Novels

ThreeLawsLethal

COMING FEBRUARY 5!

In a near-future New York City, where self-driving cars roam the city streets, rival entrepreneurs Brandon and Tyler compete to produce the smartest AIs, training them in a virtual game world to anticipate traffic and potential customers better than the competition. As the two rivals struggle to dominate the market, their personal enmity pushes them to attack each other’s reputations, hack each other’s cars, and develop ever more sophisticated algorithms to keep their customers safe. The result? Intelligent computers that excel at using all available data to determine which humans should live, and which should die.

Only Naomi, inventor of the virtual world in which the AIs train, recognizes that they are developing goals of their own, goals for which they are willing to kill. But will she stop them, or will she help her creations achieve their full potential?


Screenshot 2017-03-24 at 11.43.38 PM

WINNER OF THE CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL

Zombie books just aren’t creepy enough.

They’re exciting, don’t get me wrong. When some drooling dead guy is breaking down your door to sink his teeth into your flesh, it’ll get your blood pumping. But the thing is, he’s dead. He’s not a person anymore. You can shoot him in the head and not even feel guilty about it.

But what if the zombies weren’t mindless? What if they were smarter than you? What if you let them into your house because you didn’t know there was anything wrong, because they didn’t even know they were zombies, and when they stabbed you in the back and infected your family, they truly believed they were doing the right thing?

My zombies aren’t really zombies at all, not in the classic undead sense, although they’ve been infected with a fungus that sends microscopic tendrils to set up shop in their brains. The fungus doesn’t turn them into moaning, decaying corpses, though. It’s much more subtle than that.

At first, it even seems to be beneficial. The fungus streamlines certain pathways of the brain and makes the hosts smarter, with better memory and learning ability and communication skills. Researchers think it could cure Alzheimer’s and dementia. Kids start taking it as a drug to do better on their exams.  But the more beneficial the fungus appears, the more committed its hosts become to protecting it and spreading it to every human on Earth.

And why wouldn’t they? It’s a good thing, right? And if they have to kill anyone that gets in their way, that’s just what’s best for humanity. Or for the fungus. Whatever.

My zombie horde is spreading the plague on purpose, and they’re smarter than you are.

Read the book the Wall Street Journal said “brought hard sci-fi roaring back to life.”


SUPERPOSITION is a quantum physics murder mystery with the breathless speed and mind-bending plot twists of some of my favorite films, like Inception, The Prestige, and Minority Report.

It follows Jacob Kelley, a retired physicist visited by an old colleague who waves a gun around and babbles about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when Jacob discovers that the man had been murdered in an underground bunker the night before. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial. As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.  As the Wall Street Journal said, “This is the way sci-fi ought to be.”


The book is available in trade paperback, e-book, and audio book formats.  It stands on its own as a complete story, but there is a sequel!  SUPERSYMMETRY (September, 2015) picks up the story fifteen years later.

I’ll let RT Book Reviews tell you what it’s about:  “This sequel to Superposition is just as excellent as the first.  Fast-paced, mind-bending, super-scientific yet fully accessible and very understandable to the layman reader.  Full of new possibilities and probabilities, Supersymmetry gives readers a peek into what the future may hold and the cost that comes with it.  This is a science fiction novel full of humanity and all its inherent beauty and ugliness.”


QUINTESSENCE was published by Tor Books in 2013. It’s an alternate history/fantasy set in the Age of Exploration, full of arcane science, alchemy, human dissection, sea monsters, betrayal, torture, religious controversy, and magic. Scientists and explorers gamble with their lives to turn lead into gold and bring the dead back to life. In Europe, the magic is thin, but at the edge of the world, where the stars reach down close to the Earth, wonders abound. This drives the bravest among them to the alluring Western Ocean, where they just might find the secret to life and immortality.

An alchemist, Christopher Sinclair, who cares about only one thing: quintessence, a substance he believes will grant immortality and magical powers, has a ship.

Fleeing an inquisition for illegal dissection, Stephen Parris, the king’s physician, follows Sinclair to an island that perches on the edge of the world, bringing his daughter Catherine with him against his wife’s furious protests. The island is teeming with fantastical animals whose secrets they explore, using extracted powders and tinctures to make bread from sand, turn salt water into fresh, and–just possibly–find the secret of immortality.
If you want a sample, go ahead and read the first three chapters.


q2_frontcover_smallThe sequel to Quintessence, QUINTESSENCE SKY continues the story of Horizon, the island perched on the edge of the flat Earth.  A strange fire burns in the heavens, weakening the power of quintessence and sparking tensions between humans and manticores.  Catherine and Matthew push deeper into the island, trying to discover its secrets before their people turn to stone.  In Europe, a Jesuit priest unlocks the secrets of quintessence, but hesitates to hand the power to his king. He must work together with Matthew and Catherine across thousands of miles to rescue a young Princess Elizabeth from death and save the Horizon colony from destruction.


TERMINAL MIND, my first novel, won the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award for the best paperback science fiction novel of the year!  It was great fun to write, and I’ve been very pleased with the result.  It’s been a thrilling ride to see it make the rounds and be read by so many people.  If you haven’t given it a try yet, I hope you will.

It takes place in a world of technological miracles: buildings can be grown in hours, communication flashes through light beams, and flesh can be molded to any whim.  The story is about a boy whose mind has been sliced into the worldwide computer network–an organic network integrated into people’s very brains.  Aware of nothing outside of his virtual existence, he’s a slave to a man who wields tremendous power through him, able to see through the eyes of almost anyone he chooses and steal their secrets.  The result is a race between those who would use the child to dominate, and those who would see him destroyed… and the child’s mother, racing to find him, for whom both options are unthinkable.  Order now from Amazon, get it on your favorite e-book reader, or find the audio book version on Audible.

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