Tag Archives: post-apocalyptic

Science Fiction .99 cents Springtime Sale

29 Mar

Science Fiction .99 cents Springtime Sale

My science fiction series After The Darkness is now on sale for .99 cents per episode.  As I prepare to release the final two episodes of the first season, I’ve lowered the price to allow new readers an opportunity to catch up. There are four episodes available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, Sony and Kobo.

Description: In a world of never-ending winters and permanent darkness, fourteen-year-old Nadia Comani faces a future of servitude. Can she free herself and her family?

New Hope City Paperback Winners!

11 Mar

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The winners of the “New Hope City” paperback version have been chosen! Congrats to Holly and Lindsay! Your autographed copies will be mailed this week. For those people who did not win a paperback copy, I am giving away FREE ebook copies to the next 25 11 people who signup for my mailing list. Please signup here to receive a freebie coupon.

ETA: March 13, 2013 THANK YOU to everyone who signed up! I hope you enjoy the novel. If you would like to hear about other giveaway opportunities please feel free to join the mailing list here.  And to those people who won the paperback (you too Jed) I mailed your package yesterday. You should receive it within 3 – 4 days.  BTW, I’m doing another giveaway on LibraryThing for the first episode of “After The Darkness” signup today to get your complimentary copy and don’t forget to leave a review.

Published – After The Darkness: Espisode Four

27 Feb

DarknessEp4Final

The fourth episode of the “After The Darkness” series is published! Please purchase your copy at Amazon, Kobo or Nook. To receive updates on future episodes and information about other books, please join the mailing list. Also, the paperback edition of these novelettes will be available soon.

What Post-Apocalyptic Societies Really Look Like

8 Jan

When we think of post-apocalyptic worlds many of us envision alien invasions, zombie infections and bloodthirsty vampires. But post-apocalyptic doesn’t have to come in the form of the fantastical and other- worldly, it can be much more insidious.  When we look around the world we see many post-apocalyptic societies. Societies at war, suffering from lack, famine and oppression. And even within the borders of the United States, it can seem that a dystopian like state is upon us. Bankrupt cities and homes with no running water or electricity are more common than many Americans imagine.  The collapse of the real estate industry left many American towns littered with abandoned homes, filled with the newly homeless and freshly minted poor. We got a taste of what it feels like when a system collapses. But what happens when one too many systems collapse? What happens when systemic collapse reaches a tipping point? When I wrote New Hope City, I wanted explore a society where nothing quite works the way it’s supposed to, a society where collapse occurs in a creeping fashion, one small failure at a time.  In New Hope City, things seem normal enough, but once you scratch beneath the surface, that’s not quite the case. A story told through the eyes of 14-year-old Sunni Brown, we get a first-hand account of what happens to a human being forced to live in a collapsing society. Let’s take a look several core failures that exist in post-apocalyptic New Hope City:

Culture of Corruption

Like most dystopian societies, in New Hope City corruption is endemic. But it’s not just the police, city officials and the villains that are corrupt. Corruption infects everyone, even those who try to do good. Corruption is like a fast spreading cancer that will completely consume its host if not stopped. In this type of a society a do-gooder might help the poor but only after they fatten their own wallet and belly. In this type of society a parent will exploit their own child. In this type of society, gangsters own the politicians. And it is corruption that ultimately destroys the society.

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Lack of Vision

Societies experiencing a creeping collapse are filled with people who have no vision for the future. They are incapable of preparing for the future because they don’t really believe there is a future for which to prepare.  Every action is about immediate satisfaction. In these types of societies the education of youth is abandoned, infrastructure is never developed and there is no preparation for future generations. In New Hope City many residents give lip service to the future but few truly make an effort to build towards it. Cynicism is a city motto.

Isolationism

Real life post-apocalyptic societies often isolate themselves from the outside world.  Even if they don’t physically erect walls, they may ignore the world around them. They become insular, only concerning themselves with what’s happening within their city, neighborhood or family. In societies in the later stages of collapse, they may even ignore what’s happening right outside their door, instead choosing to focus on themselves and their immediate family.  In New Hope City crime is out of control because no one wants to get involved. No one considers victims of crime their problem. And in some cases they blame crime victims for their own suffering.

