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Sci-fi author offers cash prize to readers

21st May 2010

A science fiction author who failed to clinch a publishing deal is attempting to drum up support for his book by offering a CAD 3,000 (GBP 1,958) prize to readers.

Peter Riley, a former journalist who is based in Canada, is hoping that the competition, which will involve people answering questions about the book, will go some way towards helping him secure a lucrative publishing deal.

His book, Universes, which was completed in 1999 and tells the story of a string theory scientist who travels to an alternate reality populated by cannibals, has been gathering dust after a string of knock-backs from the publishing industry.

'I'm hoping that publishing the book online and pretty well paying people to read it will get it noticed on the internet and ultimately discovered by a legit publisher,' the writer said on his website.

He added: 'I'm 65 god-damned years old, this novel means more to me than anything in the world and I'm desperate to get it published.'

String theory is a mathematical framework that attempts to reconcile the disparity between quantum mechanics and relativity. A large number of the discipline's tenets are outlined in The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene.

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