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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blog Tour- MEMORY OF WATER A Deleted Scene and A Giveaway!

Hey y'all! I'm thrilled to take part in Emmi Itaranta's blog tour for MEMORY OF WATER! I have a deleted scene for you today. Oh and stick around for the giveaway!

Haven't heard of MEMORY OF WATERCheck it out!

Title: Memory Of Water
Author: Emmi Itaranta
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Pages: 266
Format: Paperback and eBook, 

An amazing, award-winning speculative fiction debut novel by a major new talent, in the vein of Ursula K. Le Guin

Global warming has changed the world's geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian. In this far north place, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is learning to become a tea master like her father, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets. Tea masters alone know the location of hidden water sources, including the natural spring that Noria's father tends, which once provided water for her whole village.

But secrets do not stay hidden forever, and after her father's death the army starts watching their town-and Noria. And as water becomes even scarcer, Noria must choose between safety and striking out, between knowledge and kinship.

Imaginative and engaging, lyrical and poignant, Memory of Water is an indelible novel that portrays a future that is all too possible.

Now on to the post! 

Deleted scene from Memory of Water: The secret log of the Jansson expedition

In Memory of Water, the world has been devastated by some great catastrophe and left with scarce freshwater resources. Printed books have become rare, and systematic suppression of information has created gaps in people's knowledge of history.

The main character, Noria, finds old recordings which fill in some of these gaps, but the content of the recordings is never revealed in detail. We know they were left behind by a group of scientists calling themselves the Jansson expedition, who kept a log of their journey to a contaminated area known as the Lost Lands.

A number of readers have asked me about the backstory, or noted in their reviews that they wished to know more about what happened in the past.

If you are one of those readers, this is your chance to find out.

An earlier version of the manuscript explained the events leading to the drought-ravaged future in more detail. The scene took place near the end of the book, when Noria set to write down what she had heard on the recordings. However, when I submitted this version to my writing group, their opinion was unanimous: the story did not need that information, and the explanatory scene added no value.

I thought about this long and hard, and eventually deleted most of the scene.

There are several reasons for this. First, I agree with my writing group that the scene disrupts the narrative flow and goes into unnecessary detail. Second, it's an info dump, which is never a good idea – I dislike them as a reader, and lash myself over them as a writer. Third, it's too long. And finally, it's more than a bit preachy.

In the hindsight, I can see why some readers have found the omission of these details frustrating, but I stand behind my choice. A shorter, much changed version of this scene actually survives in Memory of Water.

The version I'm sharing here is the deleted longer version. I should probably add that it contains no spoilers, unless you consider the main character writing something down a spoiler. If you wish to find out what the secret log of the Jansson expedition contained, read on.

