"Who Saw the Deep"- ABNA semifinals and review

My sci-fi novel, “Who Saw the Deep,” made it into the semifinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Publishers Weekly reviewed the full manuscript and offered this review:

This novel is well written, original, and clever. Noah Heath has just completed his doctorate in computer science and his father suggests he give himself a break and help a local senior citizen with some handyman chores. Amelia is a woman that Jaime Heath has known since childhood. On Noah’s first day of work, he notices a flash in the sky, a silver needle, but Amelia denies seeing it. Even so, he hears her call her daughter, Leah, saying,”it’s happening again.” When he returns home, his father starts telling him about the family “artifacts,” a few chunks of old metal. Noah starts to question, and more importantly, believe his father and Amelia’s tales of centuries old invasion and the part their forebears played in it. That the power of computers is limited only by our imaginations makes the tale convincing; the lack of little green men and the highly plausible abilities of the villains make it wonderful reading. It’s a pity to classify this book as science fiction; it reads more like the ancient myths, or even fairy tales. The author really knows his characters and uses them beautifully. Perhaps he’s had centuries to develop them.

If you’d like to read an excerpt, go to my novel’s page on Amazon and download it for free by clicking the Buy Now button. If you’d like to leave a review, that’d be awesome.

By the way, all manuscripts are read without the author’s name, so the reference to the author as a “he” is not surprising. Additionally, the competition started with 10,000 manuscripts and have whittled the entries down to 100 for this round. Technically, I’m only competing against the other General Fiction entries, which means they started with 5000 and it’s now down to 50.

What’s next? May 22: Six finalists announced (picked by Penguin). Amazon customers vote to pick the winners.

I seriously doubt I’ll make it into the finals, but I’m delighted that someone at Penguin will be reading my manuscript.

Disclaimer: Publishers Weekly is an independent organization and the review was written based on a manuscript version of the book and not a published version.

"Who Saw the Deep" and ABNA (and a link to the excerpt)

A few years ago I wrote a novel. I revised it a few times and then I put it aside. This year I dug it up and submitted it to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award as a sci-fi novel under the general fiction category. To my surprise, it’s made it to the quarterfinals. That’s about halfway through the contest.

There are several more rounds to go: semifinals (April 24)-100 novels picked by Publisher’s Weekly, finals (May 22)-6 novels picked by Penguin editors, voting round-these 6 novels are voted on by Amazon customers to pick 2 winners, one in general fiction and one in young adult.

I have no illusions. I’ve been writing for a long time now and I have enough rejection letters to paper my walls, build a castle, or possibly burn as a giant effigy, etc. etc. Even so, it’s been great to get this far.

My novel is called “Who Saw the Deep” after a quote from the epic of Gilgamesh (depending on your translation). Here’s the epigraph that appears at the beginning of the novel:

The one who saw the deep I will declare to the world,
The one who knew all I will tell about
. . .
He saw the great Mystery, discovered the Hidden,
he recovered the knowledge of all the times before the Flood.
He journeyed beyond the distant, he journeyed beyond exhaustion,
And then carved his story on stone.

—first six lines from the epic of Gilgamesh

“Who Saw the Deep” is a science fiction novel that explores choice: life over death, trust versus skepticism, determination despite betrayal. What will Noah do when confronted with the impossible? When everything he thought he knew about the world and humanity is wrong? Noah looks into the deepest secrets of the human race and realizes the survival of the species is more dependent on love and stubbornness than he could have imagined. That civilization endures because of anonymous acts executed by ordinary individuals. Individuals like him.

If you’d like to read an excerpt (the first 5000 words of my book) go to Amazon and download it. It’s free! You can leave a review if you’d like. Here is the link to it on Amazon: Who Saw the Deep.

To download it: Click on the Buy Now button. Since it’s free, you won’t be charged. You can read it on your Kindle, your smartphone or iPad if it has the Kindle app, or you can read it on your computer with Amazon’s Kindle reader software (also a free download).

FYI: Amazon had a lot of trouble with the formatting of the excerpts. The quotations marks and apostrophes are fixed now, but my tabs and carriage returns are still somewhat randomly missing. However, the text is readable. If you read the excerpt, please keep in mind that I actually know how to use paragraph markers and carriage returns. If you’d like a clean copy of the excerpt, let me know via comments here, email, or FB and I’ll send you one.