Wednesday, February 27, 2019
The Amazing, Unfolding world of Machine Civilization Series by Clayton Barnett - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway
The Amazing, Unfolding World of Machine Civilization Series
by Clayton Barnett
GENRE: Science Fiction
NOTE: Echoes of Family Lost and The Fourth Law are only $0.99
A history beginning in our near future, these stories are set in a world where the US dollar has been displaced as the world’s reserve currency, prompting its economic and political collapse, with a few areas able to hold onto civilization.
At the same time, across the Pacific, under a resurgent economy brought about by the implementation of new technology and deregulation, three Japanese companies produce breakthroughs in both artificial intelligence and robotics. These newly made people exhibit an odd interest in the goings-on of the former United States.
To-date, my chronicling of this interest of theirs has led to stories that populate five novels, which I would like to share with everyone now!
The Fourth Law- In the near future, 23-year-old apprentice nurse Lily Barrett lives in a shattered time. Following its economic collapse, the US has devolved into a group of a few barely functional smaller states and vast swathes of barbarian badlands. His sister has been missing for years, and her father, after earning the opprobrium of most of the world for running a state terror organization, presumed dead.
Two things keep her going: her live-in job at a small, Catholic orphanage in the city of Waxahachie, Republic of Texas, and Ai, her odd but dear friend, whom she met online; a young woman who only shows herself to Lily as a rendered CG image.
Troubled by her past, haunted by her name, and facing an uncertain future, Lily seems only a quiet, simple life. But, that past and her present conspire against her.
Echoes of Family Lost- Alive! After four years believing her older sister lost and presumed dead in the horrible Breakup of the United States, Lily Barrett gets word from her dear friend, Ai – and Ai’s family of Machine Civilization – that Callie Barrett is very likely alive… but over 900 miles away in Knoxville.
Using the resources of her and Ai’s family, Lily puts together a search party to go find Callie: old, broken, and burnt Orloff – an expert in surviving in the Badlands, Ai’s little sister, Fausta – her machine mind controlling a Combat Android to protect her friend, all together in a cart pulled by their sturdy pony, Clyde.
It’s almost a thousand miles to go, with something very odd trying to limit their ability to communicate over distance and even to cross bridges. A chance meeting along the way in Huntsville, former Alabama, wrecks their plans, and puts all of their lives in danger.
Cursed Hearts- Even with San Diego occupied by the Mexican Army, Katarina Sosabowski pursues her MBA at UCSD, and is happy to welcome and put up her visiting step-cousin from Japan, Christopher Dennou, for a night so he can complete his enrollment the following day.
But a minor earthquake brings a major surprise: Chris’s younger sister, Maya, murders their mother and escapes Neuroi Institute, the research facility that created them.
While Chris and ‘Cat’ grow closer to one another, Maya inexorably crosses an ocean and half a continent to take back her brother, killing anyone who gets in her way.
Friend and Ally- Model 5 is a prototype designed to fit seemlessly into human society. A meeting in Tokyo derails Nichole’s planned training as she is dispatched to Portland, former Oregon; the last working deep water port on the West Coast of the imploding US.
There, under her cover as a Graduate Engineering Student, she is to do her utmost to nurture the people and politics of the City-State into a Friend and Ally of the Japanese Empire. But from the first day in her new home, all of Nichole’s plans go awry.
Beset by those who want this small lamp of Western Civilization snuffed out, Nichole must find within herself the courage and ability to protect her new friends, at whatever consequence to herself.
Foes and Rivals- After residing nearly a year in Portland, Nichole’s life seems to finally settle down: with her classes, friends, and lover. But troubling rumors about secret deals between the City’s master and the savage horsemen to the east reach her ears.
With her own skills augmented by her friends and allies, she sets plans into motion she hopes will thwart those in opposition to her dream of a peaceful future.
Once again denied a quiet, normal life, Nichole is faced to make hard, dangerous choices that will jeopardize her, her friends, and the survival of the City itself.
Echoes of Family Lost:
Lily stared through her field glasses toward the bridge. On the roof of an abandoned eight-story warehouse on the east side of West Memphis, they wanted to try to confirm the rumor before they went any further. The air was cool – mid-fifties, she guessed – and the gray clouds didn’t affect her view.
