Thank You

Commune Book 2 was released on Audible three days ago.  It’s already climbed to the #2 best seller slot for the Post Apocalypse genre and jumped to 77 on their Science Fiction top 100 best seller list.

You readers out there who are making this happen: you can’t imagine my gratitude.  Just thank you.

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Commune 2 Audio Book Update

Well, Persevering Reader, I was on the phone with ACX this morning to see why the book still has not gone live on Audible.  Their response was thus:

  1. The book should be going live any minute.  Expect to see it either today or tomorrow (Wednesday).  However…
  2. If you don’t see it by Friday, give us another call and we’ll cut a ticket to our QA department to investigate why the book (which has passed the QA process a good two weeks ago) has not been released.

I’m sorry guys.  I wish I had better for you.  The release of this audio book has been more like the extraction of a 30 pound blackhead from an elephant’s ass more than anything else.  Keep your fingers crossed for “by tomorrow” and I’ll keep haranguing them as much as I can.

Commune Book Two Audio Book Update

I’ve been in frequent contact with ACX to follow up on status and how it’s all going back there; was in fact on the phone with them this morning.

According to their process, they have until April 2nd (this Monday) to complete their 10 to 14 day business process (the time it takes them to QA review and post the book for sale).

So, according to ACX and Audible, the book should be available for download no later than Monday of next week.  If we don’t see it by then, I’ll be on the phone again to see what I can do.

In the meantime, please enjoy this video to hold you over.

Happy Trails, Mr. Hawking

I was curious about how things work from a very early age.  Much to the displeasure of my poor parents, I was often taking things apart to see what made them tick, sometimes putting those things back together…and sometimes not.  Sometimes those widgets and doo-dads had parts, man.  Do you have any idea how many different things you can do with a DC motor?  I’m not bloody likely to put that back where I found it!

It didn’t mater what a thing was – I wanted to understand it.  It’s just water?  Well, why does it behave the way it does?  Why is it different from a rock?  Why do we need it?  Most of the stuff I wanted to understand, I could figure out the answer to, either by breaking it in some spectacular way, by asking my dad about it, or by reading about it.  The only thing that really ever defeated me (the only thing I cared about at that age, anyway – I would discover girls later) was the universe.  Such as: how big is it?  What shape does it assume?  What’s on the other side?  I couldn’t find those questions anywhere (this was well before the internet, mind you, back when you had to walk to this ancient place of learning called a library (lie-brair-ry) to read these things called books (buks) – they’re like the internet but with no scroll bar or cat videos).

So, not being able to answer these questions kind of pissed me off.  And then, almost as though my prayer had been answered, A Brief History of Time was published and my dear old mom went out and got me a copy.  I was either ten or eleven at the time.  I won’t pretend that I understood all of it but an awful lot of what Hawking wrote seemed to make some good sense to me; and besides, it was a bit of an epiphany to me that there probably weren’t that many real problems we couldn’t solve without a little bit of thought, persistence, and ingenuity.  Believe me, when you’re eleven and ask the question, “How big is the universe?” and there’s a person out there who can say with authority, “We’re pretty sure it’s this big, and here’s all of the data and math to prove it,” well…that’s a hell of a thing isn’t it?

Stephen Hawking was one of my earliest heroes (outside of the ones who raised me, of course) and I’ve spent a few days processing his exit from the world.  Sometimes I turn a great big circle and look at all of the stupid out there (and there is so very much of it, isn’t there?) and I can’t help but wonder if his greatness was wasted on this place.  But this is an incredibly selfish way to view a man’s life.  He didn’t know the vast majority of the people who knew of him and, despite any general leanings of altruism, the loss of a few of us wouldn’t have impacted him terribly much.

Viewing his loss as a loss to the world is selfish, though we can’t help but do so; his loss being as tremendous as it was.  But from his point of view, I’m sure the man wanted to live his life the best way he could and attempt to solve a few puzzlers while he was here.  I do not believe he sought prestige, fame, or acceptance.  I think only that he wanted to understand and then share those things he understood with the rest of us assholes.

He was diagnosed with ALS in his twenties and his doctors gave him a two-year life expectancy.  He married, had children, and later became a grandfather.  He lived to be seventy six years old and discovered the way to a full, productive, and beautiful life despite tremendous challenges and setbacks.

I am not sorry.

