Cyril wrote a novel! Introducing ‘Fluke: Langara’s Prize’

Over the years, we’ve worked hard here at TR to hire people who possess the somewhat rare combination of a solid technology background and decent writing chops. Recently, that inclination has paid a rather unexpected dividend: Cyril, our do-everything News Editor and graphic designer, has written a novel. Well, technically it’s a novella, because it’s not quite as long as your average paperback—but it is a very compelling work of fiction.

I have to say, I’m totally blown away by it. Cyril has demonstrated his talent for words here at TR before, but as a guy who writes lame-joke CPU reviews for a living, the idea of skillfully crafting a story is well beyond me.

The book, titled Fluke: Langara’s Prize, is a near-future sci-fi tale that explores the possibilities created by advances in biomedical technology. The pacing is brisk, and the writing style is simple, elegant, and concise. I think anyone who enjoys a good book will find pleasure in Fluke, and the suspense will pull you through it quickly.

Here’s a quick promo blurb for the book:

An SUV barrels through a red light. A pedestrian is injured beyond recovery. As Nathan Simon lies dying in his hospital bed, a strange man in a gray suit admits him into a postmortem clinical trial. Nathan signs the form just before losing consciousness. He wakes up to find himself lying, paralyzed, in a beautiful meadow. One hundred years have passed, and Nathan is about to become a living exhibit for one of the world’s most powerful biomedical corporations.

Because this is the Internet and we can do whatever we want, TR is helping Cyril publish and promote his book. In return, Cyril has graciously agreed to give us a cut of the proceeds. So, in a very unusual way, we have a product to offer you. If you buy it, not only will you get to read a compelling story from a brand-new-yet-familiar author, but you’ll also be helping to support the site.

Fluke is now available in e-reader format at Amazon.com for only $2.99. The book is DRM-free, so buyers can convert it to Nook and other e-reader formats as they see fit. Also, Fluke is a part of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, so Kindle owners with Amazon Prime can borrow the book free of charge. International buyers can grab Fluke in the Amazon store for their locales, as well. Here’s the page in the Amazon U.K. store, for instance.

For those who want a bit of the flavor of the story, here’s a brief excerpt that should do the trick:

“What just happened? How do I pay for this?”

Her sly grin tells me she expected the question. “You already did.”

When I press her for details, Alyssa takes me aside and explains, speaking quietly so as not to draw attention. Store computers identify visitors and keep track of transactions, she says. By law, a retail purchase involves two steps: one, taking physical possession of the item, and two, entering a verbal agreement to buy it. The value of the purchase is then deducted from the customer’s default account—in my case, my Langara Corporation company credit.

There are exceptions, of course. But that’s the gist of it.

Still clutching my purchase, I follow Alyssa through the maze of cobblestone streets and back up to the hotel lobby. Before we split up, I thank her for the evening and wish her a good night. She smiles and returns the pleasantry.

Alone again, I make my way through the long, empty corridors to my suite. Gone are the hubbub of the mall, the giggles of children playing by the fountains, and the soft sound of Alyssa’s voice. All I hear now is the stillness of the evening and my own rhythmic footfalls on the carpeted floor.

I enter my suite and shut the door. I walk up to the tall windows and peer at the city lights a half-mile down. Hypnotized, I stare at the endless patchwork of scintillating dots, some moving, some still. In the distance, I guess the shape of the mountains, timeless and impassive, hidden away behind a shroud of darkness.

Do go check out the Fluke page at Amazon and consider buying a copy. If you like it, we’d ask that folks tell their friends and perhaps take a moment to write a quick review at Amazon, as well. With luck, that will help us connect with other potential readers who might enjoy this well-told story. Thanks.

Comments closed
    • d0g_p00p
    • 7 years ago

    As a long time reader and super book fan I could not pass this up. I got one book to knock out but after that I am going all out on this. Give me a chance to use my Kindle that I got last x-mas as well. i could never get used to it. Hopefully by the end of Cyril’s book I’ll get used to the Kindle and use that as my primary reading device vs traditional books.

    • CWagz
    • 7 years ago

    The book is excellent. Good luck to you Cyril!

    • gerbilspy
    • 7 years ago

    I read it last night, and I really liked it. I’m looking forward to a sequel. I want more! 🙂
    Way to go Cyril!

    My review: [url<]http://www.amazon.com/review/R3A7TH2CLVGJQB[/url<]

      • Cyril
      • 7 years ago

      Awesome, thanks!

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    I wish I read more fiction;

    I work, I cycle, I play sports, I play vidjahgames, I love, I eat and I sleep.

    That’s all 168 hours a week.

    Oh, and by “work”, I mean that I pass the spare time at work on the internet. Somehow, reading tech sites and forums looks technical enough to be “research”

    • LoneWolf15
    • 7 years ago

    Can I buy a “dead tree” copy, the techie-Luddite asks?

