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The Mountain in the Sea (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Ray Nayler is a literary fiction author from Quebec, Canada who is best known for his debut novel “The Mountain in the Sea.” He was born to a hardware engineer and spent much of his childhood in Fremont, California.

When he was a child, he loved to read and remembers that at some point he had so many overdue books that the librarian had to show up at his house to pick them up.

He also loved to skateboard and still snowboards with his best friend who he met in seventh grade. When he was in his teenage years, he went to UC Santa Cruz where he was a student of modern literature majoring in film noir and genre fiction.

He would then go to the University of London and the Center of International Studies for a global diplomacy master’s degree.

At some point, he lived in San Francisco where he tore buildings apart to keep them out of the waste stream and preserve materials for a non-profit. Prior to that, he did all kinds of work including working in factories, warehouses and commercial driving.

When he was in his twenties, he traveled all over the world with the Peace Corps and served in Tajikistan, Russia, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, he started writing genre SFF fiction that was published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine.

Growing up, Ray Nayler had been introduced to books by his mother when he was just three. He would become such a voracious reader that he still does not remember who his favorite authors were at the time.
He also does not remember having a clear sense of genre, even though he read a lot of Philip K. Dick, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Michael Moorcock.

However, he usually read just about anything that he could get his hands on except for Shakespeare, who he often returned to from time to time. He was always looking for something else and what he needed was never in a single genre.
He read everything from Shakespeare to Philip Jose Farnet to Joseph Conrad to X-Men comics. Nayler also watched movies since his family at the time had a movie theater from the art deco era on its last legs, even though it still worked.
He still remembers the many summer days he spent soaking up movies and films that would be a huge influence on his later writings.

In one sense or another, he has always written even as he was a reader. He wanted to create something he was always seeking in role-playing games, books, comics, and movies.
From the time he was eight or ten, he began drawing comics, writing little stories, making flip books, and building many role-playing games.

Ray Nayler had a very productive period when he was aged sixteen to twenty-five when he was writing detective, noir, and crime stories.

It was during this time that he penned American Graveyards, a novella that was published by the United Kingdom-based TTA Press. He also had some of his fiction published in Crimewave and Ellery Queen.
Those formative years studying and reading noir fiction were his training ground, where he learned to write from the likes of Jim Thompson, Patricia Highsmith, Raymond Chandler, and Dorthy B. Hughes among others.
In 2003, he joined the Peace Corps and had a gap of two years in which he did not write since he was abroad in Turkmenistan. It was not until 2015 that he penned his first serious work in Asimov.
During that time, he wrote scattered pieces ranging from comics, occasional short stories, poetry, and travelogues. Given that most magazines required paper submissions, it was not so easy to write and submit as he was overseas.
In 2014, he got an idea for what would become the bestselling short story “Mutability,” which was bought by Asimovs. Since then he had sold a lot of science fiction short stories alongside a few horror and poetry.
It was from that success that he was led down the pathway that ultimately resulted in the publishing of “The Mountain in the Sea” in 2022.

The initial inspiration for “The Mountain of the Sea” by Ray Nayler came from the time he spent in Vietnam. At some point, he worked at the Con Dao archipelago and would go on to set his work in the same settings.
He also got some inspiration for her novel from his time in Istanbul and Astrakhan and got some of his ideas from a sense of place.
Over the years, he had been exploring consciousness and biosemiotics in some of his shorter works of fiction.
Ray has also said that he had always been fascinated with the octopus as an intelligent and curious animal and even did a report on the animal when he was in the fifth grade. Somehow, she combined all these and the result was this blockbuster work.
Once he started writing, it gained its own momentum as he questioned things in the world he built.

“The Mountain in the Sea” by Ray Nayler opens with humanity discovering intelligent life in the most unexpected place.

There has been found an octopus species with its own culture and language and this has set off a high-stakes competition to dominate the future by people and cultures across the world.
According to the information being spread, the octopus species found is dangerous and hyper-intelligent.

Dr. Ha Nguyen is a marine biologist that has been working on the research on cephalopod intelligence for years and cannot wait to study this new species.

Meanwhile, DIANIMA is a transnational technology corporation that has moved fast to sea off the archipelago, where the cephalopods had been found.

Dr. Nguyen heads to the islands where she has to work with the world’s first android and a battle-scarred security agent.

They believe that octopuses are the key to some of the most unprecedented breakthroughs that could result in incredible intelligence developments.

This is a high-stakes game and there is a lot of money to be made by anyone clever enough to take advantage of the new advancements.

But as Dr. Nguyen encounters all manner of difficulties trying to understand the octopuses, forces more powerful than DIANIMA has been closing in on them. They are seeking to get the octopuses and use them for their own selfish ends.

It makes for a mind-blowing and dazzling literary debut as it dives into the wreckage and treasure of humankind’s legacy.

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