Archive for the ‘Tropes and Writing’ Category

A Cyberpunk History: The Background of The Arcology

As part of the build towards the release of The Arcology‘s sequel, Eidolon, I’ve decided to share a glimpse into the background of the world from my notes. The timeline of events in the world of Lance Canela, in spoiler-free form, is now available here. See how dystopia takes hold in this cyberpunk history and pick up a few clues towards the future releases.

4 Cyborg Enhancements to Handle With Caution–Friday Four

Doctor who CyThere’s a lot to be said for cybernetics–they allow the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the handicapped to walk once more (sometimes even as superheroes!). Such enhancements can be extremely impressive, sometimes offering vast improvements over your average human’s capabilities. But let’s not be chopping off limbs as an excuse to go full cyborg just yet; just as often, there’s a high cost associated with obtaining cybernetically enhanced strength or senses. We have to consider exactly what it is you’re giving up: your ability to touch, perhaps… or even your very personality. Here are four dangers commonly faced by those who’ve chased after the perfect blend of man and machine, to offer you a chance to avoid them.

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On Reboots, Changes, and Fandom Reaction

Ghostbusters rebootWith the release of the all-female Ghostbusters reboot and the recent news about Sulu’s character in Star Trek Beyond (and comments from both Takei and Simon Pegg regarding it), I feel like this is a good time to discuss something that’s kind of been itching at me for a while now. That is, as I often talk about, the subject of reboots, and what kind of changes the existing fandom should expect or be willing to tolerate when a movie’s being remade. We live in a world where the overwhelming majority of media that’s released is in the form of reboots, remakes, and revivals, with original content few and far between (at least for cinema, anyway). This is a problem that’s got roots in other issues, however, regarding representation of minorities in media and all kinds of social justice problems that are highly controversial, but I’m looking at this through the same lens of franchises, reboots, and fandom that I always discuss here.

Here’s hoping I don’t regret this, eh?

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4 Excerpts from the Mecha Piloting Guide–Friday Four

G Gundam AMERICACongratulations on being selected for the Giant Robot Piloting Program! I assume this means you’re a 15-year-old Japanese boy, but I guess you don’t have to be. One thing they might not teach you in the program, though, is that nothing takes as much work to keep running as a giant mech. The humanoid form doesn’t leave a lot of room for complex machinery, and scaling that up to 50 feet tall doesn’t help quite as much as you’d expect. And that’s without considering all the missiles, guns, laser swords, jetpacks and other add-ons these Mecha have to be able to swap out at a moment’s notice. All this is left up to the unsung heroes, the Giant Mecha mechanics (not to be confused with giant Mecha-Mechanics, which are a totally different and much more confusing issue), who have to get these things up and running after every city-destroying slugfest they take part in. So what I’ve got here are a few pro tips to help ease the burden on our intrepid robo-engineers and keep your giant robots in fighting shape.

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Lance Canela’s Dossier Files #075-A: The Arin Group

The Arin Group

click to enlarge.

4 Methods to Take Out the Master Computer–Friday Four

Tron Master Control ProgramWelcome to the automatic society. We all knew that machines were going to take our places in the workforce, however gradually, doing the work that we humans didn’t want to do. The list of what we didn’t want to do kept growing, though, and soon the computers were doing jobs that no one ever expected them to–like running the world, for example. It’s quite a bit different from the Robot Revolt–we gladly handed over the reins. For some people, it’s a paradise, where no one has to do anything they don’t want to do. Their days are free to be filled with fun and joy, spending all their time on friends, family, and entertainment.

Others, however, view the machine with suspicion… have we sacrificed something innately human for a life of luxury? Are people losing their drive and curiosity, becoming complacent with the status our civilization has reached? Does mankind die not with a nuclear bang, as we once feared, but a slow whimper as we become so distracted by what we’ve built that we cease looking outward?

Not if you have anything to say about it. It’s time to free human civilization from this pampered tyranny–time to take out the Master Computer that rules this land.

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What Could Have Been: The What-Ifs of The Arcology–Friday Four

The ArcologySomething different comes our way this week–as I’m running low on TV shows I can actually scrape up some research on, I thought it might interest some of my newfound readers to learn the alternate paths the story of my novel, The Arcology, could have taken. It went through a lot of revisions, some of them radically different. It seemed like a better way to present this was in the list format, so why not do it that way? I swear I’m not just trying to kill 3 birds with one stone…

Buckle in as we move through some possible versions of The Arcology and I give a bit of an idea as to why I didn’t go with them.

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The Arcology is Now Available Everywhere!

Cyberpunk Book The ArcologyAfter much paperwork and hassle, my first novel, a cyberpunk detective story called The Arcology, is now available from every online retailer I plan to make it available to. It’s been in the works for a long time, and I didn’t give much info in the previous post since it wasn’t released yet, so here’s the book summary:

 

In the oppressive city of Kindred, circa 2052, Lance Canela tries a little too hard to fulfill the classic image of a private detective. Living in the shadow of the enormous Arcology and barely scraping by, he’s happy to sit in his office all day, reliving the adventures of his hardboiled heroes from a century past. But when the wealthy Fiona, a woman he thinks is the femme fatale he’s always waited for, knocks on his door, Lance gets a taste of life-or-death reality as he faces off against ruthless goons for the first time.

Shaken by the experience, Lance lays low for a few months until a new case thrusts him into the world of the super-rich high atop the Arcology, and that of the impoverished masses living at its base. In search of a missing girl with only the name “Ascended Employment” to go on, Lance must reconnect with Fiona and navigate the world of the wealthy to find her. Fiona, however, has problems of her own, and her past is more intertwined with Ascended than anyone could predict.

A cyberpunk detective story and the start of a new series, I hope that my visitors will give the book a shot and tell their friends if they enjoy it. The ebook is only $2.99, and available on Nook, SmashWords, iBooks, and more in a variety of formats. The kindle and paperback versions are available from Amazon (or directly from CreateSpace, if you want a bit more of your money to go to me). If you really want to help out, you can leave a review on any of those sites, or on GoodReads. Few things are more powerful than a positive review!

As always, thanks to all my readers and I hope you stick around. We’re just getting started.

4 Ways to Conceal Your Immortality–Friday Four

Jack ImmortalWho wants to live forever? Some people don’t get a choice… and it looks like you’re one of them. Being “blessed” with immortality comes with all kinds of crazy problems that normal people wouldn’t have to deal with. Like making you a local curiosity, at best, or being studied, poked and prodded (or worse) by scientists who want to find out just how you’ve done it at worst. If you’re lucky enough to have been granted eternal youth as well, then people are going to catch on sooner or later. If not, well, you have a whole basket of other problems to worry about…

No, what’s best for you is to take this secret to your grave–so to speak, anyway. And to help you with that, here are 4 potential options to help you keep out of the public eye and live a quiet, normal (if exceedingly long) life.

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4 Tips to Protect Yourself from The Conspiracy–Friday Four

The_Truth_Is_Out_There_tagline[1]The truth is out there… but there are a lot of people who don’t want you to know it. Who’s in on it? Aliens, the government, the corporations, the rich and powerful, or maybe all of the above. Whether they’re ancient or recent, they’re all the same at their core–conspiracies. You’ve found out about them, and that makes you the target now, because we both know they’re not going to risk being exposed. They’ll stop at nothing, but all’s not lost; there are still ways to keep yourself safe. I’ve got 4 tips here to help you fend off the conspiracy and maybe, just maybe, expose the truth.

Spoiler alert: tinfoil hats won’t save you this time.

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