Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt Stop # 6

Welcome to the Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt where we are helping the Kinsman people find a new home. If you’ve just found us, be sure to start the adventure at Stop #1, which is Jill Williamson’s blog. 

Collect all the clue words in order so you can enter to win the Kindle. If you want to enter to win the second Kindle, you’ll have to take a quiz at the end, so take your time and read each post carefully. The main prizes in the hunt are open to international entries. Individual author contests, however, might have different rules, so please read the parameters on each site. You have until Sunday night, February 19, at midnight, Pacific time to finish.

If you need help, or get lost along the way, click here for assistance.




Wilek, Trevn, and their party couldn’t wait to get out of the city. Buildings that were far too tall to stand towered overhead, some of them blocking the sun. They had no idea how they might adapt their people to such a place. They set off, quickly trying to get out. This led them to Stop #6, PacNorth, from Kerry Nietz’s novel Mask.


Kerry Nietz is a refugee of the software industry. He spent more than a decade of his life flipping bits, first as one of the principal developers of the database product FoxPro for the now mythical Fox Software, and then as one of Bill Gates’s minions at Microsoft. He is a husband, a father, a technophile and a movie buff. He is the author of several award-winning novels, including A Star Curiously Singing, Freeheads, and Amish Vampires in Space. Check out his website at www.KerryNietz.com

Here's a closer look at Kerry's book, Mask:

I am the mask. The mask is me.

America has fallen. Remnants of states cling together. The Pacific Northwest is now PacNorth.

Democracy has gone off the rails. Citizens still vote, but only to vote away anything—or anyone—they don't like. Long-term wisdom loses to short-term pleasure.

And the Collectors come in the night.

Radial is a Collector. The instrument of the will of the people. You get voted away...Radial makes you disappear. The system works, and he is its servant. The rule of the people is the highest form of human government. He is a believer.

Until he is asked to collect someone who should never, ever be voted away.

Wilek and Trevn don’t understand this place at all. Democracy? Voting? Humans being collected!

Worried about the people in their group, they walk long into the night to find a safe place to camp away from the Collectors. Now let's hear from Kerry about the world of Mask:



Mask comes between vampires and robots in my writing career (or robots and rats, depending on how you look at it) and is probably the most action-oriented of them all. It is also dystopic in nature.

Dystopias are a great way to put ideas in a test kitchen. Just take a popular trend or fear, extrapolate it out to its extreme conclusion, and you have a dystopia.

People censoring books today? Hmm…what if all books were censored tomorrow? That’s the premise of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

What if the earth became overpopulated? The movie Solyent Green.

What if the earth became overpopulated, and there was a massive war? Logan’s Run. (Book and movie.)

What if today’s commercialism and selfishness one day dominates society? Brave New World.

And a couple of my favorites:

What if the whole world was under sharia law? The DarkTrench Saga and Frayed.

What if people could vote on anything or anyone? Mask.

See how easy that is?

For an author, dystopias are an excellent way to explore relevant issues while preserving a level of abstraction that makes the subject approachable to everyone. A way to raise a warning flag about a potential danger ahead without preaching. As Ray Bradbury once said: “I write not to predict the future, but to prevent it.”

For the reader, dystopian novels provide a forum to examine worst case scenarios. A magnifying glass he can hold up to the real world to see if there is something there to be truly wary of. Will we ever see children fighting to the death in an arena, ala The Hunger Games? Probably not. But is the value of children and childhood being diminished before our eyes? Absolutely. Now, what can we do about it?

Reading is a good start..

(This is an excerpt of an article I wrote for SpeculativeFaith.com. You can read the rest of it here.)



You can order Mask on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes or at your local bookstore!

CLUE! Write down this clue: give

The next stop on our map is Stop #7, Denver, CO, on my friend Steve Rzasa’s blog.

Before you move on, I am giving away a copy of Mask to two lucky winners. To enter, sign up to get my email newsletter (click the robot in the right sidebar) or note in the entry form if you are already a subscriber.

Thank you for visiting my site. Enjoy the rest of the scavenger hunt!

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