Some thoughts on the end of the world.

In case, you missed it. Time Burrito is free once again until this Saturday. Now that I got that out of the way, I’d like to share with you some thoughts:

I realized that part of why I write science fiction is because I’m fascinated with technology, and not in the gadget sort of way. Sure, my Christmas tree this year can be lit by saying, “Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree” and my 3-yr-old son will often say, “Alexa, play Street Cleaner.” But tech doesn’t inspire me to write novels. One of the things that gets me writing is fundamental questions about the survival of our species and how technology for better or worse is a part of that equation.

Even though I love and write dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction, I don’t stay up at night wondering about when Skynet will awaken to take us all down. While there is a reason for concern, AI taking over the world seems like one of many possibilities. I can easily see a hyper intelligent AI deciding humans are pretty boring and building itself spaceship to go explore the stars, or a nurturing AI that thinks, “Silly humans, if you only knew what’s good for you,” and all the world’s problems being solved.

What if the first hyper intelligent AI after crunching through all of human knowledge decides to take up cross stitching? Seems just as likely as the AI bent on destroying the world. The point is that when it comes to AI and technology, while the fun-to-read narratives are the ones that focus on scary things like Missiles of DOOM!, I think there are far more threating stuff in the world, and I try to have my stories reflect that idea.

That’s why I wrote the Atmospheric Pressure series. The big dystopian threat to the world in those stories was climate change. In the first book, I introduced a place where people were forced to live inside what used to be downtown Minneapolis. I picked that location because I used to work in downtown in what was then the McGladery building (which changed names after I published the first book). Since Minnesotans know how to deal with cold weather and you could theoretically live in the 11 square miles of skyway connected city without ever going outside, it was perfect.

I remember weaving through the buildings on my lunch break, and thinking in terms of three buildings down, past the Starbucks and take the tunnel on the right. I literally could get anywhere through what felt like a maze to me the first time I was there. In fact, I gave my wife a tour of downtown, and she was lost. The funny part was that I was also lost when I went outside the buildings. While I probably could still walk to the Taco John’s from the IDS center today, I couldn’t tell you what street it was on, only what the corridors connecting to it look like.

This was a perfect setting for an idea I had about bacteria changing our atmosphere that was based on an historical event. Deep in Earth’s past, there was a climate catastrophe and a mass extinction. A new critter emerged called cyanobacteria, and they released a byproduct that was poisonous to things living on the planet at the time. That byproduct was oxygen, and hello world we have today.

Which of course if it happened once? Could it happen again? Which got my wheels turning about permafrost melting and releasing bacteria into the environment, and now there’s a recipe for a climate change apocalypse with the same threat level as Missiles of DOOM!

The reality of climate change is that it’s a slow process. The stability of the economy and the health of the world will erode as the hurricanes get worse, the heatwaves last for longer, the droughts are relentless, and the wildfires burn more and more. It won’t be something fun and cataclysmic like a narrative like Skynet. It will be more like heart disease, the system gets withered down until one day it finds itself in the hospital unaware that it was the triple cheese burgers all along!

Hopefully, the Atmospheric Pressure series can be one of the many canaries in the coal mine as people attempt to steer the largest boat in history in a new direction. I’d much rather be sitting in my floating green construction castle (or whatever writers are living in forty years from now), and have someone find a beat up copy of my book in their Dad’s basement and say, “Well, that didn’t happen” then “Holy crap, Aaron predicted the end of the world!”

So it is with great pleasure that I announce, the third and final Atmospheric Pressure book is in progress. You will have an ending. Promise! It’s never too early to reserve your Patreon special edition of Atmospheric Pressure 3.

Black Friday Sucks! Read a Book Instead.

It’s that special time of year where shoppers trample each other for a deal. Of course with COVID19, knife fighting for that last laptop in a Walmart parking lot should be at an all-time low this year. Either way, why risk being shanked for the latest iPhone when you can enjoy reading from your kindle at home? So let’s celebrate capitalism with completely free books! A dozen free books to be exact. My writing is perfect for folks looking for feel good action/adventure novels to avoid the grim realities of 2020. Here’s the list and scroll down for the descriptions.

