Title: Missing Signal
Author: Seb Doubinsky
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
“Beneath the entertaining wrapper of science fiction, Missing Signal is a masterfully written work, both provocative and rewarding.” —Foreword Reviews
“A tiny, jeweled puzzle-box of a book, strangely but entertainingly crossing Kafka and Philip K. Dick to make something quite new.” —Tad Williams, bestselling author of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and the Otherland series
From Seb Doubinsky, author of The Song of Synth, The Babylonian Trilogy, White City, Absinth, Omega Gray and Suan Ming, comes his highly anticipated next installment in the City-States Cycle.
Missing Signal–a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a government conspiracy? Agent Terrence Kovacs has worked for the New Petersburg Counter-Intel Department propagating fake UFO stories for so long that even he has a hard time separating fact from fiction. Especially when he’s approached by a beautiful woman named Vita, who claims she’s been sent from another planet to liberate Earth.
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“A man claiming to be an ex-member of the ultra-secret Alien Containment Force, Known as ACF or Force 136, has agreed to meet us in a secret place and tell us what is really going on behind the official UFO scene. Here is what he told us and it is terrifying.”
Terrence’s eyes moved away from the PC screen as he reached out for a cigarette. The man talking had a bad ’70s haircut and a drooping mustache. The other man sitting in front of him, half-hidden in the shadow, wore a pair of jeans and a loose red polo shirt. He had no watch. There were two cameras, alternating on the faces-one pimply, nervous and awed, the other dark, invisible and mysterious.
They even had the voice modified, for security reasons, but Terrence knew what it sounded like. He also knew that “the man claiming to be” wore a wig, colored contact lenses and a set of false teeth masking the real ones. The missing watch was an important detail: it made identification more difficult. A watch is a signature object. Like shoes. The man had also bought a type of shoes he usually never wore.
Terrence smiled, listening to the mysterious man speak, and looked down at some papers spread before him. He chewed on the tip of a pencil that served as a poor substitute for a cigarette and nodded to himself. All the necessary information-or rather disinformation-had been passed. Another worldwide alien conspiracy theory confirmed. The New Petersburg Counter-Intel Department had done an amazing piece of work.
When not in the field, Terrence spent most of his days on the computer. He surfed old sites, checked out new sites, answered emails, wrote emails, deleted emails, chatted under various aliases, accepted appointments, canceled appointments, ordered food, watched movies. He actually had a list of his aliases and access codes, because he had so many of them. Fifty-seven, to be precise. He had counted. Sometimes it was hard for him to recall his real name. Terrence Kovacs. It sounded weird to his own ears when he said it out loud. Alien. Yeah, alien. The word made him smile.
To Terrence, airports were the micro-utopias of capitalism: everybody was under constant surveillance, the prices were the same in all the shops and the cleaning personnel were underpaid immigrants. Plus you had the V.I.P. lounges and special shortcuts for the very rich. The perfect world.
Of course, Terrence was no Communist, nor had he any revolutionary streak in him. But he had a critical mind, which was how he got that job in the first place, and he couldn’t help reflecting about the environment he was in. He was analytical and rational that’s how he managed to keep so many identities–each had a purpose, a delimitation and common objective: to protect New Petersburg’s security and identify possible threats.
This time, he would be John Tammen in New Belleville, the famous UFOlogist and conspiracy theorist. He had brought a recent and thick UFO “true story” bestseller to read on the plane, to appear more credible. It asserted that the Apollo missions were all faked in order to protect the secret Nazi planetary government that was hiding underneath the moon’s surface and that furnished the Western Alliance with new weapon blueprints. It would be hard for Terrence not to laugh out loud, but his psychological training had been perfect. He only laughed when he wanted to. Even when alone at home. Which he always was.
About the Author
Seb Doubinsky is a bilingual writer born in Paris in 1963. His novels, all set in a dystopian universe revolving around competing cities-states, have been published in the UK and in the USA. He currently lives with his family in Aarhus, Denmark, where he teaches at the university.
Seb’s Playlist for Missing Signal:
I hope y’all all have enjoyed this post as much as I did putting it together! I love y’all and wish you the best of luck in the giveaway!
Happy Friday reading!