Saturday, 13 December 2014

If we treated the outputs of our minds with the same thought and deliberation as the inputs of our bodies, the world would be a far quieter place.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Today I woke up and forgot how to smile,
And lost my right arm to my pet crocodile.
My left I retained with a honk and a frown,
Not from me, though, you see, but my friend, sad-faced clown.

His mood, oh so bleak, strikes a chord with my own,
A guise bright and bold on a corpse of bleached bone.
Though he saved me from breaking the fast of Sir Croc,
We both know 'twas fruitless; Death ticks on my clock.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

As developments in artificial intelligence advance, and we step closer to an age where interaction with automatons will be a mundane facet of daily life, the question arises: do we really want robots that are indistinguishable from people?

Certainly, staring at a stocky metal frame coiled with hydraulic tubes and copper wires might not be the most aesthetically pleasing of pastimes, but the immediate existential indicator serves a purpose. If you know you're conversing with a robot, a machine designed to follow an unbreakable set of rules and facilitate your needs in accordance with them, would you not be more comfortable revealing potentially private information? Take, for example, a robot working at a bank. Combining the role of teller and computer, the robot is able to process loan applications and the like through simple conversation. If the robot advertised its mechanical nature through its appearance, it would, in essence, be little different to applying via a computer terminal (albeit with a more rigid reassurance of security). However, if the robot appeared human, might an element of reluctance creep in, when divulging details that could be potentially humiliating or harmful?

Consider another example: a robotic police officer. Where social stigmas might prevent someone from fully revealing their habits or predilections, even when they may be pertinent to a case (see: the tendency for victims of domestic violence to withhold the true extent of their suffering for fear of how it will affect their image), talking to a robotic officer could provide a means for balancing unbiased reception without demanding the cognitive composure necessary to fill out a form or written statement. Here again, a robot that does not masquerade as human would serve better than one that did.

So, is the push to design artificial constructs in our own image really the future of robotics? The human form is highly adaptive, and our environments are constructed with our shape in mind. But, from a psychological standpoint, it seems that many of the advantages of a mechanical automaton would be lost if they were to perfectly emulate their masters. To have to constantly question whether the person on the other end of the table -- or the other end of the phone -- is made of organs or circuits; the potential for psychological distress is enormous, not to mention the ethical implications related to treatment of an organic entity versus an artificial one.

So, should we really be striving to shape our artificial assistants in our own image? Would the familiarity breed comfort, or suspicion?

To emulate, or not to emulate: that is the question.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

In times of conflict, a good book offers greater refuge than any iron fortress or fallout shelter.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

If a watched clock never ticks, who's to say stopped clocks aren't simply haunted by the spirits of weary office workers desperately awaiting the freedom of five pm?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but handing out bouquets of blood-buds just isn't going to make you as many friends.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

A confidently constructed fiction is indistinguishable from fact.


The truth is simply the story that has thus far succeeded in fighting off its contenders.


Life is a first draft with no room for revision.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Someone once asked me: 'What on Earth were you thinking?'
To which I replied truthfully: 'Why nothing, my good sir. My brain was taking a stroll on the moon at the time, while my body was busy balancing orbits.'
When my fellow conversant inquired as to the stability of my mind, I assured him: 'My head is as hale as a hare and my hair is as hard as a hat. My noggin's as nimble as noodles, my cranium lithe as a cat.'
I fear my friend failed to find the facetiousness in my frenzy. Perhaps it was folly of me to fly so free with my frankness. Pfah! A feather in my fringe and frollick ho!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Tet over at Number the Stars has put together a great little review of Guerrilla Internet. Zoom on over here and give it a read!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Every time I die, I realise it was just a dream,
And this curse that we call life persists in tearing at my seams,
Bereft of beauty, shorn of lustre, Eden rots with my decay,
And pretty soon these walls will crumble; we live to die another day.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

My good friend James has posted some astute and eloquent observations on the travesty of WWI here on his blog. James summarises convincingly the utter pointlessness of the Great War, and the many negative consequences that sprouted from its devastating ruins. Willful ignorance is far too pervasive these days; do yourself a favour and remember, lest we forget.
Head over to OnlineBookClub to read a great little review of my latest story, Isis. 3/4 stars, and it's free. Honestly, what's stopping you from giving it a go?

