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“I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards. Okay, so I should revise my standards; I’m out of step. I should yield to reality. I have never yielded to reality. That’s what SF is all about. . . . This is why I love SF. I love to read it; I love to write it. The SF writer sees not just possibilities but wild possibilities. It’s not just ‘What if’—it’s ‘My God; what if’—in frenzy and hysteria. The Martians are always coming.” — Philip K. Dick

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart walks into the sex change clinic, determined to have his sprouter snipped off. So begins The Amadeus Net, a satirical novel set in the year 2028, which explores art, love, and identity at the end of the world. For more than two centuries, the one-time wunderkind has kept his existence secret while he tried to understand his immortality. Living in style through funds raised by selling lost Mozart works, he has also helped to create Ipolis, a utopian city-state, after the cataclysmic Shudder, a global disaster caused by an asteroid strike in 2015.

But a few complications mar Mozart’s utopia. The woman he loves is a lesbian, which, paradoxically, makes him forget about his sex-change plans. The world’s greatest reporter knows he’s still alive and will stop at nothing to expose him. The stakes are higher than he knows, because if the reporter finds him, so will the spy planning to sell Mozart’s DNA to the highest bidder. Oh, and, by the way, the world might end in seven days. His only allies are a psychotic American artist, a bland Canadian diplomat, and the city itself: a sapient, thinking machine that is screwing up as only a sapient, thinking machine can.

About the author

Readers’ reviews:

“Strange? Yes. Implausible? No, because Rayner successfully crafts an inherent logic into his surreal story with a collage of plausible first-person narratives, which includes the first-person thinking machine’ narrative of the actual setting of the story—the post-apocalyptic, utopian city-state of Ipolis, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Furthermore, Rayner’s flair for sustained humor, and compelling story telling enhances the preposterous premises, characterizations, and worthy themes of art, love, and the search for self-identity and sex in the day-to-day existence of an eclectic cast of characters making their way through the end of the world. — Janet Paszkowski, Flash Me Magazine (April 2009)

“This is a wonderful book. It accomplishes exactly what I look for in a good SF novel. Rayner creates an interesting, strange, and yet somewhat plausible world and then populates that world with compelling characters. I found myself caring about these characters, not just the inexplicably immortal Mozart, but all the motley bunch that have found themselves citizens of Ipolis, including the character of Ipolis her/he/itself. (It stands to reason that, if smart people can be real boneheads, that honour shouldn’t be limited to just biological sentience.) Rayner managed the progress of the story with a sure hand and flare for humour. I enjoyed reading The Amadeus Net very much and am looking to future titles from this author.” John Sloan

“A comic dance in a post-apocalyptic utopia.” Debra Hamel

The Amadeus Net manages to do in a very short space what some novel series don’t manage to do: enthrall the reader on every page with yet one more twist in an increasingly unlikely, yet strangely compelling story. . . . [It] starts out with a preposterous and surreal premise and ends with piercing insight into the abjectly pointless pursuits to which many of us devote our entire lives. It's a book about what to believe in when nothing is believable.” Don Muchow, editor, Would That It Were

The Amadeus Net, the debut novel from [Canadian author Mark A.] Rayner, is a bizarre, often hilarious piece of futuristic satire. With an imagination reminiscent of Philip K. Dick, a satirical bent a la Tom Robbins, and a sense of humour derived equally from episodes of The Goon Show and the literature of Neal Stephenson, The Amadeus Net is an offbeat and wonderfully droll exercise in sustained amusement.

As in the works of Philip K. Dick, what makes Rayner’s story engaging is his unadulterated disinclination to wink condescendingly to the audience. While not quite the stylist Dick was, Rayner commits himself absolutely to his narrative; no matter how outlandish and eccentric Mozart’s exploits become, Rayner makes sure that the world he creates functions under its own inherent logic.

At a time when the bestseller lists are dominated by the continuous, unenthusiastic, and barely literate conspiracy ramblings of a Hardy Boys wannabe, a story that makes you think and laugh is almost a hidden treasure. The Amadeus Net is a wonderful first novel, thoughtful and engaging. To close on the hopeful words of Mozart himself, ‘Everyone laugh! Fart, and laugh! Then compose something beautiful.’” Corey Redekop

trade paperback
5.25" X 8.25"
250 pp.
list price $19
ISBN-13: 978-0-9752540-1-1