CONVERGENCE is Available To NetGalley Readers Until Feb. 20

Convergence - Michael Patrick Hicks

Calling all sci-fi/cyberpunk/thriller NetGalley reviewers – my debut novel, Convergence, is available for request until Feb. 20 right over here.

I’m happy to say I recently received my first bit of feedback from this site, and feel a good deal of relief. Putting work out there is always a bit scary, so it’s tremendously rewarding to know readers are digging it. Reviewer ‘kim r.’ gave Convergence a 4 out of 5 stars, writing, “I really loved this book. …vivid futuristic society and the idea of the main character taking memories makes for an interesting read.

It’s funny how good a positive review feels. Even though Publisher’s Weekly has already called it a “smart splice of espionage and science fiction. … frighteningly realistic. Well-drawn characters, excellent pacing, and constant surprises make this a great cautionary tale about technology and its abuses.” And never mind that one of my peers, fellow sci-fi author Lucas Bale, said, “Hicks writes like Philip K Dick and Robert Crais combined, making for clean, exciting prose. He focuses on the story and never let’s go.

Making readers happy is a top priority for any writer, I think, and I hope that if you check out this book you’ll dig reading it as much as I loved writing it (and it’s follow-up, Emergence).

And if you’re not on NetGalley, you can pick up Convergence for only $3.99 at Amazon. Be sure to post your thoughts for other readers, too!

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CONVERGENCE is Available To NetGalley Readers Until Feb. 20

Convergence – Now On NetGalley

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Calling all NetGalley sci-fi, mystery/thriller, cyberpunk reviewers! Convergence is now available for request! Click here! Many, many thanks to my editors at Red Adept Editing (a division of Red Adept Publishing that caters to those who wish to self-publish, as I did with this title) for the listing!

OK, that’s probably enough with all the exclamation marks. Sorry about that.

For those that are finding out about this work now for the first time, Convergence was my sci-fi debut and released back in February 2014 after being named a quarter-finalist in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

Being in that contest brought me some decent visibility, and even won me a review by Publisher’s Weekly of that earlier, unpublished manuscript. Although the final release was polished even further, thanks to the valiant efforts of my editors at Red Adept, they called that earlier draft a

smart splice of espionage and science fiction. … frighteningly realistic. Well-drawn characters, excellent pacing, and constant surprises make this a great cautionary tale about technology and its abuses.

Since its publication, a few other high-profile indie and hybrid authors scoped out my work and had some rather kind things to say about it.

“Hicks writes like Philip K Dick and Robert Crais combined, making for clean, exciting prose. He focuses on the story and never let’s go.” – Lucas Bale, author of the award-winning Beyond The Wall series.

“From the opening page of Convergence I was hooked. The dystopian world building is well done and the descriptions are vivid. The technology is imaginary and different…great characters and plenty of suspense/action.” – Nicholas Sansbury Smith, author of Extinction Horizon and the Orbs series

Convergence is fast-paced, full of action and a thrilling ride from start to finish. There is violence, depth of feeling, explosions, car chases and tenderness. The book has everything and is perfect for those who like their SciFi gritty, edgy and realistic.”J.S. Collyer, author of ZERO

“A cyberpunk thrillride through a future America under Chinese rule. The conflict between the humanity of the main character, Jonah, and the things he has had to do to survive in this harsh new world makes ‘Convergence’ an absolute pleasure to read.” – SciFi365.net

I’m hoping that it can find even more readers and reviewers through this NetGalley offering, and that I can get more (and hopefully more positive) reviews on Amazon that can, hopefully, help boost this book’s signal a bit and draw more eyes to it.

So, what’s it about you may be asking? Here’s the synopsis for you.

Memories are the most dangerous drug.

Jonah Everitt is a killer, an addict, and a memory thief.

After being hired to kill a ranking officer of the Pacific Rim Coalition and download his memories, Everitt finds himself caught in the crosshairs of a terror cell, a rogue military squadron, and a Chinese gangster named Alice Xie. Xie is a profiteer of street drugs, primarily DRMR, a powerful narcotic made from the memories of the dead. With his daughter, Mesa, missing in post-war Los Angeles, Everitt is forced into an uneasy alliance with Alice to find her.

