Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Under the Amoral Bridge Book Trailer

In my continuing effort to promote the release of the trade paperback edition of Under the Amoral Bridge, I've put together a book trailer and uploaded it to YouTube. The trailer is in the machinima style, using The Movies game platform as my studio. The music is an shortened instrumental by a couple of guys I know who go by the name Death in Logic. Check out the trailer embedded below, or on YouTube. Links to the various outlets selling the book can be found in the right hand margin. Rate the video, review the book on Amazon and retweet this story and let's get the word out there!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Under the Amoral Bridge Now Available as an Ebook

Thanks to the great folks at, Under the Amoral Bridge is now also available in a ton of Ebook formats for all your electronic reading needs. It is my firm belief that digital editions should never cost as much as the print edition, but that discount shouldn't significantly reduce the profit the author makes from those versions. Due to this, I've decided to charge $8 US for the digital editions, a nice discount from the $12 the trade paperback costs. Want the book on your Kindle, your Iphone, your Blackberry, your Sony Ereader or some other ebook device? Click here to visit the Smashwords store and buy the novel. If you do purchase it, please give it a review on Smashwords or on the Amazon page. Thank you for your support.


I Once Was Blind

As someone whose vision is crap and has been steadily decreasing since the age of 12, stories like this give me great hope for the future of medicine. There is lots of research into different methods of restoring sight to the blind, and it's all very meatpunk. From installing electrodes in the patient's eyes and linking them to a video processor, to using the patient's tooth to craft a plastic lens that replaces the cornea, the future is coming quicker than we all think. Maybe by the time my eyes have completely given up the ghost, I really will be able to pop in a few cybereyes and live my normal life uninterrupted. We might even have affordable healthcare by then.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

GlobalPedia 2029 - The Los Angeles Riots of 2027

--- Begin Entry ---

The Los Angeles Riots of 2027, otherwise known simply as the ’27 Riots, were the deadliest riots in the city’s history. They were the result of a long series of events beginning in September of the previous year. The riots lasted over a month, starting with the Jackson 5 Incident on July 19th, 2027 to the implementation of the Riot Control Act on August 20th, 2027, passed under the authority of the Chronosoft Local Governance License granted on August 17th. In all, 1358 civilians and 76 police officers were killed, over 5,000 people were wounded and more than 9,800 arrests were made. Property damage was extensive. While the total cost is still being counted, most estimate over $3 billion in both public and private assets were lost.

The Budget Crisis

On September 23rd, 2026, the United States Congress declared that the Federal Government was completely bankrupt, its deficit so massive that it was unable to secure financing to maintain government operations. All creditor nations called on the U.S. to pay all of its debts immediately. A previously undiscovered bug in the accounting software used by the General Accounting Office and the IRS caused the restatement of tax revenues for all the years since the end of the war in Guatemala. The result was that revenues had been grossly overstated, adding trillions to the already unmanageable debt. Until some form of financing or budget compromise could be reached all superfluous federal operations were suspended and all federal funds to state and local governments were immediately cut off. 

The California legislature, always a contentious center of debate where budgets were concerned, immediately declared the state bankrupt. Each political faction refused to sign off on any emergency budget measures to address the shortfall. State Senator Mark Ackerman became infamous for stating “This bunch of commie hippy tree-hugging immigrant-loving pussies can spend like drunken sailors in some Mexican hump-hump bar if they want to, but not on my dime!” He was later censured and resigned in disgrace in early 2027. As state and local coffers began to dwindle, multiple ballot initiatives to raise taxes were offered to the population, each one defeated by a hefty margin. Local and state budgets were already stretched thin, and by May 1st, 2027, the state of California ordered a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential state facilities, with the commiserate arguments over which social services were essential and which were “socialist entitlement programs for illegals and deadbeats” [Sen. Ackerman]. Even those essentials were left with scraps, forcing massive layoffs. Workers were sent home without pay. Many policemen and firefighters were severely overworked.

The furloughed employees began to protest loudly, and many of the workers who remained began to strike due to the increased strain and the unfair treatment of their co-workers. The Los Angeles police force was estimated to be operating at 10% of its needed capacity by mid-June, and those officers who still showed up for work did so without pay. Their ammunition and fuel were rationed to almost unmanageable levels, and most patrols were restricted to areas no farther than three miles from their stations to conserve fuel and allow for support. The crime rate exploded overnight.

Food supplies into the city were stretched thin, especially in the poorer neighborhoods. Food programs for the impoverished were curtailed at first, but by mid-June, they were ended abruptly. A number of incidents of unrest erupted at local supermarkets as residents were informed that no form of state or federal assistance debit cards would be honored. Welfare food banks were closed for all but one day of the week. Despite having adequate food supplies for the next month, much of the food was lost to spoilage due to the offices being closed and customers turned away. 

