Recommended: More Wattpad Goodness

I’ve nearly completed half of my pledge to take a year off from writing fiction, and it’s helped that I’ve been swamped at work, putting in around 60 hours a week at the old open-floor-plan-paradise-prison that passes for the norm in Silicon Valley these days. With a partial clearing in the release schedule, though, I’ve found a bit of time to catch up and hunker down with some of my favorite writers on Wattpad.

@DawnAdrie – Rules of Escape – is a journey into the linked minds of otherwise institutionalized autistic young people. This story is quite original and succeeds very well in shifting perspective among several characters, some of whom are inside, and some of whom are outside the telepathic circle . There are abundant twists and turns and I’m genuinely excited every time a new chapter pops up in my mobile notifications because I never have any idea whose turn it’s going to be or how it’s going to advance the story.

@ShalonSims – The Dreaming: Dark Star Book Five – the next in an exciting and ambitious tale of a world where totalitarian rulers harness the power of dream walkers in a battle of unlikely factions, featuring the old and the young, the innocent and the suspect, the foolish and the wise, the human and the alien. There’s a lot to unpack in this and its related series, all well worth looking in to.

@LaraBlunte – Blame the Devil – she’s at it again. Yet another irresistible page-turner from the unstoppable @LaraBlunte, a writer of such talent and mystique that she even has me reading romance fiction, almost against my will, and enjoying it immensely, because of her great style and perspective. I always say that my favorite feature of reading is how it lets you remotely occupy the mind of another person. It’s always a treat visiting this one.

@MichaelGraeme – The Sea View Cafe – and speaking of treats, Michael is rolling out another instantly hypnotic story of individuals pulled along by their own incomprehensible inner forces. In other words, literature. Michael’s writing always reminds me of the classics, writers like Conrad and James, Thackery and Eliot. He’s a masterful stylist and quietly burrows you deep inside his characters’ souls. His The Price of Being with Sunita is still resonating, months after I finished reading it.

Highly recommended, all.

In a general note, I’ve enjoyed that past few weeks of having my last story, ‘How my Brained Ended up Inside this Box’, featured on Wattpad. It was even on the top row of the app for a few days there and got a bunch of ‘eyes’ looking at it (also thanks to the beautiful new cover someone made for me (I won’t mention their name here so they don’t get besieged with requests!). Another friend recently made some new covers for some of my other stories – what a great treat. I’m so grateful. But what I started out to say was that you have to enjoy these moments as they happen and not try to hang on to them forever. As a bookseller for many years I became accustomed to the rhythms of the business, and the cycles of sales enjoyed by books as they came and went throughout the years. You’d come across gems and want everyone to read them but their time is always limited. Whenever I think of ‘success’ in fiction I think of The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake, an excellent writer who had several stories featured famously and one book which had its shining moment in the sun. His own moment, his life, was sadly far too short, ending in suicide. I believe we ought to love our time as best we can, and let the things we do, the things we create, have their own time, detach them from our selves, and let them go. They are not us. We have our own stories to live.

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Everything is Scammable, in its own way

Reading about the poor souls whose self-published online novels have been stolen and plagiarized by unscrupulous ghouls, I was reminded of the nefarious hacks who’ve attempted to profit on my own non-existent fame and notoriety by publishing fake versions of fake books using my real and profitless name. I pity the fools. But everything is scammable in this world and probably the next one as well. Witness the clownish attempt to get people to click on phishing links when they search for How My Brain Ended Up Inside This Box – a masterpiece of meaningless drivel in and of itself:

backed

the real truth is, here is a real link to a free version of the book thus described.

Featured on Wattpad: How My Brain Ended Up Inside This Box

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I’m happy to see that my most recent sci-fi story, “How My Brain Ended Up Inside This Box”, is now a “featured” selection on Wattpad. It’s a bit of what I like to call “magical futurism”, featuring a black-market “artificially intelligent person” (or A.I.P., or “ape” in the colloquial sense, as in ‘the planet of the’), an organic being, farm-raised on genetically engineered smoothies and destined for auction to the highest bidding criminal enterprise. Gifted with the ability to communicate with foul-mouthed seagulls and ill-tempered felines, the gender-less, age-less, race-less creature has to find its way to escape from the clutches of its mother and other assorted enemies, in this fairly exciting and ultimately utterly unexpected novel.

