Win a Signed Copy of The Wolf of Descarta

I’ve become something of a Goodreads addict over the last three weeks, and I decided that I’d participate in one of their giveaways. Enter here to win one of five signed copies of the first novel in the Dream Box series, The Wolf of Descarta.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Wolf of Descarta by Daniel Pike

The Wolf of Descarta

by Daniel Pike

Giveaway ends September 06, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

If you aren’t one of the five winners, you’re still in luck. The book happens to be on sale right now at Amazon.com. Click here for the direct link, and if you happen to pick one up, please add a review when you’re finished.

Here’s what the reviews are looking like so far:

“A remarkably descriptive dystopian Sci-Fi adventure.”

“A backdrop of psychic/machine-world-melded/phantasmagoria impels the coolest of stories with ease.”

“Pike shows an ability to blend good solid science fiction with today’s RPG craze.

“A rollercoaster ride, filled with hard turns and twists, unpredictable and thrilling.”

“Wonderful and terrifying.”

“Pike engages the reader from the beginning and doesn’t release them until the final page – which only leaves them wanting more.”

“It wasn’t what I expected and I found it uniquely interesting.”

“The pace is moderate with good grounding and the world building is amazing.”

“I was enthralled from the very first page and I was never disappointed.”

“Each chapter, like a game level, reveals surprising new information about the world and character abilities, creating greater engagement for the reader.”

“The Wolf of Descarta is great Sci-Fi, and that’s not even my genre of choice. The characters are intriguing, complex, and flawed.”

“Once I started this book, I was up all night just so I could finish it.”

“So if you are a Sci-Fi aficionado, and love original concepts mixed with ax-wielding badassery and sexy vixens, this book is for you!”

The second book in the Dream Box series, Betrayal at Phobos, is scheduled for release in early November. I’ll have more details closer to the publication date.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support, and good luck winning free books.

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Free Kindle While You Wait For Book 2!

In November of last year, I saw my first full-length novel hit the market. It was an exciting time, to say the least. I had fought long and hard to see The Wolf of Descarta in print, and the experience felt like the end of an incredible journey.

ImageI spent most of Winter Break in a euphoric stupor for a number of reasons. But when I wiped the confetti from my eyes and went back to my full-time job as a teacher in January, I realized I somehow had to write another one of these things, and then another. My journey wasn’t over.

In 90’s gamer terms, I had reached the end of disc 1.

And the coup de grace? I had years, more than I’d like to admit, to prune and polish the first book. I hadn’t written a serious work in a few short months since my old ghostwriting days, back when it was my sole occupation to crank out at least ten pages a day. Even then, I did this by living on thirst busters, bad Chinese food, and Jack N the Box–to disastrous results.

Plus, these were one-shots set in reality, not the Dream Box series.

I remember my college professors admonishing us not to get involved in writing a series because it will often drag on, stretch out, and eventually, fade away. I didn’t want any of that to happen to my characters–or to me. I enjoy the cliche that it’s better to burn out than to fade away, a quote that I shamelessly identify with the Kurgan and not with its original source.

ImageRaaaa-miiiiiir-ezzzz! Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Anyway, I’ve found new respect for writers who invest themselves in series work AND for people who live on a schedule, which I’ll admit was never my forte despite my position as a cog in the great machine that is academia. 

The next book in my Dream Box series, Betrayal at Phobos, is scheduled to be released this November. I have most of it on the way to my editor now, but I’m still working on the ending. Subscribers should start to see more material on this blog once this is complete, as well as more information about future publications in the works.

While you’re waiting for more of my ranting and raving, I suggest you enter the raffle my publisher is sponsoring, which can be found here. There are multiple chances to win a free Kindle Fire. After you win, you could always use that bad boy to download the Kindle version of The Wolf of Descarta. Please and thank you. :-)

Sure, you have five months to read it before the next one comes out, but don’t procrastinate. You could end up like me.

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Godzilla, King of Monsters

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Godzilla went through some growing pains… especially when he became an asexual velociraptor for the Matthew Broderick version of Jurassic Park 4.

Kids have some far-fetched dreams. Long before I wanted to be a writer, an astronaut, a medieval knight, or even a paleontologist, my original ambition was to actually be a dinosaur. A Tyrannosaurus Rex, to be specific. I remember running around the playground at recess pantomiming what I thought must be appropriate T-Rex behavior, my little arms clutched close to my body, two fingers on either hand grasping at nothing, while I chased and tried to bite the other kids.

