Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Prospector's Run Book Spotlight, Author Guest Post & Book Tour Giveaway

This morning, I have a science fiction novel in our book spotlight--along with a guest post from the author!  Check out Prospector's Run, learn about author Kevin W. Bates and read his perspectives as he reflects on our current life and times a bit in his guest post--and be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

Book Title:  Prospector's Run by Kevin W. Bates
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 yrs +),  277 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
PublisherKevin W. Bates
Release date:   April 2019
Tour dates: Nov 23 to Dec 11, 2020
Content Rating:  PG for mild profanity and some depictions of violence.

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About the Book

Five thousand years ago in a savage assault, someone tried to annihilate humanity. They almost succeeded. Now, millennia after the First Stellar Civilization’s cataclysmic destruction, humans have clawed their way back from the brink of extinction and returned to the stars. Massive riches in the form of forgotten tech lie hidden in the ruins of the First Civ’s dead, shattered worlds. For a prospector with luck and the right coordinates, they are ripe for the taking. Holtz Mitsumi has neither. Down and out from a failed expedition, Mitsumi allows an enigmatic stranger to talk him into one more prospecting run. After scraping together a crew, Mitsumi embarks with high hopes. But nothing is as it seems and this run may be his last.

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Read a Guest Post

The Glass is Half Full

By: Kevin W. Bates

2020. What a year, huh? My sister-in-law recently sent me a meme. It reimagined the year 2020 as the following math problem.

Heh. Well, the answer, of course, is .75 newtons, but that assumes your hamster is of average size, the toaster has two slots, and the ice cream is Rocky Road.

But the meme’s underlying point, whimsically made though it is, is that things seem to have gone badly wrong in the year 2020. And it’s true, amid a global pandemic, civil unrest, political upheaval, fires, earthquakes and hurricanes, it’s easy to lose track of how good we have it. For some strange reason, we as human beings focus on the negative rather than the positive. Each generation therefore inclines to see itself as being in a slightly worse position than the one preceding it until back in the mists of time our ancestors lived in a golden age. But it’s not true. Let us count the ways.

I recently read a book on humankind’s current condition that dispels the myth of a past golden age and shows that today, right now, is the true golden age. Enlightenment Now, by Stephen Pinker, is a powerful antidote to the pessimism of our current condition.

According to Pinker:
  1. Life expectancy is up, from a world average of less than 30 years in the mid-18th century to over 70 years today; and the increases are seen by all age groups and all continents.
  2. Hunger and famine were a normal part of life throughout most of history. Today, people have access to, on average, over 2,500 calories per day (including an average of 2,400 in India, 2,600 in Africa, and 3,100 in China). And measures of stunted growth and undernourishment are declining in some of the world’s poorest regions; worldwide deaths from famine are also down.
  3. Gross World Product has grown “almost two hundredfold from the start of the Enlightenment in the 18th century.” And poor countries around the world are catching up in economic progress with rich countries and closing the gap. The portion of the world living in “extreme poverty” (using the definition of $1.90/day in 2011 international dollars) has fallen from almost 90% in 1820 to 10% today.
Another sobering exercise is to ask yourself whether you would live as a billionaire in 1916 instead of an ordinary average person in 2020? Before you answer, consider that antibiotics, insulin, organ transplants, all electronics (radio, television, computers, gaming etc.), all wireless communication, air travel, reliable automobile travel, and air conditioning were unavailable no matter how rich you were. If you wanted to travel from New York to San Francisco, your wealth couldn’t knock a single hour off of the two-week journey. Smallpox could easily kill you or polio cripple you. A limited supply of scratchy, popping gramophone records was your only listening pleasure and silent black and white cinema, the limit of your viewing options.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. Since around 1800, the human story has been one of material progress such that our ancestors from that era transported to today would think she had arrived in paradise. I am an author and avid consumer of science fiction. One of the things that attracted and still attracts me to the genre was progress through decoding the book of nature and putting that knowledge to use in bettering humankind’s physical environment.

We’ve done a pretty good job so far. In this season of thanksgiving I am profoundly grateful for the world I live in today, and I’m optimistic about the future. We’ve only begun to discover nature’s secrets. The best is yet to come.

Meet the Author

Kevin W. Bates was born in Berkeley, California and, with the exception of a couple year stint in Sydney Australia and a study abroad program in Japan, was raised there. In his Martin Luther King Jr. High and Berkeley High School years, Kevin developed a life-long fascination with science fiction (and, oddly, nuclear weapons) and a tendency to day dream. He discovered early that among the greatest joys in life is the thrill of losing yourself in a gripping space adventure soaring across the galaxy. Raised on classic science fiction authors such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ray Bradbury, Kevin took up writing science fiction to provide the same mind expanding thrills he enjoyed from those authors and more contemporary ones like Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks, David Brin and Neal Stephenson.

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ twitter ~ instagram ~ goodreads

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Angela for hosting this tour stop for Prospector's Run and allowing me to communicate with your readers!