Relaunching an Idea: Apocrypha!

future-city-1Recently, I began to seriously contemplate revisiting an old idea. Not just any old idea, mind you. This was an idea that went back to 2008, to the point where I first decided I wanted to move away from far-reaching, distant future speculative writing. It was also my first real stab at social commentary, predating Data Miners by several months, and which called for a lot of research.

The name I had in mind for it was Apocrypha. Basically, the two threads that came together to form this idea for me were the ideas of Demarchy and Apocalypticism. At the time, the idea that digital technology and wireless communication might one day lead to direct democracy, while religious fervor might actually spike within the current century due to climate change and the social impacts thereof.

singularity.specrepHowever, after a lot of tinkering and writing the story halfway, I found I couldn’t really make the idea work. It was my first attempt to write something contemporary and it really didn’t go so well. I’ve since tried to reboot it at least once and found I could only get a few chapters out of myself. But I couldn’t dispose of it entirely, not after all the work I put into it and all the bits of wheat I felt were buried in the chaff. And so, its lingered in my files for years.

And now, years later and after all the tech research I’ve done, I find myself coming back to the idea. This is due in part to to trends which I’ve been researching in the last few months. The way I see it, by the middle of this century, two trends will be coming together, and its anybody’s guess which will come to determine our future. The one is technological growth and change – culminating in a future of post-scarcity – and the other is Climate Change, which will lead to a future of nothing but!

Megalopolis'And that’s where this story opens up. The year is 2030, and the world is a fast-changing place. On the one hand, mega-cities have taken root in several places, such as the Nanjing Peninsula, the Gangetic Plain, Cascadia, the Northeast Megalopolis, the “Blue Banana”, and the west coast of Japan. Life in these megalopolis’ is increasingly characterized by violence, poverty, unemployment, bigotry, and an ever increasing fast-pace of life due to increasingly advanced technologies trickling down to the street.

Meanwhile, the wealthy and privileged continue to buy up property and move to higher altitudes and latitudes in order to avoid the coming difficulties. It is widely accepted that within the next few decades, waves of immigration and refugees will pour into the coastal and border regions of the developed parts of the world (those that exist outside the equatorial regions that is) and life is likely to get more difficult.

In the midst of all this, a new group is taking to the streets, a group of quasi-apocalyptics who claim that the End of Days is coming. Their message is code-named Apocrypha, since it is really a cover for their more deeply laid plans to usher about something far more sinister. As they say, some spend their lives waiting for the apocalypse, while others are determined to make it happen in their lifetime.

Crashland.ebookThis story was actually the basis for my short Hunluan, which is part of the proposed Grim5Next anthology known as World’s Undone. It’s also the basis for the serial novel Crashland that I began posting over Story Time.me back when 2012 first started. Funny thing, the year 0f 2012 was marked by a lot of dystopian and apocalyptic lit. Maybe that’s why I want to revisit it now, seeing as how we’re in the clear for the time being!

In any case, as soon as Yuva is complete, Pappa Zulu is all wrapped up, and I’m done editing and releasing Data Miners (one of these days I’ll get that damn book finished!), I plan to return to this concept and give it my full attention. There’s plenty of potential to make some predictions about the future and that’s something I can’t pass up! In addition, it was my first attempt at something truly speculative and relevant and I definitely want to pursue that again.

It is my dream, after all, to produce something that capture the spirit of this age, and since Climate Change, break-neck progress, and fears for the future seem to be the dominant trends as I see them, this might just be the book to do it with! Look for it soon, I hope it will please the discerning reader!

climatewars

Happy Post-Apocalypse Day!

End of Days by taenaro
End of Days by taenaro

Hello folks and welcome to the post-apocalypse. For those of you who didn’t sell your possessions yesterday and head for the hills, might I offer my congratulations. As for the rest, I’m sure they’ll trickle back when they realize the sun is still rising in the east and setting in the west. I have to say though, now that we’ve reached the point in our cosmic cycle where the Mayan Calendar is now done – a dating system invented by people whose concept of time went far beyond our own – I do feel a bit sad.

Seems like whenever one epoch ends, things seem a little open and uncertain, the future somehow more free. And I do worry what the Apocalyptics will be tapping into next to feed their End of Days frenzy. If I had to guess I’d say it will be personal branding and implants, since there’s already plenty of folks out there who insists this is the “Mark of the Beast”.

