Monday, February 17, 2014

BLITZ: "Leviticus" - by Daniel Seltzer (Fire & Ice Book Tours)

1) There's a whole bunch in this post...all the typical stuff, but keep reading to see an engaging excerpt and frankly, one of the best guest posts I've seen in a very, very long time (thank you, Daniel!)
2)  Keep an eye out....I'm reviewing this book soon!

Science has created a world where anything is possible and everything is affordable.

A world where illness and disease have been eradicated.

What if you could be young forever?

What if you didn't want to?

Levi Clayton Furstman's decision not to be inoculated with technology designed to bestow youth and immortality leads him on a journey that forces him to reexamine his relationships, his purpose in life, and, ultimately, what it means to be human.

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/29/14 – 2/26/14
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Futuristic, Nanotechnology


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel Seltzer
Daniel Seltzer holds a J.D. degree and a BA in English. He also holds an MA in Bioethics and previously worked at a major university researching the ethical, legal and social implications (“ELSI”) of nanotechnology. It was while working there that the idea for this story first took shape.


“The technology for TIN has been around for decades actually,” said the young man assisting Clay. The lanyard hanging around the youth’s neck displayed the words Rudy and Genius.
It had been almost eight months since his family had purchased him an iMeme as a birthday gift and they had finally worn him down and elicited a promise to have the TIN nanochip fitted today. Rudy was explaining how the process worked and it seemed to Clay the young man knew what he was talking about. Most of the Genius Bar staff did.
“It uses the same technology the physically impaired use to transmit brain signals to a computer to perform specific functions. Your iMeme sits here on your Spot, or wherever you choose to keep it, and as long as it’s within a three-foot radius, it can transmit information to, or receive information from, the TIN, which is really just a cochlear nanochip placed in your inner ear. With two-way communication and the iMeme’s built-in nanocamera, the iMeme can perform any number of important functions.”
Clay was still nervous. “So you’re going to stick something in my inner ear? Right here?” he asked, looking around. “No doctor? No specialist?”
“Trust me sir, I’m an Apple trained audiologist. I’ve done thousands of these. I simply place this device in your ear and the TIN nanochip will be inserted into your cochlea. Takes just a few moments.” Rudy put a smile on his face to try to reassure Clay.
“That’s the problem, Rudy. I’m not too hip on you puncturing my eardrum with that thing. I mean, don’t doctors say that only thing you should put in your ear is your elbow?”
“Sir,” Rudy responded. “The PSD will barely enter your outer ear.”
“PSD? What’s a PSD?” Clay asked.
Rudy was clearly working to retain his patience. “Sir, the PSD is the Placement and Syncing Device,” he said, showing Clay the object in his hand. It looked to Clay like an ear thermometer with a small cable hanging off its lower end. Rudy pointed to the small tip protruding from the top of the PSD and continued. “A nano-needle extends from here into your inner ear and to the cochlea. The needle itself is thinner than the proboscis of a mosquito. Not only will you feel absolutely nothing, the procedure is so safe that even if the TIN were misplaced, there would be no harm done to you.” He saw the look of doubt on Clay’s face and added, “The TIN won’t be misplaced. I promise.”
Rudy put the PSD to Clay’s ear, pressed a button. Clay closed his eyes, expecting the worst. He felt absolutely nothing. A hopeful thought that the PSD was broken crossed his mind. He opened his eyes and turned to Rudy.
“Listen, if there’s a problem, I can always come back.”
“I’m sorry Sir. What was that you said?” Rudy asked, involved in hooking up Clay’s tiny iMeme to the cable dangling off the lower end of the PSD.
“I said,” Clay started and then jumped slightly when he heard a gentle whisper in his ear.
iMeme now activated: November 13, 2021. 5:43 p.m.
Clay spun around to see who had spoken to him, but quickly realized it was no one, simply his iMeme communicating to him. Clay flushed slightly with embarrassment as he noticed Rudy grinning. Clay wondered whether everyone reacted as surprised or whether Clay was the random oddball. The idea of being looked upon as some sort of fool annoyed him. “What if I want to take the chip out?” Clay asked.
A puzzled look crossed Rudy’s face. “Take it out?”

Author Daniel Seltzer is giving away 20 print copies of Leviticus and a $50 Amazon gift card! Enter through Goodreads and Rafflecopter! USA residents only, please.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

GUEST POST: Lost: A dystopia of not knowing where we are (by Daniel Seltzer)
"I want to begin by thanking you, Elnora, for allowing me to post on your blog and tell you that I love the name Only God Writes Trees – spectacular!

