Gifts for Readers #8 and #9: Two for the Price of Two

by wjw on December 23, 2018

Here are what I suspect are the final two publications for veterans of Taos Toolbox, all published in the last year.  (Unless someone clues me in to a novel I didn’t know about.)

the-future-will-be-bs-freeFirst up is the latest from Hugo-winning author Will McIntosh, a YA fable about a group of teens and their infallible lie detector.

In this terrifyingly timely tale for fans of The Eye of Minds, a teen and his group of friends find themselves on the run after using a genius lie-detector contraption to expose their corrupt government.

In a Putin-esque near-future America, the gifted and talented high school has just been eliminated, and Sam and his friends have been using their unexpected free time to work on a tiny, undetectable, utterly reliable lie detector. They’re all in it for the money–except Theo, their visionary. For Theo, it’s about creating a better world. A BS-free world, where no one can lie, and the honest will thrive.

Just when they finish the prototype and turn down an offer to sell their brainchild to a huge corporation, Theo is found dead. Greedy companies, corrupt privatized police, and even the president herself will stop at nothing to steal the Truth App. Sam sets his sights on exposing all lies and holding everyone accountable.

But he and his friends quickly realize the costs of a BS-free world: the lives of loved ones, and political and economic stability. They now face a difficult question: Is the world capable of operating without lies, or are lies what hold it together?

“Deserving of comparisons to The Hunger Games.” –Kirkus

“This compelling, action-packed story will have readers eagerly turning pages…Give to fans of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother**.” –**SLJ

**”The action is nonstop from beginning to end..a BS-free way to present a deep and fundamental question.” –**Booklist

The Future Will Be BS Free is published by Delacorte and is available wherever fine books are sold.

Next is a work that seems tailor-made to demonstrate that Toolbox skills can transfer from prose fiction to other platforms.  Rosemary Claire Smith’s T Rex Time Machine is a text-based RPG in the form of a downloadable app.  Here are a few of the possibilities:

Face the world’s fiercest dinosaurs and make it back to the future in one piece! You’re a physics student with a dream: travel back in time and document the world of dinosaurs. Can you survive the terrors of the Tyrannosaurus rex?

T-Rex Time Machine is a 170,000 word interactive adventure novel by Rosemary Claire Smith, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

When you successfully convert your Land Rover into a working time machine, you set your sights on traveling to the age of the Tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops, and pterosaur where you’ll study dinosaurs and film a thrilling documentary. The only problem is the competition: your rival and enemy Darien Vance has claimed your work for his own, accused you of plagiarism, and had you kicked out of graduate school. When you travel back in time, you’ll have to prove you got there first, redeem your good name, and make it home safely.

  • Play as male or female, gay or straight.

  • Dodge stampeding triceratopses and sickle-clawed troodontids.

  • Find love with your best friend or your time-traveling classmates.

  • Feed a baby duckbilled dinosaur and let it imprint on you.

  • Film and debut your dinosaur documentary—as a scientific masterpiece or a heartwarming nature film.

  • Master time travel as you repair your Land Rover on the fly.

  • Prove your rival stole your time machine plans, or forge a new partnership with him.

Explore the Age of Dinosaurs–if you dare!

T-Rex Time Machine is available from Choice of Games via: Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon, and Steam:

Robert M Roman December 24, 2018 at 9:29 am

The McIntosh book sounds interesting, for all the cynicism. Does anyone remember Fredric Brown’s “Martians, Go Home”?

Theophylact January 3, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Or James Morrow’s City of Truth?

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