daniel verastiqui

Science Fiction. Austin, Texas.

SUMMER 2020

BRIGHAM PLAZA

When famed hacker Johnny San Vito is mysteriously killed, his death triggers a Dead Man’s Loop that dumps a lifetime of accumulated data on unsuspecting friends Guns and Tanzy. While sorting through the data, they find what might be the key to unraveling Johnny’s death—a protected VNet construct called Brigham Plaza. What they find there will change lives, break alliances, and start the world on the path to war.

Avenging Johnny’s death will not be easy. It will take the brains of celebrity hacker Danny “Guns” Montreal, the underworld connections of cipher den suit Megan “Tanzy” Riley, the raw brutality of mild-mannered survivalist Gordon “G” King, and the utter ruthlessness of Calle Cinco leader Kaili Zabora.

Together, they will expose Vinestead International once and for all.

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HYBRID MECHANICS

Armando Carrillo has always lived with the nagging feeling that the world wasn't real, but he never expected to wake up naked in an abandoned underground bunker with a computer screen behind him flashing the words CLIENT DISCONNECTED.

After the discovery that his life in Austin, Texas was nothing more than a computer simulation, Armando must unravel the mystery of his true existence and figure out who put him in the simulation in the first place, and more importantly, why.

With ancient generators spewing noxious gasses into the underground facility and massive screens flashing ominous warnings, Armando will have to find a way to escape his cavernous tomb, not only to save his life, but the lives of the three other Austinites who were plugged in with him.

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POR VIDA

In 2035, the future of synthetic living has finally arrived, but so too has the threat of a global machine war. Rising Hollywood star Sepideh Ahmadi never imagined she would transition to an artificial body, but when her longtime girlfriend Natasha develops a terminal illness, the choices become clear: either give up their physical bodies and stay together, or allow Natasha to die.

As a synthetic woman, Sepideh discovers there is more to being human than just her thoughts and memories. Smells are stronger, sensations are more nuanced. She is no longer anxious or nervous. She is no longer herself, and neither is Natasha.

Now, with a machine army threatening to invade California, crazed fans following her every move, and her new marriage slowly breaking apart, Sepideh must figure out who she will be in the centuries to come.

In a world where immortality can be purchased, will the cost be more than just money?

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PERION SYNTHETICS

Welcome to Perion City, home to the largest beta test ever conceived. Though its roughly half a million residents all consider themselves human, nearly a third live with the knowledge that they were not born... they were manufactured.

Sava Kessler has spent almost a decade protecting the public image of Perion Synthetics, the world's leading manufacturer of artificially intelligent, synthetic humans. In that time, she has elevated CEO James Perion to the role of national savior, a tech titan with the moral and financial fortitude to protect the country from maligned conglomerate Vinestead International. But now the savior is dying, and there is no guarantee that the next ruler of Perion City will share James Perion's vision of a synthetic utopia.

To ensure the company's survival, Sava enlists a synthetic army to defend a vulnerable Perion Synthetics from corporate sabotage, media scrutiny, and insidious threats from all corners of the city.

Will the world learn the true nature of the coming synthetic revolution? Can Sava keep inquisitive aggregators from the three largest media houses in the country from revealing the company's darkest secrets... and several of her own?

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VENEER

In the 22nd century, augmented reality is no longer a novelty, but rather a way of life for citizens of Easton. Children are taught at a young age to control the ubiquitous layer of reality known as veneer through a process called reconciliation. Those who learn to reconcile live in a constant state of redefinition, of the world and of themselves. Those who struggle are forced to stand by and watch the world change without them.

For this skill, there are no shortcuts, no special glasses or handheld devices. The power to change comes from within.

Deron Bishop wants to live in the augmented world, to perform the magic of reconciliation like his peers, but controlling the veneer has always been a problem for him. Already resentful of the one thing he could never master, Deron doesn't realize how much he needs the veneer until a violent run-in with a childhood rival puts him in the hospital and robs him of his virtual sight.

Now able to see the world as it truly exists, Deron must choose to abandon Easton or fight his way back to the veneered fantasy of his previous life—a fight not everyone wants him to win.

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XRONIXLE

When college freshman X discovers that his long distance relationship with C is about to end, he copies her mind and loads her into a virtual avatar in the Net. But in his haste to preserve his high school sweetheart, X forgets to program the one feature he ends up needing most: how to turn her off.

Now it is up to Natalie and G to rescue their friend from the farthest reaches of the Net. Along the way, they must battle a cipher who cannot be killed, a virus that cannot be stopped, and a global conglomerate that will do anything to seize control of the precious Net.

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© Daniel Verastiqui