(You can grab Isis itself here. Go on. Do it!)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Well, for all you non-US resident authors out there who have undoubtedly come sword-to-sword with the warriors of IRS tax forms and Moebius bureaucracy, a wonderful fellow writer friend of mine, Sandra Fitzgerald, has posted a bit of helpful advice to get you sorted, returning to you the sizable percentages that get stolen away from us international storytellers online. Give it a read if you want to plug the cracks of leaking profits.

Check out the post on her blog here!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Diane Coto over at FictionZeal has posted a lovely review of Guerrilla Internet over at her blog. Check it out here!
A book can take a year to write, yet be read in mere days.
An artistic masterpiece can take similarly long, yet be consumed in seconds, absorbed in minutes, interpreted in hours.
Human beings are conceived in seconds, fermented in months, raised for years, yet live for decades. Most are capable of reproduction, and engage in the act often and eagerly. Creators, though, are few and far between, and their artistic children rare and frequently short-lived.
What does this say of the value of human life? Is progeny something to be proud of, or merely a means of sustaining our race? Is it the children of our bodies, or the children of our minds that deserve the fullest attribution of praise, and the prime focus for building a legacy?

What matters most? The life of an idea, or the idea of a life?

Friday, 18 July 2014

I am proud to reveal the cover art for Zachary Bonelli's latest book, Alterra.

Young people on Alterra must choose. After they complete secondary school, they enroll either in University—a life of science and mathematical pursuits—or Monastery—a life of literature, history and spiritual depth. Initiate Le is in his final year of school. All his life, he has prepared himself for University, but something feels wrong. Neither University nor Monastery compel him forward. One night, Le discovers a young man from his school sneaking into a ‘zone,’ a dangerous area where nanotechnology runs rampant, cordoned off from the rest of the city. Against all reason, Le follows Initiate Stok inside. What he discovers will change him and his world forever. Equal parts love story, military adventure and social philosophy, Alterra is the story of three young men striving to save two estranged parallel worlds whose only hope for survival is to rectify the ancient schism that shattered them both.

A fantastically fast-paced adventure that delves into the clashing constructs of technology and religion, Alterra is a tale of the trials of identity, friendship, romance, and responsibility in a society schismed by its apocalyptic past. I wholeheartedly enjoyed reading Alterra, and can recommend it without qualms for anyone with an interest in exploring the tension between faith and science, the tribulations of socially-shunned relationships, or just kick-ass science fiction in general.

The book is set to be released September 28th, and you can learn more about Zachary and his works over at Fuzzy Hedgehog Press.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

They didn't understand what they were doing.I'm afraid that will be on the tombstone of the human race.

- Michael Crichton, Prey

I could not have put it better myself. His own memorial deserves a message of He may not have known what he was doing, but he did it better than most.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Over at FreeEbooksDaily, they're holding an author spotlight on me, revealing some fun facts and curios regarding me and my writing process. Go have a read!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Ninja thought-bombs ahoy:

Ignore my ignorance; it's merely my kind's chief export.

Thy is lacking in wit,
Of that, I admit.

Friday, 27 June 2014

And we have launch!

Isis is now available on Amazon, with other retailers coming very soon. Amazon has a peculiar policy with not allowing books priced free (they only drop them as price-matches), so if the 99cent price-tag is too much to afford, you can pick up a free copy over at Smashwords.
At that price, how can you say no?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The cover for my soon-to-be-released short story, Isis, is here for your hungry eyeballs to consume! 

