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The Punch Escrow

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  4,855 ratings  ·  628 reviews
It's the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We've genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure... ...more
Paperback, 319 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Geek & Sundry
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Popular Answered Questions
Matthew Jones Tal, you forgot to update the synopsis on Goodreads. It still reads 25th century.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Tal M. Klein There were so many things that I had to cut from the footnotes (if you read some of the reviews complaining about how many footnotes there are now, ju…moreThere were so many things that I had to cut from the footnotes (if you read some of the reviews complaining about how many footnotes there are now, just imagine how much more vitriol I'd get if I left everything in - I could [and might!] write another book just from the tech I cut out of this one).

So, yes, I did explain how we get to superluminal communication in the 22nd century:

In order to transmit information faster than light we naturally need to find something through which we could encode information that travels faster than light. Enter our friends the tachyonic particles; hypothetical particles that travel faster than light and thus could enable superluminal communication. Only trouble is: they're still hypothetical. So, I had this whole history of how someone researching the EPR paradox stumbled on to them. But that history is history... for now ;)

Also, FWIW, I originally considered cutting the mosquitoes too, but beta readers seemed to really like them, so they stayed.(less)

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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  4,855 ratings  ·  628 reviews

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Jul 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Fiction can do quite a lot of things, but most often it aims to entertain or to express ambitious ideas. Great authors do both of those things brilliantly and produce great works, but great authors are few and far between. Good authors tend to excel at one of those aims to the detriment of the other, or excel adequately enough at both to find artistic and/or commercial success. I can forgive an entertaining novel for lacking ambition. I can forgive an ambitious novel for falling a little short o ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Everyone, prepare to have your minds blown because The Punch Escrow will be like nothing else you’ve ever seen. It does, however, have all the makings of a runaway hit which will no doubt strike a chord with a broad range of readers, reaching even those who might not normally read sci-fi. Just think about books like The Martian, Ready Player One, Dark Matter, or any other examples of hard science fiction that has achieved
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I received a free copy from the author for review.

Anyone who has ever endured a long car ride or had to cool their heels at an airport because of a flight delay has wished that we had the technology to just teleport people from place to place like they did on Star Trek. After reading this they’d be more hesitant to step up on the transporter pad.

It’s the 22nd century and the world now relies on technology like teleportation. People and goods can be shifted anywhere on Earth in the blink of an ey
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC!

And a very special thanks to the author for writing Hard-SF in a really fun and engaging way. This is often much harder than it might seem at a casual glance.

Fortunately, the light tone and the clear explanations of the science prevailed and served only to propel the story forward. And what kind of story is it? It's a fast-paced thriller! And no, before you ask, this isn't a clone of Dark Matter. Far from it. We're dealing with a better version of Star Trek's tra
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
★★★★★ 5 SHINING stars
I still feel sad that I haven't posted a review right after I read it, but life severely got in the way, and there's also that whole 5 star book review anxiety thing. It was just so good, I believe I won't be able to write a good enough review for it.

Can I just tell you that:

★ this book was amazing
★ you must absolutely read it
there is no other way but for you to read it

And be done with it..? No......?

(You can also read this post on my blog.)

Then let me give y
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Urgh, this book annoyed the hell out of me.

It started off really well and I was thoroughly enjoying it, it was funny and weird and sarcastic and sciency and all those good things. Character development seemed to be off to a good start and the plot was starting to take form. I'll admit. I got a bit excited. Teleportation gone wrong! Mosquitoes gene-tweaked to metabolise pollution into water! Semi sentient apps and such! Sounds pretty cool right? SO, I was quite merrily reading away, snacks close
Milda Page Runner
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hard sci-fi mystery thriller told with a flippant humorous voice. Interesting way to give reader a choice via use of annotations: you can skip the annotations and skew the read more towards the sci-fi mystery thriller or you can read them and make it a pretty hard science fiction. I read the annotations and have to admit some of the science flew way over my head. Enjoyed it nevertheless.

