Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pump Up Your Book: "Mechanation" by J.E. Dugas Book Tour

About the author:

J.E. Dugas is the author of the multi-period action/adventure/science fiction series Rose Petals and Gun Powder (Rose Petals and Gun Powder, including , RPGP: Shadows of Life, RPGP: Lost Cove, RPGP: Wanderlust, and RPGP: Paradoxical, a Double Feature), as well as the new title MechaNation, a NanoPunk Thriller. J.E. is currently at work on its sequel, MechaNation: Rebirth. Prior to writing full time, J.E. spent over a decade in the private security and law enforcement fields.
Visit him at


Shortly after the conclusion of the War of 2018, the mechanical evolution of humankind made a dramatic leap forward.

With the Human Guerilla Faction no longer a threat, a biotech company, Lazarus Nanotech Corporation, went from competing to stay in the top ten, to top contender after introducing their revolutionary NanoInjections system.

NI’s were designed to wipe the slate of traditional internal surgery, and go far beyond it. NI’s—composed of targeted nanomachines—could be preprogrammed and injected into the client to vastly transform the client’s body in any chosen manner. Weight loss, facial reconstruction, breast and genital enhancement, intelligence boosters, social elitist; whatever the client desired.

Soon, NI’s became a major vanity movement, and Lazarus Nanotech became the most valuable company in the world.
This success, of course, spawned an entirely new criminal underworld: the Nano Black Market.

