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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

An Equation of Almost Infinite Complexity


Today, Castalia House is pleased to announce a debut novel by J. Mulrooney, AN EQUATION OF ALMOST INFINITE COMPLEXITY.

When the devil moves in next door to Cooper Smith Cooper's house, Cooper doesn't know what to make of him at first. But when the unexpectedly neighborly Scratch helps the unemployed actuary find a job at a local insurance company with the help of some inside information into the activities of Death, Cooper decides the old devil might not be so bad after all. 

 The only problem, Cooper thinks, is how to conceal from his fellow actuaries his newfound ability to perfectly predict the time and place of people's deaths. And then, there is also the small matter of the screams of his recently deceased neighbor coming from Scratch's basement furnace to consider. 

 AN EQUATION OF ALMOST INFINITE COMPLEXITY is a sardonically funny debut novel from J. Mulrooney.

This was one of the first novels I signed to Castalia House, and it has been nearly two years in the making. The genre is a little hard to describe, as it has fantasy elements, satirical elements, and literary elements. I would put it somewhere between The Missionaries and Loki's Child; it's not quite as funny as the former, not anywhere nearly as pedal-to-the-metal insane as the latter. It is intelligent, witty, and has a peculiar sensibility all its own; there is, perhaps, just a little John Irving maple syrup flavor to it.

Our production editor loved this one and says it is his favorite of all the novels we've published to date. Regardless, it certainly has one of the best first lines since Larry Correia's first Monster Hunter novel.

When the devil moved in next door, Cooper Smith Cooper had the same question everyone else did: how would it affect the property values?

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34 Comments:

Blogger Scott Birch November 16, 2016 5:18 AM  

Sounds Pratchett-like. Sounds great.

Blogger VD November 16, 2016 5:24 AM  

Pratchett is more purely genre. This has a more literary style, and contains more literary elements. But it is definitely a humorous novel, although I don't think it tries anywhere nearly as hard as the early Pratchett did.

No one would ever call this "a romp", is what I mean.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable November 16, 2016 5:46 AM  

Sold!

Blogger Shimshon November 16, 2016 6:04 AM  

Will there be an email offer?

Blogger VD November 16, 2016 6:23 AM  

Just went out.

Blogger Kallmunz November 16, 2016 6:34 AM  

Any plans for an audiobook or do wait to see how the print edition sells?

Blogger VD November 16, 2016 6:49 AM  

We'll get to it eventually. Which is ALWAYS the answer to these questions, be they print or audio.

Blogger Gordon November 16, 2016 7:36 AM  

Hey, it's your publishing company and all, but here's some very singular data: Most of what I read nowadays is audio. I'm so busy around the house when I'm not working that I just don't have time to read. I DO have time to listen to stuff when I'm driving. In fact, I didn't buy the Kindle or paper versions of SJWs Always Lie. I did buy the audio, and just finished it.

So...what does it take to get things in gear enough for the audio versions to be released simultaneously? Can I help? I'm busy but there's always a bit of time to work.

Blogger VD November 16, 2016 7:42 AM  

So...what does it take to get things in gear enough for the audio versions to be released simultaneously?

There is no chance of it. Audio is not, and probably never will be, a priority worth delaying the release of the ebooks for. We sell 10x more ebooks than audio books, and 3.5x more print books than audiobooks.

The market doesn't justify it.

Blogger Cato the Elder November 16, 2016 7:53 AM  

Any hint of The Screwtape Letters?

Blogger VD November 16, 2016 8:12 AM  

Not particularly, except perhaps in tone. It's not a Christian novel.

Blogger Fenris Wulf November 16, 2016 8:27 AM  

My favorite fictional portrayal of Satan is C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy. His grown-up books have a lot of psychological depth, and the depiction of the "Bent One" (speaking through a reanimated corpse and then a decapitated head) is chilling.

The Pan-like image is a fairly recent invention. It should be interesting to see what Mulrooney does with it.

Blogger Matthew November 16, 2016 8:30 AM  

It has the kind of subdued, but continually mounting humor of a Wodehouse novel. Droll absurdities.

Blogger pyrrhus November 16, 2016 9:44 AM  

I just started it, terrific so far...

Blogger Scott Birch November 16, 2016 10:52 AM  

"No one would ever call this "a romp", is what I mean"

Gotcha. Thank you, Vox.