A hug-warm bed every night. A freshly-brewed coffee every dawn. That's the promise being touted by revolutionary tech giant iSYS and their new smart-home system. For Grayl, a self-confessed couch-potato, the chance to be a part of history in the making for the first time in his life was just too enticing to pass up.
Promises, though, are cheap. Trust is not. If Grayl hopes to find a purpose to his languorous life, he's going to need to place his trust in a spider web of circuit boards and copper wires.
Good thing computers can't lie, right?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

For those who see time not as a linear sequence of events, but rather a topographical tapestry of interwoven experiences, every birth is death, every crypt a womb, every moment a mere fleck of paint on a canvas soaked in scarlet. What will our ascendants remember us for? Not our art, not our ingenuity, but our predilection for the pugilation of war. We kill ourselves every day in a futile effort to forget the inevitability of our demise. Were we one, would we still be mortal?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

My new short story, entitled Isis, is set to be released very soon. A tale of the perils inherent in over-trusting technology, it impels you to question just how far we can go before computers truly do rule our lives. 

Read on for the blurb:

A hug-warm bed every night. A freshly-brewed coffee every dawn. That's the promise being touted by revolutionary tech giant iSYS and their new smart-home system. For Grayl, a self-confessed couch-potato, the chance to be a part of history in the making for the first time in his life was just too enticing to pass up.
Promises, though, are cheap. Trust is not. If Grayl hopes to find a purpose to his languorous life, he's going to need to place his trust in a spider web of circuit boards and copper wires.

Good thing computers can't lie, right?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Bridget from Portable Pieces of Thoughts has written an absolutely wonderful review of Guerrilla Internet on her blog. Check it out here!

Monday, 2 June 2014

These words like flakes of glittering gold embroidered into snow-white silk.
There is no jewel, no star, no light, that outshines my loquacious ilk.

Words: my friends, my swords, my shield.
With them at hand, I shall never yield.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Check out a marvelous review of Guerrilla Internet from here!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Aliens watch.
They see us talk with war and celebrate with poison,
Fashioning our only home into a mausoleum.
Aliens pause.
They see us praise cowards and conmen,
While our greatest minds wither unlauded.
Aliens leave.

Friday, 16 May 2014

I've got a new short story up on Scriggler, a site for sharing stories with an emphasis on community commenting, and I would love for you to take a few minutes to check it out. Won't take you ten minutes, and I'm certain you won't feel them wasted!

Sebastian Graves long ago abandoned his one dream, his one fervent ambition, for the security of a mundane job and the normalcy of adult life. But when he's offered a chance to trade-in his safe and stolid existence for another shot at the impossible, how could he possibly say no?

Read it here!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Ideas are like brain worms that won't leave until you lay down a bed of lush word foliage for them to feast upon.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Guerrilla Internet is on sale for 99 cents!

That's chump change; a third the cost of a decent coffee. So skip the barista-stirred brew this morning and dive instead into a world of controversial conspiracies and nebulous motivations. For 99 cents, how can you say no?


 - Matt

Friday, 25 April 2014

Everyone loves a sneak peek, right? A glimpse behind the curtain, a snatch-glance over the fence, a gander in the dressing room? Hmm, maybe that last one's a little much...
But steering back on point, here follows a steaming pile of surgically-extracted goodness (subject to opinion) from my brain directly to yours. Enjoy!

The mahogany-panelled boardroom smelled of whisky and corruption. Even the air tasted rich with the iron tang of blood and money--though which held sway, Abbey couldn't tell. What was as clear as the lingering musk of Cuban cigars, though, was the utter absence of beady-eyed businessmen waiting to greet her. Not one of MassMedia's leadership, not even a token representative. Well, unless you count-- 
"The board of directors will be joining us via video conference shortly," droned Ms Opello, her voice like cold steel. "Please make yourselves comfortable in the interim."
She ushered Abbey and her two watchdogs inside, then swept out of the room.
"Wait!" cried Abbey, biting her tongue when the call came out shrill and desperate. She rushed to the door, but Ms Opello had already disappeared around the bend of the corridor. 
"If this were a real deal," Abbey mumbled, turning around and heading back into the boardroom, "they'd have just cost themselves 10% in asshole fees."

