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by Michael Leon
A naturally gifted ex-national champion and a savant with a computer-like mind compete against the world’s best in the 22nd century’s most popular sport – CUBEBALL – the chess-like, technology-enhanced, snooker of the future where the world stage is dominated by gambling, drugs and massive audiences.
Jules’ gaze emboldened Mickey to reveal his special gift to her. He strode confidently to the cue-ball and lined up one of the most difficult shots in cubeball. Then with little thought, he cracked the cue-ball with a force that matched the passion he was feeling. The curve on the first line was more pronounced than the programmed line set by the computer.
Mickey had struck the perfect shot. Sam and Riley sat staring at the console, mesmerised by what they had just seen and eager to re-capture its perfection on replay. Only champions could play this way and it was clear to all that Mickey was developing into one.
“F**king incredible,” said Johnnie. His eyes were wide. Filled with awe for Mickey’s skills and expectation with how much he could earn from it.
Mickey didn’t hear his appreciative manager. He didn’t see the small tear that had formed in his kid sister’s admiring eye. His gaze remained on Jules. She brushed her hair back on to her shoulders before resting her slender hands on her hips. Her mouth was wide open, breathing in her excitement for what she had just seen. Then her eyes revealed that there was more to her feelings than that of an adoring fan. Her gaze began to fill with a stirring hunger. Fate was beginning to move into Mickey’s life like an evening moon tide.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I worked with national and international organisations as a business analyst in Australia and overseas. I authored many business books analysing the foodservice and food retail industry in Australia, Europe and Asia, as well as agribusiness global trends. I also ran a consultancy business that assisted Australian enterprises to develop new markets in Australia and overseas.
I commenced writing science fiction novels full time in 2009. It was a life-long interest of mine. I have written five novels – all exploring contemporary social issues in future speculative worlds. They are: Shadow Dance; Extinction; Cubeball; Titan Sages and Alive. My novels blend speculative science, new age and poetry. Readers of novels such as Carl Sagan’s Contact would enjoy my novels.
1. What is something you lied about?
Like most people, I have been inclined to lie about my age at times. When I was young I’d often say I was older. Now I’m older, I often say I’m younger!
2. Who is the last person you hugged?
I hugged my partner, Anne, for cooking a beautiful dinner. I envy her culinary skills and sometimes wish I had her experience. But cooking is something she genuinely enjoys and that joy transmits into the quality of her cuisine.
3. What are you reading now?
I am reading AC Grayling, an English philosopher. I was lucky enough to see him at a book launch while he was visiting Melbourne this year. I enjoyed the way he explained difficult concepts in an engaging manner. He is not unlike Carl Sagan, but more witty than poetic. I would definitely include him on my ‘must have’ list of dinner party guests I’d most like to invite.
4. How do you come up with the titles on your book?
I always try to keep them simple, one or two words. Usually the decision is made at the end of the writing process. I have some favourite titles and then brainstorm it with my mentor and friends.
5. Share your dream cast for your book
Given Cubeball was influenced by two movies from the past – The Hustler & Rainman – I would have a young Steve McQueen as Mickey, Jackie Gleason as Johnnie, Dustin Hoffman as Ludwig, Morgan Freeman as Dr. Vance and a young Meryl Streep as Riley
Prizes for the tour are as follows:
• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
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