Today I’m happy to have Eric Griffith here with his book, Beta Test.
Take it away, Eric!
I get asked a lot about romance.
“Eric,” people will ask me as I walk jauntily down the street, “tell us about romance.” I typically stroke my beard and say sagely: “You know, women love a man who makes them laugh.”
Then I wake up screaming, hoping that’s true. My girlfriend, startled awake by my noise and wild flailing, hits me with a rolled up copy of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Not that I’m not a romantic guy. I buy flowers. I send innuendo-laden text messages. I take my lady out on date nights regularly, because we both love to eat food and she likes to fall asleep on my shoulder at movies.
But there are always doubts. Can a guy ever be romantic enough? Too much?
In BETA TEST, the main character, a guy named Sam, barely gets a chance to put his own romantic notions to the test before the world goes topsy-turvy (there’s a Rapture-esque event, some monsters, you know…the usual things that interrupt date night).
But I like to think that Sam, given his druthers, would be even more the romantic than me. He’s take his gal, Molly, not to dinner and a movie, but dinner AT a movie. They’d dine on Italian while watching BIG NIGHT, afterwards go salsa dancing (Sam would be disappointed at the lack of chips), and end the evening with a stroll along San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, where he’s make jokes about the fish smell and how that’s probably just like the B.O. of Worf on Star Trek.
Get it? Wharf/Worf? Yeah, neither would Molly, probably, but she’d laugh and make Sam’s heart soar. Because romance is a two way street when you’re in love.
Sam Terra is having a bad week. He lost Molly, the woman he secretly loves, when she vanished before his eyes at the exact same time that ten percent of the inhabitants of Earth disappeared.
Naturally upset, Sam follows clues about the global vanishing with questionable help from his friends including a misanthropic co-worker and a childhood pal. When Molly reappears in the body of a man during a night of monster-laden devastation, Sam finally learns the truth. Not just about her, but about the planet Earth and the entire cosmos surrounding it.
What we consider mundane reality, others consider a game…and not a very good one. The whole thing is about to be shut down.
Eric Griffith is the author of the sci-fi novel BETA TEST from Hadley Rille Books, which Publishers Weekly called “an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale.” By day he works as the features editor for PCMag.com. By night he sneaks out of the house to write fictions. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York. You can follow his online exploits daily via http://egriffith.info