Monday, July 12, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - The Clockmaker's Tale: and other stories by Ian Williams

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Clockmaker's Tale...and other stories by Ian Williams. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as an interesting guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Clockmaker's Tale: and other stories
Author: Ian Williams
Publication Date: June 20th 2021
Print Length: 145 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
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In The Clockmaker’s Tale: and other stories, Ian Williams takes us to the near future and beyond. From a moon base where androids conduct experiments on human test subjects, to futuristic tours of the ocean depths that hide a terrible secret; from a society governed by harsh rule of law that is enforced by AI, to a humble clockmaker tempted by the promise of increased productivity through technological augmentation.

Covering issues such as environmental decay, the end of facts and proven truths, our growing waste problem, and humanity’s tendency to divide when we should come together, this collection of six science fiction stories relates as much to our time as it does to the many possible futures.

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EXCERPT:
We lost the Earth today. Well, not physically lost it. It’s still there. In fact, I’m looking at it right now, as I write this report. No, I just mean that we’ve lost contact with it. Earth ‘went dark’ (as Test Subject #47 put it), never to see the light again. What light? You may ask. The light of a stable civilisation is the best answer I can currently offer you.

As I sit here staring at that blue marble in space, I swear I can hear the last of the bombs dropping, smell the stench of decay stretching across every continent, feel the last vibrations of warring nations. You may think I’m being overly dramatic, and you’d be mostly correct. The past ten years have been hard to bear, watching as the people who created me descended further into chaos. They gave me life, now I fight to save theirs.

Even though all communications have ceased, I will continue my work in silence. But don’t fear, dear future reader, I am not alone out here. There is another here just like me. We share this moon-based facility equally as we do our work. His name is Arthur (originally designated R4).

“Today sees you fully functional, Rachel?” Arthur greeted me with this morning. He’s trying something new today, something a little more personal than my model number; I was originally designated R8CH-L.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ian Williams is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. He lives in a small town not far from London. Ian had a short career in the UK Court Service but was forced to quit that job when his medical condition worsened. Now, from the comfort of his wheelchair, he writes the stories he has always wanted to read. His writing spans lightyears of space, to near-future Earths; from small changes to society, to entirely new civilisations.

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AUTHOR'S YOUTUBE VIDEO:
Watch below or click here.
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GUEST POST:
- Do you think we are headed for a bleak future or a more promising future? Why?

The short answer is both. There are many ways in which, if not dealt with in time, problems we currently face as a society could lead to our demise. If we cannot put the brakes on the current warming of our planet then the future will be bleak indeed. Why so pessimistic? Because despite our efforts thus far we are still on track for a potential 3.1°C warming of the planet. That is higher than experts want and will lead to yet unpredicted effects. Global Warming is our greatest ever test, and so far, we have achieved a C-.

But equally, humanity has achieved incredible things in the past (once we’d put our minds to it). The moon landings, for one, demonstrated our capacity for brilliance. With much less technology than we have today, these intrepid explorers set forth into space and landed human feet on another world. That is no small feat, as we have found recently. We’re only now aiming for more trips to the moon thanks to private enterprise. In this respect, our future is very promising.

If we can put humans on the moon, surely, we can reverse Global Warming? Absolutely. If we can work together as one mind, with one goal. That is not to say that we aren’t trying already. There are efforts to create an entire hydrogen power industry to replace fossil fuel usage. We could halt the planet’s warming overnight with such innovations. It can be done, but only if every nation makes the switch to renewable energy before it is too late.

And there lies a major difficulty. To tackle Climate Change successfully we need a global consensus. All disputes must be overcome, even temporarily, while we deal with this crisis. I’m not so sure this can be achieved. Hell, I’m not so sure we could get everyone on this planet to agree there is even a problem.

This leads me to another concern. Technology is not just a great mover of societies, it is also an unstoppable force, and for every new piece of gadgetry that appears before us, there are ways in which it can unbalance the status quo. Did we foresee the upheaval social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter could have on a country’s elections? I certainly didn’t. And yet here we are, with an ongoing power struggle between tech companies and governments. If the fight lasts too long, none of us wins in the end.

One of the most insidious of problems with social media sights is fake/false news. The truth has become a moveable thing, something we can change if we don’t agree. With the emergence of social media came anonymous outliers. These voices exist away from reality, in their bubble of misinformation and lies. How do you contain conspiracy theories when so many people find themselves drawn towards them? Much cleverer people than me will have to solve that conundrum. But ask yourself this: If the truth is no longer the truth, then what is?

Take the past year for example. You would expect during a pandemic everyone would be perfectly willing to vaccinate against COVID-19. But the anonymous outliers have spread their falsehoods far and wide, using their platforms to turn others away from the solution. To these individuals, Bill Gates is always lurking somewhere in the background, like some Silicon Valley Bogeyman, eager to take away their rights and freedoms.

Again, however, there is a brighter side, a silver lining if you will. For every anti-vaxxer, there are many more willing to do what is needed to get us through this pandemic. And for every Climate Change denier or moon landing hoaxer, there is a wave of others that see the problem of the former and appreciate the immense achievement that is the latter.

In some distant future, I see humanity looking back on our time with a mixture of emotions. Books will be written that describe how we faired against Climate Change (because we will survive it, regardless of the cost). These will tell the story through graphs and tables, but will they tell of the cost to each person that suffered through it? Will they explain how much we could have done but didn’t? Will they call us the polluters or the saviours?