Mesa’s abduction is wrapped up in the secrets of a brutal murder during the war’s early days, a murder that Alice Xie wants revenged. In order to find her, Jonah will have to sift through the memories of dead men that could destroy what little he has left.

In a city where peace is tenuous and loyalties are ever shifting, the past and the present are about to converge.

Convergence is a blend of various genres that I love dearly. There’s a cyberpunk thriller edge to it, a little bit of mystery, some action and urban warfare, all gussied up with a shiny veneer of near-future science fiction. I’m a big fan of Barry Eisler and Richard K. Morgan, and I think those influences come through pretty readily. I’ll let you be the judge of that though.

If you are a NetGalley reviewer and all of the above sounds interesting enough to you, you can submit a request right over here. Convergence will be available for review until Feb. 20.

Happy reading!

 

Convergence – Now On NetGalley

“X” Marks The (Sweet) Spot

x-files_i_want_to_believe_the_2008_5389_poster

This post is coming much later than I had wanted it to, but I guess it’s at least given me some time to digest the return of my all-time favorite television series and organize my thoughts a bit.

I remember being a 14-year-old who watched this with his mother on the Friday night it premiered. She had been more interested in watching it than I was, but by the end of that pilot episode, I was hooked. A few weeks later, I sat glued to the television as Eugene Victor Tooms made his first appearance in “Squeeze.” This series was unlike anything I had ever seen, and Tooms became a lasting figure in my imagination as an incredible new horror icon.

Following the finale of “The Erlenmeyer Flask,” I sat there stunned, reeling over the death of such an important character who had become a series staple by that point. This was a show where nobody was safe.

Over the summer, my parents bought a summer home roughly five hours north of our primary residence. We spent Friday, September 16, 1994 driving up there after school released for the weekend, moving in boxes and furniture and making the place habitable. I kept my eye on the dashboard clock as we drove, watching the digital display roll over to 8:00 p.m., feeling nervous and agitated, worried that I was going to miss it. Worried that I would miss, for the first time, an episode of The X-Files. And not just any episode either. This was the night of the second season premiere, and I’d been waiting for “Little Green Men” to air practically since the prior season’s finale ended.

I’d been bugging my parents, making sure we prioritized getting the TV hooked up and the VCR, so I could record it in case we were still too busy to watch it live at 9:00 p.m. There was little time to spare, but I recall sitting on the floor and unpacking some boxes of books and movies that I would be keeping at the house, listening to Mulder’s opening narration and then forgetting entirely about my tasks as a violent rainstorm lashed against the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico and a mysterious light filled the station. Oh my god, were the aliens there? Were they going to get Mulder? What was happening?!

I watched it again the next day just so I could soak it all in, and make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

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As the season progressed, I found myself lurking a TV board on AOL dedicated to The X-Files, reading other viewers’ speculations, guesses, rumors, synopses copied from TV Guide for future episodes and downloading scanned advertisements and promo art for upcoming episodes.

This series consumed me whole for nine years. To put it simply, I was, obviously, a fan. A big fan. Enough of a fan that I don’t really understand all the hate that the second movie, I Want To Believe, gets burdened with. And although there may be a few redeeming episodes to season 9, I still think the show would have been better served by ending with the season 8 two-parter. I waited years for a third X-Files movie, getting antsy over the impending arrival of December 22, 2012, the date of alien colonization and the rumored storyline for the proposed film. 2012 came and went, but I was still hopeful that The X-Files would not be relegated to television and film history.

And then in 2013, a Season 10 comic book launched from IDW, with Joe Harris on writing duties and Chris Carter attached as ‘executive producer.’ Naturally, I had to follow Mulder and Scully into the funny pages and found myself mostly satisfied. But, damn it, I still needed and wanted to see these two intrepid FBI agents back in action and on-screen.

