Science Fiction Author Offers Readers $3,000 In Prizes To Read His Book

Illustration for article titled Science Fiction Author Offers Readers $3,000 In Prizes To Read His Book

The search for a new publishing model that takes advantage of the internet continues. Author Peter Riley is giving out $3,000 in prizes to people who'll read his book, Universes, and answer some questions about it.

Riley, a former editor with the London Free Press in Ontario, has posted his novel online for free, and he hopes that running contests with cash prizes will "stir up interest on the Internet in order to get the book ultimately noticed and published." He's been looking for a publisher since he finished the novel in 1999.

The contest starts July 4, with prizes range from $50 to $100 each. "They're questions, most of which you'd have to have read most or all of the book to be able to answer," explains Riley. "The best answer gets a prize." He'll post a new question every couple of weeks. Here's a synopsis:

Ozzie, a hotshot physicist with more neuroses than a camel has fleas, gets a chance to test his avant-garde version of string theory when he dies – and pops up in an alternate universe. This one happens to be populated by cannibals.

Lucy, his lovely young wife, thinking he may have been murdered, gets entangled in bizarre intrigues involving an ambition-crazed physicist, a crooked FBI agent and a mad scientist who uses human guinea pigs.


You can read Riley's book here. [via London Free Press]

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I don't know, but just that he feels that he needs to qualify the wife as "lovely, young" sits badly with me, like his intended audience isn't SF readers but Hollywood producers.

And yeah, if the synopsis is an indicator of the quality of his prose, then I don't think I'd take $3000 to read the book (and I could really use the money these days).