The image at the top of this post is the planned jacket for my upcoming novel. That’s the back cover on the left, followed by the spine and the front cover. The back is still a work in progress and there’s a lot of text to add, but you get the idea. My wife finished formatting the book a couple of days ago. The only tasks left are finishing the cover and getting the print version ready. Yesterday I realized that we were nearly ready to launch the book and I’ve done nothing to market it. I haven’t even been talking about it here on the blog.
So it would be a huge help for me if everyone was willing to pretend I’ve just spent the last 3-6 months building up curiosity and engagement through previews, teasers, interviews, and giveaways. If you could act like you’re all buzzing with excitement and waiting for the release date announcement, that would really be nice.
The book takes place in a fictional city. It’s cyberpunk, but I left out a lot of the “punk” and replaced it with… sci-fi… murder mystery… kinda. Look, it’s complicated and genre boundaries are confusing to me.
Most cyberpunky stories take place in quasi-Tokyo, Neo York, PseudoLondon, or Los Angelish. I decided I wanted a bit of a different setting, so I went for a mashup of São Paulo, Monte Carlo, and Rio de Janeiro, with maybe a dash of Hong Kong. Basically, this city is not the center of the global culture or technology.
I stray pretty far from the usual formula of razer girlz, mohawks, cyber-prosthesis, mind-jacking, and casual murder. I realize that that’s the cyberpunk recipe and that it makes for a very cool world with a lot of texture. But we’ve been exploring that future dystopia for a long time. I don’t think it works as a projection of current trends here in 2018 as well as it did in 1984. Instead I tried to bring in some recent ideas about machine learning and make different projections with regards to surveillance and crime.
I’m not suggesting I’ve re-invented cyberpunk, or that the traditionalist works are somehow flawed. I just think that there’s room for a different take on the genre.
The back-of-the-book blurb:
Fresh out of jail, Max is forced to solve an impossible crime to save his life. Along the way he teams up with Jennifer Five, a robotic companion who has her own reasons for wanting the crime solved. They need to work together while staying one step ahead of the corporations, gangsters, and crooked cops that are hunting them across the city.
Anyway, just remember: If anyone asks, you’ve been hyped about this for months and you’ve already pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition with Horse Armor. Thanks!
The Terrible New Thing
Fidget spinners are ruining education! We need to... oh, never mind the fad is over. This is not the first time we've had a dumb moral panic.
The Loot Lottery
What makes the gameplay of Borderlands so addictive for some, and what does that have to do with slot machines?
Steam Summer Blues
This mess of dross, confusion, and terrible UI design is the storefront the big publishers couldn't beat? Amazing.
This is Why We Can’t Have Short Criticism
Here's how this site grew from short essays to novel-length quasi-analytical retrospectives.
Blistering Stupidity of Fallout 3
Yeah, this game is a classic. But the story is idiotic, incoherent, thematically confused, and patronizing.