My Writing

The A.I. Chronicles have arrived!

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. Even today, machines that mimic human thinking surround us. As the intellectual feats of computing machines grow more and more astounding, will there be a day when their apparent intelligence approaches, or even surpasses, that of human beings? And what if these machines then become conscious, self-aware?

Get this latest title in the acclaimed Future Chronicles series of speculative fiction anthologies.

AI Chronicles

Thirteen authors confront the question of the Singularity: at and beyond that point of time when A.I. becomes more than simply a human construct. From first awareness to omniscience, these original short stories explore that territory where human intelligence comes face-to-face with what is either its greatest hope, or its greatest threat.

How can you join the party?

Join us TODAY, March 13th, in celebrating the launch on Facebook from 5 to Midnight EST.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1535855083368828/

Get your copy of The A.I. Chronicles here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TUIBHL4/

Enter the Giveaway!

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The A.I. Chronicles are here!

Yet another entry in The Future Chronicles series is available for preorder now and will be delivered on March 13th. I have a brand new short story in this one… A Piece of Cake. Sort of a satirical look at a future.

I have read several other stories in this anthology and so far each one is fantastic. Order The A.I. Chronicles now!

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Two new sci-fi shorts – “I Dream of PIA” and “Hanging with Humans”

Now you can grab my short stories from The Robot Chronicles and The Alien Chronicles a la carte!

I Dream of PIA - High Resolution - Version 2

Hanging with Humans cover 2

Pick up I Dream of PIA and read about Jeff’s challenges with the AI who lives in his wall. She’s remarkably fond of him, but she doesn’t quite get humans… and when she tries to set him up on a date, the results don’t satisfy either one of them.

Hanging with Humans is a wacky tale about aliens who decide to visit Earth as part of an intergalactic game show. But when cultures collide, there can be misunderstandings… especially when a high school prom and all three alien genders are involved. In the end, though, it turns out that Earthlings are very much to the taste of Zeldarians.

Hanging with Humans is available for preorder now and will be delivered on February 20th.

Look for my next short story, Piece of Cake, in The A.I. Chronicles, to be released in March. It’s been a thrill to be part of this amazing best-selling series of anthologies known as The Future Chronicles, which is the brainchild of Samuel Peralta, series editor, and David Gatewood, editor. I’ve had lots of fun writing short, funny sci-fi stories.

Thanks for reading and reviewing! I always love to hear what you think.

Friend me on Facebook, where I spend way too much time, follow me on Twitter as @PatriceFitz, subscribe to this website, or sign up for my newsletter so you can get the occasional ARC for early reading and input.

The Alien Chronicles is coming!

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I’m in another awesome anthology, The Alien Chronicles. The ebook is available for preordering right now, and will be live and available digitally and in print by January 9th! Don’t miss these excellent stories by blockbuster sci-fi authors including Hugh Howey, B. V. Larson, Jennifer Foehner Wells, Daniel Arenson, Blair Babylon, Annie Bellet, and Samuel Peralta. Some of these are traditionally published authors, and some indies.

From scary first contact tales to funny-looking alien stories, this has it all. This anthology is the third in the series of “Future Chronicles,” and to date, each one has reached best-seller status.

Also be on the lookout for “The A.I. Chronicles,” for which I’m writing another story, to be released in early 2015.

I’m having a blast concocting these fun shorts and putting them out into the world so quickly. You’ll see what I mean when you read them!

Thanks, as usual, for reading the blog, and if you want to hear FIRST about news on my books, please sign up to be notified here.

Win a copy of my best-selling political thriller in the Great Online Scavenger Hunt!

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Welcome to the Great Online Scavenger Hunt! Each day, for 22 days, you’ll have a chance to hunt for clues in the form of a line or quote from Annie Kelleher’s paranormal romance The Ghost and Katie Coyle.

