Hybrid Mechanics

  • Book Five in the Vinestead Anthology
  • Published: COMING SOON
  • Years Covered: Unknown
  • Settings: Austin TX, Idaho Territory, Utah Territory, Montana Territory
  • Featuring: Jake Six, Armando Carrillo, Charlie Park, Will Butler, Lassiter


The simulation began in 1980. At first, the virtual world only encompassed the burgeoning city of Austin, Texas. But as the four occupants of the simulation grew, and moved, and traveled, the world had no choice but to grow with them. For almost thirty years, the sun rose and set, until one day, the generators powering the massive server farm that ran the simulation began to fail. Cracks appeared in the virtual world. Strange things began to happen. Events previously thought impossible became reality.

The year is 2017, and the world is devolving into barely restrained chaos. Donald Trump somehow becomes President of the United States. Mass murders are commonplace. And Nazis—actual goddamn Nazis—are running for Congress. Social media and 24/7 news cycles skew the concepts of truth and reality. The program is breaking down, and no one has a clue.

The real world, one full of machinery and desolation and a war with synthetic killing machines that has wiped much of humanity off the planet, spills into the simulated world in the form of a metallic cacophony full of clanging and scraping and striking.

For the four Austinites fortunate enough to hear the sounds, the machinery of the outside world signals a coming end to the artificiality they have always felt but never acknowledged. For some, the sounds are the voice of God; for others, the clanging is that of large chains rattled by discontented spirits. One by one, the four become aware of the outside world, and each in their turn, leave the simulation behind.

The world as they know it will cease, replaced by something else, something far worse than the decline of democracy and civility. Together, they will discover that it’s not just the world that has changed.

Set in the Vinestead Universe and brimming with twists and clever one-liners, Hybrid Mechanics is another irresistible mash-up of science, mystery, gunplay, and subtle sexual tension from Science Fiction author Daniel Verastiqui.

Not as Crazy as You Think

Many works of science fiction as well as some forecasts by serious technologists and futurologists predict that enormous amounts of computing power will be available in the future. Let us suppose for a moment that these predictions are correct. One thing that later generations might do with their super-powerful computers is run detailed simulations of their forebears or of people like their forebears. Because their computers would be so powerful, they could run a great many such simulations. Suppose that these simulated people are conscious (as they would be if the simulations were sufficiently fine-grained and if a certain quite widely accepted position in the philosophy of mind is correct). Then it could be the case that the vast majority of minds like ours do not belong to the original race but rather to people simulated by the advanced descendants of an original race. It is then possible to argue that, if this were the case, we would be rational to think that we are likely among the simulated minds rather than among the original biological ones. Therefore, if we don’t think that we are currently living in a computer simulation, we are not entitled to believe that we will have descendants who will run lots of such simulations of their forebears.

– Nick Bostrom, Are you living in a computer simulation?

Work in Progress

October 22, 2018 – Finished marking up second rewrite with cuts and fixes. Next: make changes in draft, rewrite chapter 1, and write epilogue.

August 17, 2018 – Completed second rewrite. Plot lines tied up. Clues inserted. Red herrings reddened. Next stage is cut, cut, cut.

July 2, 2018 – This rewrite is taking a LONG time. It has been almost two months and I’m only on Chapter 19. This was pretty much expected though; the first quarter of a new novel is usually trash. It takes time to turn that trash into SOLID GOLD.

May 11, 2018 – With all the notes from alpha readers and my own read-through, it becomes clear that no mere inline edit is going to get this train on the right track. Next stop, full rewrite! You get a new character arc! And YOU get new character arc! EVERYONE gets a new character arc!

April 16, 2018 – After reading all of my alpha reader feedback, I began my read-through of the first draft. “First off, man what a good ending.” “Hey Daniel, You suck.” “Airtight, shit happened each chapter, and you didn’t waste any time.” “Sexualize Gabe more possibly but not as important as Jake’s ass.”

March 7, 2018 – Completed the first rewrite of Hybrid Mechanics. Now the book is off to Alpha Readers to tell me if it’s a novel or not.

January 4, 2018 – Decided on a signature font for Hybrid Mechanics: Josefin Sans. Trust me, this was a very important part of the writing process.

December 31, 2017 – Completed the first draft of Hybrid Mechanics.