On the verge of abandoning his life-long project, an obsessive physicist hires the innovative service of an android Muse to help him finish his work. But when things start to go missing from his life, he must learn that not all is worth sacrificing on the altar of science before he has nothing left to live for.
Do you want to know what’s next for poor-but-brilliant Yanni? Do you wanna meet the Muse? Then read this unique sci-fi thriller that toys with the very concept of inspiration.
We are sometimes taken aback by people’s reaction to fiction. A fanbase reaction to a shift in their favourite series, a fan boycott of a new version they don’t approve.
The Greek word for entertainment is psychagogia, which is different from the word for plain “fun.” Psychagogia means leading the soul. The ancient Greeks meant “the mind” when talking about the soul. So simply put, food for the mind.
Just like people have the right to object to a restaurant when their food is trash, they have the same right to demand good entertainment, food for their mind.
When you think of it like that, it’s easy to see why people get so upset about their favourite fiction. Comic book fans (it’s not canon!), book fans (they ruined it!), movie fans (he can’t top Tobey Maquire for Spiderman!) have sometimes insane reactions to changes. I have found myself saying “It’s just a movie, chill out,” and I think we all have at some point. But then we all see something rebooted and regritted and we say, “No! Ghostbusters can’t be women! They’ve ruined it now.”
But we are wrong. And we are right as well.
Sure, over-the-top fans should sometimes get a life. And book fans can go shut their eyes and ears and go “Lalala” to avoid the movie version. The rest are simply voicing their opinion, and they have a right to an opinion about the mind-food they consume.
The kind of fiction we consume changes a bit about ourselves. Yes, you can scoff at someone if he enjoys something you don’t approve of, but only in relation to you. You can’t say, “he’s stupid for liking that action movie,” but you can say, “if all that he likes are dumb action movies then no, I can’t hang around with that person anymore.”
There’s a difference, and keep an open mind for guilty pleasures. There are women who like testosterone-filled chauvinistic action hero flicks and men who enjoy a deep emotional movie every now and then.
When I talk to people about movies, I tell them something that I thought was an unpopular opinion. I say, “I don’t enjoy those car chases, they are boring. I even skip ahead when I’m on the computer.” And to my surprise, they usually reply with, “Yes! I hate them too.”
Now, if people are really saying the truth about that, then what are the car-chase scenes for? For what audience? Hollywood throws millions and millions in dangerous and expensive car chases, but for whom? I’m not talking about the Fast and the Furious franchise, that was their whole point. But the rest, I believe, have them just because someone thinks they sell better.
They simply want you, me, us, to go and spend our money on that movie.
Here is the cover for our new spacefaring series Antigravel:
Upwards and onwards
What did you think was the roadstop for man to explore the empty reaches of space? Faster than light travel? Interstellar navigation? Time dilation?
Puh. We beat all that by sheer force of will.
It was micrometeoroids.
Fucking space rocks.
The beginning of a new series
This book marks the entry novel for a new series, separate from the god complex universe. Hopefully it will tease all you readers enough to spark off a whole new set of books.
When a group of teenage gamers get shaken down by some local thugs, they decide to test their team skills on the real world. But will they manage to turn their neighbourhood back into a safe place again, when the local gang has kidnapped their friend, when their own inexperience is a threat to their lives, and when their involvement brings in more unwanted attention?
Meet the boys (and a girl)
Detroll is the chief. His hobbies include gaming, strategising and confronting trolls on the internet. Hellbovine is a PVP addict. A second-generation player-vs-player gamer that has taken up his father’s legacy and wants to climb the gaming charts. Ambassador is a sweet kid who works at his father’s gyro place. Zodovolo is pretty much their mascot. And Crazy Iva is the girl they never expected having on their guild (hence the sons naming). But no-one dares call her girl to her face, lest they get their nose bitten off.
We are on a path towards an interconnected world. Self-driving cars are already here, the tech for smarthouses exists but there are no standards yet, and people are finding creative ways to use smartphone apps in their daily lives.
The following is a direct quote from a Mr. Robot episode:
There’s a saying — ‘The devil is at his strongest while we’re looking the other way.’ Like a program running in the background silently. While we’re busy doing other shit. ‘Daemons,’ they call them. They perform action without user interaction. Monitoring, logging, notifications, primal urges, repressed memories, unconscious habits. They’re always there, always active. You can try to be right, you can try to be good, you can try to make a difference. But it’s all bullshit. ‘Cause intentions are irrelevant. They don’t drive us, daemons do. And me? I’ve got more than most.
Though he is using daemons as an allegory to our primal urges, the fact remains that they are similar things. As computer daemons become more and more complex, as we surrender more and more power over the real world to them, they will start having behaviors. Personalities even. How often do you have a computer that seems to have a mind of its own? This is due to our tendency to find patterns where there are none, to be honest, but some day, it will actually be true. Through complexity we will find intelligence. Emergent behaviors.
