Cyberpunk Dystopia Novels Bundle

I’m excited to share that Upload has been included in a new cyberpunk book bundle from Fanatical, the Cyberpunk Dystopia Novels Collective Bundle, alongside books by authors such as John Shirley, Joe Hurtgen, Matthew Goodwin, and Dr. Ren Warom. This amazing deal allows you to get 19 titles for only $13, including the ebook version of Upload.

There are three tiers available, and Upload is included if you buy Tier 2 or 3. The full list of books included appears below:

  • Eclipse (A Song Called Youth #1) by John Shirley
  • Black Glass: The Lost Cyberpunk Novel by John Shirley
  • Neon Leviathan by T. R. Napper
  • NECROTECH by K.C. Alexander
  • Coil by Dr. Ren Warom
  • The Paradise Factory: A New York 2055 Cyberpunk Story by Jim Keen
  • Into Neon (Audiobook) by Matthew Goodwin
  • Upload by Mark McClelland
  • …And Other Diasters by Dr. Malka Older
  • Hamlet, Prince of Robots by M. Darusha Wehm
  • Complete Darkness: A Dark Matters Novel by Matt Adcock
  • The Man of Cloud 9 by Adam Dreece
  • Chawlgirl Rising by T.K. Young
  • Europa: Omnibus Edition by Elias Hurst
  • Inertia by Mark Everglade
  • Defrag by Rachel Back
  • Tae Kwon GO by Dr. Joseph Hurtgen
  • Rise of the Liberators: Terrafide Book I by Ryan Hyatt
  • Lord of Poison by N. H. Weber

A huge thank-you to Mark Everglade for driving the process of putting this together, and to Fanatical for making it possible.

AI-Generated Portrait of Upload’s Hero/Anti-Hero, Raymond Quan

Nearly ten years after publishing Upload, and over twenty years after I started writing it, I find myself in the interesting position of being able to use DALL-E, an artificial-intelligence tool used to generate images from text prompts, to create a portrait of Raymond.

Portrait of Raymond Quan generated by the artificial-intelligence tool DALL-E
Raymond using sci-fi-retro manuhaptic gloves and VR visor – Image created by DALL-E

While DALL-E is by no means an artificial general intelligence, it’s pretty exciting, as an author, to use an AI to generate a portrait of a near-future sci-fi character whose life is profoundly entwined with AI and A-Life. (The book is set far enough in the future that the idea of Raymond using a VR visor that looks familiar to us in 2022 is a stretch, but he is into retro hardware.)

There’s potential here for authors to flesh out their own mental images of characters, props, and settings, using tools like DALL-E to engage in a design dialog that can then inspire written descriptions that are richer, more detailed, and even more creative.

How do you think DALL-E and I did — is it a reasonable portrait? Does it in any way change your image of Raymond, for better or worse?

Looking For Books Like Amazon’s Upload TV Show?

Was Amazon’s Upload TV series based on a novel? No. But… if you’re excited about Upload the TV series, and intrigued (or scared) by the concept of mind uploading, you should check out my novel of the same title, Upload

Although not directly related (Amazon reused my title without even mentioning to me that they planned to do so), my Upload is also founded on near-future sci-fi technology to upload a human mind into a computer. Upload the novel explores 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 Amazon

Upload 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.

Stuff By Mark – Author Website

Cover of Curse of the Healing Kiss
Curse of the Healing Kiss

Now that I have a new book out, Curse of the Healing Kiss, it’s time for a proper author website. It’s a place for friends and readers to see what I’ve written, old and new. For fun, I’ll also be posting some fun non-writing miscellany, like music I wrote on my dad’s Mac SE in 1988 & 1989, back when I was in high school and had vast amounts of free time.

Check it out:

Predecessor to V-Chamber’s Haptic Feedback

In Upload, VR is experienced in small rooms called v-chambers, which use a mist or gel of nanobots, called nanomist, to suspend the user in space (which allows you to feel like you’re moving through a virtual landscape while you’re really just walking in place) and to provide haptic feedback. This morning, I read this article on Engadget about a PhD student who is using a Baxter robot as a crude macro version of the haptic feedback achieved via nanotech in a v-chamber. Pretty cool! (But if you want to explore some of the philosophical issues of VR taken to the extreme, you might enjoy my book.)