DIY Justice

DYI justice, more commonly known as vigilantism, eventually supersedes official law enforcement channels in a collapsed society. The people not completely consumed by corruption may choose vigilantism to get the justice they want but can’t find through normal channels. In New Hope City there is no justice through the police department or the court system.  While the police and court system exist, they don’t function properly. And it’s with this system’s collapse that Sunni Brown’s story begins.

In New Hope City I tell the story of a teenage girl living in a collapsed society and I explore how this post-apocalyptic world impacts her interactions with others and the choices she makes.  New Hope City is a full-length novel written for adults (not YA fiction). While I think the novel is appropriate for mature teens 16 years and older, parental guidance is advised. Available on Kindle, Nook and Kobo. Other formats coming soon.

SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopian and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts. You can also follow SunHi on Twitter and Facebook.

Final *Free* Promo for After The Darkness: Episode One

27 Sep

Free September 27 – 29th

The first episode of the After The Darkness series is free at Amazon. Get your copy now! This will probably be the last free promotion I do for the After The Darkness series.  Starting in October, the After The Darkness series will be available at Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other retailers.

Focusing On Novel: “New Hope City”

19 Sep

The follow up to The Shelter is almost done. I’ve decided to focus most of my energy on finishing the final polish, cover and other administrative tasks so that I can get this baby out on time this Fall.  Please join the mailing list for an opportunity to receive an advance reader’s copy. Also, here’s a free sample:

Long black hair flows behind the thin frame of a teenage girl. As her tattered sneakers slam into the slush covered road, her jeans become sullied with mud. She pumps her fists harder as she tries to run faster, her worn leather satchel hammering against her hip. The boys close in on her. There are six of them. They are fast.  But the fastest, a freckled face boy with blond hair, quickly closes the distance. He reaches out to grab her. She can feel his talon-like fingernails stab at her shoulder. She pumps her arms harder and digs her sneakers into the mud in earnest. Panting heavily, sweat soaking her brow, she comes to a chain linked fence on the edge of the trailer park; but there is no exit, no way to get through. She claws at the fence trying to scale it; but the blond boy’s talons hook onto the hood of her jacket and yank her to the ground. Not more than a few seconds pass before the other boys swarm Sunni as she lies in a dirty mix of mud and snow. Baine lifts his talons, palm jutted out towards his pack of fellow hunters, “Back the fuck off!” The other boys stop, back up, but only slightly, just enough to allow Baine room to bend over and relieve Sunni of her leather satchel and dump its contents onto the ground. Four tins of sardines, a box of saltine crackers and a pair of tiny pink ballerina shoes pour out of the bag and onto the slush covered pavement.

Sunni drags herself backwards and presses her spine into the fence.  Her lips mold into a snarl; but she keeps her angry gaze hidden.  The sound of shuffling feet draws nearer. She lifts her head to find a grinning boy standing shoulder to shoulder with Baine.  Not wanting to look the boy in the eye, she lowers her head slightly and is greeted by the skeletal face of an angry clown resting between the teeth of his jacket zipper.  The zipper teeth widen as the boy extends his arms wide like a circus grandmaster, “Ladies and gentleman….,” circus boy says as if he’s talking to a large audience.

“It look like there some fucking ladies out here?”  Baine interrupts, his freckles turning a fiery red.

Sunni drops her head. She secretly considers herself a lady on good days and despises the entire concept on others.  But the idea of not being considered a lady at all feels humiliating.

Circus boy chuckles, gives a goofy grin and pipes up a correction, “Faggots and gentleman!”

“You saying I hang with fags now?” Baine’s freckles seem to grow into pulsating suns.

Circus boy’s goofy grin disappears. “That ain’t what I meant…,” he says.

Sunni smirks at the conflict.  For a moment it’s as if she is just one of the guys participating in some twisted joke.  But the feeling of normality doesn’t last.  Baine gives circus boy one last nasty look and then squats in front of Sunni. He is so close that Sunni smells the deep musty funk of his unwashed body.  With each breath Sunni takes, her anxiety level rises.  She nervously rubs the silver ring on her middle finger and avoids eye contact as the other boys close in on her from all sides.

Circus boy’s voice lowers to a conspiratorial whisper, “Live and in person…”

Baine plucks a sardine tin from the snow and holds it up for examination. “Who am I?” he asks Sunni.

Circus boy chimes in without missing a beat, “Pimp 007!”

“Shut the fuck up!” Baine presses the edge of the sardine tin into Sunni’s forehead forcing her to lift her gaze. “I want her to answer.”

Sunni’s brow furrows and her lips purse as Baine taps the sardine tin against her forehead…one…two…three times.  Sunni’s eyes shutter closed.

“Look at me!” Baines blares.

Sunni’s eyes open again, narrowed and intense.  “The collector,” she says.

Baine smiles with satisfaction. He shifts the sardine can into her line of sight just as Circus boy steps closer.

“Give her some money,” circus boy says and the other boys hum a collective agreement.

“I ain’t giving her shit,” Baine retorts.  He reaches into his back pocket just as the streetlights flicker on.  “She the one that should be paying…ain’t that right?” He pulls out a switch blade and flicks it open like a seasoned pro.  Sunni focuses on the blade and her breathing grows panicky.  Her eyes shift to the boys as she frantically searches the crowd for a sympathetic face – she finds none.  But wait, there is something.  A glimmer in the eyes of one of the boys?  Barely noticeable, Jin, a thin boy wearing a jacket two sizes too small is partially concealed in the crowd of boys. He wears a stiff smile but his eyes – is that sadness — regret?  Jin notices Sunni watching him so he quickly averts his gaze focusing on the pink ballerina shoes instead.  But Jin isn’t the only one who notices the exchange of glances; Baine locks onto Sunni’s line of sight and his narrowed eyes settle on Jin, placing the boy in the spotlight.  Baine’s smile is a hybrid of a snarl and a grin as he speaks, “You got a fan.” Baine’s declaration doesn’t stop Sunni’s staring.  She continues to look, hoping to see those sympathetic eyes again; but Jin only lifts his gaze momentarily for fear of what it might reveal.   Irked by the silent exchange of glances, Baine presses the cold blade into Sunni’s neck – carefully. “He ain’t the one you owing,” he says.

Sunni lifts her chin and swallows hard as the cold steel presses against her skin.  She can feel its sharp edge threatening to slice her neck wide open and she can sense that Baine’s threat is no empty bluff. She wiggles her right leg; but keeps her gaze trained on Baine’s intense eyes. “My shoe,” she says, her voice just as shaky as her hands.

With a tilt of his head Baine orders circus boy to take off Sunni’s shoe.  The boy complies and discovers a fold of dollar bills and some change.  He counts it.  “Three dollars,” circus boy says.

“That ain’t enough.” Baine removes the blade from Sunni’s neck. “Take off your coat,” he says as he slides the blade across her coat collar.  Sunni’s foot is already stinging from the winter cold; so she hesitates.  Getting another coat would be tough. Her chipped fingernails lightly scratch at the zipper; but she’s no closer to disrobing.

I can’t wait to share the entire novel with you. Please join the mailing list to be notified of the release date.

*Free* After The Darkness: Episode One

12 Sep

Free September 12 – 13th

The first episode of the After The Darkness series is free today and tomorrow at Amazon. Get your copy now!

Will Women Become Slaves In A Post-Apocalyptic World?

7 Sep

I ran across an intriguing article by Anninyn at In Case of Survival about gender roles in a post-apocalypse world.

Most post-apocalyptic media (and a lot of prepper groups) have this weird idea that when the world ends the women will finally get back in the kitchen where they belong. While the post-apocalyptic world may be harsher to those of the female gender than the male in some ways, anyone who things gender is the main thing of importance in deciding who does what is going to find their survival group operating at less than peak efficiency.

So very true! Surviving in a post-apocalyptic world will take understanding that individuals come with different types of skills and abilities that have nothing to do with their gender.  Yes, of  course women have babies and men can’t. And yes, generally speaking men are physically stronger than women; but these are not life defining characteristics.  Groups that can organize others and utilize their members’ skills will come out on top. Societies who suppress members of their group won’t fair well.

I also think that sometimes the agency of women is overlooked when post-apocalyptic futures are imagined.  Do people really believe that all women will just lay down and take it if they find themselves facing oppression?  All human beings crave liberty and will engage in all levels of subterfuge to fight for that liberty. Societies that have less liberty will inherently have more conflict. And societies with internal conflict are weaker and more susceptible to outside attacks.

SunHi Mistwalker is the author of several books including the “After The Darkness” series set in a frozen post-apocalyptic future. Join SunHi Mistwalker’s mailing list to receive updates, freebies and other perks.

 

Sowing The Seeds Of Revolution: A Closer Look At Page 9

6 Sep

British novelist and literary critic Ford Maddox Ford is quoted as saying, “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” I don’t know if I completely agree with that; but I do find the idea intriguing. As part of a recent blog tour I participated in, I wrote about page 9 of After The Darkness: Episode One. Here’s the blog post below…

The first episode of “After The Darkness” doesn’t have a page 99; but it does a have page nine. So that’s where I’ll begin. If a reader began reading “After The Darkness” at page 9 they would find everything they need to know about the basics of the story.  You have a reluctant agent of oppression, two victims of categorization and a boss man that’s ruthless in his commitment to inflicting suffering.  That about sums it up in a nutshell.

The opening lines of page nine sets the stage: Percy narrows his eyes, his disapproval hidden behind his dark shades, “No, of course…not. Just want to get the job done and over with before the freeze,” he justifies his hesitation. And in an effort to prove that he’s not soft, he wrenches Mila away from Nadia. He yanks her hard; but not too hard — just hard enough to make his point.

Right away we know that Percy is not too happy with the situation at hand; but he has to hide it. Not only does he have to hide his disapproval, he needs to show a false sense of enthusiasm for something he finds distasteful.  I can’t say that I strategically planned for this characterization to fall on page 9; but I did want to show the reader at some point that Percy is a subversive individual. He doesn’t want to go along with the system and he has the seeds of a rebel within.

Then there is Nadia, the main character in this story.  Page 9 makes it clear that Nadia is a rebel and not content to simply accept her fate.  Let’s take a look at a page 9 excerpt:

“Don’t touch her!” Nadia flails about as Thomas binds her wrists behind her back with zip ties. She strains to see her little sister’s face and fights her own urge to sob. Instead she screams. Would the neighbors come? Does anyone care about the horror she is facing?  Unfortunately, she knows the answer is no, no one is willing to risk themselves for others.

This brief passage reveals Nadia’s willingness to fight back even in the face of stronger forces and despite her sad realization of the type of world in which she lives.  But even knowing that not a single soul will come to her aid, she screams anyway, hoping that someone — anyone, will be willing to break the code of silence and compliance.

As a writer, I try not to overwhelm readers with a lot back story and world building too soon. I prefer to sprinkle a little bit of information throughout the story and reveal the foundation of the fictional world in bits and pieces. Page 9 does this well.  Even if a reader only reads page 9, they will discover that this fictional world is freezing, that it is a place where children can be handcuffed and carried away and that people in this world don’t feel free to speak out against injustice or stand up for the rights of others.

Let’s take one final peek at another snippet of text from page 9.

“I promise,” Percy says with a smile he only uses in his work. He would never curse his own kids with that smile — never.

Deception and manipulation – it’s eating Percy alive. But it is also eating away at the society, creating tiny internal rebellions and sowing the seeds of revolution.

To find out when the next episode is published and to receive special discounts, please join our mailing list.  For a limited time, mailing list members will have an opportunity to purchase new episodes at .99 cents.

After The Darkness: Episode 3 Published

1 Sep

After The Darkness: Episode 3 has been published and is temporarily discounted to .99 cents   $1.99 until September 30, 2012. The normal price is $2.99. For a limited time, readers who join the mailing list will have an opportunity to purchase new episodes at .99 cents. Please join here.

That’s the good news! But there’s one glitch, I’ve had some trouble updating the cover, so please bare with me while I work with Amazon to get it updated. Otherwise, the text inside the episode is just fine. Enjoy! ETA: Cover has been updated!

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00948KIX8

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00948KIX8