In the story Nanodaemons, I have tried to imagine the tasks of a group of daemons, that form a PAN (Personal Area Network). We already have PANs, even though we don’t really know it. A fitness tracker that connects to our cellphone and a bluetooth headset, is exactly that. A personal short range network of interconnected devices, that communicate between them to fit our needs. If you add some more to the mix, like smartclothing and a Hololens or Google Glass, you can see how that freaky cyberpunk story I made up is not really that far ahead.
To my joy, I stumbled on the TV series Limitless, the Arm-ageddon episode, where their villain of the week has hacked a bunch of prosthetic cyberarms and ended up in many crimes and one murder. The episode’s weight was more on the man behind it, but it was great seeing how a silly sci-fi crime like that actually makes it into an otherwise realistic show. It only goes to show that people at large are beginning to accept that there are serious security issues with those things, and that we need to get some smart people together in a room to figure it out. People need these prosthetics, and we need them to be secure and high-tech, but also comfortable and discreet.
Meet the Daemons
In Nanodaemons, the arm is only part of the problem. And part of the solution, as you’ll see. Not to spoil anything, but there is a guy, being framed for murder. The story is about him trying to figure out what happened, and the unusual case of eudaemonia that afflicts him.
We have began a new partnership with StoryCartel. You can get Crying Over Spilt Light over there for free for a few more days. After that, an honest review is appreciated.
Why such a big deal on reviews?
Reviews make sure people see what other readers have thought of the book. Those little stars have a big impact on readers searching for something new. Sure, you know what a Stephen King novel might read like, or you have some expectations for the new Harry Potter novels, but when a writer is not well known he needs all the help he can get.
Reviews can be short, don’t think of them as critic’s bylines. Just write down what you thought of the story, if it moved you, if you wanna read more. Click the star rating. And submit. Simple as that.
Where should I review books?
Anywhere you like. To be honest, the ones that make the biggest difference to us are the Amazon reviews and the Goodreads ones.
OK, it’s not that they don’t like me, it’s rather like they don’t hit on me.
Ever. Never ever.
I mean, I don’t get what I’m doing wrong. I have my relationship status set to single and everything. My height doesn’t help either. I’m five percent short of two meters. But that’s not the worst part. The absolute frickin worst is my nickname.
My name is Adelaide, so it was bound to get mocked at school.
My parents shortened it to Ada at an early age.
Then they went up and died.
That reduced the total number of people who love me on planet earth, to zero.
My yiayia, that’s my grandmother, is the only person left who still loves me.
Just a bit.
Out of need.
She is like ninety eight years old and part-Robocop. Whatever empathy she might have had is gone over the decades. She is like a squeezed version of a human, where you take out the squishy feely stuff and leave a bag of bones behind, lubricated by spit and bile.
I know you’d think that my yiayia loves me deep down, and that she is just like all other lovin’ and carin’ cookie-making machines in the world.
Well, she does not. She calls me by my nickname, which I hate.
So, back to my nickname. It was at school, thirteen years old. I was bullied all day long by this boy Chris. Chris was obnoxious, smelly, and hit all kids at school. He liked me better, which is to say he hit me the most. I was an expert at avoiding him at all times, but in some cases he remembered all about me and eventually he would find me and torture me.
He’d steal my lunch. He’d throw dirt on my hair. He’d make fun of me, pointing his greasy finger at me and the rest of the bully-posse would laugh at me.
Chris was the bane of my existence during my childhood.
It didn’t help that I was beginning to grow much taller than him.
If Chris was nasty before, then after my growth spurt he acted as if it was his legal obligation to bully me. The mere heights of my adolescence were threatening his street-cred, even though I had done nothing to provoke him. I crouched to lessen my frame, I avoided him, I made sure never to look down on him.
It didn’t matter. Chris hated my guts. My tall, leaning over him guts.
I had discovered Ada Lovelace at that time. She was my hero. A countess from a century long forgotten, the very first computer programmer. I wanted to be her, I simply adored her.
The teacher asked for our role models, what kind of work we wanted to do when we’d grown up. That ill-fated moment, I raised my hand and said, “I want to be a computer programmer, like Ada Lovelace.”
Chris misheard the name and mocked, “Loveless? You wanna be Ada Loveless for the rest of your life? Hahaha!” And they laughed. Even the teacher cracked up a bit before she demanded silence.
Boom. It stuck.
Since then I’m loveless.
Do you want to know what’s next for the virgin computer nerd? Do you wanna meet the nasty Yiayia?
Join the Mythographers and be the first to learn all about Ada!