Dystopian, fiction, genre fiction, Science Fiction

A thought-provoking cover:

Dell Zero.full.300x215
Wraparound cover for the print book

Who is Dell Zero? Why is she an outsider, and how will she make her way?  Amazing artist and author Lindy Moone, who has been at my virtual elbow since early drafts of Dell Zero, has designed a cover for this post-apocalyptic novel with images that provoke questions.

The cover is not only visually stunning: it captures feelings of the main character neglected by the original, shown at right. Dell-Zero.200x300That cover hinted at elements of the situation but ignored the young woman at the heart of the story.

Here’s the new book description:

Into a sexless, controlled society of drug-induced immortals comes Dell, a rare, untainted human with female characteristics.

I call myself Dell, but my name is unrecorded. I’ve always been hidden, sheltered by my guardians on the outlands of the Chapter. Now my guardians are gone, reassigned. They will not remember me.

I am young. I want to be loved, to be touched. Is there anyone in the Chapter like me?

I have no number. My identity band is false–it hangs loose, unconnected to my veins. It won’t get me into the Chapter. If I do get in, I’ll live forever, but I know what forever is like for my guardians. I will no longer be me.

I am Dell–Dell Zero–untransformed and mortal. I will make my own way

Dell Zero150x200Dell Zero is now widely available in ebook ($2.99) from these ebook sellers:

You can find Lindy Moone and more of her work at her equally-amazing website, which she promotes as Belly-up, home of the bloated blogger.



Trolls and Easter Eggs: For Whom the Bell Trolls

I started smiling when I saw the title page of For Whom the Bell Trolls, and though I hadn’t yet reached the first of the “25 Tales of Terror, Triumph, and Trolls,” I knew they were going to be more fun than terrifying.

My first smile was for the drawing of a horned, top-knotted troll head resting in (or coming out of?) the shell of an Easter egg. He didn’t look too terrible, just goofy. But what was the significance of the Easter egg? I looked it up. According to Wikipedia, an Easter egg is an inside joke, something hidden, as in a treasure hunt. In this collection, the illustrations are studded with “Easter eggs” representing the 23 authors. Clues to their meanings are hidden after each story in its author bio.

I was right, a few of these tales have serious themes and a touch of horror, but most are twisted, fun, and different. Together they display a rainbow of mythical trolls: menacing, loveable, ridiculous, and as flawed as any human. Lindy Moone’s illustrations are different and interesting too, each a story in itself.

It’s interesting to see how 23 authors approached their troll subjects. Read the “antrollogy” for take-offs on fairy tales like Trolling on the River, a story that questions the need to be heartless and threatening to get ahead in the world.

Read the tales for pens dripping with wit, irony, and silliness, constructions like “ruse-colored glasses,” a spaceship powered by “perpetual notion,” and an asteroid with a “farce field” (all in Droll Troll, a story in which philosophy saves the world from destruction. Yay, philosophy!) You’ll find a comedic range of human foibles mixed with profundity, like “Just when Lord Snoot thought…the world would suffer because nobody was listening to him…” (My favorite one-liner.)

Read for creative views of troll romance and sex. Watch out for Trolly Tia (lightly x-rated), and the title work, For Whom the Bell Trolls: “Just once, Lexi would like an assignment free of trouser bulge. But what did she expect, working with Hex offenders?”

Everyone will have a favorite story. I think mine may be the novella introducing Fergus Underbridge: Troll Detective, a complex troll hero who navigates segregated cultures.

Some of the stories are disturbingly human, like Neighborhood Troll, a fine story with an end I didn’t see coming; Disposal, a gripping piece about boys driven to fury by an Internet “troll,” and Boiling Point, a story that shows the internal and external ravages of rage.

“Troll” has historically been a name for anyone sneaking about with evil intent. Reading these tales made me wonder about the origin of troll tales and myths, and if the first literary troll was Grendel of “Beowulf.”  The tales also made me wonder if ancient legends of trolls living under bridges might have been based on deformed, homeless, insane and otherwise unfortunate humans.

Most ebooks do not have illustrations, but this one has shining grayscale drawings by writer-artist-editor Lindy Moone (Hyperlink from Hell), who invited authors to participate in this project and dedicated nearly two years to it. The work was co-edited by author John L. Monk (Kick, Fool’s Ride, and Thief’s Odyssey), who also contributed two stories and front-matter witticisms. In addition to stories, the volume contains several haiku written by Moone and Meribeth Hutto.

No one who contributed to this anthology will benefit from sales. Net profits will be donated to the charity Equality Now, an international human rights organization dedicated to the social, civil, political and economic rights of women and girls.

Buy the book! It’s now available for ebook on Amazon.com.

indie authors

Indie Authors: Where are they now? (Part two)

The first “awesome” indie writer John L Monk discovered was Lindy Moone, but I found her first. Among all authors I’ve met in real and online life, I judge Lindy as the most talented and most fearless.

Currently Lindy has set aside writing the sequel to her novel Hyperlink from Hell in order to edit, format and illustrate For Whom the Bell Trolls, which she calls “a charity antrollogy” with contributions from 24 indie authors. Of these writers she says “Some of the authors are well-known. Some are just not well, not well at all. Some are hiding under their beds, or possibly bridges. (Some should be.)”troll cover for Carol

Did you get that? Editing, formatting, and illustrating–for charity. Plus Lindy selected the contributors, cajoled, critiqued, kept them laughing, and held them together to the finish.

Net proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit Equality Now, an international charity that works for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls. For Whom the Bell Trolls may be on sale by Christmas.You don’t have to create a reminder–I’ll let you know.

Here’s what Lindy Moone says about herself: “I sit at my desk overlooking the Aegean Sea, typing and drawing and formatting like Penelope weaving her cloth—only not really. Unwelcome suitors aren’t exactly lined up around the block, so I’m kept company by a chipped ceramic figurine of Avni, a beloved comic book character here in Turkey. My husband, the Great Fisherman Boo, may be out battling sea monsters like Odysseus, but unlike Penelope’s hubby, he’s generally home for supper.”

You can count on Lindy’s writing to be unique, hilarious, irreverent, and a bit indecent.

About Hyperlink from Hell: A Couch Potato’s Guide to the Afterlife: hyperlink “It’s all happening at The Haven (bloody murder… a celebrity patient disappears… his psychiatrist checks into his own padded suite…) and to solve the mystery, the asylum’s new director must analyze “Hyperlink from Hell”: the celebrity’s memoir of his own kidnapping and murder… of time travel and wardrobe malfunction… of good versus “bat.”

Hyperlink from Hell is a story within a story, on the outside a conventional mystery, but as crazy inside as most of the characters. I particularly like the print edition for its visual appeal. Both print and ebook are on sale at Amazon.com.

Next: In “Indie Authors, Where Are They Now (Part three) I’ll update the work of John L. Monk’s other admirable indies: Mark Capell, P.T. Hylton, Harvey Click, Dan C. Rinnert, and finally, John L Monk (himself).