Tag Archive: sci-fi


I’m Furious!

Ever since I was little I’ve always been into superheroes. I don’t remember what age I was, but I do remember that I always loved watching the Spider-Man, Batman and X-Men cartoons. I was never a HUGE comic book geek like I am now, but I did at least make an attempt of getting my hands on a few books each month.

When I started writing, I was always focused on the regular story format since I was just getting my feet wet. Comic books and graphic novels have always been something that have come and gone in cycles with me, and it wasn’t until about 2008 that I had the idea of writing something with superheroes in it. I was instantly excited about the idea and started composing a “bible” for the series with character profiles, possible storylines, backstories and the like. The only thing I enjoy more about writing an actual story is planning it out. I remember that at first I wanted to have heroes who were something along the lines of environmentalists who would stop the efforts of oil companies, tree logging and slaughterhouses. Basically they were doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, which is a concept that I’m completely enamored with (this is also the time where I was really in to philosophy and psychology).

This idea didn’t quite have the scope that I wanted my story to have, so back to the writing board I went. Eventually I settled on one idea that really struck a chord with me (which unfortunately I can’t share here since it would spoil the series that I’m working on for it now). This was it. My first novel-length project. It was like trying a drug for the first time and being completely strung out, straight-up jonesed. I had the idea of making each novel into a season like a TV show and each chapter was an episode, which is something that’s become quite common now. (If this sounds like a format that you would enjoy, check out the serial stories on JukePop Serials, something for everyone there) I incorporated my love of music, TV shows and comic books into this project. It was a time in my life that I’ll never forget.

As I got close to the end of my first novel, it occurred to me that Adam Kensie, Bisset Torres, Giorgio Quintero, Leo Kennington, Noir and Detective Perry West had backstories that I HAD to tell. And that’s how my first novel then became the second novel in my planned series…and is now actually the fourth novel in the series.

At first I went with the name Fury Us as a play on words, but now it’s simply Furious. The first season/novel is titled Thus Spoke, from Thus Spoke ZarathustraThe first season is about Adam, Leo, Bisset, Giorgio, and other people around the world having their Alpha-Omega genes activated and gaining superhuman abilities. While everyone has an A-O gene, a person can go their entire life without it activating. There’s no way of telling how, if, or when this particular gene will activate. It could happen the next time you sneeze, the next time you go into REM sleep, when you turn 80, as you’re crossing the street or even when you die. The story is set in Dominion City and it’s in this city that we find Detective West who feels that he is terribly unprepared to protect his city from criminals who can burn through handcuffs, brush off bullets and out-fly or outrun a patrol car going full speed. Noir is a vigilante who believes that all criminals are infected and can never be rehabilitated, so he does the city “a favor” by taking criminals out, even those that have been released from jail or have sought treatment for their mental illnesses. Our vigilante soon discovers that he can copy the abilities of A-Os by injecting their blood into himself, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities for him…mainly new possibilities of mayhem.

The first novel can best be described as a coming-of-a-new-age story where characters who are in their late twenties and early thirties are basically going through puberty for the second time, only this time there’s no biology book to tell them what to expect or what’s normal and what’s not normal. They have to decide for themselves who they are now and how to readjust their lives around their powers in addition to re-imagining themselves into humans first and superpowered Alpha-Omegas later. I feel like/hope fans of the new Battlestar Galactica tv show, the author Charlie Huston, comic book/graphic novels written in prose and fans of contemporary sci-fi and speculative fiction will enjoy it most.

I’ve actually finished the second novel, Ye Mighty, and am in the process of editing it. I’m looking for beta readers for the completed Thus Spoke, so if you’d like to check out the full project send me an email at mercurialnature85@gmail.com. Looking forward to sharing it and hearing feedback!

So what were some of your first writing projects about? Did they become something more or just experiments?

Next Post: “And Ain’t I A Woman?” Writing female characters as a male author

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King Con

So this past weekend I attended my second Denver Comic Con. Aside from the absolute insane lines, I had another fantastic time. I actually met J. August Richards from “Angel” and the upcoming “Marvel’s Agents of Shield” and showed him my driver’s license to prove that my last name is Gunn like the character he played on “Angel.” There was also a panel with Greg Weisman, Khary Payton, Christopher Johnson, Phil LaMarr and the indefatigable Dee Bradley Baker, all of whom worked on one of my favorite shows, “Young Justice.” Kelly Hu was also there to share how winning a beauty contest was the most life-changing event that could’ve happened to her. It was really nice to feel all of that energy, passion, excitement and that sense of community with other fans in the audience. I’m not one to spaz out about meeting celebrities or public figures, but there is something to be said about someone who enjoys what they do so intensely and are willing to take time out of their busy schedule to meet with the hundreds and thousands of people who appreciate all that they do.

