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“Soundless” Available Now!

“Soundless” Available Now!

Darin is a good guy.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

He’s a telekinetic contract killer for the government. They point, he shoots.

When a successful job gets complicated, he finds himself on the run from his former employers and in possession of a secret that changes history and the face of the world.

Can Darin expose this terrible plot before they kill him?

Does he even want to?

You’ll love this dystopian novella because everyone needs to feel hope in the face of overwhelming odds.

Get it now!

Perfecting Humanity

Perfecting Humanity

Background: Perfecting Humanity is a story that popped into my head years ago when perusing some “everything is a simulation” fiction. The concept of us living in a simulation has always bugged me. If humanity is simply a simulated existence, then why don’t we see the rollbacks, the retcons? The solution, it turned out, was in git.

Git is a version manager tool primarily used for coding and such. I’m not going to dig in too deep here, but suffice to say, it makes it easy for versions of code to be spun off while maintaining a pristine “main” branch of the code.

Once I thought of it that way, Perfecting Humanity came into being. After all, why run a simulation unless you’re trying to figure out how to perfect something? Why would humanity be any different? Each step, each iteration, should ideally bring us closer to that perfection.

The only issue is humans are not perfect. And we never will be.

Featured Image Source can be found here.

P.S.

This is my story and isn’t being given away; i.e. all ideas are mine unless otherwise noted. See my copyright page for details.


February 8, 2008

The first time I died I was eighteen.

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Review: Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2020

Review: Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2020

Originally Posted at Tangent Online, May 9, 2020

“Byzantine” by Holly Messinger
“Stepsister” by Leah Cypess
“Birds Without Wings” by Rebecca Zahabi
“Who Carries the World” by Robert Reed
“Hornet and Butterfly” by Tom Cool and Bruce Sterling
“Eyes of the Forest” by Ray Nayler
“Warm Math” by Rich Larson
“An Indian Love Call” by Joseph Bruchac
“In the Eyes of Jack Saul” by Richard Bowes
“Another F*cken Fairy Tale” by M. Rickert

“Byzantine” by Holly Messinger is fascinating. The story itself is told from the point of view of a spirit that encounters a slave with special powers in the months before the fall of Constantinople. The two develop a relationship that grows and twists in parallel with the city’s assault, siege, and ultimate fall.

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SOUNDLESS is available for Pre-Order!

SOUNDLESS is available for Pre-Order!

It’s finally happened… SOUNDLESS is up and available for pre-order!  If you’re into dystopias, telekinetic assassins, and government eugenics conspiracies, this is right up your alley.  

It’s also a whopping $0.99 so…

*gestures wildly at the pre-order button*

Order!
Soundless Cover Art

Review: Aurealis #129, April 2020

Review: Aurealis #129, April 2020

Originally Posted at Tangent Online, April 9, 2020

“Pork Belly” by Jack Heath
“Father’s House” by Grace Chan
“Prime Mover” by Robert DeLeskie

“Pork Belly” by Jack Heath is a trippy ride. In a near future world, female pigs (sows) are being used as surrogates to avoid the death of human women. The story primarily follows Claudia, the would-be mother, as their sow goes in for the birth process.

Overall, it’s an interesting way to treat birth and, I think, pretty accurate. The dialog and inner monologue reads similarly to conversations I’ve had with expectant parents (sans pigs, obviously), but the real kicker comes with the final line of the story. In that moment, the full reality of this situation becomes clear and it doesn’t reflect well on humanity.

Grace Chan‘s “Father’s House” is an emotional wallop. Henry returns home to pack up his father, Tsz-Kan’s, things. It’s an emotional time, with Henry recounting old stories of his childhood with his father who helps him dig through their history; even trying to dig into Tsz-Kan’s life and learn something about his parent.

I can’t say too much more about the story without spoiling it, so I’ll stop there, but the depth of feeling and fondness with which each story is told builds upon itself until, like Henry at the end, you can’t help but cry. Beautiful story.

