Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My First Novel - Mechanical Demons

During the summer of 2003, as a lad of seventeen, I furiously worked on a science fiction novel which sprang forth from inspiration brought on mainly by late-night viewings of imported Japanese anime.  It was a tale of two cybernetic-humans created in a government lab, free from their keepers and on the run, eking out a living through robbery while leaving a trail of bloody destruction in their wake.  Possessing super-human strength and speed, near-invulnerability to gunfire, and an utter disregard for the sanctity of life, the duo came to be known only as Mechanical Demons.

Cyber Ninja from the Playstation game Metal Gear Solid was a definite influence though my cyborgs were less ninja-y and more mass murder-y.

What amazes me today is that I actually completed this work and it came out to a sizable chunk of writing (about 150-200 pages).  I can still remember sitting at the family computer (an ancient Dell desktop circa 2000) religiously each and every day to dutifully tap out another gory fight scene or a dramatic conclusion to a chapter.  Even when I caught a bad flu, I continued to write through the sickness, my fever-fueled hallucinations only adding to the ever-growing flow of creativity.

Set on a future earth locked in some sort of global conflict (I'm pulling this all from memory), where cybernetic implants were acceptable as both replacements for damaged body parts and enhancements for the rich, the novel attempted to ask and answer the question: What truly makes us human?

Heavy stuff.

Sadly I was not able to fit lightsabers into the novel

More of a patchwork of homages to scenes, characters, and set-pieces from my favorite works of media and literature than an actual work of original fiction, this first attempt was, well, pretty terrible, as I'm sure you can imagine.  Of course, at the time, I thought it was beyond amazing.  I thought that this would be my big break into the world of published fiction.

Unfortunately for you, nothing remains of this cybernetic epic (read: I don't want to look for and find the buried away floppy disk containing the novel) so I cannot post an excerpt.  Just imagine the worst piece of pretentious, over-wrought, childish sci-fi/fantasy fan-fiction that you can and that's pretty much it.  All I can think of right now is that one of the chapters involved smoking pot, gang violence, and of course, robots kicking ass.  Also a chapter on the absurdity of religion... 

Yeah.  It was that bad.  So here's hoping my next completed novel (coming to a electronic bookstore near you in the fall of 2042) will be a)complete and b)something that I won't push away to the darkest recesses of my desk drawers.


I completely forgot one of the key agencies that helped me on my journey.  Nothing short of the heart-pumping and head-thumping beatz of Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory and Meteora would work to propel me through an intense combat passage or chase scene.  I know for a fact that I listened to both of those albums on repeat at least twenty times each during the process.  They were my screaming, disc-scratching, guitar-riffing muses and I'll never forget (forgive?) them for it.