I left feeling encouraged, inspired, sad (because the con was over) and rejuvenated. While geeks and nerds usually keep to themselves and stay in their shells, we all seem to come alive at events like Comic Con where we’re around our kind and around people who understand why we get so excited about characters who are drawn and come alive on a page or characters we see on our television screens who are involved in lives of fantasy and science fiction. While we know these characters and scenarios are fiction, the devotion and passion that goes into bringing it all to life is something that just resonates with “the true believers.” It made me want to share more about what I’m writing and working on and who I am, especially the Q&A session with Nelson Ellis.

Nelson Ellis is the actor who’s probably best known for playing Lafayette on “True Blood.” During his panel, Nelson was as open and honest as anyone could be, very raw, very real. He told us about how his parents weren’t comfortable with the idea of him playing a gay man, but that he did it despite that. As I sat in the audience watching and laughing with him, it was clear that I was watching a true actor who was just as comfortable fully becoming another character as he was with fully not only becoming himself, but exposing his true self. And exposing his true self to complete strangers.

The entire weekend rekindled something inside of me that I’ve allowed to diminish over the past few months. That sense of being raw and being open with people. I’m already writing out my pains, scars, fears and fantasies through my stories and sharing them with the world, so why shouldn’t I keep doing that with the real me? I might not become a household name anytime soon, but I definitely want to be known as a writer who clearly enjoys his work, hardships and all, and isn’t afraid of sharing the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly with his readers. Besides, who knows where I’ll end up, what I’ll end up writing and who I’ll end up writing it with.

I see now that Comic Con isn’t just a convention, it’s a sort of revival.

Take care out there

 

It’s Time to Share!

I think I’ll share a bit of my sci-fi story SanGuine with you. This is a short that I wrote back in 2007 or so. It’s a story about a guy named Santino Guine who’s a BloodBurner, basically someone who can manipulate blood to heal, hurt and amplify a person’s natural abilities. This one was published on the e-zine Chaos Theory: Tales Askew (upper right corner). If you’re into sci-fi and noir, you’re gonna love it…either that or your blood will boil.

 

I am Jesus Christ.

At least to them I am. They touch the soles of my boots, I take them into my arms, and they are whole again. Then they pay me. Jesus was paid once, right? A Bible is hard to come by these days, so I wouldn’t know. Not that I would care to anyway. The only thing I care about right now is the woman sitting across the table.

“How do I know you won’t just take my money and sprinkle some smelly powder and wave incense through the air?” She waves her hand through the air. Her veins are verdant lightning bolts cracking across her arms, neck, and forehead.

“You don’t pay me until I patch you up.” I flick my Zippo open, touch flame to my cig, inhale, exhale, and a pile of red smoke barrels through the air.

The cocktail waitress stops by. I point at my empty glass. She nods with a synthetic smile and scuttles off.

“So what ails you, Miss…”

She shakes her head, or at least she tries to. Mid-shake her head starts spasming, twitching, and she becomes generally discombobulated. I smother a laugh behind a lungful of Alphrosnic tobacco.

“The BT Virus?”

She starts to nod, stops, and says, “Yes. I was in the Mentanet when I opened the wrong file. Next thing I knew someone was digitizing the contents of my brain, can’t even remember my own–” her hand shakes violently “–name.”

“How long?”

“Infected for eighteen hours.”

“Gonna be dead soon.” The cocktail waitress returns with my drink. I take it and dip my head. That’s as close as I get to saying thank you.

“I know, that’s why I came to you.” Her words are a high-pinched hiss. She throws a nervous glance over her shoulder. People in the bar could care less. They’re used to me and the people I bring in. There’s an understanding in the air. I’m the one that put it there.

“Are you always this callous to your…clients?” She grabs her drink and downs it before it sloshes and shakes from her hand.

I throw a glare over my specs. “I’m not the one dying, lady. Now, if you want to continue to live and think me a heartless brute of ill-repute, then hold your hands out.”

She holds out a hand.

“You do know the difference between singular and plural, don’t you?”

She holds both hands out.

When she glowers at me I see that the pupils and the whites of her eyes are coated in black with neon green characters written in digitized ink scrolling down her eyes. This woman only has two hours to live. I shove my smoke in the corner of my mouth and get to work.

I take out my pocket knife, flick it open. Of course she jerks back.

“Wha…Are you going to cut me?”

“Thas the only way I can heal you,” I say around the cylinder in my mouth.

“What if you have–”

“All diseases transmitted through the blood were cured five years ago. In order for me to cure you I have to bleed into you. The good stuff’s in my blood.”

Her fingers curl like wilting flower petals. They smell just as sweet.

