Thursday, December 31, 2015

#GiveAway #Interview - Obsidian Worlds by Jason Werbeloff


Obsidian Worlds
by Jason Werbeloff

Jason will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner  during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

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Interview:

Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Jason Werbeloff. Welcome Jason! I'm so happy to have you here with us today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Jason: Human, male, 31. From an obscure planet in the Milky Way Galaxy. Likes chocolates, Labradors, and zombies (not necessarily in that order). I’m a philosopher by training, a programmer in a previous life, and a sci-fi novelist by profession. I’ve written two novels, ‘Hedon’ and ‘The Solace Pill’, and the short story anthology, ‘Obsidian Worlds’.


Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?

Jason: This is a scene from ‘The Cryo Killer’, one of the stories in my sci-fi short story anthology, ‘Obsidian Worlds’. I like the scene because of the layers of hidden agendas involved. All the characters, including the reader, are trying anxiously to pin each other down, to find out just what is going on:

“Inesa and Paul, good to meet you. Who referred you?”
“Mr. Camfrey’s wife.”
Paul’s hands are working. Picking at each other. At the cuticles.
“Ah yes, I was sorry to hear about his passing.”
“I think,” she lowers her voice, “that it was professionally done. Heart attack, I hear.”
I lean forward. “You’d like a similar package, ma’am?”
Paul speaks up for the first time. “Is it quick?”
If I had a penny for every time a client asked me that question. “Painless,” I say, “or your money back.”
Paul harrumphs.
“Excellent,” says Inesa, beaming. “You’ve been doing this a while?”
“Best in the business,” says Janet, striding over to us. She places a hand on my shoulder. “You’re safe with Barker.”
“So, you’re wanting the double package?”
Inesa squeezes her husband’s arm. Every carat on her ring finger catches the sunlight. His nod is miniscule.
“Yes,” she replies after a moment.
“Those are difficult.” I lean back in my chair, weighing the ring out of the corner of my eye. “Coroner looks closely at doubles. Need a plausible cause of death. Right now all I have in stock are gas leaks and home invasions. Invasions can get messy – brings down the property value. I suggest the gas leak. Although …” I glance at Paul. “Home invasions are on the rise.”
Paul scratches the skin over his knuckles. His lips have taken on a bluish tinge. I’ve seen all manner of manners displayed in the chairs on the other side of my desk. Clients respond to their impending deaths in all sorts of ways. Paul’s reaction isn’t unique.
“Gas leak,” says Inesa definitively.
Paul nods, a quick jerk up and down. “When’ll it happen?” He can’t meet my gaze.
“I could probably fit you in next week. Any preferences?”
“I’m writing an exam on Tuesday,” says Inesa. She looks to Paul, “And I’m sure you’d like to finalize that merger?”
He groans.
“Late next week?” she asks.
“Let’s see … Janet, check my availability, please.”
“Could do Friday next.”
“Excellent,” says Inesa.
“But …” Paul is fading to a paler blue by the minute. Droplets dot his forehead. “I just can’t live with the thought of this hanging over me for the next ten days. I just …” He swallows. “I just can’t.”
I reach out a hand and touch the man’s shoulder. His golf shirt is saturated. “Not to worry, sir. A memory wipe is included. You’ll never know you were here.” I offer him my warmest smile. Janet calls it the Big Daddy. “In fact, you may’ve been here before, and you wouldn’t know.”
Paul eyeballs me. “Have we been here before?”
“I couldn’t tell you.” I wink.



Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Obsidian Worlds?

Jason: I used the word "obsidian" in both of my first two novels, ‘The Solace Pill’ and ‘Hedon’, and it became a sort of in-joke among the people in my writing group that I always use the word "obsidian" in my stories. So I started using the word consciously, and when I was considering a title for the anthology, "obsidian" came to mind – this was after I wrote the first three or four stories. The adjective has all the connotations I was looking for – a deep, glassy blackness, sharp, cutting, and mysterious.

Obsidian blades have been used for centuries in swords and by surgeons. An obsidian blade is so sharp, it separates cells rather than tears them as a conventional blade would. The stories in the book are meant to do the same: slice between your concepts and ideas, bifurcating them into dark configurations you couldn’t have imagined beforehand.


Crystal: What are you currently working on?

