Servitor released in Cadimus Protocol

My science fiction short story, Servitor, has just been released as part of Doppler Effect’s Cadimus Protocol.
To read it and other stories (by Michael McPhee, Annie Valentina, Chris Benjamin, and Kristin Slaney),click on the link:

If you are in Halifax and would like to see Doppler Effect’s play Tribe of One, also based in the Cadimus Protocol universe, you can see showing times at their Facebook page for the play:
The play received a first rave review in The Coast for its opening night yesterday:

Gray World

Cover for 'Gray World: Stealing Fire'

This is a separately published, Celtic-themed science fiction novella. It is inspired by two dreams I had, the first one coming complete with the title The Fabulous Gray World of Vagabond, and featuring a visceral, very vivid science fiction noire atmosphere, centred in an ‘orbital world’. The other dream depicted a kind of far future ‘bard’, an antihero of sorts being challenged to help alleviate ‘the language famine’ plaguing a science fiction ‘orbital’ culture. I have ended up incorporating elements of Irish-Scottish mythic history.

Gray World: Stealing Fire is available for purchase here: and here:

But unfortunately, I am seeking another publisher for this book. Although my science fiction book, Gray World: Stealing Fire is available for sale at White Cat Publications, and is available as an ebook on Amazon through Sam’s Dot (its former publisher that was bought by White Cat), like its other writers I have been receiving no communication from this publisher and for various reasons am convinced they are no longer a viable entity. I own the copyright to Gray World as it was not  transferred to White Cat in the changeover. I can be contacted here if you are interested:

I truly hope that this very complex society that has been created is not just to be used in this novella as it is an intriguing one. I enjoyed “Gray World: Stealing Fire” and read it at a single sitting. Well written and different.”
–Gail Jamieson, Probe Magazine (from a review of the Sam’s Dot release of the book)

Here is the blurb that appears on the back of the book:

Gray World: Stealing Fire

In the far future a fusion of meditative practices, magic/witchcraft, and quantum physics has developed into a new craft called waveseership, practiced by waveseers, who dreamfold waves flowing in quantavium light, thereby shaping the form of outer events.

A majority of the affluent has taken refuge in vast orbital cities, powered by energy culled from massive mining of planetary resources.  This mining has led to planets rapidly entering an uninhabitable super-storm condition colloquially known as becoming a ‘gray world’.

In Westpoint, New Skye, on the dying hope of planet Skaha, a drunken Vagabond is lying unconscious in a park. Once a renowned waveseer, Vagabond has fallen to the depths, knows firsthand, as a failed hypocrite, the full range of human hypocrisy.

Sky, true warrior daughter of Skaha, embraces and knights Vagabond for exactly his convoluted, compromised virtues. In the silence of his eyes Sky finds solace from the murder in her heart. In his waveseer skill Sky finds Vagabond is also a worthy ally in espionage.

Together they must decide whether to trust an alien client who would charge them with stealing a most unusual, mathematical fire, and perhaps thereby honor the memory of a dead, gray world.

Haunted Flesh Flames go to Dinner

They sort of careened into each other downtown, spinning around each other’s drunken trajectory, somehow instant friends, bonded by the endless night, by the pact of debauchery, all the edges of daily grinding, the hard knocks, and pay-the-bills headaches, put on hold. But all that was in the background, chasing them down with their drinks.

They followed Emmanuel up the hill, which seemed replete with buildings, superimposed on each other, stacked on each other; Emmanuel was taking in the surrounding city like an Escher painting, a new permutation of seeing double. It was all part of the film these people he met were making. They took advantage of their drunken ascent to get some choice shots. Unfortunately the twilight was only allowing them a few surfaces upon which they could project artistically meaningful and humorous phrases. They only got two in.

The phrases failed to really register on Emmanuel; it was their thing, this film business, and he only brushed up against it obliquely. Well, maybe it was becoming more his thing too. He was kind of escorting them, had fallen into the role of organizing the mood.

On the way they related to Emmanuel their intense distaste for cutthroat restaurant kitchens. They seemed to be getting across that they worked in such, to be giving Emmanuel their impression of them. They were using him as an audience, a sounding board for their displeasure at being used, being driven by the insane, selfish busyness of these greasy consumer culture kitchens, which trapped them in a double bind of ‘I need money but I hate this, and I am so much more but here I am trapped in these stuff-your-face factories, getting paid shit to do shit…’

They were like haunted flesh flames, and he could see their Celtic blood harking back in them, feeding their presence, that old proud fire, and they could be roaming the battlefield, a war band of headhunting picts, finally rising up to settle the score with the infidels who’d broken the bonds of honour.

Emmanuel took them into the restaurant at the top of the hill. He knew it would be different, a counterpoint. Inside it was mellow, respectful. The atmosphere was truly aesthetic, understated, beautiful in that soft, gentle way, reconciled with the hard lines of the world, finding balance and peace and sober artistry anyway, but not in spite—just so.

They sat down.

There was a subtle feeling from the kitchen. It was like a sort of concern, a conscientiousness that was intent to do well by them without being cloying. It was an intelligent feeling, the organized intent to create an aesthetically pleasing, efficient and enlightened atmosphere.

They were all simply wordlessly impressed by this. The kind of thing where your heart hurts because it is relaxing, when so used to constricting in defence.

Natalie’s eyes took on an odd focus then. She swore. They looked where she was gazing. Out the window, visible from a few blocks away, high up, was one of those eye-grabbing, digital animation advertisement billboards, the ones with the cleverly psychological phrases that dig into your psyche, trying to find that piece of ground to plant its flag into, to claim you for the corporate empire. Natalie didn’t say it, but it was clear how her reaction was a bitter reproach for the way it intruded into this beautiful, considerate restaurant realm. Cognitive trespassing.

Emmanuel didn’t react, continuing to let the atmosphere take him, to assume it as the rising sign of their evening. He watched as the haunted intensity slipped into a place that was like an opening in the woods, with mossy green rocks to sit on, and a river to contemplate, after walking out of the hardcore porn, quick easy buck, concrete jungle district. It takes a moment to adjust, but the contrast is clear, the effect obvious.

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