Spotlight & Excerpt: The Clockmaker’s Tale + Author Interview & Giveaway

TourBanner_The Clockmakers Tale and Other Stories

BookCover_The Clockmakers Tale and other stories

The Clockmaker’s Tale
by Ian Williams
Genre: Science Fiction

In The Clockmaker’s Tale: and other stories, Ian Williams takes us to the near future and beyond. From a moon base where androids conduct experiments on human test subjects, to futuristic tours of the ocean depths that hide a terrible secret; from a society governed by harsh rule of law that is enforced by AI, to a humble clockmaker tempted by the promise of increased productivity through technological augmentation.

Covering issues such as environmental decay, the end of facts and proven truths, our growing waste problem, and humanity’s tendency to divide when we should come together, this collection of six science fiction stories relates as much to our time as it does to the many possible futures.

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Excerpt:

Returning to his briefcase, Alexander produced a card from an outside pocket. “Here,” he said, holding it between two of his fingers.

George took it and looked it over, now realising there was a sales pitch to follow. He’s better at this than I am, he had to admit. At the top of the textured card was the name of a company he was certain he knew but couldn’t quite place. “ACC?”

“Adaptive Cognition and Cybernetics. We specialise in cutting-edge, next-generation, technology. Our latest product was made for people just like you, who need more hours in a day than the good Lord provides.”

I left my work for this? George was less than impressed. “Thank you, but I…”

“Before you say no, how about I show you what I’m talking about?” Alexander picked up his briefcase and walked to the counter, where he placed it down and clicked open the catches. He kept his back turned until he was ready to present his product.

When he turned, George was immediately drawn forward, to inspect the object himself. He was fascinated by the curved design. It had a snowy-white casing, with delicately printed calligraphy underlined by a sweeping blue line, and a tiny, built-in, LED screen. It appeared as well-made as any of his clocks. Such a high degree of engineering, yet it remained a simple-looking thing.

“This,” Alexander said, not quite ready to hand over the device, “is our latest model. It’s called a Work Buddy.”


Author Interview:

  1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.

As with many of my stories, it first started as an image in my head. I saw an old man working in his workshop, while behind him, through the window, I saw the future. From that blossomed the collection of stories that comprise The Clockmaker’s Tale: and other stories. But the initial spark came from the juxtaposition of the old clashing with the new. Can a humble clockmaker fit into our idea of the future? What about if he had help, say from some piece of tech? The idea was to make a point, something that each story is aiming to do.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?

In researching this book, I came to understand certain issues we face better than I had before. As these stories are concerned with our future, and how, if not handled correctly, our problems could overwhelm us, I wanted to know all I could about them. And the statistics are quite damning.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?

What surprised me most in writing this book was just how angry some of these subject matters I’ve written about had made me before I began. I would often complain about the state of things to family and friends until I felt the need to put my feelings to paper. So, I consider this book my therapy of sorts. It certainly made me feel better to write it.

4. What does the title mean?

The title ‘The Clockmaker’s Tale’ is used to signify that this story was the one that I began with. Writing this story ignited my interest in putting my fears into story form, and from this story grew a project I am now immensely proud of.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?

I don’t tend to base my characters on real people. However, I will always take elements of others’ personalities that have intrigued me and add them to my characters. I find this makes my characters a little more real.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?

A moral, yes. Each tale tells of a future where we’ve ignored warning signs and allowed our worst traits to run riot. The message may be buried deep but it is always there. With a little teasing out, it becomes clear.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?

My favourite part of this book is probably the end of Post-Truth Tours. I found this one of the most satisfying endings to write. I won’t give anything away here, but this scene in question makes its point with the most emotive power. I wanted readers to be surprised by it, perhaps even a little shocked too.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

Again, Post-Truth Tours has the answer here. The main character, Flynn, posed a particular challenge to write. Namely, his views on the world he lives in. Some would call him naïve; others may say ignorant. He sees the world through eyes clouded by others’ lies.

9. What are your immediate future plans?

I am currently deep in the planning stages of my next project. It will be a short story collection exploring the altered timeline of a fictional British town rocked by a mysterious event. I plan to have a completed first draft completed by the end of the year.


Author Info:

Ian Williams is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. He lives in a small town not far from London. Ian had a short career in the UK Court Service but was forced to quit that job when his medical condition worsened. Now, from the comfort of his wheelchair, he writes the stories he has always wanted to read. His writing spans lightyears of space, to near-future Earths; from small changes to society, to entirely new civilisations.

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Giveaway:
Ian Williams will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Audio Spotlight: Into Neon + Author Interview

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Title: Into Neon

Author: Matthew A. Goodwin

Narrator: Zachary Johnson

Length: 6 hours 15 minutes

Series: A Cyberpunk Saga, Book 1

Publisher: Matthew A. Goodwin

Producer: Audiobook Empire

Released: Jun. 15, 2021

Genre: Science Fiction; Cyberpunk

 

“Star Wars Meets Blade Runner In An Awesome Adventure!” -Amazon Review (5 Stars)

Moss’ life is going nowhere until a mysterious woman knocks on his door and leaves him with the key to take down one of the world’s largest corporations. When he discovers a familial connection to the stranger, Moss leaves the comfort of his home with his best friend for the sprawling megacity.

There, he joins a group of ruffians dedicated to freeing people from the yoke of the evil companies. Police-for-hire, motorcycle gangs and betrayal threaten them at every turn.

Can Moss help this small group of rebels fight the power before it’s too late? Find out in Into Neon: A Cyberpunk Saga.

