Words

The Fallen World Series

Praise for the Fallen World books:
“A great science fiction detective story” – Ian Watson, author of The Universal Machine
Cutting edge speculative fiction” – Ernest Hogan, author of Cortez on Jupiter
Sharply erudite, with the vicious tang of cordite” – Paul Morris, author of Time Traveller Danny and the Codebreaker

The Fallen World Books include both novels and short fiction.

The novels provide the spine of the series and feature Gat Burroughs.

The short fiction gets into the details of the Fallen World, and while Gat Burroughs appears in some of the books others shine a spotlight on characters who are secondary in the novels.

The Fallen World, a Brief Synopsis:

The Fall was not so much an apocalypse as the implosion of a political and economic empire centered in the United States, accompanied by a social collapse. The impact of the Fall was uneven, so that while Canada and much of the central U.S. regressed to pre-technological Grey Zones, many of the states and major cities on both coasts and along the border with Mexico have emerged as enclaves, nations in their own right. The enclaves have largely maintained their technical infrastructure, although in the emergency of the Fall they abandoned many of the niceties of democratic government — politics is characterized by the unremitting pragmatism of realpolitik.

The protagonist in the Fallen World novels is Gat Burroughs. Gat’s parents were killed and he was mortally injured in an accident in the late 21st century. His parents were beyond help, but they held an insurance and health services policy that provided for Gat to be preserved in stasis until such time — if it ever came — that his injuries could be treated. The policy was auto-financing, based on an investment portfolio, thus keeping Gat intact but unconscious, until he was resuscitated in the 2240s, after the Fall.

Unfortunately, the policy made no provision for Gat’s livelihood after his resucitation. In a world sharply divided between the wealthy and the poor, with a slim middle class clinging in between, Gat takes the time-honored route of the ambitious poor and enlists in the California National Forces in order to acquire skills that will allow him to make a living. This means being decanted into a new shell, a synthetic human body, and in this case one optimized for military service. It also means taking part in operations that leave Gat with a guilty conscience and a head full of bad dreams that frequently invade his waking life.

After being honorably discharged Gat started his own security and investigation company and despite everything he’s determined to make a life in this new world in a way that will allow him to live with himself and maybe even to atone for some of his sins.

Luck and Death at the Edge of the World
(The Fallen World — Book 1)

A great science fiction detective story featuring a classic noir detective, a fading super-star, a nymphomaniac, and an AI who channels Alan Turing, the father of computing, all set in a dystopian future that is familiar yet fascinatingly strange – what more could you want?”
– Ian Watson, author of The Universal Machine: From the Dawn of Computing to Digital Consciousness

Luck and Death at the Edge of the World is a science fiction novel set in Los Angeles and Mexico City.

L&D Hedron Cover 03

Synopsis:

Security specialist Gat Burroughs died once, and he’ll be damned if he lets it happen again. Unfortunately, somebody is determined to kill his client, a washed-up star named Max Prince, and isn’t afraid to go through Gat to do it.

Is it Max’s debauched granddaughter and heir? Is it the deadly Suerte y Muerte, a cult that kills to steal good luck? Is it Max’s own lawyer and manager, James Jerome?

And how on earth did the would-be assassin get past Max Prince’s top-grade AI, the one that’s adopted the likeness of computer pioneer Alan Turing?

Gat will have to follow the clues through L.A.’s underworld, the slums of Mexico City, and his own guilty past to find the surprising answer.

Felon and the Judas Kiss
(The Fallen World — Book 2)

The second Fallen World book is Felon and the Judas Kiss, a novelette that explores an incident that’s mentioned in Luck and Death without any details being given.

Felon Hedron Cover 02

Synopsis:

Dave “Felon” Fellows is a cheerful sadist. He thrived in the California National Forces, especially the civilian pacification incursion into Tijuana.

Calvin Hearn lost his mind in the brutal Tijuana operation and though he’s recovered since then he’s still haunted — awake or asleep — by the ghosts of the massacre.