Thursday, 24 April 2014

A writer's veins pulse with percolated coffee. Without it we falter, fall, and fail. Caffeine is the drug of the gods.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Our lives are stories; our stories are our lives. If you wish a taste of immortality, look to the storyteller and write. Only narratives defy the entropy of age.

Friday, 4 April 2014

At one time or another, we are all dissatisfied with our lot in life. No money, few friends, poor past decisions coming back to haunt us. We dream of escape, of fleeing to a place where no one knows who we are, where our old lives can be forgotten, a place like Nowhere.

Nel, a civil engineer working in a Seattle suffering apocalyptic-level climate change and war-time rationing, is about to realise this fantasy. An impossible place existing outside of time, where the problems of his old life are but echoes of a distant dream...

Too bad Nowhere's got its own share of woes for him to deal with. Maybe Nel would have been better off with the devil he knew...

With an eclectic menagerie of wonderfully weird characters, and a smorgasbord of locales sporting influences from Lovecraft to Escher, Insomnium delivers surprise and intrigue with gleeful abandon. Horse-head soldiers living in a castle of living flesh. Justice doled out underwater by jellyfish judges. A bacchanal labyrinth employed as a perverse feeding device.

Nowhere may be a dangerous place, but the reward for visiting far outweighs the risk. With each of Insomnium's episodes, Zachary explores a new theme, a new aspect of society that so keenly pierces the shadows of our own lives. From autocracy to libertarianism, from relationship commitments to homophobic discrimination, from shame and regret to zeal and tenacity; Nowhere may be an alien world, but the life lessons discovered there strike home with unerring precision.

Link: Amazon
Price: $5.97
Spring has sprung and change has come, but the shadows of Winter linger still in the mind of Eostre. Young and fallow, she has much to learn before fate brings her and Isaac together as husband and wife. Her world dances between two corporeal states: in one, death abounds at the hands of the Delirium plague; in the other, life blooms by virtue of a mysterious farmer and his miracle cure. But which world is truth? Light or dark, sun or shadow? A young boy built of golden light, or an old woman cloaked with obsidian ravens; who is Eostre to trust?
Heaven and Hell converge in A. Ka's second fantastical tale in the Isaac The Fortunate series. Delicately balancing confusion and mystery with morsels of mind-twisting revelation, The Spring questions the value of blind faith and ignorance to inquisition while demonstrating the power and importance of human curiosity. Beautifully realised in both prose and pictures, Eostre's adventure deftly avoids the temptation of oblivion to create a memory indelible to even the time-bending Golden Bridle.
Seasons pass, and The Summer cannot arrive fast enough.

Link: Amazon
Price: $3.61

Friday, 14 March 2014

D A Bale reviews Guerrilla Internet: Delve into the Code Realm with "Guerrilla Internet"

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Beltran the farmer, the only one left breathing in a town, a country, a world ravaged by the Delirium plague. Winter waxes, and he awaits the end with an empty bottle and a hangman's noose.
Some hero. He cares not even for himself; what chance has he to save an entire peoples? 
Count not the odds. The Chaste One will prevail.
Save the world. Save your friends. Save your wife.
The Traveller and her Golden Bridle, a means to correct the past, to rescue himself and millions more. But how much control does he really have? Can he truly bring back his wife? And what stake do The Horsemen have in all this? Only one way to find out.
Drink up.
Framed as a tale in the larger narrative of Isaac the Fortunate, The Winter is the first entry in a six-part fantasy series that sprinkles just the right amount of mysticism over a world of wintry hardship, where the people live for every day, and death is but the shadow lurking at the edge of vision. The characters here know pain, know suffering, and the bleak atmosphere A. Ka has conjured bleeds like black tar from the pages.
Beltran begins his journey as a fairly unlikeable character: a selfish and hasty fool who seemingly brings further distress upon himself. But disaster drives change, and his character arc is endearing once he employs his mind before his hands.
One aspect of The Winter which must be recognised is the seemingly trivial details that occasionally crop up. At first, I questioned the relevance of some of these peculiar sequences and motifs, but at the halfway point of the story, the loose threads start to come full circle, and the wonderful 'Aha!' moments follow.
As the opening chapter to a larger world, The Winter begets mystery while delivering an immensely satisfying tale of love, loss, and the ineluctable thorns of the rose we call life.
The Winter has come.
Price: $3.49
Link: Amazon 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