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Q&A with Author Matthew A. Goodwin
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • Audiobook Empire made the process so easy for me. The idea of setting up an audiobook was something I had wanted to do since publication, but actually putting it all together seemed daunting. Given how streamlined they made this for me, I am planning to release my entire series in audio format.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • No, I think there is a place for all types of literature in audio format. I am as likely to listen to a six-hour murder mystery as I am a thirty-four-hour biography.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Not consciously. I did not even know if people would pick up my book when I first wrote Into Neon. I was mostly just writing a book that I wanted to read, and I have been thrilled with the positive response. An audiobook seemed almost like an impossible dream when I was first writing and so it is a dream come true that it is coming out now.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • This was a no brainer. Zach brought the perfect energy to the project, crafted the voices of the characters exactly right and, as an added bonus, is a huge fan of cyberpunk. Since I write in a somewhat niche genre, having a narrator who loves it is something I really appreciate.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • We worked quite closely, and Zach worked hard to find the right voice for all the various characters in the book. There were only a few names of things that I had to make sure were right, but it turned out that he was already saying the words the way I wanted.
  • Were there any real-life inspirations behind your writing?
    • The real world is the foundation on which all good cyberpunk is created. If you are going to envision a realistic near-future, you must understand the present as well. Looking at trends in technology and society certainly help to craft a science fiction setting that fells real.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Reading is the thing that seems to help break the log jams in my mind or get me excited again. Reading outside of my genre helps too. Sometimes I just need a break from the thing that I am thinking about all the time and escaping into the world of another author seems to do the trick.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Absolutely! Audiobooks were what taught me to love science fiction and fantasy when I was young. The Hobbit audiobook and the radio dramatization of The Empire Strikes Back were in my Walkman all the time! As I grew up, my passion for audiobooks never left. I still listen whenever I can and will never stop.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I am not sure that I would use the power since it pretty much ALWAYS goes wrong, but if I could go back and walk the streets of Ancient Rome, I would want to do it. I love history but that society, more than just about any other, fascinates me.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I have several more books to come in the Cyberpunk Saga series as well as audiobooks coming for the rest of them as well. Follow ThutoWorld on your favorite social media to keep up with all my news.

 

Matthew A. Goodwin has been writing about spaceships, dragons and adventures since he was twelve years old. His passion for fantasy began when he discovered a box set of the Hobbit radio drama on cassette tape in his school’s library at the age of seven. He fell in love with fantasy worlds and soon discovered D&D and Warhammer miniatures.

Not wanting to be limited by worlds designed by others, he created Thutopia (now called the Thuton Empire), a fantasy world of his own which he still writes about to this day.

Like many kids with an affinity for fantasy, a love of science fiction soon followed. He loved sweeping space operas and gritty cyberpunk stories which asked questions about man’s relationship to technology. That led him to write his first published work, Into Neon: A Cyberpunk Saga, which takes place in a larger science fiction universe.

He has a passion for travel and wildlife and when he is not off trying to see the world, he lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.

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Lover of mathematics, devourer of science fiction, and connoisseur of the dad joke. When he’s not doing math for business or fun, he’s devouring science fiction and fantasy, reading up on scientific advancements, going for a jog, or, on all too rare occasions, taking a refreshing swim at the beach. At your service, you shall have an able storyteller and gifted conveyor of information. Experienced in narrating fiction, from the romantic to the post-apocalyptic, and nonfiction, from the historical to the corporate, and armed with the tools to make it all sound great, Zachary promises that, no matter the job, you’ll be read-iculously pleased!

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At Audiobook Empire, audio reigns supreme, narrators are hailed as heroes, and headphones are worn with pride.

Marrying pomp and circumstance with quality you can count on, Audiobook Empire is a full-service production house that produces and promotes audiobooks with gusto.

Give your audiobook the imperial treatment by producing it with Audiobook Empire.

 

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Cover Reveal: Jati’s Wager, by Jonathan Nevair

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Jati’s Wager
by Jonathan Nevair
Series: Wind Tide (#2)
Published: August 18, 2021
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, LGBTQ+
Cover art: Zishan Liu
Cover design: Jessica Moon

A space opera heist brimming with action, twists, and turns that doubles as a story of personal growth, mentorship, and sacrifice.

Ailo is a streetwise teen surviving alone on the remote moonbase, Tarkassi 9. She wants nothing more than to flee into the wider world of the Arm. When her chance arrives, she makes it no farther than the first ship out of the system. That’s where Jati, the Patent War veteran and general fighting the Monopolies, gives her a second chance. It’s an unlikely partnership, but Ailo’s rogue status is just what Jati’s People’s Army needs to drive the final spike of victory into a weakening Garissian Council.

A team of experts assembles and hope rests on Ailo’s skill, stealth, and tenacity to pull off the impossible. It’s a wild gambit, and a moral code may need to be bent, or broken, to achieve success. When an internal shadow rises, casting doubt on their plans, Ailo and Jati are forced to weigh the cost of revenge against honor and justice.

Goodreads / Amazon

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Author Information

Jonathan Nevair is a science fiction writer and, as Dr. Jonathan Wallis, an art historian and Professor of Art History at Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia. After two decades of academic teaching and publishing, he finally got up the nerve to write fiction. Jonathan grew up on Long Island, NY but now resides in southeast Pennsylvania with his wife and rambunctious mountain feist, Cricket.

You can find him online and on twitter at @JNevair or Instagram at @jnevair

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