I have great news! In a matter of days, on October 13, my second book will be out! Through Stranger Eyes is a cyberpunk thriller that takes place in a futuristic dystopian world created by a group of powerful and extremely influential mega-corporations, called The Matriarchs. Through Stranger Eyes is the first book of a trilogy that goes by the name, Matriarchs, Silicon Gods.
It deals with the events that changed the life of a leading implant specialist, Dr Rick Stenslandt, in ways that will ultimately lead to events that will be revealed in books 2 and 3 (currently under production). Through Stranger Eyes does not end in a cliffhanger (I know some people hate that–I’m not one of them to be honest), meaning the story has a very clear and definitive ending for the main character and his goals. There is, of course, an overarching plot that will come to an end with book 3, so if you wanted to read a cyberpunk book but were concerned it may leave you without answers and had to wait until the 3rd book came out, know that this is not the case.
Anyway, here’s the cover:
Flesh comes cheap in a machine world.
Doctor Rick Stenslandt has always advocated against the fusion of man and machine. But after a near-fatal accident, he is forced to accept ocular implants or go blind, end up unemployed, and without social status.
But something goes wrong. Now he remembers people he has never met before—influential members of the corporate elite that governs the world. And they have all been murdered.
Worse, it seems he’s the next target.
On the run from the police and a pair of augmented assassins, Rick seeks refuge in the infamous alleys of the megacity. But to protect the ones he loves, he cannot hide forever. Now he must figure out his borrowed memories and his connection to the victims, before it’s too late.
This cyberpunk thriller has most of the things that give cyberpunk its unique aesthetic: mega-structures, mega-cities, high tech low life, scheming and plotting taking place behind the scenes, seedy characters who have managed to turn the digital world into their own personal playground, augmentations that change the very nature of human beings, philosophical and scientific moral questions that remind us of the works of pioneers in the genre many years ago, and of course a constant underlying mystery about who’s behind everything and what’s their angle.
I invite you to take a plunge into a dystopic world of advanced technology, of dark alleys populated by the outcasts social systems constantly leave outside, of influential players who don’t hesitate to treat human lives as mere pawns in a game designed to fit the goals of their vendettas.
Through Stranger Eyes official release date is October 13, but if you want to read a small excerpt, you can read chapter 1 here.
Lots of things have been happening for a while now. First of all, I’m getting ready to publish my next novel. The book’s official release date is October 13, 2019. The genre is cyberpunk thriller. If you’re unfamiliar with cyberpunk, then the best (and simplest) definition is that it’s a futuristic urban dystopia, and practically all things cyberpunk can be summed up as, “high tech, low life.”
If you’ve watched movies like The Matrix, Blade Runner (both films), or the TV show called Altered Carbon, then you have already taken a taste of what Cyberpunk is all about. Or you may have read books like Neuromancer by William Gibson or Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. If you’re a gamer, look no further than Deus Ex and of course the game all cyberpunk fans are waiting (myself included), Cyberpunk 2077. All the above fall under the category of Cyberpunk. As you can understand, the subgenre is quite broad and is tightly related to Science Fiction.
At the moment, the book is with a handful of blog reviewers to get the word out, and of course my trusty team of ARC readers in order to get some early reviews when it goes live. So I’m quite anxious to hear what they think of it. To be honest, out of all the stories I’ve written so far, this has been my favourite and I’m really looking forward to hearing their thoughts.
Hmm, I forgot to mention the book’s title, didn’t I? The book is called Through Stranger Eyes and the series it’s part of is called Matriarchs – Silicon Gods. Through Stranger Eyes is book 1 of 3.
I have also finished drafting book 2, though it needs a lot of work before any of my beta readers get to read it. A LOT!
Lastly, I have been trying to find a decent plot for book 3. So far, I’ve come up with 5 different plots, but none of them impresses me much. I know how the trilogy should end, it’s just that I don’t like the way the events leading to the end unfold. It will come to me eventually (hopefully), but for the time being it feels like I’m churning out sub par ideas, and that is what annoys me the most. To be clear, each book has its own story line and its own heroes. Events take place in different periods, and by the end of the series the reader will have a clear understanding of how the world has evolved and been reshaped from its key players. So each book has to have a strong and independent plot from the previous books in the series.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more info on the world, the characters, and everything else related to the book.
