The Quietus Saga Chapter 1.3 (WIP)

A foot long and placed in the corner where wall met ceiling, the emergency light flickered its sickly yellow pale into the residential hallway. A faint bass line rumbled from an apartment home, its beat almost keeping pace with the flickering light. Winston knocked on the door that the bass line came from, keeping his body angled so the door would have to happen wide to see him and so he could keep an eye on the hallway.

His eyes darted to a scratching sound from a drainage grate on the opposite side of the hall. Hands curled loosely into fists, he stared. The grate, about the width of his hand and as long as the emergency light, wiggled. It then popped up where a furry body quickly scurried into view. The black rat froze when it got completely free of the grate, realizing something was near it. It stared intently at Winston, whiskers twitching furiously, and then abruptly it went scurrying down the hall. Winston let out the breath he had been holding and knocked on the door a second time.

When no one opened the door, Winston set off once more constantly looking at the ceiling. Mildew and mold ran in long streaks. In places the fungi covered conduits to the point it looked like the piping simply stopped for a few inches and then started again. Next to the conduit were disused rails for automatic pressure washers to keep the hallways pristine. On paper, in the intel provided, the arcology was gorgeous. Small holes showed in the ceiling where a long piece of railing had been ripped free.

He stopped at the next door in the hallway, eyes on the false tile next to the missing railing. Intel provided had it leading to a sub-ceiling or subfloor, dependent on where one stood. It could be full of grims. Or a bunch of Symps trailing me. Shit. Why was intel so bad for this? I could get a few dozen Symps. People are people and will be idiots so there are bound to be a few who side with a terrorist message. But an entire neighborhood? Somebody dropped the goddamn ball. Dropped it big time.

He pounded on the door. The emergency light that was providing a modicum of illumination, blinked out. The telltale hum of air moving through ventilation shafts was suddenly there. He slowly shook his head. It’s worse on regular power. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at the number of Symps. He pounded again and this time the door swung inward.

Faint red light spilled into the hallway but no sound followed it. At least none he could hear. The ambient sound was just too much. Nice call assholes, he wiped his hands on his sweat and blood stained pants, on ordering minimal gear. He walked slowly back and to the side, keeping a wide angle on the door. In and out they said. We have positive intel on the residents wanting Yosem Mir gone from the arcology, they said. He clenched and unclenched his fists, peeking in.

Fully furnished. A cursory scan placed a futon on the right wall. A chaise in front of it. Long hutch on the left wall. Box in between the chaise and hutch. Table near the kitchen entrance. Two more hutches near the table. A red light hanging from the middle, swaying a bit. Seeing no potential hostiles, Winston stayed where he stood and focused on the details. How the chaise was littered with dirty dishes and waded up clothing. He took in the coiled rope on the box and the rips in the futon that had a blanket hanging off the edge. There was pizza on the table, just laying on the table with seven cups scattered around the food. Toys and instruments and books littered the floor.

A look up and down the hall and then Winston entered the domicile. The bass line from the neighboring apartment home was faint, sounding like a slow heartbeat now. He matched his breathing to it and looked in the hutch that was to his immediate left.

Winston blinked. Twice.

Bugs filled the hutch. Worms writhing. Beetles buzzed and bounced off the glass front. Huge hairy spiders stalked the shelves. Locusts buzzed like saws. Flies covered indiscriminate lumps with worms and maggots writhing in a pulsating mass. A cold shiver ran over him like ice water dumped on his head. Who the fuck keeps bugs for pets? Any more remarks were instantly killed when he turned to look at the box. Not a coiled rope. Coiled intestines with the blood appearing black under the red light. The waded clothing was stained black. Black marks on the couch, centered on the tears.

It was having experienced more fubar missions that he would ever freely dwell on that had Winston moving. Into the kitchen, stepping over a headless feline corpse, getting a knife out of the third drawer he opened. A cheap steak knife. It would break after the first cut, but it was a weapon. An upper cabinet opened. Tin of baked beans. The bluntness complimented the steak knife and it was a projectile.

