Tag Archives: robots

Eyes of Diamond, Hair of Gold – An Allison Newberry Mystery

The Metal Man

Halfway through a narrow, empty corridor somewhere deep in the house, Allison spotted an automaton walking towards them. It stopped a short distance away, standing to one side with its back to the wall. Alistair faced straight ahead, but his eyes constantly flicked back to the motionless automaton. When they were no more than two steps away from it, the automaton spoke.

“Good day to you,” it said.

Alistair froze in his tracks, his body suddenly gone as stiff as a board. Even Allison found herself at a loss. This went far beyond being merely a pale imitation of the real thing, and came dangerously close to actually being the real thing. Allison had not yet looked closely at the automaton, but she quickly found herself unable to look away.

Its eyes were twin diamonds, each carefully polished and carefully carved to look like any human eye. Its hair was thin strands of shimmering gold, as thin as real hair and placed in just the right manner to appear as real hair. Its jacket and pants were neatly pressed, as well-maintained as the clothes that Roland Bitters wore. Its face was a delicately-carved mask. This metal man was not like any of the others they’d seen so far.

The automaton extended one hand towards them, which Alistair flinched away from. “My name is Maximilian and it is my duty to serve you,” the automaton said. “Please select your desired order from this list.”

It held a small box in its hand, which was covered in tiny switches. Each switch was labeled with such things as “Clean bedroom #2” and “Prepare meal for guest dining hall.” One switch said “Continue with current duties.” Allison carefully flipped that one. The box disappeared back into Maximilian’s coat and his hand returned to his side. He…it bowed stiffly.

“Very well. I shall endeavor to carry out your wishes to the best of my ability.”

Maximilian turned and then continued on along the corridor, slowly moving on awkward legs.

“By the gods,” Alistair mumbled under his breath. “If I’d known about that thing, I would have killed that madman myself.”

“It actually spoke…”

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Progress Report for 9/14

I finally got Deadeye finished up this week and out in paperback, which was very nice. I’m certainly not going to say that I didn’t like the story [because that would be silly in any number of ways], but I’ve spent so much time working on it this year and in the past couple of years that it got to the point where I was really tired of reading through it again. Being conservative, I’ve probably read through it at least a dozen times. It’s nice to finally be able to move on to something else! But I am satisfied with how it turned out and I hope you will be, too.

The second edition of Murder at the End of the World is still coming along. I’ve found that there were far more little errors and mistakes than I thought could possible be left. How does this happen?! Anyway, I fixed them all and I’ve done some tweaking and fixing and adding elsewhere, too. I’m also going to play around with adding the map I drew up into the paperback version. It will require a bit of work, but it shouldn’t be anything that I can’t handle.

Another week in the books.

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Deadeye: Paperback Release

Here it is at last:

https://www.createspace.com/3986412

Marshall Elias Watkins is brought in to investigate the massacre at an isolated outpost, where nothing was taken and none of the survivors saw a shooter. The only clue left behind is a line of spent shell casings resting atop a nearby ridge.

Marshal Watkins isn’t the young man he used to be, but a case like this needs somebody who’s seen just about anything and has the nerve not to turn away when the end is in sight. But he’s never seen anything like this before. Together with the best lawmen in the Known Lands, he determines to track down this killer and bring him to justice. Their quarry, however, is no ordinary man and his killing isn’t over just yet.

His trail leads them into raider territory and the irradiated zone and then across the mountains to the east, where no one has ventured near in almost a century. The marshall and his band come face-to-face with all the horrors of a world wrecked by war and radiation, where even a past that seems dead and buried can still come back to haunt the living.

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Deadeye: Digital Version Available

It’s here! Deadeye, a scifi-western set in a world recovering from catastrophic war, is now available on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords:

Amazon/Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00945B9YS

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168772

Shortly the paperback version will be available, as well, so anyone without an e-book reader will have to wait just a bit longer.

 

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Weekly Goals for 8/27

Starting this week, I’ll be putting up a post on Monday that outlines what I plan to do for the rest of the week. That way I can give everyone an idea of what I’m currently working on and working towards. For this week:

-Finish the final draft of Deadeye

-Release Deadeye digitally through Smashwords and Amazon Kindle

-Prepare the paperback release of Deadeye through CreateSpace

-If these get finished early, I’ll start back on the next Allison Newberry mystery

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Deadeye: Progress Report for 8/24

Work on the book has been delayed a bit due to other matters having to take precedence, though I’ve been getting in some work on it here and there anyway. As things stand now, I’m currently working my way through the final version of the book, correcting any lingering mistakes and punching up any sections that have escape being punched up in previous version. I’m happy with how things are going in that regard and I think it’s all really coming together in this last push. As of right now, Deadeye is approximately 74,000 words, or 296 pages.

Bear with me a little bit longer and I’ll have this ready for release pretty soon. Given my current status and rate of progress, I would expect that digital version to be ready next week with the paperback coming the week after.

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The World of “Deadeye”

The novel “Deadeye” is set in a region of the world called the Known Lands, which is a chunk of desert wasteland about the size of Texas. 75 years ago this bit of land wasn’t a whole different from the world of today, but then war came, nuclear war, leaving very little behind. Those who survived the war banded together into rough settlements that have slowly become the seven cities of the Known Lands: Tula, Grant City, Southbend, Maersk, Autumn, New Paulson, and Devlin, each headed up by a governor. No central government exists and the military rarely interferes with the operation of the seven cities, preferring to stay behind the stout walls of Fort Jostin and Fort Aspen.

The Known Lands are bordered on the north-east by the Red Forest, a once-great forest exposed to a high degree of radiation that’s said to have turned all the trees a dark shade of red and left the local wildlife horribly mutated. To the south is a patch of land controlled by bands of nomadic raiders, who often venture into the Known Lands in search of merchant caravans and outposts to attack. To the south-west is the Irradiated Zone, a region that’s still too dangerous too traverse because of high concentrations of radiation. To the east is a range of mountains that no one has crossed since the end of the war, no one knows what lies beyond them.

After the war, most of the technology of the modern world was lost. A few weapons, pistols and rifles, remain, along with some other technological relics, but much of the present world has reverted back to the mid-19th century: farming with hand tools, riding on horses and in wagons, and digging deep wells to find water. Houses are a mixture of what wood could be salvaged and mud bricks, forming a hodgepodges in the cities and outposts of varying building styles.

With the passage of time, few can recall the world as it once was and the devastation had destroyed any physical evidence. The people of the wasteland have had to build a new world, constructed with only a very limited knowledge of how things used to be.

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