Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

32 views
Humor > Z14

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Hi there. Please don't run away, but my book is humorous science fiction that's mor- No, I said *don't run* away! :)

Oh well, I'll carry on and nail my poster to the wall. maybe the janitor will read it... ;)

Yes, my book is a science fiction story about a murderous cyborg, but, primarily, it's about a great character, who just happens to exist in a sci-fi setting. I'd call it sci-fi lite. You won't need a Star Trek Technical Manual to get through my daft, humorous little tale.

"Z14 is a cyborg, he's a killer and he's a collector of cuddly toys. Killing humans is wrong, he knows that. But it just feels right. Almost as though he was made to do it...

When an opportunity arises (or rather falls) for Z14 to find out a bit more about what, and why, he is, he soon becomes embroiled in a sinister, if slightly barmy plot against mankind.

When it looks like only he can save them, mankind will just have to hope he wants to."

Z14 by Jim Chaseley

Thanks for reading,
Jim


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Ah, nuts. If I've misunderstood and am not supposed to start a thread, please delete this and accept my apololgies!


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Now that sounds like an invitation! :)

Ok, I'll dump the first chapter in...I'll be back in a tick, it'll take a while to re-format after pasting it in.


message 4: by Jim (last edited Feb 20, 2012 08:50AM) (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Okay, here you go. I've lost indentations and italics (not that I had many), so I've added an extra line-break where there would usually only be an indentation. It looks much better on Amazon's Look Inside feature, where you get most of the first six chapters.

Z14 - Chapter One

Life would be so much easier if I was a toaster. Less action-packed, true, but definitely easier.


Ruminating on my very existence whilst strangling the human I had been sent to assassinate struck me as being unprofessional. Neatly proving that point, my wayward musings were brought to heel, as a burst of gunfire from a previously unseen bodyguard slammed into my chest. Served me right for losing mission focus.

"Why was I made to feel pain?" I yelled, as I punched through a wall, and the head of the bodyguard who had just ducked back behind it. An internal alert notified me that collateral damage would be deducted from my payment. It couldn't be helped, I'd damage as much collateral as I needed to get out of here alive.

Alive? Life? Is that what this is? Is that what I am? Ah, nuts to it, a toaster doesn't have to deal with this existential bullshit.

Two more bodyguards rushed through a doorway, hot lead erupting from their cheap, old-tech weapons. Their fire was wild and only a smattering of bullets peppered my torso. Most riddled the office walls and shattered the grand, panoramic window behind me. I glared at the attackers. Perhaps a bit more collateral damage wouldn't go amiss. After all, these goons had shot me full of holes and that stung like a bastard. But no, if I was ever going to find out who, what, when and where I was – and maybe why, for the full set – I needed to score as close to the maximum fee for this job as I could.

Yes, toasters have an easy life, but then again, they can't do this! I turned and dived through the shot-out window behind me and – with my internal sensors registering my altitude at fifty-eight feet – I engaged my jetpack and blazed a trail up, up and away.
Okay, I admit it; I love my job.


*


Cruising through the sky, I had one of those moments where you think of something witty to say after an argument, only it's too late to get it in and ‘score’ with it. Bah, it's never too late, I say. I composed an email in what I like to refer to as my mind and fired it off:

To: reception@fatality-corp.com

Subject: Parting Shot

FAO: Surviving bodyguards and security personnel.

Sorry you missed me, but I had to fly!

Regards,
Rampaging Kill-bot

No, not the greatest of comebacks, and definitely lacking the desired snappiness. I'd have to keep working at expanding my witticism database.

They would already know my true name, of course. Everyone knows Z14, so signing the email Rampaging Kill-bot was all part of the fun that I sought. I'm not really a rampaging kill-bot, but I had a self-created image to live up to. In truth, I only rampage when I'm severely cheesed off, and only kill when I'm slightly less annoyed than that. No, I'm more of a finely tuned, targeted assassination-bot. To actually be summed up as a ‘bot’ would be a deep insult to the technological marvel that I am, and, if I had feelings they'd be as hurt as my outer flesh was by the guards' bullets back at Fatality Corp.

Recently, I’ve discovered that I do appear to have feelings; a most puzzling development. Who builds a cyborg and gives it a smart-arse personality and a bad temper? Who thought that was a good idea? Damned if I know, but I'll find out one day, and I'll smash the bastard's teeth in with my big metal fist.

As I neared my home, ahem, fortress, the fuel ran low in my jetpack, its flame guttering in and out, causing me to lurch up and down in the air as though I'd hit turbulence. No problem, though, I was home. My feet touched down on the grass outside my cave just as the jetpack gave one last little fart and packed up. It’s a very cool device – small, powerful, efficient and controlled via wireless comms – I rarely go out without it strapped to my back. It’s cyborg-level technology, too – nobody else has one of these bad boys. I was pleased with how well I'd done calculating my fuel requirements, but not as chuffed as I was with the fact my course from target to home hadn't been off by so much as a degree. Again, what's a cyborg doing feeling proud? I'm a super computer on legs, of course I can plot a flight path. Pride's a sin, so I’m the sinning cyborg. Better that than a singing one, though, since I’m far more brutal when murdering songs as opposed to humans.