The Boy King of Carradine
Tuners
Xmas Elf: Secret Agent
The Robin Hood of Couches
ORION
Othello and Zombies
Atmospheric Pressure
Kal’s Fall
Kal’s Truth
Hayden’s Mistake
Cowboys & Drones
Playlist of the Ancient Dead

Psst. share this post on social media! The deals are good till 12/1/20.

The Holy Church of Dave has mocked Zeb all his life for the silly notion that the almighty Dave was once a man. Determined to prove them wrong, he finds the DNA of the savior. The resurrection of his lord turns out to be Pete, and the apostles are the time-traveling pals Clara, Misako and Unk.

Now, Zeb and the outta time gang are caught in a holy war between the Davist and Davidite factions. If the papacy leaders, the Holiest of Holies Chappelle and Schwimmer, don’t see eye to eye about the true meaning of their messiah, they’ll destroy the entire world in the endless, bloody conflict.

Packed full of David references and Boreanaz-style action, don’t miss The Boy King of Carradine, the next novel in the Time Burrito series that’s sure to get you excommunicated in stitches. Get The Boy King of Carradine for free.

As one of Santa’s Elite Fixers, Jing spends most of his time waterboarding greedy toy manufacturers or responding to terrorists holding Rudolph for ransom. While not on the job, he relaxes in the North Pole, a paradise where he can forget all the killing and bloodshed and curl up to some Christmas music and hot cocoa.

Until a rogue group of elves betrays Santa and threatens what should have been a pleasant Christmas.

Every time a bell rings, an elf gets his Glock. Get Xmas Elf for free.

Orion is dead again. Whether death comes from a stab wound, a bullet to the brain, or just plain dumb luck, he always comes back. He is glad to have the second chances because there is a princess in each life who seems to be in trouble. Whether she’s a nurse in the Vietnam war or medieval English royalty, Orion is determined to win her over. Get ORION for free.

Kal has always been considered too “fragile” to participate in the village activities. Her lithe stature links her to her father and distances her from everyone else. He left the village to fight in the Teristaque Wars and never returned. She meets Sarge, a strange star species of the human race who seems to know the secret of the patch from her father’s uniform. Kal has always known she is different than her fellow villagers, and finally she may be closer to finding out why. Get the story for free here.

After the slaughter of her village, Kal is imprisoned for aiding the criminal who betrayed her to the Teristaques. A military insignia from her father’s uniform is all that remains of her family, and of the father who left before her birth. She meets Hayden, an attractive young human inmate who appears to have information about her father’s platoon. An insane prison doctor has made test subjects of the general population, and finds Kal’s physiology intriguing. She is forced to forge an alliance to strike out before she becomes another failed experiment. Get Kal’s Truth for free.

Hayden made planet fall as the newest member of his squad. Nigramoto was a world known for its beauty and danger. After screwing up an easy task in the city, Hayden landed his troop an assignment in the dangerous frontier. Desperate to gain the trust of his fellow soldiers back, Hayden finds himself assisting a racist police state. Hayden doesn’t know if he can remain silent about the conduct of his unit much longer and wouldn’t know who to trust. Get Hayden’s Mistake for free.

Tuners is free until 12/1/20

Being too close to the truth got Jon Xiong’s mother killed. While searching for answers, a murderous cult shows up at his door.

A secretive organization called the Tuners comes to his aide and teaches him about his rare ability to travel between worlds called tuning.

He grapples with his new superpower and is stuck between those who would maintain order in the multiverse and those who would destroy it. Jon must avoid the same gruesome fate as his mom and figure out what happened to his family. Read Tuners for free now.

Reese investigates corporate fraud and discovers some joker has been giving away free couches to the needy, because when a person can no longer afford the subscription service fees, all their furniture disappears. The bearer of sofas ends up in a ditch when blunt force trauma snuffs out the poor’s best chance of not living in an empty room their whole life. Reese rolls up his sleeves. Time to get to work. Read The Robin Hood of Couches for free now.

