About Dead Reckoning and Other Stories:
In Dead Reckoning, Hector discovers that life after death ain’t easy when your shorts itch and your ass belongs to a whip-wielding giant. And pity poor Murphy, struggling to keep the peace between his team of geeky scientists and a gung-ho lieutenant, as they investigate a mysterious alien ship—all while dealing with his own personal case of Murphy’s Law.
First Contact is always complicated, especially when you have to call in cranky old relic, Casteneda, to bail you out. Fresh off the battlefield, Matt Holbrook is also grappling with a perplexing new species, but all he wants is to make it home.
Earl Duarte is in for some interesting pet therapy in How much is that doggy? And as for Elvis, he definitely needs some therapy. In One for the Money he’s re-entered the building, but is kinda confused. Meanwhile, lovesick Dan wonders if Mel will ever notice him in the technology-obsessed world of Version Control.
Dead Reckoning and Other Stories: science fiction with character.
Excerpt from "Dead Reckoning":
Hector Tren-Hump smiled as he lay on the dais waiting to die. The projected MemChron of his life flashed around him as his memories were downloaded, cataloged and indexed one-by-one into the glowing LifeCube hovering just above his forehead. Now and then he heard the gasps and collective ooh’s of his assembled family as the Cataloging threw up a LifeScene they recognized.
He laughed as an image of Miley-Ellyn filled every screen, her chubby face looming close as he held his first born, moments after she’d entered the world. The delicious scent of her fresh baby skin replaced a few seconds later by the stench of cheap cigars. Monty, his first business partner appeared, skinny features whitened and drawn.
“You can’t Hector, it’s not right. You can’t fire people just because they strike…”
“Of course we can,” Hector sneered. “Effective human capital management will optimize our profits to over three hundred million. How can that be wrong?”
Monty’s eyes were wide. “But it’ll cost over fifty thousand jobs.”
“Sure, sure. And ten thousand Thingamese that would otherwise starve get work. Sentiment has no part in business. You know that, Monty.”
“But the Unions? They won’t stand by and let this happen.”
Hector let out a disparaging grunt. “Those guys are like anyone else. All you need is the right leverage.”
“You can’t buy everyone, Hector.”
“And the virtual services? We said they were free and now we’re selling the clients down the drain to every marketing company going.” Monty scowled.
“Those idiots? Listen, if you’re not the one paying, you’re the one getting sold. Even a half-wit knows that.”
Another montage of LifeScenes appeared as the memory of Monty blurred with many similar ones, the Cataloger automatically indexing the events according to the priority Hector’s neural pathways gave them.
Hector lingered on the deal with Monty. Damn he was proud of that. They’d made a commission of fifteen million each that year alone. Monty had handed his share over to some ridiculous charity, but for Hector it was a stepping stone to more extensive projects with ever bigger percentages. That was what had put him in the position he was in now.
As the brochures said, MemChron was just the beginning.
After all, anyone with the smarts to put together a couple of hundred K could afford MemChron. Then, when the big day came, they could parade their LifeScenes in front of family and friends, recording them so that their nearest and dearest had a complete record of their life experiences.
So what? Like life insurance, it didn’t help you.
But, if you wanted something really special…
“As one of our Select Mortizens you will enjoy unparalleled freedom to indulge yourself in Elyzium. LifePlus has over thirty years’ experience in assisting our clients to live their deaths to the fullest. We honor the people we serve with quality as our cornerstone and integrity, respect and compassion as our building blocks. It’s like Life, only more so.”
What did they say? If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. But, if you could, there was Ascendance.
About David M. Kelly:
David’s interest in science and technology began early. At the age of six his parents allowed him to stay up late into the night to watch the television broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the surface of the moon. From that day he was hooked on everything related to science and space.
David writes about science, technology and politics on his blog. His short story “Inser” was published in Canadian science fiction magazine Neo-opsis. He is currently working on his novel, codenamed MOE.
David has worked for many years in project management and software development. Previous interests have included IPSC combat (target) pistol shooting, crew chief on a drag racing team, and several years as bass player/vocalist in a heavy rock band. He also managed to fit in some real work in manual jobs from digging ditches and work on production lines to loading trucks in a haulage company.
Originally from the wild and woolly region of Yorkshire, England, he emigrated to Canada in 2005 and lives in Northern Ontario with his patient and supportive wife, Hilary. When not writing, David can be found driving his classic Corvette ZR-1 or exploring the hiking trails around Lake Superior.