    I hate e-Reader screens and I stare at an LCD 8 hours a day already. Give me a book I can hold in my hands.

      • Cyril
      • 7 years ago

      As I said before, we may do that if response to the e-book version is good. Stay tuned!

    • gerbilspy
    • 7 years ago

    I just bought it.

    Congratulations Cyril! I hope it sells a million copies.

    • JDZZL
    • 7 years ago

    Consider it purchased!!!

    • vargis14
    • 7 years ago

    Well i went to the Fluke page at amazon and read the preview with my morning coffee. Congrats Cyril!!
    I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of the book and am very disappointed i do not have a e reader.
    I feel like i could have read the whole thing without ever taking another sip from my coffee.

    Is there a amazon app for the ipad??? So i can contribute and finish what i started??

    It certainly peaked my interests? I am very much looking forward to finishing it .

    Once again well done Cyril !! I have not finished it But i liked what the preview allowed me to read.

    Edit: Now that i purchased it and download the Kindle app I think i will enjoy the rest of the story! Need a coffee refill before i begin 🙂
    Edit #2: well the wife woke up and took the ipad…….About 89% done Looking forward to finishing it when she gives it back to me 🙂
    Edit #3: Finished it. I have to say i enjoyed a lot. Congrats Cyril !
    Once you sell enough i hope to be able to read a second Novella continuing where this one left off 🙂

      • Cyril
      • 7 years ago

      Absolutely. There’s a free Kindle app on the iOS App Store. Anything you buy on Amazon should sync on there automatically. I read Kindle e-books on my iPad sometimes when I need a backlit screen. Otherwise, I usually prefer the Kindle Touch, since it’s lighter.

      • Cyril
      • 7 years ago

      Glad you liked it, and thanks for posting a review on Amazon!

        • vargis14
        • 7 years ago

        I posted the review because i feel you earned it. Also you are very welcome!

    • tone21705
    • 7 years ago

    Showed this book to my mother and she wants to read it (I’ll get it for an xmas present!) but she doesn’t have a kindle/ebook reader. Any options for buying the old fashion way?

      • Cyril
      • 7 years ago

      Not yet, sorry! But we may offer a print version in the not-too-distant future if there’s enough interest in the e-book.

    • cygnus1
    • 7 years ago

    Just finished reading it. Good story man. Keep it up if you can, let’s see something longer next time.

    • Forge
    • 7 years ago

    Publisher: TR Publishing, Inc

    Ok, there’s novelty. I’m in for one. I’ll give Cyril a painfully honest appraisal once I read it.

    Also, you tools who are talking about how good it is or isn’t without buying/reading? Get lost. Books don’t work that way.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    Hats off to you sir.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    Btw Cyril

    [quote=”Cyril Kowaliski”<]Nathan signs the form just before losing consciousness. He wakes up to find himself lying, paralyzed, in a beautiful meadow[/quote<] Was that a shout out?

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    It was a good book because it was an honest book, and that’s what technology does to men.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Except for when they use technology to hide stuff.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Congratulations!! Cyril!!!!

    • Jigar
    • 7 years ago

    Congratulations, Cyril!!!

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    Congratulations Cyril!

    • omnomdinosaurs
    • 7 years ago

    [spoiler<]THE BUTLER DID IT![/spoiler<]

      • Johnny5
      • 7 years ago

      John dies at the end!

        • Johnny5
        • 7 years ago

        Wait a minute, I’m John!
        🙁

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    Checked out the amazon page, saw the book doesn’t have pictures, not sure what to do…

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      Open google images while reading?

    • Xylker
    • 7 years ago

    Well done, sir! I read through the whole thing this evening.

    I have some numerical quibbles: $500,000 in 2399=100 land? Or 12 million daily viewers? Those numbers seem ridiculously small for what they are supposed to represent.

    I was entertained and thoughts were provoked. As an author, I don’t think you can do much better than being thought provoking and entertaining.

      • Cyril
      • 7 years ago

      Thanks, glad you liked it!

      Not sure what you mean with your first quibble, but for what it’s worth, I based the viewership figures on current numbers for late-night talk shows. I went up from there, but I tried to stay conservative to account for slowing population growth in the developed world, etc. The end figure seemed reasonable to me. 🙂

      By the way, if you haven’t already, feel free to post your review on Amazon. Having a few reviews there should (hopefully) help us reach a broader audience.

        • Xylker
        • 7 years ago

        The GI-7 was $2,999 or roughly $100 in 2011. Making the leap to $500,000 means he had less than the equivalent of 20K to stay safe / hide in plain sight / whatever. Make it a round million and we’re closer to a number that would make me believe that I could do what Nathan planned.

