Mar 02

Attention Authors: Apply to 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

Amazon and its publishing company Createspace are running their 7th annual competition for independent authors, and the prizes are amazing–the grand prize winner receives a publishing contract with a $50,000 advance, four first prize winners each receive a publishing contract with an advance of $15,000. But you have to act now; the deadline is March 2, 2014 at 11:59:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time).

They accept submissions in 5 categories:

a. General Fiction

b. Mystery/Thriller

c. Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

d. Romance

e. Young Adult Fiction

To enter, you must first register at It’s easy to register and you should be able to complete your entry in about 90 minutes or so, less if you have already written a pitch, more if you need to do some creative writing.

The trilogy I wrote is too long for this contest but it was already broken into nine parts so I submitted Part VII (about 95,000 words). It’s the part where the reader is introduced to Nina Christina whose image is show above. Createspace wants submissions that are 80,000 to 125,000 words max.

Here’s what I did for Quantum Entity trilogy

About Your Book:

Science Fiction / Fantasy / Horror

Quantum Entity | The Successors
by Bruce Firestone

This book is: unpublished


The Successors begins four years after the end of American Spring. Cartesia is slowly strangling the USC (the Commonwealth of the United States) and replacing it with a resurrected United States of America under the aegis of the Cartesian Axis with its power base centered once again in Washington, D.C. The capitol of the USC (San Francisco) has largely been destroyed and survivors of the short-lived Commonwealth have taken refuge in the Free Republic of Texas, mainly in the Brownsville/Matamoros/Port Isabel area (also known as Texmex) where they are trying desperately to contain Cartesian forces on two fronts—fighting Drogues as well as Sinofighters and their allies. 

The destinies and secrets of three families—the Bells, Brooks and Hopi of Third Mesa—are finally disclosed against a backdrop of all-out war. You have to read to the last page and final postscript to uncover the ultimate reveals of this story which started out innocently enough at a Nell concert in 2047 and ends in a place that is both marvelous and strange in the year 2103.  

Young people led by quantum data strategist Nina Christina, her friends, Hopi warrior Bartholomew and artist Magellan Bell work with his dad, Nobel Prize in Physics laureate Dr. Damien Graham Bell, and others on dual weapons that may yet swing the course of Sol War I in their favor. It appears to be a lost battle. Nothing remains except hope.

The fates of people in the Earth-Moon-Mars system are finally decided and large questions like what’s next for humanity and why haven’t we heard from other intelligent beings in this galaxy are answered.

Contact Information:

Bruce M Firestone, 900 Morrison Drive, Suite 206
Ottawa, Ontario, K2H 8K7

1.613.566.3436 x 200


“Where’re we going?” 
“You’ll see.” 
Nina Christina is climbing the old water tower near the Alien’s club house. He’s following her trying not to look up because she is wearing another of her tiny dresses and a matching pair of red Converse-designed sneakers.  
They are lying next to each other in a concave, caved-in part of the water tower. It would be a nice view of the stars except it’s a muggy, misty evening and just occasional starlight reaches them. 
Bartholomew realizes that the girl of his nightly dreams is lying six inches away. He doesn’t move a muscle. If he rolls about six inches the other way, he’ll end up inside the tank which is about half filled. 
“What? Huh? What did you say?” 
“You heard me.” 
He’s not 100% sure he did. She’s said something flippant, maybe, “Let’s make like a bolt and screw.”  
“But you have to promise me something first.”  
She is looking at the sky while she talks to him.  
“What is it?” 
“If our shield comes down and those, those things get loose in Port Isabel, you won’t let them take me or my girlfriends. PROMISE ME, OK?”  
“We’ll think of something,” he tells her. 
“That’s not good enough,” she says. “Do you have any idea what they do to girls?”  
“I will be there for you and your friends; you know that.” 
“I do. But I want you to promise me that,” she sighs, “that if they break through you will kill us, all of us.” 
“WHAT? Are you crazy? No.” He pulls his hands away from hers. Then he realizes what she is up to, “You bring me here to trade sex for a promise to kill you? How can you even think of asking me something like that?”  


Bruce M Firestone
B Eng (Civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD 
Bruce applied to go to McGill University in Montreal at age 14, arrived after turning 15, and graduated as a civil engineer before legally becoming an adult. He was rejected in his first job search because he was considered a “child,” not legally responsible for his actions. Three and a half weeks later, he was living in Sydney, Australia. A new and exciting labor government had just been elected. First two things Prime Minister Gough Whitlam did were to recall Aussie troops from Vietnam and to lower the age of majority to 18. 

