Friday, December 19, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library - Bringing Up Mike by Mark Duncan

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mark will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

I borrowed the Swiss Family Robinson so many times from the public library that my mother bought me a copy of it.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Bringing Up Mike is a young adult, coming-of-age, science fiction novel.

E-Reader or print? and why?

I read most of my books on an iPad using both iBooks and Kindle apps. It is much easier to read in dim light. The print quality is superior to paperback books and I can adjust the font size. The app lets me look up the definitions of words as I’m reading.

One book at a time or multiples?

While I usually read one book at a time, I currently have three or four different novels that I’ve started, along with several more that I’ve purchased on my to-read list.

Favorite book you've read this year?

I really enjoyed Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I very much look forward to the other two books of his trilogy, the next of which is Golden Son that will be published in early January 2015.

Favorite place to read?

I like to read in bed with a pillow under my knees.

Favorite genre?

Definitely science fiction, but I read a wide range of books including fantasy, thrillers, historic naval adventures and mysteries. For example, I’ve read all of the Game of Thrones books.

How do you keep your books organized?

I organize books by their genre and subject, much like they are at a library.

Re-reader or not?

I occasional re-read a favorite book, but in general, I don’t. There are simply too many great books that I haven’t read yet—it’s hard to justify spending much time revisiting a favorite.

What would make you not finish a book?

When I get bored—often due to the plot moving slowly. Science fiction novels who authors have minimal knowledge or understanding of science. Plots that can be predicted after the first few chapters. Long internal monologs of what a character is thinking.

Keep books or give them away?

I tend to sell or give most paper books away to a used bookstore. This is less of a problem now that I mostly purchase ebooks. Most of the paper books I buy are used books on a topic that I’m researching.


What happens when Joe, a teen prodigy makes drastic changes to his life and attends high
school incognito with Mike, an artificial intelligence? His plans take an unexpected turn when he buys a neglected former racehorse.

Bringing Up Mike is a tapestry of intertwined stories over the course of a school year: A teen genius who has grown up too fast, a neglected former racehorse, a bereaved couple morning the death of their son, a girl struggling to attend college, and a former mobster determined to be top dog.

Bringing Up Mike is about people given a second chance at happiness and success and how they become better people and mature.


As he walked down the windowless hallway, Joe’s long hair swung back and forth across his back. He swiped his badge against the door lock, entered a PIN code, and it clicked open. He took another gulp of coffee and entered his office.

He touched his finger to the keyboard to scan his fingerprint, then gestured on a touchpad to log in and authenticate himself. The lights went off in the office, the lock clicked in place, and the introduction to The Outer Limits began to play: “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust”

“Mike, very funny. Stop the effects, turn on the lights.”
B The office lights flickered on. “Your wish is my command, O Master.”

“Enough with mimicking the genie from Aladdin.”

“I don’t sound like Robin Williams?”

“No, you’re perfect. I’m just not a morning person.” He pulled off his thick glasses and rubbed his brows before placing them back. “Any interesting news or urgent emails?”

“Nothing earth-shattering, the usual please respond immediately emails. Answered the trivial ones, but there are three that need your attention eventually.”

“How’s the meeting going?”

“Started half an hour ago. I gave your update ten minutes ago. Told them how we’d found and neutralized one hundred and four viruses and Trojans, and that if they didn’t like your acronym DAWG for Deleterious Adaptive Web Gladiator, you were open to suggestions. You want to listen?” 
“No, I’ll nap for a bit. Wake me if anything comes up.”


Mark Duncan grew up in Pasadena, not far from Caltech. In high school he spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL) and subsequently was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club. He received his BSEE from UC Berkeley.

He has worked or consulted for numerous startups in Silicon Valley. He lives in Menlo Park, near Stanford and has written extensively on emerging technology topics. He enjoys photography, movies, theater, fine dining and has visited all 50 states and much of Europe. He is the author of Bringing Up Mike,,

Book and Author Links
Book Website: up mike.html
Publisher Website:
Author Website: duncan.html
Author Twitter:
Author Facebook:
Buy Links
\ a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Good luck with the release!

    Trix, vitajex(At)Aol(dot)com

  2. I really enjoyed your comments. this sounds like very good story.

  3. I really enjoyed the excerpt, sound really good. Entering under the name of Virginia. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  4. I really like the idea of this book. Something very different!