Blurred LineIn the early twenty-second century, corporations are government. Ten mega-corporations have rule over the entire world. The largest and most powerful of these companies is Summerstone, which was founded in the robotics industry and continues to be the sector's best.
Release Date: June 2005, ISBN: 097380470X, $9.95 US, 172 Pages
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Kat is an android - a Summerstone prototype. She wakes up in the middle of a field, spurned by the company that created her. Her journey to find out why takes her into the heart of the Summerstone corporation and to a group of people who just might be able to bring it to its knees.
Rodney is a loneboy - a contract killer. He's hired by Summerstone to do some of their dirty work, but his actions will forever change the course of the world.
And me? I was just a regular at a virtual reality bar. Now I'm something else entirely. Partly human, partly not. I live in a world where realities are interchangeable, data is the only language that matters and revolution waits in shadows.
"A great sci-fi author in the making...This is a compelling and engaging read." - Ali Al Saeed, author of QuixotiQ
"A very good debut novel...This is an author to keep an eye on!"- Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews
"Blurred Line contains a unique plot and even more enticing characters." - Writer's Digest
1. (2005) Blurred Line gets its title from the very first story I wrote, back at the tender age of thirteen. It was called The Dark Warriors of Sojin and, looking back on it now, was absolutely horrific, though I thought it was fantastic at the time. Anyhow, before the start of each chapter, I had written little quotations, supposedly from religious book or various characters, that kind of thing. One of them read a little something like this (though I don't remember it exactly): "...that line between fantasy and reality fades, and the two begin to blur together." That idea of the intermingling of fantasy and reality is what's at the base of the novel. It can be seen on the surface of the story, with the use of VR and things like that, but I've also tried to go a little deeper. It's my intention to have the entire thing read as if it were written in that period between sleep and waking. That period where a cold, hard sort of reality is right around the corner, but you're still partly in a world of dreams, where everything is just as real, just as vivid, but blunted by some ethereal haze.
2. (2008) To be honest, the book simply isn't that good. It's instructive, I guess, as a look at a young writer. I was 18 when I wrote the bulk of the story and, reading it now, I tend to cringe a lot. That said, I remain proud of the fact that I actually managed to finish a novel back then, and the basic plot is something that I plan to work with a lot in the future.
SpamThe tourists step out onto the sidewalk and it happens. Holographic ads spring to life around them. Loans, porn sites, drugs. They freeze, terrified. Mouths open. The man jumps into action and swats at the porn ad. His hand slices right through the huge, censored breasts of a woman who licks her finger seductively.
Published in Silverthought in June 2009.
1. (2009) I was inspired to write this story after coming up with the character of Zan in "Between Eternities" and decided I wanted to write about what was going on with him while the main events of "Between Eternities" were taking place. Anyhow, the bulk of this story was written way back in mid-2007. However, I came to a point where I had absolutely no idea how to end it, and it spent the better part of a year languishing on my shelf. I came up with an ending that'd play into yet another story (Sara's) and finished up the writing in March of 2008. It took a long time to find a home (mostly to do with response times, including a 212-day rejection from one market), but I'm glad it landed where it did.
Learning Magic From MintThe girlís name is Mint. Mother says that Iím not to go near her because she is bad. But once I read a story where a boy was told not to go near a girl because she was bad. Well, he did go near this girl and she was maybe a little bad, but she taught the boy magic and he became a wizard.
Published in Atomjack in May 2007.
1. (2008) This is one of those stories that I wasn't terribly happy with when I was done. I'd wanted to write a story in a totally different voice than what I was used to, so I thought I'd do one from the point of view of a little kid -- I'm not sure how well I pulled it off. Anyhow, it ended up taking me nearly a year to get it published. However, in March of 2008, the editor at Atomjack nominated for the Million Writers Award as one of the top three stories published in the magazine in 2007. That made me feel a little better.
Between EternitiesAnd everything was just perfectly there.
Published in Speculative.ca in October 2005.
The coffee shop beside the train station. The tall clock in the middle of the square, its face smashed and smeared with graffiti. Random groups of kids playing at dice games. Scuffles that broke out when someone lost. The disoriented tourist, accidentally treading off the main drag. Users collecting at the corners of the train platform, the square, the darkened shops. A place full of corners.
1. (2008) I wrote this before reading Kelley Eskridge's Solitaire. Promise. Anyway, for whatever reason, VR is one of the SF tropes I always seem to come back to in my writing. And writing a story about a VR prison had always been on my mind.
2. (2008) While I was writing this, I never had any plans to go back to the story's setting. But one of the minor characters, Zan, really appealed to me. Early on in the story, he's seen setting up for a party and I decided to go back and tell the story he's involved in during the night of that party, which became "Spam". Unfortunately, since I'd never planned to write two connecting stories, they don't sync up perfectly.
Smoke and MirrorsSound approximating speech.
Published in Byzarium in June 2005.
I wake, dream receding into the back of my mind. Like some monster with glowing eyes disappearing behind a bush. Perforated edge of imagined reality tearing away as my senses start to record the real world.
1. (2008) My first published story and still probably my favourite. As with a lot of other stuff I was writing at the time, this story has a sort of hazy, dreamy quality to it. It's the story of a factory foreman and one of his employees. I like to think of it as the kind of anti-consumerist rant that every left-leaning writer has to write during their formative years.
Goodbye, Darwin edited by Cavan Terrill and G.R.C. LewisIn Ian Donnell Arbuckle's "Hard Wonder" a father searches desperately for his son in a world where emotions have become currency. In Jeremy Benjamin's "At An Angle", a new drug allows people to sleepwalk through their lives while getting off on the ultimate high. In "Keeping Vigil at the Tree of Life", from R. Michael Burns, a scientist discovers that myths from the civilizations that have come before us may not simply be the stuff of fantasy. Twelve exciting new writers present their visions of our future with stories of new technology, fragmenting governments, and alien artifacts.
Release Date: November 2006, ISBN: 0973804726, $11.95 US, 220 Pages
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1. (2006) When I started Apodis Publishing, I decided I'd turn my attention towards releasing an anthology, not only because I wanted to try my luck at wearing an editor's hat, but also because I wanted to get the company's name out there with writers. Originally, I conceived three different anthologies, each with its own theme. However, it soon became clear that really strong works of fiction are harder to come by than you might imagine. I scaled my plans back to one anthology without a particular theme (although, if you look hard enough I think you can find a recurring theme throughout the stories, even though it's more metaphorical in some places). My good friend G.R.C. Lewis came onboard as my co-editor and we spent just over a year looking for the right mix of stories. I'm quite happy with the result, and hopefully you will be, too.