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Thursday, 21 January 2016

ℚ Obsidian Worlds: Obsidian Worlds [1-11] - Jason Werbeloff

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author and philosopher  to talk about Obsidian Worlds (, Jason Werbeloff, 247 pages), a Sci-Fi anthology comprising of shorts one to eleven in the Obsidian Worlds series.

Enthralling, on point and in your face. A collection of short science fiction stories that spans nearly every sci-fi theme imaginable. Refreshing and invigorating, his words flow perfectly. Obsidian Worlds is mind bending sci-fi that gets you thinking.” - ReadersFavorite.com, 5 Stars

Werbeloff has the art of short story sussed. Grab yourself a copy of this speculative masterpiece and treat yourself to the delights of an author that has truly found his voice.” - Writing in Starlight, 5 Stars


Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


Hello Jason, welcome to BooksChatter and many thanks for joining us today!

As we love music we always begin by asking if you have a music playlist that you used in Obsidian Worlds, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"Unfortunately I don’t have a music list.  BUT, I do have this suggestion … I wrote most of this book while listening to an app named Coffitivity.  It replicates the sounds of a coffee shop in your living room.  Fantastic for writing dynamic stories.  Give it a try!"
Right... I am putting it in the background right now... even though that would probably be my idea of hell :-D  However, I definitely have a friend to recommend this to! (yes, that is you, Paavo!)

What was the inspiration for Obsidian Worlds?

"Obsidian Worlds is a science fiction short story anthology.  I started writing it on the heels of launching my novel, Hedon.  After writing, editing, and launching a full-length novel, it was a blissful indulgence to write a short story.  So I tried one , found a premade cover, and launched it.

The story, named Your Averaged Joe, was indulgent not only because of its length (it was under 5k words), but also because of the subject matter.  It was explicitly blasphemous, with a misogynistic protagonist.  And yet … I was surprised at the response – the story quickly rose onto the bestseller list in its category, and there was an immediate response from my readers. They were positive.  They wanted more!

And so, I obliged.  Over the next year, I released one short story per month, until I had a collection of eleven shorts.  All of the shorts are, like the first, controversial and adult-themed.  Sex, violence, despair – I deal with all these themes. But all with a side of humor."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I like the Freudian psychoanalytic approach to understanding fiction.  All fiction is sublimation – a way for the writer to express unconscious urges or thoughts, but often without the writer’s knowledge.  If that’s right, then I’m in all of my stories.

It’s a disturbing thought.  And I prefer not to think about it too much, given that my stories are quite extreme.  In Dinner with Flexi, for example, society has degenerated to the point where women are farmed for meat and mammary sauce.  In their place, they’re replaced with sex bots.  Does the story reflect my urge to eat women?  I can happily say that it does not.  But the protagonist is a masochistic female sex bot, and that hits closer to home for me.

At the time of writing the story, I was struggling with a relationship in which I was sacrificing bits of myself to my partner.  Like the protagonist; like the women in that world.  But I didn’t realise this at the time.  Writing the story helped me to become aware of the nature of my relationship, and helped me end it."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Obsidian Worlds - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The artist is James Egan of Bookfly Designs.  I’ve worked with him before, on the cover for my novel, Hedon.  James is extremely talented, and has done work on covers for some huge-named authors, including Stephen King and Larry Niven.  His specialization is typography.  The text on his covers is so much more than just a font – it makes the cover.

Because Obsidian Worlds is about dark, sharp-witted worlds, he used a dark background, with obsidian blades in the center of the cover.  To represent the depth of the stories, he put the entire cover in 3d.  If you wear anaglyphic glasses, the text and central image ‘pop’ out.  Very, very cool."
Ah!  I had noticed the colour bleeds and blurriness... but the penny hadn't dropped ... Bear with me as I go an get a pair of old fashioned blue and red 3D glasses (yes, I have a pair handy  in my copy of Final Destination.  Who'd have thought they would have come in handy one day!)