The Grand Prize is a Kindle Paperwhite eReader, which will be won only by correctly identifying and reporting all 22 clues first. See Annie’s site for all the details. The clues will be hiding on various websites which will be listed on Annie’s site one day at a time. You can join any time within those 22 days and will also be entered to win either a digital or print copy of RUNNING in the Great Online Scavenger Hunt giveaway hosted by Annie Kelleher, along with the other wonderful prizes she is offering.

Final Ghost Katie Coyle cover

There are now TWO clues on my website… one from Day #4 and one from Day #17. My clues won’t be too hard to find, since some of my website is still in progress… so go forth and find them!

When you find those quotes, copy and email them to KatieCoyleScavengerHunt@gmail.com and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win one of the many prizes. And… if you’re diligent in your hunt and manage to collect every single day’s hunt clue, you’ll be eligible for the final drawing to win a Kindle Paperwhite eReader!

Visit Anne Kelleher’s website every day to see which website holds the next clue to hunt down and submit your entry for that day’s prize.

Enjoy!

New Thriller – AIRBORNE!

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Seventy thousand years ago, the human race was nearly wiped out.

We survived, but just barely.

AIRBORNE is the story of a plague that has been unleashed to finish the job. To determine how many will live…and how many will die.

Dr. Melissa Van Meer is flying back east to give a presentation that could get her out of the lab and in front of the people with money, money for grants to fund her research into life-saving inoculations for children in developing countries. She’s heard about the flu that’s racing around the world, but isn’t really alarmed—after her years growing up in India, where she acquired some scars of her own, she’s seen far worse.

Until she gets on a plane where one by one the passengers are dying.

The pilot is unconscious. The other doctors are gone. The airport is closed.

Melissa’s no hero. But she’s all they’ve got.

AIRBORNE is a Kindle Worlds novella, currently on sale for only $1.99. The book is set in the world created by A.G. Riddle in his Atlantis: The Origin Mystery trilogy, which has sold more than 700,000 copies to date and is to be published in sixteen other countries. Movie rights to A.G. Riddle’s “Atlantis Gene” have been acquired by CBS Films.

The Robot Chronicles are released!

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The Robot Chronicles

Tremendous and varied short stories about robots and AI are included in this great collection. There’s a Foreword by David Simpson of the Post-Human series, and shorts by fabulous authors Hugh Howey, Matthew Mather, Samuel Peralta, David Adams, Ann Christy, Nina Croft, WJ Davies, Jason Gurley, Deirdre Gould, A.K. Meek, Edward W. Robertson, Endi Webb… and me! The editor was the wonderful David Gatewood.

It’s holding down the #3 spot on three best-seller lists on Amazon right now. Available as an ebook and in print.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

P.S. My short story, I Dream of PIA, has sex in it. You are forewarned!

Cover Reveal for Karma of the Silo: the Collection!

Karma of the Silo - Final Ebook Cover

The entire collection of Karma stories is coming in December!

Watch this space for an announcement about the ebook that will include all five Silo stories featuring this character, who was introduced by Hugh Howey in SHIFT.  The big ebook (around 80,000 words) will be out in December, and the print version in early 2014.

I am so psyched about this exciting new cover by artist Mike Tabor.  He has created such wonderful covers for me throughout this entire series, and his art really sets them apart.

Thanks, as usual, for reading the blog, and if you want to hear FIRST about news on my books, please sign up to be notified here.  No spamming and no selling of your email!  And of course you can unsubscribe from the list at any time.

The Karma series is complete!

Based on characters from Hugh Howey’s world of WOOL, “Last Walk” is the fifth and final episode of the best-selling Karma series and has just been published…  Last Walk Final Re-worked

They’re fighting in the Silo— the battles are between the Up Top and the Down Deep, with the Mids caught in between. There are too many young people without work. They ink themselves with primitive face tats and guard their territory against incursions from below or above.

In Karma’s family, there is a critical fault splitting them right down the middle. Who will toe the line and stay loyal to the head of IT, Karma’s son… and who will join his wife in supporting the resistance?