Ethics of Body-Hacking

Interesting article on the rise of body-hacking and the opening scenes of transhumanism: ‘Body Hacking’ Movement Rises Ahead of Moral Answers.

My gut says the philosophical findings of Alva Noë are dead wrong, at least as they’re quoted here. Reputable doctors and scientists will soon be openly embracing the opportunity to enhance people’s lives through cybernetic alterations. As will tattoo artists. 🙂

Alva Noë, a philosopher at the University of California, Berkeley and a contributor to NPR’s 13.7: Cosmos and Culture blog, has written extensively on what he calls “cyborgian naturalness.” He disagreed that the modern philosophers dropped the ball, saying that tackling the matter would involve unpacking two questions:

  1. Is it OK to cut into human bodies for these kinds of experiments?
  2. How much tolerance should society have for artificially enhancing the body?

To the first question, Noë said he found the “body hacking” experimentation on humans “ethically disturbing” and couldn’t fathom a doctor or any other scientists conducting these kinds of operations.

Best Books of 2014 – Chicago Book Review

Chicago Book ReviewWhile eating breakfast and checking email this morning, I discovered that Upload made Chicago Book Review‘s list of the Best Books of 2014! As I work on my next novel, it’s great to be reminded that people loved my first — very encouraging.

Those of you familiar with Upload may be surprised to see it listed in a 2014 best-of list, since it was first published in late 2012. It’s a self-published novel, and Chicago Book Review didn’t review it until May of this year.
Thanks again 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.

I’ve created a general-purpose blog with posts unrelated to Upload at is a service that synchs Evernote to a blog — but only those notes that are in the notebook and are tagged as “published”. You couldn’t ask for a simpler blogging interface, right? Blog through Evernote, from your phone, laptop, or tablet. Pretty cool.

One minor issue, which I expect a lot of people will trip over, and which I hope the folks will fix: the blank lines between paragraphs in a note on Evernote won’t translate to paragraph breaks in unless you include a space on the line between Evernote paragraphs. If you want line breaks without paragraph spacing, for poetry, code, or other purposes, you’ll have to use the <br> tag, More info on this can be found here.

Another issue worth mentioning is that there are currently no blog statistics on, from what I can tell. I’ve emailed them about this, but haven’t heard back yet. On WordPress, you can use Jetpack to get some pretty detailed statistics on who’s reading your blog, which posts are drawing the most traffic, and which links people are clicking. This is all crucial information for a serious blogger, so you can see what’s working. Without these things, I definitely wouldn’t make my primary blogging platform.

I also stumbled across a different issue. Maybe I’m slower than the average blogger, but I made the mistake of reading “” as “”. Frustrated that I couldn’t reach “”, I recommended that they buy the domain and redirect it:

Issues aside, the automatic synching of Evernote notes with is awfully nice. If you want a quick way to keep personal notes but also make them public, this is a choice worth exploring.

Update: Google Analytics Available

In exploring further, I discovered that I could enter a Google Analytics code. This is their official recommended approach to tracking who’s viewing your blog, which posts are most popular, etc. Traffic on is fairly light at this point, but Analytics looks like a good substitute for the Jetpack stats I’m used to on WordPress. It’s not nearly as simple and straightforward to use, but the data’s a lot richer.

Update: I Miss You,!

When ended its free offering and rolled out its new pricing model, I found myself priced out. Shame, as it was awfully convenient.

How Long Does It Take To Re-List a Book On iBooks and Barnes & Noble Through Lulu?

In order to take advantage of Amazon’s KDP Select marketing features, such as Countdown Deals, Free Promotions, and free lending via the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, I had to make the eBook version of Upload available exclusively on Amazon for the 90 day KDP Select membership period. On November 11, I re-listed the book on Google Play Books, Kobo, and for direct sale from Lulu. I also clicked the boxes on Lulu’s distribution management page to reactivate distribution through Apple iBookstore and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Books.

