Sunday, June 24, 2012
The Future, Imperfect: Short Stories
Author: Ruth Nestvold
Genre: Science Fiction
How long it's been on sale: March 12, 2012
Current price: $2.99
Marketing: Blogging, free days via KDP Select
Total sold so far: 7
Link to book on Amazon: The Future, Imperfect: Short Stories
"The Future, Imperfect" is a collection of near future, dystopian short stories by Ruth Nestvold. Environmental changes -- slow in some regions, catastrophic in others -- have had a major effect on our world, not for the better. While water wars and pandemics have devastated the Mediterrean region, and a major earthquake and the resulting destruction of nuclear power plants and sensitive research facilities have made much of California a wasteland, corporate-sponsored enclaves defend themselves from the have-nots. What can any one individual do to make a difference is such a world? These are the stories both of those who tried and those who failed.
Five of the short stories in this collection were previously published in such venues as Asimov's and Futurismic. "Exit Without Saving" also appeared in Rich Horton's "Science Fiction 2007: The Best of the Year." "Killfile" is an original publication.
"The Future, Imperfect," is a story collection of approximately 40,000 words.
First 300 Words:
"You don't remember anything else from the first epidemic?" Alis asked the old woman, and Mihailo translated it into the local dialect. The woman shook her head.
Alis got up from the shaky chair and extended her hand to their hostess. "Hvala, Gospodja Milovanovic."
"Molim, Gospodja Petrovich," Mrs. Milovanovic said, smiling and taking Alis's hand in two thin, dry ones. She then broke out into a string of vowels and consonants that unfortunately meant nothing to Alis. Her company, Bioco, had sent her here because she at least knew a little Serbo-Croatian, but it wasn't doing her much good here in Montenegro. The dialects they spoke in the small towns were far beyond her capabilities, even beyond the capabilities of the translation program she had installed in her AI before leaving Seattle. It left her dependent on her guide and human translator Mihailo.
"She says she's sorry she can't help you more," Mihailo murmured with the slight accent she found so charming. He raised his eyebrows and continued, looking at her with a smile. "But she says she knows you will save them."
Alis barely refrained from shaking her head in disbelief. "The people here know the decision isn't mine to make, don't they?"
The warmth of unvoiced laughter still had not left Mihailo's eyes. "But you are a Petrovic."
"Petrovic," the old woman repeated, nodding, and squeezed Alis's hand.
"You can tell her I'll do what I can," Alis said, her lips pursed. From what she had seen of the region, it would be worth the time and energy Bioco would need to clean it up. Several decades ago, Bioco built its reputation on neurochemiologic products, but now they had expanded to one of the biggest biotech companies in the world, with their fingers in all kinds of profit-making pies.
Comments: The cover looks like a photo from a mall that has been color treated to look green. It does not give me a science fiction vibe. I wasn't sure what the photo was at first, I had to stare at it for a while. A book cover should give you a message right when you look at it. This one was hard to decipher and isn't giving me a good impression of what the book will be like. The words are also hard to read. I'm going to suggest a re-design.
The description is good, in my opinion. I found it interesting and I do think it's a good idea to point out that some of the stories have made it into magazines. This does help me feel that the stories will have good quality writing.
I liked the sample. I think the major reason this isn't selling is because of the cover. I would re-design the cover and make it look more dystopian. It looks too much like a mall shot to me. I'd try to make it look like destroyed landscaping or something a bit more bleak. Also, I would make sure the type is legible.
What do you guys think?