Karma herself must go further than she ever has to protect her family and to help the Silo survive. Whatever she chooses, this is the end.

Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of this 20,000 word ebook:

“Do you know that I’ve been on to you from the start, and not once did you pull the wool over this boy’s eyes?”

Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“Knowing the truth is always good. And better that it’s us discovering it than someone else, right?”

Hugh Howey, WOOL

1

The young people are fighting.

I see two of them, inked on the face with the colors of the Down Deep, locking bodies with two from the Up Top. It must have just started.

So much of this now, everywhere I go. In the halls, on the landings, on the great stairs. Even in the cafeteria.

A tall one with the white and silver dagger of the Up Top across his cheek is wrestling hand-to-hand with a shorter but more muscular opponent whose face bears a blue gear. I hear grunts and the sickening sound of a fist hitting bone. Something crunches and I shudder.

Where are the level guards? There are supposed to be two citizens on every floor to stop such fights. Maybe they were outmanned. I notice someone lying on the ground near the wall. Is he part of a gang or one of the guards? I can’t see his face.

The other two young men are circling each other, bloodied and purpling already with bruises they seem to relish. A grin passes between them, a moment of glory in the fight before they engage again. One of them gets perilously close to the railing.

Most onlookers rush away from the violence, eager to get out of sight and sound of the fight. Those with children push them down the hall and into the safety of home. Others are attracted to the excitement. I see men—particularly young men—and some women, watching with eager eyes to see who triumphs. Up here on seventeen, the home court advantage goes to the Daggers. The Gears sense this, and their fighting becomes more desperate.

A cheer goes up as the tall Dagger gets in a powerful blow, and the Gear is thrown against the stairs.

I gasp when the crowd whoops with encouragement. As the shorter man is lifted above the railing and balanced for a moment on the brink, his eyes catch mine and beseech me as I scream out for mercy. Others are shouting, some for, some against.

The crumpled figure near the wall lifts his head. “Don’t do it,” he croaks, but no one can hear him. I realize with a start that it’s my grandson, Abe. He tries to raise himself and I hurry over to help.

And then there is a wail—of relief? Of disappointment?—as the young man is pulled back over the edge and stands, panting, still alive.

“Get outta here, Gearheads!” the tall Dagger says. “This is our territory, and don’t forget it. Next time, I’ll throw you over.”

The crowd roars.

2

There is a sickness down here in the Silo. A sickness that has to do with stunted ambition and the frustrated need to explore… to expand. We need to go somewhere, but there is nowhere to go.

The young people feel it the most. They are exploding. Perhaps we bred too many of them in the time after the last uprising—an uprising that didn’t flare up on its own but was masterminded by Jeff, the derelict from IT—and which nevertheless left hundreds dead.

These children don’t remember that. They were all born in the aftermath. The restrictive birth lottery was halted for a few brief years, and during that period the population boomed. These are the children of that boom.

Too many teenagers, and not enough work. No military, no sports teams, no school past sixteen. Instead, they fight each other.

3

Ruth sets out the chairs in the small classroom. I put chalk on the tables in front of the slates. We still draw while we talk, giving cover for our cell meetings.

“How’s Abe?” I ask her quietly.

My daughter-in-law nods at me as she continues to arrange the seating. “Banged up, but okay. He felt terrible. He didn’t get there fast enough, he says. Someone could have died, he told me.”

“Ruth, there’s only so much he could do. It’s out of hand. Thank god he didn’t try to take on all those kids by himself.”

She stops and looks at me. “I know. I know.”

She shivers visibly and then sits beside me. “It’s worse in the Mids. There were two murders last week.”

“Oh my god. How…?”

“A Gearhead from down in Mechanical stabbed someone, and then the Dirt gang members threw him over the railing in retaliation.”

I shake my head. “Can’t the Sheriff do anything?”

