OK. See that picture up above? All you have to do is click it, enter in a few details and BAM, you’ll get FOUR free sci-fi books in your inbox. If you happen to be one of five lucky winners, you’ll also get ebooks for all the books pictured. And one lucky winner gets a prize package that will include over 17 (!) signed physical books sent to your house. So…what’re you waiting for?! Get clicking!
With the long weekend and another day off yesterday, I was able to polish off some of that reading list that never seems to shrink. I posted my review of Hank Garner’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son yesterday, but that was really the tip of the iceberg.
On Tuesday night, I finished Nick Cole’s latest book, The End Of The World As We Knew It (TEOTWAWKI). It was epic. It was grand. It was heartbreaking and yet hopeful. More on that in a bit.
In a Nick Cole hangover today, I finally got around to starting Matthew Mather’s Nomad. I kept hearing great things about it, but it just came out at a bad time to get to it immediately (same thing with Cole’s book). With a few hours riding in a car today, I figured it was as good as a time to start as any. I couldn’t stop. Any free moment I had, I was back at the Kindle, craving more of Mather’s version of the apocalypse. I LOVED it, but for different reasons than why I loved Cole’s novel. I’ll share my thoughts on Nomad later this week…first I want to get TEOTWAWKI off my chest.
I will admit when I first opened the book, I struggled with the first few pages. Found footage in book form. Ugh. It seemed like an unnecessary plot device, but after a few pages, it settles down. Yes, there is the aspect of these recordings and journals being found and pieced together, but the stories are quite broad and involved. As a reader I found the two main stories quite distinct and after a while I forgot they were “found footage.”
In that case, it does draw comparisons to the modern-day standard in zombie fiction — World War Z. Max Brooks’ classic is well known for being a series of vignettes that are only tied together by the slimmest of threads (NOT the movie, which features Brad Pitt as a very capable thread). In this case, there is a sense of that as well, but instead of it showcasing the tales of survival (or death) at the hands (and teeth) of the zombies, Cole shows us the humanity left behind in its wake. He shows the emotions, the torment, the shame, the bitterness, the economics, the brutality, the…life that is left when the plague wipes out most of the nation. What he does better than Brooks from a narrative point of view is he uses the protagonists of Alex and Jasonn (mostly Jason) to find all of those aspects of humanity in the aftermath. Jason’s journey is one made by countless characters throughout literature, starting with Odysseus. He needs to find the love of his life, but with Alex he only has the vaguest idea of where to look. Along the way we see his faults, his fears, his failures on his trek from New York to Los Angeles.
There really is so much to take in along the way, Cole could have easily tripled the size of the book with the rich details he added with developed secondary characters. Shoot, Cole could write a whole other story with just the character of Chris, or The Lady, or…any number of them.
But we get Jason and Alex. Star-crossed lovers, separated by thousands of miles of land and millions of infected zombies between them. Who are they? What choices do they make? How does that affect everyone else? What does that do to their very souls?
I loved Nick Cole’s book. Described as “The Walking Dead” meets “The Notebook,” I can honestly say as someone who hasn’t watched either (I know, I know!) that this book delivers. If you like a healthy dose of philosophy and romance with your zombie literature, this book is for you. I really could go on and on about what I felt as I flipped each page of this book, but suffice it to say I felt all the things. I felt joy, sadness, anger, shame, courage, and fear. Cole places you at the center of the apocalypse and makes sure that you know that each character has their own apocalypse. Each person gets their own ending and even with similar circumstances, each ending is unique. Read this book. You won’t regret it.
A little cover I whipped up for a flash fiction story I wrote last week. It’s called Repulse and it’s up for voting at The Leighgendarium, Preston Leigh’s blog. He’s had an open call for Flash Fiction for the past couple weeks with some sweet prizes up for grabs. I’m not gonna deny I would like to win, but there are some great stories up on the Flash Fiction Challenge page. What I am going to ask you to do is read through the stories (including mine) and vote with your heart. (and your fingers of course) You can vote for three at a time and you can vote once each day (24 hours). If my story is good enough for your top three, thank you very much. If it isn’t, thanks anyway.