Yeah, in retrospect, I probably looked like a special needs student.

My mother enabled me by sewing a T-Rex costume for me when I was in the first grade. I pretty much lived in that thing. I still have it, in fact. I’d probably be wearing it right now if I could still fit it.

Around that time, I had to do my first research project on something for school. The assignment required us to use a book from the library (this was the prehistoric age back when libraries still had books), and it was then, digging through the Dewey Decimal System, that I discovered something even better than my current T-Rex hero, Grimlock.

 

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“Me Grimlock kick butt!” –Grimlock

Grimlock, if you’re not familiar, was a Transformer T-Rex that both had a sword (in robot form) AND breathed fire. These things are important when you’re eight (or thirty-two). It always bothered me that he could only express himself monosyllabically and in the third person with the exception of his own name, but he was just too damn cool to care that much.

On a side note, here’s Grimlock in Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Transformers_4_Age_of_Extinction

This is totally what goes on in my head most of the time…

‘Bout time, Michael Bay. Try not to crap on my childhood anymore, please?

Well, they didn’t have a book on Transformers in the school library, but strangely enough, they had one on Godzilla.

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Okay, so this isn’t the actual book, but it was similar to this one. It was the 80’s. The original is hard to find now. Gimme a break.

I had discovered the King of Monsters, who was essentially a 100 meter tall, nuclear fire breathing, T-Rex-Stegosaurus hybrid that could stomp the s— out of anything on this planet, and others. I learned a lot of interesting facts about the films as well, like the original Godzilla being named Gojira (and female) and the Japanese version of King Kong Vs. Godzilla ending differently from the piece of crap we got where the chest thumping monkey wins.

After giving my report, I smoozed my parents into renting every Godzilla movie they carried at the local Blockbuster, another relic of a prehistoric age. I watched my favorite monster transition from a metaphor for nuclear war to a savior figure that then beat the tar out of other monsters–most ridiculously, his own robotic double constructed by alien apes.

Yup. Mechagodzilla...

Yup. Mechagodzilla… Even King Kong’s ET cousins gotta hate.

Being the guy in the Godzilla suit pre-CGI had to be a blast. “Okay, Hideki. We need you to put on this rubber monster costume and trash this cardboard model of Tokyo. When you’re done with that, you get to smack around and bite people in other suits while you pretend you can breathe fire.”

Where the heck was that job on the interest inventory exam we all had to take?

Around high school (1995), the good movies stopped. My building stomping was relegated to replaying Rampage: World Tour.

We all know Lizzie was really Godzilla...

C’mon. We all know Lizzie was really Godzilla…

So I was initially excited when Sony got their hands on the rights to my favorite monster until I heard they had to “change him by 80%”. I figured there was no way that could be true–he still had to be Godzilla, or there was no way they could call the movie Godzilla, right?

Looks like my pet iguana ate some Ninja Turtle ooze...

Heh. Looks like my pet iguana ate some Ninja Turtle ooze…

Quite unfortunately, I took a date to this movie. It was our first date. It was our last date. This was probably because I stood up in the movie theater at the end and raged, “You can’t kill Godzilla with missiles, you stupid bastards! Godzilla eats missiles! That’s like lobbing a bunch of cheeseburgers at me and saying, ‘Die, fat boy, die!'”

I mean, every part of the movie was offensive–especially the part where the Americans get saved by the French. I also rather enjoyed the random Godzilla babies running around Madison Square Garden like it was Jurassic Park. What were they thinking?

Apparently, they were thinking they needed to change it by 80%. Mission accomplished.

The new Godzilla is more of a throwback to the older flicks. We don’t see the monster until about an hour in. There are monsters (MUTOs) that are metaphors for the destructive power of nuclear energy. At the same time, Godzilla is the hero of the movie and is able to battle the MUTOs to protect mankind. It’s a blend of everything that was good about the Toho films with the addition of performances by The Last Samurai (Ken Watanabe) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Without spoiling anything more, I dug it and was able to leave the theater without embarrassing myself–this time.

The one thing I will say is that the new Godzilla looks like he’s put on a little weight. In this way only, he remains Americanized.

Looks like he ate a few of those radioactive cheeseburgers after all...

Looks like he ate a few of those radioactive cheeseburgers after all… 

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