The Punch Escrow
Tal M. Klein is crowdfunding his first book, a hard science fiction novel (hard sci fi is sci fi that is rooted in real science and tech available today) on the Inkshares platform. It's based in the 25th century that revolves around teleportation and the various ways accepting it as a transportation technology affect society. The novel is in a contest sponsored by Geek & Sundry, the winner of which will get publicity and development. We have conducted an interview with Tal.
Why did you choose to write about the 25th century?
I didn’t set out to write about the 25th century, per se. The Punch Escrow is a hard science fiction novel, which means the tech has to be plausible, and since the core of the plot revolves around teleportation I had to figure out how far away we are today from the plausibility of human teleportation. Fortunately one of my friends is a physicist. He helped me wrap my brain around all the scientific hurdles humanity would need to overcome in order to effectively teleport a human being. Then there were all the anthropological issues surrounding teleportation that needed to be worked out, I needed to give humanity the temporal breathing room to become comfortable with teleportation as a transportation technology. It took me about four years of research to sort out the timeline, my conclusion was that it would take approximately four and a half centuries for humanity to get where The Punch Escrow’s plot needed it to be, so that’s how we end up in 2471.
How unique is this book from other similar genre hard science fiction novel?
Let’s start with commonalities first and work our way to differentiators. I think books like The Martian, Ready Player One, and Off To Be The Wizard did a wonderful job of setting the groundwork necessary for the combination of hard sci fi and comedy to work. The uniqueness of The Punch Escrow, I think, comes from the hard questions it asks about identity and the soul which it juxtaposes against fart jokes and 80’s pop renditions. The science is deep and the humor is dark, which I think makes for an enjoyable and hopefully thought provoking read.
Which was the first doubt/belief you personally had about teleportation?
I never really thought much about teleportation other than as a Star Trek transportation mechanism until it came up in a non-sequiturial conversation. Someone explained to me how teleportation actually worked and it blew my mind. I said something like: “So you’re saying every single time Scotty beamed up Kirk, he killed him?”
“I’m afraid so.” Came the response.
And my brain exploded. That’s when I started researching teleportation. I felt a craving to solve that problem.
What is the target you have set forth to reach for the crowdfunding of this book?
To be honest, I’ve already exceeded the target I set forth. I just wanted to publish the book and share it with my friends. The amount of buzz it’s generated in the Inkshares and Geek & Sundry community has been an amazing unexpected bonus. I’m thrilled, but also stressed out and exhausted by this contest. I’m glad it’s over on the 16th.
What are the further development for this book if you win the contest by Geek & Sundry?
As I mentioned above, I’m lucky. The Geek & Sundry community has been great to interact with, they’ve really been appreciative of the ancillary videos and other content I’ve been developing around The Punch Escrow. The manuscript has already gone through the first round of developmental editing by Robert Kroese, a really amazing sci fi author himself. He’s amazing because our senses of humor are very complimentary, so he “gets” my jokes, and he’s also into quantum physics, so he “gets” the science in the book. I’m in the midst of a rewrite from that first developmental edit, and the manuscript is already reading a million times better. I’m hoping that by the time it gets in Inkshares’ hands, were I to win the contest, I could work with someone like Christopher Leone to develop it for the screen. I also have a pretty solid idea for a follow-up, but at the pace I write that won’t be ready for another four to five years.
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