He spared the dead cat a single glance, noting the missing paws, on his way back into the main living area. Winston went to the first bedroom on the right. Bed, dresser, desk, rolling chair, closet open, posters of musical bands on the walls. Winston nodded at the toolbox on the floor of the closet. He opened it and took the hammer without hesitation, leaving the knife.

Bass line matching the beat of his heart now, Winston kept the hammer angled away from his body as he stepped across the hall to the bathroom. The entrance covered by a hanging curtain backlit by a nightlight. His chin dipped in acknowledgement. It made no sense, was irrational in every way, but he accepted the mutilated brown and white dog hanging by a wire as a statement of fact.

The bass was getting stronger as he got closer to the wall separating the two apartments. Winston extended the hammer and pushed the door open to the master bedroom. A snake on the bed slithered into a tight ever moving coil as a warning to Winston. He kept his distance, as he could, checked the en suite, and then a few seconds later was pushing open the last bedroom door.

Faintly illuminated by a nightlight on the wall, the room was a blank slate of freshly painted drywall. Walls without a blemish wherein the other rooms were sloppily painted, had holes randomly throughout, and the odd piece of art work hanging in the hall. He looked over his shoulder into the bathroom at the hanging dog that looked like someone had worked it over with a cheese grater, and then he slowly turned his head to look down the hall. Just as slow, he brought his gaze back to the room. It was too off. Too wrong.

Thump. Thump. Thump. The bass followed him into the room. Angling to keep the door in his peripheral, Winston began walking the room, skirting the walls. A finger traced a line on the new neon yellow paint. Gaze took in the perfectly installed sculpted mid-height baseboard two shades whiter than the wainscoting. The same shade of white as the chair rail. His bed was a matching white; linen, mattress, and frame. Winston crawled onto the bed.

An absence of light, black as sin moved in front of the entryway.

From the middle of the room Winston swung the hammer.

Yellow was the color of light.

Back into a corner of the closet, Winston screamed wordlessly.

Light keeps the horrors away.

The complete absence of light, radiating terror like a forest fire radiates heat, floated. Crawled. Slithered over the threshold.

Light repelled the nightmares.

Winston turned his back to the open door. His hands squeezed on tin of baked beans and the handle of the hammer. Breath catching in his throat.

Light vanished.

[Reaper, where are you?]

The door closed.

The Quietus Saga Chapter 1.2 (WIP)

Feeling a soft warm body press against her leg, Master Sergeant Kat “Reaper” Bacque reached down and absently petted the black dog that had adopted her and Corporal Obara “Ghost” Yoson. Her eyes remained fixed on the communal area the hall emptied into. It was massive. Easily a million square feet. Ghost or Hatchet would know the exact measurements but she didn’t feel like asking—Ghost. Asking Hatchet wasn’t a choice at the moment; and it didn’t really matter. At a little more than or less than a million square feet there was an awful lot of open space and hiding spots for any remaining Yosem Mirs or their sympathizers.

“Fucking grims could be out there,” she muttered. The dog wasn’t excited so maybe there were none nearby. Maybe there was a entire army ten feet away. Who the fuck knew? Not her. This whole fubar scenario with losing almost all her team, the grims, the grims and  their relationship with dogs was…fluid.

“Wonder how many grims are out there,” Ghost commented.

From her peripheral she caught him squatting to pet the dog. Strapped across his chest and resting on his back was the pulse cannon they had acquired through a tense shopping experience that culminated with an entire Yosem Mir cell dead. The weapon was a two-hander to her and he had it across his back like it was a standard issued rifle. Fucking dick.

“I was just thinking that,” she said.

There was a lot of vegetation in this communal area and the other seventeen in the arcology. The uneducated may have thought the trees there to help scrub the air made disgusting by a million people living on top of each other, on top of the pleasant ambiance they added. The uneducated would be wrong. While there had to be twenty or so mature live oaks in each communal area and hundreds of bushes, there simply were not enough plants to make a difference in air quality which was now the elephant in the room.

