The Land of Confusion 😕

This is one of my world-famous emails, originally sent Friday November 9, 2018. You can get on the list if you want this directly wired to your brain (…or nearest connected device).


Greetings, programs.

It’s Author Launch Week™ here in the Richard Parry empire. This is like other weeks, but with a higher alcohol consumption level. Today:

  1. Soundtracks;
  2. Pinterest for inspiration;
  3. What I’ve been reading; and
  4. The world of confusion I’ve been wrangling.

“Herding cats” doesn’t begin explain it. Let’s dig in.


Soundtracks!

Back in the day, I made soundtracks for all my books. This serves the fantastic purpose of feeding my ego, while giving readers a vibe for the story.

Searching Spotify for “cyberpunk” will give you all kinds of synthwave bullshit. Many of those playlists sound like amateur hour with a bunch of people dry-humping an electronic keyboard. I’ve always imagined cyberpunk to be far more grunge/rock. Hard strings, bass you can feel, with real singers. Queen would be right at home.

I blew the dust off an old soundtrack while minting one for the latest book. If you want some music while at the gym, baking, or murdering zombies, these might be for you. I’d love to hear what you think of them (especially whether you like my riff on “cyberpunk music”). Behold, the Chromed: Upgrade Soundtrack and Chromed: Restore Soundtrack:


Pinterest, yo.

One of the more popular questions I get is, “Where do you get your ideas?” Mostly from delusional ravings, but that answer doesn’t poll well. I also spend a lot of time on Pinterest, collating visual ideas for story and character* concepts.

* One of the things grinding my gears at the moment is how searching for “cyberpunk woman” brings back soft porn. Society needs an upgrade.

Feel like a peek behind the curtain? If Pinterest is your thing, I have boards:

[Future Forfeit]

[Ezeroc Wars]

[Boundless]

If Facebook is your thing, we’ve also got a clique over there:

Ezeroc Wars & Future Forfeit Fans
Facebook Group · 58 members
Join Group
Group for the friends and fans of Richard Parry’s story worlds. Hang out. Share a story, beer, or both.

What I’ve Been Reading…

Last month I turned older and was subsequently buried alive by books-as-gifts. Two of them bear mentioning:

Paradox Bound. I’ve been a Clines fan since forever, but his recent works have been really original. This is in the same vein as 14 or The Fold, but that doesn’t do it justice. This story is … about the loss of the American Dream (a real, physical thing). Faceless men who hunt seekers of the truth. History travel, meeting John Henry, and pop culture. It’s the first book in a long, long time I stayed up until 1am to finish.

Blueprint for a Battlestar. It should come as no surprise I’m a huge nerd. This book ticks all the boxes for those like me who want to know how you might really make a Death Star. I’ve got the dead-tree version; the artwork is sublime, and it’s a wonderful book to pour over. Neat trick: leave it on a coffee table and watch it snare fellow geeks like insects in amber.


And now, the fuckery.

Subsequent to my last few mails shilling Future Forfeit novels, I’ve had a few questions broadly like this:

Richard, what the fuck?

This stems from some confusion. People don’t know what the books are, especially in the context of the original Upgrade. Part of this is poor messaging on my part, but a chunk is also to do with ass-hattery from the Death Star.

First, a nifty infographic:

Upgrade was released in 2014. It wasn’t as well received* as I wanted. I’ve spent the last three months (!!!) making this the story fans deserved.

It’s been remastered into two novels: Chromed: Upgrade and Chromed: Rogue. I wrote a new third book, Chromed: Restore, to bring the trilogy to a close (for those who want to know what happened to Carter, I promise satisfaction). There are also three new action vignettes for fans to provide more story and context for Chromed: Restore, but reading them’s not necessary to enjoy the final book.

The Future Forfeit trilogy is now:

  1. Chromed: Upgrade [out today!]
  2. Chromed: Rogue [out December 14]
  3. Chromed: Restore [out January 18] <- If you’ve read the original Upgrade, this is all new story.

I’ve had significant feedback from ARCs that the new Upgrade and Restore novels are much improved. They’re fresh and vibrant while triggering nostalgia. Most people will skip right past Upgrade and Rogue to get to the meat of Restore, but for completists I’ve priced the first two at 99c so you can get the updates without feeling like your wallet’s being strip-mined.

The action vignettes (Future Forfeit City Stories) are:

  1. Chromed: Consensus
  2. Chromed: Delilah
  3. Chromed: Meltdown

So far so good, right?

No.

Where this gets really confusing is … Amazon. I removed Upgrade from sale a while ago, because I didn’t want to confuse fans with similar products, and I definitely didn’t want to keep selling a product when a new, better one was about to ship.

A brief stroll down author corridor number 57. A little while ago, Amazon bought CreateSpace. CS are a print-on-demand service, popular with indies for creating physical products like paperbacks. Amazon sucked CS into the fold, merging the service with their KDP Print product. A handy import feature came up, migrating CS products to KDPP.

If this sends your blood cold, you’ve probably worked in IT. These things rarely go without a hitch, and in my case the snag was Upgrade. As a prior CS author, I had a tremor in my waters. Despite unpublishing it, the product was still for sale. People bought the paperback, some thinking it was the new work.

Amazon have tracked down the glitch in the Matrix, but not before confusion reigned far longer than necessary. The only copies of the original Upgrade you can find for sale are used editions. That should put all the confusion to the sword! Now I can get back to the serious business of drinking for fun rather than relief.

One day I might disclose the old covers, but I need the pain to not be so fresh.

If you want to see how much of Upgrade’s been remastered, this video shows the levels of editing in each chapter. My author buddies tell me I’m insane for spending this much time on an old product, but … it’s for Carter.


That’s it from me this week. If you haven’t already, maybe check out Chromed: Upgrade. Keep being awesome – the universe needs you.

R

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