For all you Apple geeks out there, my book, Guerrilla Internet, is now available on the iTunes store:

And now for a passage to whet your appetite...

A damp wind whipped down the gloomy street and stung Charlie’s bare cheek. The midday sky wore a thick grey overcoat, stripping the world below of its vibrancy so all appeared bleak and forlorn. The air hinted at rain, sporadic flecks of moisture tickling naked skin just often enough to raise alarm.

Charlie brushed an errant drop of water from his cheek and followed Mel to the curb. She waved her hands emphatically and a canary-yellow cab veered out of traffic, shuddering to a halt with one wheel halfway onto the sidewalk. For Charlie it was a surreal experience; the first real postcard moment, a powerful reminder that he was ten-thousand miles from home, the protective walls of his apartment far beyond his reach, no bastion from the chaos, no fortress from the unknown.

“C’mon Charlie, get in!”

Monday, 10 February 2014

'How careful are you with what you say in a phone call? In a text message? Are you strict enough to never reveal personal information in an email, or on Facebook? Most people aren't.' 

Charlie, a soon-to-be unemployed software tester struggling through remission from depression and anxiety, is about to discover just how lethal a weapon information can be in the wrong hands. When one of his colleagues is murdered for the sake of stealing his company's innocuous in-development phone app, his life is upended and shaken like one of James Bond's martinis. With the aid of Mel, a technologically illiterate but worldly-wise security guard, Charlie must conquer his inhibitions and venture outside his cloistered comfort zone in order to prevent a cyberterrorist conspiracy so devastating it threatens the very future of the internet itself... 

A technological thriller set in modern times, Guerrilla Internet tackles the themes of privacy, security, and freedom of expression in the age of a constantly connected society. A tale of subterfuge and doublespeak, of plots within plots, where laws and morals clash to decide the meaning of freedom in an always-online world.

If you're interested, Smashwords has the first 20% of the book viewable online: here

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Every ward, every governor, every citizen of Nowhere must join forces if Drogl is to be defeated. Can Nel, Rev, and Gin convince their former enemies to unite under the banner of sovereign survival?

Failed Vision takes an informative stroll down memory lane, exposing the consequences of Nel and co's previous adventures. The pressure builds to the rollicking conclusion, itself an explosive setup for the finale to the Insomnium saga.

Price: $0.97
Link: Amazon

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Led by the ghost of injustice past, Nel must face the woes of his friends and foe in order to galvanise his own future. The abyss is black with pain and corruption; will he survive its tainted touch?

The hardships exposed in Projections from the Abyss are both crushing and haunting, for they cast light on many of the shadows that darken our imperfect world. Relatable and reflective, this tale offers an unadulterated snapshot of the sins of our society. Read it. Now.

Price: $1.00
Link: Amazon

Saturday, 18 January 2014

'Truth exists independently of any one person'? Great, the Skeptic is completely delusional. Nel and co are going to have to work a miracle if they want to find the Architect, and make it out of this intact...

Exceptionally paced and abundant with artifice, Piercing the Mundane teases even more of the greater game at play outside of Nowhere while testing both the characters and the reader with challenges of intellect. Thrilling to the end.

