SURVIVAL MODE is a fast-paced hard SF story about a fugitive marooned on an alien world teeming with hostile life. With his ship in ruins and danger closing in from all sides, only his survival suit and his ingenuity stand between spaceman K and CERTAIN DEATH.
SURVIVAL MODE began its life as a backstory for a friend's minecraft rip-off and then bloomed into a rich little life of its own.
Cover art for SURVIVAL MODE is by the amazing Clark Huggins.
Edited by the incomparable Margot Atwell.
TOTALLY NOT CHERRY PICKED REVIEWS:
Ricardo on Goodreads
Original Review Here
Below is translated poorly by me, apologies for any errors!
For me, one of the discoveries of the year. A very short novel (77 pages in my edition) that succeeds in squeezing interesting things out of what appears to be a very basic premise with two unique characters: a fugitive accidentally crashing on a hostile moon populated by deadly creatures ... and the Artificial intelligence that controls his survival exoskeleton. The best thing of all is that through the interaction between both characters, a whole network is built that reveals the world from which the protagonist comes and his symbiotic and (sometimes) dangerous relationship with technology. A masterpiece of world-building that is constructed without burdening the reader with exposition, but through small details that elevate the story above and beyond frenetic survival. Very good and absolutely recommendable. The only fault I put it is that it is only the first part of a series that has just begun so I could not continue immediately.
Extra points for the very interesting website of the author, http://zakzyz.com/ which I also recommend without a second thought.
I couldn't find any! People love SURVIVAL MODE.
XAN & INK
Two disgraced brothers, a fanatical priest and an escaped slave venture into the foreboding Kalparcimex, an uncharted jungle teeming with an incredible variety of wondrous and murderous insects. When the legendary ranger Xan refuses to help the adventurers on their quest for redemption, they enter into an ill-advised pact with Ink, a cursed sorceress who stains everything she touches. Caught in the conflict between the two powerful figures, the four banished heroes must confront their darkest desires to escape the Kalparcimex!
This is my first full-length novel I managed to complete and publish! The print edition has some really neat chapter header art that I designed, and overall I'm incredibly proud of this. Special thanks to my beta readers who were an incredible help on this one.
Edited by Margot Atwell
From Ricardo on Goodreads.
My (poor) translation:
As an epic fantasy novel, "Xan & Ink" is part of a new trend within the genre characterized not only by the dark and morally ambiguous character of fantasy, but also in a greater emphasis on characters and their relationships to the detriment of the plot. A typical fantastic story, which reads so well it's as if the characters are writing it themselves. A group of four adventurers set out on a suicide mission in the depths of a mysterious forest full of giant insects to each more deadly than the last. They unwittingly end up participating in the conflict between two sinister characters, the hunter Xanadros and the sorceress Insolade, the true protagonists of the story.,
The mission of the four adventurers ends up being something of no importance. Where it really is the strength of the book is in its setting (that almost alien jungle scenario is uncommon in the genre of epic fantasy), its characters that break with the archetypes usually established in this genre from the beginning (warrior , Magician, thief, priest, etc.) and above all a great imagination both in the monsters and in the magic used by characters who constantly dance in the line that separates heroism from evil. And as in the best fantasy works, Zyz knows how to construct his world from the concrete while at the same time prepares winks to an extended mythology that is armed not through the exposition but of details incorporated to the plot. It is fantasy for adults in the fullest sense of the word, and the characters are fully explored since even their sexuality is examined throughout their pages, an unhealthy and perverse sexuality, but which is something truly attractive.
And best of all is that while Zyz leaves a sequel to appear, the story is relatively self-contained and can be perfectly limited to a single book. Highly recommended, so much so that it has ended up being my favorite this season.
REALLY BAD REVIEW(S)
More to be added if more people pan X&I
A cold and desolate New York story of a double-amputee veteran whose government-issued high tech prosthetic arms are malfunctioning. With winter approaching and homelessness looming, his only hope is an independent clinic in Manhattan. But can he pay their price?
The Right to Bear Arms is a near-future hard SF tale with strong themes of alienation, loss, and political intrigue. I've also recorded it as an audibook! You can listen to it on spotify, audible, prime music, or right here on youtube!
THE MASTER ARCANIST OF THE CRIMSON CITADEL
The Master Arcanist of the Crimson Citadel is a new serial series of novellas I'm working on. MACC is a magical travelogue of an ancient wizard who is slowly losing his sight. Set in the same world as Xan & Ink, and the forthcoming RAPAXORIS and LOAM, it's a charming and lighthearted tale. The first volume will hopefully be out Soon(TM), and the second is already well underway.
Lemon, Maybe and the Electric Lady is a book about a group of lowlifes in Hells' Kitchen who have gained superpowers they cannot deal with. An invisible boy racked with guilt, an electric woman no one can touch, a cop who can appear at will, a wild youth at the edge of madness, and a bartender named Lemon drink their sorrows away as the city disintegrates around them.
Lemon, Maybe, and the Electric Lady is currently awaiting an edit. It's my fond hope it will be out in October 2017.