          • Cyril
          • 7 years ago

          I did go with a million, actually. 😉 Nathan says the $500,000 is half of his North American currency.

            • Xylker
            • 7 years ago

            Bah! Reading fail. 🙁

            ninja edit: Amazon review posted and online.

    • Rand
    • 7 years ago

    Purchased to support Tech Report. 🙂

    And thank you for making it DRM free.

    • Tamale
    • 7 years ago

    Congratulations, Cyril!

    • fantastic
    • 7 years ago

    I would probably buy it if I had an e-reader or a tablet. Google is being difficult with my refund, since I returned my Nexus 7 a month ago.

    Congrats anyways. It takes guts to try and entertain a big audience.

      • Cyril
      • 7 years ago

      If there’s enough interest in the e-book, we may offer a print version down the road. So stay tuned!

        • Sam125
        • 7 years ago

        A print version would be fantastic until e-readers are much better. 🙂

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    DON’T ASK ME WHO WON!
    DON’T ASK ME WHO WON BECAUSE I AIN’T GONNA TELL YOU SO DON’T EVEN ASK ME.

    [spoiler<]PREDATOR![/spoiler<]

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 7 years ago

    I’m not much for reading, but I’ll make an exception for this one. =) Congrats Cyril! Looking forward to buying this when I get home.

    • cjava2
    • 7 years ago

    If this eBook is as bad as his “blog” posts, it should clear anywhere from $200 to $300 in sales.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      wow, registered just to say that, did you?

        • cjava2
        • 7 years ago

        Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:19 pm

        Reader for 10 years.

          • BoBzeBuilder
          • 7 years ago

          After a decade, the only issue that finally compelled you to register and comment is… when Cyril writes a book.
          I give you +1 for a successful troll.

            • cjava2
            • 7 years ago

            Unpopular opinion == trolling?

            • Arclight
            • 7 years ago

            Not at all but saying Cyril’s novel won’t gain more than $300 does qualify as trolling…..indeed time will tell if the book sells well or not but it will certainly make much more than $300 even in a bad case scenario.

      • steelcity_ballin
      • 7 years ago

      Sounds like sour grapes to me, man. When you publish something let me know so I can tear it to shreds with prejudice.

        • Arclight
        • 7 years ago

        In other words If it will be bad, you’ll hate it. If it will be good, then you’ll be envious and hate it even more. In conclusin you don’t want the opinion of another writer.

          • cjava2
          • 7 years ago

          The excerpts are cringe inducing. This is why anyone can do Amazon self-publishing.

            • vargis14
            • 7 years ago

            If Anyone can do it lets see what you can write shall we? Or are you just relegated to making nasty remarks and going on on how bad YOU thought it was.

            You comments are cringe inducing. A simple i did not like it would have been fine but you had to be a…..well ill stop right there.
            Watch out for SUVs, silver in particular.

            • cjava2
            • 7 years ago

            Now that the sympathy purchases have died down, the book has plummeted from #4,000 to #10,000. I’ll rest my case.

      • clone
      • 7 years ago

      it’s an interesting thing, your comment is. (sort of)

      it’s not just that you implied that the book will be trash but that you chose to claim most everything done by Cyril up to this point is trash.

      their is no constructive criticism in your post which is why ppl are claiming (rightfully so in this case) that you are trolling, whether or not you are correct is not at issue, your deliberate choice to be destructive instead of constructive, to be despicable, a troll, a hater is what reduces your opinion.

      if that was the goal, congrats.

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      Don’t be such a putdown, Mr. Negative.

    • codedivine
    • 7 years ago

    Bought. Read through the first chapter. Pretty good so far. And Cyril, you are a cruel cruel man for [spoiler<] killing a guy right after he got a job. [/spoiler<].

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      He just did it the fast way instead of the slow, tortured way it would have happened over years instead.

    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    TR – going the extra mile!

    Congrats Cyril.

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    Purchased before I even finished reading this post.

    This is exactly how I’ve wanted to support TR all these years. Awesome business model, if you can keep it up.

    • brute
    • 7 years ago

    “TR Publishing Inc”

    funny you say inc when it is an ebook

      • Alexko
      • 7 years ago

      TR Publishing E Inc?

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 7 years ago

    You mean TR writers do things BESIDES benchmarking systems and playing BF3? Mind = blown.

    Next you’re gonna tell me you guys have families and go out drinking on the weekends.

    Really though, it sounds very intriguing. I’ll definitely check it out. A novella is perfect for me, since I rarely have the time to finish any of the books I’ve started.

      • brute
      • 7 years ago

      jeez. the only books i read have naked people. i finish every time i start.

        • ALiLPinkMonster
        • 7 years ago

        My, how barbaric…

        …you know they have videos of that stuff on the interwebs for free, right?

