The Juice

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Published by: Dragon Moon Press
Release Date: February 4, 2021
Pages: 406
ISBN13: 978-1774000229


A substance that gives users almost god-like powers of charisma supercharges Janet Stilson's sci-fi cyberpunk novel

As a veteran journalist, author Janet Stilson has walked the corridors of the most powerful media companies on the planet and interviewed the executives who control them. Her deep knowledge of this world is at the heart of her debut novel, THE JUICE. It imagines what these large corporations might be like a few decades into the future – and how the government and advertising clients could use them to influence public behavior and beliefs.

In THE JUICE, Jarat Ellington is just an exile from Elite society, trying to lead a simple life, when a genius friend drops an explosive mystery in his lap. The old pal, Thom Tseng, created a priceless chemical substance called the Juice that turns mildly charming people into extraordinarily charismatic beings, known as Charismites. But the Juice is stolen, and Thom killed.

With the help of a secret organization, Jarat goes on an obsessive quest to uncover the deadly adversary who now controls the Juice. He must fight his intense attraction to a Charismite named Luscious Melada – once a dirt-poor, homely teen who, with the help of the Juice, transforms into an extremely magnetic starlet. And Jarat goes up against Petra Cardinale, a powerful, ambitious media executive with a secret agenda.

If you love the cyberpunk science fiction of William Gibson; the dystopian world of The Handmaid’s Tale ; or sci-fi detective novels, add THE JUICE to your reading list!


“Stilson debuts with an energetic vision of a dystopian near-future America … This cyberpunk adventure delivers plenty of future tech and social commentary to please genre fans.”
Publishers Weekly  (read the full review)

The Juice is ambitious and genre-bending, blending cyberpunk, espionage, romance, and social commentary in a fast-paced story … The main thread is entertaining, tech-centric, and action-packed enough to keep readers engaged to the end.”
Booklist  (read the full review)

“An interesting science fiction cross dystopia story that is sure to open some eyes, especially with its political cross references. I’m looking forward to reading more of Janet’s work in the future!”
The Nerd Daily  (read the full review)

“The ending was unexpected and shocking. I did not know what to expect because until 90% through, it seemed like things were going to be doomed for good. A dash of romance makes the story charming.”
The Book Decoder  (read the full review)

The Juice by Janet Stilson is what scifi should be, in my opinion. This is easily five stars. I was absolutely addicted from page one and didn’t get a wink of sleep until I finished.”
Jessica Belmont, Writer and Book Blogger  (read the full review)

“WOW! Janet Stilson, the author of The Juice has written an intriguing, thrilling, edgy, and unique novel … I would highly recommend this novel for readers who enjoy Science Fiction.”
Linda Zagon's Book Obsession  (read the full review)

“This is a great sci fi book and some of the ideas described in it are just so cool … this book is so effective in showing how things could degenerate if morals are set aside and profit is the only goal.”
Sara Zaninelli, The Heart is a Book  (read the full review)

“I found myself hooked from the start thanks to the unique premise but also the sensational literature, courtesy of Janet Stilson! It’s rare for me to say this so early in a review, but THE JUICE blew me away with its originality and overall story.”
Aimee, The Red Headed Book Lover  (read the full review)

“Author Janet Stilson spins an eye-opening dystopian tale in which government exercises a vice-like grip, bots behave like bullies, and shady companies pre-empt people’s thoughts and co-opt their dreams. In particular, given Janet’s background as a media journalist, she zooms in on the pernicious collusion between state power and media congloms to segment society, consolidating privilege in the hands of the few, and relegating the rest to hard-scrabble lives. It’s a scary but hardly far-fetched indictment. And yet, against this bleak backdrop, a trio of feisty characters thrust and parry to assert their humanity and solve the “juicy” mystery at the center of the plot. Their antics are wacky, their voices vivid, their aims sometimes conflictual, but their charisma unarguable. Altogether, THE JUICE is a rollicking, inventive and insightful read — heady, heart-felt but never heavy-handed.”
Elizabeth Guider, Former Editor of the Hollywood Reporter

“THE JUICE is full of high energy and memorable characters. It's pregnant plot ideas pulled me onto a rollercoaster thrill ride. It is sexy and smart, with a contemporary and assured voice. Who can resist a story about a mysterious chemical formula that’s gone missing; sperm banks hacked by international forces; and giant media corporations that control more than information and entertainment. All this with relatable characters seeking their destinies in a malevolent political climate. Time to party!”
David Kenin, Former Executive at CBS & USA Networks

“Janet Stilson’s trippy, futuristic yet timely take on media power gone mad will resonate with alert readers, especially those detecting the pervasive aggression and amorality infecting today’s societal malfunction.”
Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal International

Articles & Interviews about The Juice

First Online With Fran -- Podcast Interview

Zark Street  Interview with Jenna Zark

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb

Women Writers, Women's Books — Authors Interviewing Characters

Long and Short Reviews — The Background of THE JUICE

Interview with Fresh Fiction

Interview with Author Stories with Hank Garner (listen)

Interview with The Book Decoder

Interview with Authors Answer


Chapter One
Jarat — The Two-Minded Man

The rachitty-dunk, rachitty-dunk of the subway car had me in a deep state of zenitude, so when a giant tomahawk slashed two inches from my face, I didn’t blink. But I had to smile. ­­­­­

The ax was part of a giant graffiti hologram of Señor KickingBird. The cartoon character was looking boyish as ever — his jovial face sticking out of a beaded Indian buckskin outfit. And his headdress was so madly yellow and pink that the car was stained, as if by colored glass.

The other passengers smiled at the holo, thoroughly entranced. It gave them something to do other than staring at me. Not that I blamed them. My mass of pewter and black hair, scruffy faux-ostrich leather jacket, ripped cowboy boots — and most of all, my golden skin tone — were so different from their drab, ragged clothing and more varied complexions. The underground was the province of the lower class, not the extremely small Elite ranking of society that I’d been born into nearly 30 years before. My clothes were more offbeat than most Elites, who were artfully groomed, but it didn’t hide my origins.

Read the full excerpt