on some of my work for the sake of giving it all a professional. Naturally, I volunteered my earliest stuff, the short stories that have been available online for some time: Source, Liability and Smartbomb.

Even though she was quite busy and had a stack of books a mile high, she swore to me she’d get to my stuff sooner other than later. Well, I had almost forgot about our discussion, being a man who clearly suffers from ADHD when it comes to my writing. And then, wouldn’t you know it, I happened to be checking out Goodreads and noticed she had reviewed all three in full and posted her thoughts! Here’s what she said:

Source:

“The Earth and its colonies are running out of water. The government, left with no options, decides to hedge its bets by creating a colony ship and sending off the best and brightest to colonize the stars, while at home strict rationing and a lottery system to decide who should live and who should die will be instituted. Millions will die, either of thirst or through violence. However, a scientist comes up with a daring idea in order to provide additional resources and keep humanity alive in the Sol system – reclamation. All bodies will be reclaimed for the source, providing fluids, minerals and other essentials. How will humans develop, at home and in the stars?

This was an interesting science fiction story, as well as showing the dangers of continuing to destroy the environment for short-term gains. To us, it seems almost impossible that we could ever run short on water, but it will happen if we don’t stop polluting the water sources and start paying attention. However, the book is not a sermon – it is also entertaining with an intricate plot and plenty of suspense. Fans of sci-fi should definitely check this book out. Williams also has some short stories, including “Smartbomb” and “Liability,” which I will be reviewing over the next few days.”

And sure as shooting, she did!

Liability:

“With crime spreading out of control, and martial law proving ineffective, the US passes the Libertarian Act, which allows private citizens to become bounty hunters and earn a living by bringing in criminals, dead or alive. While the crime rate has dropped substantially, there are some who feel that this method infringes on their right to due process and an individual’s protection under the law. Now, with the crime rates falling, the bounty hunters don’t have as much work, and are looking for ways to maintain their lifestyle. What sort of solution will they come up with? And why are bounty hunters now disappearing?

I was interested by the idea of the Libertarian Act – I’m one of those who believes that people should have the right to protect themselves and that by making guns difficult or illegal to own, all that will be accomplished will be ensuring that only criminals will have them, which hardly solves the problem. I was interested in the fact that this situation was presented in such a way as to make the common hunter, as they call themselves, seem like a decent person just trying to do their part for community and country. A well-written short story that raises interesting questions – recommended!”

Smartbomb:

“The major alliances in the world have developed Smartbombs, bombs with artificial intelligence that are controlled by a Central AI and designed to carefully destroy only enemy targets while keeping civilians and architecture safe. However, a major crisis is arising and suddenly the Central AI has denied access to everybody. What has happened? Has it been hacked into? And what will happen to the armed forces without the protection of the Smartbombs?

An interesting what-if situation regarding the evolution of warfare and the evolution of artificial intelligence, this short sci-fi story packs a lot of pop into a short piece. Those with an interest in sci-fi, short stories, and the evolution of awareness should find this piece interesting.”

How nice! Glad she liked them, really glad she found the time to take them on. Speaking of which, another review has shown up for Source over at free-ebooks.net.  I’ve been meaning to take it down that site, but wanted to keep it up a little longer. Good thing, because then I saw this one:

“Great read. Took a few pages to get into, but well worth it. Understand there is to be a sequel; however, still wish the ending had not been so abrupt. That being said, definitely look forward to the reading the continuation.” – J

And he’s right, I’ve been tinkering with a sequel to Source for some time, by the name of Fortress.  I guess I’ll have to get on that now. Can’t disappoint a reader, even if it’s just one, dangit! But Source is definitely coming off soon so get your free copies while you can!

For those interested in more reviews by Katy Sozaeva, check out her site. No spamming please, I have a reputation to uphold ;)!

Katy Sozaeva at Livejournal

And of course, where to find my stuff:

free-ebooks.net

Amazon-Kindle

Lulu.com

Smashwords.com

Data Miners… coming in 2012!

Data Miners… coming in 2012!

