I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for The Punch Escrow. I was in when I heard the comparison to Ready Player One and the blurbs so far have been fantastic! I’ve sprinkled them throughout–my favorite is from Scott Meyer. Then I have a Q&A at the bottom and this fantastic author has shared a picture of his writing space–which is definitely my obsession.
“Klein transports us to a beautifully rendered near-future world. This is refreshingly original and immersive hard sci-fi. You’ll turn the last page and yearn for Joel Byram’s next chapter.”
—Ben Brock Johnson, host of Codebreaker podcast and NPR Marketplace Tech
“An alt-futuristic hard-science thriller with twists and turns you’ll never see coming. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Felicia Day, author of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
“A compelling, approachable human narrative wrapped around a classic hard sci-fi nugget, The Punch Escrow dives into deep philosophical territory—the ethical limits of technology, and what it means to be human. Cinematically paced yet filled with smart asides, Klein’s Punch pulls off the slick trick of giving readers plenty to think about in a suspenseful, entertaining package.”
—Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica
ABOUT THE PUNCH ESCROW
It’s the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure, Arrival… Delight!
Joel Byram is an average twenty-second century guy. He spends his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980’s new wave music and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. He’s pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting. Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.
“If I lived in the world of The Punch Escrow, I’d teleport around the world shoving copies of Tal M. Klein’s thrilling, hilarious and whip-smart debut into everyone’s hands. Save me the trip—and buy this novel now.”
—Duane Swierczynski, author of Revolver and the bestselling Level 26 series
“A fast-paced near-future sci-fi adventure peppered with exotic technology and cultural references ranging from Karma Chameleonto the Ship of Theseus, The Punch Escrow will have you rooting for its plucky, sarcastic hero as he bounces between religious fanatics, secret agents, corporate hacks and megalomaniacs in a quest to get his life back. If you’ve ever wanted to get Scotty drunk and ask him some tough questions about how those transporters work exactly, The Punch Escrow is the book for you.”
—Robert Kroese, author of The Big Sheep and its sequel, The Last Iota
ABOUT TAL M. KLEIN
Tal M. Klein was born in Israel, grew up in New York, and currently lives in Detroit with his wife and two daughters. When his daughter Iris was five years old, she wrote a book called I’m a Bunch of Dinosaurs that went on to become one of the most successful children’s book projects on Kickstarter —something that Tal explained to Iris by telling her, “your book made lots of kids happy.” Iris then asked Tal, “Daddy, why don’t you write book that makes lots of grownups happy?” Tal mulled this over for a few years, and eventually wrote his first book, The Punch Escrow. It won the Inkshares Geek & Sundry Hard Science Fiction Publishing contest, and will be the first book published on Inkshares’ Geek & Sundry imprint.
“This book angered me to my core, because it’s based on an idea that should have occurred to me. The fact that Tal executed it so well, and made such a page-turner out of it, just adds insult to injury.”
—Scott Meyer, author of the Magic 2.0 series
“A headlong ride through a future where ‘huge international corporate conspiracy’ is a box you check on a form and teleportation takes you anywhere—it just blows you to bits first.”
—Quentin Hardy, Head of Editorial, Google Cloud (formerly Deputy Tech Editor for The New York Times)
“Some writers take us to the future so we can question the effects that technology can have on humanity on a global and personal scale along with the impact upon the social fabric. Others do it to take us on a wild ride made all the more fantastic by pushing the boundaries of what we can expect from the world of tomorrow. Tal Klein masterfully balances both and sets it all to the beat of an 80s soundtrack. An excellent piece of contemporary science fiction.”
—J-F. Dubeau, author of A God in the Shed and The Life Engineered
Bizarre Love Triangle!
We live in a world where corporate interests already shape governmental policy — albeit semi-clandestinely — so in many ways I decided in the future we’d just cut out the opaqueness and allow the corporations to be transparently political. As for the fanatics, in many ways the religious fanatics in the book represent fear of change, which often can be just as destructive as the change they strive to impede. I think of them as near-future Luddites.
I have a lot of favorite scenes in the book. Most of them contain spoilers, so I guess I would go with the one scene that doesn’t: The destruction of the Mona Lisa in a terrible teleportation accident caused by a giant solar flare over Italy. I like that scene because it puts the Mona Lisa back in Italy, which implies that the Italians get it back from the French, only to lose it again. It’s a subtle art history joke that most people won’t “get” but makes me giddy.