Bruce worked for the New South Wales government, doing operations research while continuing his education at the University of New South Wales, where he obtained his Masters of Engineering-Science degree, and then at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he received his PhD in urban economics. 

He was among the first group in Australia to fly hang-gliders and not die. He has traveled to and worked in Canada, Australia, the United States, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, India, Belize, Sweden, and many other nations. He has been an engineer, a real estate developer, a hockey executive (founder of NHL team the Ottawa Senators), a university professor, a consultant, an art collector and benefactor, a writer, columnist, futurist, and novelist. He has launched, or helped launch, more than 300 startups.  

Bruce has taught and studied at McGill University, Laval University, the University of New South Wales, the Australian National University, Harvard University, the University of Western Ontario, Carleton University, and the University of Ottawa in diverse subject areas.  

Firestone moderates lively @ProfBruce and @Quantum_Entity communities on Twitter. He is married to a most wonderful girl, Dawn MacMillan. They have five great kids and one fine grandson.  

Personal Anecdotes:

I want to thank my friend Sharon Buckingham, screenwriter extraordinaire, for her comments and encouragement. Sharon told me that the secret to great writing (screenplays, novels, what have you) is the rewrite. I didn’t want to hear it, but alas, she was right. This novel has been through at least two dozen rewrites since its completion—by me, my editor, my test-bed readers (with their myriad suggestions), and then by me again. It is the only way to put down roots and add layers that (hopefully) intrigue and mystify future readers. You may wonder how do they (writers) do it? Rewrite, that’s how! 

I am grateful to my pal Joe Kowalski for taking me down the Salmon River in Idaho and teaching me how to get a heavy, centre-mounted oar raft through the whitewater we found there.  

I am forever indebted to an anthropologist friend for taking me, once upon a time, to Four Corners, a place that changed my life and liberated me from some of my own childhood daemons and to another friend who took me to Mardi Gras and The Rex Ball at the same age that Jag Durai went.

Thank you to Brad Crowe of the Ottawa Senators and Dick Miller of CBC fame for teaching me everything I know about sound engineering, which appears in Chapter 1 of Book 1. 

To my brother from another mother, Chris Brydges, who co-wrote the rap tune we recorded at Red Pine Camp in the summer of 2011 and used in the novel—thanks for having my back when no one else would. Chris also worked on the lyrics for Nell’s biggest hit, “The Successors” (a.k.a. “Nell’s Folly”), which will become more important as we get to Book 3 of the same name.

Local Interest:

Scenes occur in many places including: 
• Toronto 
• Rochester, New York 
• Third Mesa  
• Phantom Ranch, Grand Canyon 
• Salmon River, Idaho 
• Boston 
• Belize City 
• Caye Caulker 
• Ambergris Caye 
• San Pedro Town 
• Maya Fair 
• Marco Gonzalez 
• Bucharest 
• NYC 
• Langley Airforce Base 
• Northern Ontario—The Lake 
• St Jo’s Women’s Shelter in San Francisco 
• San Quentin 
• Austin 
• New Orleans 
• Barton Creek Wilderness Park  
• Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia 
• Algeria and Morocco 
• Ghudamis, le temple du message 
• Washington DC 
• Northeast Imperial China near the border with North Korea [Close to Shenyang] 
• Wreck Beach, Vancouver 
• Granville Island 
• Norman MacKenzie House, University of British Columbia 
• Vancouver 
• New Zealand [North Island—Rotorua and Auckland] 
• Stockholm 
• Hermosa Beach 
• Los Angeles 
• San Antonio 
• Salvation Army Kroc Center on Turk Street in San Francisco 
• Golden Gate Park and Spreckels Lake 
• University of California, Berkeley 
• Oregon (Umatilla National Forest) 
• Luna Colony, Shackelton Crater, south pole of Moon, 21 km in diameter, 4.2 km deep 
• Mars Colony, Valles Marineris, east of Tharsis near equator in Mars’ western hemisphere 
• Europa, source of water, Europan shrimp and Goby fish 
• Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex 
• Gabriola Island, Gulf Island, Strait of Georgia 
• Port Isabel, Free State of Texas 
• Kruger National Park in scenic Mpumalanga region of South Africa 
• Los Alamos 
• Farmington, NM 
• Q-space 
• Freetown, Sierra Leone 
• The Transvaal, South Africa 
• Chi-town, Chicagoland, Chicago 
• Big Muddy, Saskatchewan 
• Guatemala Highlands [near Quetzaltenango also known by indigenous name Xela] 
• Akna, village close to Quetzaltenango

 @ Prof Bruce

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.