The voice sought its shape in my mind: its rustling in the loudspeakers of the past-machine, its pauses and the thoughts that fit inside them. Yet their order was unclear, and I was no longer certain what had been stored on the disc and what my memory had knotted on its own from the eluding threads. Only a fading echo of what I had heard remained, and the words on the paper would inevitably be mine. I hoped that the tale would nevertheless be hers, an unknown of whom there was nothing else left. I hoped she would forgive me for what I had let go.
    I invited the voice to surface, its shape grow sharper, until I discerned it as clearly as I ever could again. I placed my pen on the paper again and let the memory guide my hand.
    'The world as we know it believes in a certain version of history,' I wrote. 'How the past-world was lost, how the seas rose and turned the coasts into underwater deserts and ghost towns. We have been told that once upon a time, winters were cold, vehicles fast, cities higher and continents wider. There was no shortage of drinking water. Some of this is probably true. Not the whole truth, certainly, because the whole truth never survives, but not an outright lie, either.
    We have also been told that winters vanished because the world turned warmer on its own, as it always had, in ways that were too complex for people to understand and too powerful for us to have any influence over them. We have been taught that deserted lands and greedy oceans and scorching winds were no doing of ours, that we couldn't have diverted the change, that the best we could do was to go along with the unpredictable whims of the planet.
    These are the stories we know, but there are others.
    It all began slowly and almost unnoticed, like major upheavals often do – so slowly that it was easy to ignore, for a time. A flood here, a hurricane there, ten warm winters and then one unusually cold – all things that could be contributed to chance and the natural order of things. Even when the polar ice began to melt, it was said the changes wouldn't be big. And who in the sky-scratching cities enclosed in their rush cared if in a backwater mountain village the population had to leave their homes behind, when the ice of the peaks turned into mounting, all-crushing streams? For some, the change was even welcome: old oil wells were running dry, and new oil was revealed under the polar ice. Countries began a race for marking it their own, because humans cling to the life they know until they are violently torn away from it.
    Meanwhile the seas reached towards the centres of the continents: first a finger-width every year, then two. Wells around the coasts began to turn salty. Rain turned scarcer. And still people looked away. The competition for oil turned into a quarrel, then into a battle. Those who could afford it continued with their lives as ever before.'
    I paused, drank some tea and ate a few spoonfuls of porridge, which had grown lukewarm. Daylight was seeping in sharper at the edges of the curtains, closer, nearly on my skin now. I had to continue. I looked at what I had last written and sought the thought until I grasped the story – or the spectre of the story, filtered through years and memory.
    'Only when the oceans began to swallow the large coastal cities of wealthy countries and most of the oil found under the ice had been used, people woke up to realise that the world as they knew it was coming to an end.
    The evacuation of the coasts began before I was born, and no one knew for certain at the time how large areas would need to be emptied and how quickly. My parents remembered that time.  People, groceries, valuables and vehicles were endlessly moved into temporary camps and new cities that were being built. Much was left behind: people, as some always are, those who couldn't afford to move away, or didn't want to, for many wish to stay at the place they consider home even after the sea or some other entity has gnawed it unrecognisable. Chattels, houses, dated technology. And books. States assured their citizens that in the new living areas everyone would be assigned a new kind of messaging machine that would also be suitable for reading electronic books – pod-books, they were called. There were pod versions of nearly all books available, so it didn't make sense to carry heavy piles of bound volumes, when there was already so much to carry and move, and little space for it all.
    Perhaps those holding power knew already at the time that this would turn out to be useful.
    Populations of whole countries escaped from their homes. Other countries struggled under the pressure of these crowds, trying to offer a place to stay and enough food for everyone. Wars over water had already broken out in all silence earlier, but now the shortages became a crying concern. The southern half of the North American continent and the Mediterranean in Europe turned into desert; people began to wander from place to place in search of water and food. South American continent survived on its water resources, but became isolated from the rest of the world. In Asia the power of New Qian grew, as they conquered new freshwater areas.
    History tells that in the final oil war New Qian fought for the waning oil resources of the North Pole with Northern American Alliance. My parents used to tell that story, because it was the only one they knew, and it was the same one I was taught at school. The war might have been won, it was said, if two unfortunate incidents had not occurred within only months from each other. First, a handful of terrorists who had infiltrated the army exploded four oil rigs. The oil pipes deep in the ocean bed were torn to pieces and black blood began to pour from the open veins of the earth, piling on shores, suffocating plants and animals and poisoning people, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it. Yet the ocean was vast, it was said, the seawater could swallow it, eventually. It didn't need to be the end of the battle, and it didn't even need to be a warning sign.
    But then something else happened. A secret laboratory in Norway, which had been working on a biological weapon, suffered an accident. As a consequence, a destructive bacteria escaped into the drinking waters of Scandinavia, spreading and making people ill. It contaminated what then was Norway, most of Sweden and part of Finnish Lapland. No one knows the accurate number of people who fell ill and died from the diseases caused by the oil and the bacteria. The official estimates range from ten thousand to half a million.'
