Book giveaway: June 1-5, 2017

 

 

You may have heard that reading is the gift that keeps on giving, but trust me, it’s actually writing.

In 2011, I self-published Boy Meets Girl, The End, my discordianesque attempt at writing transgressive fiction under the guise of a romance novel, and it went over pretty much as intended; people either really loved it or really hated it, but either way it seemingly elicited strong reactions in those who read it. I know this because a decent amount took time out of their busy schedules to express their feelings about it online, beginning with Amazon and then on Goodreads. Every review, positive or negative, was perfect for me (and importantly, helped my future writing), because it showed that the story was able to get into their psyche enough to provoke a stirring of some kind, something to break them out of their routine and urge them to speak up and out. And even in our crazy, digitalized world of excessive, non-stop content prodding us for our attention 24/7. how many things can really make us do that anymore (politics not included)?

And then, after quite some time of nothing, this arrived into my life:

My first thought was, she didn’t even read the book once, let alone twice. Unless this (elderly) woman is suffering from memory loss or is a huge fan of excessively shocking material and thought this dull in comparison (which doesn’t seem to be the case based on the love of cheesy romance novels dominating her profile), then she just found a passive aggressive way to say she didn’t like it – and seriously, nothing could be lamer. The book was purposefully written to get a rise out of people and make them contemplate what they would do in the situations presented, and there wasn’t even one thing about it that she could identify as unlikeable? I would rather have had her say it was the worst piece of garbage she’d ever read (which others have said and written) than to say she just couldn’t recall anything about it.

Now, it’s also quite possible that she saw through my diabolical plan and turned it back on me just to get a rise out of this easily duped author – and it worked! But that’s all to your benefit, potential future readers of BMGTE, because it made me thirsty for feedback and reviews again (once again, postive or negative), and the best way to get them is to get people reading this old rag of a novel – and the best way to do that in our day and age is to offer up some free copies.

Here are the 2 options you have for getting your own:

  1. For ebook readers, go to the Amazon page for the book BETWEEN THURSDAY JUNE 1ST AND MONDAY JUNE 5TH and download it directly there – for free, of course.
  2. For paperback readers, I will mail a copy to the first 10 people who request one at zenahora@gmail.com – just include in the body of the email your full name and the address you want it sent to and it will be in your hands before you know it – once again, at no charge to you.

And that’s it, it’s that easy – to get a book and to make an independent author happy, especially now that I’ve picked up writing the second act in this trilogy again and will take any feedback I can.

My only request is that if you read the book and if you feel so inspired to please share your thoughts – either directly with me or with the world on Amazon or Goodreads. Online reviews are what people look to nowadays for help in deciding what to read (or eat, or wear, or buy something in general), and even negative ones do more for an author than none at all. My favorite analogy for this is to imagine standing on a sidewalk in a city looking for a place to eat; if you see an empty restaurant, you’ll probably pass it by, but even if someone comes out of a busy restaurant visibly or verbally unhappy, you’ll still at least consider what made all the others go in. That’s the life of an independently publishing author nowadays, waiting for people to come and check out what’s on your menu, – and you can really help us all out by sharing your point of view.

Thanks and happy reading!

 

SATTA

In 2011, I published a fictional novel called “Boy Meets Girl, The End” that explored love and intimacy in relationships, focusing on the disparate and often insular cultures that men and women emerge from and perpetuate in their personal lives. In 2017, I hope to be publishing a new book that expands these themes into a broader, more sociological perspective, following the next generation of Cecils and Lindas through their emergence into a future of technological innovation, institutional upheaval and social reconstruction.

I’ve always had a very strong love/hate relationship with “The Future“; influenced by my relatives’ interest in the mystical arts and my own delving into the enigmatic works of the Bible (especially the Book of Revelation), Nostradamus and various classic authors (especially George Orwell in “1984“), I believed (intensely, emphatically) that the world would be “coming to an end” within my lifetime – and after learning more about history and politics as a teenager, definitely before I was 25. When I (finally!) graduated from college at that age in 1993, newly single and already burning out from my still-young social work career, I made the first of several major transplantations in my life by moving from the Philly suburbs to metropolitan Boston. I figured if I didn’t have much time, I might as well live how I wanted to (instead of how I was expected to) – but even as I outgrew many of my old superstitions, I never seemed to be able to completely let go of the doomsday scenario in the back of my psyche. You can probably guess that the end of 1999 was an exciting event for me (Y2K was the icing on the cake) – but something really changed in me that night. Or should I say, that morning – January 1, 2000, standing in the middle of Boston Common, with huge screens showing people celebrating around the world, the life and love emanating from everyone altering my perspective like nothing else could. I was a new man, on a new mission, and the result was another move (this time to San Francisco) that led me directly to where I am today.

