Thursday, 17 May 2012

Blog Tour: Alone on the Edge

Patrick joined the SFFS blog ring that I run, and I recently read his scifi romance novel, Alone on the Edge, the story of a young woman who finds herself involuntarily stranded on a mining station at the edges of civilisation. The book is an interesting exploration of coping with isolation, and also of how humans interact with computers. Patrick asked me if he could take up some space on my blog to share a bit about the book. So welcome, Patrick.

Thank you for visiting! My name is Patrick Stutzman, the author of ALONE ON THE EDGE. I am honored that you have taken the time to stop by and see what this old man’s meanderings are about. Please take the time to read the entry below and leave a comment. One lucky commenter will receive a free e-copy of my book!

The novel focuses on Anna Foster, a young woman given a job that takes her to the edge of human-explored space as a technician to keep an aging space station active, while the facility’s robotic fleet mines the gases from the nearby gas giant. A lot happens between Anna and the station’s computer, her only companion, within the book that will send you on an emotional journey with her as she copes with her involuntary life.

What inspired me to write this book is nothing more than the desire to write and keep those skills active after my previous writing job ended. I had written several short stories before with the intent of developing my writing style and decided to put them to the test by writing what turned out to be this book.

I have included an excerpt from ALONE ON THE EDGE for your perusal. In the following scene, Anna attempts to fix a faulty speaker while lying in a maintenance tunnel in the bowels of the station. The part she needs to fix is just out of reach, so she has to use other means to repair it.
Smug with her correct estimate, Anna set the scanner on the catwalk and fished the laser cutter from its pouch. She scooted to the edge of the grating and stretched her hand toward the speaker, only to find that the unit was just out of reach with her fingertips barely brushing against the wires. She turned over and repositioned herself, but her efforts proved fruitless. After pondering the situation for a few seconds, she decided that she was going to have to make this repair blindly.
Reconfiguring the hand scanner to present live video feed, Anna turned on the laser cutter and held the end by the tips of her fingers. She tested her grip, which seemed feeble at best, but figured that she could hold it long enough to trim the disconnected wire. Picking up the scanner with her other hand, she set to work. Reaching over the power cables, Anna positioned the scanner to watch as her other hand moved toward the damaged wire. With a flick of her wrist, the speaker’s wire was cleanly cut away from the unit. The hand motion inadvertently caused the cutter to slip out of her fingers. Her mind processed the next series of events in slow motion. Anna watched in disbelief as the tool bounced off the metal plate below and sliced through one of the power cables, sending a shower of sparks over the speaker.
Then, the lights went out.
Anna looked around her as the explosion of light quickly dimmed into nothingness, leaving her alone in the dark with only the glow of the scanner’s blank display as a light source. The expression on her face quickly shifted from surprise to frustration.
“God d**n it!” she spat out as her wristcomp signaled an incoming message.
Staring darkly at the device on her wrist, she opened the screen and read the computer’s incoming message, “We have a complete power failure on Gray Level. You really f****d things up this time, Anna.”
ALONE ON THE EDGE is available for purchase now for the Kindle and in paperback on Amazon, for the Nook through Barnes & Noble, and in those and other formats through Smashwords.

Patrick Stutzman, who lives in the United States of America, is best known for his work on the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Saga Edition and has begun his career as a novelist with this book. He also has a short story available through Amazon and Smashwords titled ALONE WITH HER THOUGHTS, which is considered a lost chapter to ALONE ON THE EDGE. For more samples of his work, check out his website, The Worlds of Patrick Stutzman. He can be found through Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Goodreads.