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.
At that moment Mickey knew he had to play his way and make a shot that would not be forgotten. He called “power-play.”
He imagined the perfect shot in his mind’s eye as he circled the table twice, deliberating his fateful shot. The balls loomed large, but strangely different. The table appeared more circular than a cube as he lowered his chin to his carbon steel cue. The whole shot played in his mind as he drew back the cue to strike the cue-ball with a force that engulfed the whole stadium.
The crack of the cue-ball as it struck its target echoed sharply its warning of an imminent tidal wave of spin and curve that would capture the imagination of every fan in the stadium, or at home in front of their cubebit. In one game changing savage strike, the red ball fell into the pocket as the cue-ball savagely spun into the red triangle, spreading the reds in all directions from the centrifugal force of the cue-ball. Mickey slotted twelve red and black combinations in four minutes, gaining an unassailable lead. He followed that with a perfect defensive stroke, leaving the cue-ball safely jammed behind yellow. Flaveau conceded the game and the match, shell-shocked by the unique high-spin attack Mickey had unleashed. The break was soon nicknamed ‘the pulsar’ and it had secured Mickey the first semi-final win and a shot at the world title.
Interview with the Author:
1. Can you describe your dream home?
I have lived in large homes, but now prefer a simpler style of living. For me the dream lifestyle would be to live in a number of homes. I’d live in a small unit in Bordeaux in Spring. I’d live on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland to enjoy its mild winters. Then I’d return to my home town, Melbourne for the rest of the year. Each home would small, uncluttered, close to the city, but with a garden view and of course I’d fill it with modern technology, plus the best coffee machine money can buy!
2. If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
I have one favourite dish for that special occasion – Beef Bourguignon. I usually cook quick and simple dishes, but given my current interest in all things French, I love to occasionally slow cook a meal. It takes three hours of preparation, followed by another 24 hours marinating. I choose only the finest ingredients, including a fine Barossa Valley red (sometimes a Bordeaux red if it’s a very special occasion). The taste and aroma is to die for…ooh la la…tres bon!
3. Tell us about the absolute best fan letter you ever received.
One fan was so excited, she read my book in one night. That is the measure of an enjoyable read. I wish every reader would enjoy my books that much. I know that I love to be swept away by books in that way.
4. Say your publisher has offered to fly you to anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
I can’t give too much detail away, for it will give away too many secrets about my forthcoming novel. But, I would ask my publisher to fly me to Paris (First class!). I’d stay at Le Royal Monceau-Raffles. I’d be granted free access to all areas of the Garnier Opera House and granted an interview with a famous guest of this very beautiful building. I won’t give too much away, except to say there is an extraordinary guest I’d like to meet. There’s one small problem. He is no longer alive! Have you guessed who he is yet? The reason for this unlikely meeting? Well that’s another story, but I can tell you I have met him and I have a photo to prove it! Any interested readers are welcome to text me and I will reveal to you a record of our meeting!
5. Who designed the book cover of the book you are touring.
BookPOD designed the Cubeball cover. Initially, I wanted to have an actual cube playing arena on the cover. Mickey would be playing a shot in front of an adoring crowd. But BookPOD presented a simpler image. I liked it immediately, as it visually represented the story. There was one black cubeball, from it emanated a blue power surge, representing the technology in the first instance, but also the insidious impact of drugs and gambling that surrounded the game.
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.
One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: