It’s been a couple weeks since RADIO got its first SPFBO6 review from Travis over at The Fantasy Inn and I want to revisit it here now that I’m finally done squee-ing.

I’m thrilled with the success RADIO has had in the competition thus far. Fist came the recognition of my wife’s spectacular cover design in the SPFBO6 Cover Contest and now I have this excellent review to celebrate. It’s great to know that RADIO has more than just good looks!

What makes me most excited about the review is that the reviewer found the story to be unique and that its uniqueness worked. On the surface, this might not sound like much but we’re talking about a fantasy writing competition. In a genre filled with voracious readers who want their dragons, paladins, wizards, and magic, it can be risky to try something outside the mold. It seems I’ve pulled it off and that is truly rewarding.

To see the full review, click here and I definitely encourage you to do so. To see where all the books in the competition stand currently, go here.

Finally, to give you a small sample of what The Fantasy Inn had to say, and to sum up my happiness, I’ll leave you with the final paragraph from the review.

“RADIO by J. Rushing is a book that will pull you in with the spectacular worldbuilding and keep you invested with the wonderful character arcs. Overall, it was a damn fun read. I’ve never read another book where an ancient opium-addicted god gets a guitar solo in a jazz club while an immortal demon mind controls the crowd… and somehow I suspect I never will again.

This book is also a contender for one of the Fantasy Inn’s SPFBO semifinalists.” 

Travis – The Fantasy Inn

Can’t ask for better than that.

In this new blog series, I’ll be exploring the ways in which the world of RADIO diverges from our own reality. So much is familiar but remember, the devil is in the details and oh, what devils they can be.

In this first installment, we’ll focus on the fundamental principal that makes everything in RADIO possible.

Consciousness

In RADIO, consciousness is not something that humans possess. It isn’t housed or generated within us. Instead it comes to us as a signal from somewhere out in the æther. Where? Not even Marduk knows.

Humans “tune in” to their own consciousness much like a radio tunes in to a station. Like a radio, the mind allows us to interface with these signals. Without a radio the song won’t play and without a mind, life’s gone too. Not every human interacts with these signals in the same manner. For a select few, their manipulation of consciousness brings with it great power.

Mono-Reveivers

The vast majority of human beings are Mono-Receivers or Monos as those in the Mentium call them. They can only tune in to their own consciousness. They go about their daily lives oblivious to the thoughts of others or the control forced on them by the “gods.” The monos think they run the world, and this is, of course, by design.

Multi-Receivers

Much more rare are Multi-Receivers or Multis. These are the Great Mindinis and Madames Esmereldas of the world. Now, your run of the mill fortune tellers, mediums, and mystics are the flimflam artists you expect them to be, however, some within their ranks are true mind readers. They possess the ability to tune in to not only their own consciousness but those of others as well. What they do with what they learn can make them friend or foe but either way, they can get into your head.

Broadcasters

The “gods”, though they are, indeed, human, refer to themselves as Broadcasters. This minuscule fraction of the population not only can read minds, they can broadcast images, commands, and more into the heads of those nearby. This power to control someone else’s consciousness is what has helped them build their religions, empires, and ultimately the Mentium itself. It’s how they’ve managed to dominate the world for millennia. While their mental reach was once limited to an area no larger than a kilometer, it now spans the continent thanks to the power of Marduk’s radio. Nothing will be the same for anyone.

Spectres

Finally we come to the Spectres. They are the most powerful and most rare of all humans. Little is known about them because Spectres do not exist. They don’t exist because the Mentium does not allow them to exist. The gods cannot stand to be prey.

Want to know more? Stay tuned for the next installment where we’ll discover just who the Mentium are, how they’ve come to dominate the globe, and what godhood means in the world of RADIO.

June has been a very intense month for me and for the world. I’ve been trying to keep a bit of a lower profile online to make space for all of the conversations that need to be happening. However, that doesn’t mean things haven’t been going on behind the scenes so I thought it would be good to do a recap on everything that’s been going on with me and RADIO.

Let’s start off by laying out where things are with SPFBO. (The Self Published Fantasy Blog Off)

As we stepped into June, I found out that RADIO was placed with The Fantasy Inn for judging. I couldn’t have asked for a better blog to tear into my work. I’m unsure when RADIO will be reviewed and my nerves can only hope it comes sooner than later. Either way, results should be in by November-ish. RADIO did catch their eye and The Fantasy Inn reviewers chose it as one of their three favorite book covers out of their group of thirty.That meant RADIO was entered into the official SPFBO Cover Competition. Once there, it continued to see success. It received a judges vote making it one of the Judges Cover Champions. I didn’t win, but I’m very proud that my wife’s excellent design work was recognized.

RADIO was also featured in Fantasy Book Critic’s Spotlight: Intriguing Titles in SPFBO Part I. This is the first of a series of posts devoted to highlighting books that stood out to them in the vast sea of SPFBO competitors. I’m super proud to be in that mix and you should check out all the other competitors there. I think this year’s competition is going to be tough.

In a fun turn of events, I was @’d on Twitter by @Mannywrites1 while she discussed that RADIO would be the first review she’d do if she decided to start a blog.I told her I thought it was a great idea and that I’d even do an interview with her if she wanted so she dove in, started a blog, expanded on the great review she had already left me on Goodreads and we did the interview. It all worked out great, I’m honored she liked RADIO so much, and I wish her all the best. Check out her blog at Queen Flea for both the review and the interview.

It’s been a few months of ups and downs but I finally have all of my distribution channels up and running for both ebook and paperback. RADIO is available in .mobi, .epub, and paperback from the following retailers.

Finally, I’m a firm believer in having more than one creative outlet. As many of you know, I’m a musician and an amateur luthier. In June, I completed my latest build. It’s a rock and metal bass guitar that I call the “Fracture” because it’s just monstrous. I’m really proud of this one. Especially for getting it done on my patio during lockdown using only hand tools and hand-held powertools. Enjoy.