“The span’s still there…” she said aloud. But, was something dangling from the middle?
“Fausta? That middle section…?” Lily asked without turning or lowering her glasses.
“Definitely damaged,” Fausta replied in her low, rich voice. “I’d speculate it was either a missile or kinetic energy weapon; a simple bomb would have blown out and up as well.”
Lily lowered her field glasses and turned to her friend. Jump boots, field gray pants, combat webbing over her similar colored jacket, that, over a black tee shirt, with her large sunglasses perched atop her head. Her long brown hair was kept under control in a tight braid. Fausta turned her android body to face Lily, and stared down at her with her “eyes.”
At least I don’t shudder anymore, Lily thought. Not at all pretty like Ai’s body had, these were not even eyeballs: a complex cluster of synthetic micro-crystals was stuffed into each socket. ‘Electromagnetic search array’ was what Fausta had called them. More powerful than Ai’s, they could see into ultraviolet and infrared. Even so, they’re creepy as hell.
Mixed Book Bag Guest Post –
Where are five places you might visit for inspiration for your books? or What are some of the Key settings in each of you book?
Besides the miracle of self-publishing, another of our information age is maps: overhead imagery, 3D tilt imagery, street-level imagery. As recently as ten years ago, I would have spent thousands of dollars travelingabout the US and parts of Japan to make sure I got my geography correct (I actually know a lawyer in Waxahachie, Texas; had I got it wrong he would sue me!). Now, with very few exceptions, you can peruse these images from the comfort of your chair in your home looking at your computer.
This is MBB’s place, but these are also my stories, so I’m going to take a bit of license with the question; let’s ask, ‘What are some of the key settings in each of your five books of Machine Civilization?’ instead. Please forgive me stepping on your toes!
“The Fourth Law” – most of the drama takes place in the small town of Waxahachie, Republic of Texas; about an hour and a half south of Dallas. Close enough that Lily once went to the outskirts of that burnt-out city with her then-boyfriend, pretending to be “zombie-cannibal hunters!” The port of Galveston makes an appearance, along with the Travaasa Resort in Austin. There’s a flashback to how she and her parents were marooned in Japan when the US economycollapsed and how they muddled through as best they could as strangers in a strange land. The strangest land of all, of course, is the home of Lily’s dearest friend, Ai, and Ai’s family. Things are… different there.
“Echoes of Family Lost” – The first half of the book is a road story from two perspectives that starts in Lily’s hometown. The other story, in parallel, begins in Knoxville (with a flashback to Bardstown, Kentucky and central Ohio, where Leslie Hartmann wifesup) and makes its way to Huntsville, former Alabama. Lily along with her friend Fausta and their guide, Orloff, make their way to Huntsville, too, where the rest of the plot unfolds.
“Cursed Hearts” – Chris and his step-cousin Cat try to create a settled routine in Mexican-occupied San Diego while going to university. But back in his home in Hokkaido, an earthquake lets his little sister, Maya, loose, who proceeds to cross the Pacific… Hakadote Port to Vancouver BC to San Diego… with a trail of death in her wake.
“Friend and Ally” – Made in Osaka with a boundless desire for friendship, Nichole 5 is unexpectedly summoned to an audience with Japan’s new Empress Togame in Tokyo. Nichole is dispatched thereafter to Portland, former Oregon. Under her cover as a grad student at Portland State, Model 5 finds herself in three border wars to the north, northwest, and east as she tries to bring stability to the region.
“Foes and Rivals” – after nearly a year with stability achieved, Nichole 5 is now hip-deep in politics; politics that find her seconded to the mounted horsemen far to the east who desire to be foederatiin the lush central Washington valleys. Model Five walks a tautwire of power-politics to preserve her lover and her friends, all while creating a shadow government in the city of Portland.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
One time engineer, some time pharmacy technician, full time husband and father, Clayton Barnett stumbled into writing a traditional novel November 2014 during National Novel Writing Month. Liking the results, he edited what would become “The Fourth Law” and set about teaching himself self-publishing. In the following four years he has produced four more novels as well as a children’s early reader, all in what is now called Machine Civilization.
Clayton Barnett lives in central Ohio with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs.
Clayton Barnett will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.