Ruth runs her fingers through her dark hair, sprinkled with gray. “She’s trying. She’s added another deputy for each section, and there are the level guards… but it’s out of control.”

“Why haven’t there been any Cleanings?”

As soon as the question is out of my mouth, I am astonished. To think that Cleanings would be a good solution for anything is out of character for me. I give my daughter-in-law a rueful glance. “I can’t believe I said that.”

“I can’t believe you did either.” Ruth almost smiles, then shakes her head and goes back to arranging chairs. “We’ve got to come up with a way to channel all that frustration—all that anger.”

I nod, as the rest of the cell members begin to come into our makeshift meeting hall. “Instead of fighting each other, we need to fight against control from the top. Get them to help us with the resistance work.”

I see Ruth’s eyes cut to the door and stop talking as Celeste comes in. My lovely young granddaughter, walking the tightrope between cell membership and shadowing her father, Mars, to be the next Head of IT… a girl with great balance and a shaky future.

“Hi Mom,” she says, giving Ruth a hug as she passes by. She leans over me, taller than I ever was, and certainly much taller than I am now. “Hi Grandma.” She gives me a kiss on the forehead and plops down into one of the schoolroom chairs.

“I can’t believe how tiny these are. This whole room used to seem huge to me.”

“That’s because you were tiny when you went here, sweetheart,” I say, and squeeze her hand.

“How’s Grandpa?” she asks. Ruth looks up, awaiting my answer.

“He’s doing better,” I say. “His arm has bothered him for years, so that’s not going to change, but the headaches he was complaining about have disappeared.”

“So the doctor doesn’t think it’s… anything serious?” Ruth asks.

“Actually, the doctor says his cognitive function is good for a man of eighty-five. He says that it’s hard to believe Rick went through all that… trouble, years ago.”

“What trouble?” Celeste asks.

“Before you were born, honey,” Ruth says, before I can answer.

“Oh yes… the uprising. Dad’s told me about it.”

I raise my eyebrows at Ruth and let the conversation end as others begin to enter. But I do wonder what Mars has told his daughter about the uprising that took place before she was born. In fact, I wonder what he’s told her about everything.

Sample the book or buy “Last Walk” now and let me know what you think of the ending to this series! 

In December, I’ll release the ebook containing the entire series.  Look for Karma of the Silo: The Collection, next month.  And in early 2014, there will be a print book.

I’m doing NaNoWriMo!  National Novel Writing Month is a way to put on the jets and write the draft for the next book in one month.  Mine is tentatively titled Day Zero and will be a full-length thriller.

Congressman Burke Grant is indicted for the murder of his former intern, a beautiful young woman that he was romantically involved with, despite his rep as a family man.  No body has been found.  To avenge her death, Cleo Gunther’s law school classmates band together to prove that he’s the killer and to see justice done.

Thanks, as usual, for reading, and if you want to hear FIRST about news on my books, please sign up to be notified here.  No spamming and no selling of your email!  And of course you can unsubscribe from the list at any time.

 

 

Hugh Howey… I’ve got his back. How about you?

ImageI think somebody picked on the wrong author when they decided to target Hugh Howey.  Not because he’s rich and powerful… but because his success is totally legit, his books are tremendous, and his fans are legion.

He’s going to come out all right after this, and I hope the other deserving authors do as well.  The speed at which this has turned into a witch hunt has been mind blowing.  What might have been a reasonable discussion about what’s appropriate in Amazon reviews is now a sh*tstorm of accusations and counter-accusations.

We could, in fact, have talked about how Kirkus reviews can be bought, and are.  Or how traditional publishers pay for placement of books on the front tables and on the endcaps in bookstores.  And how the famous book review pages (I’m looking at you, New York Times) do a little “you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” by assigning friendly colleagues to write the definitive reviews about another author’s books.

