Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Jewish New Year!

New year, new projects. Here's what I'm happy to be working on. (I'm not Jewish but thanks to the tribe for the days off, circumcision, and Larry David.)

War of The Twin Gods: Rise of The Paramancers - This first book in a four or five book series introduces the realms of Axis and Beyond. Axis is the masterwork of Dioro, God of love and creativity. It features chirping birds, happy drunk miners, and four kingdoms with cultures based on the four elements of olde style magic. Gorge, the earth kingdom, is the land of the Geomancers, masters of nature and stalactite-launching magic. Beyond is the wasteland outside of Axis, where the abominations of Zura, the Devil Goddess, try to find their way into Beyond.

Jesse's Alpha - Now in college, teen psychotic Jesse Amos finds himself on the brink of his dream - a lucrative internship with a U.S. Senator. To earn it, all he has to do is impress an ethically-questionable professor. This wouldn't be a problem for someone with Jesse's vacuous morals, except that he's being stalked by a cop who knows his past, a rival even more psychotic than him also wants the internship, and he's falling in love with an idealistic student activist - one who wouldn't approve of Jesse's "ends-justify-the-means" philosophy.

Another America - For my second short-story collection, I thought I'd try a unifying theme. The theme is the country we are, the country we ought to be, and the country we may be in danger of becoming. Short stories will include: "Evil Eye", the tale of a sniper who chooses to hunt the H.M.O. execs robbing his fellow veterans of the health care they need; "The W.I.T.", which documents the test run of the eponymous device - a nanomachine that fires escalating shocks in the wearer's brain should he or she fail to complete an assigned task within a given amount of time; and "A Free Speech Zone", where an idealistic young teacher learns about the limits of democracy during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York.

Here are the links to my published pieces.
My story is “Divine Hand”, about an expose reporter who goes undercover at a religious conversion camp for gay teens.

And here are my freebies:

“The Camp Seminole Weiner Wall” (A friendship is tested by a sexually cruel camp ritual.)

“Friends and Pyromaniacs” (A young man’s awakening requires a Molotov cocktail.)

“The Gay Bomb” (A C.I.A. agent unleashes the ultimate weapon in the war against Islam – a pheromone bomb that causes gay arousal.)

So Happy New Year. Here's an except from "The W.I.T."

The W.I.T.

            For the first time in decades, there is a new factory in America. It makes the means to enable our greatness. All it took was violent worker uprisings in China and India: half of Asia trying to kill the other half.
            The new American factory is in the outlands of course, the same place we tuck the power plants, the prisons and armories. And much like those other facilities, the new factory is a walled island of civilization in that sea of chaos.
Old Jim, my driver, he drove me there in my armored limo. We left my enclave, Pleasant Edge, just before dawn. I had a busy day planned. Centcom asked me for my expert opinion of the facility. In the interest of candor, my expertise lies elsewhere. I am a Coporate-national school inspector, and as such, certainly no expert in maximizing output in a factory.
They insisted my expertise was exactly what they needed.
Of course I went. Obedience has always led me to prosperity. And they must’ve had their reasons. John Stern, an old schoolmate of mine from Central Academy, he was in charge of the facility. No doubt they thought our relationship would empower me to be blunt. John has a towering stature, both physically and within the Corporate-national hierarchy. A lesser man than I might be cowed in his presence.
So off I went, knowing that depending in part on my findings, facilities like this could be constructed across my home state, New Jersey. Then, depending on how that goes, they may be nationalized.
Rehab teams had paved over that one section of the Garden State Parkway that had been a bomb crater last month. Another Miserable in an explosive vest, wasting his own life to cause a little inconvenience in ours. That is the right term for them, Miserables, those outborn who’ve surrendered all hope and seek only to end their lives and ours. Those subhumans who do nothing to improve their circumstances. Even the apes in the factory know enough to look down on them.
At any rate, the rehab teams had done a decent enough job that we arrived in Paterson ahead of schedule and unmolested. Paterson was once a collection of silk mills, the vibrant and beating heart of a manufacturing economy.
Today it’s a collection of ruins where gangs fight over blocks – a place where Miserables and tribal outcasts tear one another to pieces for food, or scrap metal, or merely for entertainment.
I read in some leftist rag once that every society either spends money to fight poverty or it spends money to fight the poor. The reason I seek out such drivel? Every now and then they stumble on a bit of truth.
We didn’t have to endure much of old Paterson. Junction Manufacturing was just off the ramp from the highway, tucked against a cliff face they’d blasted out of Garret Mountain, an old local landmark. It was better protection for their rear perimeter than any engineer could provide.
The outer stone wall was at least twenty-five feet high and six feet thick. It surrounded the eight-block perimeter of the facility not under the mountain’s protection. At the front gate, the wall turned inward, forming a square with two reinforced fences protecting the road in. If Miserables or organized tribal outborn ever rammed one of their salvaged trucks through the first fence, they’d find themselves robbed of the inertia to punch through the second. Then the elevated turrets would turn inward and downward, ending their short rebellion in the kill box.
It was almost enough to rival an Enclave gate, except I did notice a breach in their east wall. Central was right. Miserables would continue to attack this facility. The breach was being sealed by the facility’s rehab team. Fully-armored Corporate-national guardsmen stood watch. Waste of resources if you ask me. The Miserables never hit the same spot twice.
Just ritual to the guardsmen, I suppose. Security theater.
We parked inside and Old Jim opened my door for me. Predictably, before I took three steps away from the limo, there was good old John Stern, towering over me, his voice booming a canon of a greeting. He followed up with a python handshake and a hearty back slap. He asked about my fiancĂ©e and I asked about his. I gave him the latest news from Pleasant Edge and he told me the happenings in his enclave, Smoke Rise. When we trade enclave news, it always comes down to who is cheating on whom, who’s getting divorced as a result, and how the re-coupling aligns itself.
Mundane, really. But customs must be observed.
I commented on the glum, grey exterior of his facility, though I lied and told John it wasn’t as glum as I’d been expecting. He was an old classmate after all. I tried to stroke him a bit.
“I know it looks like Belsen,” he said. I had to laugh.
“Why not Auschwitz?” I asked.
“Just wanted to see if you were still a student of history,” he said.
It really did look like a concentration camp – six stories of grey concrete in a perfect rectangle. Aside from a slim parking lot, the building took up most of the eight city blocks contained by the outer wall. Iron letters across the roof spelled out “Junction Manufacturing.” An American flag waved on each of the roof’s corners.
“Nice touch with the flags,” I said. “Yours?”
“The outborn love their gods and eagles,” John said. We walked toward a steel door in the side of the brick. There was a small scanner next to the knob. John placed his thumb on it and the inner latch opened.

(end of free preview)

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