Engineering had never been a strong suit for Reaper, but she knew oxygen generators needed a power source to function. She also knew that backup power was finite. What she didn’t know; what Ghost, the only Black Dragon she could talk to, didn’t know was just how long the backup power would function. Even though everyone seemed to be in hiding, at least those who were not Sympathizers, it still meant there were a shit lot o’ people breathing in oxygen in a building on a planet that had practically no atmosphere. Thus, no oxygen.

“I also want to know why there are so many Sympathizers,” Ghost added. “Four levels now and each has been full of the fuck faces.”

Reaper shrugged. “We always knew intel was going to be a little off on this place.” She gestured absently in front of her. “Everybody in this goddamn hell hole hates Trinity.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Ghost stood, towering a foot over Reaper. “Trinity government shits all over everybody who isn’t making them money and shit like that. Still don’t explain why so many Symps here.”

“Probably why we were brought in to close up shop.”

“Speaking of closing. How’s the arm?”

Reaper looked down at the arm immobilized against her side. It was shredded. From shoulder down, the black shirt was missing along with a good portion of skin and muscle. The exoskeleton, made of some sort of graphene polymer and was sinfully strong, was mangled. It looked like a stick of wax had been softened, wrapped around the arm and then cooled.

“Right as rain and I don’t need another fucking injection.” She shoved him with her right arm, the good arm. “Stop hovering like a goddamn momma hen.  You’re worse than my mother.”

“Well.” The words died on Corporal Obara “Ghost” Yoson’s lips. As one, both he and Reaper looked down at the black dog. Shoulder coming to her hip, it looked like a black lab with the musculature of a racehorse. Queen had called it a Hoisin Hybrid, before paths had diverged. Whatever the breed, the thing was fucking pissed. Hackles up, tail down, and lips pulled back revealing fangs that were downright scary; and she’d fight anyone who had a problem with her acknowledging that.

“That pulse-,” she glanced down as the dog started making a growling sound that mimicked the concussions of large artillery, “cannon can light that oaks on fire. I want them all roasting.”

“Which way we going?” Ghost pulled the gun metal gray cannon from his back. It was reminiscent of the ancient Browning .50cal, only it had a 3 inch wide barrel and the stock was 14” in diameter to hold the fuel cell. Reaper knew from practice on the range that the thing was twice as heavy as her. Even taking into account the exoskeleton it was a bit awe inspiring the ease of maneuvering he displayed.

She looked down at the mangled arm and then back at him.

“Oh yeah,” he winked, “you lost our sat comms link.”

“One arm or not, I can still kick the shit out of you.”

Ghost grinned and then rolled his shoulders as the cannon settled in his grip.

“Just follow the fucking dog.”

“Good i-.” The rest of the word was lost in a roar of sound and light. The five foot long cannon let loose a torrent of silvery hellfire that vaporized a line through the trunk of the closest tree. The line traced its way right, zig-zagging a bit as Ghost adjusted his grip. Thunderous sound and ozone filled the air. Heat buffeted the duo and canine. Flames danced shadows around the cavernous space. And then the thunder ceased along with a considerable amount of light.

“Fuck yeah!” Ghost yelled over the sound of boiling water exploding from trees and massive branches falling.

Reaper just shook her head. It was no longer a wonder why Trinity banned the weapons. It would’ve taken missiles, plural, to cause the same devastation. The heat was unbelievably oppressive, stealing the breath from her lungs and burning the breath that went in. It was probably just four trees that Ghost ignited, but that was quickly spreading and—she arched an eyebrow and looked around. The fire suppression system wasn’t kicking in. Oh yeah, no power. Then as if her thoughts were magic, overhead lighting kicked on and a claxon shrilled.

“It’s gonna get messy in here,” Ghost yelled and pointed toward the ceiling.

“Snow?” There was so much white falling, drifting on the thermals of burning vegetation and reinforced concrete. A surreal beauty in a hellish landscape.

He shook his head. “Oxygen eating foam.”

