It's day one of CCLaP's newest virtual book tour, this time for the day-after-tomorrow science-fiction tale Life After Sleep by local author Mark R. Brand! For those stopping by here for the first time, a virtual book tour is much like a physical one, only in this case with the author "traveling" from one blog to another instead of one bookstore to another, and doing a variety of different things like text interviews, audio or video interviews, guest essays, a brand-new MP3 reading from their book for that blog, even sometimes a look at that author's work environment or a playlist of the music they listen to while writing. Mark's book first came out a little over a year ago, our very first paper book in fact, and has been doing quite well for itself (it's one of our most consistent sellers at Amazon, for example); but Mark himself entered graduate school for the first time last fall, an older student with already a wife, child and daytime career, which is why it's taken us so long to do a tour for this book, in that right now is literally the first time that Mark's had the spare energy to do so. This is so far the only sci-fi title that CCLaP has ever published, and of course I'm a big sci-fi geek so this title has a particularly close place in my heart; and even better, it's a "soft science-fiction" title that appeals to a more general audience (think Michael Crichton), featuring a concept that's easy to believe might actually happen soon (namely, a scientist invents a machine that immediately induces REM sleep in a person, letting them only need two hours of sleep a night to feel refreshed), and with the story itself mostly about more general character-oriented issues (namely, the ways that society is transformed by its population only needing two hours of sleep a night, from work habits to global communication to sex lives and more).
As is usually the case, Mark's going to be hitting a total of ten blogs over the next two weeks, one each weekday from now until July 30th; today, for example, the tour kicks off with noted New Weird author Bella Street, where the two gab for a while about the themes of the book and Mark's larger career. Here below is the rest of the schedule; as always, if you're visiting this in the future, whichever tour stops are linked are the ones now live and ready to check out...
Tues 7/17: Bella Street
Thurs 7/19: Jason Fisk
Fri 7/20: Another Chicago Magazine
Mon 7/23: Grasping for the Wind
Tues 7/24: Laura Szumoswki
Wed 7/25: Curbside Splendor
Thurs 7/26: Lauryn Allison Lewis
Fri 7/27: Okla Elliott
Tues 7/31: Ben Tanzer
There's a number of well-known genre bloggers this time who have never toured with us before, so I'm looking as forward as you are to seeing how they all turn out! And speaking of which, my many thanks to CCLaP assistant director Kelly Pearce, who for the very first time was the main organizer and overseer of this particular tour. Kelly has also recently taken over the center's Facebook and Twitter accounts, so those of you at those social networks will be starting to hear a lot more from her soon. Anyway, I hope you'll be able to stop by every day for the next two weeks, as we learn and hear a lot from Mark about this intriguing, fascinating what-if tale.