Price: $0.99
Link: Amazon

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Is Nowhere just the product of someone's unconsciousness? Could Nel, Rev, and Gin be nothing but figments of a dream? Could knowing the truth really jeopardise Nowhere's non-existence?
Solipsism: thy name is Nowhere.

The stakes are high and the tension taught in this luminous adventure. The Dreamer elevates the conflict at the heart of Insomnium to precipitous heights: is a happy ending even possible now? Must read on to find out... 

Price: $0.98
Link: Amazon

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Regret is a burden only the self can excise.
Gin has been told time and time again that her sister's death wasn't her fault, but until she truly believes that, her future will hold naught but vacuous penance. And if the Monarch has her way, Gin might not even have that...

Gin's tale of remorse is sincere and affecting, touching on topics of grief, blame, and love with such honesty that it is nigh impossible not to feel her pain. Long Live the Queen is simply the most relatable chapter in the Insomnium series yet.
Price: $0.99
Link: Amazon

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

It's time for Nel, Rev, and Gin to confront the conflict that drove them to Nowhere in the first place. To acknowledge and own their past actions and inactions. To move on to a brighter future.
Or should that be 'brighter always'? The passage of time in Nowhere is always so confusing...

Spelunking the various Seattles provides intriguing and salient commentary on many political and ethical quandaries we see today. That Ego Altered explores such potentialities without disrupting its gripping narrative pace is testament to Zachary's skill at storytelling, and social commentary.

Price: $0.96
Link: Amazon

Monday, 13 January 2014

Ever have that feeling that you forgot something, and no matter how hard you try, you just can't recall it?
Nel and Rev... Why does that sound incomplete? And how does Rev have a holographic computer when his Seattle had never invented holographic technology?
Something is definitely amiss, and it's starting to literally eat away at Nel and Rev's very existence...

You know it's a good story when you start verbally cheering for the protagonists. With a distinctly Matrix-esque vibe, Know Thyself earns such praise for its constantly compelling narrative and endearing bonds between characters. Tremendous.

Price: $3.66
Link: Amazon

Sunday, 12 January 2014

What happened to the Voxls? Were they killed? Erased? Or did they escape? And why can no one remember them?
The Usurper knows the answer, but he prefers to show rather than tell...

Balancing a clever - and hilarious - homage to pop culture with the deepest glimpse yet into Nowhere's dark depths, Sugar under the Devil delivers smiles, scowls, and one heck of an unsettling ending.

Price: $3.74
Link: Amazon

Friday, 10 January 2014

Conundrum! How do you beat a legal system run by nigh omniscient jellyfish when you're charged with *feeling* too much?
Answer: Find a beer-swigging alligator with a penchant for black eyes and boxing...

Presenting legal proceedings in an engaging and intriguing light is no mean feat, but Trial by Water pulls it off effortlessly. Tension and tumult propel this underwater adventure towards another tantalising conclusion.

Price: $3.74
Link: Amazon

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Wanderer knows of an exit, they say. An exit from Nowhere. But beware! For he feeds on emotion, and his palace of depravity knows nothing of restraint...

A blisteringly paced adventure through a den of debauchery, Unnatural Desire provokes and evokes with equal abandon, culminating with a realisation too oft-ignored: normal is what we make it. A beautifully bombastic read.

Price: $3.63
Link: Amazon

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Ever wished for a fresh start? A clean slate? A new world where the golden paths of all-possibility lay at your feet?
Nowhere is not that place.
Nel's hometown of Seattle might have been a post-decadent dog pile, but at least it didn't have talking fish, alligator guards, and slendermen sentinels around every corner.
And what's this about a metaxia?
A riveting introduction to a realm of fantastical weirdness. Asleep builds fast and fluidly, with a parade of potentialities for future installments to expand upon. Intrigue awaits!

Price: $3.63
Link: Amazon
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