In March 2015, the six-episode relaunch was announced. I was so freaking overjoyed. I was tweeting about it, liking and sharing Facebook news announcements, and following along with every bit of developing information I could find. Season 9 was a bad memory, but not one so repugnant that it made me any less of a fan. I was exuberant to see how the show would return with both Mulder and Scully front and center.

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Weeks before the premier, I bought the season pass on iTunes. Having a four-month old means my likelihood of watching the show as it airs, as I had been able to for the nine years of its initial run, is incredibly slim. And being able to watch it across the two-night premiere that kicked off this week would be damn near impossible. Unsurprisingly, I’ve so far only seen the premiere, “My Struggle,” and haven’t found the time to sit down and watch “Founder’s Mutation.”

But, The X-Files is back. And I am incredibly satisfied. I’m a fan, first and foremost. Maybe too much of a fan to be able to critically examine the series. I just love this world and its characters too much. Right now, I’m just riding high on the emotions of it all. I can’t even adequately express how good, how satisfying, it felt to get caught up again in a Mulder monologue, or his frantic, angry recitation of the latest conspiracy and Scully’s disbelief. I can’t help but feel a measure of excitement over the latest wrinkle Chris Carter and his team of writer’s have introduced to the series’ overarching mythology and the new shape of the alien conspiracy. It’s a switch-up that makes sense and feels timely in our post-9/11, post-Snowden, post-Patriot Act era of NSA surveillance and government overreach. In some ways, 2016 might be even more temporally relevant to the core mission statement of The X-Files – Trust No One.

The X-Files is back, and there’s a certain part of me that feels restored right alongside it. A certain faith that has been resurrected. We’ve been lucky to get another six episodes, but I’m already hoping to see another announcement for a future return. We may be asked to trust no one, but like Mulder, I Want to Believe.

“X” Marks The (Sweet) Spot

Behold – The Deluxe Signed, Numbered NOS4A2

After my son was born in September, I treated myself a New Father gift – this signed and numbered limited edition hardcover from IDW Limited collecting Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 and comic book prequel, The Wraith, into a single volume.

I read NOS4A2 when it came out a few years ago, and it was my first introduction to a Joe Hill. This book very quickly earned its spot as one of my all-time favorites, and Hill as an author that rose to my Must-Buy Immediately list. While I have to catch up on his back catalog of work, I’ve already got his next book, The Fireman, on pre-order and am eagerly anticipating its midnight delivery to my Kindle on May 17. I can’t freaking wait!

So, this limited edition hardcover. Yes, it is expensive, but oh so very worth it for a book that I completely adore, and hope to one day pass down to the kiddo when I hit my expiration date. It comes in a rugged cloth slipcase, and wrapped in a gorgeously detailed dust jacket featuring all new artwork, along with 26 pieces of fresh art in color and black-and-white from The Wraith series artist Charles Paul Wilson III, who also signs the book alongside Hill. This edition is limited to 999 copies (mine is #108).

Here’s some photos!

Behold – The Deluxe Signed, Numbered NOS4A2

Review: Unit 731 by Craig Saunders

unit731

Review:

When UNIT 731 was first announced, I was excited to read it. In WWII, Unit 731 was a Japanese atrocity, a secret group that conducted a number of brutal and lethal experiments on human subjects. The real-life horror surrounding this group would have been perfect fodder for a horror novel. So, I have to admit I was initially disappointed when I started reading this book, as I discovered that Craig Saunders’ latest really has nothing at all to do with Unit 731.

Thankfully, that disappointment was pretty short-lived, as Saunders delivers a dark,crackling novella filled to the brim with psychopathy, murder, and a rather extended sequence of torture. What this story is really about is family, and the way men can fail one another or try to save each other in a way that only family can. Still, it’s definitely a horror story through and through, and the squeamish may find themselves a bit upset with the imagery presented.

Even if it wasn’t what I had initially wanted, Saunders still hooked me with his story and his characters here. To me, that’s a mark of a pretty solid work.

[Note: I received a complimentary copy of this novel as a member of the DarkFuse Book Club/Reviewer community.]

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Buy Unit 731 At Amazon

Review: Unit 731 by Craig Saunders

Books Ahoy!

