Advisory Board

Tal M. Klein

Tal M. Klein is an author and musician working as CEO at Lakeside Software. He is a retired DJ, and published novelist, author of The Punch Escrow, the book which won the Inkshares Geek & Sundry Hard Sci-Fi contest and was optioned by Lionsgate prior to its release.

Tal was born in Haifa, Israel. He grew up on Long Island, in Oceanside, a little town in Nassau County, New York. After college, Tal became a startup junkie. He loved finding and creating opportunities to blend his love of technology and music. As a result he was lucky enough to DJ in some of the most interesting and beautiful places around the world.

Tal released six full length albums; two under the Trancenden moniker (the first of which was co-produced by his then musical partner David Marino), and the latter four under his given name.

He gave up DJing after his second daughter was born, because he wanted to spend more time with his family. When she was five years old, his daughter Iris wrote a book called I’m a Bunch of Dinosaurs that went on to become one of the most successful children’s book projects on Kickstarter, something that Tal explained to Iris by telling her, "your book made lots of kids happy." Iris then asked Tal, "Daddy, why don’t you write a book that makes lots of grownups happy?"

Tal mulled this over for a few years, and eventually wrote his first book, The Punch Escrow. It won the Inkshares Geek & Sundry Hard Science Fiction publishing contest, and was the first book published on Legendary Entertainment’s Geek & Sundry imprint. The film rights for The Punch Escrow have been acquired by Lionsgate. James Bobin (Flight of The Conchords, The Muppets) has been attached to adapt and direct.

Tal explains the inspiration for the book:

Back in 2012, I was complaining to a coworker about J.J. Abrams’ over the top use of lens flare in the Star Trek reboot, when all of a sudden our CEO interrupted the conversation by shouting “It’s BS!” It would turn out that he wasn’t talking about the lens flare, but Star Trek‘s transporters. He was an expert in quantum physics, and went on to explain that nobody in the right mind would ever step into a transporter if they knew how it worked. I guess something about that stuck with me. I started researching teleportation and other future tech, just for kicks, really. Then, in 2015 we were going through a real estate transaction, and my real estate agent explained the escrow process to me — and somehow that lit a bulb over my head, it was my eureka moment. I figured out that the problem with teleportation was an anthropological issue more than a scientific one, meaning the issue with teleportation wasn’t the science of it — that would inevitably come — but rather the marketing of it. The rabbit hole goes deeper from here, but you asked for the inspiration, so there you have it.

As a musician and DJ, Tal had an interesting history that he described on his Facebook Profile:

Somewhere around 1996 Dave Marino (whom I met while doing a late night talk show called "The Saturday Night Hangover" at our university radio station) made the tragic mistake of letting me into his recording studio in Belmont, New York. Since then I’ve been an auditory menace to the world at large, forcing my records, MP3’s, and CD’s down everybody throats like it was cod oil and the Asian flu was going out of business.

I’m all about drunk funk, that’s music which inspires one to both chill and shake their ass at the same time. Finding that perfect funky record, to me, is like winning the chocolate, money, and sex lottery.

I used to record under the moniker "Trancenden" but decided to shed it after people kept thinking I made trance music. Now people just know me as Tal M. Klein. But you can call me Tal. I consider my love affair with music a hobby, not a career.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with my friends on many musical projects ranging from country blues to 80’s synth pop. On my spare time, I compose background music for TV shows, you’ve probably heard my music while idly flipping channels on the telly.

You can read his novelette Kerouac’s Renascence at Apex Magazine.

Listen to Tal M Klein Interview — The Punch Escrow on the WOCA The Source Radio YouTube channel.

Read A Discussion with Tal and Lesley from Apex Magazine. Read his interview on the Los Angeles Public Library Blog.

His The Punch Escrow was featured on Motherboard, There’s No Such Thing As a Quantum Bomb.

The Big idea: Tal M. Klein talks about his book, The Punch Escrow. Read about his book at Paste Magazine.

View his profile at Inkshares. Follow his music on SoundCloud. Follow him on his personal Facebook page and The Punch Escrow Facebook page. Read his Twitter feed. Visit his Discogs profile.