David Brzostowicki is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University and holds a B.A. in English Literature. West of 27 would be his first published work. He lives and works in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
As for me, I'm a great admirer of science fiction, because to divine the future through the written word, it takes an incredible amount of skill and craft to make it plausible. I was motivated to write the book after reading the book "Fatherland", which is about how the Nazis won world war two. I also am entranced of the idea about a detective who lives in a techno-fascist police state trying to solve crimes using future technology and embroils himself in deceit through mega-corporations and also how he confronts what it means to be human in a world where the merging of man and machine is at the forefront of society.
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Transhumanist acolytes of 2084 Miami are targeted by an unseen, unheard murderer who seems to defy the sanctify of life itself. Detective Francis Marius is determined to fight that tide.Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/qUYIW 1312 views
|Science Fiction & Fantasy Mystery/Psychological Thriller|
|7 publishers interested|
Miami, 2084. When a cyber serial killer begins to remotely target cybernetic and biomechantronic enhanced, half-synthetic prostitutes and lays the blame on Christian Kassel, the heir to the Kassel Microsystems throne, Detective Francis Marius of the Miami Metropolitan Police Force is rousted from his lifeless post in the Internal Investigations division and given near Carte Blanche from upon high by the Chief of the Southeastern Prefecture, Eduardo Nunez.
With the help of a team personally selected by Nunez, Francis tracks down this seamlessly omnipresent force that will stretch Francis’ body and spirit, already fractured from a tech-junkie psychosis three years prior, as he navigates an underworld of elite corporatism, trans-human synergism, paramilitary companies, and genetically and cybernetically enhanced criminals.
As Francis is bombarded from all sides by not only his own demons, but an insidious presence seeping through an 80s' inspired, self-sustainable Miami, a sentient, quantum computer humanoid named Sanibel Seven may just hold the key to open a Pandora’s box of murder, subterfuge, and what it means to be a human on the cusp of a new epoch for humanity..
Chapter 1: Detective Francis Marius in Internal Investigations is summoned by Miami Metro Police Force's chief, Eduardo Nunez, and given a personal assignment to investigate a synth-hooker's hacked mind's physical and mental disfigurement.
Chapter 2: Francis goes home; we see his home life with his wife Allison and the crux of the novel's philosophical implications are elucidated.
Chapter 3: We meet Xavier Garland, Francis' best friend who was a former ball player for the Miami Marlins in the early 2040s. They go to a tiki bar and meet with shady characters who will later figure into the mystery.
Chapter 4: Francis is woken by the prime suspect in the case, Christian Kassel, an old friend from his youth who reigns at the CFO of Kassel Micro-systems.
Chapter 5: Francis is made aware of Rebecca Iniesta's involvement in the case. They had a prior relationship and that is explored. We are also made aware of Francis' life in Internal Investigations.
Chapter 6: Irene Kassel, Christian's mother, is interviewed about the synth-hook's body that was dumped from an auto-cab on her property.
Chapter 7: Francis unwittingly is made known about the case against Christian Kassel and Irene Kassel. He also begins to work with Rebecca in solving the precarious situation they find themselves in.
Chapter 8: Francis recovers in the hospital after a viral intrusion into a fully sentient humanoid's core brain structure, Sanibel Seven, caused his cruiser and that of others to collide and engage in a vehicular massacre.
Chapter 9: Francis continues to recover in the hospital and mulls over his identity and the case at hand, which is widening.
Chapter 10/11: Francis feels his identity leaving him. He and his wife, Allison, have difficulties. Nunez begins to dump more information on Francis for him to sift through and provisions are made for a team to be assembled to combat an unseen, unheard threat who acts vicariously through others for the realignment and destruction of the institutions at play.
Chapter 12: Francis begins to uncover a wider conspiracy at play after talking to Orphic Assembly, a half-synth hacker.
Chapter 13: The book takes on a quicker pace as Francis feels himself becoming a slave to the bio-limb and cybernetic machinery. He attends a gala.
Chapter 14. Chaos ensues at the gala, and its effects reverberate throughout the rest of the novel as Francis finds that he is beginning to be singled out as a target by the synth-hacker, whose code designation is Janus.
Chapter 15: Francis rushes home to save Allison because she didn't sound herself over the comms link, which is ingrained within his bio-mechatronic limb.
Chapter 16: Francis stands off with Philip Trent and saves Allison.
