Archive Page 2

07
Jan
17

Safety Nation Chapter 11

There are only three more days until Safety Nation is published! Until then, enjoy one more chapter!

In case you have missed the chapters so far, here are links to them:

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5

Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10

Announcement/Blurb

Cover Art

As always, the chapter below, and entire novel, are copyrighted.

— — —

Safety Nation by Logan Riley

11

I sipped my coffee, wishing it was hotter.

All of Healthcare Detail had swarmed onto Hospital Twelve. The facility was one of the major downtown healthcare centers. It was a gigantic building that served hundreds of patients a day.

Atwood walked at a brisk pace. The other agents hurried to keep up with her. I walked at my regular pace. I couldn’t run because I would spill my coffee.

I was so tired from last night’s investigation that I bought a cup of coffee from a Central Office vending machine. It tasted a month old and was lukewarm. Even so, I drank the sludge, eager for the caffeine to hit my brain.

At Healthcare Detail, Atwood pointed to the electronic map which displayed blueprints of Hospital Twelve. The map blinked and was replaced with the names and faces of three physicians. Atwood told us they were violating safety regulations and had to be arrested immediately. She assigned us each to a group of four. My team consisted of Zamyatan, Lowry, and Atwood herself.

Before the briefing adjourned, Atwood said, “This is a huge case, everyone. Career defining. Don’t screw this up for me.”

The other agents nodded in the affirmative. The bevy of people broke up and departed for the parking garage. My team piled into Zamyatan’s car. Zamyatan took the driver’s seat, Atwood the front passenger’s seat, and Lowry and I were consigned to the back.

“Nice to see you again,” I said to Lowry.

“Thanks,” she said, looking slightly ill.

The Auto-Driver engaged and the vehicle took off. Atwood craned around and looked at me, stone-faced. “Don’t get any ideas, Inspector Smith. I only put you with us so I could keep an eye on you. I don’t want you ruining this.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.”

Continue reading ‘Safety Nation Chapter 11’

01
Jan
17

Awesomest/Shittiest Things of 2016

It’s that time once again, people. Time to look back at the awesomest and shittiest things of 2016. As always, it remains a struggle to find things for the awesome category, and to keep the shitty category to a minimum. Check it out:

Awesome

  1. Safety Nation My book! OK, well, technically, it’s not being released until January 2017 (later this month), but it was completed in 2016, as was the cover art, and the big ramp up for promotion was done then, too. Besides, I needed something else good to keep this list from being too unbalanced.
  2. Chicago Cubs Win the World Series – I’m not a huge baseball fan, and I’m not a Cubs fan at all. But I’m happy that the long-suffering fans of the team could finally have a moment of glory. Going over 100 years without winning a title is a very long time, longer than any of the fans have been alive. So, this win, for them, was legendary. Even a curmudgeon like me can appreciate that.
  3. Deadpool, Stranger Things, and Arrival Hollywood can be a strange place. It will regurgitate shitty reboots and remakes, and at the same time produce incredible original content. The three examples I listed above were the standouts for me this year. Deadpool was crass and hilarious, and took many shots at Hollywood’s coveted superhero franchises. Stranger Things was an X-Files/Goonies mash-up on Netflix that kept me glued to the edge of my seat. Arrival was a cerebral alien/linguistics movie that has no right being made by mainstream Hollywood, yet it was, and it was incredible. Despite the constant dumps Hollywood takes on us all year long, it is still capable of producing great content.