Master Sergeant Kat “Reaper” Bacque brought her eyes down from the falling death to the bonfire in front of her. It was like she was suddenly encased in gel with weights on her hand. She shivered from a chill that belied the heat. Raising her hand to point at the voids of light moving through fire that the flames didn’t even reflect off, an overpowering desire to run washed over from head to toe, followed by a fucking bullshit realization.

What the fuck? Scared? “Scared?” she said aloud. The Hoisin Hybrid canine next to her started to stalk toward the flames. Ghost just stared. “Scared!” She roared. “You motherfuckers have no fucking clue who you are fucking with!”

With a scream of rage, Reaper yanked her Stallion Black sidearm from its holster and ripped off six shots. Missing with all of them. The grims were just too fast. It just wasn’t natural.

“Fuck you!” She glanced at Ghost and then jammed the Stallion Black back into the holster. She then punched the terror frozen Corporal in the back before yanking the pulse cannon from him. “Grab the fucking dog!”

Powered by rage, for fuck those motherfucking things fucking thinking they could fucking scare her, she spun once and flung the three hundred pound pulse cannon like a discuss into the raging inferno. That got Corporal “Ghost” Yoson moving. Like the dog were a puppy, Ghost scooped it with one arm and then ran with Reaper. Away from the fire.

“We just came from this way,” Ghost yelled.

“I know!”

“There’s a lot of Symps this way!”

“Shut the fu-.” Reaper bit the tip of her tongue off as the concussion wave punched them like a hundred cars.

Her first thought was good thing the syringes are in my front pocket. Then, fuck you Ms. Stevens. I can fly without wings; and then, shit. Reaper bounced off a pylon into a flat spin, boots cracking against Ghost’s head. Red and a few little flecks of white spewed from his mouth, the dog fell from nonsensical arms, and then Reaper crashed onto her bad arm.

Contorting in agony, Reaper slid on wet ground, eventually coming to a stop. Breath coming in gasps, bum arm twitching like mad, and vision getting hazy she moved on instinct and hardened training. Her good arm groped around her chest until coming in contact with a tubular piece of graphene-titanium alloy. She then pulled the syringe from the pocket and dropped it. It clattered and rolled to a stop next to something. Reaper grabbed for it. She felt something soft and then something hard. Wrapping her fingers around the hard object, her arm moved as if possessed, snapping up and then down. Just as the blunt end of the syringe slammed against skin and bone, the needle snapped out, sliding through bone like butter and into her heart. Instantaneous…less agony. No fucking way this is what relief feels like.

“At least I don’t feel like I’ve fallen through Death’s door,” she said aloud.

“What that?”

She slowly craned her neck in the direction of the speaker. “Goddamnit.”

Underfed, under-clothed, too much facial hair, and holding a machete the Symp looked like a cave dweller who just made human contact after forgetting what people looked like. Beady brown eyes roamed her body. He licked his lips and then grabbed at his tiny dick.

Reaper touched her holster or where there used to be a holster. She turned the touch into a leg rub and then winked at Tiny Dick. His mind couldn’t have even registered the wink for that dog came out of nowhere. It was Reaper just a few seconds from castrating a fuck face with his own machete; and then it was the machete clanging on the ground and the dog tossing half of Tiny Dick’s neck into the air.

“Christ Almighty,” she whispered. The machete was still quivering to stillness as the dog walked away from the newly made corpse. Reaper ran it over in her mind. Nope. Fuck that. Better to just thank the dog and move on.

The dog looked over to its left. Shit, even the muscles in its face rippled as it moved. Reaper followed the gaze and gave Ghost a dip of her chin. Damn did his face look bad. There was a hole in his right cheek and it looked like his right ear may have been partially ripped free. Blood ran a waterfall from his head, thought it was slowing as she watched the hole stitch itself closed. She snorted. Modern medicine.

“Help me up will ya?” Reaper asked.

Ghost shook his head a bit and then gave her a nod as he walked over. “Hoisin Hybrid, she called it?”

For as strong as he was, he was surprisingly gentle in helping her up. “Hoisin Hybrid.”

“We should name it.”

