Monday, February 19, 2018

Peter Brown Called: Tales of SciFi and Music by Paul Levinson

Release date: February 13, 2018
Subgenre: Science fiction collection

About Peter Brown Called

 

Writing science fiction and songs have been two of my lifelong passions. This anthology combines them, with a selection of my science fiction and fantasy stories that has music as a theme, and my lyrics that deal with far-off suns, robots, and time travel.


Excerpt:

 

 Saving Lennon


    The minutes passed slowly and the day grew cold.  Jeff was glad he had bought a winter coat in Newark before boarding the train to New York. He kept his hands deep inside his pockets and scrutinized the Dakota.

     Fans of John Lennon slowly began to appear, like in a time-lapse motion picture. None of them was Chapman.  This bothered Jeff -– Chapman was supposed to have been hanging around the Dakota all day today, even touching Sean Lennon's hand at some point, according to the boy's nanny.  Well, maybe she or the reports were wrong.

     It was now 5:30pm, and still no sign of Chapman. Where the fuck was he?
     Jeff decided to cross the street to get a closer look at what was happening at the Dakota. Probably Chapman was lurking in some shadows, and Jeff had missed him when Jeff first arrived here, more than an hour ago. But Jeff had surveyed the area pretty carefully.
     Paul Goresh the photographer stepped out of the limousine that suddenly pulled up. He had with a big old-fashioned camera in hand.  Well, every camera from this era and well into the 21st century looked old fashioned to Jeff.
     Chapman was no more visible to Jeff close to the Dakota than Chapman had been to Jeff across the street. Chapman was supposed to give Lennon a copy of his Double Fantasy album, which Lennon autographed. Lennon was then reported as saying to Chapman, "Is this all you want?"
     Jeff looked carefully all around. There were five people, in addition to him and Goresh, now standing on the sidewalk.  Three were women.  Two were men, and both had albums in hand, but Jeff couldn’t tell if they were Double Fantasy, and the people looked nothing like Chapman.  Should Jeff try to stop them now, anyway? Was he witnessing the prelude to an assault on Lennon by someone other than Chapman?
     The five now turned to the entrance of the Dakota, from which John and Yoko emerged. Both were smiling. Lennon signed albums. Jeff watched like a hawk -– no one pulled a gun or any weapon.
     Lennon now turned to Jeff.  "No autograph?" Lennon asked Jeff, with a laugh. He extended his hand for a handshake with Jeff. "Is this all you want?"
 


Amazon Kindle | Paperback


About Paul Levinson:


Paul Levinson, PhD, is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in NYC.  His science fiction novels include The Silk Code (winner of Locus Award for Best First Science Fiction Novel of 1999, author’s cut ebook 2012), Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002, 2013), The Pixel Eye (2003, 2014), The Plot To Save Socrates (2006, 2012), Unburning Alexandria (2013), and Chronica (2014)  - the last three of which are also known as the Sierra Waters trilogy, and are historical as well as science fiction.  His nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), and New New Media (2009; 2nd edition, 2012),  have been translated into twelve languages. He appears on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News,  the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, the History Channel, NPR, and numerous TV and radio programs. His 1972 LP, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2010.  He was President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, 1998-2001.  He reviews television in his InfiniteRegress.tv blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009.

  Blog | Twitter

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Now Reduced: Addict (The Cassie Tam Files, Book 1) by Matt Doyle

 Release date: May 8, 2017
Subgenre: Science fiction mystery,  Cyberpunk

About Addict:

New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …

For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.

When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.

Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.

Excerpt:

 

