Book: The First Twenty Steps by Michael D. Smith
|4 stars, 1 review on Amazon|
Michael D. Smithabout this book: Harry is an ex-convict, just released from prison in the afternoon, who later that night finds himself mixed up in a motorcycle gang's plan to steal a supercomputer from the dreaded Dataflux Corporation Building. He finds a kindred spirit in Roberta, who's in thrall to the gang's passive-aggressive tyrant, Alexander. Falling in love, Harry decides he must help her by infiltrating himself into the gang and eventually escaping with her.
My novella The First Twenty Steps came from a decades-old dream in which I was a member of a ruthless commune swooping from helicopters to attack and occupy a fifty-nine story office building deep in the city, deep in the night. Yet for years I'd thought "Fifty-nine" could not be written. It was a plotless dream, wordless, yet full of power. What on earth were we doing attacking that building? And … who were we? Years later a library school field trip, of all things, unexpectedly provided the key to writing this book. We students journeyed to another city to study the haphazard records management practices of an engineering firm, and it was a warm evening with a full moon …
I placed the novella for sale on the Barnes and Noble's PubIt self-publishing site (now Nook Press) in January 2011. I wanted to experiment with eBooks and self-publishing, I've always regarded this short work as one of my best plots, and I wanted this contribution out there. A few months later I put the novella up on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing as well. Then recently I discovered Smashwords and placed the novella for sale there and on and the numerous online booksellers Smashwords distributes to.
When Alexander announces that the gang will commit a major crime this evening to pay back favors from the corrupt city council, Harry realizes that their plan was doomed all along, that he and Roberta have compromised themselves with Alexander's evil. And then the motorcycle attack on the Dataflux Building turns terrifying and surreal, and the released prisoner confronts the Cathedral Spaceship that, locked away, he's never seen before. Freed at last, Harry confronts his twenty-first step.
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