The new book’s main character, nicknamedSatta“, follows a path of self discovery as he makes his own way around the world – but his story plays out much differently than mine. That’s because he has to deal with two ominous forces that I hope I never have to face: a coalition of superpower states that are intent on dominating the world (acronymed NAACO) and an artificial intelligence they are collectively developing and utilizing (or, is it the other way around?) that is on the verge of “consciousness“. Along the way Satta’s youthful idealism will be consumed in the collective rage of an international revolutionary movement struggling to survive, until an overwhelmingly vivid dream opens his eyes to the universal challenge every human being faces – inside our own minds.

BMGTE began when I fictionalized a couple of my personal experiences and then built a story around them – kind of like how a DJ takes a crate full of records and builds a mix into its own musical tale. This time around, the world I’m writing about had to be created first – and that meant doing a lot of research about the future. It’s been nothing short of exciting and frightening as I discover that many of the things that I thought I’d never see in person (like organic computing, or technologically telekinetic interactivity, or free energy, for example) are either currently being worked on or already here; we are at the dawn of the new “Hybrid Age“, as Ayesha Khanna points out in this interview:

and Ray Kurzweil breaks down in this documentary:

The end result for me is the recognition that life is changing in fundamentally profound ways much faster and more comprehensively than ever before; the world I grew up in, which was so foreign to my parent’s generation, will seem nearly unrecognizable to our children and grandchildren, as they perceive and interact with their digitized senses and bodies in a way only a fictional novel can attempt to detail in our relatively unsophisticated technological world of 2017. And what better way for me to expand my bibliography and challenge my own presumptions about the universe than to confront, once again, the portentous subject of the future. It’s a project I was seemingly destined to take on.

It won’t all be about technology and science though; politics, religion/spirituality, philosophy, and other institutions of normative social influence will also take center stage as Satta comes into his own. And like the first novel, it won’t all be so serious – but this is the book I’ve been waiting to write most of my life, and I hope to challenge myself as much as the reader to expand our present perspective and view the world with a new vision of what “life” is. And then maybe the future won’t be so scary after all – or, at least we’ll be better prepared for it.

NO(W)HERE* Urban Art Expo at Starkart Exhibitions Feb. 21, 2014

Artist: Dran (France)Artist: Dran (France)Artist: Dran (France)Artist: Dran (France)Artist: Martin Whatson (Norway)Artist: Dran (France)
Artist: Martin Whatson (Norway)Artist: Martin Whatson (Norway)Artist: Martin Whatson (Norway)Artist: Stinkfish (Mexico)Artists: Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Smash 137Artist: Stinkfish (Mexico)
Artist: Banksy (UK)Artist: Invader (France)Artist: Invader (France)Artist: Hyuro (Spain)Artist: Hyuro (Spain)Artist: Hyuro (Spain)
Artist: Hyuro (Spain)Artist: Hyuro (Spain)Artist: Shepard Fairey (USA)Artist: Shepard Fairey (USA)Artist: Nick Walker (UK)Artist: Judith Supine (USA)

On Friday February 21st, Starkart Exhibitions in Zürich, Switzerland hosted a new show called NO(W)HERE*, featuring classic pieces from top street artists from around the world, including: Shepard FaireySpace InvaderC215Paul InsectLudoKidultVhilsDranDal EastMark JenkinsM-cityROAFaith47Smash 137EscifHyuroStinkfishJudith SupineJAZSwoonSweet ToofLushBTOYBlek Le RatBladeBanksyBen EineReroMartin WhatsonMau MauStf MoscatoPennyNick WalkerSHOK-1 – Btoy

Dran

The atmosphere was relaxed and jovial in the recently renovated gallery, with a steady stream of admirers intermingling with local and international artists inside the gallery and lounge and outside in the lot. Two floors of top-choice pieces from Starkart’s collection were the main draw of course, but original works on the outdoor walls drew as much attention from the people enjoying the mild night air.

BTOY

BTOY

Starkart has been steadily offering great showcases of graffiti and street art (as well as other modern styles) for many years now, but this opening proved that the gallery should be considered on equal footing with any other more well-known establishments in this art-infused city.

Blek Le Rat

Blek Le Rat

Catch the NO(W)HERE* show at Starkart Exhibitions, Brauerstrasse 126, 8004 Zürich
February 21 – March 29, 2014
Gallery hours: Thursdays and Fridays 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturdays 2:00pm – 7:00pm

Paul Insect

Paul Insect