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Featured Author: Richard Slay

Today’s author, Richard Slay, has one of the most exciting book summaries I’ve read in a long while. If The Upture delivers on these promises, this will undoubtedly be one of my top books of the year—whenever it’s released.

Cover_art_finalAbout The Upture:

With its cities flooding and its military in retreat, the ordinary people of near-future America look content to stay at home, working menial jobs made tolerable by masking them in virtual-reality fantasies. One of those is Walt Hrka, Army drone operator turned plumber. But his former commander, the terminally ill Colonel Lasker, has hatched a plan to put America back on top, by staging the Second Coming of Christ on the Internet where everyone believes anything.

When millions of trustworthy Christians are electrocuted at their VR terminals and then resurrected online, Hrka joins a bizarre alliance with everyone from Chinese tech merchants to the Swiss Guard, in a desperate struggle moving across the paralyzed continent. The Book of Revelation is being duplicated by American superweapons and the new army of network-possessing angels, step by step until all nations surrender to their will. Hrka carries out a leftover plan to storm America’s remaining nuclear missile base and prevent its missiles from being hijacked for Armageddon.

Q: What part of your world is most exciting to you?

A: The most exciting thing about the world I’m writing about in The Upture is that by and large, it has the solutions for its problems, but those solutions are violently resisted by those whose wealth and egos are invested in the status quo. People would rather rule in Hell, and call it Heaven, than share power in a sustainable world.

Q: Why did you choose to fund with Inkshares?

A: I had joined Inkshares last year, but when I saw the Geek & Sundry contest, as a regular consumer of its media, I recognized the opportunity to make use of a story I had already been working on. I really needed the help getting this idea out there, which was not possible with conventional self-publishing.

Q: What books out there are similar to yours?

A: I prefer satires based on near-future technology. The earliest Neal Stephenson novels, especially The Big U and Zodiac, and the old Stephen Robinette novel Stargate, use a humorous narrative of violent adventure, but they’re all triggered by crises of institutions and public unable to defend themselves from technological change. I wish I could go even further into the absurd, like Mark Laidlaw’s brutal Dad’s Nuke.

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