I just learned that I'm an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarterfinalist. That means I'm in the top 500 out of 10,000. The next cut is down to 100 and it will be based partly on Penquin's evaluation of "customer reviews" of my excerpt. That's the first 5000 words of the book. I need as many people to review it as possible, i.e. preferably balanced good reviews, so I'm writing everyone I know in the US (we can't seem to download it here in the UK) to let them know about it. If any friends wish to read the excerpt, I can email a pdf to you.
US residents can download it free from here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UG3BLI
Here is my official "pitch":
On April 17, 2000, human civilization changed forever, and it began with a phone call. Paul Stirling, a divorced, semi-retired NASA engineer was summoned to become the leader of the most important project in the history of mankind. Earth was doomed to be struck by a giant asteroid in 2009, and he was charged with leading a team that would save a representative proportion of humanity on an orbiting ark for at least two centuries before the surface will again be inhabitable.
The Ark Project is a saga of potentially vast scope, depicting the beginning of an extraordinary journey, where in their quest for survival, societal norms must be discarded. It begins with Dr. Leon Rachlin's matching program, in which couples are paired using exhaustive test scores and genetic compatibility, rather than leaving the proliferation of mankind to chance. This is a story where the tiniest detail can bring about the strangest of consequences.
In adversity, the members of the team must be strong characters, yet show their vulnerabilities as they are thrust unprepared into Rachlin's program. Unassuming and insecure, Paul Stirling thrives in a leadership role next to his assistant, the physically awkward but fiercely loyal Nina Price, with whom he has been inexplicably matched, instead of his ex-wife, whom he still adores.
While placed firmly in the Science Fiction realm, The Ark Project begins in an alternative present, exploring unusual relationships while the characters prepare for an unprecedented event. Approaching it as a challenge, rather than with trepidation, they live with the constant reminder that Rachlin's hand is guiding them in the background, even after his death.
Overtaken by an unforeseen calamity, the survivors cling to each other in their hope that people might one day again call Earth their home.
I hope you enjoy reading the except, and with luck the book.
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