PendingFour days later, the status on both iBooks and Nook is “Pending”.

If this were a newly published book, I could see it having to go through some review & approval process before it hits the digital shelves. But this is the re-listing of an eBook. The content has not been modified since it was originally published. On Kobo and Google Play Books, where I set up distribution myself, re-listing was done within several hours. In the case of Kobo, it was actually done within less than an hour.

What’s going on? Lulu re-listed the eBook immediately on their own site. I love how easy they make it to list on Barnes & Noble and iBooks. I don’t have a Mac, so I can’t run Apple’s iBooks Author application, and it would be a hassle to borrow someone else’s. But I don’t love how long it takes. Is it hung up within Lulu, or is this something that’s out of their hands?

In my case, the delay isn’t really a big deal. Nearly all of my eBook sales are through Amazon, so it’s not like I’m actually worried about lost sales. However, if your situation is different, I thought it would be good for you to know about this delay. If you’re considering selling exclusively through Amazon for a period of time, to take advantage of their KDP Select program, be aware that re-listing your eBook through Lulu on iBooks and Nook Books may take longer than you would expect. (I can’t speak to how long it would take if you handled distribution through these channels directly, through Apple’s iTunes Connect or the B&N equivalent, since I chose not to go that route.)

Have you had a similar experience? Any tips on avoiding this?

I’ll post an update when this process is done, in case you’re curious about just how long this ends up taking.

Update – 11/19/2014: Both still pending.

Update – 11/26/2014: Lulu released the eBook to Apple and Barnes & Noble for processing

Fifteen days after I requested that Lulu reactivate distribution through Apple iBookstore and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Books, I received the following email from Lulu today:

Congratulations!  Your eBook, “Upload”, meets all retail distribution requirements and we have forwarded it to the retail distributors you selected. You are one step closer to your goal, but there are a few remaining steps:

• Our retail partners will confirm your book meets their individual site requirements for content and formatting.
• If your book passes this review, it will be queued for release on the retailer’s site.
• If your book is rejected by a retailer, we will email you with additional details.

Important Note: Generally, once your book passes the Lulu Review process, it will be available to purchase on retailer sites in 2-4 weeks. Retailers update their online catalogs at intervals determined solely by the retailers. Lulu cannot provide a release schedule nor can we influence the timing of your eBook’s availability on other retail sites.

Relisting ProcessedI have no insight into why it took fifteen days for Lulu to process my request, or whether this is typical, but it’s definitely something to be aware of if you’re considering temporarily “turning off” sales of your eBook, so you can take advantage of an exclusive arrangement through another bookseller, such as Amazon.

Note also that Lulu’s distribution management page does not give any indication whether the eBook is actually for sale at iTunes or Barnes & Noble. (See photo.)  It would be great if you could check on Lulu, and see the status change from “Processed” to “Available Now”, or something on that order.

Update – 11/28/2014: The re-published Upload eBook is live on iBooks

The process is officially complete on iBooks, but the Upload eBook is not showing up in the Nook store yet. Yesterday was Thanksgiving, so it’s unlikely that it was processed yesterday. It must have gone live on iBooks either 11/26 — the same day it was released from Lulu — or today. Either way, Apple turned things around pretty quickly.

I’m happy to add that the ratings and reviews for the Upload eBook on iBooks survived the deactivation/reactivation process. The eBook’s original publication date from 2012 was also retained. Furthermore, pre-existing links to the eBook still work. (Thanks for getting that right, Apple!)

Update – 12/2/2014: Upload available for NOOK again

Just checked Barnes & Noble’s NOOK store again this morning, and Upload is available again. Ratings are intact from the original publication, and links created the first time around still work. They also kept the original 2012 publication date.

B&N gets docked a couple points for being slower than Apple to get the book back out there, but Lulu appears to be the primary bottleneck in the republishing process.