Regardless, I plan to include Repulse in a short story collection down the road, so you’ll see it again.
What’s it about? Here’s a short blurb:
It’s been twenty-three years since his home planet was destroyed. A typical day clearing asteroids brings him a life changing message, a voice from the past that he will never forget.
Well, what are you waiting for? GO VOTE!
Today is the launch day for The Immortality Chronicles!
(That means you should be reading the book, by the way…)
A few reviews:
“WOW….All these authors created an awesome collection of stories of the possibilities of living forever…All of these authors were amazing! There wasn’t any story I didn’t love.”
“This book was really good. There were so many interesting takes on the theme of immortality, and they all had a different spin on it. Every story kept me immersed to the end, I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down.”
“This anthology is ambitious in its reach and rich in its delivery.”
“If you haven’t read any of the FC series yet, I highly recommend starting with this one. You won’t be disappointed.”
BUT maybe you’ve already had a chance to read it….maybe you are waiting until Labor Day…maybe you still aren’t convinced…maybe you want a break. If you haven’t yet caught each of the author interviews for the anthology, this is Union Station of a sort for that. Following this, I’ll post the pictures of each of the interviewees. Click on the picture to be taken to their interview. Thanks for reading and as one of my old friends used to say, “Live Long and Prosper!”
I’m thrilled to share book space with E.E. Giorgi, who is a Future Chronicles veteran like myself. I’ve loved her work so far from her story in The Telepath Chronicles to Akaela. (…and now that I’m talking about her, I realized I owe her a review for her outstanding book Gene Cards…)
The Immortality Chronicles drops on Friday, Sept. 4 featuring stories by Patricia Gilliam, John Gregory Hancock, Drew Avera, Gareth Foy, D.K. Cassidy, Thomas Robins, E.E. Giorgi, Harlow C. Fallon, David Bruns, Paul B. Kohler, D. Robert Pease, and myself. The anthology is curated by Samuel Peralta and edited by Carol Davis. Until launch day, you can get the collection for just $2.99.
And here are a few words from E.E. Giorgi:
My name is E.E. Giorgi and I am a scientist, a photographer, and a writer. I write thrillers with a scientific premise and dystopian YA. I also write non-fiction articles about genetics and epigenetics for the general public.
Why are you writing for The Immortality Chronicles?
The topic has always fascinated me. Our lives have only one certainty: death. It’s the one thing that we dread the most, both for us and for our loved ones, and yet, as hard as we try, there’s no way to escape from our destiny. But how would life be without death? The first time I entertained the notion was when I read the Immortal by Jorge Luis Borges. He writes:
“There is nothing remarkable about being immortal; with the exception of mankind, all creatures are immortal, for they know nothing of death. What is divine, terrible, and incomprehensible is to know oneself immortal.”
So, immortality may not exist, but it is a philosophical concept that leaves us baffled. Death makes us vulnerable. It humbles us, it makes every day special and unique because there’s no repetition. And yet, we live everyday thinking that we are immortal, because if we didn’t, what would be the purpose of living?
I’m really grateful to Samuel Peralta for allowing me to explore all these themes and be part of this remarkable anthology.
Blurb: “A mercenary returns to his home after almost losing his life in the war he fought for another country. The technology that saved him gave him a curse, one that he willingly accepted so that he could see, for one more time, his true love.”
I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but the story was inspired by a real person. I write about her at the end of my story. 🙂
How can we find out more about you and your writing?
Check out my blog (), my book page in particular () and sign up for my newsletter (http://eepurl.com/SPCvT).
What’s next for you?
