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The Golden Rule: Path to Disaster?

April 18, 2015

Children-of-Arkadia-cover-1000Strangely enough, I’m not the only author with a new book coming out this month!  Please welcome Darusha Wehm, author of the soon-to-be-released Children of Arkadia.  Darusha is here to tell us about her new book and her perspective on the Golden Rule…

DARUSHA WEHM:

Following the Golden Rule is a path to disaster.

I’m not, of course, advocating that we should treat each other badly. But people are different and have different preferences. When I treat you the way I want to be treated, there’s no reason to believe that you’re being treated the way you want.

For example, when I feel sick, the last thing I want is anyone else around. I want to wallow in my misery, feeling sorry for myself, and wait for it to be over. Imagine my shock when I discovered as an adult that some people want to be mollycoddled — having someone nearby at all times when they feel unwell, offering soup, support and sympathy. To me, that sounds utterly horrible. But to someone who wants to be taken care of when ill, my natural instinct to leave them alone would be seen as uncaring and cruel.

This is a simple example, but I’m fascinated by the myriad ways in which the finest of intentions can go wrong. My new book, Children of Arkadia, is about a group of humans and Artificial Intelligences who are trying to create a just and fair society on an orbiting space habitat. There are, of course, challenges they face from the inherent danger of building in space, and not everyone is completely community-minded, but the driving conflicts in the story are the ways in which people can run afoul of each other even when they are trying to be kind.
Peace, justice and fairness are noble causes, but achieving them is surprisingly difficult even when almost everyone is committed to those goals. How can we reconcile our different needs and preferences without infringing on another? Is it even possible? Is there a better way than following the Golden Rule?
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Children of Arkadia

Kaus wants nothing more than to be loved while its human counterpart, Raj Patel, believes fervently in freedom. Arkadia, one of four space stations circling Jupiter, was to be a refuge for all who fought the corrupt systems of old Earth, a haven where both humans and Artificial Intelligences could be happy and free. But the old prejudices and desires are still at play and, no matter how well-meaning its citizens, the children of Arkadia have tough compromises to make.

When the future of humanity is at stake, which will prove more powerful: freedom or happiness? What sacrifices will Kaus, Raj, and the rest of Arkadia’s residents have to make to survive?
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M. Darusha Wehm is the three-time Parsec Award shortlisted author of the novels Beautiful Red, Self Made, Act of Will and The Beauty of Our Weapons. Her next novel, Children of Arkadia, is forthcoming from Bundoran Press in April 2015. Her short fiction has appeared in many venues, including Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Toasted Cake and Escape Pod. She is the editor of the crime and mystery magazine Plan B.
She is from Canada, but currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand after spending the past several years traveling at sea on her sailboat. For more information, visit http://darusha.ca.

The Buzz is Buzzing!

April 11, 2015

Some great responses have been rolling in about Superposition!  The Washington Post called it “a thriller ride” and “an expanding universe of delight.”  An article in today’s Wall Street Journal called it an “engrossing and illuminating sci-fi thriller” and concluded “This is the way sci-fi ought to be.”  Even NJ.com liked that I chose New Jersey for the site of my fiction supercollider, and said “Walton has crafted something impressive.”

All this buzz has got to be good!  Go, little book, go!

It’s Launch Day!

April 7, 2015

The wasuperpositioniting is over!  At long last, in bookstores around the country, SUPERPOSITION is being placed on the shelves and made available for sale.  That means the book is available to buy and read today.  Right now.  You can walk into any bookstore in the country, and find the book on the shelf!  Or, if you don’t want to leave home, you can follow these links instead:

Buy from Amazon (paperback or Kindle)
Buy from Barnes and Noble (paperback or Nook)
Buy from Audible (audio book)

The book is starting to get some visibility.  Yesterday, there was a review in the Washington Post!  Fly, little book, fly!

Interview in Thriller Magazine

April 3, 2015

Another interview! This time in The Big Thrill, which is a publication for readers of thrillers rather than readers of science fiction. I’m pleased with this, because it’s an opportunity to reach new readers. I’m also pleased with it because it was a great series of questions, ones that were a lot of fun to think through and answer. For example:

What would you say to potential readers of SUPERPOSITION who love thrillers but are a little science-shy?

What fascinates you about writing science fiction?

What aspects of SUPERPOSITION allow us to explore the meaning of being human?

Want to know how I answered? You can read the whole interview right here.

A Great Day for Superposition

April 2, 2015

I got several pieces of great news today!

1. Superposition has been named one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month!

2. Superposition has been named one of iTunes Top 20 Books of April!

3. The Washington Post will be posting a review of Superposition the day before release!

I’ve seen a number of other positive reviews pop up here and there, too. All in all, a good day.

Six days and counting!

Superposition, For Your Listening Enjoyment

March 28, 2015

The audio recording for Superposition is complete!  The book is read by LJ Ganser, who does a marvelous job of capturing the voice.  I just heard the preview today for the first time.  And so can you!  Just press play and you can listen to the first 18 minutes.  For the rest, you’ll need to buy it from Audible.  (The full audio book will be released on April 7, the same day as the trade paperback and e-book versions.)

(If the embedded widget doesn’t work for you, you can also listen to it here.)

Some people ask me why I don’t read my own audio books.  This is almost never a good idea!  Even well-spoken authors with experience talking in front of others don’t have the training and experience to read a book like a professional voice actor.  The power of delivery, range of emotion, clarity of presentation, and variety of character styles that a real audio book reader can give is far more than I will ever be able to manage.  So if you like having your books read to you (as I do), give LJ Ganser and Superposition a try!

Triple Book Release Extravaganza

March 27, 2015

In just a week and a half, three books by authors in the same writers group will be released not just in the same month, or even the same week, but on the very same day.  Steve Bein, Ken Liu, and I are all members of the Codex Writers Group, and as luck would have it, our books are all coming out on April 7, one from Roc, one from Pyr, and one from Saga Press, the new F&SF imprint of Simon and Schuster.

This brings out a very cool thing about the community of science fiction authors: we’re all on the same side.  One might think that, with books coming out the same day, Steve and Ken and I would be competing with each other, vying to get our book noticed more than the other guy’s.  After all, when you walk into a bookstore, you don’t often walk out with three books, right?  But it’s not like that.  I’d love for you to buy Ken’s book or Steve’s, and they would be glad to see you buy mine.  It’s what this community is like.  I’ve seen countless older, successful authors share their time and experience with younger up-and-comings, though it has no practical benefit.  They do it because when they were young, older authors did it for them.  So check out all three of these books (descriptions below the pictures) and buy whichever one you like.  (And, you know, two or three copies of mine…)

discipleofthewind superposition graceofkings

Disciple of the Wind

When Tokyo falls victim to a deadly terrorist attack, Detective Sergeant Mariko Oshiro knows who is responsible, even if she doesn’t have proof. She urges her commanding officers to arrest the perpetrator—an insane zealot who was just released from police custody. When her pleas fall on deaf ears, she loses her temper and then her badge, as well as her best chance of fighting back.

Left on her own, and armed with only her cunning and her famed Inazuma blade, Mariko must work outside the system to stop a terrorist mastermind. But going rogue draws the attention of an underground syndicate known as the Wind. For centuries, they have controlled Japanese politics from the shadows, using mystical relics to achieve their nefarious ends—relics like Mariko’s own sword and the iron demon mask whose evil curse is bound to the blade. Now the Wind is set on acquiring Mariko.

Mariko is left with a perilous choice: Join an illicit insurgency to thwart a deadly villain, or remain true to the law. Either way, she cannot escape her sword’s curse. As sure as the blade will bring her to victory, it also promises to destroy her….

Superposition

Jacob Kelley’s family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker…apparently murdered the night he appeared at Jacob’s house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.

As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.

The Grace of Kings

Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

Fans of intrigue, intimate plots, and action will find a new series to embrace in the Dandelion Dynasty.

 

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