The Fast American Novel.
Today’s high-speed digitalia leaves books in the dust.
Look at that kitten swallowing a lawnmower! American Idol marathon! Boom! More explosions! Faster! Too slow; I’m already on Facebook! What? Can’t hear you; I’m in Call of Duty! Aw, man, that noob tea-bagged me! Watch this video of my dog snoring Mozart! My ex-girlfriend’s mom’s new husband’s stepson just went to jail! I didn’t know Romney was a Martian! The Crown Prince of Nigeria has a real estate deal for me! Look at that kitten barfing up a lawnmower!
The daily flood of viral memes, videos, eye candy, social posts, highlights and sound bites comes at us from so many places, in such volume, and at such high speeds, that fewer and fewer people are making time for traditional mediums such as books and magazines. The sad truth is that for many would-be readers, printed material takes too long to get to the point.
I regularly read books, and I love them dearly, but I can still relate to this desire for fast-paced story-telling. I often found myself longing for a book as exciting as a Hollywood action movie, as colorful as a graphic novel, and as engrossing as a climactic boss fight.
I feel the read for speed.
Since none of my favorite authors stepped up to the plate, I eventually decided to take a shot at writing it myself. Jumping off from precedents such as Eye of the Needle, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Snowcrash, La Femme Nikita, The Terminator, Pulp Fiction, Gears of War, Call of Duty, and the Elder Scrolls games, I launched my bid to write the world’s fastest novel.
Leave the poems, take the cannolli.
Inspired by magazines and web sites, I arranged the book into two intertwined sections. The main chapters tell the story without getting bogged down in long descriptions of people, places, and things. Between the chapters are short articles, government memos, and data files that provide additional depth and context. Readers can choose how much of the back story they take in.
Faster pussycat! Read! Read!
I did everything I could to crank the action up to the frantic pace of blockbuster movies, comic books, and video games. Nothing was too big, too loud, or too wild. Then I worked to make the entire book as fast-paced as the action scenes. To this end I tried to make every line do three things; advance the story, develop the characters and relationships, and hopefully captivate the reader with inventive phrasing and language.
The leaves nourish the roots.
The result has gotten a good reception so far, which supports my trust in literature’s ability to change with the times. In the 18th century that meant a novelist was suddenly free to write about a world where single men in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Perhaps now it means novelists can borrow from the many mediums descended from books to meet the accelerated pace of a digital generation.
Blades of WinterShadowstorm 1
Del Rey, August 28, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
In one of the most exciting debuts in years, G. T. Almasi has fused the intricate cat-and-mouse games of a John le Carré novel with the brash style of comic book superheroes to create a kick-ass alternate history that reimagines the Cold War as a clash of spies with biological, chemical, and technological enhancements.
Nineteen-year-old Alix Nico, a self-described “million-dollar murder machine,” is a rising star in ExOps, a covert-action agency that aggressively shields the United States from its three great enemies: the Soviet Union, Greater Germany, and the Nationalist Republic of China. Rather than risk another all-out war, the four superpowers have poured their resources into creating superspies known as Levels.
Alix is one of the hottest young American Levels. That’s no surprise: Her dad was America’s top Level before he was captured and killed eight years ago. But when an impulsive decision explodes—literally—in her face, Alix uncovers a conspiracy that pushes her to her limits and could upset the global balance of power forever.
Hammer of Angels (Shadowstorm 2) will be published in March 2013.
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