I always did like Venetian blinds. There’s something quaint about them in a retro-tacky kinda way. Plus, they’re pretty useful for sneaking a peek out the front of the building if I feel the need. That’s something that you just can’t do with the solid, immovable metal slats that come as a standard in buildings these days. That said, a thick sheet of steel is gonna offer you a damn sight more security than thin, bendable vinyl, so I keep mine installed. Just in case.
Another round of knocking rattles the front door, louder this time than the one that woke me.
The clock says 23:47, and the unfamiliar low-end car out front screams “Don’t notice me, I’m not worth your time,” which makes for the perfect combo to stir up the paranoia that the evening’s beer and horror-film session left behind. This is my own fault. My adverts are pretty descriptive in terms of telling what I do: lost pets, cheating partners, theft, protection, retrieval of people and items, other odds and sods that the city’s finest won’t touch…I’ve got ways to deal with it all. That’s right, I’m a real odd-job gal. The one thing that I don’t put in there are business hours. The way I see it, even the missing pet cases usually leave me wandering the streets at half-past reasonable, so what’s the point in asking people to call between certain hours?
More knocking, followed this time by the squeak of my letter box and a voice. “Hello? Cassandra Tam?”
It’s funny, really. For all the tech advances that the world has made, no one has been able to improve upon the simple open-and-shut letter box. I stumble my way through the dark and wave dismissively at the frosted glass. The light switch and the keypad for the door lock are conveniently placed right next to each other on the wall to the right of the door, so welcoming my apparent guest is a nice, easy affair. The lock clicks a moment after the lights flood the room, and I pull the door open.
“Cassie,” I say, turning and skulking my way back into the room. “Or Caz. Drop the Tam.”
I hear a sniff behind me, and the lady from the letter box asks, “Are you drunk?”
“If I pass out in the next five minutes, then yes,” I reply, turning the kettle on. I’d left it full, ready for the morning, but I guess this is close enough. “Take a seat at the table. Would you prefer tea or coffee? I’d offer beer, but since I reek of it, I guess I must’ve finished it.”
Footsteps creep unapologetically across the room, and a chair squeaks on the floor. Good. If you can’t deal with a snarky response to something, don’t say it all, and if you can deal with it, then as far as I’m concerned you don’t need to apologise.
“Coffee,” the lady says. “So, do you always see potential clients in your underwear, or is it just my lucky day?” Her voice has a slightly playful edge to it, but with a sarcastic kick to round it off.
The business portion of my apartment comprises entirely of a small open-plan room separating my kitchen from my living room. And by open plan, I mean an allotted space that encroaches on both territories but is conveniently large enough to house what I need. Or, in other words, a table, four chairs, and nothing else. Since filing went near entirely digital, filing cabinets have pretty much become obsolete, so the two that I found dumped outside the building when I bought the place currently live in my bedroom, and contain a mix of quick access work stuff and personal files I’d rather not have floating on the net. Most things, though, I store electronically, the same as everything else.
I rarely use the business table to eat, read, or any of that junk, so until this evening it’s been entirely empty for a good few weeks. The lady sitting there now is studying me, I can see, and probably wondering if this was a mistake. Whatever she may have expected, a Chinese-Canadian gal of average height in a cami top and a loose pair of sleep shorts most likely wasn’t it. For what it’s worth, though, I’m studying her just the same. She’s a lithe-looking thing, dressed in a casual pair of jeans and a plain black fitted top under a leather jacket. If the metal plugs running down her shaven head like a shiny, rubber-tipped Mohawk weren’t a giveaway for what she is, the light scarring punctuating the outer edges of her pale blue eyes certainly would be. She’s a Tech Shifter, and like most of her ilk, she looks like a punk rocker gone cyborg.

 

Now only 2.99 USD at

Amazon | Nine Star Press

 

About Matt Doyle:

Matt Doyle lives in the South East of England and shares his home with a wide variety of people and animals, as well as a fine selection of teas. He has spent his life chasing dreams, a habit which has seen him gain success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.

These days, Matt can be found working on far too many novels at once, blogging about anime, comics, and games, and plotting and planning what other things he’ll be doing to take up what little free time he has.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google + | Goodreads


Friday, February 16, 2018

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for February 16, 2018


It's time for the weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with tributes to Victor Milán, Star Trek Discovery (spoilers again mostly marked, but reader beware), Black Panther, Altered Carbon, The Cloverfield Paradox as well as the usual mix of awards news, writing advice, interviews, reviews, con reports, crowdfunding campaigns, science articles, free online fiction and much more. 

Speculative fiction in general:

Tributes to Victor Milán:

Comments on Star Trek Discovery:

Comments on Black Panther:

Comments on Altered Carbon:

Comments on The Cloverfied Paradox

Awards:

Writing, publishing and promotion:

Interviews:

Reviews:

Crowdfunding:

Con reports:

Science and technology:

Free online fiction:

Odds and ends: