Monday, May 18, 2020

Singularity Sunrise is a GO!


Singularity Sunrise is 150% funded!

It's an amazing result, easily my best-performing crowdfunding campaign to date. I'm grateful for the support of my fans and readers. Together we have made the dream of the Singularity a reality.

In addition, having hit the stretch goal, I will now be able to work on the first story of my next series, The Swordbreaker Saga. This series combines the best of the cultivation and cyberpunk genres to create an IP unlike anything ever seen before.

The saga follows Li Ming, a newcomer to the world of warriors. An armed escort, he roams the Central Continent, hiring out his skills as a bodyguard, monster hunter, and bounty hunter. With his swordbreaker, he will protect the innocent and deliver justice to the wicked.

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Obsolescence of Man and the Search for the Soul



In the world of Singularity Sunrise, where robotics and AI threaten to replace humans in every major field, one of the few things that cannot be quantified, mechanised and reproduced by machines is psychic powers.

Don't expect Hollywood-or anime-type powers here. In this universe, psychic powers are the outgrowth of research projects like Project Stargate, investigating the potential of the mind to gather information through extra-sensory perception. Government psychics serve as spies, interrogators, or in other capacities that allow them to best utilise their gifts.


Saturday, May 9, 2020

Espionage in a Cyberpunk World



In a world where empires rise and fall with the news cycle, where machines gorge on seas of data and produce oceans of information, where a single publicized fact is more devastating than an atomic bomb, information is the lifeblood of civilizations.

In Singularity Sunrise, where advances in critical technologies produce a permanent and decisive edge over rival superpowers, obtaining, securing and transmitting confidential information is a vital strategic mission. With the future of humanity in the balance, intelligence agencies and their contractors are no longer bound by unwritten rules and agreements. This is a dog eat dog world, and no rules are taboo.

Psychic spies are the cornerstone of every intelligence agency. Psychometers can read the history of a location or object with a touch. Remote viewers can send their consciousnesses to anywhere on the planet and spy on meetings and documents. Interrogators can discern truth from lies while questioning a subject. And that's just for starters.

No matter where a psi goes, if he can peer through time and space, if he can penetrate the depth of the soul, there will always be demand for his services. While wards and workings can delay or deny them, the working assumption is that everything committed to paper and every in-person meeting can and will be compromised. Sensitive information must be stored in places where even psis cannot go.

The most secure data vaults of the new century are air-gapped servers. Completely isolated from the outside world, they store information as bytes and bits on massive servers. Remote viewers cannot tap into data banks, psychometers cannot divine information from touching a keyboard. Constructed properly, hackers cannot remotely access them either.

When even computers can't be trusted, operatives with memory chips commit vital information to their organic brains. Unhackeable, unreadable, they can recite information at a moment's notice if needed--or forget it in a flash.

In Singularity Sunrise, espionage operations are focused on accessing and compromising secure data banks and high value targets entrusted with vital information. Without the ability to access them remotely, operators and contractors must rely on more traditional means.

Recruiting agents with access to information and restricted areas. Social engineering to convince people to let them into secure locations. Compromising less-secure computer networks to find a way to access more secure ones. And, if absolutely necessary, direct action.

Operating in the dystopias of tomorrow, every spy and every agent must fly under the radar of the surveillance state. They can't just fool potential human watchers; they must convince surveillance AIs running city- and country-wide surveillance networks that they are who they say they are. Disguises and spy kit aren't enough; they must conceal their physiology, their personal data, their patterns of life. Where Big Data and Big Tech combine, paranoia is a way of life.

If there is no other option but to snatch a target or raid a secure site, there is no margin for error. The slightest mistake will lead to calamity. Without deep preparation, contingency plans, specialist equipment, and an animal mix of cunning and adaptability and sheer ruthlessness, direct action will fail.

And the enemy always gets a vote.

These espionage operations have one thing in common: they all rely on the human factor. They aim to exploit human weaknesses and vulnerabilities, persuade or coerce targets, to penetrate holes in defences and escape without being caught. Which, naturally, leads to actors seeking to replace mere humans with cold machines.

The world of Singularity Sunrise is strange, complex and terrifying. Factions ally with and war against each other, seeking to shape the future of humanity. These players require services that they cannot delegate to their own in-house resources.

Within the private military and security industry, Lithsman Security Solutions is a great white shark. A small team of elite contractors, capable of deploying anywhere on the planet on short notice to carry out a wide range of missions. These include kidnap and recovery, critical extraction, high-risk personal security details, security audits.

