26 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

deepFreak: virtual is the new reality


A magical mystery tour of virtual reality and beyond.  Love, politics, conspiracy, and fluctuating space-time coordinates all come to a head when a huge solar flare disrupts the event horizon between parallel universes.

Living in simulated reality, SIM, is all the rage in the mid twenty-first century.  But just when it seems that illusion has triumphed and Reality has become irrelevant, Reality throws a curve ball.

Audrey is a SIMdesigner and an artPrank hacktivist.  When her friend Dano disappears, Audrey is forced into the gritty world of Real to find him.  People disappear all the time in this dystopian near future.  But then there are Type III disappearances, so when the young Milan also vanishes, but this time right before Audrey’s eyes, the quest for the disappeared takes a whole new turn and Audrey finds herself unwillingly thrust on a bizarre existential odyssey.  Real?  SIM?  Or hallucination?  Nothing is what it seems.

Meanwhile, Milan wakes floating in midair before the floor suddenly comes up and crashes hard into him.  He looks around and at first the room does nothing.  Then it wakes up.  Milan is on the other side, a place where people meet in Astral, not SIM, where luminescent mushrooms grow in the snow, and the weather knows what you are thinking.

Guest interview:

Interviewer: Who is Mars Dumont?

Mars:  Actually, Mars Dumont is not a real person, it’s two people.

Venus:  Hi, I’m Venus Dumont. We think of ourselves as a band. Originally we tried to think of a band name like “Liquid Mars” but it sounded too goofy so we came up with a nome de plume using his first name and my last name. 

Interviewer: So how does writing together work?

Mars:  I’m color, Venus is form.

Venus:  Basically I sketch out the story line and Mars writes. But we switch roles. When it gels we both know it. Until then it can be a real struggle.

Interviewer: Do you argue?

Venus:  Fight? Us? You bet! There’s the whole male-female swing of the book. I work out the romance and Mars focuses on the cyberpunk and the conspiratorial angles. When Mars starts gagging on my love scenes I get really mad. But the general rule is if one of us thinks it’s bad, it is bad.

Mars:  And then there’s the editing. Venus is brutal: if it isn’t absolutely necessary it’s out. Weeks, sometimes months of effort on the cutting room floor. Without so much as an apology. 

Interviewer: How do you keep on the same page, so to speak, how do you keep from working at cross purposes?

Venus:  We have a routine, we write by day and at night we read out loud to one another. When you read out loud whatever isn’t working is glaring. Once the characters are well defined they write themselves.

Mars:  We also keep picture boards. We’re both visual people. We try to collect inspiration for every character, outfit and setting. If we can see it we can convey it. If we aren’t seeing the same thing then we haven’t worked it out well enough. But when we get into a groove it’s like magic. We go to places where neither of us could get to on our own.

Interviewer: Do you both write all the characters or does Venus write certain characters and Mars write the others?

Venus:  There’s a lot of back and forth but once the characters are well defined they write themselves. I never felt like we wrote this book. It’s almost like we were channeling the story. Sometimes I re-read and I just don’t know where it came from.

Mars:  Really? Really??? I read it and I am reminded of three and a half years of some of the most demanding work I’ve ever done.

Venus:  But it was fun!

Mars:  Yeah, it was fun.


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