Well, its official now… My latest full-length novel, Data Miners, is set to be released in January  2012! In the coming weeks, expect podcasts (available here and on iTunes), sample chapters, and links to where you can obtain the first few chapters for FREE! This book has been many years in the making and I’m quite excited. I hope people enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it and thanks in advance to those who contributed their time and energy in helping me to create, edit and polish it up! You know who you are… But just in case, thanks to the following people:

Carla Jack (my love!)
Ben Stone
Katrina Cain
Anik Gour
Anne Koke
and Jasper (who’s caused a couple of crashes that made me rethink my plot lines!)

Couldn’t have done it without you. And just for fun, here’s a gander at what it will look like in paperback, plus the contents of the dust jacket. Paperbacks will be priced at $12.99 (available through Amazon, Lulu, and Createspace), and $2.99 for ebooks (available through Kindle and Nook)

Dataminers:

Prad is a member of the Deemarchy – an elite society dedicated to finding patterns in the chaos and fighting the power! Or so he thinks. In reality, he is a second-rate programmer who works for a faceless company and is obsessed with a woman he can’t possibly have. Until one day when a mysterious package arrives, throwing him into a mystery ten years in the making. Whoever knows about it is not safe, as the case is a matter of national security… and treason. If he can crack the code, he just might be able to save his friends, but if he can’t, he and his friends are screwed! Like everything else in Prad’s wireless world, the answer is out there, just waiting to be mined!

Back to reviewing books!

Boy, its been awhile! It seems like so long ago I was reviewing “Virtual Light” and looking forward to doing the rest of the “Bridge Trilogy”. Well, I didn’t forget. In truth I was just about finished reading Idoru – the second book in the trilogy – but then I decided to leave it in Red Deer for some reason. I managed to get a new copy, but then, wouldn’t you know it, I bought the box set of A Song of Fire and Ice and then started reviewing someone else’s book for them too! Somedays, I tell you, I think I might have literary ADHD! So, given my obvious need for structure, I thought I might make a list of all the books I intend to read and review in the coming weeks and try to stick to it for once!

For starters, there’s Idoru, which I’m just finishing but need some time to digest. Not only is this an important book in Gibson’s “Bridge Trilogy”, it is apparently what cemented his fame as an author after Neuromancer so I wanna take my time with it. But I will say that as far as first impressions go, I can see what the critics meant when they said this. Whereas Gibson’s earlier books tended to deal with cyberspace and the dark underbelly of society in the information age, this one tackled the vagaries of celebrity and media in said same era.

A follow-up with All Tomorrow’s Parties will then be necessary to complete the trilogy, and because I already bought the book. Thank you Amazon for your slow but reliable delivery system! Then, I shall turn to my pile of Kindle books since I’ve been scooping them up ever since my friend from Red Deer (hey Chi!) bought me this iPad! I tell ya, the thing is not the best typing implement, but man is it good for reading! I actually get more done on it than with a conventional book, may the God of paperbacks forgive me (blessed be his cellulose appendages)!

Speaking of which, that would be where A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin (“the American Tolkien”) comes in. After getting hooked like crack on the HBO miniseries of “A Game of Thrones” which covers the events in the first novel, I got myself the box set for my Kindle app. Well, truth be told, I bought the second book and THEN bought the box set on Kindle. Quite looking at me like I’m drugs, it was a deal I tell ya! And yes, I was hoping to buy them individually, but three books in paperback or all four on Kindle for roughly the same price, before the added cost of shipping and handling? You do the math! Besides, duplicates don’t really count if they’re not taking up space on a shelf, right?

However, all those must wait until I finish reading and reviewing a book by a fellow self-pub ebook author who goes by the name of Randy Attwood. His book Rabbletown: Life in These United Christian States of Holy America is an interesting look at fundamentalism in America and a new dark ages. This authors book came to my attention by way of my writers group, The Herscher Project, a few weeks back and I agreed to take his book on and give it its due. Look for my review in the coming days! I should also take this opportunity to mention that this same group will be putting out an anthology shortly, a collection of the group’s dystopian narratives from over the years. Look for it in ebook format when it comes out, and pay close attention to a little story called “Domicile 4.5”. I’ll give ya a hint, it’s by me 😉