I can’t believe how quickly this month has flown by. January, and the first month of the 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge, is nearly at a close.

The good news is, I’ve got some solid reads lined up for the final week of this month and into February. Here’s what’s on tap for the foreseeable future (with purchase links below, if ya kennit):

 

Unit 731 by Craig Saunders ($2.99)

Envy of Angels: A Sin du Jour Affair by Matt Wallace ($2.99)

Lustlocked: A Sin du Jour Affair by Matt Wallace ($2.99)

The Shootout Solution: Genrenauts Episode 1 by Michael R. Underwood ($2.99)

The Absconded Ambassador: Genrenauts Episode 2 by Michael R. Underwood ($2.99)

The God’s Eye View by Barry Eisler ($5.99)

The Mirror Empire: Worldbreaker Saga, Book 1 by Kameron Hurley ($1.99)

Empire Ascendant: Worldbreaker Saga, Book 2 by Kameron Hurley ($1.99)

So, lots of what I expect to be good reading to get me through for a bit. Note that these prices are subject to change – especially the Worldbreaker Saga; I think this only a Kindle monthly deal. And jeez, I’ve had Mirror Empire on my to-read list for a good long while. Since that book has been out for a bit, it’s probably time I get my butt in gear on this one.

Mind you, I may not tackle these in this order depending on any particular whims that strike me.

What’s on tap for you, what are you reading or planning on reading soonish?

Books Ahoy!

Signal Boosting, Reviews, and Accolades

In December, I was a part of two anthologies – Crime & Punishment and The Cyborg Chronicles – which means it’s time to give them a bit of a signal boost! If you haven’t gotten these two books yet, now’s the time!

The Cyborg Chronicles is only 99c for a LIMITED TIME! Act fast!

I had a lot of fun writing for these two anthologies, and it feels wonderful to see readers responding so positively to these books as a whole, as well as my efforts within each.

My Crime & Punishment story, The Marque, is a weird western that has gotten a few nods from readers, who call it:

a powerful yet bleak vision of our future. Michael Patrick Hicks’ story completely swept me away-I found it hard to put down.

scary, creepy, and exciting

Samuel Peralta does the foreword on this one, and it’s a sublime bit of short fiction in its own right. If it were up to me, and if it were such a thing at all, Karma would get a Foreword of the Year award. It’s just brilliant. So brilliant, in fact, that author Anthony Vicino named it one of this Top 7 Short Stories of 2015 over The Leighgendarium!

Over in The Cyborg Chronicles, I wrote a short story set in the DRMR series, which is the focus of my two novels, Convergence and Emergence. Preservation is completely separate from these two books and presents all-new characters in a wildly different setting from the main books, so it can be enjoyed entirely as a stand-alone solo adventure.

Readers are calling this one:

An action-packed thriller with a heart…

Page turning carnage ensues, the kind I’ve loved in this author’s other works. If you can find anyone better at writing an ultraviolent action scene, let me know who they are. …this story struck the perfect chord with me.

My Favorite story in the groupWhat kept kept me immersed in it was Mr. Hick’s fine style. I am notably impressed.

Revolver eBook

Finally, although it came out in August, I’m heartened to see Revolver getting some love! Author Edward Lorn named it Best Novella 2015, and Anthony Vicino included it in his round-up of Top 7 Short Stories of 2015 for The Leighgendarium.

Anthony calls Revolver

a lesson in authorial bravery… a truly gut twisting, heart wrenching, sphincter squeezing tale of loss and abandonment that stuck with me long after the last page.

While Edward writes in his Amazon review,

An Instant Classic On Par With “1984” and “V for Vendetta”

The piece is multi-layered and utterly thought provoking, but the writing is really the prize-winning pony here. Hicks writes with the confidence and prose of a seasoned professional. I don’t know how long he’s been writing, but I’m impressed. There are writers who’ve been putting words to paper for decades who don’t write this well.

Revolver aims at the world we live in and blows its head off.

You can find these books for sale over at Amazon right now!

Signal Boosting, Reviews, and Accolades