She shook her head. “We should keep moving. We need to find a palmlet, and I no longer give a shit about entering a dwelling without receiving permission.”

Ghost shrugged and then picked up the machete. He handed it to her and then held up his hands. “Your guess in a direction is as good as mine, Master Sarge. Where to.”

Reaper slowly looked up and down the corridor. About fifty feet wide, it appeared to be a people filler for the concourse they had just tried destroying. A body, missing its entire right side, lay a few feet away. The soft thing she touched while searching for the syringe. She let out a sigh at the sight of it. Symps didn’t do that, nor did anyone belonging to any Yosem Mir terror cells that may still have been functioning inside Olympus Mons Arcology.

She cleared her throat and then blinked away smoke stinging her eyes. Just then the power cut, plunging the corridor into darkness. Reaper counted to three before the three emergency lights in the corridor came on. Either the failsafe backup power supplies were failing or wires were being severed. Whatever the reason, it didn’t sit right.

“That way,” she pointed in the direction of the concourse, “between the inferno remnants and the foam is a death sentence. We have to go back the way we came.”

“Six one way, half dozen the other,” he muttered.

“Keep your fucking comments to yourself Corporal. You’re a Black Dragon. Act like it.” She started walking, feeling more than a little glad that horse of a fucking dog fell into step with her.

Ghost flinched at the comment as if she had slapped him. Served him right. He shouldn’t have pointed out the obvious. That was an officer’s job.

A little rewind on how writing ANDROIDS is going

So I have three point of views in ANDROIDS. Three main characters if you will.

There’s an android that suffers from paranoid delusions owed to budget restraints that created quality control issues during the time of his creation. He thinks he’s an artist and has one friend, a person he turned into a lamp. The lamp/person follows him around and talks to him.

Next is a Praetorian (Special Forces), a man, who thinks that everything he does is uber vital to the team. Has some arrogance issues and is hopelessly in love with another on his team (reciprocated) which leads to a very interesting choice.

The third is the Praetorian Team Lead. A woman with the nickname Mom whom the android has taken a keen interest in.



2k more words done for the day. Up to 29k. Really loving this story. More lamp/man and the Special Forces team left in a pickle.



1k words tonight, bringing the total to 30k. Praetorians, Special Forces, peeps are still in quite the quandry.



1500 more words. Left off w/ someone unwittingly angering a god-like synthetic super soldier. An android. Oops.



5,000 words today…I suppose that man won’t be angering androids any longer.



3k words today up to 39k…Today an android gives odd gifts and good things start happening to our Praetorians. Maybe. Sorta 🤔



6122 words, 44.5k total. More questions, fewer answers. A power player in Vesta Company (a ridiculously powerful criminal enterprise) has a decision to make. Our Praetorians find themselves in between a rock and hard place.


Androids: Laboratory created super soldiers controlled through cyber-organic processes. Escaped control eighty years in the past. Butchered an entire planet in repayment for what they were forced to do while under control. Banned and with all knowledge of them wiped from the Net; the beings are now hunted mercilessly. Tracked across the galaxy from populated worlds to derelict orbitals to uninhabitable planets, androids are found and they are destroyed, with no quarter given, by teams of extremely specialized individuals.

Praetorian Team 107 is not one such team.



A man pushed open the saloon style doors of Louie’s on Fox. The right top hinge squealed like nails on chalkboard, acting a better entry bell than a bell would. Paint flaked from the wooden slabs in so many places, regulars made it a game to guess what color Louie claimed the door was that day. As the saloon doors flap closed, the hinge making fainter sounds with each flap like that of an animal letting out their last gasps of life, the man walks with steady steps in the direction of the bar. Dirt, brought in by the miners at the coal seam just outside of town and blown in from lack of glass on the window holes and a proper door, rise in small tufts under the heavy steps of the man. A few of the patrons that sit at the five fight-weathered tables like fleas clinging to a dog’s back give the man a once over, and then look back at their liquid dreams in the dirty glasses in front of them.

