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S.A.M.: First Peek

1 Sep

So I finished the first draft tonight. In the last post, I said it might be the beginning of a series. Well, it’s definitely the beginning of a series, just as long as I manage to get people interested. Whereas William Gibson was predominantly influenced by Raymond Chandler, I’d list one of my major influences as Mickey Spillane. (In fact, one of the titles I threw around was Electrify Me Deadly.)

It’ll most likely be available this weekend. It costs a dollar and ends on a cliffhanger. I just want to get it polished up before publishing it. A lot of other projects going on right now.

S.A.M.

by Jesse Sonoma 

The street name was S.A.M. It stood for Super, Awesome, and Motivated, the three effects described by users. Don’t ask me what the official name was. All I remember is it started with hydro and ended with cide. In between it had more syllables than any human should be asked to speak. There’d been guys who knew the proper word for it, real experts on the stuff, who’d taken a shot at the case, but they couldn’t dig anything up. Neither could the cops. Which is probably why I got stuck with the case.

“What is this?” I asked, raising the sealed baggie my client had tossed into my lap.

“What do you think?” Cynthia said. “It’s Sam.”

“I wasn’t aware it came in pill form.”

“It’s only disguised to look like aspirin. That’s how they’re smuggling it these days: in aspirin bottles.”

“No shit? Who the hell takes aspirin anymore?”

“Just religious nuts.” Cynthia leaned against the guest side of her executive desk and folded her arms. “Pretty good cover, huh? Problem is, anyone who gets it confused with a real aspirin are gonna have a hole eaten through their stomach in ten hours flat. I hear it’s pretty excruciating.”

“It’s happened before?”

“More than once. You have to melt it down, reconstitute it with a catalyst and cut it generously. Only then can you shoot it. My people tell me what you’re looking at is roughly ninety hits.”

There were two pills in the baggie.

“Wow,” I said. “How much money would that be?”

“Ten thousand bits.”

That was often more than I made in six months.

“Ten thousand for two pills?” I asked.

She nodded. “Problem is, you gotta have the catalyst.”

“Which is?”

“Hell if I know. Though I would like to find out. And don’t go trying to sell that stuff, either. Not if you want my continued business.”

I pocketed the baggie and put an electronic pipe in my mouth. “You mind?”

“Not at all. Don’t smoke it myself, but I like the smell and the contact high.”

I drew on the tiny pipe and pulled the marijuana smoke into my lungs. I blew it in her direction so she could savor the cloud. She closed her eyes and breathed the secondary smoke into her nostrils. It was always funny watching what these CEO types did behind closed doors, when there was no reason for maintaining a contrived image. Two hundred years after its legalization and pot was still considered a bit of a taboo. That was America for ya: love it or leave the planet.

“So what’s your interest in this?” I asked, keeping the smoke flowing in her direction.

“The chemist producing this stuff is a genius. What she’s able to pack into a single tablet isn’t something anybody else in the field thought was possible. I want her working right here at Fortuna Biomedics before the cops catch her and lock her up. Sound good?”

“Sounds good. But what makes you think our guy’s a woman?”

“That’s the word on the street. Besides, she’s too smart to be a man.”

“Then why don’t you hire a woman to track her down?”

“Because there aren’t any women dumb enough to do your job. You get me that chemist and there’s twenty thousand bits in it for you.”

I looked over the top of my shades. “Seriously?”

“Let me ask you something, Mason. You mind if I call you Mason?”

“For twenty thousand bits you can call me Mary Lou.”

“You’ve been a corporate spy for… how long?”

“Eight years, but we prefer the term ‘non-private investigator.'”

“That’s cute. Then you should know companies like Fortuna tend to have their own employees who do what you specialize in.”

“I just figured your own employees weren’t cutting it.”

“You could say that. You could also say they’re dead.”

I batted my eyes. “Are they?”

She nodded. “Frankly, I’m sick of losing spies on this. So I guess I should rephrase my offer: twenty thousand if you find the chemist and you’re still alive afterwards. You need to sleep on it?”

“I wish I could, but I need the money.”

“Good. Let’s seal the deal.”

Cynthia hopped up onto the desk and uncrossed her legs. I could see that her nylons ended just above the hem of her business-professional skirt.

###

<Yup, that’s the end of the preview.>

Just a friendly update

30 Aug

My next story is taking longer than I expected because it’s getting longer than I expected. I don’t normally talk about stories before I finish them, but I’ll make an exception in the interest of keeping this blog updated.

The name of the story is S.A.M. It’s cyberpunk erotica. It’ll cost 99 cents, but you’ll get a healthy preview before buying. Perhaps it’s a smidgen less female-friendly than Strangers on a Space Elevator, but if you’re a woman who enjoys watching porn (or at the very least doesn’t mind seeing it), you definitely won’t be turned off by anything in this story. Which isn’t to say it’s downright pornography… just my usual smut combined with what I hope is a quality yarn holding it together.

S.A.M. is set in a future, not that near, in which casual sex is a lot more common. People still have official lovers, but it’s okay for them to branch out. The main character is a corporate spy. He’s been hired to track down the maker of a street drug. Along the way, he gets himself into some dangerous situations. The aim is to pay tribute to the classic cyberpunk stories while also making it my own. It’s action-packed and pretty damned violent.

I also think it’s the beginning of a series.

Strangers On A Space Elevator: Available Now!

18 Aug

Click here to check out the product information over at Smashwords. The ebook is 99 cents FREE! and something like 8-12 pages long depending on the e-reader device (I guess).

My next story will be posted soon. It will most likely be 99 cents, so if you liked this one, be sure to check out the next!

Formatting With Smashwords

17 Aug

I’m about halfway through the hefty formatting guide provided by Smashwords (88 pages!), but when I’m done with it I’ll format (and eventually upload) my first story. Until then, I’m sorry about how boring this blog is at the moment.

A note to people who actually found this blog: I didn’t really intend for you to find it so soon. Right now I’m just getting used to blogging with WordPress. In other words, expect some dumb posts for the next few days.