Sundman's The Pains, a novel about decent people bearing up under unending misery

Sf writer John Sundman's latest novel, "The Pains" is up for free download and purchase as a physical object. It's "the story of a perfectly decent person upon whom God, or the Universe, or Random Chance, or Chaos, or Whatever, decides to dump unending physical misery--and of how that perfectly decent person bears up with extraordinary grace under the onslaught."
Mr Norman Lux, nSF, woke up with a pain in his body that felt as if it might have been a soul gone bad.

He first perceived the pain as a toothache in the general area of the upper right quadrant of his mouth. But as he fixed on it and tried to determine which tooth it might be that was hurting, he experienced a swift vague transfer of pain from the upper portion of his mouth–by way of the right side of his neck, down the right side of his body, traversing his torso near his belt line–to a region just north and to the left of his scrotum, where it briefly ceased. Two seconds later he felt the sharp ingrowing of the pinky toenail on his right foot. That pain stopped after about five seconds and was almost immediately replaced by the crushing weight of the white linen sheet under which, exhausted from prayer, Mr. Lux had drifted to sleep only a few hours ago. By faint dawn light, the sheet, where it pressed upon the bad toenail, showed a small bloodstain.

Read THE PAINS or I will shoot you in the face (Thanks, John!)


  1. Interesting opening…. I didn’t see John Sundeman’s stuff available through kindle, nor Cory Doctorow’s, which is surprising given their enlightened approach to making their work available through non-traditional means. . . . Is there something wrong with kindle or Amazon?

  2. My stuff isn’t available under kindle, yet, but it probably will be soon. I just have to figure out how to do it & find the time. I’m kind of a one-man band here, and just getting the HTML & PDF versions ready and promoted has been work enough.

    Cory stuck an extra letter in my name, by the way. There’s no “e” in it. But I’m delighted to be boing’d, so I’m not going to fuss.

  3. I read it all the way through, and liked it very much.

    It seemed like the first three chapters were written at a different time than the rest. The pace accelerates after that– Sundman could have Stephen-Kinged this into 900 pages of superfluous garbage– but the result fits well with no anticlimax.

  4. I’m hoping the e-reader DRM thing will work out. I know Amazon has dropped DRM on its music mp3’s, which made them instantly preferable to the insufferable and greed-headed Itunes (I can do without Itunes constant “updating” as a ruse for sneak-loading Apple malware). But if Bezos has heard the DRM light for music, maybe he’ll get religion on the written word, too.

    One irritant with the current DRM Kindle lock-down, is that you can’t excerpt even a passage from something you’re reading, to email or post to someone else, when in the midst of discussing or sharing thoughts about a book. If you could instead gain access to the wealth of material (that you have, after all, already paid for), the Kindle would become an indispensable tool to people who like to quote accurately.

    Still, I’d like to see Sundman and Doctorow’a work available on Kindle. Actually, it already is, but only through the good graces of someone who took the time and care to get the publicly available material in shape and on the list of free Kindle works. But I’d also like to see Sundman and Doctorow get paid for their troubles. Why couldn’t Amazon adjust pricing for an author who insists on opting out of their DRM policy?

  5. ESOTH:

    Well Golly, are my books available under kindle? I’ll have to check it out. Learn something new every day!

    I too would like me get paid for my troubles!

    I’m glad you liked the book! Please help spread the word — not too late to buy a few stocking-stuffers. The basic story has been written for some long while — Cheeseburger finished the illustrations more than a year ago — but I couldn’t find words that I liked to tell the story properly until recently.

  6. think i am going to have to read this.
    from this little article, it feels like someone has me in mind.
    i have had crps type 1 for over 11 years now.
    i don’t move around very well, yet i take care of a lot of small critters happily, & try to make things the best i can, all the while trying to deal with the severe pain in my feet/lower legs.
    a lot of us with crps have very limited mobility, very hard times finding diagnosis or any kind treatment, and an incredibly hard time finding any sort of relief. (there’s a lot more that goes with this disorder… like trying to make ends meet, while barely being able to contemplate living much less working; or trying to have friends, when people just don’t understand what it means to be in constant, severe pain… but i won’t get into that. think i’ll go read instead. :)

  7. Kindle isn’t sharing friendly. In pre-publication discussions, Johnny and his brigade of intrepid helpers (I’d be one of them) talked quite a bit about eReaders of various brands and how to best squish stuff into them without losing face, soul or control.

    Somebody brilliant, articulate and experienced needs to write up a HOW-TO for authors, I think.

    Cheeseburger Brown

  8. Johnny rules, he is a great writer, and most importantly a good man through and through.

    Stop reading rubbish and read something important and well thought out by him.

    I am not Johnny, I am not paid by Johnny and I don’t even play Johnny on TV, I am just a satisfied reader.

Comments are closed.