“A Great science fiction detective story”
– Ian Watson, author of The Universal Machine
“A great science fiction detective story featuring a classic noir detective, a fading super-star, a nymphomaniac, and an AI who channels Alan Turing, the father of computing, all set in a dystopian future that is familiar yet fascinatingly strange – what more could you want?”
– Ian Watson, author of The Universal Machine: From the Dawn of Computing to Digital Consciousness
Alan Turing’s legacy lives on, not only in the technology he originated, the long-term effects of his wartime work, his later work in biology, and the changes to sexual politics that are reflected in our shifting attitude toward him over the years, but also in works of art.
He’s had a number of fictional incarcations over the years. To cite just a few examples:
- He’s been invoked by artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky and science fiction author Harry Harrison for their novel The Turing Option.
- And Janna Levin, nominally a theoretical cosmologist, has written a novel called A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines in which the main two characters are Turing and Kurt Gödel.
But the quote at the top of the page relates to a novel called Luck and Death at the Edge of the World, a work of science fiction set in Los Angeles and Mexico City that I wrote, which goes on sale this May.
You can download a free sampler of Luck and Death that includes the prologue and the first three chapters in multiple formats right here:
You can also find more details and story synopsis here.
Now, I know the publishing industry fairly well. I’ve worked at two different publishing houses as well as doing freelance work for publishers and authors over many years.
I’ve watched the industry turned upside down by the advent of big box stores, then turned inside out when ebooks arrived, and I’ve kept in the loop through author friends after I left the business.
I’m not a publisher-basher, but I can’t say that I’m impressed with traditional publishers’ ability to adapt in the face of changing business models and technologies, and the disarray in the industy at the moment is enough to give anyone pause, so I decided to publish Luck and Death at the Edge of the World myself.
Publishing it myself means that it’s down to me to ensure that the book is published properly. For that reason I’ve assembled a team — including my web guru and fellow strategist, Saul Bottcher, and the creative guys at TTG Music Lab — and started an IndieGoGo campaign to get things going (similar to Kickstarter).
This gets me the funds I need to launch the book properly while making sure that people get something back that makes the whole thing worth their while. It’s a model that’s been used with excellent results — both for the artist and their supporters — with films, books, and other projects over several years now.
You can find the IndieGoGo page here. Come by, get more details, and watch the video.
Supporters of the Luck and Death campaign get various perks, depending on their level of support.
Even at the $5.00 level (the retail price of the novel), supporters get a special edition of the book that includes The Fictional Life of Alan Turing, a look at his life after death in the fictional worlds invented by authors like those mentioned above.
I won’t go into every perk here since that’s what the IndieGoGo page is for, but at each level you get everything from the levels below plus something new. The perks include:
- An expanded special edition of the ebook, including The Fictional Life of Alan Turing and Science and Fiction in Luck and Death, a look at some of the real life science behind the story
- Two short stories set in the same world (which will be issued as stand-alone ebooks for sale later this year). The first, Felon and the Judas Kiss, is finished and the second is being written.
- The next novel in the series, called In The Empire of the Monkey King, which is well on its way to completion.
- A personalized version of the ebook, with an inscription page like you’d get in a physical book at a book signing
- Literary immortality — the next best thing to real immortality — in that the supporter gets to name a character in the book, whether after themselves or someone they know.
The IndieGoGo page has just gone live and last I checked the first supporter had stepped forward. I hope you’ll check it out, see what you think, and consider getting involved.
And if it’s not your cup of tea, think about someone you know who might be interested and drop them an email to tell them about it.
Or become a supporter in their name. Not only can you name a character after someone else as a gift, but if you get the personalized version of the ebook the inscription can be made out to them.
And come back to the campaign page once in a while since the team will be adding updates along the way.
At this very moment, for instance, the guys at TTG Music Lab, a Gemini Award-winning team that normally scores feature films (like New Waterford Girl and Sabah) and television series (like Max and Ruby), are taking my recorded reading of Chapter One of Luck and Death, called Brace and Erase, and laying in music and some sound effects to produce a dramatization of the book’s opening. I’ll post something here when it’s ready.
So come by The Luck and Death IndieGoGo Page — I hope to see you there.