Welcome to the fourth day of The Journey blog tour. It will run until August 9th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:
The Frozen Man. The Translucent Man. The Burning Man. The Wicker Man. The guide known only as the Crossroads, together these are the signposts and totems of the world that the being called the Lonely inhabits. Seeking out the meaning of his journey, the Lonely is a being consumed by philosophical inquiry and adventure. Filled with exotic places and age-old questions, the Journey is a book that seeks to merge the fantastical and real. Join the Lonely as he seeks out answers to his own existence and perhaps the meaning for us all.
Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
Absolutely. I am a friendly person who will always help out. I make time for others and I have tendency to go out of my way to make sure things go smoothly. Also, I watch a lot of Doctor Who.
Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
I think losing touch with a good friend who lives close because you run the risk of seeing them and having nothing to say. Or worse yet, you engage in that awkward, bland conversation that both sides know is lip service. A very sad state of affairs indeed.
What are you most grateful for?
My family and the group of close friends who I have maintained for most of my life. I am always surprised to meet new people who fit into the slowly shrinking circle of close confidants, but it is always welcome.
Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:
The Northern Chamber
The cold winds assailed the Lonely, yet he continued on despite the bitter touch of nature. As he was beginning to feel that he could travel no more, he came upon something he had not expected: the city of the North. The place known as the Northern Chamber, the house of those devoted to the ideals of the North. Upon entering this place, he felt the cold wash away and the storms stop. And as he turned back to see the trail by which he had come, he saw the veil of snow and wind through which he had ventured remained just outside of the city.
It was suspended as if frozen in time. People passed by him as if he were not there at all. Their features were pale and cold, as though they were not human at all. The city possessed no sheen, no shine, just a cold, desolate existence in which each man walked as if it were an interminable death march.
The Lonely approached the first building which harbored an open door and entered. A feeling of nothingness washed over him as the dim interior of the room absorbed him. He approached the counter. What resided behind it was a machine––a machine resembling a man. Cold, calculating eyes bore into the Lonely’s flesh from behind its chiseled, soulless features. Its movements were restricted and linear as it placed its arms on the counter and cocked its head to the Lonely.
“You are waste,” the machine called.
“What are you?” the Lonely queried, bewildered by the machine-man.
“I am perfection, the pinnacle of man.”
“You are a machine.”
“Better to be logical as a machine than random and undisciplined as an animal,” returned the machine. Cocking its head back once again, it watched the Lonely with a cold gaze.
The Lonely turned away and looked around the room. All of the patrons resembled the machines, their features identical––and all men. “Where are the women?”
“Women possess the flaw of emotion, their ways unstable and unpredictable. We have found no use for them here in the North. We care only of the perfection of oneself, the attainment of the goals of the individual.”
The Lonely shook his head, confused by the blatant, cold mentality of the machine-thing. “Life cannot be lived as thus. You must seek the middle way. A life without emotion and bonding is one lived in complete darkness. Even logic can understand that.”
“The unpredictability of emotion makes it unusable in the equation of success and profit. Emotion clouds judgment, which leads to disaster and chaos. The North does not allow such things. We thrive on consistency, usefulness.”
“I have come seeking answers. The Crossroads said that answers could be found here in the North––a piece of the puzzle for which I search.”
“The Frozen Man is the wisest among us. His logic is dizzying.”
“Where can I find this Frozen Man?”
“He is at the farthest reaches of the tundra. We were too flawed for his science.”
Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.
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