Cliffhanger

Aethon Blue is a 34,000-word novella. The year:  2084.  One corporation, by mergers and acquisitions and war, has acquired the world. Aethon Blue Incorporated controls all services, manufacturing, government, and religion. Using electrode and brainwave technology, most people work, socialize, and recreate in virtual reality. Feeding tubes provide sustenance. Citizen-consumers of this vast empire rarely leave the house.

The narrator-antihero is Nate Daniels, headset service technician. He stumbles upon a group of renegade artists who have a plan to shock people awake with a daring virtual reality fantasy. The story pits this monkey wrench crew against ABI’s shrewd CEO and his sexy, lethal agent, sent to infiltrate them.

This project has been 16 years in the making. It started out in 1995 as a short story, now lost. Two chapters of a previous version appeared in Venus Envy, a Taos literary journal, early last decade. I composed the complete novella in a long series of sleepless nights in the winter of 2008 while deployed to South Korea with the Army. I woke up at 2 a.m. without an alarm clock. Poured two coffee sticks into a cup, lit a cigarette, and fired up the laptop. They were the happiest days of my life. Bleary-eyed and dazed, but happy.

I have divided the novella into scenes, as if it were a movie script, although it is otherwise in prose literature format. I will post one scene a day. Some scenes are barely a page, some are several pages long. I plan to post only the first part of the novella. I will post scenes up to a cliffhanger moment I have not yet determined. Sorry, folks! The good news is that you will hopefully be able to read the whole book in print one day.

I hope to publish this novella. Publishers, agents, and magazine editors are welcome to contact me. And if you know anyone who fits into one of those categories, I encourage you to alert them to my blog.

I have registered Aethon Blue with the United States copyright office. Any copying of large parts of the work, in any form, is prohibited and will be prosecuted. However, I encourage you to quote small parts. Please contact me if you want to share or make use of larger parts.

Lastly, a bit about me. I am a graduate student in geography at the University of New Mexico. I live with my wife and daughter in Albuquerque. I am a former journalist. I was a full-time newspaper reporter for five years. I published articles for the Associated Press, in The New York Times, and in The Nation magazine.

 

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