Tag: independent

Almost Surely, Available now, worldwide!

When you control the fate of others, who is in control of yours?

Anthony Hopper is an Agent of Influence. He directs the lives of those selected by Watcher, the living embodiment of Fate.
Jack and Henry, twins, are the latest additions to the agency, and it is Anthony’s task to train them.
When one abuses his knowledge of the future, Anthony discovers that Watcher is not as faultless as he believed and that those closest to him, including his soul-collecting confidante, Edith, may be conspiring against him.

Follow Anthony as he discovers the truth about his destiny, what to expect when life ends, and how the universe rewards those with good intentions.

One reviewer called it: ‘…a brilliant melding of time travel, mythology and noir, with fun characters and a thrilling plot that kept me guessing til the end.

Buy now, from your locale:

UK 
USA
CA
AU
DE
FR
ES
IT
NL
BR
MX
JP
IN

 

 

 

Reading Materials #2, Mind in the Gap, by C.R. Dudley

Synopsis:

“The body likes continuity. It’s part of the deal. But the truth is, there are gaps everywhere. Gaps only the mind can slip through…”

Follow M – a strange and chaotic being who professes to be the outcast of a black hole – on a journey like no other. Flowing freely through the back streets of hidden realms, she drives her companion to meet commuters who cross dimensions, embody future technology, and peek behind the scenes at consciousness: all with one purpose in mind.

Inventive, zany and often surreal, C.R. Dudley’s style melds the metaphysical with the technological to create dazzling architectures of thought. Mind in the Gap is an extraordinary book of diversions, circular routes and infinite possibilities. A collection of 14 unique stories and 14 alternate realities – with more to connect them than meets the eye.

Opinion:

I had the privilege of beta-reading Mind in the Gap, prior to release, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It is a non-linear, interconnected short story collection, with a beautiful narrative centred on the concept of travel, both physically and mentally.

The science fiction is strong throughout, and some of the ideas blew me away. There’s a reality-eclipse in ‘Baily’s Beads,’ for example. What? It’s not just the sci-fi which C.R excels at in this novel, but her use of Jungian theory, too. It helps if you have an understanding of Carl Jung’s work, for sure, but the stories are incredibly accessible. Some are heart-warming, some are terrifying; one felt as if I were reading a long-lost Hayao Miyazaki story.

C.R. is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors, and I cannot wait for her next release. If you enjoy contemporary science fiction and metaphysics, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you did not pick it up.

 

Reading Materials #1 Toroa, by Erik Hofstatter

So, I’m starting a new series on here, highlighting works by authors, (predominantly Indie) that I have enjoyed. First up: Toroa, by Erik Hofstatter.

Synopsis:

Infants are vanishing all over Waitangi, a small island nestled in the Pacific Ocean. The local tribe believes a colossal albatross is responsible. Worse still, they are convinced that the seabird had been trained to carry out these sinister kidnappings. On the other side of the globe, in England, a troubled Maori girl falls in love with Aryan — a charismatic fire-breather. As their doomed relationship unfolds, a tragedy strikes, leaving her forever changed. Grieving, she travels to the island in desperate search of her estranged father and seeking answers to her shrouded origins. Will her actions influence the mysterious events occurring on the isle?

Opinion:

Toroa is a tale of two halves: the set-up, and the gut-punch ending. Erik’s world-creation is exceptional, and his characters feel nuanced, genuine, and terrifying. The story is dark in tone, but there is hope sprinkled throughout. Look at that cover!!!

Erik tackles some hard themes, here, and he does so really well. I’m not going to spoil them, but if you read the synopsis carefully, it’s right there. Toroa is not for the faint of heart. I read Toroa between July 16-20th, and I’m still thinking about it.

I cannot wait to see what Erik does next!

Body positivity in fiction, an anniversary.

One year ago, yesterday, I finished the first draft of The Surrogate.
It was a story that I had been planning, but put off for other things, for four years.

I’ve spoken about it quite a bit, but because the topic of body positivity is rife right now, and because it’s the anniversary of my writing it, I feel that it’s worth revisiting.

