Use Only As Directed, the anthology from Peggy Bright Books is available now, in paperback and ebook.

Beautiful Red

Beautiful Red

Beautiful Red

The future is boring. Technology has solved most of the world’s most pressing problems, leaving people with tedious work and mundane play. Jack is a Security Officer Class 5, which sounds important, but isn’t. However, her banal life as a cubicle worker by day and tinkerer by night is interrupted when she discovers that her employer’s computer system has been invaded.

Jack enlists the help of her only friends – her co-worker, Gilles and Adrian, an online friend she’s never met – to help her track down the source of the invasion. Her investigation leads her to a shadowy group called the Red, where Jack learns that not everyone lives a life of quiet servitude.

Beautiful Red is a Parsec Award Finalist!

The podcast of Beautiful Red was nominated for a Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novella Form), and I’ve just found out that it is a finalist.  I am in amazing company – works by Timothy Callahan, Patrick McLean, Mur Lafferty and Scott Sigler are also nominated in this category.  I couldn’t be happier to be thought of in the same category as these authors.

The Parsec Awards celebrate excellence in speculative fiction podcasting, and will be held at the Dragon*Con convention in a few days.  I won’t be able to attend, given that I’m only a few weeks out from departing on a long world sailing trip, but my thoughts and well-wishes go out to all the nominees.

Episode Twenty-Three

Episode Twenty-Three

01001

I am (two)

living together

in the same mind

My body is my own

and not my own

    {

    sometimes

    it breathes

    without me;

    }

There are lights

that flash in my memory

    {

    when I sleep,

    they light my way;

    }

I do not control them =

    those lights in my mind

they control me =

    like a puppet

    like a host

they are my parasite == my saviour

I see it all the time now

the new world they created for me (and the compulsion it creates)

why would anyone choose to live

    {

    in a world of death

    when there is more

    so much more;

    }

hiding within

The cost is so small

    {

    this life for another life

    control for purpose;

    }

we would choose this freely

if we still had choice

just give us the lights

    {

    the guide, the statements,

    the direction;

    }

and we will follow forever

the leader == the follower

we are one now

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Episode Twenty-Two

Episode Twenty-Two

>>It looks bad, Jack. There’s enough evidence to convict you of a couple of major crimes, and sweet fuck all to prove your allegation against the Red.

>But…

>>Just don’t, Jack. I tested my theory. I’m sending a log of some correspondence one of my aliases had with a couple of law enforcement branches. I’m going to have to abandon that identity now, since it has zero credibility left. I was laughed out of town, and you will be too. Only you’ll be laughed right into court. I mean it Jack, you have to drop this.

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Episode Twenty-One

Episode Twenty-One

“Do you know what we believe in,” Lars started off by asking her. “What the core us of in the Red believe, what started it all?”

“Well,” Jack began, “it seems pretty obvious that you want to bring back the natural human being, reduce our reliance on technology, and question our place in society. I’d say that’s a pretty good summary, don’t you think?” She didn’t want to get sucked into philosophical arguments, but knew he would have to tell her his story in his own way.

“As Rackham would say, two out of three ain’t bad for a noob.”

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Episode Twenty

Episode Twenty

The system was different. At first Jack nearly panicked when she realized that her three D rendering engine couldn’t handle the configuration of the Red system and showed her nothing but an empty blue void. But, after backing out and viewing the system using her terminal emulator, Jack was able to navigate the system. She got a feel for the layout, finding her way through the hierarchical structure. Eventually, she banged up against the point where her dummy user’s permissions ended.

She breathed deeply, and turned away from her task for a moment. She had an assignment from the shift captain, and she guessed that if it didn’t get done they might come checking up on her.

Log #7

Nanowrimo is done, and I won with a day to spare.

Lots of people have been sending emails, which is awesome; keep it coming.

There was a problem with some of the files (this time, not my fault!). It’s fixed now, but if you encounter any trouble downloading or the files sound wonky, please let me know.

You should absolutely check out Mur Lafferty’s Playing for Keeps. I’ve been subscribed since day -3 or so, and it really does rock.

If you’re so inclined, follow me on twitter. At the moment, I do the regular here’s what’s going on kind of posts, but I also do a haiku of the day and Quotation Wednesday.