My latest novel, THE GENIUS PLAGUE, is due out from Pyr Books on October 3 (and is available for preorder!). The novel is about a pandemic that, if it doesn’t kill you, makes you more intelligent instead, granting enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. But the miracle has a sinister side. It’s the survival mechanism of a fungal organism, manipulating the infected into serving it.
Paul Johns, a mycologist, is convinced the fungal host is the next stage of human evolution, while his brother Neil, an analyst at the NSA, is committed to its destruction. Is the human race the master in this symbiotic relationship, or are we becoming the pawns of a subtly dominating and utterly alien intelligence?
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.
The 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.
The third book of the series, Quintessence Crown, is currently underway. I’ll be sure to let everyone know as soon as it’s available!
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. You can find out more about the book at the Terminal Mind web site.