It’s set in a future where obesity has been eradicated, due to a government-led eugenics program. Ronald Calico runs, and is the main draw of New Tokyo’s premier ‘cuddle-lounge.’ He has grown in notoriety because he is fat. An oddity. The last of his kind.

The novella follows David, a journalist, and the face of the New Tokyo Broadcast Corporation. He has been assigned the task of running an expose on Ronald. The purpose is to learn more about Ronald, why he is fat (when nobody else is), why he is popular, and why he does what he does.

It’s science-fiction in setting, but it’s a stealthy commentary on intimacy, sexuality, sexual identity, relationships, and body positivity.

My aim was to write a story for fat people who felt alienated and ashamed of their bodies, like I had. I wanted to write something uplifting, thought-provoking, and empowering. The Surrogate is a story that I’m incredibly proud of because it’s my love-letter to those who struggle with self-worth. And despite the premise, it isn’t only for fat people.

I wanted to write something that spoke to me, a fat man with low self-esteem, and self-confidence, hence why I dedicated it to myself.

Almost Surely pre-orders are now live!

My debut novel ‘Almost Surely,’ is available to pre-order now!

When you control the fate of others, who is in control of yours?

Anthony Hopper is an Agent of Influence. He directs the lives of those selected by Watcher, the living embodiment of Fate.

Jack and Henry, twins, are the latest additions to the agency, and it is Anthony’s task to train them. When one abuses his knowledge of the future, Anthony discovers that Watcher is not as faultless as he believed and that those closest to him, including his soul-collecting confidante, Edith, may be conspiring against him.

Follow Anthony as he discovers the truth about his destiny, what to expect when life ends, and how the universe rewards those with good intentions.

It costs less than a Tesco lunch deal, so try it out.

Cover Reveal.

When you control the fate of others,
who is in control of yours?

 

Hirescover1

Anthony Hopper is an Agent of Influence. He directs the lives of those selected by Watcher, the living embodiment of Fate.

Jack and Henry, twins, are the latest additions to the agency and it is Anthony’s task to train them. When one abuses his knowledge of the future, Anthony discovers that Watcher is not as faultless as he believed.

As this compelling story unfolds, Anthony suspects that those closest to him, including his soul-collecting confidante, Edith, are conspiring against him.

 

Available: Tuesday 23rd October 2018

on Paperback and Kindle, from your local Amazon website.

Follow me on Twitter for more information

https://twitter.com/DoctorUlysses

Bonus:

My debut novella The Surrogate is currently free on Kindle.

Grab it now!

Let’s talk about feelings… (The May Update)

I’m struggling to think of what happened this month.

Seriously, what happened?

I was stupidly busy, proofing and editing the novel. I’m 35% done as of right now (May 30th) and may be as much as 50% done by the time this goes out. Who knows?

What does ‘proofing and editing’ mean? I’m glad you asked.

It probably means something different to each person who does it, but to me; it’s time to read through the work, checking for spelling and grammatical errors, (I’m shit at this) and ensure that it all flows nicely. Delete redundant or contradictory sentences and fact-check. At present; my method is to send my manuscript to my Kindle and read it as though it were a finished book. I’ll highlight words and sentences and make notes as I go; noting replacement words or phrases, where to begin new paragraphs; that sort of thing. I tend to do this in the evenings, as that’s when I’m at my most fickle. Then I’ll read through the notes in the morning/lunch-time (when I’m at work) and make all of the changes.

I’ll then send an updated version of the manuscript to my Kindle and re-read it that evening, repeating the process until I am happy.

I made a passing comment about this process on Twitter a few days ago, but I changed my editing technique part-way through overhauling the book, earlier this year. Now that I’ve reached the crossover (from the old method of editing to the improved one) I’ve found that I’m making significantly fewer notes.

I’ll be honest; I still don’t know what I’m doing. I’m playing it by ear and doing my best.

Speaking of readthroughs…

My Kindle stopped working over the weekend. It was nothing serious, mind you, but it was enough to frustrate me when I first encountered the issue. In a nutshell; it refused to open certain ‘sent-to’ files. In this instance; Almost Surely. So, instead of faffing with it; I began reading the manuscript for my next release (scheduled for this time next year.)

