Sunday, May 13, 2007

Looking Glass Goes to Publication

If you've somehow gotten here from somewhere other than my website, here's the short version. My first novel, Looking Glass, is being published by Flying Pen Press LLC.

I call Looking Glass cyberpunk. That's probably taking a certain risk. Cyberpunk is that bastard child of 1940s and 1950s film noir and early 1980s punk nihilism, all in an amphetamine fueled, corporate controlled, polluted, compromised dystopia. Best known cyberpunk authors from the day? Gibson. Sterling. Stephenson. Williams. They're the ones you think of. Neuromancer. Snow Crash. Mirrorshades. Hardwired. Flashy. High style. Youth culture. Remember how everything in the early 1990s was cyber-this and cyber-that? This is where it came from.

Wasn't that genre done to death? Yes and no. The punk thing seems to have burned out, likely as the trailing edge of the baby boom finally outgrew it. But cyberpunk is still with us. Mainstream sci fi has picked up some of the trappings. Anime' embraced it. The classic voices in the genre are still around, still producing, and there've been some superb new voices as well. Richard K. Morgan. Chris Moriarty. Neil Asher. The books - Altered Carbon, Spin State, and Gridlinked - are a little different. Times have changed, and we're in a position to see what a cyberpunk world might really look like. And it's not like it was on MTV.

So Looking Glass. Right. It's mostly cyberpunk. It's got direct neural interfaces. Virtual reality. The corporations and the U.N. do run things, in the wake of the collapse of the United States. All hallmarks of cyberpunk. Yes, but. But Catherine "Shroud" Farro, my main character, is 40. But she works for a corp, and makes her living frying cyberpunks when they try to break into the network she'd guarding. She has an apartment. A retirement fund. A clean record. All that. She's a professional. She has a life. Not much of one, it's true, but she has it.

One Friday morning, someone breaks in and kills her whole team, except for her and one other person. The company moves to cover it up immediately. These people were real. Even though she never met most of them. They were her team. Her coworkers. Her friends. And she's not one to let them be swept under the rug and ignored. And then there's the matter of the hacker, who's still out there, and still hunting her.

So Looking Glass? It's cyberpunk, with a strong vein of noir mystery. And I'm stoked beyond belief that it's going to press.

And there's more where that came from.

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