Some more teasers!
Wondering about feedback so I'll pop up a couple of versions of an early piece of my second novel. Please feel free to leave comments either here or on social media. Cheers and thanks!
He followed Fong past a team of robotic diggers, Coradyne Technologies emblazoned along each of their multi-axis appendages, suctioning and shovelling dirt at the impossible pace of machinery, the corporate logo blurring from the speed. It moved unnaturally, like a human arm attached in series, double jointed against itself. The motion disturbing.
His gaze followed past Fong to a team of robotic diggers, Coradyne Technologies emblazoned along each of their multi-axis appendages. Centipedal robots, their composite outer shells glowed copper in the synthetic sunlight. The machines rocked and swayed as they suctioned and shovelled concrete and dirt at inhuman speeds, the logos blurring with their unnatural movement, like a human arm attached in axis, double jointed against itself in a disturbingly living motion.
Never show your first draft to anyone. Ever, they say.
I'm not exactly a rule follower, however, and I'm looking for some feedback on the opener of my next book. Remember, it's only very slightly edited, and shall be much more heavily polished come publication.
Any commentary is welcome, mostly feelings like, are you interested in reading further? Did it bore you to death? Do you want to know more about Orlando, the tech, or anything else?
May I introduce you to, my new protagonist...Orlando.
Off the chain, with her data exposed, Orlando had, in her view, one singular option. Run.
Seconds prior, lounged deeply into her well-worn and once-brown corduroy sofa, Orlando rode the data stream unnoticed, cruising for anomalies. Hunting for any sort of reported kidnappings, ransoms, or white-collar crime she could sweep in and solve for an easy pay check. But in an impossible blink of an eye and without warning she was knocked clear of the Blockchain’s security, her identity and location, even her cipher, suddenly exposed to any type of interested party. And there were always algorithms on the hunt for criminals like Orlando.
Unannounced, deep-set and time-jaundiced eyes shimmered into her glassware’s holographic interface. An Asian face, possibly Chinese. Age spots peppered his cheeks, thin wisps of lengthy gray hair protruded beneath his chin. A sadness drooped at the corners of his lips. A repeating hexadecimal contact number scrolled across her synthetic vision’s lower peripheral.
“Orlando. I am need of your services. I have unlimited funds and safe passage. I shall be contacting you through a secure tunnel via the hex below.” The face de-rezzed and she was left staring at the same police data feeds she had been cruising minutes before. Now however, outside the protection of the Blockchain, any swipe or communication would generate traceable and locatable lines of code, pointing directly at her.
Hunted. Fuck. First time. Could only be Cartel. After her last job, she’d taken a slight indiscretion with some of their less well-protected bank balances. A move certain bosses had taken a particularly dim view of. Life on the run was part of her normal, she'd been told she could hide for the Olympic team. But having been located like this, and purposely exposed, that was new. The Asian face in the stream was an unlikely fit for a multigenerational and local Cali Cartel. So not Cartel then. Not good.
She shut down her glassware, pulled the batteries, zipped the frames into their case, a faraday-cage on loan from her best girl, Ireland. Opened her single item of luggage, a long gray duffel containing only the strictest essentials; digital currency, clean underwear, soap. She yanked a roll of metallic tape from which she tore a strip using her teeth and sealed the glasses case tight. No signal from inside could escape, there would be no tracing her from the glassware.
With her duffel secure, she paused, gave the room in which she’d spent months of safety a final once-over, closed the door and ran down the stairs, two at a time. Was a twenty minute walk to Ireland’s, and there was no possible way she could arrange anything digitally to organize a quick quad-rotor Ryde without attracting someone's attention. A wanted thief, whether by law or the mob didn’t last long in the streets and alleys of big city Columbia.
I have no idea, and I mean no fucking clue if anyone reads this blog. I imagine a future employer (Ed I'm looking at you) may have a quick cruise to see if there's any questionable content, but really what I want to accomplish here is some ideas for the sequel to The Sequence.
This is an official spoiler alert, however minor. Please remember, first drafts are just that. They shall resemble very little of what ends up in print. So let's try it out.
May I request comments, additions, hatred, praise, anything at all is appreciated. And hey, those little facebook and twitter buttons also work, in case you feel like promotion...
So here's a prologue, not exactly a fave of the industry, but sets the stage without diving deep into backstory between novels.
There is nothing I would enjoy more than your feedback, and whether you'd enjoy a few more snippets from this sequel I've been working on since November 2020...
“What do you mean we’re letting him go? He’s got no legs, he’s not going anywhere.”
“What the boss wants, Woo. My hands are tied.”
Was bullshit was what this was. Woo paced. “I spent weeks on that case. Brought in Chen Rong specifically to remove the head from the snake.”
Behind the superintendent, pixels cascaded in silence along the window’s diagonal with a deepening tint as the late afternoon’s South Asian sunbeams descended into view. He imagined the Super’s boss, watching their conversation via some undisclosed lens buried in the window’s framework, waiting for Woo to snap.
The Super reclined, thick, ropey fingers interlacing behind his razored clean baldness. With some effort he lifted heavyset thighs atop his polished aluminum and empty desk, groaning as he crossed them. “This goes way above you and me, Woo. Let it go. This is no snake. This is the head of the dragon.”
“Heard that before.” He never figured the Super for a cop on the take. Meant Woo needed to be careful if he was to investigate any further. Triad lenses drifted on the wind, catching whiffs of gossip, whispers of data recorded on synthetic ears far too small to trace.
Woo noted the warning. Like he’d been told by the Nine themselves, they knew him now.