Up the Tower
by J. P. Lantern
Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn't be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go...UP THE TOWER.
Samson ignored the jeer, focusing carefully on opening the box. He was twelve years old and he did not want to screw this up; being twelve was important, and people took the things you did seriously so long as you did them well.
“Smellson, hey!” The Crowboy banged his crowbar on the dusty ruins of the factory line where they had set up the six crates from their haul that morning. “Don’t blow us up, okay? I don’t want to die with your stench clogging me up, yeah?”
Again, Samson ignored the other boy, trying to concentrate as he eased his longtool through the gap in the crate before him. He very well could blow himself up; he could blow them all up. Inside the GuaranTech crate he tinkered with was a copbot.
Copbots blew up all the time. If their main processors or power source were damaged, they blew up. If they were being captured, they blew up. If they ran out of ammo and couldn’t refill within about ten minutes, they blew up. When they blew up, they incinerated everything in about a hundred foot radius. The warehouse was not big enough for the Crowboys to keep their distance and still work in the role of protection as they had been hired. So they were in the blast zone as well as Samson.
The copbots, deactivated, were precious and valuable. Strangely, they were valuable precisely because they were so hard to deactivate. A copbot was made almost entirely out of self-healing nanotech, and with enough time, it could repair from almost any wound to its metal shell. So, to keep this sort of power out of the hands of the gangster conglomerate that ran Junktown, the Five Faces, and any other sort of competitor, the copbots had a very liberal self-destruct mechanism.
This is what Samson worked against.
TOPIC: I would love to read about how the author feels about e-books. Would they really want print instead? Do you have ideas come easy to you?
So for this particular post, I was asked to write about my opinions on ebooks, and whether I would prefer print.
First of all, I’d like to establish right away that if you are interested in a print copy of UP THE TOWER, those are available on Amazon via Createspace for just 12 bucks.
As for my own opinion: I think e-books are great. I read primarily print, because my wife owns the kindle in our household and I’m too cheap to get my own. Maybe if UP THE TOWER sells fourteen million copies, I’ll find room in my budget. But, I've read quite a few ebooks in my time, and I like them fine.
The thing that I've seen is that a lot of people go on about the weight of a print book or the smell. I like those things too. But I like the way my wet dog smells too, because I'm used to it and love it. That doesn't mean she doesn't need a bath.
And as far as the weight goes, well. That's actually the reason that ebooks are gaining so much popularity with publishers and distributors. Most of the costs related to publishing are distribution costs. A book that weighs a pound can be ordered up to as many as a million copies or more, right? That's a million pounds of stuff that needs to be shipped around the country and the world. That costs so much money; by eliminating that cost, I think that more opportunities rise up for indie authors and people just starting out.
People think traditional print stuff will never go away. I don't know about that. I think that if you're sending kids to school and giving them a tablet instead of a bunch of textbooks, and if people are more and more environmentally conscious all the time about what printing books does to trees, and if technology is getting better all the time to deliver a great e-reader experience, then a lot of the trend is moving toward e-readers and away from print. But, that doesn't mean it can't all change.
As to whether I’d rather be an indie author selling e-books or a traditional author selling books through a publisher, I don’t really know. It depends basically on where the money is. There are a lot of advantages to traditional publishing: that’s where all the contacts are, and where an incredible amount of knowledgeable people with wisdom and experience to share congregate in this business. But with indie publishing, there's a greater opportunity for creative control and a greater share of the profits. I think that you have to identify where your priorities are and try to make the best of the situation you choose.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed "rugged," though he would also be fine with "roughhewn" because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.
Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.