The Jackson 5 Incident

Though there had been many occurrences of violence and overt hostility due to food shortages before the Jackson 5 Incident, most agree that the killing of the so-called “Jackson 5” by white police officers on July 19th was the spark that lit the fire. Five black youths in a South Los Angeles neighborhood argued with the owner of a tiny convenience store run by a second-generation Korean-American named Bae Lee, named the Lee Grocery on Central Boulevard. The youths were proclaiming loudly that the owner had given them incorrect change, while the owner claimed that the youths had been shoplifting. When the police arrived, the argument had become extremely heated and a crowd had gathered. According to the surviving officer, one of the youths brandished a firearm, a claim the witnesses, the store owner and the police video disputes. The officers began firing indiscriminately, hitting the youths and members of the gathered crowd. While the youths were posthumously found to be unarmed, members of the crowd were, and they began firing back. One of the officers was killed and Sgt. Benson was wounded, barely managing to drive his cruiser three blocks from the scene before it ran out of gas. The angry crowd, incensed at the deaths of the five youths as well as the injuries sustained by the officers’ careless shots, set fire to the Lee Grocery. In the midst of such a dry summer, several other buildings caught fire as well. The fire department, suffering from similar workforce issues as the police, took two hours to arrive. They were also fired upon, and retreated from the area. By morning, a one-mile swath of Central Boulevard was a burned-out scar.

With the police unable to respond, the crowd grew aided by coverage on the GlobalNet from both amateur vloggers and professional reporters. Violence broke out all over the city, the message spreading like a virus. The neighborhoods of Echo Park were devastated in the first night, and Southeast Hollywood erupted a day later. Residents who did not participate barricaded themselves in their homes. Some areas banded together to fend off the rioters, the most notable being those in Boyle Heights led by current Los Angeles mayor Arturo Soto FASCIST SELLOUT [citation needed]. Due to the efforts of Soto’s defenders, Boyle Heights escaped the riots mostly unscathed.


The first week of the riots, while spectacularly violent, were mostly unfocused outpourings of spontaneous rage, as the controversy over the Jackson 5 Incident dominated the news. But as food grew scarcer, and the government seemed less inclined to make any efforts to alleviate the situation, the rioters organized. Calling themselves urban revolutionaries, several anonymous leaders emerged to create mini-militias based along neighborhood lines. The focus of their aggression was twofold. The South Central Crew, from neighborhoods like Crenshaw and Baldwin Hills, targeted the police as retaliation for the deaths of the Jackson 5. The Hollywood Starlets, a white militia from southeast Hollywood, and the Echos, a multi-cultural militia from Echo Park, blamed the food shortages on the corporations. They targeted chain supermarkets, retail outlets, banks and anything they thought was owned by multinational corporations. Coordinated by GlobalNet cyberpunks, these militias were extremely effective. The police were outnumbered and in many cases, outgunned as the militias had no restrictions on their use of ammunition or regulations against excessive force. The culmination of the militia attacks was the burning of a Los Angeles icon, the Hollywood sign on August 4th, 2027. The burning sign could be seen all over the city, and it marked a severe escalation in the battle for Los Angeles.

The National Guard and Corporate Intervention

Before the vandalism of the Hollywood sign, the California state government had ignored the riots, able to place the blame on disorganized bad actors and cash-strapped local governments. The symbolic destruction of so visible a landmark seemed to shake them out of their complacence. The legislature turned its criticisms towards the governor, Harold Baker and the Los Angeles mayor, Creed Layton. Layton begged for National Guard support publicly, but Baker denied the requests. According to the Governor’s recently released memoirs, he ordered the National Guard to intervene and was told by the commanding general that such intervention was impossible due to the federal budget crisis. A week was lost to recriminations and “blame game” statements in the press, while the city of Los Angeles continued to burn. Mayor Layton declared martial law in the city, but was unable to enforce the proclamation.

In an unprecedented turn of events, a coalition of multinational corporations with operations in Los Angeles banded together and formed their own private militias. Participating entities included Chronosoft, Inc., Botts & Gardner, and Global Entertainment among others. The militias were coordinated by Ret. General Sam Collins, the CEO of private security firm Condor Global MERCENARIES AND ASSASSINS [citation needed]. The wealthy homes of North Hollywood, the Financial District and other key assets in Downtown Los Angeles, as well as anyone else who could pay for the privilege were patrolled by corporate forces. Many of these mercenary forces were staffed by former police officers who had been laid off. Such efforts were given their blessing by the beleaguered governor and mayor. While they concentrated on defense at first, there are unconfirmed reports that the Condor forces made offensive strikes into residential neighborhoods in an effort to quell the riots as well as rumors of the assassinations of key militia leaders. These reports are still under investigation.