Commune 4: Inspirations, 5

No, I won’t tell you what happens in 4.  The place that I take myself when I’m writing it, however, will probably give you some insight into the flavor of the world.

I’d sell your heart to the junkman
Baby, for a buck, for a buck
If you’re looking for someone to pull you uut of that ditch
You’re out of luck, you’re out of luck
Ship is sinking
The ship is sinking
The ship is sinking
There’s leak, there’s a leak, in the boiler room
The poor, the lame, the blind
Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
Killers, thieves, and lawyers
God’s away, God’s away
God’s away on business
Business
God’s away, God’s away
God’s away on business
Business
Digging up the dead with a shovel and a pick
It’s a job, it’s a job
Bloody moon rising with a plague and a flood
Join the mob, join the mob
It’s all over, it’s all over, it’s all over
And there’s a leak, there’s a leak, in the boiler room
The poor, the lame, the blind
Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
Killers, thieves, and lawyers
God’s away, God’s away, God’s away
On Business
Business
God’s away, God’s away
On Business
Business, ha
Goddamn there’s always such a big temptation
To be good, to be good
There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby
It’s a deal, it’s a deal
God’s away, God’s away, God’s away
On business
Business
God’s away, God’s away, God’s away
On business
Business
I narrow my eyes like a coin slot baby
Let her ring, let her ring
God’s away, God’s away
God’s away on business
God’s away, God’s away
God’s away on business, business

Commune: Book Two Audio Production Wrapped on 3/12!

Commune Book Two Audio

Production wrapped today!  All that remains now is to submit the completed package to Audible and let them run through their own QC process (hopefully today).  I can’t say when it will finally be available for download because the time for them to complete their process is variable, but trust me: I’ll sound the alarm as soon as you can go grab it!

– Josh

What a great way to celebrate the release of my third book! Thank you, Dusty!

http://www.dustysharp.com/book-review-commune-3-by-joshua-gayou/

As this is the third book in Joshua Gayou’s Commune Series, I thought I’d take a look back at my reviews of the first two installments. Of the first book I said it was an “excellent first book by a new author.” By the second book, I had dropped the “by a new author” caveat and said that it was simply remarkable. And now, with Commune Book 3, I can faithfully say it is extraordinary. And I’ll add that I believe it is on par with some of the best writers I’ve read, and easily surpasses just about anything else I’ve ever read in the post-apacolyptic genre.

That was a long-winded way of saying C3 is the best one so far. In this one, Mr. Gayou shakes things up a bit with a shift in perspective, switching to third-person narrative versus the multiple-POV first person format of the first two books. It’s immediately evident why he has done so. The story world has expanded, to include narrative threads from people and groups beyond the titular commune. But the change in format also gives Gayou the opportunity to fully stretch his wings as a storyteller. And the result is…well, as I said, nothing short of extraordinary. In addition to the commune members we already know, we’re introduced to a host of new characters (and wow, what characters they are!). With the third-person perspective, the author is no longer stuck inside the head of the POV character. This allows him to paint a picture of every scene that is crisp, vivid, and memorable. And the characters are brought to life in technicolor. Now we, the reader, get to see their own narrow perspectives (or their unreliable memories of events, as the previous books were fashioned as re-tellings by each character), and see every side of each conversation, including a drone’s-eye-view of the POV character, his/her behavior, mannerisms and appearance. And Gayou seems to have an inexhaustible supply of character material to draw on, as the depth and detail of these varied personalities is astonishing. And my god are these characters entertaining! From heart-wrenching moments that leave you on the brink of tears, to hilariously disgusting antics that will leave your sides splitting. These are some of the most memorable characters I’ve read.

One gets the sense that Mr. Gayou isn’t simply showing off. He has a rare talent in sketching these people, but there seems to be a profound reason for this, which we can feel ratcheting up tighter and tigher as the story progresses. Everything is coming to a head at some point. And Mr. Gayou is setting us all up for a fall. He’s doing a masterful job of investing us in these people (both the good guys and bad, I might add), so that the stakes are ever higher when the proverbial feces finally hits the fan.

I won’t spoil any of the plot for you (surely you’ve already read C1 and C2 if you’re considering reading Commune 3). I’ll just say that C3 is a riveting continuation of the story line, expands the cast and , stress-tests a few of the characters (both old and new), and gives more background on some of the more mysterious cast members.

Commune 3 is extraordinary. If I could give it 6 stars, I would.