Welcome to the tour for Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg! Today I have an excerpt to read and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!
~~ Guest Post ~~
By the Book
What books are on your nightstand?
My list of books to read next are The Power by Naomi Alderman, Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson, The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
What was the last truly great book you read?
Probably A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles about a count in 1920s Russia who’s sentenced to house arrest at a grand hotel across from the Kremlin. While some of the most tumultuous decades of Russia accelerate outside of his doors, he remains removed from the action. It completely transports you to another place and time.
What’s your favorite thing to read? And what do you avoid reading?
I love a good thriller with a plot. Because I write thrillers mostly, I can see twists and turns coming a mile away so if an author is able to really surprise me, I’m hooked. I don’t avoid any genres. I dislike overrated books. Some novels get anointed and they just don’t deserve the attention. Like this book The Wife Between Us, which was cheesy, unbelievable, and the twists were so obvious. Skip that one.
What book would we be surprised to find on your shelf?
I love great sci-fi as well. I don’t read it too often but when it’s done right and the author really takes the time to build a new world, it’s very satisfying. I’ve never read Dune, but it’s been waiting on my shelf for a long time.
Are you a rereader? What kinds of books do you find yourself returning to time and time again?
I reread only my favorite books and usually it’s the classics. Catcher in the Rye I read when I was twelve and go back every few years. As you get older, Holden becomes whinier, but it’s still great. Confederacy of Dunces, The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, A Moveable Feast, East of Eden, Brave New World, The Sheltering Sky, The Good Soldier and 1984 I’ve reread many times.
What’s the last book that made you laugh?
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. It’s about a twenty-something woman who just wants to sleep for a year. Some readers might only take away the depressing parts of it, but the nameless narrator is hilarious in her awfulness. It reminded be a lot of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. People assume it’s sad because of the author’s background, but actually it’s satirical.
What’s the last book that made you cry?
The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son walking through a burned America. Besides it being sparse but beautifully written, it captures the need to preserve humanity while watching it be stripped away.
What’s the last book that made you furious?
The Girl on the Train got so much hype but was pretty average with an annoying narrator and all of its twists were easy to spot. Great cover though. Also, I’m over reading books about unreliable narrators because of their drinking. It gets boring.
What kind of reader were you as a child?
I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books because I was a writer as a child and I liked the power of having control of the story. I also read a lot of Encyclopedia Brown and Henry and Ribsy and the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary. I also loved the Bunnicula books by James Howe and Deborah Howe
Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine? Your favorite antihero or villain?
Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books and I like that Heathcliff is both the hero and the villain. I love a good villain. In my novel The Mentor, the main character is a villain. You hate him for what he does but hopefully understand him a little by the end. The villain is always more interesting than the hero anyway.
You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?
I mentioned Cormac McCarthy before so he’d definitely be invited. Maybe I’d add Jay McInerney and Donna Tartt, since they came of age around the same time in the 1980s and were some of the first adult books I read as a teenager like Bright Lights, Big City and The Secret History. Also, Jay McInerney knows a lot about wine so he’d help with some good pairings.
If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know?
Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite novelist. I read The Great Gatsby in high school and knew I wanted to become a writer. But since he never really achieved fame and critical success in his lifetime, I’d want to know if he ever thought he’d be as popular as he became. And also, how to construct such amazing sentences.
Whom would you choose to write your life story?
Hmmm, that’s a good one. Maybe I’d do it myself when I’m eighty. No one knows it better than me.
Expected Publication Date: March 16th, 2021
Genre: Science Fiction/ Dystopian Sci-Fi
Imagine a secret, hidden city that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the city forever. You can never leave.
Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the “Man” who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifelike robotic limbs attached to his body. Everyone follows the man blindly, working hard to make their Promised Land stronger, too scared to defy him and be discarded to the Empty Zones.
After ten years as an advertising executive, Graham Weatherend receives an order to test a new client, Pow! Sodas. After one sip of the orange flavor, he becomes addicted, the sodas causing wild mood swings that finally wake him up to the prison he calls reality.
A dynamic mash-up of 1984 meets LOST, ORANGE CITY is a lurid, dystopian first book in a series that will continue with the explosive sequel LEMONWORLD.
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At six on the dot, the gloved cellular let out a piercing ring. A timer turned on, ticking down with each buzz. E wouldn’t have long to remain idle. The entire pod apartment vibrated, and his capsule bed slid open. The white ceiling drew his attention, the walls devoid of color, a minimalist’s fantasy—nothing like a home.
Shades of the dream from last night still lingered. His knuckles painted with blood as he beat a shadow. The voice of the shadow belonging to a ten-year-old boy. The boy’s cries stabbing E’s ears. He shook that dream away.
He removed the intravenous tube that connected him to his bed and switched off the cooling mist which allowed him to slumber for days. He stretched his old bones, his hair standing up in a state of white shock like it had since he was a young man. Swinging his thick legs over the side of the bed, he yawned at the morning before finally answering his cell.
“I’ll be right there,” he coughed into the digital eye on his gloved palm.
He removed the glove and pushed a button on the side of the bed. Doors opening along the wall revealed a sliver of a kitchen with a piping pot of subpar and gritty coffee brewing on the counter— the best offered to the Scouts— and two sizzling poached eggs from a suspect source. He scarfed down the eggs and pushed another button to raise the shades along the lone wall facing east. The heart of The City hovered in the near distance, its new buildings staggering on one end like giant colorful stalagmites. Sipping his black coffee, he watched it in motion as he did every morning.
Between the Scouts and the rest of The City lay a half a mile of ice water. The City was made up of many Regions, his situated on the outskirts. Sometimes he wondered what it would be like to fall into those frosty waters and drift off to wherever it might choose to take him, no longer having to shuttle between The City and the faraway Outside World anymore. But instead of a dramatic suicide, he suited up and headed through the tunnel with a suitcase in hand like he had for twenty years. He’d convinced himself long ago that living here was better than rotting in prison like he would’ve been if they hadn’t selected him. At least he was still able to get lost in a bottle of whiskey or feel the sun against his cheek during
the few instances it was allowed to peek through the chronic clouds. Even though The City was far from ideal, the Outside World remained definitely worse. It reminded him too often of the man he used to be and of the terrible sins he’d committed. These thoughts returned at the beginning of every week while he geared up for another one, as he wondered if one day the Man in the Eye might give him a promotion and he wouldn’t have to be a Scout anymore.
That way, he’d never have to return to the Outside World.
Then, he could possibly be at peace, like all The City’s inhabitants wished.
Available on Amazon!
About the Author
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com
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