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it read beautifully. The tone was right, and I found it to be funny, which was the intention. When it comes to editing; I reckon that it’ll take less than a month to complete. Which is great, because it leads me to:

Future Projects

Editing Almost Surely has taken up the first half of this year. I anticipated that it would because my writing/editing style at the time wasn’t what it is now. Anyway, the point I’m getting to is this:

Because the next project will not take as long to edit; It’ll allow me to write something new before the year is out.

I’ve got three ideas that I’m contending with right now. The first two are novellas (and I anticipate that they’ll be similar in length to The Surrogate) and the third is a novel. I’m leaning more towards the novellas right now, just because I have a better idea of the stories and how they’ll be structured. But, yeah, once Almost Surely is done (i.e. in the hands of beta readers) I’ll start tinkering with a new project. Hopefully, this will be in August or September.

Old fat man

I went to a gig on Lagwagon day (May 16th)

Reference:

It was a (mostly) instrumental show; Bossk, Brutus and Russian Circles (Headline)

It was my first gig in iDon’tKnowHowLong, and it’ll be my last for the foreseeable future. It was a fun day, don’t get me wrong, but by the time the show finished; my thighs felt like I had a samurai sword between them, and my feet killed. I was desperate to sit while the show was happening, and when I saw my reflection in the many shop windows, on our walk back to the station, I realised; ‘you’re an old fat man, and gigging is not for you, anymore.’

If I go to another show, (which I do want to, eventually) it’ll have to be seated.

The monthly playlist:

1, letlive. – Copper Colored Quiet

2, Reel Big Fish – A Little Doubt Goes A Long Way

3, Less Than Jake – Pete Jackson Is Getting Married

4, Mad Caddies – Mary Melody

5, Pilotpriest – Arhive Seven

6, Massive Attack – Future Proof

7, The Meters – Here Comes The Meter Man

8, HIM – Beyond Redemption

9, Lagwagon – May 16

10, The Japanese House – Clean

11, Ghostface Killah – Alex (Stolen Script)

12, Lenny Kravitz – Low (edit)

13, CHVRCHES – Never Say Die

14, Nine Inch Nails – Various Methods Of Escape

15, Deftones – Tempest

Come back on Friday for the Almost Surely cover reveal!

Much Love

Gav

x

Check out my debut novella, The Surrogate:

[Flash Fiction] Suckers

“If you can sign here, and here,” he pointed, “and here, here and here, you’re good to go.”

He perused the contract slowly, reading the words over and over in his mind. “I don’t know.”

“What are you worried about?”

“What if it doesn’t work?”

“Well,” he shrugged his lips, “you’ll be dead.”

“That’s what I’m worried about,” he sighed.

“If you’d rather not, then I understand. It’s experimental, but revolutionary technology. I admit, we haven’t figured out how to revive the dead yet, but we will.”

“Are you sure? I mean; how close are you to cracking it?”

“Close,” he nodded frantically, “very close.”

“Within weeks, years, what is it?”

The man smiled and pulled the contract from the table. “I can see that this is not for you,” he said, folding the paperwork.

“No, please, it’s just… I don’t know. I’m worried that you won’t be able to bring me back, that’s all.”

“It’s a gamble we’re all making,” he said. “When you die, would you rather be revived in ten years, or three hundred?”

“That’s beside the point.”

“No, it is the point,” he snapped. “Just think about all of the inventions you have seen in your lifetime, how old are you now?”

“I’m only thirty.”

“You grew up with a black and white television, correct?”

“Yeah.”

“And what do we have now?”

“I see your point.”

“4K resolution,” he ignored the man. “Augmented reality, virtual reality, you name it, if it’s not already available, it’ll be here in five years. It’s only a matter of time before they crack the human body wide open, you watch. There are cures for cancer and AIDs now, do you realise? I don’t suppose you do, because it’s not common knowledge just yet,” he rubbed his fingers together, indicating that they were expensive treatments, “but there are. Celebrities will outlive us because they can afford it.”

The man stared at the folded contract. He wanted it back, so he reached for it.

