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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

SHOWCASE #1: Why did you...?

Buy it now! A paltry $0.99 USD! Free for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers!

Okay, the book has been out for a few days now; long enough for email to begin trickling in, asking the usual, “Why on earth did you pick that story?” questions. Interestingly, though, thus far there is no strong consensus as to which story is that story.

So here’s why I picked that story.

“The River of Time Joins the Sea,” by Probert Dean

I picked this one because it has that slippery, elusive, hallucinatory New Wave vibe that I for some reason associate with J. G. Ballard. Time has become stuck, and the definition of reality is contracting and changing even while the story is in progress. I love stories like these—in small doses, once in a while—that play with your perceptions and expectations. Besides, it has an absolutely brilliant first line: “It was raining the day the future started.”

“The Mandala Doors of Hafshamn Syniad,” by Jeff Suwak

I picked this one because it’s a strong, solid story with an engaging focal character and a really satisfying plot. It’s a tale of magical vengeance and justice, and better yet, it borrows from a different set of folk tale traditions than most of the magical fantasies that come through here. It’s a good read, plain and simple, and I would not be averse to seeing more stories set in this world.

“The Carpetbaggers Ball,” by Karl Dandenell

Imagine a world where the dissolute and depraved über-rich can upload and download their consciousnesses as easily as you can change your clothes, and where they can rent the bodies of the young and healthy poor to wear when they want to throw a really good party, then leave someone else to deal with the hangover...

This story hits me where I live, combining near-future tech with a decadent social landscape and a focal character who learns, grows, and changes as a result of what happens in this story. This is the sort of story that I find in my inbox, read, and say, “Damn, I wish I’d written that one!”

That’s the secret of selling a story to me, folks. All you have to do is write one that makes me, Bruce Bethke, cyberpunk legend, Philip K. Dick Award-winning author, etc., etc., read all the way to the end and then say “Damn, I wish I’d written that one!” It’s that easy.

“Finding Spring,” by Sipora Coffelt

I’ll admit, living in Minnesota, I was probably predisposed to like this story. It opens with an engaging and likable p.o.v. character, obviously living in some sort of bleak, frozen, post-Apocalyptic and post-20th Century American landscape, who is about to go on a journey of discovery whether she wants to or not. At first I was slightly afraid that this was going to turn into yet another climatepunk global warming we’re-all-doomed screed, but Valentine’s voice was so charming, she drew me in.

Then, as the author slowly revealed the true nature of the Apocalypse, I really began to get into this story, and by the time we got to the ending...

So why did I choose to put these four stories together into the same book?

That’s tomorrow’s post.   

Buy it now! A mere $0.99 USD! You can’t even get a cup of coffee for that! Free for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers!

(I’m still working on this whole “relentless promotion” thing.)

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