Jason R. Richter is a killer author and a great friend of mine. His first book Mating Rituals of Migratory Humans was an alarmingly twisted raunchy comedy with a service-industry setting, a bit like that movie “Waiting,” but with way more dildo incidents and I really never knew people would make gimp masks with handlebars but hey it’s good to learn new things, right? In the vein of a good Terry Pratchett or Christopher Moore book, “Mating Rituals” kept me laughing so hard that the incognito moral message was like a refreshingly unexpected slap to the face. With a dildo.
Now he has a new project in the works: “L.I.F.E. in the 23rd Century” a dystopian adventure rife with psychopharmaceutical-despensing government implants and the soul-crushing despair of corporate-coffee overload. Jason’s irreverent comic voice shines through in this tale tipped a little more toward absurdism and a little away from the unrestrained raunch of “Mating Rituals.” As the author puts it: “Not as dark as Brazil, not as silly as the Ministry of Silly Walks.”
What I’d like to draw your attention to is that Jason has entered his book into a contest run by the Nerdist. He and the other contestants have set their books up on Inkshares, the Kickstarter for books. The five contestants who garner the most “pre-orders” will have their novels professionally edited and produced, published and promoted by the Nerdist. So that’s kinda big.
Check out L.I.F.E.’s Inkshares page to get more details about the book and the contest straight from the horse’s mouth. (Probably not the part of equine anatomy the author is most often compared to.)
I can vouch for this book. I read and provided criticism for one of the early drafts. It’s fun, acerbic, biting, and way too possible. We’re growing more mundane, accepting, sheep-like as a culture. We scare too easily and are all too ready to close ourselves off from the “other,” swaddle ourselves in the cozy illusion of how great, patriotic and untouchable we are. That’s here, now, real America. L.I.F.E. explodes that sickness two centuries into the future. It’s not pretty. It’s appalling. But everyone accepts it, sees it as normal. That’s the scary part – we can already see how easily our people could accept the loss of independent thought, responsibility and liberty in favor of “safety.” The protagonist in Jason’s story is just one sheep among many until a fluke accident removes his chemical blinders and he starts seeing the awful, absurd truth of his over-controlled world. The freedom that isn’t. Blind terror dressed up as patriotism. Coffee that tastes terrible no matter how many sprinkles they put on the whipped cream.
Check it out. If you like what you see, share the word, or even pre-order a copy of your very own.
Cover art by Thomas Devore.
Cover layout by Me, using the free font Buran.
Why do I care? Why should you care? Because this is the most awesome time in human history for creative endeavors. Established media production and distribution powerhouses of old still have power and clout, but they don’t have the exclusive control over what’s out there that they used to enjoy. Anyone can make, record, edit, publish, share and distribute. And we can all be part of bringing the stories we want to the public. Just by hitting like, or share, or making a comment, you can become part of the web that drives new art from no-name creators to public awareness. Want more dystopian comedy? Courtroom drama with women of color? LGBT cookbooks? Find it, like it, share the word. Or make it, shout it out to everyone you know and watch it grow.
No one’s likely to make much money in this new artistic wild wild west, but who cares about money? We can all take a direct part in the cultural output of our society. And it’s easy! Yeah, you can fund those you like, and I highly encourage you to, but it’s even easier than that. Every single like or share or pin or whatever pushes an idea one step closer to the tipping point, puts it in front of that many more people who just may want to know and share and build the buzz. So I implore YOU, if you see something you like, something you think our society needs, something being hand-crafted by some artist out there not for money or fame but from pure passion and drive, then lend a click or two. It costs you nothing, but you never know when you might be the click that pushes a great idea over the tipping point.