        (alternative joke)

        So, you’re a very committed artist?

    • ante9383
    • 7 years ago

    Congratulations, Cyril!!!

    I’ve always liked your writing here on TR.
    I’ve bought your first novella, and I’m looking forward to reading it 🙂

    • Aussienerd
    • 7 years ago

    Perfect timing, I was looking at what to read next.

    I have just bought it!!

    Well done Cyril.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    Sweet! Bought! Will read ASAP. 🙂

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    Oh, Cyril. I hope you had it proofread. :}

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      Haters gonna minus, and imma let you finish, but Cyril makes the best typos of all time. OF ALL TIME.

      I like him without the slightest implied antipathy.

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    This is advertising! TR has sold out! Son, I am disappoint! And furthermore, I —

    [quote<]Because this is the Internet and we can do whatever we want[/quote<] Oh. You win [i<]this[/i<] time, Mister Wasson...

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      lol. TR is a book publisher! They have turned to the darkside ohemgeeeee. I dub this site TRAA!

      • Squeazle
      • 7 years ago

      One day you help publish a book, the next you’ll be reviewing them! Honestly, if anything of that nature happens…

      …I’ll probably be quite interested.

        • Dygear
        • 7 years ago

        One day, they’ll go “Inside the novel” and reviewing books will never be the same again.

          • entropy13
          • 7 years ago

          Probably involves the frequency of the usage of certain words? LOL

            • Thrashdog
            • 7 years ago

            The Times Sunday Book Review: “all told, $_AUTHOR spins a charming tale with heatwarming — and occasionally heart-wrenching — twists and turns and lovably flawed characters. $_NOVEL is well worth your time.”

            The Tech Report Book Review: “As you can see, $_NOVEL’s 90th-percentile word length is a full two characters shorter than typical of its genre and price point, placing well outside the sweet spot on our value scatter plot. In addition, the passive tense ratio is marginal at best. As such, while we commend $_AUTHOR’s characterization and plot structure, $_NOVEL isn’t quite worthy of our Editor’s Choice award.”

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        “I really don’t know why they call themselves ‘The Tech Report,’ but I tell you, every book they give five stars is easily worth the read. They’re spot on in their reviews, I trust them 100%!”

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          As soon as they add “The Value Perspective” graph, Robin Williams will show up and tell them to rip it out of the site.

    • grantmeaname
    • 7 years ago

    “Alyssa!” I shouted, “Your Vcore is much too high for a cyborg with a 125W TDP!”

      • cynan
      • 7 years ago

      “Alyssa, I’m sorry! I didn’t know what else to do. I thought I smelled smoke!” Nathan stared sheepishly down at the now empty pitcher of water in his hands, the remainder of its contents dripping random patterns on to the rug.

      Alyssa continued to say nothing, still staring at Nathan dumbstruck. Finally she stammered “Wha… Why did you..? You thought I was overheating? My CPU’s thermal output was well within the rated TDP for my Thermaltech RTG80 nano phase-change CPU cooling module. What were you thinking?

      Nathan started into motion, looking furtively around the room for something to wipe up the water now soaking into the pile, still reluctant to risk making eye contact. Or much, much worse, being caught glancing in the direction of Alyssa’s drenched and suddenly all-to-revealing shirt.

      Nathan tried a second time to blurt out an apology “S-sorry! I’m such an idiot. When I come from, above a certain core voltage, there’s only one thing that can safely dissipate the resulting thermal output.”

      “Oh really?” Alyssa chided, her shock now dissolving into irritation. “And just what might that be?”

      “Water cooling”

    • jdrake
    • 7 years ago

    Dibs on being the narrator if this goes to audiobook. Way to go, Cyril!

      • codedivine
      • 7 years ago

      You should voice Nathan Simon. Then you would be .. Nathan Drake?

      • spangler
      • 7 years ago

      I think the most appropriate way should be you narrating, Geoff doing the character voices, and Scott providing a laugh track anytime Geoff makes a mistake with a voice.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 7 years ago

    Congrats Cyril!

    I don’t have an e-reader (and reading long .pdf’s on my monitor just hurts), but I wish you the best of success.

      • thanatos355
      • 7 years ago

      I switched all my recreational reading over to my phone a few years ago. It lacks the visceral quality of cradling a book in your palms, but it’s a hell of a lot more convenient than toting around numerous literary tomes wherever you may go.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      You can reverse the colors (white on black, or amber on black I’ve heard is one of the easiest) so it helps reading on displays. Makes a huge difference…

        • Sargent Duck
        • 7 years ago

        oh cool. Didn’t know that.

    • grantmeaname
    • 7 years ago

    Brilliant. Buying in 3… 2…

    Congrats Cyril!!!

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