Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Wake (A novel of the End Times) by Maia Sepp

Release date: June 5, 2015
Subgenre: Post-apocalyptic, dystopian, humour

About Wake:

It's 2020, and there's an environmental crisis brewing in the depths of the Greenland ice sheet that's a threat to everyone on the planet. But California girl Camilla Brightly is an expat just trying to make a buck, working for a PR firm that specializes in raising public awareness about their clients' products, even ones like eco-friendly bouncy castles and almost-vegan honey. Their most recent project? Everyone on staff has to get their "domestic helpmates"--anything from dishwashers to disco balls--networked via a new client's "smart" home automation system. Camille doesn't want Big Brother knowing that the only thing in her freezer is the makings for a vodka smoothie, but that's not the worst of her problems.

A hacker intent on taking down one of her firm's customers stumbles across a secret Camilla didn't even know she was keeping, and her refrigerator turns out to be so smart it's figured out how to stalk her. Global warming has reached a tipping point--and so has Camilla. She can't stop the impending apocalypse but can she save herself?

With the help of an adorably nerdy co-worker and his polyamorous cousin, Camilla has to try to untangle herself from her less-than-harmonious home, foil a blackmailer, and face down an ecological disaster that might change life as she knows it forever. "Wake"--the prequel to "An Etiquette Guide to the End Times"--is a novel of climate change, unruly appliances, and finding a place to belong.


1—It’s a Small, Small World

It’s basically impossible to find the right time to tell your father you’re fleeing the country, and believe me I’ve tried. My pop has been so preoccupied lately that I kept putting it off, but this morning after an epic toaster strudel debacle—goddamn toaster has always been out to get me—I finally crack and tell him we Need To Have A Talk.
My dad blinks and adjusts his tie, a menswear atrocity I perpetrated on him when I was a pre-teen in my very first sewing class: white stars on an inky background, a design choice I made because it’s patterned after the Milky Way. Well. That’s what the salesperson told me when I bought the fabric. My pop was more than happy to give me a two-hour multimedia presentation about the correct formation of the galaxy after unwrapping it one Christmas morning. He used to hope I’d follow in his nerdy footsteps, but to be fair he does support most of my creative efforts; he wears that tie even though it looks like it was sewn together by a half-blind toddler on uppers.
“What?” he repeats, his brown eyes a little wild behind his Coke-bottle lenses. My pop is a double-doctorate-holding, sweater-vest-wearing Stanford researcher who specializes in the hydrology of glacierized systems, in Greenland specifically. It sounds complicated, but basically it just means he likes ice. A lot. And even though he doesn’t teach, he’s somehow perfected the art of looking like an absent-minded professor. It’s particularly acute this morning, his balding pate shiny in California’s aggressive sun, thin wisps of gray-brown hair slightly on end, his narrow mouth puckered. I sometimes wonder where I really came from; both my parents were tall, lean, dark-haired, brown-eyed geniuses. How I ended up a five-foot-two strawberry blonde ungenius is a scientific mystery for the ages.
I sip some Red Bull and try to clear out the haze of my let’s have just one more Screaming Viking hangover from last night. When I’ve summoned enough energy to be enthusiastic, I repeat, “Toronto!” while trying to infuse my voice with a convincing, and slightly manipulative, undertone. I’ve been working on hypnotizing my pop for a while now. I know this sounds bad, but in a family like mine, conducting experiments on loved ones—especially without them figuring out you’re doing it—is as normal as apple pie. As long as you present the results with the appropriate documentation. And pie.
 “But why would you go all the way up there? I’m sorry, I’m having a bit of a hard time here, Lou,” he says, using my middle name, something he’s done ever since I was born. Really, what was the point in giving me a perfectly good name—Camilla, after his mother—he never uses? “I don’t like the thought of this,” he adds, as sunlight hits his wearable-tech Smartwatch at exactly the right angle, his whole world trapped in its 2x2 screen. Notifications for e-mail, instant messages, and today’s weather report for Nuuk, Greenland glide over its face. It’s powered by converting his body heat and the occasional sweat droplet—not that my dad could find the campus gym by leveraging both GPS and RFID technology—into energy.
“I don’t really care for the thought of you being harvested by your wristwatch, either, Pop,” I say with a grin. “But I believe in letting you have the freedom to live your life the way you want. Isn’t that what family’s all about?” I resist the urge to bat my lashes. No point in laying it on too thick.



About Maia Sepp:

Maia Sepp is an author of quirky contemporary and dystopian fiction. She left the tech sector to write books about sock thievery, migraines, the future, and...the tech sector. Her latest, "Wake," is the prequel to the "End Times Series" and is a story about climate change, unruly appliances, and finding somewhere to belong. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

"The Sock Wars," an Amazon top-100 digital bestseller, is her first book. Maia's second novel is "The Migraine Mafia," a story about a nerdy thirtysomething's quest to come to terms with a chronic illness. Her third book, "An Etiquette Guide to the End Times," is a humorous near-future dystopian novella. 

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