Chapter 17: Francis rushes Allison off to a psychiatric facility and realizes he must conduct the investigation as a true maverick and feels his humanity come back to him. He is painted as a pariah and somebody not to be trusted.
Chapter 18: Francis falls victim to Janus' machinations and is lured into an underground psych facility with Allison below the seawater ruins of the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. He is still wanted for many crimes in which he was the victim.
Chapter 19: Francis, Abraham (A Federal Praetorian Guardian) and Allison navigate their way through the museums' seawater wreckage, searching for Dr. Karen Reilly.
Chapter 20: Karen is still MIA. Francis is airlifted to another crime scene, canvasses it, as his name cleared, while Allison stays with his best friend, Xavier Garland, west of 27, where surveillance is minimal. Francis finds definitive proof that Christian was the one who authorized Sanibel's transfer and that Irene wasn’t Christians mother. He reunites with his former partner in Systems Homicide, Homer, and works under the Aegis of Lieutenant Mandrake, his former superior with whom he has a history.
Chapter 21: Francis and Xavier speak about how the case must proceed in an orderly fashion, because up until this point, Francis has done nothing but bring ruin upon himself and those he's loved.
Chapter 22: Bypassing secure Kassel encryption software from Christian's military grade cybernetic, neural interface, Francis finds out why Janus was put into motion but is knocked out and captured by Josiah Crane and taken to the Kassel Microsystems headquarters West of Highway 27.
Plot Synopsis up to this point:
Josiah Crane, the leader of an insurrection movement against the government. He tries to convince Frank to join them. Francis refuses and escapes the Kassel Microsystems HQ, but wounds Irene Kassel, who was pregnant. She is taken to Mercy hospital but dies in an emergency C-section.
Through a bottleneck of information that had been gathered while Frank was kidnapped, it was determined that Irene, Christian, and those loyal to them were outnumbered eight to seven on Kassel Microsystems’ board of directors. After a refusal to comply with an order that the eight controlling board members be summoned to MMPF HQ, Mandrake put together a blueprint for a raid on Kassel’s Southeastern Corporate HQ.
Frank comes to a realization and acceptance that Christian Kassel was his dead brother. The biomarker assays on Christian during an autopsy lent enough credence to that fact that it was a foregone conclusion.
Due to the recent events that had clouded the city of Miami in Hades’ mist and transmuted the brackish water of the Miami River from algae-green to black bile, the mess hall for MMPF Aether Unit is empty. Frank and Homer have a heated conversation in the mess hall.
The team find a synthetic diamond at the Kassel HQ crime scene. Rostrum had outfitted another humanoid as an English teacher; How or why he ended up west of interstate 27, peddling imported, synthetic diamonds on behalf of the Yakuza monopoly, he couldn’t remember, for his CPU’s operating system was cleaned out before Rostrum sold him to Kassel.
Frank says he knows a diamond dealer, West of 27, who can authenticate the synthetic diamond found. Fingerprint analysis turns up evidence against Jasper that he sold the synthetic diamond. The truth of Jonny Jasper, Josiah Crane, Christian and Irene Kassel, and the synthetic diamond syndicate is the glue to the Janus case.
Josiah Crane would sell the synthetic diamonds to Kassel Microsystems, specifically, Christian and Irene. Then, with the money and intimidation, they bought out seats on Kassel’s board of directors. This was all done with Rostrum’s resources.
Xavier turns out to have been working with Josiah Crane in the insurrection movement against Transhuman Synergy. He agrees to feed the cops info on where Carl Webster and Josiah Crane are hiding out: a club called Club heat, West of 27, in exchange for immunity.
Frank, his wife Allison, and members of the Aether Unit along with federal Praetorians begin a raid on Club Heat. Cybercorp soldiers, a private military company on loan by Rostrum Robotics, engage in with Kassel Microsystems' PMC Red Dot Rangers. Frank is seriously wounded in the firefight.
Webster and Crane are fighting for control over a new Sanibel model with an even more powerful quantum computer. This creates a rift between Webster and Crane. Josiah Crane and Carl Webster hold guns to each other’s heads over a defenseless Sanibel.Allison shows up, destroys the new Sanibel Model, and berates Francis for his weakness under fire. Francis escapes through a back hatch in Club Heat and eventually subdues Josiah Crane.