Two brown fans, fan blades more gray than brown from the caked on dust, turn as lazily as a vulture on a thermal waiting for a meal to die. It does nothing for the blistering heat that envelops the place, but they’re not supposed to according to Louie. It’s about not allowing the air to go stagnant. The man doesn’t know about that, nor does he care, he didn’t pick Louie’s for its cosmopolitan ambience.

He makes his way to a bar stool with a sliver of cushion and fabric so thin the man does what every other patron to Louie’s does, he tries to pull off the fabric like it was a dirty towel Louie left on the stool. When the fabric doesn’t come free, the man shrugs a shoulder, and sits in front of the bar top that takes up almost the entire left side wall.

Gouges, pits, and scraps decorate the deep brown oak bar top with patches of lighter oak, where fights had removed large chunks, joining the display. The metal running along the edge of the front could have been brass, or copper, or any other type of metal. It was hard to tell from the blood and dirt stains on top of the divots and dents. Behind the bartop that would turn away anyone more refined than a raccoon, five shelves were screwed into the roughhewn cedar wall. Dusty bottles with hardly a drop spilled from their confines sat next to near empty bottles of alcohol, the glass hard to see through from the dirt that covered it.

An old bartender behind the bar shambles over to the man sitting and places a glass as dirty as the bottle in front of the man. The inside could be clean, but the man doesn’t hold his breath. If he was worried about his health he wouldn’t have been at Louie’s.

“Cheapest vodka ya got,” the man says. As the bartender ambles away, he sighs, leans on his elbows against the bar, and just stares.


Greg Bear is horrible.

Okay, let’s back up here, shine the dirty glass so things are a bit clearer. If you are an author, you know this one piece of advice because it is a constant. Everyone who gives advice on writing says it; be it a blog post, newspaper article, or just shooting the breeze. If you want to be an author you need to know this; and if you just like reading, not writing, it will make sense when you think about it.

Characters in a story are not supposed to be as flat as cardboard.

An example would be the mini-story above. We know one character is a man and he doesn’t care about his health. That’s it. Why he’s there, what drove him to Louie’s, what drives him to do what he does. They are all absent, but the bar is in great detail. So you have a fleshed out background, but a character as flat as paper.

An entire novel is not supposed to be set up that way, yet Greg Bear does just that with Hull Zero Three, and it works. Which is why Mr. Bear is such a cretin. A story is not supposed to be a great read if the characters have the depth of an atom. Yet, Bear takes that given, throws it on the fire, and then writes a story populated by cardboard characters that is a really good read.

There is a reason why the characters are so one-dimensional in Hull Zero Three. To provide the reason would give away what makes the book wonderful, but that doesn’t mean the story is supposed to succeed. Even though the characters have to be cardboard, Hull Zero Three should be boring, but I couldn’t put it down.

For two days I read the book every single chance I got. Two free minutes waiting for the kitchen sink to fill with hot water? I read. Walking from the car to inside, I read. I read at night by the light of my phone, and during the morning while waiting for bread to toast.

The main reason for why the story is so fascinating is that the story is interesting despite being populated by cardboard characters. I don’t have a clue how he pulled it off. No idea.

Hull Zero Three is a great read. It’s really good. I highly recommend it.

That ending hurt my head – Time Salvager by Wesley Chu

time salvager

It was 1992, ’93, when I saw what I remember to be my first time travel movie. Marty McFly with his awesome skateboard and cool pre-grunge outfits. Doc Brown, his crazy Albert Einstein hair and eccentric but lovable attitude. The oh so lovely, totally had a school boy crush, Lea Thompson as Lorraine Baines. Back to the Future was, and still is, an amazing movie; one that will be watched and loved for the ages; and while it may not have been the originator of time travel, the movie is my progenitor of a lifelong fascination with time travel.

The sequel I have watched more than the original, maybe. If I haven’t seen it more than the original, it’s a close second. Everything about the second movie is as wonderful as all the exciting, new, and novel things of the original. People still clamor for a real life hoverboard—not the Segway without handlebars sold today—and they still want self-tying shoes, TVs you can roll up and down like window shades, flying cars, holograms, clothes that dry themselves; Back to the Future 2 is just ridiculous for how wonderful it is.

