While all of my books will play well to a young-adult, college-aged audience owing to the combination of fast-paced sci-fi action and romance, snarky banter and thought-provoking ideas, and generally young casts, some of the novels feature leads that are in their mid to late teens. Those books are listed here.
Biohackers: Cybernetic Agents
Eighteen-year-old Ethan is a “make love, not war” type, forever talking about an age of abundance that’s upon us, where all human needs are met. The only work that will be undertaken by anyone is to drive the age of equanimity to the next level. His hard-luck girlfriend who grew up on the streets finds it easy to get lost in his escapist fantasies, though she truly doesn’t believe in them. They’re both biohackers. But for him, his upgrades are proof that soon humans will be as gods. For her, the upgrades merely offer slim hope of hanging on in a world grown too toxic to survive without them. Who’s to say which one has a handle on the truth?
Until FRE, a “nonexistent” agency, unleashes an army of cyborgs against the biohackers to make sure none of them becomes a threat to the old global order. Roman refuses to be sucked into the growing rebellion in the wake of FRE’s evil, despite witnessing plenty of reasons to take up the torch. But when his girlfriend is captured for “remediation” he loses it, and the man of peace becomes the man of war. It turns out he’s much better in the latter role. But even if he manages to snatch his girlfriend from FRE’s clutches, will he ever find his way back to the man she once loved? Might his cynical girlfriend have to get over herself to get him to believe again in a future she herself doesn’t see?
It’s an Age of Abundance. No longer do humans want for having their basic needs met. Arguably, they live better than kings of old. But despite this, it’s the intelligence explosion that’s stealing the limelight. Technological innovations coming so rapidly that they create a backlash.
At one end of the spectrum are people like Gecko, who can’t get enough of self-transcendence, who are lost to the eternal need for “becoming” more than they are. At the other end of the spectrum are people like Nova, who are more interested in “being” and enjoying all that they are in the here and now. And refuse to keep their eye to the future. In the middle are people like Corona. Her aim is to strike a balance between both extremes, those who can’t wait to get over themselves with breaking technologies, and those who have no desire to.
The three philosophical viewpoints cease to make for simple idle coffee house conversation when the three fall into a relationship. The late-year teens, on the cusp of adulthood, find their coming of age story and their ménage-a-trois swallowed up in a coming of age story for the entire planet. Will they find what they need in one another to live through it? And does the future have more in store for them than simply surfing the wave of explosive innovation without taking a header off the board? The first clue to answering those questions comes when the planetary UberMind tries to kill them.
NOTE: THE NOVELS IN THE AGE OF ABUNDANCE SERIES ARE STAND-ALONE BOOKS THAT CAN BE READ IN ANY ORDER.
Convergence: “The Time Weavers” (Age of Abundance, #3)
Come 2025, the Age of Abundance is well underway, earlier than anyone ever imagined possible. All basic human need has been eliminated. The poorest people on earth live like kings of old thanks to a universal basic income stipend taken from ten percent of earnings off of all technological breakthroughs that is shared with all of humanity equally. Such is the force of the intelligence explosion thanks to human upgrades, by way of mindchips and first generation nano nets, that the UBI stipend augments by leaps and bounds annually. 3D printers that can now print human replacement body parts, nootropics, and most anything we’d care to surround ourselves with have made their ways into most homes. But it’s no utopia. Far from it.
For it is also an era of convergence, where numerous technologies come together to form synergies no one can predict or control. Those who are adept at weaving these technological threads together are known as the Convergence Tech Wizards or CTWs. The power of their minds has been likened to that of black holes due to their ability to warp space and time, to yank inventions out of the far future that shouldn’t exist for a hundred or more years and pull them into the here and now. To others they are simply known as Time Weavers. They sabotage any notion of past, present, of future. No one can talk any longer of the pace of innovation simply accelerating. That would suggest progress in a stepwise fashion, even as the steps get smaller and closer together. What the Convergence Tech Wizards do is far scarier.
“The Time Weavers” opens with our chief detectives, Monica and Ethan. Monica is a Convergence Tech Wizard wannabe, but so far she hasn’t been able to pull off the necessary power of mind. Instead, she hunts them for a living; the ones that can’t be reined in, she kills. Her sidekick, Ethan, is of the minority of mortals still running around without any human upgrades at all. If he’s afraid of what Monica can do, he’s really afraid of what CTWs can do. So it doesn’t take much to convince him to go on her unholy mission. As time wears on they come to question their mission and their motivations for being on it. Who is the real danger, the ominous, mysterious forces pulling their strings, or the CTWs? Is it time to consider changing sides? If so, as things heat up between the rebel CTWs and corporate interests, who will win the war? And will anyone be left on the planet forever unchanged in the wake of their confrontation?
Note: Convergence: “The Time Weavers” (Age of Abundance, #3) is a YA-friendly title by virtue of having two fifteen-year-olds in the ensemble cast of five leads.
The Hundred Year Clones: The Four Sectors Wars
Six hundred years into mankind’s unexpected exodus from Earth’s solar system due to a prematurely exploding sun, humanoid species have spread far and wide to form a trans-galactic empire. This is in part due to the pioneering genius of Frakas and his bioengineering prowess which allows humanoids to accommodate to new planets readily. It is also secondary to special pod ships and spirit ships left behind by long dead civilizations that allow for teleportation across massive chasms of space-time.
But the empire is torn. War wages in four sectors. The gods of war governing each sector want to unite the entire kingdom under one banner, theirs. But each of the sectors has unique challenges and pitfalls that stymie the other warlords, maintaining a stalemate seemingly without end.
Enter Raikin and his entourage of followers. In his teens, he is the youngest of the hundred year clones to intervene in celestial matters, and he may also have his hands the most full. Will he and his followers (all in their late teens by the time they insert themselves into the four sectors wars) be enough to upset the stalemate and bring peace to the universe? Or will the intense fusion of cutting edge science and magic he introduces to the equation simply spread these battles beyond this universe into parallel universes, and the multiverse as a whole?
More ominously still, there appear to be outside forces influencing matters in the four sectors beyond anyone’s knowledge or ability to grasp. Some of the tech bequeathed to them by long dead civilizations may have a life and a mind of its own, begging the question, are these distant parties relegated to history, or just to a dimension beyond their current reach?
Note: The Four Sectors Wars is a sci-fi/Fantasy mashup. It was also previously released as The Adventures of Raikin. Some reviews may still reflect the earlier title.