First of all, I’d like to set the score straight and make a clear distinction between dystopia and post apocalypse, because apparently a lot of people mistake the two. Dystopia deals with issues that emerge from a society that has gone wrong but carries on. It could deal with social dynamics or other related issues, but society still exists and so does civilisation.
Apocalypse and post apocalypse have the end of the world and the end of civilisation at their core and the difficulties the main characters have to face to survive in those worlds. The difference between the two is that apocalyptic scenarios show the end of the world as it’s happening and how this affects the lives of people. Also, the conflict these people face between what is morally accepted (remember, civilisation is collapsing, but it hasn’t gone completely). On the other hand, post apocalypse deals with the aftermath of the apocalypse. That may include new social dynamics (if any) and often the complete lack of a moral code. One key element is the often bleak and desolate state of the world (meaning the cities) after the end has come. To a certain extent (and depending on how the story evolves and what the focus of the story is) this version of post apocalypse may include dystopian elements in it.
So, now that we are clear about the difference, below is a list of movies and some TV shows that are apocalyptic or post apocalyptic. The list is focused on the movies and shows that stood out for me. By no means does it mean it’s complete.
Be warned, some of the movies include gore and splatter. Where applicable, and depending on how I perceive something as containing extensive gore or not (very subjective), I’ll note it, but understand that this is only personal preference. If you’re sensitive about this, read some of the reviews first or watch the trailer to get an idea of the feel and mood of the movie before you start watching it.
The movies are in no particular order other than the way they came to my mind.
The movie takes place in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event that turned the planet into a wasteland. The main hero carries with him a book that can save what’s left of humanity, and goes west to a supposedly safe location to deliver said book. Watch the movie for its post apocalyptic scenery. Watch it for Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman. Watch it for the twist in Eli’s story. Watch it if you love post apocalyptic settings. Hardly any gore involved, if my memory serves me.
The movie (like others in this list) is based on the 1985 novel by David Brin, The Postman. In the movie, the apocalypse happened as a result of various consecutive apocalyptic events (societal breakdown, wars, plagues) which eventually destroyed most of the technology that existed up to that point. The main hero accidentaly stumbles upon the uniform of a postman and his vehicle, and as he drifts across the wasteland, he starts inspiring those he meets with the promise of a Reformed United States of America. Watch it if you enjoy Kevin Costner’s movies. I believe Tom Petty appears in the movie too. Watch it, because wasteland + post apocalypse = awesome. Don’t expect to see the best movie ever, though. Hardly any gore involved.
Set in the distant future, this post apocalyptic movie deals with the issue of the melting polar ice caps. Most of the planet’s land mass is underwater, and our main hero drifts the oceans on his boat. At some point he has to save a girl and her guardian, because the girl has a map tattooed on her back that supposedly leads to dry land. Watch it if you’re a Kevin Costner fan. Watch it because Dennis Hopper is always an awesome actor. Like the postman, don’t expect to see a masterpiece. Personally, I prefer the dry wasteland setting than the wet equivalent. Hardly any gore involved.
This post apocalyptic TV show is based on the novel series, The 100, by Kass Morgan. Set approximately a century after a nuclear holocaust ravaged Earth and destroyed all human civilisation, the remaining humanity has survived on a massive space station that has been in orbit since. But the station is in a bad condition and, given the severity of the rules that have been imposed on the survivors, those in charge send 100 young individuals (with some authority issues) on the planet in an attempt to repopulate the planet and of course get rid of them. What these one hundred youths find down there is something no one has expected.