Fiction, Fantasy and Realism in Writing (Guest Post from the Author)
            Every good writer was a reader first. As one transitions from the front view of the page to working behind the scenes, any writer will quickly realize that one of the most time-consuming efforts of writing, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, is doing homework on the intended subject. Getting your point across is important too, but if your facts are just made up as you go along, well, there’s a place for that, and unfortunately, most of those places are filled by our politicians.
            For the bulk of this meandering post, I’m going to be referring primarily to fiction, and more specifically, Science and Speculative Fiction, just because that is my preferred form, and because that is primarily what fictional books were generally intended for: entertainment! (Ron Hubbard, you are dismissed.)
            From the writer’s chair, there will come the occasion where I get a great idea that is bordering on feasibility, but to keep it within the realm of logic, there needs to be some grounding facts to keep my intended audience from wandering off to the fantasy section; a place where ogres and trolls devour people who think logically and care none at all whether a clip or a magazine is the correct nomenclature (more on that later, but first, a gripe!)
                One of my chief complaints when it comes to defining work into one of the less broad fiction genres is giving that work a classification. (Using my own titles, I chunk them into Action/Adventure/Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction, and mostly in that order; this comes into play in just a moment).
            On occasion, someone will ask “Why don’t you group this as Fantasy?”
            Without being overly rude, I try to quell my furrowing brow and reply, “Because this stuff is feasible! I might not be able to create it beyond an ingenious description in a novel, but somebody could make it real.”
            And that, folks, is where my definition of Science Fiction and Fantasy part ways—where the realism of logic is relevant and not. Why they are often grouped together is yet a question that stymies my writing soul.
            In my personal definition, well-crafted and believable Science Fiction (or any fiction for that matter) could actually happen, regardless of however far-fetched the initial thinking might be. Allow me to detail with some abbreviated current mediums that, with enough research and dozens of large burlap bags filled with cash, could be made real (or already exist, way, way off the map): the fantastic (and by the time you read this, sadly discontinued) television show Fringe, movies such as The Thirteenth Floor and Blade Runner, and any number of the personal favorite Metal Gear franchise of video games. Certainly I could go on all day, but these are foremost in my mind to help you understand where I’m going with this.
            Which is: They are all phenomenal examples where the base writing mixes liberal amounts of speculative fiction with well-researched fact, and as a nice by-product, the reader or audience can completely sink into the respective universe without dispelling any of their logic. (Something I also work diligently to achieve, ahem!)
            In short order, that is why I find the ‘Fantasy’ tag so abrasive.
            Notwithstanding some of the more unusual of human specimens you might find trolling through your local Wal-Mart, your chances of coming across a giant, axe-wielding ogre, or a fire breathing dragon are remote enough to be called Nil. And I would think that the greater majority of the reading public would agree.
            While I’m sure some of this thinking has already alienated the Fantasy fans among you out in the world, bear with me, as the rest of this logic-bound critique applies to you, too.
            As our current world stands today, we as both readers and writers must begrudgingly accept that there is a massive body of work already in existence that has formed ‘road blocks’ in people’s minds as to what has been defined as feasible and what is not. (This is the commonly known under the moniker of ‘opinions’.) I’ve quickly found that there’s not much to getting around what the potential reader has been exposed to prior to picking up any prospective book (mine included), but that isn’t to say, to borrow a phrase, that an old dog can’t learn new tricks.
            The beauty of this discouraging fact is that there also exists a wide net of wiggle room for interpretation. And that is where the crucial elements of research and realism fit into this debacle.
            If a far-fetched idea is to succeed, my view is to try not to reinvent the wheel right off the bat, but rather, add new features. Build upon what has already been submitted to the world at large and tweak to my heart’s content. Then, after successful tweaking, reveal the masterpiece gradually so a reader has something to build its credibility upon. This is how new ideas are realized and accepted into the saturated world of logic and reasoning, for those of us still bound to such thinking. (Guilty as charged!)
            Additionally, with the power of the Internet at our fingertips, we as readers and writers are both blessed by the accessibility of this wonderful tool for research and learning, but also cursed to finding out that our idea(s) have already been thought of and released into the wild. Chances are that this prospective moment of brilliance was also realized long before the Internet was even conceived, and quite possibly, by a fiction-centric person well before my father’s father was born.
            While feeling defeated, that doesn’t mean I feel bound to the task of thinking up of a new, never-conceived-of idea every time I sit behind the keyboard, because try as I may, that’s really, really tough. Much like a patent, any idea can be reinvented and further polished.
            This doesn’t, however, give me free reign to steal ideas, as that’s also my job as Chief Entertainer to offer something new that hasn’t been rehashed fifty times before; that’s Hollywood’s job, and frankly, they’re pretty damn good at it.
            By now you’ve noticed that I’m getting a bit preachy for my own good, so I’m going to cap this off with a direct caveat for you on realism in fiction. There are people out in the world that will inevitably know any given subject on a professional basis, so I make it a point to be extra attentive to the thought that they will catch research mistakes.
            I’ll use myself as a reverse example. One of my biggest pet peeves in popular media is the misuse of ‘clip’ for ‘magazine’ (I told you it would come back!). A clip, no matter how well described, will not function in a modern firearm. I have no idea who started this, (non-researching Hollywood writer, perhaps?) but the proper term is Magazine. (Clips were used in older rifles, however. The M1 Garand has an en bloc clip, for instance.) While on that subject, the word ‘bullet’ does not refer to the entire assembly of a bullet, powder, primer and brass case. That is a cartridge. Better known in military-speak as a round. Also, dead bodies will not retain their lively color after lying, hanging, being drowned, being stuffed into ___, or any other ridiculous nonsense I’ve come across in popular fiction. Ever. That color is blood, which after the heart ceases to beat, will pool in the area most affected by gravity. What will remain is yellow skin which slowly turns grey as time and decay continues their unyielding march.        
            Don’t believe me? Research it! Though you could just believe me and your time before bed will thank me. I’m one of those fascist detail nuts who felt that, in my youth, learning through job experience would lead to a more credible story-telling prowess. The unhinging of this theory came after working as a psychiatric technician in a state-run mental facility, in what ultimately led to two chapters in a novel. Or the ten plus years in private security followed by a four year stint at a police department.
            And now I write action-oriented, feasibly far-fetched Fiction.
            As they say, live and learn…

   Please follow the entire tour here.


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