Mike French and Karl Brown's An Android Awakes will be published by Elsewhen Press in November 2015.
Information about the authors:
Mike French was the owner and senior editor of the prestigious literary magazine, The View From Here during its life from 2007 to 2014. Mike's debut novel, The Ascent of Isaac Steward, the first book of the Dandelion Trilogy, was published in 2011 and nominated for a Galaxy National Book Award which, presumably due to an unfortunate clerical error, was awarded to Dawn French. Elsewhen Press published the second book in the trilogy, the satirical Blue Friday, in 2012, and the third, Convergence, in 2013, along with a new edition of the first book.
Born in Cornwall in 1967, Mike spent his childhood flipping between England and Scotland with a few years in between in Singapore. Splitting his time between his own writing, editing the magazine, running author workshops and working with atp media in Luton, Mike is married with three children and a growing number of pets. He currently lives in Luton in the UK and when not working watches Formula 1, eats Ben & Jerry's Phish Food and listens to Noah and the Whale.
Click here to visit the author's official website.
Karl is a comic artist and illustrator born in 1989 and currently living in Luton in the UK. After initially studying in Northern Ireland he moved to England to do a degree in illustration at the University of Bedfordshire. During this time he worked on projects with the Design Museum in London and gained invaluable experience by participating in such programmes as the Penguin Random House Design Award to redesign a front cover for the Penguin classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Finishing his degree with a study of the troubles in Northern Ireland between 1968 and 1998 he has since worked in calibration in developing concepts for local feature films, advertising and alongside writers and artists in various mediums.
Karl's inspiration comes from his love of heavy metal music, his keen interest in history and works by Steve Dillon, Moebius, Frank Miller and Neal Adams. A little too fond of cake, Karl is also a big fan of professional wrestling and will quickly point out to anyone who questions this with the quip, it's not just about watching men rolling around in their underwear. Okay, Karl!
Information about An Android Awakes:
In the future your culture will be shaped by machines
Your world is manipulated by computer coding, search engines and social networks. It's just a matter of time before everything you watch, read and listen to will be created by autonomous machines...
Android Writer PD121928 is part of the Android Publishing Program. To replicate their idea of a writer's life, his wife has been forcibly removed and he lives in soltitude with an allowance for drugs and state prostitutes. Having just had his novel The Eating of Citizen Kane rejected, he now has 14 more attempts to get a story accepted for the program or he will be deactivated.
Click here to visit the official An Android Awakes website.
A REVIEW OF MIKE FRENCH AND KARL BROWN'S AN ANDROID AWAKES
Do you enjoy reading science fiction stories and novels? Do you like to read graphic novels? If you do, you'll find a lot to enjoy in Mike French and Karl Brown's An Android Awakes, because it offers you the best of both worlds in a beautiful and extraordinary package filled with entertainment, style and originality. It's a stunning novel that can be re-read and enjoyed many times.
An Android Awakes is one of the most original speculative fiction novels I've read this year due to the fact that it's full of novel ideas that are handled masterfully. It's an experimental hybrid novel with a fresh concept, because it richly blends the beauty of graphic novels with the imaginative storytelling found in science fiction novels. Mike French delivers a well written main story that contains many short stories and Karl Brown delights readers with his detailed artwork.
One of the best things about this novel is that it can be read either as a novel or as a short story collection, because it contains interlinking short stories. You can read the stories as standalone stories or you can read them in one sitting. They form an interesting glimpse into a dystopic future where things are totally different.
When you open the covers of this novel and begin to read it, you'll immediately notice that you're about to read something extraordinary. This feeling intensifies when you keep on reading the novel and get closer to the end. When you reach the end, you'll most likely be stunned by what you have just read, because this novel grabs hold of the reader's imagination in an effective way.
Here's information about the story:
An Android Awakes is a novel about the struggle for survival and the fate of an android storyteller whose time is running out. Android Writer PD121928 is part of the Android Publishing Program. He has had his novel (The Eating of Citizen Kane) rejected and is struggling to stay active. If he fails to get a story accepted for the program, he will be deactivated...
