Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Guest Post: The World of Socket Greeny by Tony Bertauski

Today I have a guest post. He is Tony Bertauski, the author of The Discovery of Socket Greeny. You can check what he wrote about Socket Greeny after the synopsis of his book below. :)

Work comes first for 16-year old Socket Greeny's mother ever since his father died. That was 11 years ago. Now, in this tech-driven futuristic society, he's zoned on energy drinks and living in virtual worlds because Mom rarely comes home. He doesn't know what she does for a living. The bills get paid and the refrigerator is full, so why bother with details? His only real world thrill is fighting. He doesn't always win, but that's not the point. Breaking skin is a reality rush.

But a world can change in a single moment.
It's a school day like any other, until Socket starts hearing other people's thoughts. He's hallucinating, maybe brain rot from too much virtualmode. Even when time seems to stop, he ignores it. The mind playing tricks. But when his mom arrives at school, he knows it's for real. She's there to take him to work.
The Paladin Agency.
He discovers an evolved race of humans that have existed for centuries, where thoughts can be heard. And felt. They are people that can manipulate time through the body's metabolism. They protect the rest of humankind and strive to bring them understanding of their full potential. But some Paladins see humankind as inferior. Imperfect. Cancer.

Socket soon finds himself in the center of controversy when he's anointed a Paladin prodigy. He didn't ask for the "blessing" of psychic powers and the ability to timeslice, he just wants to go home and be normal again. But, sometimes, life doesn't give us that privilege, his mom tells him. And when humankind is threatened and the Paladins are forced into the public eye, Socket discovers what his mother means. If he doesn't embrace his true nature, the 

world will change forever


It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

I remember this line in Sunday school. It made no sense. I’m thinking, if I got all the money in the world, that’s heaven, baby. I’m already there. What’s there to be sad about if I got it all? Like AC/DC sang:

            If this is hell, then hell ain’t a bad place to be.

But at that tender age, all I needed was a Pop Tart and an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter and things were good. But they got a little complicated in the teenage years. If I got everything I wanted for Christmas, the thrill was gone by January. Nothing was forever. There was no everlasting joy. It was just the next thing. Buckaroo Banzai summed it up:

No matter where you go, there you are.

Socket Greeny crawled into my head when I turned 40. He lived in a future world, where anti-gravity boosters made things float and phones were imbedded in our cheeks. A world where we had everything we could possibly want. Where there were still proms and homecomings and jocks and nerds and bullies and fights under bleachers. There was love and heartbreak, attraction and rejection. And hormones. It was still there, even with everything we could possibly want.

For some young adults, there’s a feeling of worthlessness. This deep down, irrational feeling that we just don’t matter. Maybe some kids get it beat into their skull or life deals them a bad hand and it’s nobody’s fault but sucks just the same. The Buddha said life is suffering. Some feel that more than others. And at some point, the questions get asked. The big ones. What’s it all about? Is this worth it?

Do I matter?

Socket didn’t come from nowhere. He came from inside me. I asked those questions. And I didn’t feel like I was the only one asking them. But Socket had fiction on his side. He’s got superpowers, sure. He’s extraordinary even among the extraordinary. He’s the best the human race has to offer. But even with the world at his fingertips, he finds the mountains only grow taller.

In the end, he discovers that nothing is what it seems to be. In the end, yes, against everything that tells him to quit, that it’s not worth it, he discovers that yes, it is.

An editor once told me that all stories are just a retelling of Christ. Clearly, he hadn’t seen Dumb and Dumber. But when Socket Greeny was finished, looking back, he was right. The world wants a savior. To know that it’s all going to be all right. Socket asks the questions. Kicks ass to enlightenment. He doesn’t find answers because he stops asking the questions. In the end, he discovers there is nowhere to go.

Because there you are.


Thanks for stopping by Tony. Thanks for telling us more about Socket Greeny.
More about Tony Bertauski | Website | Blog
Buy The Discovery of Socket Greeny at 

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