Tag Archives: cyberpunk

Fragments of Mind: Overview

Bringing together eight of my short stories, this collection focuses on the search for one’s place in the world, the struggle between transgression and redemption, following the lives of numerous individuals as they embark on perilous journeys in search of answers. Sometimes that journey is merely living one day to the next.

The Blasted Lands – A mysterious traveler journeys deep into a twisted desert land, in search of something that may very well be the most valuable thing in the world. But the horrors of fabled Iron Town are not to be underestimated.

Illuminus – Two young boys who live day to day, scrounging out a meager existence in a dark and dingy world, find a ray of hope in the most unlikely of places.

My Mechanical Soul – After a series of bizarre incidents involving synthetic humans, two police officers, one human and the other synthetic, take charge of the case and find that there’s something sinister afoot.

In Another Time – Two scientists must venture out into the world they’ve spent nearly four years monitoring when their situation starts to become dangerous. But it’s not the world outside the walls of their research outpost that they must be wary of.

These Tattered Dreams – After the world ends, two robots, one a simpler laborer and the other a deadly assassin, go in search of the last remaining humans.

Two for the Money – Lister Yves is suddenly pulled from his dull existence by an excitable young woman named Mia, who saves him from a band of murderous thugs by kidnapping him. Unfortunately for Lister, that’s just the beginning.

Pollen – Jace has lived his entire life allergic to a particular type of pollen that has spread out over the entire world, leaving him completely isolated in a lonely existence. Everything changes when he meets Ginny.

A Day in the Life of a Dark Lord – It’s tough being a Dark Lord, particularly when you aren’t a very good one. Gordon Lightwater is not a very good Dark Lord.

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Fragments of Mind: Cover

And here it is! This is another one that I did myself. It’s very simple and really didn’t take all that long to make, but I think it gets the idea across pretty well. This is a collection of the things that interest me personally and I think the cover reflects that. Rockets, robots, cities, and castles. There’s science-fiction, a little drama, and a dash of fantasy. All drawn from my mind and slapped on the page. I hope you enjoy it!

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Fragments of Mind: Excerpt from “Two for the Money”

~Two for the Money~

 Lister Yves’ front door exploded. Splinters of wood showered down on him while he sat on his couch. Before his mind could even being to formulate a response, someone grabbed him by his collar and hauled him to his feet. He was shoved roughly towards the door. Lister turned just in time to catch his Palmer as it came flying at him. His assailant, who was dressed from head to toe in jet-black attire, grabbed him again and pushed him into the hallway.

Suddenly, he was on the ground, nose against dingy wood. Something loud and angry buzzed through the air just above his head and then drilled itself several inches deep into the wall. His kidnapper tossed a metal cylinder along the floor. The stairwell at the end of the hall lit up with a blinding light. Angry shouts drifted upward from the floor below. The window behind him at the other end of the hall was quickly smashed with a gloved fist and then he was dragged through the newly-created opening. A rush of air whistled past his ears as he fell, screaming. A pile of wet garbage stopped his fall. Before he could get up, he was grabbed by the arm and tossed into a waiting flier. The door slammed shut, just missing his toes.

His kidnapper hopped into the driver’s seat and pushed the flier into the air. A group of figures appeared in front of them, each holding something in their hands. Flashes of light, like a camera. Cracks exploded across the windshield. Lister threw his hands up in front of his face, knowing the gesture would be futile if any of those shots made it through. The figure in black slid the throttle forward and the flier rapidly accelerated. At the mouth of the alley, another flier came from the right and slammed into them. Lister’s face smacked into the passenger-side window, causing a thousand stars to explode across his vision.

A hatch on the side of the flier slid open and something shot out, trailing smoke behind it. Lister turned just in time to see the flier behind them explode in a brilliant fireball; the torched and twisted remnants crashed into the street as other fliers swerved around it. The kidnapper turned off the main street and into another alley. Buildings and lights flashed by at blinding speed as the flier zipped around and through a number of obstacles that all seemed little more than a blur. Lister sat with his hands gripping the sides of the passenger seat, his mind having long since determined that it had reached critical capacity and then simply shut itself down.

Then the driver slowed and pulled into an empty warehouse. A large, metal door slammed shut behind them. The driver got out, walked around to the passenger side door, and pulled Lister out. He was led away from the flier and down a set of stairs. He looked once over his shoulder and saw flames crawling across the hood of the flier. In just a few seconds, it was completely engulfed. Before he could even think of anything to say, his kidnapped shoved him into a small, plastic capsule. The door shut, sealing him inside, and then his stomach was violently shoved up through his throat.

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Despite the rather abrupt and menacing intro, Two for the Money is actually a fairly light adventure. I wanted to do something a bit different here, I want to focus a bit more on action and to make it something that was exciting and fun to read. The basic idea is that a rather uninteresting young man named Lister, who has far too much time on his hands, is suddenly pulled into a world where everyone is after him. His only hope lies in a girl who sees all this as another exciting chapter in her adventurous life, much to Lister’s dismay. Unlike some of my other works, there’s no deep themes here or some grand examination of the human condition, it’s just a fun little adventure. It’s also one of my favorite stories.

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Genre Highlight: Cyberpunk Science Fiction

I would very much like to write a cyberpunk novel sometime. To date, I haven’t. Thus far I haven’t yet hit upon a story that I feel would work for a full-length novel, at least one that wouldn’t be total garbage. The problem is that this is a narrow genre and so much has already been done in it. William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy [Neuromancer and its sequels], Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Blade Runner, and the Ghost in the Shell franchise from Japan. It’s all been done before, and much better than I could ever do it.

You can blame Blade Runner for my obsession with the genre, I’ve probably watched it at least ten times and could watch it ten more without getting bored. I even went all the way to Dallas just to see the Final Cut in theater. There’s just something about those bleak urban landscapes that sucks me in, glowing with neon and filled with structures too massive to be real. The dark skies, the constant rain, the dichotomy between soaring skycrapers that reach closer and closer to the sky and the abject poverty in the streets. The steady march of technology as it slowly consumes every aspect of our lives, to the point of total dependence. I find it all so absolutely compelling.

I’ve been searching for a good story for some time. A few have come and gone, like a detective who gets a job to find someone who wants to “kill” a cyborg or a police investigator who has to uncover information about a “net bomb” which will destroy every electronic device in the world. On the surface, they don’t seem so bad. But those short lines are literally all there is to those stories and I don’t feel too confident that I can make them anything more than that. But I’ll keep looking for that story that stands out from all the rest, the one that forces me to write it.

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