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Two for the Price of None – FREE Scifi

Get my robot SciFi shorts FREE on 1/1/14 The Energy Scavengers and The One Who Turned Them On at Amazon.com.

I’m running a promotion for new Science Fiction short “The One Who Turned Them On” the second installment in The Energy Scavengers Series. Coincidentally, Amazon is price-matching the first installment “The Energy Scavengers” for free as well. Now you can get both stories for nothing! Download and enjoy.

“The One Who Turned Them On” (Energy Scavengers II)

Synopsis: On a planet exclusively populated by alien robots, machines struggle to find purpose after abandonment by their creators. Kairos, the highly intelligent and massive weather-machine, monitors the world with cold academic curiosity atop of the great canyon system. He cares only for storms and other significant meteorological events. While below, common worker-bots scavenge daily to find scraps of power that will allow them to subsist in this increasingly savage environment. The Body, a growing robot-collective, is slowly taking over the canyons and oppressing all those that resist its will. Viewing any free power source as a threat, The Body, moves to enlist Kairos in its quest to destroy a mythic, sky-deity who has been benevolently restoring power to injured and disabled machines. Only Ophis, an insignificant and crippled worker-bot, stands in the path of this nefarious task. Will Kairos look beyond his own self-interests, or will he too kow-tow to the collective?

Series Overview: This is the second installment in a robot-themed series which tells the story exclusively through the eyes of machines. The works are interconnected but can stand on their own.

http://www.amazon.com/One-Turned-Them-Energy-Scavengers-ebook/dp/B00GWQLUI2/

 

“The Energy Scavengers” (Energy Scavengers I)

Synopsis: When mankind reaches far out into the universe to find other life forms it may first find machines. A string of planets on the outer edges of the Milky Way contain the mechanical workers of an ancient alien civilization. Calvin, an exploratory rover coupled with, Nutshell, his landing ship, are sent to discover what all these machines are still doing–now that they’ve been abandoned by their alien owners. First contact comes not by hand of man, but by metal of machine.

http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Scavengers-Ryan-Sean-OReilly-ebook/dp/B00811WWLK

 

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First TV Appearance and FREE Day

I’m having a couple FREE days on Amazon for “The One Who Turned Them On” to celebrate my television debut (on 12/10/13 and 12/11/13).

My wonderful author friend, Lydia Ponczak, who hosts “News & Views” in Oak Forest, Illinois (USA) allowed me to come on her community television show and talk about my writings and new book. It was a great experience and I am very grateful to them for making it so. The show broadcasts to local community stations (Comcast channels 19 and 4; AT&T U-verse channel 99; Wowway channel 6) this evening, but you can watch it online here. Check it out: http://vimeo.com/80665740#t=1895s

“The One Who Turned Them On (The Energy Scavengers II)” get it here: http://www.amazon.com/One-Turned-Them-Energy-Scavengers-ebook/dp/B00GWQLUI2

Story Synopsis: On a planet exclusively populated by alien robots, machines struggle to find purpose after abandonment by their creators. Kairos, the highly intelligent and massive weather-machine, monitors the world with cold academic curiosity atop of the great canyon system. He cares only for storms and other significant meteorological events. While below, common worker-bots scavenge daily to find scraps of power that will allow them to subsist in this increasingly savage environment. The Body, a growing robot-collective, is slowly taking over the canyons and oppressing all those that resist its will. Viewing any free power source as a threat, The Body, moves to enlist Kairos in its quest to destroy a mythic, sky-deity who has been benevolently restoring power to injured and disabled machines. Only Ophis, an insignificant and crippled worker-bot, stands in the path of this nefarious task. Will Kairos look beyond his own self-interests, or will he too kow-tow to the collective?

Series Overview: This is the second installment in a robot-themed series which tells the story exclusively through the eyes of machines. The works are interconnected but can stand on their own.

 
 

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Official Trailer and Book Release on Amazon

Official book trailer for my new science fiction short story: “The One Who Turned Them On (The Energy Scavengers II). Written by: Ryan Sean O’Reilly. Story available exclusively for Kindle at Amazon.com on 11/26/13: http://www.amazon.com/The-Turned-Them-Energy-Scavengers-ebook/dp/B00GWQLUI2/

Story Synopsis: “On a planet exclusively populated by alien robots, machines struggle to find purpose after abandonment by their creators. Kairos, the highly intelligent and massive weather-machine, monitors the world with cold academic curiosity atop of the great canyon system. He cares only for storms and other significant meteorological events. While below, common worker-bots scavenge daily to find scraps of power that will allow them to subsist in this increasingly savage environment. The Body, a growing robot-collective, is slowly taking over the canyons and oppressing all those that resist its will. Viewing any free power source as a threat, The Body, moves to enlist Kairos in its quest to destroy a mythic, sky-deity who has been benevolently restoring power to injured and disabled machines. Only Ophis, an insignificant and crippled worker-bot, stands in the path of this nefarious task. Will Kairos look beyond his own self-interests, or will he too kow-tow to the collective?”