Since I’m not bound by topics here, and after reviewing your blog, I thought it might be interesting to discuss the spirituality of my writing and writing in general. I bill Leviticus as a futuristic, dystopian novel (and it is). But I’ve also attached the term “spirituality” to it as well. And it is a theme that will continue throughout the remaining two books of the trilogy.

I had been exposed to religious teachings while growing up as a Reform (and occasionally Conservative) Jew– and while organized, it was not always regular and certainly not paramount to my upbringing. I do not mean to infer that God was not important in my family’s life. I simply mean to convey that God was not the center of our lives. Rather, we were impressed upon with a sense that each of us must answer to Someone (and that is Someone with a capital S); that we are not without some accountability for our actions.

Now that I am grown, I still look at God as that outside voice that reminds me that life is larger than our collective selves; that our actions reach beyond their immediate recipients. That is not to say that my actions are taken in order to achieve some type of glorified existence after this one is over. Not at all. Rather, I believe in the Miltonian notion that Heaven and Hell lie between the ears – that our actions are important because they affect the here and now (notwithstanding, and exclusive of, some post-life reward or punishment) and that religious teachings speak of larger issues, of refined mores that have come to be acceptable methods of living. A sort of guidepost in living a good life (and not of regret or misery) in the here and present. Religious writings have become highly ingrained in our society – they are memes that resonate throughout mankind.

While taking a course in college entitled The Bible as Literature, or some such similar phrase, it became clear that much of what is attributed to our particular gods (Jewish, Christian, Pagan, etc) is actually universal among many religious teachings. I was struck by one such commonality while taking a Children’s Literature course in which I was introduced to the Norse myth Odin Goes to Mimir’s Well. For those unfamiliar, Odin (the Chief God in Norse Mythology) took the form of man and walked on earth in order to seek wisdom to save the world. Without the knowledge, the earth would be trapped between, and would eventually succumb to, the forces of darkness and death/nothingness. With the knowledge, the Gods and mankind would leave a force which would, in a time far in the future, conquer evil. But such knowledge was not free, and Odin, after learning the price, thought long and hard before he determined to continue his quest. And so Odin, in order to save mankind and destroy evil, drank from Mimir’s Well of Wisdom and, after gaining the knowledge he sought, put his hand to his face and plucked out his right eye. A very powerful myth: the story of a god, in the form of man, who makes an ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of mankind. Sound familiar?

It struck me that these stories of religion go deeper than simply teaching one belief over another, but teach truths that are universal to mankind. These stories, by their very nature, resonate with all of us. While listening to NPR sometime last year, a rabbi (and I apologize for forgetting his name) points out that the very first question in the bible is God asking Adam, “Where are you?” This is an important and the fundamental question – not “Who am I?” which can be answered without reference to anyone other place or being, but “Where am I?” which requires that you place yourself within a context. I think that may authors seek to answer this question. And the trilogy When We Were Gods of which Leviticus is the first book, attempts to do so as well.

Levi Clayton Furstman (Clay), the protagonist of my novel, is forced to answer this question of where he is. Society has changed overnight and he has suddenly lost his place, which he was, perhaps, never fully comfortable with in the first place. But there is a big difference between being uncomfortable with an answer and having no answer whatsoever. And so we take this journey with Clay as he tries to figure out where he has come from, where he is, and where he (and mankind itself) has a place in the futuristic world that has suddenly come to be. As such, this is, perhaps, a spiritually dystopian novel – one in which a seemingly perfect world is questioned by a spiritual homelessness, a world in which mankind has forgotten his place in the universe.

Leviticus takes some twists and turns getting to this point, and passes through some very dark episodes on the way – including the first chapter which begins with a flashback to Abu Ghraib (which one reader who enjoyed the book immensely told me she simply skipped) and, later, an old Russian’s recounting of a lesson learned while serving in the Red Army in the early months of 1945. But the book delves deep into the spirituality of mankind and seeks to help us all on our quest to discover where we are."


    Goodreads Book Giveaway  

        Leviticus by Daniel Seltzer    



          by Daniel Seltzer      

            Giveaway ends February 26, 2014.          
            See the giveaway details             at Goodreads.          
      Enter to win

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