Jason: I’m currently half-way through writing a gory sci-fi thriller. Think body parts everywhere, in an advanced society. Think callousness, cruelty, connection and unrestricted body horror, and you’ve got a good idea of the novel. I’m releasing it mid-2016.

Between now and then, I’m planning to release a few short stories, set in the same or a similar universe to the novel.


Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing? 

Jason: I don’t have any fixed routines when writing, but I do have some preferences. I love writing in bubbly coffee shops. So much so, that I use an app called ‘Coffitivity’ to reproduce the sounds of a coffee shop in my office when I don’t find time to get out of the house. I love the ambience. And the characters – glance around yourself at a coffee shop and you’re bound to find someone who’ll fit a role in your book.

Coffee shops, and late at night. Writing after midnight is my thing. It’s quiet. No distractions. While the world sleeps, the writer writes the world. So, I guess the holy grail would be a busy 24-hour coffee shop…



Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?

Jason: One of the advantages of writing science fiction is that the world one creates can diverge from our current world in any way you like. So in that sense, research isn’t required. But in another sense, research is crucial, because the way in which the story world diverges from our own must be plausible. It must be the kind of world that is at least possible. The reader must be convinced that one day, the world could turn out as it is in the story. If it’s unconvincing, it’s not science fiction – it’s fantasy (and I’m not a huge fan of fantasy).

My first novel, ‘The Solace Pill’, is about 3d printers capable of scanning and printing whole, functioning human beings. This isn’t possible right now, but all the ingredients are here today – the ability to print with organic material, the ability to scan people with fMRIs, etc. The first 3d printed organs are already available! To write the book I did a lot of research into current 3d printing technology. Challenging and interesting.

Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?

Kurt Vonnegut has been on my mind recently. It’s his whit – clever, humbling, but kind too. He never ridicules a character, even if he shows up every one of their flaws.

I love Philip K. Dick. ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ was the first science fiction novel I ever read. Every one of his stories, even if it’s not beautifully written, contains a blindingly original world. If you’re looking for thought experiments that’ll blow your mind, dip into a Philip K. Dick novel.

And then I’d have to include Margaret Atwood. ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is gorgeously horrific. It changed the way I wrote my second novel, ‘Hedon’, and pushed me to include feminist themes in my writing. ‘Dinner with Flexi’, in my anthology, ‘Obsidian Worlds’, is intended to be an even more extreme version of Atwood’s book. The story is written around a world where women are farmed, and eaten. I’d love to know what Atwood thinks.


Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?

Jason: I’m not too sure. At the moment, I can’t see myself writing anything that isn’t science fiction. It provides a flavor to stories that one just can’t reproduce any other way. No matter how good the thriller, or the romance, or the horror, setting it in space or in a future dystopia is just that much more interesting.

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BLURB:

Jason Werbeloff’s short stories have been downloaded over 20,000 times. Obsidian Worlds brings together his 11 best-selling sci-fi shorts into a mind-bending philosophical anthology.

In Your Averaged Joe, a man’s headache is large enough to hold the multiverse. Q46F is an obsessive-compulsive android who finds love in a zombie-embroiled apocalypse. The end of the world isn’t all that bad – The Experience Machine will fulfil your every desire (and some you hadn’t considered). A sex bot dares to dream of freedom in Dinner with Flexi. But mind what you eat, because The Photons in the Cheese Are Lost. Don’t fret though: The Cryo Killer guarantees that your death will be painless, or your money back when you’re thawed. Unless, that is, you’re The Man with Two Legs.

Plug into Obsidian Worlds for these and other immersive stories, including the hilarious Time-Traveling Chicken Sexer. Your brain will never be the same again.

GENRE:  Sci-Fi

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EXCERPT:

(from The Cryo Killer):

“Inesa and Paul, good to meet you. Who referred you?”

“Mr. Camfrey’s wife.”

Paul’s hands are working. Picking at each other. At the cuticles.

“Ah yes, I was sorry to hear about his passing.”

“I think,” she lowers her voice, “that it was professionally done. Heart attack, I hear.”

I lean forward. “You’d like a similar package, ma’am?”

Paul speaks up for the first time. “Is it quick?”

If I had a penny for every time a client asked me that question. “Painless,” I say, “or your money back.”

Paul harrumphs.