As with all my books, this one is free on Smashwords and Feedbooks as well.

 

Reissued: In Constant Contact

Sometimes I write. Sometimes I revise. Lately I’ve been on a revision jag, first with Humanoid Central, and now In Constant Contact. This one didn’t need too much. It was actually somewhat better than I remembered it. It’s available for free, as always, from Smashwords, Feedbooks, and the iBookstore.

The not-so-good folks at World Weary Avengers are at it again. Now they’ve come up with a device that keeps you in continual contact with a “professional friend”, someone guaranteed to always be there, whenever you need them, to be whatever you need them to be. Now it’s up to Kandhi Clarke and her team of test engineers to make sure if does what it’s supposed to, and not what it’s not, before this latest tech-astrophe is let loose on the world.

Next up will be some proof-reading and probably new covers for the Snapdragon Alley series.

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(Might as well be) Lost in Translation

I can now say in perfect honesty that my books have been translated into four languages. Yup, four. Add French now to Spanish, Portuguese and Farsi. Of course, it’s only one book in each of those four languages (and only three titles altogether) but hey, what the heck, and as of this morning there were at least 27 people around the world (including one in Morocco and one in Oman) who’ve downloaded the (always free) version of “The Outlier #1 Beepers”, or, as it’s called in French, “La Variable Aléatoire, Tome 1: Après le bip” (translation and title courtesy of the awesomely professional Laure Valentin of France). It’s also slated to be published in France by Les Éditions du Net, as well as available from Smashwords, Feedbooks and Kindle (where you’d have to pay a buck).

What’s it about”

“Dillon Sharif est le plus grand détective au monde spécialisé dans les ensembles de données. D’ailleurs, c’est aussi le charmant petit-fils des milliardaires fondateurs de AllDat Corporation, propriétaires légaux de toutes les informations mondiales. Mais lorsqu’une nouvelle énigme lui est confiée et qu’il doit enquêter sur ces mystérieux signaux sonores qui se déclenchent régulièrement dans la nuit, Dillon va devoir faire appel à toute son ingéniosité, et compter sur l’aide précieuse de sa fidèle assistante. Après le bip est la première aventure de la série La Variable Aléatoire.”

As the world’s foremost “big data” detective, Dillon Sharif is fortunate to be the charming heir of the the AllDat Corporation, legal owners of all of the world’s information. (Also available, for free, in English).

Obligatory marketing slogan: it’s like candy, and it’s free. who doesn’t like free candy?

Notice: this book has not been approved by any known harbinger of failure

This Week in Wattpad

This week in #Wattpad I’ve been happily reading some more good stuff, including (but not necessarily limited to)

Companionship by @PeerGlen, a genuine space opera with unusually inventive escapades and characters

Cursed Times – What Now? by @linahanson, a supernatural culture clash set in contemporary Ancient Egypt

Someday by @drwhogivesadamn, an exploratory friendship with the new kid next door, a fascinating reveal

Ally’s Revenge, by @BrandyLee1031, an unfolding drama told by two major characters as their paths draw closer to intersect

Phantoms of Folklore, by @joannajadoo, folk tales old and new told enchantingly by a gifted storyteller

A thief’s nightmare by @Keeylie, a clash of clans in a mythical world

The Magician’s Horses by @bkbennett made me race to the finish of this fascinating time travel experiment

@AnnWrites had me on the edge of my seat with two stories, The Trophy Wife’s Lover and 666: A Psychological Thriller

My “Library” is too full and the Android version of the Wattpad app is unpredictable – I never know what’s going to show up or in what order, but as always there’s no shortage of stories to check out there.

How My Brain Ended Up Free Online

When I was born I was so small I was mistaken for a french fry. I was never an ordinary child. My best friend was a seagull. I was also illegal. Artificially intelligent people like me had been banned ever since that thing with the Twelve Elevens. Mother raised me for profit. Buyers and sellers had other plans for me, but then I grew a mind of my own. This is my story, the story of how my brain ended up in this box.

My new short novel is now available from the usual suspects:

for free from Smashwords or Feedbooks or from Amazon Kindle if for some reason you feel like throwing ninety nine cents at it. It’ll make it onto Wattpad too one of these days (in the meantime, I have other stuff there if you’re a Wattpadite)

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