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Spotlight on: Click by Kristopher Young

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Click by Kristopher Young Kristopher Young, Click

she's saying, everything had these invisible strings attached to them, and i could never let the strings get tangled. if i picked up this glass, for example, i'd need to make sure it was put back exactly as it was. if i turned to talk to someone, i'd have to be careful not to get trapped by the string.

and i'm thinking, that sounds pretty cool. i can almost see the strings myself now that she's got me concentrating on them. i wonder if she knows something nobody else knows. her perspective would certainly go far in explaining so much of the confusion in the world, the blind billions leaving everything wrapped up in nasty little knots. — from Click

Another Sky Press is offering up a new paradigm in independent publishing: voluntary payment. As usual, you can purchase a copy of their inaugural release, Click, from Amazon by clicking on the book cover images. Or — and here's where it gets interesting — you can download a copy for free from their Web site by clicking on any of the several text links. If you don't like it, do nothing. If you do, pay what you think it is worth.

You can also order a traditional paperback copy of Click at the publisher's cost plus whatever profit you want the author and publisher to receive for their efforts. It's a sliding scale based on your perception of its merit. It's all up to you; it's completely your choice.

I know, it feels odd at first — we're so used to having to pay the price printed on the back cover (occasionally minus some preset "discount") with no say in the matter. But just wait, and soon the realization will set in that there is at least one part of your life over which you have complete control!

Which is almost more than the protagonist of Click can say. The unnamed narrator of Kristopher Young's novel (Young is also the man behind Another Sky Press) is one confused individual: he plays Russian roulette every morning and covers his walls with tiny sixes. He has some direction and almost the right idea (that true love will change his life, assuming he can find it) but little to no idea how to go about it. Then, around chapter sixty (the one hundred chapters are not numbered, so I'm guessing), something happens. Our hero meets a like-minded individual who shows him "the loop." What follows is a fascinating portrait of new-found ability that brought Click to a new level.

Young sets a tone at the start and rarely veers from his charted course. The heavy mood is a little discomfiting, and I sometimes wished there were a little more variety, but it is apparent that there is real talent at work here. Click owes more than a little to the Chuck Palahniuk school of stream-of-consciousness authorship (which will undoubtedly make it a big underground success), but Young's voice is purely his own — as is his practice of eschewing capital letters and quotation marks (see sample above) while still managing to respectfully follow all the other rules of punctuation (an especially impressive feat, coming from a one-man operation). One might think the quasi-nihilistic tone only reflects the mindset of the author, but anyone who starts a publishing company has to be an optimist! Particularly when using something that is not a very mainstream novel as the launchpad. Another Sky Press has a lot to offer, and I expect big things from this little publisher.

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