“Prime Mover” by Robert DeLeskie is interesting. It follows a trucker, Arlene, who is going through the motions of living after her husband dies of cancer. As a final Hail Mary before offing herself, to keep the tone of the story, Arlene takes an overnight job that leads her to an old haunt, a truck stop that served the best pecan pie. When she arrives, everyone she knows is gone, the pecan pie is store bought, and people are going missing. The night just gets weirder from there, resulting in Arlene finding a new purpose in life through her abuse of a sports relic.

The tone throughout is really spot on for a trucker, I think. Having grown up with a diesel mechanic father, I had a lot of exposure to that specific group. Every bit of the story, from the anger at rain to the climactic fight at the end, is told with the same “well, this is happening” tone I recognize from my conversations with truckers and it works really well. A fun, yet emotional romp through the life of a trucker (thrown into an 80s movie plot).

Review: Mysterion, March 2020

Review: Mysterion, March 2020

Originally Posted at Tangent Online, March 24, 2020

“Reformed” by Caias Ward

“Reformed” by Caias Ward is aptly titled. The story follows a criminal with Superman-level superpowers named Declan Samuels who is recently out of eight years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

The story itself is really the story of an ex-con coming out of prison and trying to reintegrate into society. The addition of superpowers highlights those difficulties in a deep, visceral way.

It’s not often a superhero story makes me cry, but this one did. It’s a story that’s more than worth the time to read.

Review: Strange Horizons, December 16, 2019

Review: Strange Horizons, December 16, 2019

Originally Posted at Tangent Online, December 18, 2019

“Flags Flying Before a Fall” by Osahon Ize-Iyamu

“Flags Flying Before a Fall” by Osahon Ize-Iyamu is a strange tale. Roughly, it follows a nearly unidentified main character living in a world where they die constantly, only to be resurrected by a tree that their brother won from professionally rolling down a hill. (I wish I could have that make more sense, but I can’t.) After this sport is outlawed, the protagonist is forced by their family to pretend at success to hide the money the brother sends back. Later, when the brother comes back at an inopportune time, he learns the truth and leaves, which ultimately sends the protagonist on a quest to find their lost sibling.

The story itself was hard for me to follow. I feel like there’s some sort of backstory or mythology I’m missing out on to make the detached external narration easier to handle, which is a shame.

That said, the language and the poetry of the prose is beautifully done. The story spends so much time stuck in the emotion and inner workings of the protagonist, despite their mother’s constant reinforcement that they need to avoid emotion, that a lesser writer would’ve fumbled and failed at the attempt. Ize-Iyamu, however, really manages to keep those hooks in despite it all.

In the end, despite my disconnect with background of this story, the raw emotion delivered through accurate, beautiful prose makes this a story worth reading.

Review: Strange Horizons, December 9, 2019

Review: Strange Horizons, December 9, 2019

Originally Posted at Tangent Online, December 11, 2019

“Into the Eye” by SL Harris

“Into the Eye” by SL Harris is a stunning depiction of our reality after the Old Gods rise. Set in the far future, Earth is now flooded and filled with chattering madmen and ruled over by these horrific beings. The only ones to escape this fate are those who were either off-world or maintained the psychological fortitude in the face of Cthulhu and its brethren to keep going. The main character, Sal, is the latter. A pilot during humanity’s last stand against madness, Sal watched the world die, but managed to steer away, the only surviving ship in the human fleet.

The story revolves around a man, Captain Moore, who has been to the center of the universe and found Azathoth—Lovecraft’s creator god—sleeping. Waiting. Like Sal, Moore is the only survivor of his failed mission and comes back, having spent ten years alone, working through a plan to get away from the madness. With that in mind, Moore assembles a crew and together they head to Azathoth to escape this damned universe for another seen only in fevered images during Moore’s time near the sleeping god.

Overall, the story is incredibly well written, the integration of the Lovecraftian mythos with a far future setting works seamlessly, and Harris develops very interesting, empathetic characters that you root for by the end.

My only real gripe with the story is the end. It sort of stops and leaves us wondering at the conclusion, a nagging feeling of hope warring with the blatant horrors of this universe. In another story, without the weight of the Cthulhu mythos driving it forward, I think this would’ve worked quite well, but I can’t help but feel like it reads as the end of a chapter in a book than the end of a short story.

That said, it’s a pleasure to read and I’d recommend folks give it a shot, especially if you like new takes on Lovecraft’s madness.