“I don’t know if–”

“Lady, you’re gonna be dead in an hour.” I blink.

She blinks. And she puts her hands on the table soaked in alcohol.

I touch the blade to her palm and make a delicate incision. I do the same to her other palm and to both of mine. When blood starts to dribble out like a thing unleashed, I press our palms together and our blood mingles. Then I heal her.

First, I keep her blood from pouring out of the cut. I go into her arteries and veins and it feels as if my blood, her blood, is being shredded and gnawed apart by the virus. I follow the scattered paths of pestilence, burning the virus from her system as I do, and stop at the blood flowing to her brain. The virus burns hottest here. I feel the decay burrowing into her body, soaking into it like poisoned sunlight. It makes me shudder and quake and sweat in my own skin and I know that she must be doped up on—yes. I can feel a faint smudge of nascacin in her system to dull the pain. The virus is eating through it like candy.

I throw myself deeper, almost drowning in toxins and broken blood cells. I brush the source of the virus surrounding the chip at the base of her brain that allows her to connect to the Mentanet. The virus is a familiar one, one that works in chains. I grab hold of a few links, my body jerking as I take a bit of the virus into myself, and penetrate them down to the core to the moment of conception. It fights and thrashes against me like the devouring beast that it is, but I am stronger and take a drag on the cigarette in the mouth that I can no longer feel. My blood is like a star shooting and slicing through viral chains. I overload it with artificial light and store-bought love and machine-gun diligence and pretty soon the thing is unraveled. I soak every drop of her blood in antibiotics and increase her white blood cell count before I follow the reverse path to my own arteries and veins, drawing dissolving remnants of the virus into myself as I do.

I open my eyes and take my hands from hers, the cuts on our palms zipping shut.

The lady rocks back in her chair, her eyes now a startling shade of green. She lifts her arms and sees her veins are veins instead of twisting lines of poisoned poetry.

“Oh, my, my–” Her jaw comes unhinged.

“Yeah, speechless. I get that every time.” I take the SiphonSlider from my pocket and lay it on the table. “I also get paid every time.” I take my currency card from my pocket and slide it into the slot on the SS. “If you would oblige me.”

Elation shines beneath her skin, smothering her ire, and she slips her card into the other slot. The LCD screen comes to life and rattles off our names and account numbers. She touches her name: Eloise Dictana.

“How much?” Eloise asks.

“Ten thousand credits.” I pinch my cig between my index and middle fingers as I sip my drink. Ice clinks as I stare at her over the rim.

“I don’t have that much money.” An ugly dent batters the middle of her forehead.

“You have enough money to afford a Mentanet chip and nascacin painkillers. Trust me, ten thousand is a drop in the bucket for you.” I nod at her drink. “And if you wanna look dirt poor, don’t order two glasses of Trissjoie.” I sip at my cheap Byroqdu.

I can feel her blood warm, but not from the virus this time. She opens a window on the SS, keys in the amount and transfers it to my account. A line of arrows trail from her end of the screen to mine and both the machine and my heart give a content little chime.

TRANSACTION COMPLETE

Eloise snatches her card out as I calmly retrieve mine.

“I find out your money’s funny I put the virus back in your blood, only this time I lace it with something truly nasty.” I look up at her as she stands. “Remember the Silent Syndrome scare in ’06?”

The blood I just healed drains from her face. She leaves.

I finish my cig, smash it out, and reach for another. The singer on stage is belting out something about poisoned love, and don’t I know it. I like to think of it as more that love poisoned me, poisoned all of us. At least it would if I ever tried the junk. Not to say that I have anything against love, just that I don’t see the point of it. Too much work and not enough pay. Women today are worse than they were when the sun was still burning. Crazy beautiful broads. I throw back a drink. Here’s to women and poisoned love.

 

I think it could work as a series. What do you think?

P.S. Be sure to check out episode four of Dark on the Rock! Share and vote, please!

Why I Write What I Write

 

I don’t remember exactly when it was that I fell in love with fiction and fantasy. But I do remember there was an allure in exploring possibilities and impossibilities. Maybe it was growing up in Alabama where nothing ever happened that drove me to immerse myself in worlds where adventure was a part of everyday life, magic occurred as naturally as the wind and traveling in a spaceship was a standard practice. Reality was too bland, too boring for me, and reading was an escape from that. But reading fantasy was like dreaming while still awake. I guess fantasy and sci-fi were my Inception.

I’ve always had a vivid imagination and I’ve always been a daydreamer. I think you’d probably have to visit me in a psychiatric ward if it weren’t for a creative outlet like writing. And maybe that’s all that writers, artists, poets and other creative types are, functioning psychotics. Rather than allowing our insanity to consume us and drive us insane, we channel it and work with it to creative something…more, something beyond what we see and experience in everyday life.

