Science Fiction vs Literary Fiction

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I considered myself a science fiction writer all the way through my first novel, Pareidolia. With portals, time travel, impossible rooms, and recovered alien artifacts, there’s no way it could be anything else.

I figured I ought to have a glancing familiarity with my genre, so I assigned myself a long reading list, starting with Frankenstein and ending with the hottest new sci-fi novel of the moment. It didn’t go well.

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Pareidolia: August 1, 2000 Timeline

The events described in the last ten chapters of Pareidolia all occur on the same day. This wasn’t a plotting challenge as much as it was a technical nightmare. I was all for describing different events from different character perspectives earlier in the novel, even with a little overlapping thrown in, but this was a whole other level of insanity.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Thirty

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


MARCUS

Society Hill, Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

It’s not like, you know a big deal or anything, is what Erin’s telling me back in the library now that the head honcho has retired upstairs for a brief rest after his trip. She’s seen him before, not too long ago either. Back when he was here in town for that New Age expo.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twenty Nine

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


MARCUS

Society Hill, Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

I’m crossing the hallway to check out another room when I hear Mandy’s voice from downstairs. It’s not pitched or raised, but there’s an unmistakable urgency in it.

I rush to the lower level. They’re in the living room, only there’s three of them now. Mandy, Daryl, and someone else.

The third person is Balero.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twenty Eight

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


ZEKE

Downtown Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

I’ve just explained to Todd that Leah, her father, and probably Courtney are by now probably all sitting in small dark respective rooms with two-way mirrors, bad coffee, and cat-and-canary-smile-wearing feds. Todd’s hunched over on his knees, leaning off the edge of the bench. Looks like he’s about to puke. He doesn’t say anything for a while, then manages to get two words out.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twenty Seven

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


MARCUS

Society Hill, Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

We get to the top of the stairs and Mandy just sort of stands there and looks around, eyebrows raised, listening. Daryl’s a few steps behind us, frozen mid-step. Why are we being so quiet?

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twenty Six

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


MARCUS

Society Hill, Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

Holy shit, I was right—I’m definitely in the wrong line of work. Fucking Society Hill? I guess I didn’t look too closely at the address before I left. The cab still feels like a tiny submarine, so I definitely made the right call to not drive.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twenty Five

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


ZEKE

University City, Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

I flip my cell phone shut, pull back into traffic, and nearly get creamed by a delivery truck making a last-minute turn into a service road.

God fucking dammit, Marcus. I’m out here busting my balls in a 100° car with no A/C, on my way to track down a guy with no name who might be dying as we speak, and you’re chilling at home getting stoned. Nice. I hope whoever Mandy is has more luck putting up with your bullshit than I do.

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Pareidolia: Chapter Twenty Three

Enjoy this excerpt from my first novel, Pareidolia. The premise is available here, and the table of contents can be found here.


MANDY

Society Hill, Philadelphia | Tuesday August 1st, 2000

I’m at my laptop in the library confirming my flight back to Chicago when I hear a thud coming from what sounds like the kitchen. Daryl and I both look up. There’s another thud, and the unmistakable clink of dinnerware.

Within seconds we’re on our feet and running into the kitchen and there’s Balero, in all his glory.

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