Well, ‘ello, humans-person!
You may be thinking, “Why did I come here again?” Obviously, the whiskey is impairing your memory. Don’t worry; it’s doing the same to me. I, however, have grown accustomed to it. So I can help you out here. You’re here to learn a bit about each of the nine stories in my book Fragments of the Coil, and why it is currently rated 5 stars on Amazon (by people I don’t even know, btw :D).
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In a world where being a scientist puts one dangerously close to the Aether, a realm where magic exists and can easily destroy one’s sentience, Karris finds herself stuck inside her patient’s mind. Literally. Pioneering this mental intrusion using a combination of magic and science in order to eradicate the coma plaguing the patient was an opportunity she couldn’t have passed up, along with her other colleagues. However, this strange world has sucked most of them away into its dark corners, possibly killing them. Now, she only wants to make it back out alive with her few remaining companions, one of them a blank slate after one of the denizens of this odd world destroyed his mind. Karris finds the patient, locked away in his own mind, a prisoner to himself. Now, she needs to find a way out, but an exit from this world may leave her in another, grander place where the Aether still feeds on her, trapping her from reality. Survival may no longer be an option.
Forging Judgement’s Dawn
The world is ending, or a new one is taking the place of the old one, Zaker and Youngmind cannot tell. They only wish to end it all. The earth rips apart, spewing flames. Demons of iron and flesh wing through the air, intent on ripping them to shreds. They’ve both lost so much; their families, their minds, their flesh. Now, they usher in the new world with the arrival of the new god.
Apocalypse comes for the world, sending before its arrival a wave of madness and dreams. Tidus fights the urges to revel in sin before the rapture. He barely maintains, but then the world comes to take him away anyway. He is left to die, but before his final breath, it happens. Now, he must fend off the armies of Hell from reaching Heaven’s gates. Redemption lies within his grasp, and he must kill his old self to gain it.
Jeckreth boards the Sea Star, leaving behind his uneventful life for one on the sea. His skills are lacking, just as his direction in life is. Captain Gildeus assigns him the task of analyst for the Star’s adventures. He’s been searching for the Astral Rope for as long as any of the crew can remember, and they don’t mind the wild chase for an artifact none of them believe exists as long as there’s rum and coin along the way.
Soon, Jeckreth discovers that he needs to make himself more useful, otherwise be dropped into the ocean and left for dead. Men aboard the Star pay their way with ability, Captain weighing their value as a way to decide whether they stay part of the crew or not. A terrible secret about the crew reveals itself just days before the Star comes upon another possible end to the search for the Astral Rope. Captain discovers Jeckreth’s worth, and he knows that he can never let Jeckreth leave the crew if he plans on entering another realm with the power of the Astral Rope.
2152 brings with it a world advanced in science and medicine beyond belief. Faith wanes as robots become commonplace. One man is given the task of merging flesh and machine to the point where they become indistinguishable from one another. He agonizes over his responsibility as he is faced with the beginning to the end of the normal human race. By creating humans through engineering, ensuring they are flawless and better than us in every single way, he is removing the one thing that ensures they stay human: their soul. Despite his own choices and moral stance, happenstance decides the fate of the human race for him.
The Fragile King: Song of Death
The entire world itself may as well be Central, the massive city built by magic and engineering. Guilds dominate society, granting citizens with skills to kill and innovate. Jack had decided to break the rules of society long ago, training with a handful of the guilds, an act that would result in a citizen being exiled from Central completely. With his skill in magic, blades, innovation, and firearms, Jack is a man who combines his many skills to become a deadly asset.
His blend of ability is exactly why a god kidnapped his wife and set him on a path of murder. He disrupts the order of things as he kills leaders of guilds, captains of the Town Guard, and important people to the king. Finally, he completes his last mission, forced to murder more innocent men and women who stand in his way between losing his wife forever and her safe return. During, however, a terrible secret comes to light, exposing the entire murderous escapade for what it really is. Now, does he play along with the bastard god’s plans just to get his wife back, or does he finally do what is right for more than just selfish reasons and stop a madman from taking over all of Central?
Monolithic (The origin story behind Thoughts of Steel, my first full-length novel scheduled for release in early 2016 through Ravenswood)
Farm life suits Vesik, keeps him ignorant to the rest of the world, safe and sheltered. Once he reaches adulthood, his parents urge him to begin a life of his own, so he leaves the comfort of home and is met with failure time after time. A group of three odd friends take notice of him and absorb him into their fold. As those three scheme to take advantage of their positions as defenders of Cavia, Vesik finds himself in a dream world where he can affect his actions as though he were awake. A mysterious man offers him great power, the debilitating cost of it not apparent until much later. Blinded by the urge to no longer be labeled a failure, Vesik cements the deal, gaining supernatural ability. His friends come close to death and exposure to the Watch while Vesik abuses his ability, all of them learning the price of selfish power.
A Simple Savior
When Lloyd, a mentally lame man, loses a package he was contracted to deliver to a shady man, he is threatened with death unless he retrieves it. Simple or not, a man understands when his life is being threatened, and Lloyd scours the city of Kademine. Eventually, he finds the man who stole the package and reclaims it. Lloyd finds himself in possession of something capable of ending a lot of lives, and makes the simplest of all choices to save them all.
The People we Aren’t
Death places Sam and Gemma in the afterlife, but not in the way they would have expected. They end up in a halfway point; Limbo. Death itself appears, charging them with the task of discovering why they wound up there, lest they be condemned to that dreary place for eternity. As they fight through Limbo, they come face to face with the horrors of that land and those within themselves. Eventually, simply surviving is not enough. Will their love remain even if they can escape Death’s game, or will they perish in every sense all at once?