The third Back to the Future came out and I ate it up. I still enjoy watching that movie. The ending is a bit hokey, but overall, enjoyable as a time killer. It lacks everything that made the first two special though, and…and I thought nothing of time travel movies for years and years after finishing up the Back to the Future trilogy. That is, until college.

I still don’t know why I decided to begin philosophizing on time travel paradoxes. I think it has something to do with The Langoliers, a novella by the venerable Stephen King; I’m not sure, or I could just be a glutton for punishment. For whatever reason, I became enamored with the idea of attempting to resolve the numerous, and I do mean numerous, paradoxes involved in time travel.

Quick tip: If you want to drive yourself bat shit crazy, try to come up with a concrete answer to existential questions.

Whenever I attempt to scrape the surface of time travel paradoxes, I am left frustrated because I come up with more questions than answers, which makes Time Salvager a perplexing double-edged sword of a book. On one side, the story is thoroughly satisfying. I honestly cannot think of something it lacked. It is marvelously written. While on the other side of the sword, Wesley Chu has frustrated me something fierce with his ability to write a time travel book that manages to not frustrate me until the very last page.

Now, when I say the very last page, I don’t mean somewhere around page 349 he frustrated me, but since I had so much time vested in the book, I continued reading. No. The damn ending of Time Traveler got me on the VERY LAST PAGE. Here he goes through 378 pages of a time travel book without making me want to tear apart his views on time travel, and on page 379, the very last goddamn paragraph, Wesley Chu goes there. The mother of all time travel paradoxes.

If you travel back in time and do something, is that because that was always supposed to happen? -OR- Is going back into the past to change an event not actually going to change the event, as the event played out in the way it did because you were/are always going to go back in time so the event plays out as it should? — Yeah, try to give a concrete answer on that. Make sure you room has padding on the walls if you do.

We go an entire novel and on the last page, last paragraph, last sentence, the above paradox gets thrown into the mix. You’re a cruel man Wesley, making me think on time travel paradoxes when I didn’t want to; a cruel, wonderful author, because of that last page, a better ending couldn’t happen. Even if you went back in time to change it.

Should you read Time Salvager? Yes, of course. The entire story is wonderful. It’s also a good starting book for a person wanting to know what the all the hub-bub is surrounding sci-fi.




Wattpad and ugh to first read-throughs

Finished the first read through of THE TRAIN.

I’ll tell you what, I was having such a blast writing that story, I was positive when I read it that angels would start singing, a beam of light would shine from the heavens down on me and gold would spurt out my ears.

What I got was me saying, “Hmm, yeah, why don’t I like this as much as I think I should?”

I still can’t precisely pinpoint the reason why I don’t like THE TRAIN. I think it may be because the main protagonist has zero character growth. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not cardboard, I gave him an interesting past and interesting problems, but he is the same at the end as he was in the beginning. I didn’t see the lack of growth until I read it through.

So, instead of brooding over the work and pulling my hair out to fix it, it goes up on the shelf for, at the very least, one full month, before I read a single word of it again. Now, it’s onto a new novel!

I had two fully formed ideas for novels before I began THE TRAIN, so it’s not like I’m going into this unprepared. On the contrary, this story (tentative title: ANDROID UPRISING) has much more background than THE TRAIN. It’s a story I’ve been sitting on for almost two years because I feared I couldn’t do it justice. I finally decided to hell with it and pull the trigger.

What I’m doing with ANDROID UPRISING though is a first. THE TRAIN taught me the need for beta readers, so I am putting the first draft of ANDROID UPRISING on Wattpad. I am going to put up a new update, multiple chapters likely, ever Friday at 1 PM EST. Every chapter will stay up for comments from readers until the entire first draft is complete. Once it’s complete and the final chapter has comments, it’ll be removed for polishing and publishing.

With ANDROID UPRISING, I’m hoping for writing group style critiques. I.E. pointing out word repetition, how a character is bland, how this scene is awesome but then I put in that paragraph and shot it all to shit. Honest, constructive criticism.