Further… blurbs are swapped as a matter of courtesy between well-known traditionally published writers for posting on the backs and jackets of new books.  ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) editions of manuscripts are provided (for free, of course!) so that professional reviewers can have their pieces ready before publication.  Interviews on radio, TV, online and in print are set up by P.R. mavens, and the publishers pay generously for all that.  How is that okay, but it’s an outrage if Mom mentions your self-published book to a neighbor because she’s proud, and the neighbor reads and reviews it?

The accusers (I’m not helping them by linking them here) have such a broad definition of “fake review,” I’m surprised any review passes muster with them.  Here’s their first bullet point on a list of how to identify a fake review:

  • Any review written by an author’s friends, relatives or acquaintances, especially reviews requested by the authors themselves to push up their ratings.

Of course authors request reviews!  What nonsense.  Do they think that traditionally published authors don’t ask their fans for reviews?  The difference is that they have armies of marketing people to do the selling for them, whereas an indie author has only herself.  And even if her book is brilliant, if it doesn’t get that first review, or ten, it will never get seen and bought.

Everybody knows that I’m a fan of Hugh Howey.  I read his books, I review his books, for goodness sakes, I write books set in the WOOLiverse.  All of which has come to pass because… I LOVE his books!  I love his books like I love Pride and Prejudice, which I’ve read about twenty times through my life.  I love his books like I love Bel Canto, which was so extraordinary it led me to my soulmate.  I love his books so much I dreamed up a story about one of the characters he referenced, and I’m fleshing out the details of her life.  And yes, Karma fans, I am going back to writing the fifth and final book as soon as I finish this post!

Here’s the 5-star review I wrote about WOOL back in May of 2012, waaaay before I imagined meeting Hugh in person or writing books about his characters.  It’s pretty cool to read it and see how quickly knew that he was the real deal:

Awesome. Simply, incredibly, awesome.

May 25, 2012

 

This review is from: Wool – Part One (Kindle Edition)

I heard about WOOL last week, and got around to downloading this first book a couple of nights ago. Immediately upon finishing the first one, I sprung for the omnibus edition with all the books.

Hugh Howey brings us an extraordinary tale of an imagined world peopled with characters who tell, layer upon layer, the story of the silo they live in. This is a book that makes writers like me say, “Wish I had written that!” His ability to sustain suspense, use different viewpoints, and compel the reader to keep reading is masterful.

In fact, WOOL and the ensuing books constitute a mystery as much as anything else. What really happened? What is outside? And who is in control?

No spoilers here… because I want you to have the fun of discovering the answers for yourself. I just finished the third book and I’m about to dive into the fourth. I just had to take a break for a moment to come here and tell you how awesome WOOL is!

Read this book and thank the folks at KDP who have made it possible for writers like Hugh Howey to share their gifts of imagination with the rest of us. He deserves every bit of success he has found.

P.S. I hope Ridley Scott does make the movie…

So.  That’s what I thought when I was brand new to this author and he had done nothing but write a good book to surprise and delight me into jumping on my laptop and sharing the thrill in discovering WOOL with other readers.  I received no compensation for the review, or any review, then or now.

I feel sorry for the anger and vitriol in the hearts of those who started this witch hunt.  I don’t know who they are or why they thought this was a good use of their time.  Oh… I do notice that they claim to have a “preliminary publishing agreement” for a book deal now.  A profit motive?  How surprising.  I also noticed they are shameless enough to link to Hugh Howey’s very popular blog in order to troll for more readers.

Here’s a tip for those folks who are publishing private business communications on a blog: Get a lawyer.  I note the statement, “Our posts are not meant to defame, harass or personally attack any individual or company.”  Methinks they protest… not only too much but without effect.  Saying you’re not liable doesn’t make it so.

My name is Patrice Fitzgerald.  What’s your name?  If you haven’t got the cojones to use it, perhaps you shouldn’t be naming others.

My name is Patrice Fitzgerald and I am a fan and a friend of Hugh Howey.  I’ve got his back, along with literally a million other readers, all over the world.  And I think you picked on the wrong author.

