Monday, April 10, 2017

Softlife Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Softlife
Author: James R. Hardin
Pages: 268
Date Published: 2013
Format: Kindle
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Human or not, Jason1 may be just the right software to save the world. He’s about to find out.

Everyone thought the terrorist had completely destroyed the space station where the first faster-than-light spaceship was built. Actually, the survivors were implemented as softlife in the computers, and years later they and their virtual descendants live in a thriving but isolated community. Jason1, one of the few who used to be flesh and blood, doubts that this incorporeal existence really qualifies as life. But Iooi, a young native softlife, considers her kind an evolutionary step beyond biology, and three-dimensional space an annoying abstraction.

A spaceship arrives, and the two of them stow away in its computer, intending to establish ties with the rest of humanity. But the ship’s crew is evasive about why they came and what their plans are. And the experimental spacecraft, lost since the attack on the space station, has returned, carrying an unexpected threat the softlife may be uniquely qualified to fight. Working with other softlife, an old friend, and the intimidating Space Force general Heather Lacey, Jason1 must take on terrorists, truly malicious software, and his own self-doubts.

~My Thoughts~
I really liked Softlife. I don't really know what I was expecting, but the story was somehow both more and less of!

Jason1 is our hero...well, sort of. It's hard to be a traditional sort of hero when you're basically just a computer program, but Jason sure makes a good show of it! He's formerly flesh and blood, but was turned into programming when his space station was attacked by terrorists. 

The idea for a community of terrorist victims being uploaded to some vast cloud system as software is brilliant, edgy, and just a little scary, as you ponder the ability of today's scientists to possibly mimic something of the sort in the near future... *shudders* It actually reminded me vaguely of the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror. (Shameless plug, if you haven't binge-watched that entire series on Netflix, you are sorely missing out! Take the next week to immerse yourself in the futuristic dread of society's flaws!) 

I really liked the idea of Softlife. It's peculiar, but an utterly original way of interpreting life outside of Earth. I really enjoyed the book, and especially Jame's worldbuilding. Mixing together sci-fi, cyberpunk, and a healthy dose of thriller (a la the terrorists) and you've got yourself one facinating party. Definitely worth a read!
~Try an Excerpt!~
“History will be made today,” Jason Sangretti said, “and you two are going to miss it, glued to that computer.” He floated in the air positioned as if he were sitting in an invisible easy chair facing the large monitor on the wall, even drumming his fingers on the nonexistent chair's arm. He didn't really mean to be showing off his expertise in zero gravity—OK, maybe he did. As young as he was, his Space Force training still put his capability far ahead of even the experienced spacecraft construction workers here on the Starbase.

Amos gave Jason a brief look, but William's eyes never left his monitor as he said, “This is not unique. Since history is the accumulated sequence of past events, history is made every day.” He drifted in a contorted position beside his computer, clinging to it with one hand and awkwardly correcting for the reaction as he typed on it with the other. Jason had never seen William in normal gravity, but he was sure William would be awkward there as well.

“You know what I mean. Isn't it great to be alive on a day like this?”

“I have no experience being in a state other than alive, so I have no basis for comparison.”

With two precise flips of his arms, Jason rotated his imaginary chair to face William. “Now you're just being annoying on purpose.”

William finally looked up and grinned momentarily, then just said, “Yes, I am,” and returned to his typing.
~Meet James!~ 
James R. Hardin received his first rejection from a major publisher when he was 11 years old and has been writing fiction intermittently ever since. Softlife is his first novel, though certainly not his last. James supports himself and his family as an engineer in the R&D department of a major turbomachinery manufacturer, where he engages in aerodynamic design, computational fluid dynamics analyses, and battle with temperamental computers. When not writing or engineering, he often plays or composes music, usually on a piano or synthesizer. James lives in western Pennsylvania with his wife, a varying number of sons depending on who's home, and a lazy dog. You can find out more about James and his writing, as well as download a few of his musical compositions, at his website
James will be awarding a Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Thank you, Andra, for hosting this tour stop and for the review! And thanks to everybody who stops by today. I'll be in and out checking on comments, except for a few hours in the middle of the day (Eastern time) when I have to go to my "real" job. Oh, and let me sneak in the marketing stuff now: ebook versions of Softlife are on sale for $0.99 during April, and you can get big (up to 5 chapters) free samples at my web site, Goodreads, and most places Softlife is for sale (Amazon, B&N, others).

  3. Doing three book blog tour stops at the same time is interesting. I feel like I have this weird superpower to be in three places at once. (Don't tell them about this where I work; they'll expect me to do that all the time.)

  4. I just love your cover and I would love to read your book.

    1. Thanks! Creating a cover was something new for me ... gave me a lot of respect for real graphic artists. I'm glad you like it.

  5. Thanks for the excerpt ad giveaway as well.

  6. I'll check in again in a little while, but soon I'll turn in so I can get enough sleep to be able to do my job tomorrow. Thanks to everybody who visited today, and "you're welcome" to everybody who thanked me for the giveaway.

  7. Have a terrific Wednesday and thanks again for the chance at winning.

  8. Hello! I appreciate the opportunity to win, thanks so much!

    1. You're quite welcome. Feel free to follow the tour and look for more reviews, comments, and chances to win that gift card.

  9. Hello! Have a terrific day and thanks for the opportunity to win

  10. Happy Hump Day! Thanks once again for the chance at winning!

  11. Rainy day here in Michigan Hope your day is full of sunshine & fun. Thanks for the chance at winning!

  12. TGIF!!!! The best day of the week for so many. Hope it's a good one for you and thanks for the chance at winning.

  13. Hello!! Have a great Saturday and thank you once again for the giveaway and chance at winning.