Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

escape.. possible - Floor 21 by Jason Luthor

" The author has done a splendid job in beautifully carving out the story.
The pace of the story is great and the voice of the main character just wooed me! [...] I was hooked from the start to the very end. Each and every chapter or recording kept me glued to the book and made me finish the book in a day." - Goodreads, Heena


The last of humanity is trapped at the top of an isolated apartment tower with no memory of how they got there or why. All travel beneath Floor 21 is forbidden, and nobody can ever recall seeing the ground floor. Beneath Floor 21, a sickness known as the Creep infests that halls of the Tower. A biological mass that grows stronger in reaction to people’s fear and anger, the Creep prey’s on people by causing them to hallucinate until they’re in a state of panicking, before finally growing strong enough to lash out and consume them. Only a small team known as Scavengers are allowed to go beneath Floor 21 to pillage the lower levels in search of food and supplies. 

Jackie is a brilliant young girl that lives far above the infection and who rarely has to worry about facing any harm. However, her intense curiosity drives her to investigate the bottom floors and the Creep. To deal with her own anxiety and insecurities, she documents her experiences on a personal recorder as she explores the secrets of the Tower. During the course of her investigation, Jackie will find herself at odds with Tower Authority, which safeguards what remains of humanity, as she attempts to determine what created the Creep, how humanity became trapped at the top of the Tower, and whether anyone knows if escape is even possible. 

10 Thinks You Might Not Know About Floor 21

· FLOOR 21 began as a National Novel Writer’s Month project before being contracted through Scout Publishing.

· Even though it was finished for NaNoWriMo, the project happened by complete accident. It began as a short writing exercise and received such enthusiastic reception, it was turned into a full book. The original drafting was finished in a week, and editing completed within a month.

· The book is inspired by a mixture of popular media: the science fiction and dystopian elements are inspired by the DREDD comic and movie series, as well as a popular read among Middle Age groups known as The Giver. Yet another science fiction inspiration wasThe Matrix.

· The slight horror elements were drawn more from video games than film or books. While the idea of a society trapped at the top of the tower originated while watching The Walking Dead, the use of recordings to document the past came from a trend found in a number of current video games, including the dystopian science fiction, Bio Shock.

· Perhaps the greatest influence on the book is the French surrealist game, OFF. Although OFF contains no cohesive narrative, it oddly mixes outlandish characters and fantastic setting, including a protagonist known as the Batter. Jackie’s baseball uniform is a nod to this inspiration.

· Many people make the assumption when reading the book that the apartment tower Jackie lives in is a mirror of our own. Instead, the Tower is more like the Mega-Towers of the Dredd universe, which were capable of housing tens of thousands.

· The most common question that comes up is, “Where did the fresh steak come from?” If this society has been trapped for decades or centuries, how do they scavenge fresh food from the Tower? The answer is the in the story, but it’s very subtle, and much more clearly answered in Book 2.

· FLOOR 21 set out to build mysteries upon mysteries. Two shows that inspired this were LOST and Battlestar Galactica. A good mystery beneath all the conflict and science fiction spices up a story. The book presents a number of questions that have unravelling answers that unfold throughout the course of the series.

· Jackie, the hero, experiences a transition in the way she talks throughout the series. Although she always speaks casually, her way of speaking in Book 1 is far more ‘teen talk’ than in later additions to the series. The series was always supposed to follow her as she grew older and matured, and the way she speaks is one example of this.

· The third sequel in the series is getting ready for release. Although the original trilogy is all about exploring the history of the Tower, there’s a whole world outside of it that has room to be explored.

About the author:
Jason Luthor has spent a long life writing for sports outlets, media companies and universities. His earliest writing years came during his coverage of the San Antonio Spurs as an affiliate with the Spurs Report and its media partner, WOAI Radio. He would later enjoy a moderate relationship with Blizzard Entertainment, writing lore and stories for potential use in future games. At the academic level he has spent several years pursuing a PhD in American History at the University of Houston, with a special emphasis on Native American history.

His inspirations include some of the obvious; The Lord of the Rings and Chronciles of Narnia are some of the most cited fantasy series in history. However, his favorite reads include the Earthsea Cycle, the Chronicles of Prydain, as well as science fiction hits such as Starship Troopers and Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?

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