Xavier Garland is granted immunity. Kassel and Rostrum have their assets liquidated. Francis is placed on indefinite suspension, but Francis visits Josiah Crane in a sanitarium and converses with him, realizing the true depths of Crane's insanity over his ersatz insurrection against the state. Allison seemingly disappears from his life as she re-enters the world of black operations.
Major Jonathan Alvarez calls Francis into his office and offers him a position in the Aether Unit permanently. Francis is left to ponder his decision.
The genres of science fiction and speculative fiction continue to grow year by year. Seemingly every month, we are presented with a new show, book, or movie which examine the roles and repercussions that emergent technology and scientific advancement have on our ever evolving world. Some have even argued that a singularity will be reached where man and machine will fuse and create a bifurcation of our species.
My book deals with weighty themes, and is wrapped up in a mystery that probes the question as to whether gene modification, super-intelligence, robotics, and advanced cybernetic weaponry are things that we truly want to see in a future where the planet is irrevocably changed.
There is also a growing dread within the book I examine; one concerning the militarization of police.
From Gulliver's Travelers to the Handmaid's Tale to Altered Carbon, the plethora of science fiction novels, and its' sub-genre cyberpunk, continues to amaze and wow audiences because they make us think and wonder about whether the world we inhabit will move toward Dystopia, Utopia, or a combination of both through the forceful application of post-modern culture and the exponential increases in computing power.
I'm able to garner support through my website DavidBrustobooks.com and my personal linkedin page along with youtube and will continually share my campaign. Also, through the connections I've made with friends and family, they have been continually sharing my campaign and I've already secured many pre-orders now and in the future through them.
Every week, I will give an update to my email contact list and update on my website my campaign. I will also scour local science fiction book clubs to see if they are interested in pre-ordering the book.
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, published by Del Ray books in 2003.
Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold.
Neuromancer by William Gibson, published by Ace; Reprint edition in 2000.
Case was the sharpest data-thief in the matrix—until he crossed the wrong people and they crippled his nervous system, banishing him from cyberspace. Now a mysterious new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run at an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, published by Del Ray in 2000 (not the first edition)
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he's a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about Infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous...you'll recognize it immediately.
Koko Takes a Holiday by Kieran Shea, published by Titan books in 2014.
Five hundred years from now, ex-corporate mercenary Koko Martstellar is swaggering through an early retirement as a brothel owner on The Sixty Islands, a manufactured tropical resort archipelago known for its sex and simulated violence. Surrounded by slang-drooling boywhores and synthetic komodo dragons, the most challenging part of Koko’s day is deciding on her next drink. That is, until her old comrade Portia Delacompte sends a squad of security personnel to murder her.
by Martha Wells, published by Tor.com in 2018.
It has a dark past―one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.
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To my left, seventh step up from the bottom, leaning on the bannister of the staircase with his right arm—the only good he has left—stood the Chief of Police, Eduardo Nunez. He was well over six feet and picked at carrion the way sharp beaked vultures swoop down and prey on the dead. Nunez’ eyes were sunken and gray. Distinguished among his fellow officers as an obstreperous national with an antipathy for immigrants—whether illegal or on a working visa, along with the current state of artificial intelligence and the growing movement called Transhumanist Synergy --he had ascended to the role as Chief of the Southeastern Prefecture, the apex of achievement in law enforcement, along with the other prefecture Chiefs across the country. The southeastern prefecture, corralling Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, have Miami as its representative city. Thus, I found myself under the light more often than I cared to be. Nunez was also a veteran of the mid-21st century trade wars with the East. I don’t know if a day goes by where he doesn’t remind somebody of it.
Here at the Downtown station of the Miami Metropolitan Police Department productivity is forever being maximized. Data is king. Algorithms determine operational tendencies. Machine learning breeds distrust among those with Luddite sympathies and everything is always monitored. When a holographic display is rendered, or a computer is used, it enters a vortex of usage data. If it’s found that more cases are closed when investigators skirt standard procedure, rules are changed until the budget melds from rouge to noir.
Today the sky is so clear it seems painted against a canvas stretched over the Earth. Remodeled after the Trade Wars, it boasts two aero-copter landing pads, eleven floors of reinforced bio-metals and bullet-proof smart glass of Cathedral proportions. At one time it stood in the thickets of this concrete paradise that is Downtown, just a few blocks east of Interstate 95. A more modern, technically superior eleven story building was constructed at the site of the old Intercontinental Hotel that became a relic of an ancient time once sea levels rose enough to warrant its closure.