“Are you ready to sign?”

“I think so,” he sighed.

The salesman handed the paperwork back and watched as the man unfolded it. Within seconds, he had signed all of the dotted lines and laid the pen down on the table.

“You’re right,” the man said. “If you can’t bring me back, I’ll already be dead. What difference will it make, huh?”

“Precisely!”

“So what happens now?”

“You have to live in this country until the day you die because we need your body within hours of death…” he licked his lips and paused. He worked some mental mathematics and said; “we need the body very soon after death, just to counteract any deterioration that will, inevitably occur.”

“That makes sense. But, what if I go on holiday or something?”

“We have clinics in France, Spain, Washington, New York, Texas and Rio de Janiero. If you’re in any of those countries; you’ll be fine. Any other country, though, will be a gamble,” he shrugged. “You can go for the premium package, where we repatriate your body on a private jet, but that is…” he rubbed his fingers together again, “quite the expense.”

He nodded and stared at the contract on the table. He thought about all of the locations on his bucket list, and how many were in the countries the salesman had named. Not many were. “How much is the premium package?” he asked.

“You’re looking at half a mill, anywhere north of the Equator, excluding Russia. It’s seven-fifty for anywhere south of the Equator, excluding Australia and New Zealand. Those three countries, Oz, NZ and Russia, they’re nine-fifty.”

“Does that include…” he thought, “bed and board?”

“The big freeze?” he laughed.

“Yeah.”

“It does not, I’m afraid. The premium package prices I gave are for repatriation only.”

“So, if I want to go on Safari, and I croak while searching for lions; I’m looking at my standard Fifty K, plus another seven-hundred-and-fifty to reclaim my body?”

The salesman nodded.

“So, that’s eight-hundred in total, yes?”

“That’s correct.”

He thought about this, intently and became quiet.

“You do not have to make your decision right now,” the salesman said, “unless you plan on leaving the country, I mean. Was Africa somewhere that you wanted to visit?”

“Not particularly. It was only an example.”

“Oh, right,” the salesman nodded. “We’re opening up a new clinic in Johannesburg in three years’ time, so if you wanted to wait until then before…” he sliced a hand across his own throat, “you know…”

“I don’t plan on dying just yet,” the man laughed.

“Well, that’s good to know.” The salesman smiled. He nodded at the paperwork and lifted an eyebrow. “So, what do you think? Are you happy? Or would you like more time to think about upgrading?”

“It’s one hell of a jump in cost.”

“You’re not wrong,” the salesman agreed. “But, you don’t want to get caught short.”

“Can I think about it some more, and get back to you in a few days?”

“Sure, I mean; if you’re not travelling out of the country, you’re golden. Do you have any planned holidays?”

The man shook his head. “Not at present, no.”

“Well then, you have plenty of time.”

“That’s true,” he nodded. “Well, is there anything else, or am I ready to go?”

“Nope, that is everything,” he smiled. “You’re covered as soon as the money is transferred over. We’ll allocate your position in the community,” he wanted to say ‘warehouse,’ but he knew that it would not sound very luxurious. “We’ll prep the pod and keep it ready, should you need it sooner rather than later.”

The man nodded at this and stood.

The two men shook hands and left the room together. The salesman escorted the customer out of the building and glanced at his watch as the front door closed.

“Shit!”

He sprinted back down the corridor, into his office, and jumped into the chair in front of his desk. “Shit shit shit!” He logged in to the computer, opened up his internet browser and logged into his online, black-market auction site. On a separate tab, he logged in to his internet banking, and then he flipped back to the auction page.

You have been outbid!

Rare White Rhinoceros horn, immaculate condition; £75,001.

He added £1,000 to his maximum bid and hit return. It went through in time. He was the highest bidder now, with only 20 seconds remaining in the auction. “That was close!” he smiled. He glanced out of the window and down into the warehouse. There were pods and pods and pods, in rows, for as far as the eyes could see, like the Xenomorph eggs on LV-426, in the movie; Alien, but instead of spider-like creatures, they contained the bodies of dead humans waiting to be reborn.

“Suckers,” he laughed and returned to his screen.