Anonymous Pony1 November 16, 2016 11:12 AM  

This sounds like it's right up my alley, can't wait to check it out!

Blogger lowercaseb November 16, 2016 11:55 AM  

This sounds like literary crack cocaine. I loved the Screwtape letters when I was growing up...I'm interested in seeing what he brings on this.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable November 16, 2016 12:07 PM  

I'm a chapter and a half in and it's already brilliant.

Anonymous Dave November 16, 2016 12:55 PM  

I expect J. Mulrooney will be glad he teamed with CH seeing as his other book on Amazon published in Sept 2014 has a total of 5 reviews.

As of 12:45 pm EST:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,318 Paid in Kindle Store
#5 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Satire
#6 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Satire
#9 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Satire

Blogger RobertT November 16, 2016 12:56 PM  

Some comments. Most authors don't put enough time into the opening.

One of your sentences convinced me of that. Many books I read start off slowly. I may read into them for a while, but if they don't grab my attention I close the book and quit buying that author. Other books grab my attention instantly and we're off to the races. They may not live up to their promise, but I will read deeply into them before abandoning them.

For instance, the first chapter in Joshua Ramos' latest book is world class, but he falls on his face in the 2nd chapter. Loki's Child apparently has the opposite shortcoming - a slow, sluggish beginning. I think a slow start is the kiss of death to aspiring authors. Your comment about 'pedal to the metal' revived my interest. If you could do that with one lively sentence (pedal to the metal), most authors don't put enough time into the opening.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable November 16, 2016 1:25 PM  

I absolutely love Loki's Child, but you're correct. Those opening few chapters are clever and funny and superbly written, but they do not telegraph the rest of the book -- and they don't blow you away out of the gate -- and therefore needed to be bookended or worked around in some way (no way they could be deleted or shortened).

Fenris, I hope you have a few more books that enjoyable in you, sir.

Blogger Pinakeli November 16, 2016 2:26 PM  

Looks interesting. Now if Amazon will get my account unlocked I'll be buying it.

Anonymous Instasetting November 16, 2016 2:30 PM  

Halfway thru Loki's Child, and pedal to the metal insane is a fair description of it.

OT, but I saw a download for Civ 5 which has Donald Trump's Great America as a playable nation.

Blogger Aeoli Pera November 16, 2016 2:47 PM  

When the devil moved in next door, Cooper Smith Cooper had the same question everyone else did: how would it affect the property values?

That sounds like something Steve Sailer would write.

Blogger Matthew November 16, 2016 4:13 PM  

Affordable family damnation.

Blogger Aeoli Pera November 16, 2016 4:16 PM  

Living next to the devil guarantees your kids go to the best schools.

Blogger Aeoli Pera November 16, 2016 4:17 PM  

Sure there are some Haitian kids attending, but they're mostly for sacrifices.

Blogger Dave November 16, 2016 4:51 PM  

As of 4:50 EST:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,048 Paid in Kindle Store
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Satire
#3 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Satire
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Satire

Blogger James Dixon November 16, 2016 5:00 PM  

> Sounds Pratchett-like. Sounds great.

Sounds more a Jack Chalker to me (https://www.amazon.com/Devil-Will-Drag-You-Under/dp/0345305043/). But we could do a lot worse than another Jack Chalker.

Blogger S. Misanthrope November 16, 2016 5:54 PM  

I'm obviously going to have to read this, being an actuary. If I like it, Christmas gifts for the whole team!

Anonymous J. Mulrooney November 16, 2016 8:09 PM  

Gloriosky, such buzz! Glad to be here, all. Thanks for reading.

Anonymous Dave November 16, 2016 9:02 PM  

Congrats Mr. Mulrooney, looking forward to reading it.

Blogger Dave November 16, 2016 9:08 PM  

Congrats Mr. Mulroney, looking forward to reading it.

Blogger Jack Ward November 16, 2016 10:48 PM  

@22. Pinakeli

Had the same problem yesterday trying to buy an ebook. Spent quite some time with the Amazon overseas customer service getting the account working again. You know, the people that have accents you can almost not understand. Or them you. Finally got it figured out. Last purchased one in late oct. I have no idea why and how Amazon manages to screw up an account dating from 2009 with over 400 purchases, but, they did. Very frustrating. Maybe Vox can start an Amazon alternative. [ok, probably won't happen; we can dream]

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