Those in power have often framed their decisions in relation to the benefits they provide for the population. Today they hide behind algorithms, state pomposity, surveillance, moneyed interest groups, splinter cells to fracture growing opposition groups, and a paramilitary police force. Miami Metro’s Downtown Station is a monolith; a testament to the wonders of engineering; a virtual billboard for the city’s tenacity in subduing cybercrime, corporate theft, home and auto theft, rape, murder, the spread of gene and mind alternators, and the immigration of illegal aliens from the East and the South. Europe considers the Dominion of the States dead; a broken empire as described by Percy Bysshe Shelley in his grave poem, ‘Ozymandias’. They fail to recognize their own descent into devolved chaos over the course of the 21st century.
I hit the gas and said to Rebecca, “I’m holding off on sending it to Nunez before you see it and we talk with Christian.”
She scoffed. “I don’t like this, Frank. This is your chance to get back in the good graces of the department. Maybe even get your job back. Don’t cross him. Christian Kassel shouldn’t even be consulted. Bring him in and book him.”
“You don’t know Christian Kassel like I do, Rebecca. His behavior may come off as blithe and spoiled, but I cannot comprehend why he would appropriate his company’s sentient humanoids for sickening purposes.
“Somebody is setting him up?”
I nodded to nobody, opening up an old wound, past images of specters coursing through my head, shuffling in and out my hospital room, carrying trays of antiquated medical instruments as if I were scheduled for a lobotomy.
“I’m going to forward you Christian’s address. He has a condo here in Brickell not far from Downtown HQ. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“But the body was dumped at Christian’s estate.”
“It’s not his estate; it’s his family’s. Trust me on this one, Rebecca. Don’t worry, I already feel like my old self.”
She began to speak but paused and made what I hoped was an impertinent joke. “Which self?”
I disregarded the comment; whether it was a joke or not didn’t matter. I was clear headed, a little spiked on neuro capsules, and convinced my vocation in life was a cardinal civic service that helped to unite every race, class, and gender, including the homeless man just a few blocks back with a thick steel ring through his nostrils and patches of necrotic tissue eating the surface of skin. Justice was supposed to be blind to the people’s prejudices.
“We’re going to clear Christian on this today and move on to actual suspects,” I said confidentially.
The sky was clearing, and bands of lights shot down through slits in black clouds. Then, in what I can only say was a comical twist of fate, I ran over someone just as their falling body clanked on the asphalt and split in half on Brickell Avenue and cars violently spun around each other in a tire screeching vortex like brackish, soot infused rainwater draining down a graffitied cistern.
I couldn’t tell if what I just witnessed was real. In a subtle twist of destiny orchestrated by the devil himself, my head felt wrapped tight in the coils of a great snake, an anaconda perhaps, draining what resolve I’ve built since my two years out of a psych ward in Key Biscayne.
I spun my wheel to the left and let my car’s A.I. help to avoid a head on collision with the splintered bits of synthetic legs and arms with sutures of skin unwinding, splayed across the blacktop, scarred limbs and corrugated metal twitching and spazzing less than twenty meters in front of me while other cars revved away in all directions, spewed their engine’s vitriol from pent up electrical energy, and sped between a mini-mall of bumper to bumper collisions.
A curtain of rain parted in front of the remaining chassis and head of the fallen humanoid, which, to my relief, was intact and curiously unharmed. The Red Ford Mustang to my left had totally spun out of control. The black smoke that billowed from the muscle car’s chrome exhaust pipes was overtaken by the neon rain, giving the smoke a sheen of pinks, purples and blues.
The Purple Mustang seemed to regain itself and slowed down to avoid a three-car collision some fifty meters south on Brickell. Then it burst into flames; an explosion. As if what had already transpired wasn’t enough, something was let loose that manipulated the Mustang’s A.I. to take over all executive functions, allowing the A.I. to spin the car violently into oncoming traffic and cause an explosion of a magnitude I had never thought I would ever witness up close and personal. Those victims’ faces will never be seen again; A vague shape resembling a head, possibly, but not their faces, for it had been replaced by a greasy, oily, black and crimson patchwork Picasso might have used for inspiration. Where once there were eyes to witness, two concave depressions would replace them.