Shitty

  1. Donald Trump – I don’t even know where to begin with this one. The U.S. elected a demagogue; a fascist, racist, misogynist moron with no political experience to the highest office in the land. What’s worse, he’s already flip-flopped on all of his campaign promises, and stacked his cabinet with people who are poised to make the entire country come crashing down. Why else would he appoint a climate change denier the head of the EPA, or someone who wants to abolish the Department of Education as the head of said department? He’s got baby-sized hands and a Twitter addiction, so he seems like presidential material, right?
  2. Brexit – I’m not up on all my European politics, but even I know this was a total disaster. The British equivalents of the U.S. citizens who voted for Trump supported this measure. By leaving the EU, Britain can single-handedly tank the entire European economy. What is it with old fucks trying to take everyone down with them, with one final regressive vote before they all die and leave us in the shitter?
  3. Harambe – They executed a gorilla for being a gorilla.
  4. Zika Virus – Oh, great, a super virus spread by the common mosquito that attacks fetuses. And said fetuses are born with tiny heads so that they can’t develop normal brains. And, to make matters worse, no politicians can seem to be bothered to spend any money trying to protect us from it. Why should they? The tax money needs to go to something more useful, like redistricting, voter suppression, defunding Planned Parenthood, and other admirable endeavors.
  5. Fake News – Fake news was everywhere this year. It’s always been a thing, I mean, haven’t you ever heard of Fox News? But this year it went out of control. Virtually every article posted to Facebook by your dumbass relatives was fake or largely fake. Sometimes, they would take something true and spin it so hard it no longer resembled the original story. All this did was further cement a Republican victory in the U.S. After all, poorly educated people love to vote against their own interests, and who better to target with fake news than those who have the critical thinking skills of ten year-olds?
  6. More Terrorism – It seems like there are more and more mass shootings, stabbings, and suicide bombings. Every time you turn on the damn news, there it is. It doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to end. But, hey, Donald Trump has a fool-proof plan to defeat ISIS. He hasn’t told anyone yet. But he’s going to be the President now, so come on Drumpf, what’s the plan? Oh, that’s right, you never had one, did you, you fucking windbag?
  7. Celebrity Apocalypse – A lot of our favorite celebrities died this year. Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Garry Shandling, Merle Haggard, Doris Roberts, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Gene Wilder, Alan Thicke, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and a hell of a lot more. I couldn’t even list them all. It’s hard to believe that any celebrities would make it out of 2016 alive. Then again, if 2016 wanted to take out Drumpf as a final farewell, I wouldn’t be sad.

Well, another year has come and gone. 2017 is just getting started. I’m sure there will be many more awesome and shitty things happening during the Earth’s long trek around the sun. Let’s hope, no matter what happens, we can ridicule them with reckless abandon.

 

28
Dec
16

Safety Nation Chapter 10

If you’d been thinking the plot of Safety Nation was a little scattered, I wouldn’t blame you for it. The entire first arc serves to set up the world and the main characters. It isn’t really until this point, Chapter 10, where things start to move forward at a brisker pace, and with the pieces starting to move together. This chapter is the jumping off point for the rest of the main storyline. And, I’ve only got a couple more chapters remaining to share with you, so I hope I’ll leave you wanting more, and you’ll buy a copy of the book.

In case you have missed the chapters so far, here are links to them:

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4

Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Announcement/Blurb

Cover Art

As always, the chapter below, and entire novel, are copyrighted.

— — —

Safety Nation by Logan Riley

10

I lumbered out to the parking lot. Lowry was nowhere in sight. I stood beside my car with one arm slung across the roof, and watched stragglers trickle out of the Central Office. Most had already left for the day, on time, as there was no reward for extra work.

On the far side of the lot, a larger group of agents were filing into the building. The night crew. Their faces were far less enthusiastic than the ones who were going home.

After a good thirty minutes of waiting, I decided I wasn’t going to see Lowry. She must have slipped out before Zamyatan and I had finished our work. Now the only thing I had to look forward to was a night with my demon-dog and troll-wife.

I got in my car and punched in the coordinates for the diner I frequented. I ate alone, slowly chewing a bland piece of meat.

Once I finished choking down dinner, I trudged back to my car. I sat inside for a long time, the engine off. I watched the sun drop below the horizon. The sky turned fiery orange, then dusky purple, then dark black. Fluorescent lights continued to burn over every inch of the city. For the streets and sidewalks, it was always the middle of the day.