Wow - that works really well :-)   If you do have a pair of those glasses, do give it a try with this large cover!

Why should we read Obsidian Worlds and what sets it apart from the rest?

"My academic training is as a philosopher – I have a PhD in social ontology.  I’ve applied my ideas to fiction in a way that I hope is unique.  Science fiction is a fascinating playground to apply philosophical themes and debates, because it’s fiction – there are characters, plots and twists that help the reader submerge into the story and the problems I’m trying to pose.

Read my work, and your brain will hurt. But you’ll come back for more."
Who would you recommend Obsidian Worlds to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"The book is written for anyone open-minded, and unthreatened by adult themes – sex, violence, profanity, blasphemy, and prejudice.  The majority of my readers are over 30, with a roughly even split between men and women.

Some of my more conservative readers react violently to the extreme nature of the content.  I’ve received vicious emails, and some scathing reviews of my work.  But something bizarre about these readers is that they keep reading!  Every time I release a new story, they read that too, and react just as violently.  It’s as though people who take offense at these themes are compelled to engage with them anyway.  And that means my work is working."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I write almost exclusively in the science fiction genre.  But I hop around quite a bit within it: gory sci-fi, cyberpunk, dystopia, and apocalyptic.  All of these sub-genres lend themselves to dark themes, which is why I love them.  Why I do I like writing dark fiction?  I’m not too sure, but it probably has something to do with sublimating dark material within myself.  Whatever the reason, I love writing it.

In terms of reading, I don’t really read too much of what I like to write.  I don’t generally enjoy reading cyberpunk or post-apocalyptic fiction, for example.  This is partly because I don’t want to be overly influence by the ideas of other writers, and partly because I love reading other genres.  I adore space opera, military, first contact and invasion sci-fi, even though I’ve never written any of these.  Maybe one day!"
What is your writing process?
"Step 1: Eureka moment! Idea forms in brain.
Step 2: Reject idea.  Could n’t possibly work.
Step 3: Play with idea guiltily.  This can’t possibly result in anything useful.
Step 4: There might just be a story here.
Step 5: Begin writing.
Step 6: Assume the story will never be finished.
Step 7: Shock and panic as middle of the story approaches.
Step 8: Eureka moment for next story.
Step 9: Finish story.
Step 10: Return to step 2."
What is in store next?
"I’m currently writing a biopunk novel, set for release mid-2016.  Between now and then, I’ll probably release a bunch of sci-fi short stories.

Really interested at the moment in gory sci-fi. Been watching too much David Cronenberg.  Have you seen ‘The Fly’?  Woah.  If you haven’t, do yourself a favor.  And Stuart Gordon’s ‘Re-Animator’ is insanely good.  I challenge you to watch them, and see if you can ever sit through another romantic comedy without wishing the characters significant bodily harm.

Needless to say, my upcoming work will have plenty of body horror."
Ahah, romantic comedies are good when you can't sleep or when your mind just won't switch off  ;-)  I love horror, and those two films are real classics - I think it's time I watched them again... (I feel a double-feature coming on tonight...)

For anyone who may have missed those two gems... here are the trailers for them (BTW they are both from the mid-eighties).



And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?

"I have a very special partner in my life, who reads everything I write, listens to me moan about the search engine optimization of my books, helps me with my social media, and gives me back massages after a long writing session.  He’s my person."

Ah, you are a very lucky man indeed :-)  Much kudos to your person!

Again, thank you so much for chatting with us today.  I look forward to reading your stories (I have just downloaded a few... and signed up to your newsletter, of course).

Obsidian Worlds
Available NOW! ONLY £1.99 / $2.99

UK:purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US purchase from Smashwords

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for featuring my book!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jason, thank you for stopping by!
      I have just finished adding the last few bits & pieces to the two posts - I hope you like them!

      Have a great week!

      Flora

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    2. It's a gorgeous blog post!

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