Watch it because the characters are actually well-fleshed. Watch it because despite what you may think, it’s actually quite gritty and the characters have often a lot of hard choices to make. Lots of people die, but not in the scale of GoT. Despite that, you never know which one of the leading characters will meet a tragic ending at some point. What I don’t like about the show is how they expected 100 individuals to be enough to repopulate Earth. If you’re into biology, please comment and tell us if 100 people are enough as a Minimum Viable Population for the human species to survive. Not much gore involved in this show.
Am I the only one who thinks this movie set the standard for post apocalypse and wastelands? As far as I’m concerned, Mad Max 2 is the best of the entire franchise. Set in the not too distant future, civilisation has pretty much vanished. One lone drifter and hardened survivor, constantly fighting for his life and surviving at any cost, rediscovers (in a way) his lost humanity by helping the residents of a small settlement against a band of rather fearsome and bloodthirsty raiders. Watch it if you like to see how much the post apocalyptic genre has evolved over the years. Watch it because it’s a good movie, and because it’s Mad Max. Expect to see violence, but nothing over the top.
One of the two movies here that show the absolute desolation of an apocalyptic or post apocalyptic world in the best way possible. Based on the post apocalyptic novel by Cormac McCarty (2006), The Road explores the strong bonds between a father and his son as they make their way south through a desolate wasteland in search of warmer climate. The reason for the apocalypse is never fully explained, but the situation is bad and hopeless enough for the heroes to have to carry a gun with two bullets; one for each. Together, they have to go through starvation, cannibals, thieves, and other bad characters, but the most important thing about this movie is that it often questions who the bad people are and how blurry the lines between good and evil can be. Watch it because it’s an amazing movie. Watch it because it captures the desolation and human depravity in situations like these. While you’re at it, read the book! It’s just as good (if not better), and one of the books that influenced me while writing The Darkening, my post apocalyptic horror novel. Not much gore in this movie, but don’t be surprised if you cry at some points.
The second best Mad Max movie (in my humble opinion), Mad Max 1 shows the early stages of the fall of human civilisation, so unlike the second instalment where everything has been destroyed, this movie shows that there are still some leftovers (police, houses, moral code etc) of what one could attribute to be the foundations of any civilisation. Vengeance is the prevalent theme of this apocalyptic movie, and if seeing a fictional character going on a killing spree is not your cup of tea, then be advised. Nothing excessively graphic or anything like that, but don’t expect the movie to be all about happy endings and superficial injuries. Also, keep in mind that this was a very low budget Australian film, so don’t expect fancy graphics and special effects.
This apocalyptic movie has gone relatively unnoticed, even though it was nominated for a few awards (not Academy Awards). The setting is the aftermath of a global economic collapse and shares a couple of things with Mad Max. First, it’s also an Australian film, and second it deals a lot with road rage and revenge. The main hero, after having his last possession stolen (his car), pursues the men who took it. He manages to capture of the thieves’ brother and together they progress through a rather dangerous journey, despite the uneasy bond and conflict between them. The movie has plenty of violence.
I was without internet for about three days, and I have to admit that’s pretty much how I felt.
Since I don’t spend too much time on social media (okay, okay, I hardly ever spend any), what annoyed me the most was that I couldn’t save my work on the cloud. And the fact that I couldn’t do any research for my work. Also, the fact I couldn’t reach out to other authors who write post apocalyptic horror, like The Darkening and arrange some cross promotions (you can find more about my book here, by the way).
However, it got me thinking as to how would our civilisation react to a scenario where the internet no longer worked. I tried to come up with a chain of events that could happen, and the reaction it would take from us to either carry on from where we stopped or start anew.
To carry on from where we stopped it would mean that we would have access to an alternative technology that already exists but has yet to be used (probably because of a more reliable, like the internet), and that the means to spread it to every country are also there and have not been affected by the collapse of the internet.
To start anew means that we’re talking about a possible post-apocalyptic case, the current civilisation has collapsed, and that it’s up to those who remain to create something new with what it would be available to them at the time. Availability here also includes knowledge and the means to pass it on to future generations.