Ah, my fortress, my castle, my home. It's a modest little place, really. A murderous cyborg-for-hire doesn't require much in the way of creature comforts, which is why you might call the six foot deep, two foot wide gash in the side of a chalky cliff that I call home ‘minimalist’. I don't need a hi-tech base of operations, I am a high-tech base of operations – All my filing, all my admin, all my communications and computer equipment and even my weaponry is me. I just need a pitch-black cleft in a cliff to hide from the scattered splinters of humanity on this lost planet, who all seem to want me melted down and turned into something less terrifying, like, oh I don't know, a new line of luxury toasters. So this was home, but it's not exactly somewhere I'd bring a potential Mrs Rampaging Kill-bot, should I ever bump into one out on a job.

Naturally I have unnaturally perfect night vision, so I avoided treading on any of the soft, small cuddly animal toys lying on the floor of the cave. I had no idea why I collected these, but I did. Whenever I saw one I bought it – or stole it on the rare occasions I spotted one whilst out on a job. Most were old, torn and dirty and leaking stuffing. One of them – that I always seemed to keep closest to me – was just the rear-end of a leopard, or possibly even a giraffe – it was so old and worn that it was hard to tell which. I’d found it lying on a pile of rubbish once, when disposing of a body. A whole heap of cuddly animals had been shredded by something, but the leopard’s arse was the best preserved bit, so I’d added it to my collection.

I had no answer as to why these things – the half-leopard in particular – were so important to me, and cyborg-psychiatry wasn’t exactly an overcrowded profession in these parts. I picked the leopard up and clutched it in one hand as I opened up a communication channel in my head, to my most recent employer.

"Fatality Corp have suffered fatalities of their own," I said as soon as the call was answered.

"How many?" demanded an old man's voice.

"Just two, and only minor interior damage. I still expect full payment. Their C.E.O. has expired due to lack of oxygen to the brain."

"Okay, you creepy robot bastard, it's on its way. We're done here."

"I'm not a robot. But yes, I was assembled outside of wedlock to the best of my knowledge." Another process running inside what I erroneously but unavoidably refer to as my brain indicated that my account had just been credited by the expected amount.

"You've got your money," said the old man. "I said we're done."

I could almost visualise the fat blob of flesh reaching for the disconnect button. "We're not done," I said. The words dripped menace. Silence from the other end, which I filled. "Fatality Corp may be short a chief exec, but they still have a contract of their own out on you."

He would have already suspected I was the one who'd taken that contract. Not just because I'd brought it up, but also because I take on almost all contracts. This planet had a thriving assassination industry when I arrived on the scene, until I got involved and monopolised it. I can get through three or four kills a day. I never fail, I never stop, I never, well, rarely rest. I'm the assassin of choice for the discerning contract setter. It helps, of course, that I'm almost the only assassin left on the planet. I killed most of the rest – my own little side-project to quite literally cut down the competition. Many of those I didn't kill found alternative careers. Flipping burgers may be boring, but it's not usually something I'll kill you for. The few die-hards still in the game, well, they will indeed die hard.

"You'll never find me!" His sudden desperation was almost palpable, but he wasn't even convincing himself.

"I found you last week," I said. How odd, my face was smirking. I swear, I lose control of it sometimes.

"What do you mea – "

The call cut off because I sent a remote signal to detonate the explosive charge I'd left under his chair a week ago. Smashing through walls and laying waste to entire armed encampments to reach my target is fun, I cheerfully admit, but sometimes the subtle, stealthy approach is almost downright sexy. Sexy? What the hell is wrong with me? There's no way I should have thoughts like that.

Job done, though. Now I almost hope the – quite rightly – affronted Fatality Corp refuse to pay up. Try it you evil shits, I dare you.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Hi Jaq, ordinarily I'd love to, but I can't see over the stack of my to be read list, and I'm not even finding the time to read at all at the moment. I'd only end up leaving you hanging.


message 6: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Knight | 178 comments Z14 sounds like an intense murder, mayhem, comical read. In other words. A lot of fun. I would love to read it for review. However, I do have quite a few that I'm already working on. If you don't need the review right away, send me a copy. If you have it in epub format, I'm all set. Let me know. Thanks.


message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Sure. I'll look into doing some conversions,time to get Calibre installed.

I'll warn you it's a bit silly and immature in places. Barracks room humour. :)


message 8: by Michael (last edited Feb 22, 2012 06:28AM) (new)

Michael (mikeyw) | 2 comments Very nice start, and you're correct... It reads like scifi lite, with a dash of noir. I'm always a sucker for a good anti-hero. More, please?


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Thanks. There's 6 chapters visible on the Look Inside feature on Amazon.

Warning that the fun gets a bit crude in places, particularly near the end of the book. I'm actually considering a rerelease to tone it down. Just a little. No story change, though.


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikeyw) | 2 comments Got it. Review forthcoming...


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments That's a lovely offer Jaq, but I don't deserve it. I only want people to read it as though they'd picked it up in a bookshop, been hooked and decided to try it.

I'd never ever keep up with reviewers doing it to be kind, and I'd always feel morally compelled to try... But, well, argh, the days, they are too short! :)


message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Kind in terms of offering your time, lol :) But I know you knew that ;)


message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Just thought I'd mention in here that myself and Z14 now have a website.

http://www.jimchaseley.com in case anyone feels like taking a gander.


message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments Ah-ha! No longer is Z14 constrained to just Kindle!

Now available at:

Smashwords (multiple formats) - Currently 50% off: http://bit.ly/zOM2st

Barnes & Noble (Nook) - http://bit.ly/x3RGHU
Kobo - http://bit.ly/w2JjsR


message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim Chaseley (jimchaseley) | 21 comments This thread's only had 24 unique views, are there not many sci-fi fans here?


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Z14 (other topics)