Shards of thick fiberglass speared my windshield into a cobweb of cracks, and then what felt like a thousand pieces that had the consistency of sand nicked painful gashes along the left side of my face. I tried to do what so many other cops told me they do when mortality seems the only goddamn thing left in life to ponder: Breathe, clear your head, and react just at the right moment, never too soon, never too late. Bullshit is sold in all shapes and sizes. My heart matched the inverse frequency at which everything was happening. There Not the tattered mess of a half-synth buzzing idly in the front of me or my wife’s depression or my base job or my shitstorm of a country or my weariness over police militarization and the erection of a techno-fascist wonderland between two majestic oceans, teeming with life that had no fucking idea that which they call home is seen by humanity as toy. I just wanted to survive.
Then I realized something that made me feel ill-equipped to survive in high intensity situations: My car’s A.I. was malfunctioning.
Soon the car would overheat from lack of cooling systems, the first step in an electrical fire.
I feel the warmth of the cabin suffocate my brain and the oncoming rush of fire all too awe-inspiring to resist.
I closed my eyes, then an arm grabs me.
“Okay, okay,” I said, my words slurred and choked with gurgled blood, sparks of electric pain dancing around my body like Hell’s minions cavorting over a corpse, standing up and swaying and falling against Homer’s chest as he grabbed me by the collar of my jacket with both hands, threw me onto soaked, tire marked asphalt, and his rain soaked bulk swooped me up. The piss colored, uncut fingernails dug into a burnt piece of my pants that exposed some equally burnt skin.
Through the luminescence, sheathing the slant of showers around us, the seal of the Miami Police Department on my cruiser burst into flames. The cruiser disintegrated into a fireball of corrugated metal as it sliced through baptismal rain and shrouded the noon sun’s newborn light that burned a hole through the sky like a car’s cigarette lighter.
I felt my jittering eyes descend into half-moons and thought of all the losers at birth who eventually lived up to their birthright by doing nothing productive with their life except see their grip on rationality loosen through virtual reality, synthetic pills, or aerosol solutions of neuro-boosters that our military can’t get theirs hand off. It was either those three, or pleasure model humanoids and synth-hooks. All five coexist in a terminal wasteland beneath multi-storied highways and overpasses lit with a two-century old sodium light because bright LEDs are a wasted investment out in the slum sectors out west.
Josiah cocked his head to the side and bored into me with dead white eyes. It was apparent to me he was jacked to the nines on soul diffusion. When he ground his teeth, the noise scraped the inside of my ears like sandpaper being rubbed together. "I ain't no friend of yours, Frank. You show up at my place of residence, toss my clothes as if they’re seashells littered over your spot in the sand, and scare the living shit out of the cute little brown housekeeper with a tight mouth that wraps around my head with the force of an industrial vacuum cleaner.”
I worked my jaw as if a fight were on the horizon, but my balled fists stayed put at my sides.
Excuse me if I don't politely ask you to get the fuck off my porch,” he said. “You ain't nothing but a police state shill, blowing a hole through the hinges of my door with that jammed anti-personal rifle. Better luck next time. I took in his snide remarks. Bit my lip. Took such deep breaths you could arm the exhaled C02 in a rocket and tear a swath of the ozone layer wide open.
After his diatribe I must had drifted off because Josiah snapped his pudgy fingers in my face. "Frankie, get your psychopathic ass the FUCK off my property and check your pretty little self back into the sanitarium where all your braindead kind suffer in silence." Then he pressed his finger against the center of my chest. Time stopped, and my bionic fist thrusted up under his chin. His head snapped back, his jaw broken, my subconscious thoughts making me feel like a puppet of my own mental failings.
Josiah stumbled back in pain, his right hand pressed against a large lump protruding from the side of his face like a sentient, burrowed tumor draining his life with every painful moment, his dark, iron rich blood sluicing between chipped teeth and he fell backward into a viscous stream of polluted mud and water with the bemused, horrified expression associated with lost men on the outer reaches of sanity and society. I could hear slushing sounds percolating through the surface absently, as though he were not there.
I knew Josiah Crane’s expression would haunt me for the rest of my life.
Hey everyone! So, my campaign is soon coming to a close, and I've hit 45 pre-orders! Five more to go before I hit 50 ...
Hey everyone! Only five more pre-orders to go before I hit fifty, whereupon it will get pitched to hybrid/independent publishers! Again, I thank everyone so ...