No one knows what caused the nuclear holocaust, but an augmented reality technology could reveal the truth. Eric must stop psychotic cults from altering that truth and destroying his home.
||Florida, United States
||9 publishers interested
Mysterious overlords have maintained silence in Flatson ever since the nuclear holocaust that devastated the world five hundred years ago. They conditioned the people to believe that prevalent sounds louder than a speaking voice will lead to violence, chaos, and destruction once again.
Eric has been forced to unleash a technological wonder from the old world, Infinite Flight, and it has preserved the memories, personalities, and physical traits of the dead . . . ever since the war. At first, citizens are thrilled to see their long-lost friends and relatives using this fusion of augmented and virtual reality. But it’s not long before they begin to realize some of IF’s drawbacks. Not everyone who comes back returns in peace.
A team of red-tinged techno-phantoms—with disturbing pasts and on quests for vengeance—float across the ocean, bringing mayhem to Flatson. These wild, loud, deluded psychopaths are devoted to destruction and misery at all costs. Worst of all, there’s no way to destroy them.
There may be a way to use Infinite Flight to defeat the crimson phantoms, or there may not. Either way, Eric and his friends will finally get an answer to the question: why has silence been enforced for centuries? Eric and the others will discover why Infinite Flight was delayed for so long, and—like any weapon—will have to decide whether to discard it or use it.
(Beware! This will contain some critical spoilers for season one (chapters 1-40), and would likely make no sense to anyone who hasn't read it. Those interested in the first season should not look too closely. That said, deep chapter details are only provided for chapters 41-43.)
Chapter 41: Crawling Sensation
Immediately following the events of episode four, Eric steps up as surgeon general of Flatson and his friends and family help society adjust to the wild and surreal technology of Infinite Flight. Eric has also inherited Spinmaster's cat, Oswald, and used his key to discover a parting gift: an ancient, thunderously-fast sports car from the old world. Eric uses it as a symbol of his dedication to noise acceptance and all he has overcome.
Regardless, the reception of Infinite Flight is mixed, with many concerned about the unknown dangers of its constant energy field. Fortunately, this reduces some of the concern about broadened noise laws. Eric promises to study and confirm the safety of the technology as surgeon general, while also training to improve his grasp on its power.
Chapter 42: Flushed
Leonardo, who expected to be permanently deceased after the events of episode four, finds himself in a new existence in a strange, irradiated landscape. His skin is tinged red, and he has sensations somewhere between that of a human and eidolon. He learns that is he something called a crimson phantom, from the leader of the phantoms: Draco, who believes he is not human at all.
Each phantom is either one or a combination of multiple individuals with traits that Infinite Flight rejects, such as insanity, brain damage, blindness, or in Leonardo's case: massive pride to the point of delusion.
Draco explains the true cycle of existence within Infinite Flight. He explains his desire to break free of Infinite Flight's control and influence, which is ironically now possible with the system released onto the major cities of the world. Leonardo accepts the plan, secretly only interested in returning to Flatson.
Chapter 43: Unstable Magnetite
Time passes and many fascinating discoveries and societal changes lead to a general satisfaction with Eric and Jack's leadership. For the time being, things are peaceful, and the possibility of de-radiating the surrounding land grows more promising.
Several scientists discover a strange compound, only created with IF, that has massively powerful and targeted magnetic properties. This material seems like it holds a clue to IF's true effects and potential on both physical matter and living things.
Chapter 44: Tendencies
Winona, despite her general problems, doesn't know what is wrong with her. She reveals her traumatic childhood to Eric in order to see if he can figure it out.
Chapter 45: The Drift of Memory
The group learns about solid memories, the concept that someone could automatically absorb all information about a specific concept, removing the information or capacity to learn from all other individuals within the system.
Chapter 46: One Night Across the Waves
Draco, Leonardo, and the others arrive and begin wreaking havoc on Coltra. The brutal attack costs many lives, and worst of all, they seem invincible due to their ethereal nature.
Chapter 47: In the Grass
The group flees to Wengeil with Winona is order to prevent the crimson phantoms from capturing and using her.
Chapter 48: Dangerous Compromise
Eric trains as hard as he can, to the detriment of others, and agrees to use a solid memory for greater power. The others hold off the attack as best they can.
Chapter 49: Imaginem
The plan to combat Draco goes underway, and Leonardo pulls his weight for Eric's side as agreed.
Chapter 50: The Prototype
Eric and Winona both do something no one expected in a desperate attempt to win the battle. Draco has something that not even Leonardo expected: a creature no one has seen before.
Feedback is classified as older Young Adult, New Adult, or College-Age fiction, as many of the characters are actually adults who happen to be young, rather than the teens commonly seen in Young Adult fiction. It appeals to this age range, as well as women from that range up to age 40.
As this is a second season to an ongoing serial, readers of the first season will be the most most obvious audience. However, the reward tiers easily allow an interested new reader to get the first season included. So the question becomes who out of a more general audience would enjoy Feedback the most.
In general, Feedback is character-driven soft science fiction mystery, thriller, and dystopia. Dystopia is a heavily targeted, youth-friendly genre and thins down the much broader appeal of sci-fi, mystery, and thriller. However, it breaks away from many modern trends in the dystopian market to differentiate it further. I can best describe Feedback as morally gray, well paced with action and intrigue, and built to endure in the reader's mind as it continues for many seasons, each one different from the last.
1: Many people mention being wary of the dystopian genre for the prevalence of romance within it, making Feedback a more unique prospect. Feedback does not have a romantic focus, although relationships do grow, change, and die.