Series Overview: This is the second installment in my robot-themed series, which tells the story exclusively through the eyes of machines. The works are interconnected but can stand on their own. As of this writing, the first story “The Energy Scavengers” was free and available for download at major online retailers: Amazon.com, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.com.

More info at: www.RyanSeanOReilly.com

Video work and editing by: Craig Knit (Out of Whack Productions)
Cover art and drawings by: Daniel Gracey (G2 Comics)
Music by: John Doyle (I Decline)

As an aside I’d also like to give praise and thanks to those helping me with my promotional efforts: William O’Reilly, Linda O’Reilly, and Heather Mehl. Also, many thanks to Tony Andros for always keeping an ear out for me in the world of Public Libraries. And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my professional and speedy editor Tammy Salyer. Thanks!

So, fingers crossed for a successful release tomorrow!

 
 

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Release Date and Final Cover Art

My new science fiction story: “The One Who Turned Them On (The Energy Scavengers II)” is set to release on 11/26/13. Initially the story will be exclusively available for Kindle at Amazon.com with later formats to follow. This story is a continuation in The Energy Scavengers series, but it is also a stand alone work, so you need not have read the first one.

Here is the full cover art by Daniel Gracey:

The One Who Turned Them On

The One Who Turned Them On

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in The One Who Turned Them On

 

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“The One Who Turned Them On” – Synopsis

The cover art, editing, and promotional videowork (editing – thanks Craig Knit of Out Of Whack Productions and music – thanks John Doyle of I Decline) for my new story are all done. Even my promotional help has been at it gearing up for the new release (shout out to Heather Mehl). I’ve been designing promotional items to give away and mail to those on my mailing list and soon I’ll start campaigning for the release.

So, since we are arriving closer to the release, I thought I’d share my story’s synopsis to let everyone know what is on the horizon:

Colors of the Canyon

Colors of the Canyon

“On a planet exclusively populated by alien robots, machines struggle to find purpose after abandonment by their creators. Kairos, the highly intelligent and massive weather-machine, monitors the world with cold academic curiosity atop of the great canyon system. He cares only for storms and other significant meteorological events. While below, common worker-bots scavenge daily to find scraps of power that will allow them to subsist in this increasingly savage environment. The Body, a growing robot-collective, is slowly taking over the canyons and oppressing all those that resist its will. Viewing any free power source as a threat, The Body, moves to enlist Kairos in its quest to destroy a mythic, sky-deity who has been benevolently restoring power to injured and disabled machines. Only Ophis, an insignificant and crippled worker-bot, stands in the path of this nefarious task. Will Kairos look beyond his own self-interests, or will he too kow-tow to the collective?”

The artwork posted here is just a sampling of the colors used and is not the final piece. While working with Daniel Gracey to design the new cover, I told him to get out the last cover for “The Energy Scavengers” and use all those colors for a base. I wanted the world to be consistent and have continuity. As you can see, and we’ll later see more of later (especially when I release the video of him painting the scene) he gave us another great view of the vast canyon system that makes of the “junk valle” where most of the robotic activity on 33 Pegasi ZZ takes place. You can see the same tunnel and conveyor system crisscrossing the open valle and still used by the robots. He is also hinting here at the changing weather patterns on the planet, which will play a role in this story.

More to come…

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2013 in The One Who Turned Them On

 

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Where do stories come from? (proper care and storage of ideas)

When I released my first science fiction story “The Energy Scavengers” I already knew there would be another. The world those characters came from begged to be explored. Much like the human-built rover Calvin was meant to do, I yearned to explore the vast, bleak canyon system of the Junk Valle. And like the strange Arkheion, I had many questions. I also knew, I was going to sit on that thought awhile, for I had other ideas to venture through and most of them had nothing to do with the planet 33 Pegasi ZZ.