Humour plus hard science reminds a bit of Martian, but not quite as funny and feel good. The mystery thriller
Tori (InToriLex)
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveawaywin, sci-fi
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

I didn't know what to expect from a futuristic hard sci-fi thriller. However I was pleasantly surprised with the good pacing and humor. It is hard to find books that bend genre's in a workable way but this book  did. The protagonist Joel's sarcasm and relatable reactions to things balanced out a book that included foot notes on futuristic world history.  The world building was fantastic, because every time I wondered how that would actually work, it woul
Okay guys. I'm officially on a roll right now. There's just one very good book after the other, which makes my average rating skyrocketing and me trying to restrain myself from recommending the shit out of my friends. Yes I'm enjoying myself right now.
But this book, THIS BOOK! I think that's the best time I had with any book in 2017.

We got this smart-ass first person narrator Joel here. He's quite a normal guy living in a richly immagined 22nd century New York City, dealing with his everyday pro
Andy Malcolm
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
An interesting concept but boy oh boy this is some garbage. It's like the author gives up around half way through. Seemingly desperately trying to ride on the coat tails of the Martian (the science and chatty writing style), Ready Player One (80s references) and Dark Matter (can't really say without including a spoiler for DM), it genuinely was quite entertaining for 150 pages but fell off a cliff after that as it morphed into a very generic action thriller.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I've been a faithless reader (or reviewer, technically), Goodreads, and The Punch Escrow is the first book I'm reviewing in what feels like a lifetime and a half. Many thanks to the ever generous Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy for review purposes.

It's difficult to know where to begin with The Punch Escrow. Although I might venture outside of "my genres," I'm always secretly craving solid sci-fi above all else. Everything else is my milk chocolate: in a pinch it'll do the job, b
Judy Lesley
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Inkshares Geek & Sundry. Thank you.

This was a wonderful reading experience and the mix of humor with science - with an added twist of adventure - made me want to put everything else aside to see what Joel was into now.

This story takes place in 2147. Freight teleportation began first (not slowed down at all by the loss of one of the art world's practically sacred icons), but by 2126 human teleportation had become commercialized by one of th
Tracy Rowan
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: science fiction fans
Recommended to Tracy by: ARC
The Punch Escrow is a fun exercise in the possibilities and dangers of future tech. Joel and his wife are on their way to a second honeymoon when a terrorist bomb damages the teleportation center just as Joel is traveling from NY to Costa Rica. The disruption in the process produces evidence of the true nature of teleportation (a well-guarded secret) in the form of a duplicate Joel, one still in New York, and one in Costa Rica.

With a virtual army of enemies, spies, mad scientists, and religious
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
The Punch Escrow is quite a good choice if you're looking for a simple,easy, fast paced techno-thriller. Don't pick this up if you're looking for a quality sci-fi. Despite the setting of this book is based in the future and deals a lot with human teleportation, that sci-fi part only serves as a plot background and the real deal is about main characters running around and playing either hide and seek or catch me if you can.

Still, as I've said, it is a good book if you're looking for something to
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The Punch Escrow presents a great concept on the surface, how technology can make us question what it means to exist and influence our concept of self. However, the execution was just messy and came across as an unedited story. There are numerous plot problems that really make no sense, the characters and especially the narrator are not very likable or make believable decisions, and the book fails to go further than surface deep on many of the core scifi concepts that drive the story. I felt the ...more
Alysa H.
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is one of the most fun books I've read this year. It's hard sci-fi with a hefty dose of humor, and I can totally imagine it as a movie (stylistically and tonally, it would probably be, like, Fight Club meets Joss Whedon).

Klein makes the science seem plausible, as well as the details and development of the future-world. This is due largely to the sardonic narrative voice of the main character, Joel Byram, as he attempts to navigate a very sticky situation in which he finds himself. The force
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This year's The Martian or Ready Player One

The Martian, Ready Player One, Dark Matter. Every year we get that one book that is an almost perfect blend of science fiction, nostalgia, hardcore geekery, and fun. This is that book. I recommend it to everyone. Hilarious, fast-paced with some amazing science. The dialog was realistic, the premise was fun, and the characters memorable. A great read all around.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
TL;DR: This book feels like it was assembled at random from a pile of tropes and cliches. You will need an exceptional ability to overlook flaws and suspend disbelief to enjoy this.

This is my first real review here on Goodreads and there's a reason for that. I finished it out of morbid curiosity to see all the mistakes it makes rather than actual interest. In the spirit of tired cliches and hollow snark I have used Gratuitous Capitalization below.

*MAX SPOILERS* (for those who read 1-star reviews
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Bullshit this, bullshit that. You keep using that word like it means something other than what comes out of a cow. It's not bullshit, Yoel. It's life.”