And, for the right client with the right needs and the right questions, it offers 'discretionary services'.

Even in a world of AIs and full-body cyborgs, there is no avoiding the need for humans. But will it be enough to prevent the final obsolescence of man?Find out in Singularity Sunrise!


Friday, May 8, 2020

Marcus Wynne's THE REVENGERS



SALT: Book 1 of The Revengers by [Marcus Wynne]

Rob the corrupt. Then kill them.
Evil lurks in the streets of Minneapolis. Where the police can't or won't act, retired US Marines Salt and Raul Sanchez take justice into their hands. Hybrid vigilante-hitmen, they stalk their prey, rob them blind, and finish them. Permanently.
Book 1, SALT, introduces readers to the world of Revengers. When a corrupt cop abuses his badge to victimize a young girl, Salt and Sanchez make a stand. Partnering with a Russian hacker and his surveillance crew, they hunt the target in the shadows of Minneapolis to deliver their brand of justice.
Book 2, ARIEL, follows in the footsteps of SALT and shines a light into the Minneapolis illegal sex trade. Ariel, the Revengers' young protoge, encounters a human trafficker who runs a web of blackmail and vice from a collection of properties-turned-brothels. With the Revengers behind her, she takes aim at the spider at the middle of the web.
Book 3, GITA, takes place immediately after ARIEL. After rescuing a group of trafficked women, the Revengers place them in the care of social worker Gita Barnes. When a violent psychopath moves into the neighbourhood just down the street, Gita turns to Salt and Sanchez for help.
Books 1 and 2 are available on Amazon. Individually they are a cut above most self-published thrillers. Wynne is a military veteran and a trainer to many of America's finest military and police tactical units, and one of the finest writers in the business.Nonetheless, he could have done with an extra round of proofreading or with an editor; some minor but jarring typos and formatting issues show up on occasion.
The Revengers series is a marked departure from Wynne's other works. His earlier books were traditional full-length modern novels, incorporating a heady mix of tradecraft, action, character drama, and noir sensibilities. With Revengers, he is experimenting with classic pulp fiction structure.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Where War and Politics Converge

 

 War is a continuation of politics by other means.

And in the world of Singularity Sunrise, politics is war by other means.

The Singularity promises infinite rewards to any nation that first achieves it. Governments and megacorps are locked in a struggle to decide the fate of humanity. Every actor plays for the highest stakes; anyone who loses must submit to the will and overwhelming capability of the prime mover. The chase for the Singularity must inevitable lead nations to war.

But war is also inevitably destructive.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Martial Arts of Singularity Sunrise

 

How do you fight a full-body cyborg with unbreakable bones, Olympian muscles, superhuman reflexes, and the stamina of an Energizer battery?

Pop culture grappled with this question in games, movies, books, manga and more, with varying degrees of realism. At one end of the scale, we have the patently ridiculous, with superpowered cybernetic demi-gods using swords, brute strength, or NANOMACHINES, SON to indulge in hand-to-hand combat. At the grittier end of the scale, they try to insert nearly-plausible 'science' into fighting styles, or resort to Hollywood-fu.

Battle Angel Alita -- the manga, not the movie -- has cyborgs battling each other in the wastelands with a variety of martial arts. The most famous among them is Panzerkunst, developed by cyborgs for cyborgs, designed for use in micro- and low-gravity environments. The least-known art is koppo, an anti-cyborg martial art practiced by Figure Four, using 'oscillation strikes' originating from the elbow to deal fatal blows to cyborgs.

Neither art is meant to be believable. They give the character a distinct way of moving and fighting, which might be invaluable in a visual media. But in a hard science fiction setting like Singularity Setting, that will not do. To survive, characters must rely on martial principles, not psuedo-science and technobabble.

Ghost in the Shell is lauded as a visionary cyberpunk work, going into tremendous detail and extrapolating some real-world science. In the anime, plural, fight scenes show a mix of of striking and acrobatics, with a touch of grappling, explained away by the actors being superhuman cyborgs.

James Morgan, protagonist of Singularity Sunrise, is only human.


Monday, April 27, 2020

The New Dystopia




The government is always watching you.
And the people too.
Today, mass surveillance is a way of life. CCTVs, government censors, smartphones, smart home appliances, everything with an Internet connection and data collection capability is silently watching and recording you. China is rolling out a social credit system; if it succeeds, other countries will follow suit.
The world of Singularity Sunrise takes these technologies and extrapolates them into the far future.