Shakespeare’s classic tale of hubris, paranoia, and betrayal is reimagined against the darkly comedic backdrop of the post-apocalypse. … And zombies.

I ate thy brains ere I killed thee… Read Othello and Zombies for free now.

Olson lives in a city that has been sealed from the outside world. He’s an Eleven Year and close to citizenship. His life is upended when one of the few adults who cares about him commits suicide – or so it appears at first. While investigating, Olson meets a girl named Natalie snooping around his school. He soon learns that one of her friends died under similarly mysterious circumstances. Together, they start looking for answers, and end up discovering the city’s darkest secrets. Read Atmospheric Pressure for free now.

Cowboys and Drones is a collection of short stories including:

The Entire Sperm Donor for a Cosmic Paradox Series:

Jed finds out some disturbing news after a DNA test. He is his own great great grandfather. However, Jed’s daily struggles involve video games and crippling self doubt. He’s not the time traveling pioneer type. He may as well try to get to the bottom of the mystery. It’s at least a reason to get off his couch.

Anna is the time traveling type and Jed’s ex-girlfriend. She finds herself in the Old West in a town terrorized by a man called the Gold Piece Bandit. Jed better get off his butt and help her. Although Anna has never been the type to let the men do all the shooting. Read Cowboys and Drones for free now.

Caroline, a post-graduate student, waits for her grand adventure in life. While she’s waiting, she walks the dog down the same path every day, avoids her dippy ex-boyfriend, and ponders her mundane march towards middle age. Her dream comes true when a magical doorway appears before her in a drab brick building. There is something on the other side of the door, and it beckons her inside. Read Playlist of the Ancient Dead for free now.

If you want to be on a mailing list for news of future freebies and releases. Sign up here.

If you want to support books like these, get exclusive editions or be mentioned in the back of the book, consider supporting me on Patreon.

The Boy King of Carradine

It’s finally here! If you have the monetary means to support my writing, consider purchasing it or reading it through Kindle Unlimited. If not, it will be free on Kindle during Black Friday. 

The Boy King of Carradine is truly the strangest, most off beat, and weirdest thing I’ve written. If you think Time Burrito went off the hook, Playlist of the Ancient Dead was unique, or The Robin Hood of Couches is wacky. This one far surpasses the weirdness meter even for me.

This story was so singular, that I almost wrote it as a standalone novel rather than a Time Burrito sequel. When I first had the idea, a person named Dave being cloned in the future and misconstrued as their messiah, I knew the comedy would write itself if the guy was a dimwitted, well-intended, but ultimately making things worse than better type of protagonist.

That’s when I realized that Pete fit that description as a character. Even better, by putting this story in the Time Burritoverse, Clara could be the voice of reason. The further I had gotten into it with the Time Burrito characters. The more I knew this was meant to be a Time Burrito novel.

Is it the last Time Burrito novel? Most certainly not! I already have some preliminary ideas for the fourth one, but I want to wrap up the Atmospheric Pressure trilogy first. I also plan to write a prequel to Tuners, so we can see Hector and the parents of our Tuners generation in action. There are a lot of writing projects, and I do this part time.

Thank you all again for your support of my work. If you want special editions of future works or just want to kick in some money to me directly, consider becoming a Patreon member

Here is the book description:

The Holy Church of Dave has mocked Zeb all his life for the silly notion that the almighty Dave was once a man. Determined to prove them wrong, he finds the DNA of the savior. The resurrection of his lord turns out to be Pete, and the apostles are the time-traveling pals Clara, Misako, and Unk.

Now, Zeb and the outta time gang are caught in a holy war between the Davist and Davidite factions. If the papacy leaders, the Holiest of Holies Chappelle and Schwimmer, don’t see eye to eye about the true meaning of their messiah, they’ll destroy the entire world in the endless, bloody conflict.

