Great Review of Upload on Chicago Book Review

Chicago Book ReviewThanks so much to Vicky Albritton for an insightful and well-written review, and to Kelli Christiansen of Chicago Book Review for taking a chance on a self-published sci-fi novel.

Read the review here.

“Upload should strike general readers as technologically persuasive enough, while leaving room for its appealingly sincere first-love story. In the end, complex technological and intellectual issues are balanced against a warm understanding of the basic need for real-world human interaction.”

“Chicago author Mark McClelland’s self-published novel has already found a band of admirers online, but it is certainly deserving of an even broader science fiction readership.”

Amazon Prime Members, Borrow Upload Free!

From now until June 16, 2014, Amazon Prime members can borrow Mark McClelland’s award-winning science-fiction novel, Upload, from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for free.

Download Upload on Amazon

Upload is a near-future sci-fi thriller that goes deep into the mind of Raymond Quan, a troubled young hacker with a criminal past and dreams of escaping into a digital utopia of his own creation.  Upload is the story of the first person to upload his mind into a computer, an unlikely hero in an all-too-plausible tale of transhumanism and the singularity.

Intrigued?  Take a look at the About the Book page.  Check it out on Goodreads and Amazon.   Or read what Goodreads Author R.S. Carter has to say about it:

WOW. I LOVED this book. There are so many sides to this book that I could attempt to tackle. But my brain is exhausted from this read. Upload would be a premium selection for any scifi book club.

First there is the issue of ethics. If you could upload a consciousness into virtual reality while simultaneously destroying the physical body, should it be allowed? What if the body was going to die anyhow?

The main character in this novel is a loner. An introverted genius who has joined the Upload project at a local university. He has a past he wishes to escape, but it is that past which created and funded his life. He has plans to upload in the future but all at once, our protagonist is hit from three sides: the Upload project is going to be disbanded because a government committee deemed human upload to be unethical, his criminal past is catching up with him, and finally he discovers real world love for the first time.

Think you know how this book is going to end? You’ll be wrong.

This one takes a turn into a virtual reality adventure. Ready Player One meets The Matrix combined with the God complex of The Lawnmower Man.

My analogy to The Lawnmower Man is a little extreme – it isn’t that severe. But then again, we don’t know the whole story so it might have been more similar than we can imagine. You’ll understand when you read the book. There are some parts of the story intentionally missing.

I’ve read a number of reviews from people who loved the story and the science-fiction, but hated the protagonist. I LOVED Raymond! Sure, he had his character flaws (and some are very dark), but that what makes him such a perfect character for this story. And I’m always a sucker for child geniuses. This is Ender Wiggins as an introvert – hence the Lawnmower Man reference.

Ah, I’m going in circles. Read this book!

Looking For Books Like Transcendence?

TranscendenceIf you’re excited about Transcendence, and intrigued (or scared) by the concept of mind uploading, you should check out Upload.  It’s a smaller-scale, more realistic exploration of the concept of mental uploading, through the eyes of the first person to do it — a troubled young man with a criminal past, who plans to take advantage of his position on the Human Mind Upload Project to transfer his consciousness to a computer and escape into a digital utopia of his own creation.

“McClelland’s ambitious debut novel envisions a future in which the vanishing line between virtual reality and ‘organic life’ causes an antisocial genius to conduct the ultimate evolutionary experiment.” –Kirkus Indie

Upload on AmazonUpload grabbed my attention early on and wouldn’t let go… I loved the way that McClelland projected some of our current problems, on a quite feasible trajectory, into the future. We can all relate to this science fiction.”  –Richard Bunning, Author of Another Space in Time

“This book had me riveted from beginning to end. In Upload, Mark McClelland does what the best science fiction does. He gives the reader an intriguing world in which to consider the big questions, but doesn’t try to answer them directly. Through the main character, Raymond, we explore consciousness and conscience, identity and agency, reality and virtuality. Exquisitely well written and edited, this is a book I’ll come back to again.” – Goodreads review

More information available on Goodreads and Amazon, or right here in the About the Book section.

Great Review From Author R.S. Carter

“WOW. I LOVED this book… Upload would be a premium selection for any scifi book club.”

This made my day.  Science-fiction book club readers, take note. 🙂

“I’ve read a number of reviews from people who loved the story and the science-fiction, but hated the protagonist. I LOVED Raymond! Sure, he had his character flaws (and some are very dark), but that what makes him such a perfect character for this story.”

And this made my week!  I really put a lot into writing Raymond, and I knew I was risking disappointment among readers who want a main character who’s likeable and easy to root for.  Reading Carter’s review, I got quite a rush: Raymond finally has a reviewer who loved him as a character, and who’s willing to champion him.  What a joy.

For the entire review, head over to Goodreads.

Recent Reviews

The book is interesting throughout and constantly raises the question as to whether digital life can be considered real life and does digital life have any legal rights?  I generally liked the book and found it hard to put down.  –Michael A. Newman, from his review on

bookloversatticMcClelland’s ability to describe not only the technical scenes, but the the many layers of the “created” worlds was exemplary… A good mixture of science fiction, morality and love.  –Deanna, from the review of Upload on her blog, The Book Lover’s Attic

gamesfiendsFrom start to finish, Upload is a fast paced ride that keeps you guessing at every turn… a convincing picture of a brilliant yet oh, so confused young man who must finally face up to his past, take hold of his present, and make the decision that will decide his future. –Amy, from her review of Upload on Games Fiends

Great book that would make a great movie… Mark has given us a world with endless possibilities, as a person can upload their consciousness to a computer and live forever…but never experience the real world again. Some people find the choice a dream, while others think it’s a waste. But is it worth living forever when you won’t be with the one you love? I hope Mark carries us back to this world for another look in the future. –Brian Reeves, Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer, from his Amazon review of Upload


Lou Wallace’s Review of Upload

Great review of Upload from Lou Wallace, CEO of Digital Media Online:

“The story works on several levels, a cyberspace scifi novel, a romance, but most of all it takes a good look at what may actually be in store not just for our children’s children, but for we ourselves in just a few short decades. Well written, technically intriguing and very imaginative. Once I started I had trouble putting it down.”

Midwest Book Review

Another bit of happy news… a favorable write-up in Midwest Book Review, from reviewer Willis M. Buhle:

The future may be in cyberspace. “Upload” is a novel exploring the concepts of mental uploading and its effects on humanity, focusing on what it could mean for love and life, exploring the philosophy of a completely online world that has conquered biology. “Upload” is an exciting work of science fiction, very much worth considering for fans of the genre who seek something discussing the effects of a possible near future technology.

MidwestBookReviewEstablished in 1976, Midwest Book Review is an outstanding resource for readers, authors, and others in the publishing and bookselling industry.  Its focus is on promoting quality small-press works, a role I believe is becoming increasingly relevant with the increasing number of self-published authors.

Midwest Book Review encompasses several publications.  This particular review was in Reviewer’s Bookwatch, “an online forum for volunteer reviewers that makes their book reviews available to librarians, book dealers, and the general reading public.”

Thank you, Mr. Buhle, for taking the time to read and review Upload.