Naturally, this led me to ponder on our dependency on technology to do even the most basic things (like talking to each other, for instance). I’m one of those who believe that if we were to experience an apocalyptic event that brought the end of every kind of advanced technology we currently have, not many of us would be able to pick up the pieces and carry on living in stone age conditions. Just imagine what our lives would be like without running water and electricity at our disposal. Without being able to properly heat our houses. The networks for electricity distribution and the water supply rely on the internet. Probably not the same as the one you and I use, but one that could be affected just the same. In an apocalyptic scenario, these are the first that would collapse. Then of course, there’s the banking system one has to consider, but I think lack of water and electricity would cause more chaos than the fall of the banks.
And of course, our medicine. We have a pill for nearly everything these days, and hardly ever do we rely on our own immune systems to do the job they were meant to do. I’m not a biologist, but I think this may have potentially weakened us. Just think of how many unseen things are in a glass of non purified water that runs from our taps. The word dysentery keeps popping into my mind.
I have no doubt that we would be able to scavenge from what was left and make do for a while, but what would happen after we ran out of things to scavenge and had to make new ones? Let’s say you need a new pan to cook your fish. How easy is it nowadays for you as a consumer to acquire a pan, and how easy is it to manufacture one these days? They probably come out of an assembly line by the thousands in record time (just guessing here, obviously). Would it be as easy if you had to mine the mineral, separate the impurities, melt it, mold it/shape it, then distribute it? How many of us here know how to do any of these things? The process is the same in both cases, but I believe that although our technology has made us the dominant species on Earth, our dependency on it and the ease it brings to our every day lives, has also become an obstacle and a hindering factor. And then one has to take into account the complexity in creating things, which is why we have specialised and trained people for almost everything. However, high level of knowledge in a field, means people know just the one field. Survival, requires more than one though.
What do you think would happen if one day the internet were to stop working completely? What would the chain of events be after that?
When I was a kid at school (way back, around the age of six, when I still had hair on my head), I realised I was a little bit different from the other kids. I had an edge in English classes.Thanks to my father and his side of the family, I could speak the language before the teachers taught us anything about it. During most of my academic years, I was an average student, mostly because I found everything boring or the teachers didn’t make the classes interesting enough. But that was not the case with English classes.
The way my life unfolded before me, led me into a path that eventually, a few decades later, brought me to the point of authoring a novel with two more on the way, and a dozen or so short stories published on various markets. In a language other than my native: English. Who would have thought?
It’s amazing how little and seemingly unrelated things can end up defining a person and their careers. A few years back, I would have laughed at the idea of me becoming a writer. Five years ago, my friend Panos, said to me, “Well, why don’t you write a book? Are the others who do it better than you?”
That last question is something that can only be answered when my career in writing has come to an end and only in retrospect. It also involves a lot of subjectivity.
Fast forward to today: I published a full novel! And I’m thankful for it to all those people who unbeknownst to them nudged me a little further down the path I’m currently on. Nudges that were caused by events completely unrelated to each other.
And look at that! Even though the book has just been released, it’s already getting positive reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.
And this one
This writer is pleased he has made his readers happy 🙂
As an extra bonus, you can get your electronic copy of The Darkening at a discount for only $2.99 (or €2.99 if you’re in Europe) until Thursdsay, November 1. After that, the ebook goes back up to its standard price of 4.49, so hurry up and get your copy before the offer expires!
Don’t fear the dark. Fear the light. The end came when light changed. It decimated humanity, leaving scattered bands of survivors stumbling in the dark. Faced with saving himself or his family during the apocalypse, John Piscus made the wrong choice, and has been living with the guilt ever since. When a glowing girl shows up at John’s shelter begging for help, his instincts tell him to kill her. After all, light kills. But when masked troopers tasked with capturing survivors come after them, it’s up to John to protect himself and the girl. Not only may she hold the key to reversing the lethal effects of light, she could also be the one who can save his soul. If you love dark settings and characters faced with tough choices that result in horrific and sinister outcomes, don’t miss this post-apocalyptic horror read. Discover the dangers in the world of The Darkening today.
The Darkening is a post-apocalyptic horror novel and is available as an ebook and paperback from all major retailers.