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Quantum physics, a retired god and a mild(ish)-mannered computer psychologist collide in Paul Mannering's comic scifi novel
55 backers pledged NZ$ 1,928 to help bring this project to life.

About

NZ$ 1,928

55

About the book

One of the many advantages of being a single, professional woman who lives alone, is there is no one around to judge you on your relationships with the household appliances. So it was without feeling like a complete idiot that I stepped back from the toaster and waited until its defensive growls subsided.

Charlotte Pudding, computer psychologist and recent orphan, is not precisely thrilled with her lot in life (and not just because of the ‘orphan’ bit). Nevertheless, having her routine disrupted by a shadowy corporation, a man who claims to be a retired god, and the secrets of her own family history isn't a walk in the park, either.

Charlotte’s quest for answers will lead her on a perilous journey into a religion based on Quantum Physics, a hunt for unexpectedly rare plant oil, and a fight to the shame against a black-belt in sarcasm. In a world that runs on peace and harmony, Charlotte is going to discover just how far some people are prepared to go to maintain tranquillity.

Douglas Adams meets Jasper Fforde in the first in a trilogy of comic sci fi novels by Paul Mannering.

Click here to read a sample from Engines of Empathy (PDF format).

About the Author

Paul Mannering
Paul Mannering

Wellington-based author Paul Mannering’s voracious reading and writing habit began at age 8 after his family’s black and white TV set blew up during the opening credits of an episode of Space 1999. This personal trauma and access to some odd reading material (Forensic medicine textbooks and years of Reader’s Digest) has shaped much of his writing ever since.

Engines of Empathy will be Paul’s fourth book, following The Man Who Could Not Climb Stairs and Other Strange Stories (self-published 2011), Tankbread (self-published 2011, Permuted Press 2013) and Tankbread 2: Immortal (Permuted Press, 2013). He is also the co-founder of BrokenSea Audio Productions.

Known as a writer of horror and the macabre, Paul wrote Engines of Empathy as a story that his family might feel comfortable reading. Previous stories having given his mother nightmares.

Cover art

Engines of Empathy's cover will be illustrated by Henry Christian-Slane, a New Zealand artist currently based in London, UK. We will be posting updates on Henry's progress with the cover during the course of this campaign.

See more of Henry's work here.

How will the money be spent?

This campaign is to raise money towards the costs of the first print run of Engines of Empathy. Editing, typesetting, design, art and distribution costs have already been covered by Paper Road Press.

Stretch goals

As of 11 March, we have reached our target of $1,500! Time to see if we can squeeze in some last-minute stretch goals before the 15th:

  • $1,750: Every backer who has selected a print book reward will also receive a free Engines of Empathy bookmark  
  • $2,000: Paul will write a bonus short story set in the Engines of Empathy world, which will be sent free to every backer as an ebook

Plus, if you've selected the paper backer reward or above, add $5 to your pledge and Paul will personally sign your copy of Engines of Empathy!

About Paper Road Press

Paper Road Press is a New Zealand publisher of ‘books from beyond the beaten track’ – compelling stories that explore new horizons, that poke holes in old genres and stitch them up with something new.

Engines of Empathy is the first novel published by Paper Road Press. In 2013, we published Baby Teeth: Bite-sized Tales of Terror, a collection of flash fiction by 27 New Zealand and American authors, all proceeds of which are donated to Duffy Books in Homes. Click here to read a sample of Baby Teeth, including a short story by Engines of Empathy author Paul Mannering.

We promise Engines is less freaky than Paul's Baby Teeth stories. Pinky swear.

Risks and challenges

Engines of Empathy has already been edited and is currently being prepared for print. The money raised through this Kickstarter campaign will be put towards the initial print run. While the book will be published regardless of the success of the campaign, backing this book on Kickstarter is a great way to show your support for New Zealand small press and pre-order a first-edition copy of Engines of Empathy.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 5 or more About US$ 3

    SPARKY You've donated the worth of a coffee, pie or - most generous of souls - possibly even a small sandwich, and for that you will be personally thanked in the book's Acknowledgements.

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    Pledge NZ$ 10 or more About US$ 7

    EBOOK BACKER Exactly what it says on the tin*: you will receive an ebook of ENGINES OF EMPATHY in either .epub or .mobi when the book is published, and be personally thanked in the book's Acknowledgements.

    *Pledge reward does not actually come in, or with, a tin.

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    Pledge NZ$ 15 or more About US$ 10

    EBOOK & GIFT You and a friend of your choosing will receive the ebook of ENGINES OF EMPATHY in .epub or .mobi format when the book is published, and you will be personally thanked in the book's Acknowledgements.

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    Pledge NZ$ 25 or more About US$ 17

    PAPER BACKER You will receive a print copy of the book, plus an ebook version in a format of your choice, and be personally thanked in the book's Acknowledgements.

    Add $10 for shipping outside New Zealand.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 50 or more About US$ 33

    DOUBLE SHOT Maybe you want one copy to read and one to keep pretty for your shelfies. Maybe you want to turn ENGINES OF EMPATHY into a pair of stylish slippers. Maybe you have, like, a friend, and want to give them a book? Whatever your reasons, this pledge level gets you two copies of the book, plus an ebook version in a format of your choice, and your name in the book's Acknowledgements.

    Add $20 for shipping outside New Zealand.

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    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About US$ 50

    TRIPLE PAPER BACKER Are you a triplet? Do you have multiple friends? Or three book-sized holes in your roof? Then this is the pledge level for you! Receive three copies of the paperback, plus an ebook version in a format of your choice, and your name in the book's Acknowledgements. Add $25 for shipping outside New Zealand.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 75 or more About US$ 50

    SHORT STORY CRITIQUE & EBOOK: Marie Hodgkinson will critique your short story (up to 7,500 words), and you will receive a copy of the Engines of Empathy ebook in .mobi or .epub format.

    (You can also use the critique for a 7,500 excerpt from a longer piece of writing, rather than a self-contained short story)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 100 or more About US$ 66

    QUAD PAPER BACKER Four books! That's a minimum of one per limb! With this pledge level, you will receive four copies of the paperback, plus an ebook version in a format of your choice, and your name in the book's Acknowledgements.

    Add $25 for shipping outside New Zealand.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 100 or more About US$ 66

    NOVEL EXCERPT CRITIQUE & EBOOK: Marie Hodgkinson will provide a detailed critique of up to 20,000 words of your novel, and you will receive a copy of the Engines of Empathy ebook in .mobi or .epub format.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 250 or more About US$ 166

    SPONSOR The big one: receive six copies of the print book, six copies of the ebook, and six bookmarks - perfect to use as gift packs or for a book club. We'll put your name and company logo (if applicable) in the imprint page as a principal sponsor of the book.

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    Pledge NZ$ 300 or more About US$ 199

    NOVEL CRITIQUE UP TO 60,000 WORDS & EBOOK: Marie Hodgkinson will provide a detailed critique of your novel up to 60,000 words, and you will receive a copy of the Engines of Empathy ebook in .mobi or .epub format.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 500 or more About US$ 332

    NOVEL CRITIQUE UP TO 100,000 WORDS & EBOOK: Marie Hodgkinson will provide a detailed critique of your novel up to 100,000 words, and you will receive a copy of the Engines of Empathy ebook in .mobi or .epub format.

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Funding period

- (40 days)