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The Punch Escrow Paperback – July 25, 2017
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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"Klein's debut effort comes to us via the crowd-funded publishing enterprise Inkshares, after winning the reader-voted Geek & Sundry Hard Science Contest last year, which is pretty much aces in terms of genre cred. If you're not yet convinced this is a story that will gab you: Lionsgate Entertainment has already secured the film rights―which makes sense, because aside from being the smartest sci-fi book you'll read this month (or most months), it's also incredibly cinematic. Did we mention it's smart?" ―Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
"It's hard to say enough good things about this hard-science future thriller with humor and heart―an excellent debut." ―Kirkus (starred review)
"Fans of hard sf and time travel will enjoy Klein’s imaginative debut." ―Booklist
"I read a lot of books but haven’t enjoyed one as much as The Punch Escrow in a long time. I picked it up for a cross country flight and didn’t put it down until we landed in New York. Tal Klein creates a plausibly real future that sucks you in and then he powers his story with action, twists and a dash of humor. Young actors will be lining up to play the lead character and any director worth his salt would kill (or at least teleport) for a chance to adapt The Punch Escrow." ―Andy Lewis, Book Editor, The Hollywood Reporter
"Klein transports us to a beautifully rendered near-future world. This is refreshingly original and immersive hard sci-fi. You'll turn the last page and yearn for Joel Byram's next chapter." ―Ben Brock Johnson, host of Codebreaker podcast and NPR Marketplace Tech
"An alt-futuristic hard-science thriller with twists and turns you'll never see coming. I couldn't put it down." ―Felicia Day, author of You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
"A compelling, approachable human narrative wrapped around a classic hard sci-fi nugget, The Punch Escrow dives into deep philosophical territory―the ethical limits of technology, and what it means to be human. Cinematically paced yet filled with smart asides, Klein's Punch pulls off the slick trick of giving readers plenty to think about in a suspenseful, entertaining package." ―Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica
"One part adventure journal, one part letter from the future... It's a clever way to explore this brave new world. Darting between The Bourne Identity and Blade Runner, The Punch Escrow travels through time to unwind the global conspiracy theory. Klein has written a quick-witted, self-aware thriller that is addictive and fun." ―Foreword Reviews (starred review)
"A headlong ride through a future where 'huge international corporate conspiracy' is a box you check on a form and teleportation takes you anywhere―it just blows you to bits first." ―Quentin Hardy, Head of Editorial, Google Cloud (formerly Deputy Tech Editor for The New York Times)
"The Punch Escrow has a cool high concept and an action-packed story that will leave your head spinning." ―Daniel H. Wilson, The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse and Clockwork Dynasty
"If I lived in the world of The Punch Escrow, I'd teleport around the world shoving copies of Tal M. Klein’s thrilling, hilarious and whip-smart debut into everyone’s hands. Save me the trip―and buy this novel now." ―Duane Swierczynski, author of Revolver and the bestselling Level 26 series
"A fast-paced near-future sci-fi adventure peppered with exotic technology and cultural references ranging from Karma Chameleon to the Ship of Theseus, The Punch Escrow will have you rooting for its plucky, sarcastic hero as he bounces between religious fanatics, secret agents, corporate hacks and megalomaniacs in a quest to get his life back. If you've ever wanted to get Scotty drunk and ask him some tough questions about how those transporters work exactly, The Punch Escrow is the book for you." ―Robert Kroese, author of The Big Sheep and its sequel, The Last Iota
"This book angered me to my core, because it’s based on an idea that should have occurred to me. The fact that Tal executed it so well, and made such a page-turner out of it, just adds insult to injury." ―Scott Meyer, author of the Magic 2.0 series
"Some writers take us to the future so we can question the effects that technology can have on humanity on a global and personal scale along with the impact upon the social fabric. Others do it to take us on a wild ride made all the more fantastic by pushing the boundaries of what we can expect from the world of tomorrow. Tal Klein masterfully balances both and sets it all to the beat of an 80s soundtrack. An excellent piece of contemporary science fiction." ―J-F. Dubeau, author of A God in the Shed and The Life Engineered
About the Author
Tal M. Klein was born in Israel, grew up in New York, and currently lives in Detroit with his wife and two daughters. When she was five years old, his daughter Iris wrote a book called I’m a Bunch of Dinosaurs that went on to become one of the most successful children's book projects on Kickstarter ―something that Tal explained to Iris by telling her, “your book made lots of kids happy.” Iris then asked Tal, "Daddy, why don't you write a book that makes lots of grownups happy?" Tal mulled this over for a few years, and eventually wrote his first book, The Punch Escrow. It won the Inkshares Geek & Sundry Hard Science Fiction publishing contest, and will be the first book published on the Geek & Sundry imprint.
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Well written and wonderfully paced. This novel is a quick read, but mainly because you just have to keep turning the pages. Our heroes have quite the dilemma, and also quite the identity crisis along the way. The characters are mostly straight forward, but that actually helps the story along.
Sylvia is way over her depth, but seems to be altruistic in her goals. Her boss, however, really does become a Mad Scientist type. And Joel, her husband is somewhat beside himself (both literally and figuratively) in trying to sort out this mess. Toss in a few cryptic (are they really) good guys, and blend well. Enjoy!
This is science fiction in the mode of science vision. Not hard to imagine a future where something quite like the main concept in the book would be developed -probably by Elon Musk not too long after he perfects and commercializes the hyperloop.
if you enjoy intelligent, well researched science embedded in a riveting story with characters you care about, don't skip this read. There's even a love story stuck in there for ya.
I like how he left it open to a sequel, which I really hope happens. I'd love to see where we end up now that the evil protagonist has returned... ;-)
I highly recommend this book.
It's a fantastic read. Fast paced, lots of twists and turns, and a cliffhanger ending that will leave you asking, "What happens next?!!!!"
Thought the book, there's lots of humor and interesting hard science to go along with the futuristic society Klein has created.
I devoured this novel in 2 days. I'm sure you will too!