The Local Governance License Act of 2027

Though the riots would continue sporadically for three days after, the end is generally considered to be August 17th, the day the U.S. Congress passed the Local Governance License Act of 2027. This act gave corporations the chance to bid for civil control of cities, counties and states. Not only were the bid winners allowed to collect local and state taxes for their LGL, they were charged with providing all civil services previously offered by government organizations, including law enforcement. A little-publicized provision in the bill granted immunity from prosecution for any agent of the LGL who might have performed illegal acts in the protection of corporate assets during the riots. This provision has been challenged unsuccessfully numerous times in lawsuits filed by victims of Condor Global. 

Much of the Condor forces were immediately deputized as police officers in the newly-formed Chornosoft Legal Enforcement Division or CLED. Gen. Collins was appointed as chief of police. Los Angeles Police Department employees were allowed to interview for their old jobs, though many bristled under the new corporate culture. The last death of the ’27 Riots took place on August 20th, when an African-American teenager, Shawna Frederickson, lit herself on fire on the steps of Chronosoft Headquarters holding a sign that read “Welcome Your New Corporate Overlords! Howdy Massas!”

-- End Entry --


Monday, September 21, 2009

Under the Amoral Bridge Now Available on Amazon

I wanted to add a quick note of joy here. The listing for Under the Amoral Bridge is live! You can now purchase the book at this link, or at the store I listed in my previous posting on the subject. Keep in mind, I make more money from the CreateSpace link than I do from Amazon, but either one works. If you've read the story already, or end up buying the book, please give me a review on the Amazon link.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Big News!!!! Self-Publishing the Bridge Chronicles

For the last couple of weeks, I've been hinting at some big news in the Bridge Chronicles universe, and now I can finally announce it. Under the Amoral Bridge, the first novel in the Bridge Chronicles series, is being published! Thanks to the great group over at, I am self-publishing a physical copy of that first novel. Available now at the Create Space Estore, it will be available at within two weeks. The cost is $12 for a really nice, trade paperback edition. Not only is it the entire first novel exactly as it appeared on this blog, but it includes a Bridge short story that has never been published before. This story, Feeding Autonomy, will only be available in this print edition.

What does this mean for the blog? It means that I will be getting paid for my work, which is always a plus. I will be leaving the entire novel online for anyone to sample. The readers of the blog will have access to all the extra materials written during the original run, including the GlobalPedia 2028 entries. I intend to add more GlobalPedia entries between now and 2010. Sometime around February, I intend to begin releasing the third novel in the series, which has the tentative working title of if {tribe} =. It will be released on the same schedule and in the same format as The Know Circuit, twice a week, one chapter per week. To coincide with the release of the third novel, The Know Circuit will appear as a self-published trade paperback through the same distribution channels.

Please buy my book. No, really... buy the book. I'm begging you.

Ok, with the whoring done, let me just explain how this process works. This book will be a print-on-demand book. Both CreateSpace and Amazon will take their cut (a percentage of the price + per-page fee + per book fee) and I get the difference. I get about 50% more off a purchase from the CreateSpace store than from Amazon, which I will attribute to Amazon's discount. Naturally, I'd prefer you buy from CreateSpace (and yes, they offer international sales as well as U.S.) because I make more money, but so long as you buy the book, I get paid. Did I mention I like getting paid? If you do purchase the book, no matter the channel, I ask that you post a review on Note, I didn't say a positive review. Please be honest, I can take the criticisms - bonus points if you dog the novel in a funny or entertaining way. At this early stage of my career, any press is good press if it gets my name out there to the book-buying public. The worst feedback a writer can get is no feedback at all. Our massive egos are so fragile that we constantly require acknowledgment that someone read our work, even if the reader hated it.

Keep an eye on this blog for more updates, including the upcoming listing on Amazon. Those interested in following my other pursuits can always read my infrequently updated blog at The Game of Angst, or follow me on Twitter at Thank you for your support of my literary efforts and I hope you enjoy the title.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Ch... Ch... ChAN-GES! Part 2

The changes are complete! The new design is a reflection of the direction of the stories of Artemis Bridge. Rather than a vehicle for one specific novel, the site is now an archive of the entire story, an open-ended series dubbed The Bridge Chronicles. At least one more book is in the mental pipeline, something I hope to begin working on by the end of September for release in February. But the face lift is only one part of the big news this week. Stay tuned later on in the week for the really big news that I've been hinting at on Twitter. Thanks for your continued support of my creative endeavors.

I want to give a shout out to the guys at Our Blogger Their free template Cool was the codebase for the current look. Keep up the good work!


Ch... Ch... ChAN-GES!

I'm currently updating the web site's design. For the next few hours, it'll probably look rather strange, but don't worry. It'll look right eventually!



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