What should readers know about your books before they buy them?
First and foremost they can be read in any order. They share the same universe but are entirely separate stories. However, readers should be aware there is a timeline split created by the apocalyptic event known as “Yellow Dawn”. Most of my novels are set before this event, but there are a few that take place after it.
All your stories are separate but do you have a common theme to them?
Yeah. Typically there’s criminal operators or private investigators digging into some plot or other that is either entirely driven by human motives, or, the reader discovers the menacing desires of the Occult or Cthulhu Mythos behind it. Usually, somewhere, there’s a corporation taking advantage of any opportunity regardless of the cost to individuals. If you read a few of my books you’ll see the same corporations (and some characters) cropping up, either as main-players in the story or as incidentals. They help create a consistent flavour to the universe so a reader can say: I know where I am. Useful when a reader is coming back for more.
Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur is a role-playing game; but what is it in your fiction writing?
It’s an apocalyptic event. A Mythos-inspired act of terrorism.
Does this split create two very different types of reading experience?
Yes and no. I guess I have a recognisable story type that shapes the novels I write. So I write the same kind of novels but in the case of those set after Yellow Dawn, the world is a lot more hostile and scary.
What is Cyberpunk to you?
Alfred Bester. Period. You don’t get a sharper focus on the genre than The Demolished Man. For me though, Cyberpunk is today’s world seen through a lens of the near-future; a little darker, a lot more technical, but still recognisable to us – with corporate corruption thrown into the mix alongside some early deep space exploration. New social concepts and new urban tribes. The technological elite in stark contrast to the majority who struggle, financially, emotionally – these are some of the concepts I like to convey in my writing.
And the Cthulhu Mythos?
The Mythos is a state of mind. I grew up with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi as men wrapped in make-up playing monsters; John Carpenter and Stephen King – more monsters and the influence of bad spirits and demonic possession. Then comes the Mythos. Horror that is vast. Limitless. Profound. And sometimes just so “out-there” it’s fantastical rather than scary. I love that about the Mythos.
What led you to combine Cyberpunk with the Cthulhu Mythos?
I’ve been a fan of both, all my life. A lot of the passion stems from my early years of role-playing. Both genres work very well together. I like the moral ambiguity. I like the endless possibilities. I like the darkness.
Do you strongly differentiate the Occult from the Cthulhu Mythos?
I do. I created a concept called the Quantisphere to define this difference. We – as sentient beings generating a dynamic observable multiverse, exist within the Quantisphere. The Mythos is what lies “beyond” even metaphysical human awareness. It is utterly alien and mostly unfathomable, an aspect that intensifies the mind-bending, sanity shredding consequences of delving too deeply into it. Even writers go mad creating this stuff. The Occult is equally as terrifying but is more “local”. Has been more thoroughly documented by esoterics and mystics and sorcerers.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your books?
Weird dreams. Sweaty palms. A sense they’ve been propelled at speed through an epic adventure and glimpsed a universe they want to come back to. Most importantly though, I hope they feel they’ve gotten value for their money.
How do I get autographed copies of your books?
You can send me a book with a pre-paid postage envelope to send it back to you. Use the Contact Form to discuss this. Amazon Kindle readers can get an autograph version via this service here: www.authorgraph.com
You refer to the city of New Tokyo a lot in your books; where is it?
New Tokyo is built within what used to be the US State of Florida. It’s the biggest urban conurbation on Earth. It also features an impressive spaceport and space elevator. A significant lifeline for survivors after Yellow Dawn but extremely unusual because the location isn’t on the equator: previously thought to be essential requisite for placement of the tether’s anchor. There is speculation the technology employed to build it comes from alien intelligence; perhaps through encounters by the deep-space machine mining colonies of the Borgendrill Corporation. None of this is confirmed.
What is UTOC?
Another big plank that spans the foundations of all the novels I write. Stands for United Table of Commerce and is an alliance of corporations that came together in the wake of the failed United Nations. Its creation and use of the Fluid Investment Medium to bully and dictate policies of national governments has caused a backlash similar to the anti-globalisation protests of the early 21st century.
What happened to Florida? Why is it no longer part of the United States?
Economic pressures and environmental crisis lead to a situation where the United States fragments much like the Soviet Union did back in the 1990s. Some wealthy states coalesce into new, smaller, powerful geo-political unions. Texas remains a Lone Star. The rest of America struggles to drag itself past the poverty line. Europe isn’t far behind, with water and fuel shortages, and huge immigration issues, but before the Euro-Federation implodes the Earth is struck by the event known as “Yellow Dawn”.
More FAQ coming soon…