I was hooked on this when I saw that it was a Sci-Fi taking place on earth in 2147. I feel way too little authors dare to predict the future on our planet. Instead they prefer to travel to a distant star or come up with a society that was built under very different conditions. I understand that our very own future is intimidating. Tons of time ne
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction

“So it’s more like sending a fax than mailing a letter. Only the transporter is a fax machine that shreds the original. Your original body, along with your brain, gets vaporized. Which means what comes out the other end isn’t you. It’s an exact copy that the machine made, of a man who is now dead, his atoms floating freely around the interior of the ship. Only within the universe of the show, nobody knows this.”
- This Book Is Full of Spiders by David Wong

This entire book is based on page 54
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Punch Escrow, by Tal M. Klein, July. 2017
The year is 2147 and our protagonist Joel Byram is in a pickle. His marriage is floundering and in an effort to rekindle the romance, he and his wife Sylvia plan a nice second honeymoon in Costa Rica. Sylvia works for International Transport (IT), the company that has commercialized freight and human teleportation. Sylvia leaves work early and teleports to Costa Rica, with Joel to follow as soon as he can get his bag packed. Now Joel has teleported over a
Avalon Radys
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has so much to love: fast-paced action, full-bodied scientific explanations, disarmingly funny and sweet moments, and such a good ending. But what I loved most about this story is what it left with me—it makes the question of how far we might push humanity in the name of scientific advancement very tangible and personal. I imagined making these futuristic choices with the protagonists, feeling their empowerment along with the inextricable dangers and existential crises. This is more th ...more
Fred Hughes
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great read. Well written and fully developed.

Teleportation has transformed travel as anyone can go anywhere in a moment. However something is just not right.

Soon we are on a whirlwind chase to find out what the truth is. Bad guys and good guys; but who is who ?

Highly recommended
Darque  Dreamer
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-reads
The Punch Escrow is inventive, astounding, and intense! This one will take you on an unforgettable ride to the future! Prepare for twists and turns, action, humor, and a thought provoking plot.

The Plot: The Punch Escrow takes place in the year 2147 where teleportation is the main mode of transportation, people decide when and how they age with nanotechnology, each person has a neural transplanted comm system, and pretty much everything is automated or run by artificial intelligence. Joel Byram i
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
"Usually the Manhattan skyline was obscured by the haze of a billions-strong swarm of mosquitoes that ate pollution and pissed water." International Transport (IT) is a powerful and secretive corporation that controls all teleportation, but they aren't completely transparent about their methodology. When Joel Byram and his beautiful and brilliant wife Sylvia (who works at IT) try to teleport to Costa Rica for a second honeymoon, a group of religious fanatics cause things to go awry and the resul ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
That was seriously one heck of a read ...and this cover is seriously so dang beautiful!

3 stars only because the footnotes were a little excessive at times and wanted more character development.

Overall, super fun and great world building.

Just a fyi ,this is more of a "sciency"/technology-based type of sci-fi.

I want to thank the publisher Inkshare, Wunderkind-pr, Geek & Sundry, and Tal M. Klein for kindly sending me a copy of this book for an honest review.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I had no plans to read this. When a debut novel comes out and is as hyped and popular as this one seemed, I assumed it was more of a literary piece. Nope, it was just a good science-fiction story with an exceptional marketing manager.

The fun thing about this book was the science. Well the whole thing was fun to read but I've watched a couple of science programs on this topic so I found it to be interesting. The Punch Escrow itself is a 'transportation' device. You step in a booth, disappear fro
Elena Alvarez Dosil
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is the year 2147, and the safest way of transportation is teleporting. There are some religious fanatics trying to boycott this since they believe teleportation is killing people. Joel Byron works training AI's to make them more 'human'. His marriage is in danger, so Joel and his wife plan a trip to Costa Rica. During the teleportation there is a terrorist attack and something fails when it is Joel's turn, resulting in him remaining in the the departing room... but there is also a copy of him ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
This review originally appeared on

I wasn't sure what to expect from The Punch Excrow. I opened it, liked the main character, and then noticed the footnotes and the technical language. This book is hard science-fiction, meaning it places a huge amount of emphasis on being scientifically correct, or at least possible. Once I started reading footnotes, my brain started spinning a little, but I quickly recovered. I'm glad I didn't put this book down.

The obscene amount of re
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