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DAY AFTER INFINITY

 

DETAILS

September, 2022

In an age when technology vanquished natural death, Ryan and his sardonic AI implant are recruited at the last minute to board the first colony ship to Tau Ceti. As the lowest-ranked crewmember, he expects to cryogenically freeze right away, but the captain has other plans. 


Ryan begins a training program for rare individuals who heal much faster than normal, a program that teaches him to survive every possible scenario that Murphy’s Law can deliver a smackdown. After he completes his training, they freeze him, hoping to never need his services.


Murphy delivers big. Ryan thaws in Tau Ceti to find a Chinese AI-driven dreadnought bearing down on him, one of many clones hellbent on destroying all life in the galaxy. Ryan must figure out how to save himself, his ship, and the galaxy.

WHY I WROTE IT

June 2023

I wrote DAY AFTER INFINITY as my coping mechanism for surviving chronic illness, a metaphor for finding the value of individuality in the face of mortality.

SNIPPET

In Chapter II

Dead in an instant. You hear rumors of a hack job…


This is fun, AL, my AI implant, says as joyful as a teen hearing the word, “pizza”. Blowing up in a giant ball of flames is a glorious way to visit hell.


It must have been at least fifteen seconds by now.


Nope, AL says. Just eight.


So we must be reaching maximum g’s.


Not quite, he says in a falsely concerned voice. One more second. Wait for it. Wait for it. And now. Wahoo.


The too-soothing announcer's voice says, “Congratulations. You’ve reached maximum acceleration.”

No, I reached maximum discomfort. In the sims it was never this scary.


AL howls gleefully, then says, Knowing it’s real gives it an extra gravitas that sims never capture, doesn’t it?

Yeah, like the fear of laying down a skidmark. Actually, I would be that scared but AL is keeping my scare-a-mones below redlining. Panic might actually feel good, granting me release. He partially robbed me of my natural human response, a prisoner in my own brain.


The discomfort passes to new levels as an invisible spork stabs my left eye, both dull and piercing at once. I instinctively blink, not comprehending what’s happening. 


Nothing to worry about, AL tells me in a sing-song, nothing to see here sort of way. Your retina detached. I’ll have it fixed in no time. 


Comforting. It’s only my eye falling apart, nothing important. Pops of light crackle in my left eye. I have no idea what’s going on in there and I don’t think I want to.


All you need to know is that I’m fixing it, AL says. Never Fear! Doctor Incredible is here. He pronounces it as Doctair Incredeeblay.

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SPOILER BELOW

 

SPOILER ALERT

Seriously, stop reading.

Char clones himself to hunt down all the Jians, his mind copied into dozens of new bodies by his AI implant, a sardonic jokester. With each cloning he becomes more synthetic, more regrowth, and less original Char. Each time he splits, he struggles to retain his essence while transforming into the fighter everyone needs.

Complications emerge, such as: How does he cope with the isolation across the stars? Which Char gets to fall in love with a survivor? How do they cope with each others’ deaths? Who will split again? How can they retain their humanity while trying to save everyone else’s?