    I too was familiar with this story. I had always believed in it, because I had had no reason to doubt it. Now I believed differently. I continued writing.
    'The oil wars ended with the disaster of Scandinavia. Only a few small patches of sea by the North Pole provided possible access to the remaining oil, and there was no longer a safe route leading to them through the contaminated areas. Getting hold of the oil had to be abandoned as too dangerous. Countries laid down their weapons and finally turned to look at the changed world, where the fuel had to be found somewhere else than in the guts of the earth. The Lost Lands became no man's land, protected by an international treaty that strictly prohibited any country from trying to access them while the area was left to recover from the disaster.
    Now, think of the allure of the situation.
    The world was in chaos and most of written history was in danger of drowning into all-devouring seas or had already crumbled into shreds of paper mist in the mud of the bottom. People were reading barely anything but pod-books. All that was needed was someone to erase the knowledge that was not wanted, and rewrite it in a form that would strengthen the goals of those holding power. With a few pushes of buttons the history would look different, and the updated version would be sent to any market stall selling pod-books, any school, every news service and archive.
    Who wouldn't erase from memory the deeds they are not proud of, if it was possible?
    At the same time, who wouldn't save a story that was meant to disappear, if it captured their interest and they saw something worth preserving hidden in it?
    New Qian wanted to hide its deeds, but also keep a record of them, and that was the one weakness they succumbed to.
    Top scientists and military officers drew up a secret report of the events that led to the world as we know it and of the estimated water resources in the Lost Lands. But unbeknownst to others, one of their group had joined a resistance movement working to liberate water from under military control. He stole a copy of the report and handed it to the resistance, where it has been circulated from group to group, until it came to my hands. Several hard copies are hidden around the world, and its contents have also been learned by heart by many people. The copy of my group was destroyed, and therefore I'm recording my own version.
    I have seen the secret report, I have seen the exact figures, I have seen the eyewitness accounts of the soldiers and officers who were there and took part in the operation. I have seen a video of the meeting where the decision was taken, and I have seen a specialist prove it to be genuine.
I know the official history is lying.
    The world did not grow warmer on its own. It grew warmer because people changed its natural order with their actions, because their fuel and their way of life increased the temperatures, and because they would not admit to this change and prevent it while there was still time. It is the doing of the past-world people that we now live in a world without winters, where quarrels over water lead to bloodshed and where coastlines are belted by spectres of drowned cities, blind monuments of lost life.
    I also know that contaminating the Lost Lands was not an attack of a fanatic group of terrorists or an accident. It was a purposeful and planned mass murder committed by New Qian knowing it would cause the death of millions of people. When it turned out that it was losing the battle for the last oil wells, the military leaders were given orders to make sure that if they could not access the oil, no one could.
    They arranged the destruction of the oil rigs and planted the bacteria in the drinking water. They fabricated the story about a terrorist attack and an accident. It was easy to find a dozen or so scapegoats among the soldiers and scientists, who were then sentenced to death.
    Over fifteen million people lived in the Lost Lands. Less than half of them managed to escape. Eight and a half million people in Scandinavia died from diseases caused by the oil pollution and the bacteria.
    When you add the millions who died from hunger, thirst or illnesses in the sea-conquered coasts or crowded camps, or were worn to death in illegal weapons factories or crushed in battle – my estimate is that the final count was several dozen million dead.
    Only because some of the past-world people gazed blindly into the glistening black hole waiting for them under the fading ice layers of the north. Only because they saw something in its dark mouth that they thought they held some inexplicable privilege to, a right they built from hollow wind and that had nothing to do with the eternal laws of earth and water and sky.
This is the truth about past-world. If you could ask water, it would tell you this is how it all happened, because water never lies. It knows that the world did not change on its own. It is the way we made it, and the way we left it, and it can only become what we make of it.'
    The thread of words across the paper came to an end. I lifted my pen from the page and shook my wrist. I turned back the pages until I reached the spread where I had started and read through what I had written. When I reached the end, I took up the pen again and added:
    'This story was told in the log of the Jansson expedition on Twilight Century, and these lines record it as it was remembered by Noria Kaitio. If someone finds them and reads them, perhaps it is a sign that water has been broken free from its chains and belongs to everyone again.'

    There was nothing else left to say. I closed the book.

Thanks for this Emmi! It sounds so cool!

About The Author:

Emmi Itaränta leads a double life, working mornings in an office at the University of Kent in the UK, and spending her with fictional characters in imaginary worlds.

Giveaway Information

1 Winner will get a copy of MEMORY OF WATER + a $25.00 Gift Card to the eTailer of their choice!

Ships in US/Canada Only
Must be 13+ To Enter

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Tour Schedule

January 19th Ex Libris REVIEW
January 20th
Insane About Books REVIEW
January 20th
A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW
January 21st
January 22nd
January 23rd
January 24th
Shelf Life REVIEW
January 25th
Novel Novice TENS LIST
January 26th
Once Upon A Twilight EXCERPT
January 27th
Two Chicks On Books GUEST POST
January 28th
Me, My Shelf and I REVIEW

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