Friday, 13 October 2017


Shakedown (1999) Post 287

Shakedown is a science fiction YA novel published back in the earlier days of e-books. I'm pretty sure it was originally available as a hard floppy disc, and then later maybe as a CD. I don't think it's
available any more. I do remember being EXCEEDINGLY annoyed when someone reviewed it and gave away the plot twist. Anyhow. Shakedown is the story of Sam Cool, who tries to sell a book called Joe Cool's Adventures but who finds it impossible. Sam is annoyed, on account of believing in that book. Okay then... why not fake a survival adventure? Sam goes to a lot of trouble to go missing, and writes two separate accounts of the whole affair; one a heartstring-tugging tale of loneliness and a refusal to give up, and the other, the tale of what really happened. Part of Sam's annoyance is
having a brother who can't put a foot wrong.
I thought at the time that Sam's scheme was pretty clever, and might even work. The mainline story was set in our (then) future, possibly in 2010, but more likely in 2017, and included a slipperboard (a kind of collapsible surfboard), changehue cloth and a plot-important change in the pronoun structure. The bracket story was set a century or so in Sam's future, and has a collateral descendant finally unsealing the records of a time capsule to reveal the true story of Sam Cool. Sam, you see, badly needed to boast, but couldn't risk it in the present, so lodged the tale with posterity...  


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service.

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