About Richard Due

I edit Willa Snap's memoirs: sentient Clockwerks, time-traveling dragons, highly verbal cats, steam-powered rhino cabs—that kind of thing. And when not shifting unpredictably into third person, Richard lives with his wife, two lovely daughters, some cats, and three ducks, in a magical bookstore that is—quite frankly—the only thing that stands between you and raging hordes of zombies who haven’t read a good book in, like, forever. He has won the Independent Publisher Book Award Medal (for juvenile fiction), the National Indie Excellence Award (for juvenile fiction), the Moonbeam Children's Book Award Medal (for pre-teen fantasy). He's received a Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award Honorable Mention (for middle-grade/young adult, was shortlisted for the International Rubery Book Award (for young adult), and has been a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award (for young adult).

IndieReader Loves Idiot Genius

Featured

IndieReader had some very nice things to say about Idiot Genius: Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy.

January 15, 2019 / in Discovery Awards 2019 / by IR Staff

IR VERDICT:

Abducted into a secret world, eleven-year-old Willa Snap takes readers on an imaginative journey through a place filled with mechanical people and fantastical machines. There’s wit and passion in the dialogue as author Richard Due delights with the first installment in the young adult series of IDIOT GENIUS novels, “WILLA SNAP AND THE CLOCKWERK BOY.” Don’t miss heart-stopping escapes and time machine-building dragons as Due weaves and winds a thrilling, and highly satisfying, novel.

Human Memory More Like Clockwerk Memory Than Previously Thought

Featured

 

As you may have guessed, given the titles, these articles are not for the faint of heart. Not a subscriber? Luckily, the summaries, available here and here, are free as the wind. Unluckily, they’re even more daunting than you could possibly imagine. Need proof? Here’s an excerpt from one of the summaries:

We show that a dynamic interplay within the macaque frontoparietal network accounts for the rhythmic properties of spatial attention. Neural oscillations characterize functional interactions between the frontal eye fields (FEF) and the lateral intraparietal area (LIP), with theta phase (3–8 Hz) coordinating two rhythmically alternating states.

What the heck was that, right? I’m afraid the problem here is what’s called sesquipedalian prose—that’s an unfortunate side effect of what happens when scientists attempt to talk to each other in public. But we’re going to give them a pass, because where would we be without scientists? We’d be in a world lit by fire, that’s where: Imagine a world without YouTube videos, without iPhones—without steam-powered tarantula cabs! How would people in the Steamwerks burg get to work? Or . . . werk?

Okay, so what’s this sesquipedalian prose, you ask? The prose part is easy—that’s just a fancy way of saying writing. Sesquipedalian is a little harder. It comes from the Latin word sesquipedalis, which means, literally, a foot and a half long. And Latin, in case you’re wondering, is a mostly dead, mostly moldy language that’s still occasionally mined by our friends the scientists for making up new words that are just as difficult to digest as the original Latin, but I digress.

Now, back to those articles. What they’re saying is that human consciousness only focuses on small samples taken from everything we see. For example, if you were looking a big, beautiful garden, full of thousands of plants and petals and leaves, you might notice only the bee over there that just started flying your way.

That’s exactly how Clockwerks view the world! Especially older Clockwerks. After all, the older the Clockwerk, the less complex the BrainBox. That means fewer rpm, less processing power, less memory—less everything, really.

But why take my word for it? Here’s Tiffany Widderchine explaining to Willa Snap how Clockwerks reduce the need for massive memory storage by sampling only a portion of what they see. I’ll spare you Tiffany’s reversed DLP projector analogy by starting right after Willa gets it:

“Einstein’s hair! I see it! But wouldn’t recording all those bits of light need tons of memory? I thought Clockwerks didn’t have much in the way of storage.”
“That’s true, a Clockwerk’s eyes do generate a lot of information, but the Clockwerk doesn’t have to save all of it to see where it’s going or remember where it’s been. And when it does decide to save something, it only needs to take a little snapshot. Think about it. We’re not all that different. Nobody remembers EVERYTHING they see.”

And there you have it, right from the heir apparent to the great Thiphania Widderchine, who, as everyone who’s anyone knows, was born in 1161 CE and abducted in 1203 by the Black Fez for building a highly dangerous thinking barn. Safely stowed in Grandeur, Thiphania built the very first sentient compact BrainBox, powered by her son’s #3 mainspring and housed in Torsicus Widderchine, one of the first bipedal sentient Clockwerks with free will.

Did Thomas Edison Really Build a Ghost Portal?

Featured

“I have been at work for some time building an apparatus to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth to communicate with us.”

Thomas Edison, The American Magazine, 1920

“If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical and scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, and other faculties and knowledge that we acquire on earth . . .”

It was Edison’s belief, at the time, that people were composed of millions upon millions of infinitesimal immortal entities, and that, when we died, these entities continued to exist.

No plans for Edison’s “Ghost Machine” have ever been found. But it’s clear that he was very interested in communicating with the dead. 

Did Edison build a ghost portal like the one Willa Snap encounters in Idiot Genius? Is there a Ghost Factory in a hidden city located Somewhere in the Southwest of America? We may never know. But one thing is certain: if he had, it’s a sure bet the Black Fez would have paid him a visit!

Idiot Genius Nabs 5th Award

Featured

We’re proud to announce another book award for Richard Due’s Idiot Genius series—this time from Writer’s Digest (for middle grade & young adult). This is the 5th time Idiot Genius has been recognized this year. We’re so proud we typeset a new first page!