Win 2 Books: Harvest by Olga Werby

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Olga Werby will be awarding 2 books to a randomly drawn commenter (LIZARD GIRL AND GHOST and SUDDENLY, PARIS) via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Inner and Outer Space

< I usually listen to music when I write. Each of my novels comes with a sound track that “puts me in the mood” for the story. I find that I hum those melodies even when I’m not writing but just thinking about the story. I find music to be a very powerful tool for creativity. I wish my books came with soundscapes in which they were created.

“Harvest” is a rather dark story, full of alien contrasts and incomprehensible minds. I listened to the same albums on an infinite loop for over two years (driving my husband and children bonkers). If you are reading this story, try turning on the following:

Pink Floyd: “Dark Side of the Moon”
Shigeru Umebayashi: Yumeji's Theme
Hol Ara YĆ©ze (Call of the Earth): The Doudouk - Beyond Borders
Philip Glass: Visitors, Soundtrack
Philip Glass: Metamorphesis
Philip Glass: Mad Rush
Philip Glass: Wichita Vortex Sutra
Pink Floyd: “Wish You were Here”
Ramin Djawadi: Westworld, Season 1

I prefer them played in order, not shuffled.

I also like illustrating a lot of my books. I find the visual stimulation gives rise to ideas that otherwise would stay buried somewhere deep in my psyche. I create “visual mood boards” on Pinterest for my books (even those not fully illustrated). I wonder if just by seeing the art, people can get a sense of whether it would be a book worth of their time investment reading it? I think there is a lot that we can tell from story illustrations. Consciously or unconsciously, we all judge books by their covers.

Besides art and music (and fiddly toys), I’m surrounded by papers! Lots and lots of bits of paper with notes and doodles. Recently, I’ve moved to using “Notes”—an application on my computer that syncs with my iPhone—to expand my note-taking to times when I don’t have access to paper and pencils. Quick jots of ideas, sometimes completely incomprehensible later, helps preserve a thought, or a book reference, or a snippet of dialog, or a word definition, or even a photo that could help with writing a scene at some point during the sculpting of the story.

I find that my inner and outer spaces merge when I write. When I’m lucky, I don’t notice anything else; I’m deep in the world of imagination.

Almost a century after Keres Triplets asteroid impact and subsequent nuclear exchange almost ended all human life on Earth, a strange artifact is discovered on one of the moons of Saturn. Who should be sent to the outer reaches of the solar system to initiate the first contact with an alien culture? Dr. Varsaad Volhard, an evolutionary-socio-historian, is chosen to help the world understand the alien civilization that left an artifact some thirty thousand years ago, before humans even learned to farm, at the time when other human species still walked the earth. While Vars prepares for the mission, her father, Dr. Matteo Volhard, discovers nanobots among the microplastics he studies. The bots are everywhere and seem to have been created to bond with human cyber implants. Why? Matteo is made to keep his discovery a well as his and his daughter's true origins. Both were donated to a Human DNA Vault as babies. Matteo was raised as a Seed before leaving with his young daughter to study ecology around the world. Who knows what? Who is in control? How does one communicate with non-human intelligence? People seem to die in gruesome ways as their cyberhumatics go haywire on Earth and on Luna and Mars colonies. Is Earth under attack or is it all just a cosmic misunderstanding? Vars needs to use all she knows to solve the mystery of the ancient civilization on Mimas, as her dad battles the alien nanobots at home.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“The exton controls are not responding!” Marc shouted into his exoskeleton spacesuit helmet.

His exoskeleton was the heavy-duty dirt-and-boulder-mover type. Move a ton with exton. Right now, Marc was really just an intelligent bulldozer with life support. But the suit had disconnected from his D-tats, the personal computing device tattoos embedded in his lower arms and jaw, and his directional controls were busted. Now his exoskeleton acted with a mind of its own, moving him away from the construction site and out into the open Martian landscape. He needed to get back to the Malfy–an affectionate acronym for Martians Live Free, a city-sized habitat being built for the next wave of planetary immigrants.

“Marc?” his SB responded from the inside Malfy’s operational center. “What’s on the fritz this time?” Every contractor working outside was in constant communication with a personally assigned safety buddy. “I can’t seem to toss the controls over to my side.” In an emergency, Marc’s SB could take over the controls of his exton and bring him in, even if he was unconscious.

“I’ve got nothing!” Marc was more irritated than scared. This was his second equipment failure in as many months, and their group of union builders had reported three more to the management since the start of the project about two hundred days ago. It was always the same MO: at the end of a shift, the movement controls failed to respond to their operators’ commands, taking the builders out into the desert; and yet, after the rescue when the equipment was checked out, the engineers found nothing wrong with the extons. The first time it happened to Marc, he was even accused of faking the failure to get extra time off for hazardous conditions. As if construction work on Mars wasn’t dangerous in and of itself. Fortunately, Marc’s supervisor made everyone carry extra oxygen and a spare battery pack after the first few incidents. Just in case. Inconvenient for sure, but it was better than being stuck out of breath without a heater among the Martian dunes in minus 125 degrees Celsius.

“Send someone out to get me,” Marc said. “It’s an official request.”

“Are you sure, Marc? You know if they don’t find anything again—”

“I’m telling you, I’ve got nothing. Everything is dead on my side.”

“Yeah, mine too,” Marc’s SB agreed. “I’ll get Greg out there. But he won’t be happy. He just got his exton off and you’ll be cutting into his three days off period.”

“Tell him that I’d go if it was him out here. And tell him to hurry up about it.” The earliest he could expect Greg to arrive would be at least an hour, probably more–it took time get these darn things on.

About the Author:
Olga Werby, Ed.D., has a Doctorate from U.C. Berkeley with a focus on designing online learning experiences. She has a Master's degree from U.C. Berkeley in Education of Math, Science, and Technology. She has been creating computer-based projects since 1981 with organizations such as NASA (where she worked on the Pioneer Venus project), Addison-Wesley, and the Princeton Review. Olga has a B.A. degree in Mathematics and Astrophysics from Columbia University. She became an accidental science fiction indie writer about a decade ago, with her first book, "Suddenly Paris," which was based on then fairly novel idea of virtual universes. Her next story, "The FATOFF Conspiracy," was a horror story about fat, government bureaucracy, and body image. She writes about characters that rarely get represented in science fiction stories -- homeless kids, refugees, handicapped, autistic individuals -- the social underdogs of our world. Her stories are based in real science, which is admittedly stretched to the very limit of possible. She has published almost a dozen fiction books to date and has won many awards for her writings. Her short fiction has been featured in several issues of "Alien Dimensions Magazine," "600 second saga," "Graveyard Girls," "Kyanite Press' Fables and Fairy Tales," "The Carmen Online Theater Group's Chronicles of Terror," with many more stories freely available on her blog.

Blog ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ YouTube ~ LinkedIn

Buy her following books on Amazon:

Becoming Animals
Suddenly, Paris
The FATOFF Conspiracy
Twin Time
Lizard Girl & Ghost: The Chronicles of DaDA Immortals
Coding Peter
Fresh Seed

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for hosting!
Olga Werby said…
Thank you!