I’m finishing book 2 in the Mayake Chronicles, a YA dystopian series I launched last May. I have two more books in this series that I will publish in 2016, together with the sequel of my futuristic thriller Gene Cards. And, hopefully, a couple more stories in the Future Chronicles. 🙂
Anything else we need to know about you and your story?
My most selling book is Chimeras, an award-winning detective thriller with a genetic premise, and a sample of my work is in the anthology Lady Lilith and Other Stories, which features my first Future Chronicle story, The Elm Tree (appeared in The Telepath Chronicles. I also have a book set in the Apocalypse Weird world, titled Immunity, a thriller whose premise spurs from my work on viruses.
In less than two weeks, we’ll be launching the next Future Chronicles title: The Immortality Chronicles. I’m thrilled to be a part of this collection with my story “The Control,” but I’m super-excited for people to read all the other fantastic stories within the covers of this book. Over the next two weeks, we’ll meet those authors (and maybe even the editor and publisher as well…) with a series of short interviews.
If you haven’t yet preordered the anthology, it’s on sale for $2.99 from now until Launch Day. On Sept. 4, the price goes up to $5.99, so get your copy now if possible.
First up (mainly because she answered the call first), is Patricia Gilliam. I’ll be honest: I’ve got plenty of books by Patricia on my Kindle, but they are (for now) in my To Be Read pile. After reading her story in TIC, I’ll be bumping her up closer to the top. Patricia can write and I look forward to seeing more out of her in the future. But enough from me…let’s hear from Patricia Gilliam:
Who are you?
I’m Patricia Gilliam—Future Chronicles reader turned contributor. I’ve loved sci-fi books, TV shows, and movies since childhood. I began writing short stories online around 2006, and The Hannaria Series novels came out of that about three years later.
Outside of writing, I work at a new tech branch of a bank—basically I do my best Sheldon impression and help people with transactions while we talk to each other via displays and microphones. (I asked if I could have a Mars background or large aquarium behind me, but it’s not in the budget…yet.)
My husband Cory and I have been married for ten years. We live in Knoxville, TN with our miniature dachshund army (J.D., Turk, and Diggle), adopted greyhound Mal (racing name Lucius Malfoy), and a lovable but keyboard-blocking cat Butterscotch.
When Samuel Peralta first announced the opportunity, I was drawn to it for two reasons. The first was the overall quality of The Future Chronicles series—it’s an honor to be a part of this. The second was the proceeds benefiting First Book. Given the positive influence books had on my own childhood, I think it’s awesome to have the chance to pay-it-forward.
What did you write for The Immortality Chronicles?
My story is called “The Backup.” Without going too deep into spoiler territory, it deals with the unintended consequences of one man’s pursuit for immortality and moral questions surrounding a life when things don’t go as planned.
How can we find out more about you and your writing?
You can visit my Amazon author page at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Gilliam/e/B00358K3WO
I’m also active on Facebook and primarily use it for writing-related posts. You can friend/follow me here: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.gilliam1
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on Book 6 of The Hannaria Series and am plotting a sequel to Thaw (Part of Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga in Kindle Worlds). I try to keep myself open to opportunities and have found I do better working on more than one project at a time.
Anything else we need to know about you and your story?
“The Backup” contains characters from Something Like the Truth (Hannaria Series Book 4). After the main storyline is finished, I plan to revisit the McFerrin family and Clint Rossetti in a spin-off series.
Been radio silence around here for a couple months. Sorry about that…I’ll fill you in later. Suffice it to say this summer didn’t go exactly as planned on the writing front, but was still productive as well.
(Yes, yes…I’ll get to the Kindle Paperwhite giveaway in a bit…)
But while I haven’t been updating Ye Olde Blog at all this summer, I’m breaking that fast now for Chronicles Week.
Let me back up a bit. When I started writing, I credited a lot of the reasons why to one man — Hugh Howey. After reading his blog and WOOL, I was heartened by his approach and the success he had. Not success as in worldwide blockbuster multi-millionaire success, but rather just simply getting that book written and published success. I told anyone and everyone that it was due to Hugh Howey’s career that I had one as well.
