Winner of ForeWord’s Debut Fiction Quarterly Contest Announced

ForeWord is pleased to announce the winner of its debut fiction competition, ForeWord Firsts. John Patrick Lowrie took the honors with his Summer/Autumn 2011 release Dancing With Eternity (Camel Press, 978-1-60381-810-0)
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Feb. 2, 2012 - PRLog -- Contact: Kimber Bilby, Marketing Director
Winner of ForeWord’s Debut Fiction Quarterly Contest Announced

And the Winner Is . . .

February 2, 2012—ForeWord is pleased to announce the winner of its debut fiction competition, ForeWord Firsts. John Patrick Lowrie took the honors with his Summer/Autumn 2011 release Dancing With Eternity (Camel Press, 978-1-60381-810-0). While many of  the books submitted were examples of self-publishing at its best, ForeWord’s editors felt Lowrie’s Sci-Fi novel, a throwback to earlier American science fiction writing, was most deserving of the inaugural contest win.  

For his exceptional title, Lowrie won this Clarion Review:
In Dancing With Eternity, John Patrick Lowrie introduces readers to the centuries-old actor and sometime-ship’s crewman Mohandas, who is stuck on the planet Vesper because of a tax dispute. The theater company he worked for has been threatened with reprisals if Mohandas is on the ship when it departs. A way out of the situation presents itself to Mohandas in the form of Steel, a human woman who has been genetically altered to have fur in place of skin. She is the captain of the starship Lightdancer and is in need of a crewman who is off the “net.”
The story takes place near the end of the fortieth century. Humanity has spread to the stars and invented physical “rebooting” to extend the human life span, and nearly everyone has been connected to a form of the Internet that provides instant communication.
All is not sweetness and light, however. Corporations whose business requires physical labor offer free reboots to people who need to save money for their future medical expenses; once their indentured servitude to the corporation ends, they will receive several decades’ compensation for their time. Rebooting extends a person’s life span, but the trade-off is partial memory loss. Fortunately (perhaps), people are allowed to choose the parts of the past they will relinquish, which allows them to clear their memory of painful events. Mohandas has several memories which he finds difficult to carry, but chose to keep them because of his late wife’s presence in so many. Over nearly a millennium, Mohandas has wandered among the stars, rootless by choice, as disconnected from the concepts of home and family as most human beings he encounters. But the freedom that starfaring and life extension bring also leads to the extinction of marriage and families as well as the inability to face death as a natural human event.
Meanwhile, on a planet called Eden—settled by deists who no longer wished to be part of a society like that on Vesper—there is no extended life span and no “net” connection, but this group embraces the concepts of marriage, families, and even death. To Edenites, the most important element of human life is spirituality, and isolation from the rest of humanity is the only way for them to maintain a spiritual path. This concept of solitude attracts the interest of researchers, starting a chain of events that ensnare Mohandas in a dizzying rush of adventures as he tries to find out what his new employer is planning.
Dancing With Eternity is about life and death. It is also about love and loneliness, pain and joy, and what could happen if those experiences and emotions wither away. Most of all, the book is about loss—loss of intimacy, of loved ones, and of connections to other people as a result of technology.
Readers of the genre will likely recognize the influences of Olaf Stapledon, Fred Pohl, Cordwainer Smith, and other writers from the early years of American science fiction. Lowrie has taken those influences and kneaded them into his own life experiences to produce a story that is at once fantastic and recognizable, populated by real people with real dilemmas against a backdrop of stellar travel and adventure. This novel well deserves its selection as the inaugural ForeWord Firsts winner.
J.G. Stinson

ForeWord Firsts debut fiction competition was designed to discover the brightest self-published titles submitted. The ongoing quarterly program gives these worthy works an extra sales boost and a great deal of publicity.

Our Winter 2012 Release competition is now open

If you’re a first-time author, you know the difficulty of getting your work recognized. Few libraries or bookstores will consider your book for their collections unless it comes with some credentials. Submit your book, published between January-March of this year, and get noticed with a ForeWord Firsts seal of approval.

The deadline to enter is April 10, 2012. Winners will be announced April 30, 2012. Submission is just $25 per title. Visit ForeWord Firsts for more information.
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