I know that the world we live in holds much splendor and wonder, but sometimes all of that magnificence needs to be magnified times a thousand. I don’t want to travel in an airplane, I want to lift my arms and fly under my own will. I don’t want to simply travel to different states and nations, I want to travel to different dimensions. I want to live in the worlds I see in games like Final Fantasy, see what it would be like to have actual superpowers and have a vampire for a roommate.

For a while now I’ve been on a superhero kick. There’s just something about exploring the idea of how having superpowers changes who you are, either in a small way or a big way. Would the world be a better place if Captain America really existed? How different would the world be if it had a Captain Japan or a Captain Africa? What if the Avengers were villains instead of heroes? What if there was one person with the power to solve all of the world’s problems but they decided not to? I hope to write comic book scripts as well as novels someday, and maybe even a video game script or two. Even though I’m not up to date on the latest happenings in the comic book/graphic novel world, I’ll always be a proud comic book nerd.

When it comes to fantasy, I’m enamored with the idea of creating a new world, new rules, new races, new technology and new ideas. I believe that fantasy and sci-fi are the purest forms of creation. The genres force authors to dig deep, unravel thoughts and ideas that they’ve had since they were old enough to comprehend in order to make manifest a new universe where those thoughts and ideas don’t mean a thing. I have one idea for a fantasy story that’s been in my head for years. I dabble with it every now and then, and I’m just now starting to feel “old” enough to make an honest effort of writing it. If I do, I think I’ll have to pull  a George R.R. Martin and spend a few years on it.

As much as I love brazen, in-your-face fantasy and fiction, I also love the subtle nuances of a fiction or thriller. These are the kinds of stories that can keep me up at night wondering if the events and characters pressed between the pages of a book could actually exist. Movies like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy make us believe that there could be a real life Bruce Wayne out there somewhere. While  characters like the Joker and Bane may not exist, the characteristics of those characters most certainly do. That is the type of fiction that I hold closest to my heart, the kind that really makes you sit down and examine your life, the world you live in and how you fit in it.

Fiction, sometimes it’s closer to the truth than reality itself.

Take care out there.

What are some of your favorite genres and why? 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my serial DARK ON THE ROCK on JukePop Serials! Vote for it if you like it, and be sure to check back this Friday for Episode Three.

Cover Girl…Guy…Person

I finally got around to uploading a cover to my story, DARK ON THE ROCK, on JukePop Serials. Took a while to get it just right, but I think it looks quite excellent! Maybe I should look into become a graphic designer on the side.

Whaddaya think?

 

The premise of DARK ON THE ROCK is: They were designed to assassinate the A-Squad, a team of superheroes who took them in and gave them a new home. New country. New mission. Same four super soldiers. Will the B-Squad save our world or quietly bring about its destruction?

Check it out, comment and vote here. I’ll be updating every Friday, so make sure you check back and tell your friends and family if you like what you see!

Take care out there.

“Dark on the Rock” is alive and kicking on JukePop Serials! If you’re a fan of superheroes, sci-fi, super soldiers and young adult stories, I’ve got your fix!  You can check out the first part of Episode/Chapter/Chapisode One here. If you like it, please vote at the bottom of the page! The more votes I get the more chances I have of appearing in the monthly Top 30 Serials, basically the equivalent of a bestseller list. You can also check out the 111 other serials they have through their home page to see if anything else tickles your literary fancy. Feel free to comment and leave your ideas for future installments. I just might include them! And give you credit, of course.

I plan on updating twice a month with 2,500-3,000 word installments. The story will be similar to a TV show with recaps, previews and seasons. It really does feel like having the pilot of a TV show picked up. I’m overjoyed, but there’s also that feeling of, “Oh, crap, now I actually have to go through with the thing!” But I really am looking forward to this journey, and I hope it’s one you’ll take with me.

Thank you in advance, guys.

Take care out there.

P.S. Look for a regular blog post tomorrow. I apologize for not posting one earlier this week, but I was tied up with work. If anyone would like to support me financially for a few months/years/rest of my life, I shan’t gainsay you.      

Serial Killer…Kinda

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going serial!

I recently learned that my series DARK ON THE ROCK will be featured on JukePop Serials’ website very soon! If you’re a fan of superheroes or sci-fi, you won’t want to miss it! Even if you aren’t you still shouldn’t miss it. One of the great things about JukePop is that readers can not only vote for their favorite stories, they can also leave comments for the writer, which may have an impact on future installations/episodes.

Here is a small preview of what’s in store for you, and I’ll be sure to update as soon as JukePop launches. I’m really looking forward to this! Hopefully it’ll open some doors for me.

Take care out there.