Only we can change what is to be written about us, by doing our best to protect this fragile world. And if we won’t or can’t do that, then our future will be bleak. That is the overarching theme of the Clockmaker’s Tale: and other stories. Our future could be a dark one if we continue to ignore our problems, or worse, convince ourselves that they never existed in the first place. They are a warning to deal with, today, what you cannot put off until tomorrow.
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GIVEAWAY:
Ian Williams will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

98 comments:

  1. Hi! Ian here. Just wanted to say a big thank you to All the Ups and Downs for hosting. I’ll be around all day to answer any questions visitors may have.

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  2. I really like a good book of short stories and this one looks very interesting. Best of luck with the tour and thank you. This book on my TBR list!

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  3. How long was the writing process?

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    1. Hi Deborah and thank you for a great question! It was a six month period of writing to complete this collection. I had fixed ideas of the messages I wanted to convey in each story, which meant meticulous planning beforehand. But, as with many writing projects, once I'd written the first word, it soon took off! Those six months gave me enough time to really consider what it was I felt the need to say.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your guest post and book details and for offering a giveaway, I like the book cover and the synopsis and excerpt have intrigued me.

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    1. That's great to hear. Thanks Bea! BTW I think you'll like a particular character in the Post-Truth Tours short story in this collection. Her name is also Bea :)

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    2. That's awesome! I love to read stories that feature characters that share my name.

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  5. Sounds like an exciting story.

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  6. Great cover. I love sci fi reads. I enjoyed reading the excerpt.

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  7. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  8. This sounds like a great book tour, cheers.

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  9. This sounds like a very good book.

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  10. What a timely book. Good work.

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  11. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  12. Sounds like a great book what inspired you to write this ?

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    1. Thanks for a great question Danielle! I've always been interested in, and concerned by, the subject of Climate Change. After watching target after target go unmet over the past decade I became frustrated with the subject. I wrote these stories as a way of addressing that frustration and putting it to good use. Each story is concerned with an issue that we currently face as a society, ones that will affect the next generations if we ignore them. The issues range from fake news, to plastic waste, to technology replacing workers.

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  13. this sounds like a very interesting book

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  14. this sounds amazing, keep up the great work and thank you for a chance to win :)

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  15. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading the book.

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  16. Great excerpt and giveaway. :)

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  17. This book sounds like a unique and interesting read.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  18. David HollingsworthJuly 12, 2021 at 4:42 PM

    The story and cover are great.

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  19. My question for the author is: If you could have anyone of your choosing star in a live-action adaptation of your work, who would be your top picks?

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    1. Thanks for the great question Amy! (Apologies for the late response. I’m on UK time). For the title story, The Clockmaker’s Tale, I always imagined someone such as Anthony Hopkins in the lead role. Then for the story Waste Not, I would love perhaps Joseph Gorden-Levitt. For the younger character Boy, in Last Bus to Freedom, I would pick Tom Holland (no spidey suit though). Lastly, to play R8CH-L in the story 10,000, I think Evan Rachel Wood. OK this one is probably cheating because of Evan Rachel Wood’s role in the brilliant Westworld!

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  20. Sounds like a good book. I like the cover and the excerpt.

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  21. Love the cover and the excerpt sounds amazing.

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    1. Thanks Thomas! I made the cover myself, so that’s very nice to hear. As well as writing, I run the book cover Facebook page called Starman Book Covers.

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  22. I am looking forward to reading your books. You are a new author for me

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  23. Thank you to everyone that visited, commented, and asked a question. My first stop of this tour was highly enjoyable. Also, thanks to All the Ups and Downs for hosting and to Goddess Fish Promotions for organising the tour.

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  24. I enjoy science fiction - would love this book.
    And what a unique cover.
    Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thanks Barbara! The book is out now. I'm so happy you like the cover. I made it myself.

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  25. Thanks for the interesting excerpt! Sci-fi is a fascinating genre, as it makes one really think.

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  26. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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  27. I love the artwork on the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  28. Like the cover this sounds interesting, ty for the chance!

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  29. This sounds like a very good read.

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  30. I enjoyed reading the excerpt. Thanks for sharing it!

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  31. Do you listen to music when you write?

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    1. Always! I love to love myself in music as I write.

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    2. ‘I love to love myself’ wow, as far as typos go, this is a doozie! I meant to say I love to lose myself in music!

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  32. Are your stories based on fact or your own personal views??

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    1. A bit of both. It is a lot of my own personal views, or concerns, but often backed up by the science where applicable.

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  33. I am also physically restricted in a lot of areas. I don’t know what you are suffering from, but I am glad it did not stop you from conquering other challenges! Have you ever thought about writing either a fact or fiction uplifting - positive story??

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  34. What inspires your book plots?

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  35. My feelings get hurt easily when people criticize my work. How do you deal with criticism?? Or maybe you’ve never had any! In that case - YEAH!

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  36. Do you ever use your own experiences to write a book?

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  37. Speculative fiction with AI determining the future in 6 stories. I like the author interview with the effect of Climate Change increasing our temperature by 3.1 degrees. It gives me no warmth to see where our world is heading without more intervening to stop it.

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  38. I like the cover and would love reading it too.

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  39. How many years have you been writing books?

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  40. Do you ever get writer's block?
    If so how do you get through it?

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  41. Do you usually stick with one genre when writing?

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  42. This sounds like one me and my husband would both enjoy.

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  43. Where do you get inspiration from to write your books?

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  44. David HollingsworthAugust 5, 2021 at 2:03 AM

    Good luck on your next book!

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  45. sounds like a fun one

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  46. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover.

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  47. This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for sharing!

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  48. I am really interested I reading this based on the excerpt. I am always interested in stories about the environment.

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