“Excellent,” says Inesa, beaming. “You’ve been doing this a while?”

“Best in the business,” says Janet, striding over to us. She places a hand on my shoulder. “You’re safe with Barker.”

“So, you’re wanting the double package?”

Inesa squeezes her husband’s arm. Every carat on her ring finger catches the sunlight. His nod is miniscule.

“Yes,” she replies after a moment.

“Those are difficult.” I lean back in my chair, weighing the ring out of the corner of my eye. “Coroner looks closely at doubles. Need a plausible cause of death. Right now all I have in stock are gas leaks and home invasions. Invasions can get messy – brings down the property value. I suggest the gas leak. Although …” I glance at Paul. “Home invasions are on the rise.”

Paul scratches the skin over his knuckles. His lips have taken on a bluish tinge. I’ve seen all manner of manners displayed in the chairs on the other side of my desk. Clients respond to their impending deaths in all sorts of ways. Paul’s reaction isn’t unique.

“Gas leak,” says Inesa definitively.

Paul nods, a quick jerk up and down. “When’ll it happen?” He can’t meet my gaze.

“I could probably fit you in next week. Any preferences?”

“I’m writing an exam on Tuesday,” says Inesa. She looks to Paul, “And I’m sure you’d like to finalize that merger?”

He groans.

“Late next week?” she asks.

“Let’s see … Janet, check my availability, please.”

“Could do Friday next.”

“Excellent,” says Inesa.

“But …” Paul is fading to a paler blue by the minute. Droplets dot his forehead. “I just can’t live with the thought of this hanging over me for the next ten days. I just …” He swallows. “I just can’t.”

I reach out a hand and touch the man’s shoulder. His golf shirt is saturated. “Not to worry, sir. A memory wipe is included. You’ll never know you were here.” I offer him my warmest smile. Janet calls it the Big Daddy. “In fact, you may’ve been here before, and you wouldn’t know.”

Paul eyeballs me. “Have we been here before?”

“I couldn’t tell you.” I wink.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jason Werbeloff is a novelist and philosopher. He loves chocolate and his Labrador, Sunny. 
He's interested in the nature of social groups, personal identity, freedom, and the nature of the mind. His passion is translating philosophical debate around these topics into works of science fiction, while gorging himself on chocolate.

Amazon Author Page – download all of Werbeloff's fiction from Amazon -http://smarturl.it/AuthWerbeloff

Newsletter – subscribe to get 'The Solace Pill' free, as well as VIP access to Werbeloff's latest fiction - http://smarturl.it/werbeloff

Goodreads – read reviews of Werbeloff’s fiction http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340789

Facebook and Twitter – follow Werbeloff for release date information on upcoming shorts and novels.
http://www.facebook.com/solaceseries

https://twitter.com/JasonWerbeloff

Website - read about the author, and the philosophy behind his fiction.
http://www.jasonwerbeloff.com/

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33 comments:

  1. Thank you for the chance to win :)

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  2. Not normally a fan of short stories as I'm always left wanting more, but this sounds quite interesting. Will give it a try!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Helen, hope these stories satisfy. Thank you for checking in, Jason

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  3. Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest?

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    1. Probably my sense of touch, and the other senses that flow from it, like propioception. I like to feel how my characters' bodies would feel in their world - to embody them in the world.

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  4. I love short stories. They fill my time when I'm waiting.

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    1. Hope you enjoys these shorts, Misty!

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  5. I liked the interview. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you, Rita. Happy New Year to you too!

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Victoria! Glad you enjoyed it.

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  7. Wow! That is a compelling excerpt! Sounds like an interesting book.

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  8. Anybody who believes in gorging on chocolate is A-OK in my book! Thanks for the interview (although I can't say that the idea of body parts everywhere is quite my type of read, lol) and good luck on the tour. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you, ELF! Happy New Year to you too.

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  9. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the interview and the excerpt. Looking forward to reading these short stories.

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    1. Thank you, Ally! Hope you enjoy the book.

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  10. Thank you for the chance at the giveaway! Great interview :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Melissa! Good luck for the giveaway.

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  11. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  12. Terrific giveaway!!!

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  13. Such an intriguing cover! :)

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  14. Thanks for the chance to win the giveaway! :)

    ReplyDelete