I started the engine. The electric motor whirred to life. I input a new set of coordinates. The vehicle maneuvered out of the parking lot and into the street, carefully minding all traffic laws.

Before me stood a solid brick building with an affixed sign reading, “Clothing Incorporated.” The windows were dark. I walked toward the dormant factory, looking side to side, making certain no one was watching.

The front door was locked. I stepped off the sidewalk and walked to the right, alongside the building. When I reached what I thought was the manager’s office window, I attempted to open it. It was locked, too. I headed to the rear of the building, trying, and failing, to open every door or window I encountered.

The back door didn’t budge. I would have been inside already if I had my multi-tool. I would have to take a different approach. There was a long vertical window, at ground level, just to the right of the back door. I took off my hat and pressed it to the glass. I punched the hat as hard as I could.

I reeled back, clutching my hand as it throbbed with pain. The window, meanwhile, stood proudly, undamaged by my feeble attempt to break it.

Continue reading ‘Safety Nation Chapter 10’

22
Dec
16

Safety Nation Chapter 9

Chapter 9 is fun because you really get to see how ridiculous government bureaucracy can be. The chapter is meant to illustrate how much time, money, and resources a government can waste upholding pointless policies. A lot of people who have to do this sort of thing in real life think it’s just as stupid as Smith does.

In case you have missed the chapters so far, here are links to them:

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4

Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8

Announcement/Blurb

Cover Art

As always, the chapter below, and entire novel, are copyrighted.

— — —

Safety Nation by Logan Riley

9

Zamyatan was parking the car. We had received a tip about a safety violation in a downtown office building. Upon our arrival, we found the parking situation was as dreadful as always. My partner dropped me off in front of the building, and told me to get started while he found a place to park.

It was early morning, but the sun was already blazing. I started to sweat the moment I exited the car. When he drove away from the curb, I pulled off my hat and fanned my face. I headed inside, through the revolving door, welcoming the cooler air.

The building was a high-rise, fifty stories tall, in the center of the city. The atrium looked like every other atrium: stone floor, a ceiling triple the height of a regular ceiling, and a panel of UV-shielded windows above the entrance. To the right was a small coffee stand. Near the back was a bank of elevators and an unmanned security desk.

Whoever was in charge of security would be in trouble if anyone discovered them absent. I hoped Zamyatan wouldn’t notice. I wasn’t looking forward to doing any extra paperwork today.

Between the elevators was an office directory. I read it, looking at the myriad companies crammed into the building. Which one were we here to investigate? I had no idea. I hadn’t paid attention to Atwood this morning.

There was still no sign of my partner. I walked over to the coffee stand.

The barista, a 20 year-old kid with a minefield of acne on his face, asked, “What can I get you?”

“Irish coffee.”

“Irish . . . coffee? I’m not sure what that is.”

“It’s regular coffee, but with whisky in it.”

“Whisky? You mean alcohol?”

“You catch on fast.”

“I’m sorry, sir, we don’t serve whisky. Alcohol is illegal.”

“Red wine is legal. It’s good for your heart.”

“Oh, I see. Would you like some red wine in your coffee?”

“Do you have any?”

“No.”

“Then why did you ask?”

The barista’s jaw moved up and down like he wanted to say something, but his brain couldn’t process the conversation any longer.

Continue reading ‘Safety Nation Chapter 9’

17
Dec
16

Safety Nation Chapter 8

We’re getting into the home stretch now. The book’s release date is less than a month away. I only have a few more chapters left to preview for you, and after that you’ll have to buy the book to read the rest.

This chapter is an interesting one because it represents a shift in the story. Smith is still his same old sarcastic self, but now he’s working in a different department with a different crazy adversary. Now, getting out of work becomes harder for Smith and Lowry. I hope you enjoy this chapter, because it was a lot of fun to write.

In case you have missed the chapters so far, here are links to them:

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4

Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7

Announcement/Blurb

Cover Art

As always, the chapter below, and entire novel, are copyrighted.

— — —

Safety Nation by Logan Riley

8

Daylight.

