It is the day after tomorrow, and a device has been invented that immediately induces REM sleep, otherwise known as "Sleep" with a capital S. Society has been transformed. The average person now only needs two hours of rest a night. The work day is officially sixteen hours long. Americans party at clubs until daybreak, then log into virtual worlds and party in a reunified Korea all morning too. And within this busier, noisier, more global society, we watch the intertwining fates of four people as they struggle with issues regarding Sleep: new parents who for postnatal reasons aren't allowed to use their special Beds; an Iraq vet and PTSD victim who is haunted by the non-ending nightmares that Sleep produces; a harried, arrogant doctor whose Bed has stopped working, driving him to the brink of madness; and a band promoter with an illegal Bed that lets her Sleep for hours on end, then stay up for four straight days and nights.
Chicago science-fiction veteran and former medical assistant Mark R. Brand presents here a stunning and nuanced look at the world that might just await us around the corner -- a place where GPS, Facebook and cellphones mesh perfectly to tell us where even in a nightclub to stand, yet traditional enough for couples to still have fights over groceries, and for office politics to still have enormous repercussions; and since it's being released by the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, it means you pay only what you want for an electronic copy, even if you want to pay nothing, making this mini-novel easily worth taking a chance on. Rich in its prose and deep in its metaphor, you do not have to be a fan of sci-fi, Michael Crichton or Malcolm Gladwell to love "Life After Sleep"...although it certainly wouldn't hurt either.
"Like all good sci-fi, this book ponders the impacts of new technology by exploring characters and their issues without necessarily taking a stance. It reads sharp and fast. One should read it late at night or in the early morning hours (like Mark suggests in the afterword), listening to eerie ambient music like we did." --Curbside Splendor
"My favorite element of the collection are the bits of future technology that Brand pulls in.... [A] fascinating look at how important sleep is to how we function and how our days may look if we made a few enhancements to the process." --Chicago Now
"Even with an overarching social theme, the narrative stays focused on individual lives rather than sweeping political statements. This move keeps the novella lean and intimate. Readers meet characters who stay vulnerable and believable, beset by problems and conflict but never forced into saving the world.... Some readers may prefer fantasies so unbelievable that the enjoyment comes from reveling in the seemingly impossible, but this novella's appeal comes in its chilling likelihood." --Joel Thomas, guest reviewer, Karen the Small Press Librarian
The electronic version of this book is being offered for free download to increase readership, although you're encouraged to make a voluntary payment through Paypal. To start the process, choose one of the options below:
Make a voluntary payment then download the ebook
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Want a paper copy of Life After Sleep? Then order it in its "Hypermodern Edition," a series of special high-quality, handmade books designed for collectors but reasonably priced. It can be ordered with either recycled or cotton paper, and can be delivered through cheaper First Class Mail or faster Priority Mail. Use the drop-down menu below to choose the option most suited for you:
In July 2012, Mark undertook a two-week promotional blog tour for Life After Sleep. Click on the links below to see the resulting posts.
7/17: Bella Street | 7/19: Jason Fisk | 7/20: Another Chicago Magazine | 7/23: Grasping for the Wind | 7/24: Laura Szumoswki | 7/25: Curbside Splendor | 7/26: Lauryn Allison Lewis | 7/27: Okla Elliott | 7/31: Ben Tanzer
Supplemental and promotional material:
An interview with Brand regarding the process of writing this book
A critical essay by the publisher, on why he signed the book in the first place
A "passing the torch" essay by Ben Tanzer, CCLaP's last published author, on what he thinks of this newest book
A link to this book's page at Goodreads.com, where you can leave comments and read other people's reviews
A link to this book's Facebook page, where you can do the same
And don't forget to check out the video commercial for this book, which you can watch through the YouTube interface above.
This book has been released under a Creative Commons license (click the above icon to actually read it in full); this gives you permission to make unlimited copies for yourself, convert it into other formats, translate it into other languages, and use it as a basis for nonprofit multimedia projects (audio, film, animation, stage performance, calligraphy, etc), in return for you not changing the contents or removing the credits.
Cover image: Austin Oie
CCLaP is always on the lookout for great unsigned manuscripts. Click here for more on how to submit your own.