By Sound Alone

By Sound Alone

by Mark Torrey
By Sound Alone

By Sound Alone

by Mark Torrey


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The surface of the ocean has become a contested place. International shipping is forced undersea, carried out by submarines fitted for transporting cargo. Captain Sylvia Percy and her small crew run one such boat, the Prospect. They fight a daily battle to keep their rusting sub from dropping into the depths. It's just another grimy job until they find themselves pursued by a military submarine driven by some inexplicable violent purpose. To survive, the crew of the Prospect push the machine that is their home to the very edge of its capabilities, while still trying to make their delivery on time.

How about a bulleted list to make it easier for you?
  • It's free. Open-source-style free.
  • It's a page-turner. Full of submarine action and excitement!
  • It's cinematic - full of visual descriptions that put you right there in the control room of the submarine.
  • There's characters you'll love, and characters you aren't sure you love by the end.
  • Realistic mid-century mechanics - no magic tech in this book.
  • It's well written. (That's what people tell me anyway.)
  • It was edited by a professional (who was not the author).
  • It's got women in leadership positions in a submarine story (it passes the Bechdel test) - how's that for unusual?
  • It has got a lovable homing pigeon. (Something for the bird lovers. Probably the only book you'll ever read that has both a submarine and a pigeon.)
  • It's gritty and grimy and full of foul language. If you're into that sort of thing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798855697933
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Press
Publication date: 01/05/2024
Pages: 388
Sales rank: 784,894
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

Ever consider the possibility that the biography of an author maybe doesn't matter so much? After all, to this day, we know virtually nothing about, say, Thomas Pynchon or J.D. Salinger, and it certainly worked to George Eliot's advantage that people didn't know her biography. And there's ongoing debate over whether all of Shakespeare's works were even written by the same person. And if we can't say much about the biography of Shakespeare, then why do we care about anyone else?

Let's set aside the trope of the mysterious genius author who we know little about though. More interesting that than is the notion that a great work might come from anyone or anywhere. Transcendent "outsider" work is the most unique and interesting writing there is. My book is not that. But I acknowledge a desire deep within myself that it was. As a half-measure towards that, I try hard in all my writing to keep a grip on accessibility and clarity while at the same time trying to let go of the need to conform to convention.

I would like to see the punk-rock DIY aesthetic brought into modern writing. Along with that, I'd like to see writing judged more on its own merits than on some credential list. What is that but giving yourself over to someone else's authority?

Worse yet, is the use of the author bio as a way to project the reader's own fantasies about what their life might be onto the author -- as a way to sell books, no less. The attractive, stylish author in the headshot on the back of the book. The "a writer living in Brooklyn" in the italicized bio blurb. The ivy league educations and the privilege of having the time in life to write a novel because someone else has paid the expenses of living. I'm putting my foot down. It has got to be stopped. It ends here.
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