While I still credit Hugh a lot, I’ve taken my own course in the past year. And what a year it’s been in my life. Exactly a year ago this week, I arrived home after flying to Africa with my wife to adopt our four (now five) year old son. If you’re familiar at all with international adoption, you know that the transition isn’t always smooth. Our son has been a blessing on our lives, but my writing schedule took a huge hit. I went from being able to write hundreds or thousands of words a day to dozens. Maybe.
So it was a huge boon when I worked up the courage to introduce myself to Samuel Peralta.
Sam is the publisher and curator of The Future Chronicles. A year ago at this time he’d only published the first of the series — The Robot Chronicles. I nabbed an early copy and wrote up a review for it and honestly included it in my best-of-the-year list. I saw some of the authors he’d included in that volume and knew I was as qualified as some of them. I asked about being considered for a future anthology and he graciously read my novella Ant Apocalypse. A few weeks after returning from Africa (and writing virtually nothing the whole time), Sam got in touch with me and offered me a spot in The Alien Chronicles.
I will honestly tell you my heart skipped a beat when I read the message that Sunday afternoon (yes, I can tell you exactly where I was) and I had to read it a couple times before I would believe it.
I knew the quality of story the Chronicles called for, so I took a personal day off teaching and wrote all day. The worst part of that? I ended up scrapping the entire story I spent the day on and went a different direction. But I needed that time to convince myself the first story wasn’t as good as the story I ended up writing — Uncle Allen.
(Hold on, the Paperwhite giveaway is down a bit, hang in there…)
When The Alien Chronicles released in early January 2015, my story was one cited in a number of reviews as a favorite, and I reached a bigger audience in that month than I had in the previous year and a half I’d been publishing put together.
The Chronicles allowed me to keep writing, but adjust my new life around quality stories with a larger audience thanks to the dozen writers featured in each volume. Being put alongside writers like Hugh Howey(!), Jen Wells, B.V. Larsen, W.J. Davies, Ann Christy, and… (I could literally go on all day…) has elevated my stories and pushed me to write even better than I did before. The relationships I’ve developed in the past few months have shown me the different ways to be an author in today’s new publishing system and Samuel Peralta is a true visionary with goals for the Future Chronicles for multiple anthologies down the road. I’m as thankful for Peralta and the universes he has had a hand in creating as I am for Hugh Howey at the start of my career.
Uncle Allen led to Z Ball (my editor says its my best yet) in The Z Chronicles and I’m one of the few veteran voices to be featured in The Immortality Chronicles (now up for preorder — get your copy now!)
With all that said, it’s CHRONICLES WEEK! All the authors behind the current Chronicles books (so far we’ve had Robot, Telepath, Alien, A.I., Dragon, Z, and Alt.History 101) plus the half-dozen or so planned in the next eight to nine months are showcasing the Future Chronicles anthologies. If you haven’t yet read a Chronicles book, there is a special edition due out in a month, entitled (appropriately enough) The Future Chronicles. It will feature ten stories which have previously appeared in Chronicles books and five NEW stories, as well as a Foreword by Hugh Howey himself(!). It’s up for preorder right now for just 99 cents.
And in honor of the celebration, The Future Chronicles authors are giving away a Kindle Paperwhite. Wait, there’s more! Not only will you get a brand new Kindle Paperwhite, this amazing machine will be pre-loaded with all the Chronicles titles already released. Each of these books have hit #1 in the Sci-fi/Fantasy Anthology list and you want to win this thing. Visit here to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway (GIVEAWAY is now closed. Thanks for all who entered!)
Okay…visit The Future Chronicles this week and check out all the amazing books there. If you want a taste, my Alien Chronicles story, Uncle Allen is FREE this week only. Check it out as a taste of the collection.