Saturday, July 30, 2016
Shameless Plug/Review -- "Eyes of the Setting Sun"
For the past few years I've been making a little extra money doing online editing, so I wasn't surprised when an old Chicago buddy -- Chris Madsen -- asked me to beta-read/edit his SciFi novel for him. Now in all the years I've known him, more than 30 by now, he's always been a professional systems analyst, computer programmer, technical writer, and rabid SciFi fan, so I expected to find computer references in his book. Well, that's like saying you expect to find a firecracker or two at the New York City 4th of July celebration. Every scene, and sometimes sections of scenes, are headed by programming instructions that clarify the plot. I've heard that programmers who pick up this book find that they can't put it down. What's more, the main character -- surely the strangest heroine in all of Science Fiction, and that's saying a lot -- has her brain interfaced with a computer; she refers to it, commands it, argues with it, and searches it for hidden revelations as the plot develops, and every cybernetic conversation has the solid ring of authenticity.
Half the fun of following the plot is that it zigs and zags between past and present, building a surrealistic mosaic with a clear programming guide. And all this is against the background of a dystopian future that the heroine is trying to repair with various unlikely allies and all-too-likely enemies. Eyes of the Setting Sun is a wide-ranging, slow-building, SciFi techno-thriller with some startlingly original scenes and concepts, not to mention characters. It's a damned good novel for a first-time author, which is why I'm shamelessly breaking the rules to tout a book that I've personally worked on. So I'll say no more, except go to Amazon.com, look up Eyes of the Setting Sun and read the excerpt. Even non-nerds will love it.