I woke up giddy like it was Christmas morning. I felt light, free. As I dressed, my suit seemed airy, the black fabric silky. Everything I touched felt improved.

On my way out of the house, I saw the demon-dog passed out on the couch. A wad of cotton, ripped from one of the cushions, was in its mouth. My troll-wife was asleep beside it. I didn’t mind. I was headed to work, and I wasn’t going to Sex Detail.

The morning routine was quicker and less annoying than usual. Before I knew it, I had my equipment. I entered the high-ceilinged main room. I looked around until I saw the sign labeled, “Healthcare.” The area it comprised was quite larger than Sex Detail’s.

Lowry was already there with a dozen other agents. The department head, a woman, lectured them while pointing at a large electronic map. It stood proudly on a rolling easel, brand new and state of the art.

When I approached the group, the woman stopped mid-sentence. A perturbed expression crossed her face. “Can I help you?” she asked.

“I’m reporting in.”

“And who are you?”

“Smith.”

“Inspector Smith, it would behoove you to show up on time.”

“Uh, okay.”

“You wouldn’t want a demotion to Sex Detail, would you?”

I stared at her. When she realized she wasn’t going to get a response, the perturbed look flattened, leaving a blank affect. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. I racked my brain trying to remember who she was.

Continue reading ‘Safety Nation Chapter 8’

14
Dec
16

Safety Nation Publication Date

It’s finally time to reveal the long-awaited (for me, at least) publication date of my first novel, Safety Nation.

Are you ready?

Drumroll, please…

brrrrr

drrrrr

prrrrr

January 10, 2017!

I wasn’t able to secure a 2016 release date like I had originally planned. But I think it’s probably for the best. Since 2016 turned out to be such a clusterfuck with Harambe, Brexit, Trump, Zika, and the celebrity apocalypse, I thought maybe it would be bad luck. So, 2017, it is.

Everything is basically done, except for some minor tweaks on the brightness/shading of the cover art. The printer was turning out copies that were a tad too dark, so my awesome designer lightened it a bit.

No new chapter today, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated soon.

In case you have missed the chapters so far, here are links to them:

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4

Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7

Announcement/Blurb

Cover Art

10
Dec
16

One Punch Man, The Seven Deadly Sins

One Punch Man

It’s really difficult to get excited about anime these days. It’s even more difficult to get excited about the superhero genre. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to watch an anime about superheroes. But you know what? I really enjoyed this one. I enjoyed it because it’s a satire of superheroes, subverting the genre every possible way, and taking nothing seriously.

One Punch Man is about an ordinary guy named Saitama who decides to become a superhero. He trains really, really, REALLY hard until he is so powerful he can defeat any enemy with a single punch. This is great at first, but eventually he gets bored with it. No one poses a challenge to him anymore, and he soon loses interest.

The story picks up when strange monsters start attacking the city, and Saitama reluctantly takes on a disciple, a cyborg named Genos. The two of them make their way through a world filled with terrifying threats and new superheroes. But despite it all, Saitama still can’t find a worthy enemy. Everyone’s head still explodes with a single punch…

One Punch Man is entirely fresh, funny, exciting, and original. Coupled with strong writing and incredible animation, this turned out to be one of the best anime in recent memory.

Verdict: Awesome

The Seven Deadly Sins

Set in the fictional world of Britannia, in a time of magic and monsters, Princess Elizabeth sets out in search of the Seven Deadly Sins. The Sins are a group of powerful, disgraced knights with bounties on their heads. She believes they were framed, and they are the only ones who can prevent a coup against her father’s kingdom.

What follows is a mediocre shonen series. There’s the usual power-ups, fighting, groping jokes, and slapstick “humor.” By this point, the genre is as bloated as a dead mule, and The Seven Deadly Sins does nothing to alleviate that. It is a decent enough ride, I suppose, fun while watching it, but ultimately forgettable. It is colorful and well animated, but doesn’t contain anything that hasn’t been done a thousand times before.

Verdict: Average




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