Now Felon is an LAPD officer, while Hearn is a pastor ministering to the Angeleno homeless, and both are at the center of events that could tear the city apart.

Los Angeles Honey
(The Fallen World — Book 3)

Los Angeles Honey is a novella.  Sunshine, sleaze, and cyborg bugs. The future is noir.

LAH Hedron Cover 03

Synopsis:

Gat Burroughs doesn’t take domestic cases–they’re messy and people with broken marriages sometimes have more pressing things to think about than paying the investigator. But when Brian Forget’s wife shows up at his office, he makes an exception.

Gat and LAPD Officer Dave Fellows–known informally as Felon for his cheerful sadism–gave Forget a hard time during a previous case even though he hadn’t done anything wrong.

There wasn’t really a choice if Gat wanted to save his client’s life–and his own. Now, though, he feels just a little bit guilty.

The problem is that in this case almost nothing is what it seems and rather than making up for old sins, Gat’s involvement may end up getting Brian Forget killed.

The only way to stop that from happening is by solving the big, bad, very dangerous case that lurks behind the simple domestic one.

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Non-Series Fiction

This page is for my non-series fiction.

The Virgin Birth of Sharks

The Virgin Birth of Sharks is a novelette.

Synopsis:

Rani Perreira has been a street kid and a criminal since she was thirteen years old. And she’s adapted, becoming as brutal as the world around her.

All she knows about her own origins is that she was born in the infamous Prison for Women — long ago shut down amidst scandal — to a woman named Shaila Perreira, a seeming impossibility since her mother had been isolated from any male contact for years.

Now a chance encounter brings her an unexpected glimpse into her family history, reveals a score she must settle, and inspires her with a disorienting desire to start a new and very different life.

Facts in the Fiction:

This ebook includes an eight-part Facts in the Fiction section dealing with:

  • parthenogenesis (or “virgin birth”) in sharks
  • lust and pride as two of the seven deadly sins
  • the immortal Carmen Miranda
  • the Bersa Thunder Concealed Carry handgun
  • P4W, the former Canadian prison for women
  • the history of Goa, India’s smallest state and a former Portuguese colony
  • the Indian bandits known as dacoits, and specifically Phoolan Devi, the “Bandit Queen”
  • the surprising facts about keeping sharks as pets in Toronto

Siren Songs In Deep Time
The short story Siren Songs in Deep Time was originally published as Siren in Albedo One, an award-winning journal of science fiction, fantasy, and horror based in Ireland.

Synopsis:

Follow the unravelling of an unusual relationship that seemed like it would last unchanged, literally forever, from Greece in the Second World War, to Chile during the coup by Augusto Pinochet, to  New Jersey in the near future and a space mining station in the distant future, where change finally comes to what has been an unchanging cycle.

Excerpt:

I am a siren; I bring lovers to me and carry death with me.  It’s not something I can change.  But death doesn’t come with a mere facsimile of love; I don’t trick anyone.  I fall in love, genuinely, each time. 

It’s always been this way.  If there was a first time I don’t remember it, and there may be no last time.  I used to be sure that it would never end, but now I can’t be certain. Something is changing, though I don’t know what it is.

Facts in the Fiction:

This ebook includes a Facts in the Fiction section dealing with:

  • deep time and approaches to the far future
  • asteroid mining in fiction and recent efforts to make it a reality
  • the history behind sections of the story, including occupied Greece and Chile in the 1970

Carey Pressley’s Gone Again

Carey Pressley’s Gone Again is a short story.

Synopsis:

This is a ghost story for grown-ups. Everyone’s childhood haunts their adult years–some people more than others.

Facts in the Fiction:

This ebook includes a Facts in the Fiction section dealing with:

  • an inside look at book publishing, focused on translations, movie adaptations, and other spinoffs
  • the intoxicating plants khat and kava

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