The Punch Escrow is a futuristic sci-fi novel written by Tal M. Klein and published on Inkshares. What’s really incredible about The Punch Escrow is that it is the winner of Geek & Sundry’s Hard Science Contest we held last year in partnership with Inkshares. For those who aren’t familiar with the Inkshares platform, it allows authors to submit story ideas, develop them into drafts, get feedback from the community, and even sell pre-orders. If your book earns enough pre-orders, Inkshares will edit, produce, distribute, and market your book.
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The Punch Escrow is a definite success story for the platform. In addition to the services listed above, Inkshares have a great editorial team who helped Tal flesh out an incredibly hyper-real hard science fiction world, and evolve the narrative into “an elevated cinematic thriller with a love story at its core.” Published books are represented in partnership with Inkshares by United Talent Agency (UTA) for the sale of movie and TV rights, and this is also offered on the author’s behalf for published books. The Punch Escrow has closed a deal with Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. in what has been described as a competitive bidding cycle for the movie rights. While film studios earning the rights to books does not guarantee a silver screen adaptation, what gives us hope that this will be produced is the fact that multiple studios were allegedly interested in obtaining the rights. What is The Punch Escrow about that has everyone so excited for it?
The book’s preview sets the stage:
“It’s the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—the world’s most powerful privately held company, headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure, Arrival… Delight!
Joel Byram is an everyday 22nd century guy. He spends his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980’s new wave—an extremely obscure genre in his time, and kinda sorta trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. He’s is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting.
Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.”
The Punch Escrow has had a wild ride for book that is not yet released (July 25 is the official release date). We spoke to Tal and asked him if there was anything about the story he could reveal to us. “I can’t dive too deep into what The Punch Escrow is about here, because it doesn’t come out until July 25th and I don’t want to give away spoilers so soon. But the one thing I promise is that this story is not derivative of anything. It’s a new story that’s full of optimism about the future and celebrates human ingenuity and wit.”
Given that description, it’s no surprise that the inspiration for the idea came from Star Trek, famed for similar themes.”I was in a conversation with a physicist coworker of mine a few years ago. He explained to me that the real physics of the transporter in Star Trek—like if we replaced ‘Star Trek’ science with real science—then every time Kirk said ‘Beam me up, Scotty!’, the Enterprise’s Chief Engineer would be destroying Kirk in one place and basically replicating him in another.” This fascination led Tal to researching, and subsequently developing a realistic future world where teleportation (along with its person destroying implications) has become the norm, and even more time filling that world with “a rich history of scientific, political, and anthropological development, and an everyday protagonist who suddenly found himself fighting to save his life, and his wife, in a world that now had two of him.”
With The Punch Escrow deal being finalized, Tal is hoping life slows down again, with a great reason for fans of sci-fi. “I’m trying to focus on research and development of both a prequel and sequel to The Punch Escrow.” Colour me excited.
What book are you hoping gets the silver screen treatment? Let us know in the comments!