 

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Works in Progress

“I Dream of PIA” (for The Robot Chronicles anthology, available July 25, 2014)

3149/ 3000 words. 100% done!

"Sand Song” (a novella set in Hugh Howey’s SANDbox)

8,627 / 10000 words. 87% done!

"The Terminal” (a dark futuristic short)

2383 / 2000 words. 100% done!

“ROCKS 1” (the first episode in a dystopian series)

5675 / 10000 words. 57% done!

“Salt & Pepper Mystery #1” (Book one of a cozy mystery series)

22379 / 40000 words. 56% done!

Like Running

My Books

Karma of the Silo: the Collection (Karma Omnibus)
Karma lives in the Silo, deep underground. She lives with a man whom she barely knows and with a name she doesn’t remember choosing. When visions come to her about another husband, another way of life, and another world, Karma struggles to discover what came before.

Cleaning Up: a Silo story (Karma)
Five years have passed since the airlock slammed shut on the 4,000 souls condemned to live in the Silo. Karma can remember now that there was a time before--before she was locked into this cylindrical tomb under the earth. But all she can see of the outside are dead hills and the dark clouds swirling through what remains of a toxic world.

The Sky Used to be Blue: a Silo story (Karma)
Karma lives in a Silo deep beneath the earth. She isn't sure of much else… only that the wallscreen shows an outside view that is barren and swirling with toxic clouds. Most of the other residents seem content. Except for the ones who jump to their deaths from the hundred-level spiral staircase. And the ones who are pushed.

Last Walk: a Silo story
The kids are fighting in the Silo—gangs engage in battles between the Up Top and the Down Deep, with the Mids caught in between. There are too many young people without work. They ink themselves with primitive face tats and guard their territory against incursions from below or above.

Deep Justice: a Silo story (Karma)
Karma has endured twenty-five years underneath the earth. Her path in life—a path she never bargained for—has included marriage to a man she never chose, whose powerful position forces her to hide her memories of the time before.


Rising Up: a Silo story (Karma)
After a hellish three months locked in the private inner sanctum of IT, Karma and her family emerge, bloodied and forever changed. Rick is a man who is no longer in control. Mars has become the power in the Silo.



Silo Saga: SILO SECRETS: Daniel
Daniel is sixteen now, and he can count up to one hundred. He can go all by himself up and down the two levels of the Silo between his home and his job. Daniel knows he's not as smart as some people. But his mother told him he was smart enough to help her, so it must be true. He always believes his mother. His mother is a doctor.

Running
THE NEXT PRESIDENT IS GOING TO BE A WOMAN... Catherine Young, Vice President and newly-anointed Democratic nominee, is surging in the polls. The race is on against GOP candidate Jerusha Hutchins, folksy charmer and blonde beauty, who is the darling of the far-right Liberty Party.

Till Death Do Us Part: a short story
Join Harold and Rosemary as they bring together their family and friends for a night of celebration before a long-planned trip... and see just how this journey ends. Mix a little Dorothy Parker and a little Shirley Jackson, add a twist of David Sedaris and a pinch of O.Henry, and out comes a satirical romp. "Till Death Do Us Part" is a 3,000 word short story. This is a sophisticated take on the way people fool themselves. More New Yorker magazine than Asimov.

The Terminal
To be published next week!





Looking for Lance
A pinch of Dorothy Parker and a twist of O.Henry go into the mix to make this Fitzgerald short a bracing sip of satire. There is a free sample of RUNNING, her best-selling Kindle political thriller, at the end of this story.

Jungle Moon
Another quirky short story from Patrice Fitzgerald about love and the ways people connect. When Felicia gets a special birthday request from her husband Herman, she can't believe what he's asking her to do. Will she say yes? This 3,000 word short story explores the nature of a happy marriage, compromise, and passion. A four-chapter sample of Fitzgerald's best-selling political thriller, RUNNING, is also included.

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