Packed full of David references and Boreanaz-style action, don’t miss The Boy King of Carradine, the next novel in the Time Burrito series that’s sure to get you excommunicated in stitches. Pick up your copy today over here.

Thank you again and watch for my Black Friday post. It’s seriously going to be like nothing I’ve ever done.

A Thank You and More

I couldn’t ask for a better group of readers. The Bison Agenda has gotten a lot of love from all of you, and your support is why I continue writing. If you want to continue to support it, leave a review here. Because you all are awesome, I’m going to give you the next book in the Time Burrito series, The Boy King of Carradine, for free as well. 

However, it’s still in the final editing stages, so you’ll have to wait until the I Hate Black Friday sale. That’s a sale I do every year when I give away a bunch of my books for free on kindle. If financial support is in the cards for you, consider pre-ordering The Boy King of Carradine. You’ll get it before Black Friday, and more importantly, you’ll be helping me grow the capacity to write more books!

I think you are going to love the The Boy King of Carradine. It’s my most researched book to date. I have packed more cultural references into this novel than in any comedy writing that I ever have done. I went down the rabbit hole of why Dave Navarro was booted from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to reading plot synopsizes of the TV show Arrow to name a few.

Sometimes, I would be doing all this research simply for the crafting of a one line joke! The third time Burrito novel is the equivalent of artisan craft beer of novel writing. It’s completely packed with notes that one could swish around in their brain and still might have to resort to wikipedia to find them all. (For the record, I do not and never will write wikipedia entries about myself. It will be one of the signs that I’ve made it as an author. I have a wikipedia page!).

It’s also a different sort of pop culture reference novel. A book like Ready Player One (which you should read if you haven’t. It’s quite good) relies on the audience being aware of most of the pop culture references at play. I decided to make my book more of a scavenger hunt. I’ve tried to put a reference to just about every Dave or David, out there. Believe me, I know there are plenty that I missed because I really couldn’t pack them all in without it reading like an encyclopedia of Daves.

It’s also a big risk for me, because I satirize religion. There are going to be folks out there that don’t like it because I’m examining faith. However, I do attempt to humanize the need for a belief in something bigger than oneself while scrutinizing the institutions of religion. A lot of comedy writers will attack the believer and the organization, whereas I hope to approach it as not ridiculing the need for faith, but rather the refusal to adapt ones beliefs when for example, the Earth is plainly older than six thousand years. One would assume that belief in something greater than oneself would also mean that whatever it is that is ‘greater’ is also beyond the institutions of humanity.

What I’m hoping for this book is that it’s something that promotes discussion. Whether it’s recounting things that made someone laugh, finding all those Dave references, or a deeper discussion about the need for faith and how people organize around it. 

In the meantime, I’m going to give a shout out to a couple of author friends who have helped support me, and now I want to support them.

The first is W Bradford Swift who is doing a project were kids can join a zoom meeting with their parents to read an eco-adventure book. The first book is free. More information about the meetings and the copy can be nabbed on his website here.

The second is Catherine Greenall, who has got a whole new cover and is doing a price drop of her book, A Quirk of Destiny. The price is dropped only for a limited time. It also has environmental themes. Here’s a quick description: When a terrible disease spreads throughout the world, a principled environmentalist must find out if it can be stopped. If he fails, humanity is doomed.

Thank you all. Don’t forget to leave a review of The Bison Agenda.

The Bison Agenda Is Out and it’s Free!

That’s right! The second Time Burrito novel is free to download! Grab yourself a copy here. But don’t wait. The promotion ends 10/26/20. 

Why am I giving it away for free? There’s a smattering of political humor baked into the book. It’s election season here in the States, and I wanted to add a little levity to an otherwise grim battle for America’s future.

So if you want to give your friends some topical giggles this election season, let them know about The Bison Agenda, and in case they haven’t read the first one, Time Burrito is free till the 26th too!

Trust me, you aren’t going to want to miss this one.

Remember to vote November 3rd!