The main story unfolds fantastically towards the end. I'm not going to reveal what happens to the android protagonist, but I can mention that the journey towards the end is entertaining and rewarding. The story reads almost like an exotic blend of Blade Runner and Sin City that has been coated with Rhys Hughes-like inventiveness.
The stories written by Android Writer PD121928 feature such diverse characters as Finn, The Locust Wife, Abel Ford, Angel UK, Cai Lun, Richard Steinberger, The Great Explorer Umberto Amunsden, Commander Oleg, Aedus Cricklewood, The Amazing Arctic Sinking Man, Jiéyǔ, The Detective and Mark etc. Reading about these characters and their lives is interesting, because their lives are anything but ordinary. They live in a world that has changed in many ways.
I enjoyed reading about all of the above mentioned characters. I won't reveal too many details about them in order to avoid writing spoilers, but I'll mention that The Amazing Arctic Sinking Man is quite an amazing character, because he's a man who has swallowed Hawking Particles, which caused him to become something different. I'll also mention that reading about Abel Ford and the android congregation was fascinating.
The android protagonist's stories reveal how much human race has changed over the years and what happened to humans when they learned to hive off body function control to internal computer implants. This invention allowed humans to develop further in an interesting way, but they also lost something important during the process.
This novel offers a fascinatingly bleak and strange glimpse into the lives of android writers. The fate of android writers is grim unless they're capable of producing acceptable stories, because they're easily deactivated. It was interesting that Mike French wrote about the rejection letters that were sent to the android writer, because they added a bit of harsh realism to the story.
The protagonist's memories of his relationship with wife, Samantha, add a touch of depth and strangeness to the story, because their relationship was slightly different and the protagonist dismantled her once. It was intriguing to read about how the protagonist's wife was taken away from him and replaced with an allowance for prostitutes.
Mike French and Karl Brown deliver readers a feast of unique sights ranging from a super ocean suspended above Antarctica and a Märchen zoo to naked angels and an android communion. These stunning sights are awesome in their inventiveness. I have to mention that it's been a while since I've read anything as inventive as this novel.
The writing is excellent and the story is a veritable page-turner, because you want to find out what happens to the android writer. Tension grows nicely towards the end, because the protagonist's time is running out and you don't know if he's going to avoid deactivation. The beautiful pictures compliment the story and make it an interesting reading experience.
I think it's nice how the stories become longer towards the end of the novel. The longer stories are powerful stories that demonstrate how good a writer Mike French is, because he excels at creating stories of all lengths and all possible themes.
I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that the short stories written by the protagonist contained a few traces of the same kind of imagination and fascinating surrealism that can be found in Mike French's The Dandelion Trilogy. In my opinion, Mike French is a talented author, because he dares to use his imagination in a creative way. He seems to be capable of writing stories and novels that are intriguingly different and highly entertaining. His stories are full of subtle beauty and different kinds of wonders.
The artwork by Karl Brown is beautiful and fits this novel perfectly. He seems to have an eye for small and important details, because he captures elements from the stories and represents them in detailed black-and-white pictures that stimulate the reader's imagination. I look forward to seeing more of his artwork.
The amount of love and care that the authors have put into making this novel as good as possible is evident on every page, because the story is perfectly entertaining and gripping, and the artwork is beautifully detailed. They have clearly done their best to produce something different and wonderful.
This novel manages to do what most novels fail to do - it challenges the reader's view of what novels can be like and makes the reader think about the happenings. It offers escapism, intelligent entertainment, visionary storytelling and beautiful art in an amazing all-in-one package. It's truly something to behold, because it's a unique achievement in storytelling.
Mike French and Karl Brown's An Android Awakes is a deliciously irresistible blend of sex, violence, androids and visionary storytelling. This novel is so amazing and cool that you can't put it down until you've reached the end. Please, make sure that you don't miss this novel, because it's an enjoyable, imaginative and unique reading experience.