Great Review of The Memory Hunter over at Self Publishing Review

Here’s another great review of The Memory Hunter over at Self Publishing Review:

In the far-flung future of 2007, in a world that never quite recovered from a Cold War which didn’t stay cold, where Japan seized the global economy and the world went in the direction that novelists predicted decades ago, society now relies on commercial brain implants – artificial memories that afford skills and knowledge to the owner to give them immediate access to better standards of living. Some people bite off more than they can chew on payment, and that’s where recall comes in. John Bishop makes a meager living for himself on the edge of civilized society with these recalls, having lost everything on a burn job some time ago, but on a job he can’t refuse – as much as he’d prefer – he stumbles into a darker business than just recall. So begins the events of The Memory Hunter, a retro-futuristic science-fiction Noir by Jon Konrath.

As a send-up to an older genre gone quieter in recent years, the book is a cultural grab-bag of inspiration from classic cyberpunk/sci-fi like BladerunnerNeuromancer and – closer in tone – the more absurdist Snow Crash­. More importantly, the similarity to the story Repo Men (and several similarly-themed books and films since) is hard to overlook with its dry-wit Dystopian horror of bio-technology financing a better future at unsafe costs, and the grimy, ethically-nightmarish, but stable work of repossessing a life as a distinct, even run-of-the-mill career. Mega-corporations and hovercars, AI helpers and hand-held lasers, American virtues against the Japanese and the Soviets running in the background, it’s all there. It’s tried and tested – and a bit out of time, purposefully – but used as a good springboard for this particular novel that thankfully takes different turns to any before it. A jaded, alcoholic ex-mover-and-shaker takes the job of his life, and with help of a new friend, busts open the case for the good of humanity and his own sense of honor – it’s the genre trope, and part of its reason for the adherence to that outline is to take new turns and demonstrate some retrospective good humor about the entire thing. It’s a pleasant tribute to the old-school while doing new things as its own distinct piece that borrows only what it needs to tell an original, extremely thoughtful story, even if the big questions are kept from being too big.

Konrath is a proven author with several different books under his wing with a flair for absurdity running through titles such as Fistful of Pizza and a more somber tone in titles like Atmospheres and Summer Rain. It should be no surprise to followers of his work to know that he tackles a new genre of classic science-fiction with the right balance of the ridiculous and the thoughtful. The world Konrath creates is very believable and full of details and side-notes that mesh into the narrative perfectly. It really feels like the old novels, but with a better sense of self-awareness and tech-savvy, owing to Konrath’s experience in the real world as much as an author. It’s very successful in selling a sense of immersion that is often hard to strike with fiction with an absurdity about it, and makes it convincing as a satire as much as a realistic and serious story.

If old ’80s sci-fi Noir pulp-fic is a genre you feel is sorely lacking in the current Zeitgeist of literature, this is a blast from the past ready for importing to your personal storage chips. Dark, terrifying, and satirical, The Memory Hunter is an excellently crafted piece given life from a bygone era of literature. 5 stars.


Updates on the next book

Okay. It’s about time to give you some more updates on the next book, because the release is imminent. The book is being edited right now, then it gets designed, goes through production, and all of that pain-in-the-ass stuff.  And then you buy it. Right?

Okay, so here are the latest updates. I’m putting them in a bulleted list, so hang on:

  • The title of the book is The Memory Hunter.
  • I have been posting daily updates on its facebook page, giving little hints about the book. You should go like this page, and tell everyone about it. I have only been giving out more hints as the page gets more likes.  So, go:
  • I have also promised that the first people who will find out about the book will be the subscribers to my newsletter.  Also, I will be sending the first few chapters to my newsletter subscribers. That means you really need to subscribe to my list.  I only send mail a few times a year, and I almost always give out free stuff when I do, so do it.
  • This book is not some bizarro stream-of-consciousness plotless thing about how I shit my pants at the county fair during a riot. It is not like my other books. It is a plotted novel. It is extremely plotted.  It is so plotted, Michael Bay would say “god damn, that is plotted.” You could seriously write a Syd Field book on plot based on this thing.
  • That’s not to say it’s not like my other books. I think if you read the first ten of my books, you will find a lot of similarity and there’s the same kind of humor and twisted stuff within this.
  • In fact, there are a lot of connections between this book and my other books. There are recurring characters, places, concepts, and items from all of my books, even the nonfiction ones. I have seriously Frank Zappa-ed the fuck out of this.
  • I’ve also named a bunch of minor characters after some of my best supporters. I’ve given some of you warning about this, but expect to be called out on facebook about this, or maybe I’ll leave them a surprise until the book is published.
  • It’ll be on the Kindle, and of course in print.
  • This book will be available on most of the Smashwords-enabled platforms, which includes the Nook, Kobo, Apple/iTunes, Scribd, Oyster, FlipKart, and some others I’m forgetting, as well as the Smashwords store itself.
  • It is just over 80,000 words, so a full-sized book. I haven’t finished the layout yet, but I estimate it to be about 300 pages in print.
  • I will post more about the description and synopsis of the book later, but the tease so far is that it’s absurdist cyberpunk. It takes place in Seattle in 2007.
  • The cover is amazing. The picture above is a tiny clip from it. You have to see the whole thing.
  • If you review books on Amazon, Goodreads, or a blog, I absolutely need to talk to you now.

This book is a huge change for me, and I am really proud of it. I hope you will like it.  I’ll tell you more when we get closer, but you absolutely need to sign up for the mailing list and go check out the facebook page for more news.