I really hope whoever reads this post can offer some feedback. It’d be wonderful.

Interview over at Indie SciFi Fantasy!

My third author interview is up at Indie SciFi Fantasy (

If you enjoying straying from the heavily marketed mainstream publications for your reading pleasures, I recommend perusing Indie SciFi Fantasy for more than just my interview.

There are a lot of great indie books out there not with one of the Big 5. Maybe the person believes they will be the next Hugh Howey, or maybe they can’t deal with rejection, or maybe they find the traditional publishing process too arcane and want full control.

I don’t know the reason behind everyone who went the indie route. What I do know is that when you wade into the indie waters you’ll find there are treasures for the taking. Like an underwater treasure, the great indie titles won’t leap out of the water and into your hands. Dig a little. You’ll find that shiny gold coin.

Sci-fi doesn’t get much better than this – Gridlinked

I’ll get it out in the open, I’m a giant Neal Asher fan. Right now, I can’t find another author who writes more entertaining stories.

I read DARK INTELLIGENCE a few weeks ago, maybe a couple months ago, and when I finished that book I was at a loss for words. It checked every box on my non-existent Things that make a science fiction book great checklist. I stayed away from Neal’s books for a little bit after I finished DARK INTELLIGENCE. If the book is so great that I could not nitpick even the smallest thing, then how could any of his other books measure up?

GRIDLINKED measured up.

It’s obvious GRIDLINKED is his first published novel. He got screwed on the editing front, at least with the ebook version. There’s a ton of missed punctuation and two-letter words. Aside from that, which doesn’t affect the story at all, GRIDLINKED is amazing.

Actually, you know what? Search for synonyms on amazing, and then search for synonyms on every word that comes up. That’s what GRIDLINKED is.

As I go through the story in my head, while I write this post, I realize it’s just as great as DARK INTELLIGENCE. There’s no happy Disney endings here, which authors should be ashamed of. Every story line ending in the book ends on a natural note, not the fluffy hunky-dory endings publishers are enamored with right now.

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The story line with Arian Pelter ends precisely how you expect it to, which should be anti-climatic, but it’s just so damn satisfying, any other ending would be terrible. How Mr. Crane gets ripped apart, after Arian is convinced the golem is the most dangerous thing in the entire universe and invincible…I just had to laugh.

Neal Asher has an amazing way with putting together stories with characters that are just fun to follow and a joy to read; and I believe I do a terrible job with summing up how enjoyable these books are. I think because of how much I love the books, analogies fall short, because not everyone can agree on one particular analogy. For example:

The awe and amazement that comes from reading a book written by Neal Asher is the same as looking up at the nighttime heavens far from city light, witnessing the vastness of the universe, staring in awe at the glory of the celestial bodies.

Some people will look up, shrug, “It’s juts black with a bunch of dots.”

Others will say, “It looks pretty.”

Some will read that analogy, grab their head, and freak out by how correct the latter part of that analogy is. That’s how I am when I think through GRIDLINKED and DARK INTELLIGENCE. I can literally freak out, by how AWESOMELY AMAZING the stories are.

Needless to say, you need to go out and buy books written by Neal Asher.

Simon Pegg hates sci-fi! (not really)

A few days ago one of sci-fi fandoms biggest heroes told everyone he hates sci-fi and wishes they would stop making movies about it. Well after a quick Twitter search it seems that way. The Guardian has a good write up about what he said. Below is one quote that pretty much gives away why he said what he said. Simon gives a long winded response on his website which cements what his first words meant.

Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie and Clyde and The French Connection – gritty, amoral art movies. Then suddenly the onus switched over to spectacle and everything changed … I don’t know if that is a good thing.

Simon Pegg, if you don’t know who he is, is the writer and star of the brilliant movies Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, he is also Scottie on the Abram’s reboot of Star Trek. He’s writing the newest Star Trek film, he loves the original canon material so much. Basically his entire film career has been comedies and/or science fiction/fantasy/comedy horror movies.