Update: The ImmerseOrDie bundle is now live!
The 15th of April is a day of woe and suffering here in the United States. That's our deadline for filing Federal Income Taxes, you see, and that's when a lot of us watch sadly as we stuff envelopes full of money and watch that money fly away, never to return. It's a time of change: specifically, a time when change is really all we have left, jingling uselessly in our pockets.
On April 15, StoryBundle will launch a new collection of eight indie Fantasy and Science Fiction titles. It's the ImmerseOrDie StoryBundle, eight books (including mine) that passed the ImmerseOrDie Report.
What's ImmerseOrDie, you ask? Well, I've written about it before. In short: every morning, Jefferson Smith gets on his treadmill, opens up an indie ebook, and starts exercising. If the book holds his attention for 40 minutes, it becomes a “survivor" and he writes about what it was about the book that kept him going. Any book that that doesn't make it to 40 minutes… well, he tells you how long it lasted, and writes about what made him give up.
So every book in this bundle survived the 40-minute gauntlet. But, as Jefferson Smith explains, there's more:
But this upcoming StoryBundle is not just a random grab-bag of some books that managed to squeak past my 40:00-minute guard dogs. The survivors were all run through a second gauntlet and these eight champions are the ones that came out of that round unscathed as well. See, unbeknownst to any of the authors, every title that joined the IOD Survivor’s club was then entered into a secret Round Two. To survive that round, they had to do more than simply avoid WTF triggers. They had to grab my attention and hold it, and then deliver a complete and satisfying story. Not just clean, but entertaining. And not just for 40 minutes, but for the entire book.
. . .
So that’s exactly what these eight books have done, and I’ll stack this list up against any collection, anywhere—indie or otherwise.
So there you go. On April 15, the Eight Of Us Who Lived will be available on the StoryBundle site, and you can pay what you want for the lot of us.
“But who are these noble survivors," you ask? “And what are the books?" Well, let's take a look:
Century of Sand, by Christopher Ruz (Fantasy)
An old warrior rescues a young girl from the clutches of an evil wizard and then flees with her into exile. It’s a desperate bid to find something—anything—that can put the world right again, and hopefully, undo whatever darkness has been done to the girl. His daughter. (Read the full IOD Report.)
In a world where government-manufactured super-heroes have replaced war and terrorism as the world’s greatest threats – and it’s only source of salvation – there’s only one thing that sucks worse than having no powers at all. And that’s being the powerless son of the greatest hero of them all, and a prisoner inside the family fortress of solitude. For his own protection, you understand. Well, Spencer Harrington, son of the Crimson Mask, has had enough. He’s tired of playing by dad’s rules, and this time, he’s going to do things his way. (Read the full IOD Report.)
A scientist’s life is thrown into chaos when a grad student’s suicide turns out to be more than it seemed, and ends up triggering a singularity breakthrough in AI computing. What follows is a tour-de-force adventure in politics, technology, and human achievement, with some epic smack-down battles to top it all off. (Read the full IOD Report.)
To Paul Reid, life as a homeless teen seems pretty bleak. But it turns out that was nothing compared to being dead. After an untimely accident takes him out of the world, Paul finds himself locked in a battle between the forces of light and dark – a battle that dark appears to be winning. And light seems too apathetic to care. (Read the full IOD Report.)
In a dual reality, where people live free on one side, but are enslaved by aliens on the other, a young woman and her crew of renegades have formed a resistance of sorts. Armed with the bits of tech they can either steal or reverse-engineer, these few hope to change the world – both worlds – for the better. Or die trying. (Read the full IOD Report.)
In a decaying world where even your pet ferret has a live-to-net video feed, some problems require a guy who couldn’t leave a bit-trace if he tried. In that case, you go to Lomax. Ex-military, tough as nails… And strictly analog. (Read the full IOD Report.)
Charlie is a young man who’s been entirely forgettable for as long as he can remember, but on his 16th birthday he suddenly learns the reason why: he and his family are unstuck in time. But before he learns what that means, his father disappears. In a desperate bid to find him and finally get some answers, Charlie follows a strange man into a dark alley. And emerges into 18th century London. (Read the full IOD Report.)
And, last but (hopefully) not least, Pay Me, Bug!
The New Cover
Here's the thing about mine, though. When I was invited into the StoryBundle, I was asked to provide a new book cover. I've posted about feeling some ambiguity over the name and cover before and this pushed me to try something else.
So basically, this StoryBundle announcement is also a new cover reveal. Without further ado, I give you: