Jackson Wheel is on the nightside now, existing as a vampire in a small college town. A soldier believed KIA by his family, he operates as a low-level enforcer in the Nosferatu economy. But unlike the undead with whom he now keeps company, there’s something different about Jackson: he’s not really a vampire.
Though the general public doesn’t believe that vampires exist outside of horror movies and chick lit, a handful of Pentagon officials know the truth. Not only are they real, but there’s an entire vampire pantheon—different races with different powers and weaknesses.
The Defense Department was able to change Wheel so that his body is now able to mimic undead biology. But it’s up to him alone to imitate their depravity. How long can a good soldier remain a good man when his orders are to act evil?
A steampunk adventure set in the present day, Steam Pointe is an island nation that has taken 19th Century-style industrialism to its Jules Verne opium dream zenith, even as the rest of the world enjoys its iPads and cell phones. International terrorism arriving on his homeland’s shores, investigator Hiram Speer finds himself partnered with FBI agent Mackenzie Hoff.
But even as they chase jihadists and the later the island’s own supercriminals through soot-covered cities and zeppelin-blotted skies, Speer and Hoff also find their cultures in conflict: archaic versus cutting-edge, manly versus feminized, confident versus declining. With both their nations and worldviews in opposition, it’s an open question if they’ll be able to stop the threats to their countries.
Artwork by Jemma Martel Young.
In The Digital Dead, a new technology allowing hospitals to upload the consciousness of dying patients is just becoming mainstream. Once uploaded, these electric ghosts find themselves in edenspace—a blank slate on which they can create their own virtual heaven.
Yet as the technology takes hold, consequences begin to be felt: the young, unable to get jobs and without any hope of a worthwhile future as the Great Recession grinds on, begin to commit suicide in hospital emergency rooms, forcing doctors to upload them. The government begins imposing regulations using the threat of denying someone upload rights as a stick to encourage desired behavior.
Against this backdrop, a young comic book artist named Tom Jester finds himself banned from uploading. Denied entry to edenspace’s virtual heaven, he finds there’s precious little reason not to wage war on the society that has condemned him.
Photograph by The Whimsical Photographer.