But hey, count your blessings, right? We’re all still here, still breathing, and the world is still spinning. And I for one am pretty happy about that, even if it does mean we’re all still prone to the heartache and the thousand natural shocks the flesh is heir to, some of us more than others! The only thing it really means is that we’ll have to deal with said problems, and work hard to ensure that the world doesn’t end by the slow, natural causes we’ve spent many millennia unleashing.

And on another happy note, I just bought a new computer! My old one was already slouching towards its inevitable demise when a little accident involving some beer and too many glasses caused some of the keys to stop working. So as an early Christmas gift, the wife took me shopping and I scored a new one. Expect plenty of productive weeks and months ahead as I exploit the speed and capacity of this new machine to its full potential. I might be a little slow at first, as it is the holidays, but come January 2013, expect to hear plenty from me!

Oh, and of course, Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013! Hope you all have a lovely holiday filled with plenty of friends, family, fun, holiday eats, and some precious swag! See you all in the New Year and hope to have plenty for you 😉

Crashland – Chapter 5, now appearing at Story Time!

Wow. Either Story Time is picking up more traffic, or serial novels are making a big comeback! In any case, Crashland – chapter 4 has come to a quick and tidy conclusion, with readers logging in and voting on what they want to see happen next. As a result, I’m hard at work again, creating the next chapter in accordance with audience’s wishes.

In short, chapter 4 ended with the protagonist – William Holden – leaving a dying man behind in order to save himself. He made it about as far as the end of the street, only to discover that his wounds were more severe than he thought, and that his destination (the lights in the distance) were impossibly far away. He was on the verge of losing all hope, until he noticed some small campfires burning nearby.

Once again, a choice had to be made. Holden needed help if he was going to survive, but feared that whoever was waiting for him below might be just as dangerous as the people who tried to kill him. Given the risk, and the fact that he was slowly dying, he really didn’t have a lot of options open to him. Well, audiences were quite clear on what they wanted to see happen… Come on by and see what comes of it!

Update: And it’s up! Come by and vote on your outcome of choice. Things are once again heating up and decisions need to be made and it looks like the protagonists life may be poised on the razor’s edge!

New Website: Grim5next!

collide_2Not long ago, I joined a new writing project, known as Writer’s Worth, which I learned about through Goodreads. At the time, I thought it might be a good opportunity to rub shoulders with other writers, get some promotional stuff going, swap ideas, etc.

However, in the few shorts weeks that I’ve been part of this group, I’ve found so much more worth than I expected (yes, that was a pun, my apologies!) For starters, we’ve commissioned an anthology project known as “Worlds Undone”. This book not only gave me a chance to write what I like best, dystopian lit, but also inspired me to explore the genre of dystopian sci-fi more fully.

And that, I am pleased to note, led to my being “freshly pressed” for the first time! Yep, it seemed that the first article in my dystopian series – entitled Dystopian Science Fiction – garnered some attention over at WordPress.com. As a result, I got more traffic in two days than I have in over a year. Or, to put it another way, I tripled my overall amount of hits. Went from just under 4000 views to just over 11000 in the thirty-six hours. Wow…

Inner_city_by_aksuYeah, that was nice. But not as nice as my new group coming together to develop this anthology. And since I have some experience with the self-publishing thing, I volunteered to tackle the dust-jacket design and produced some pretty kick-ass covers, if I do say so myself. But I can hardly take all or even most of the credit.

No, the real credit goes to the artists – Ashley Evans and Alex Popescu  – famed artists who agreed to let us use their cover work to fashion a decent cover. I also posted top contenders in a photoshare over at Shaw. However, the winner will be posted on the website itself soon, so feel free to come by and check it out. We could use some outside opinions, just to make sure we’re not patting ourselves on the back too much!

In any case, named in honor of our first anthology, the site is called Grim5next, since the anthology contains three categories: “Grim Futures”, “Last 5 Minutes”, and “What’s Next?”. It’s an exciting process, and I look forward to the end product! Stay tuned if you want to know how and where to get a copy 🙂

http://grim5next.blogspot.co.uk/