2: People who want a morally gray dystopia, as opposed to most dystopias which have very black and white morals, will find Feedback groundbreaking. Feedback is not focused entirely on proving the quiet society wrong or resolving it, which is a significant twist on the conventions of dystopian writing. Though the world is undesirable to most people in our present day, and changing it is the ideal ending, changing it for the better is a complicated task that takes up the entire serial. The characters are also very balanced. The protagonists have flaws that could easily be their undoing, and the antagonists range from brutal and inhuman to tragic and lovable.
3: Related to point 2, Feedback is for fans of long, ongoing adventures as opposed to one-off novels. It's for readers who want something they think about in-between reading the next episodes, with enduring concepts and characters. This is why Feedback is a series of short, easy-to-read episodes divided into frequently-released seasons, unlike many dystopias which are single books or trilogies with a long time in-between each book. The characters who survive age, grow, and change, both internally and through their relations with others, to an extent that couldn't be done in a single novel or even a trilogy of novels.
3: Fans of complex and political fiction that deals in interpersonal relationships will also appreciate the detail of the story. Feedback is very political without being dated by modern commentary. Though full of action, there are also a lot of cerebral concepts and intrigue over how the many different parts of a society can work together (or not) to come up with a final solution as to how the silent society should be approached. Whether the world will accept noise, whether it really should, and similar questions are at the heart of the story's mystery.
4: Fans of soft science fiction will likely enjoy Feedback. Soft science fiction from the likes of Margaret Atwoot and Octavia Butler have a lighter focus on hard scientific concepts and knowledge and more of a focus on social sciences. There is a lot of advanced technology and concepts in Feedback, but the reader will never feel bogged down with hard scientific explanation of how they work, but rather how they affect the characters.
Shane Hall began writing speculative fiction in 2008, beginning with a dystopian science fiction story set in a world where noise and music were outlawed. Eight years and 15 complete re-writes later, he had published this story as the Feedback Serial, a set of novella-length books divided into four-book seasons.
Initially self-published, this serial and Hall's other project, a collection of short horror stories, are scheduled for an international release with a publisher/distributor in 2017. Hall is also a copywriter with articles helping creative writers use their skills in the business writing world.
Hall's primary motivation for writing the Feedback Serial is to twist and subvert the expectations of dystopia, creating a world that is starkly different to present day and yet not overtly evil or wrong. The mystery of what caused the silent society to form and whether it really should change becomes the focal point, in a balanced style that challenges the overt messages of most dystopian works. Despite what this might imply, Hall is a huge music nerd and could not live without it.
At the moment I have a website with a blog that I am growing through collaboration with other bloggers and regular posters. My social media following is also growing, and I'm making my way to 12,000 followers on twitter, which is a solid source of lead generation. I also have a mailing list of subscribers specifically interested in the Feedback Serial, collected by offering the first episode for free, and this list is growing to nearly 1000.
While regular social media posting and the occasional message to my subscribers is sure to help, I put more faith in direct promotion to a broader audience for the time being, as I increase the size of my platform. I'll be doing targeted PPC advertising, cross promotion with bloggers, and anything else that would draw positive attention to an ongoing story, primarily through showing off the prior books. My main advantage is being able to hook readers for the long haul, and getting people interested in buying all of the books as I write and release them.
Post-campaign (and after publication) my strategy would be a continuation of what worked best during the campaign. I'm also planning on direct interaction with readers and the creation of a "street team" of my most passionate readers. This team would have people who regularly share my social posts, discuss the works online organically, and help in other ways. I believe that doing this campaign will help me collect such a group of people, and that staying closely connected with them is vital. Feedback is a long series of many books, and this means that customers committed to buying every book in the series, while converting others onto the same path, are the highest value.
Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey. Published 2012 by Hugh Howey. A dystopian story set in a postapocalyptic Earth where mankind can only survive in a massive underground Silo. The main character is selected at random to go outside and perform the maintenance needed to keep the Silo healthy. No one has returned alive from the mission so far. Feedback proceeds much longer than the Wool Omnibus, telling more of an epic and sprawling narrative.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Published 2008 by Scholastic Press. Likely needs no introduction. The most well-known modern dystopian story for young adults of the 2000s, although Feedback's content and protagonists place it closer to college-age and up. The dystopia of Feedback is more evenly balanced and morally grey, meant to be pondered rather than demonized.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Published 2011 by Broadway Books. In the future, humans spend most of their time in a virtual reality utopia gameworld called OASIS, with many secrets to humanity's pop culture past interwoven within. A thriller where the young protagonist discovers clues to a massive power within the confines of OASIS while playing a deadly game against other players after the same power. Feedback is more serious in tone and does not make as many direct references, but is very much about the ties between a lost past and a current future world. Also, Feeback's present time is the developed remnants of an insanely futuristic past destroyed in a nuclear war. The nature of that past is a core mystery. In Ready Player One the past is not far from our present day.
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore. Published 1988 by DC Comics. A graphic novel but still hugely influential on Feedback and likely sharing an audience. In a realistic dystopian fascist Britain, a young lady named Evey is begrudgingly partnered with a masked vigilante named V, who invites an uprising against the government in the spirit of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In Feedback, the masked man is most definitely not the protagonist or hero, and in many other ways Feedback is a flip of elements in V.
Forager by Peter R Stone. Published 2013 by Peter R Stone. The first book is a best-selling post-apocalyptic trilogy. After nuclear war, the dystopian society executes anyone with any signs of mutation to keep humanity pure. The young protagonist keeps his mutations secret while foraging for his group. His mutation has a variety of advantages for foraging and other situations. The story is set in the ruins of Melbourne, Australia, unlike Feedback which keeps its real-world location a mystery. The general state of the post-apocalyptic society in Forager is survivalist, with things like scavenging and avoiding raiders. In Feedback five-hundred years have passed and society is more restored and developed, with a stronger focus on the dystopian culture than the harshness of the outside world.