Also, I was initially hesitant to put more time into the “robot world” because I was really not sure how people would receive it. There were no humans at all in that story. A decision I was adamant about, but one I wasn’t sure I could pull off successfully. Don’t get me wrong I was very proud of the work and thought it one of my best accomplishments thus far. The reviews on Amazon were encouraging and as of this writing the story holds 4 out of 5 stars. Even recently the work continues to pop back up in Amazon’s Top 100 Free Science Fiction Short Stories now and again. I’ve tried to keep it free to garner interest and the strategy seems to be working. It’s been over a year since the release, and after a thousand (free) downloads I sort of stopped keeping track.

Over all that time, there was one thought in my mind that remained perpetually stuck in that machine-world. A singular notion. A concept really. And a name. I wondered about all those robots abandoned by their creators. I worried for them. What happened when they roamed out a little too far from known power sources, when they wandered beyond the canyons? I also wondered if the nefarious collective known as “The Body” was the only game in town.

Then an idea popped into my head (probably while showering since that’s where the good ones seem to originate for some reason). When you have an idea, a solid idea — you know it. It strikes you in nearly the same way a favorite song might on that first occasion you hear it and find some deeper personal meaning behind the words and chords. I’ve heard and read other artists (actual successful ones) talk about this. When inspiration hits you like a lightning bolt and things just come together all at once. Musicians will talk about how they wrote and recorded a song in one session completely off the cuff and then how that song actually went on to be one of their greatest successes. Black Sabbath has said that one of their biggest hits, the song “Paranoid” was written this way.

Prelim Sketch

Prelim Sketch

So I had this singular idea, I imagined this benevolent sentient machine floating high in the thermals watching over the robot world. Its mesh-like wings made entirely of simple energy collecting material. The machine would fly around and occasionally drop down on waylaid robots and impart its blessing of free energy; without stealing or fighting or bargaining. A direct contrast to the savage scavenger economics playing out in the canyon system among the rogue robots. This was also certainly at odds with The Body’s philosophies. I got a name out of the idea too: “The One Who Turned Them On.” I knew pretty quickly this would be the title, and I worried that people might get the wrong idea, but decided they would know exactly what they were in for when they saw the cover.

That was it. Just the idea of a mysterious and benevolent giving robot and its name. That was all I had, but I knew it would be enough. When you get those rare moments of inspiration you can just feel the ends of threads dangling loosely inside your brain–waiting for you to tug on them and find out where they go. The idea just sort of builds on itself and you feel like you’re following along and uncovering a story rather than shaping it. This reminds me of the great sculptor, Michelangelo, who talked about “revealing” the characters hidden within the stones he carved. You can see evidence of this in some of his unfinished figures: The Prisoners.

However, what do you do when you have (or think you have) a great idea, but you’re not ready to explore it? Well, I kept it at bay. I tried to not let myself think about it too much, because I didn’t want to lose the heart behind it before I actually got around to writing it. At the time, I was involved in other ideas and stories so I didn’t want to constantly be dividing and subdividing my attention until my progress slowed to a stand still. So, I wrote down the idea and a few notes to go with it and saved it for later. If another idea crept up at an inopportune time I’d just go add the notion to my “idea file” and save it for later. It felt a little risky at the time, because I have some “idea files” that are years and years old that have never amounted to anything (as of yet).

However, it paid off. I saved the idea and wrote a bunch of short stories and some longer works. Then when the time was right, I returned to 33 Pegasi ZZ. I put on my headphones and punched up some Radiohead on itunes and found the old playlist that I used to write for the first The Energy Scavengers story: The Pyramid Song, A Punch Up At A Wedding (No No No No No No No No No), We Suck Young Blood (Your Time Is Up), The Gloaming (Soflty Open Our Mouths In The Cold) and a few other favorites off “Hail to the Thief” and “Amnesiac.” I had listened to that playlist on repeat (over and over again) the last time I wrote in that world and had basically tried to avoid it until I wrote there again. The strategy worked, for I’ve completed another story in that vein. A continuation in The Energy Scavengers series.

To assist me, I enlisted the help of my writing group “The Southland Scribes,” to vet the work. Then I rehired my ongoing cover artist Daniel Gracey and the editor from my last story Tammy Salyer. All of whom are very professional to work with and great at giving prompt attention to your needs (can’t recommend them enough). For a sneak preview of things to come, I’ve included a rough draft of the preliminary sketchwork for the cover. In working with all these great people and doing all the writing, editing, rewriting, and all the other non-writing stuff that comes with releasing your own material, I’m having a new appreciation for the help I get.

Well, that’s all for now. I’ll be providing more updates as I ready for the promotion and release stage.

Stay tuned for more updates on “The One Who Turned them On (The Energy Scavengers II).

The robots keep rolling, keep treading, keep digging, keep scavenging…..

 
 

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