CC science fiction novel on the iPhone

Josh sez, "I wrote a sci-fi novel called "Roo'd" and released it under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Even cooler, it was chosen for release for the eBook reader for the iPhone - the first modern novel released for the platform, and the second available after Tarzan. W00t! As a first-time author I could never have gotten this kind of feedback any other way - now everyone who hacks their iPhone can try out my book, and I've received tons of fabulous feedback. Go Creative Commons!"
Fede was 18 when Tony got roo'd. He'd been prepping for early college admission with late-night com-classes, goggled in and finger-cramped over nasty circa-2009 C++ code examples while longing to toss it in for time to scan some flashy Java virii. Tony had been gone from his life for at least a couple years, five years his senior and a failure, as far as their folks saw it. Bailing out of a prestigious single-course curriculum at MIT, the rumor was that he'd crashed and burned on Pakistani kraft; carefully engineered cold cells delivering a prolonged payload of top-flight methamphetamines directly to the spongy flanges of his right hemisphere.

"Coulda been a genius" Fed's father had said when he'd said anything about Tony, which wasn't often. He had never said much, plugged in as he was basically 24/7 to a Grecko-Roman massively-multiplayer game world based out of a datahaven in the Balkan Islands. Fed's Dad had been an in-game Wizard, administering illegal betting and avatar trades through a Russian triumvirate. About the time Tony had washed out of MIT their Dad's game servers had been pulled by marketeers and put to use in a retro Furry MUD. Without the reassuring virtual community of brother-love Fed's Dad had simply faded away, dissapearing the same way Tony eventually had.

Link (Thanks, Josh!


  1. Also available (along with many others) for those encumered by a regular ‘dumb’ java enabled phone at .

    0xdeadbeef – I don’t know why but phones seem to be built/sold with weird limitations – like only four short memos. They tend to seamlessly support only the things that pay someone money.

  2. Sounds like someone’s been heavily influenced by Cory and Charles Stross, and also needs a good editor. “Grecko”-Roman? Is it “Fede” or “Fed”? And that’s just in two paragraphs.

  3. Halloween Jack, I agree. I can’t follow more than two lines of this without getting confused. I wouldn’t read past these paragraphs.

  4. I’m confused. Why does everything in the neo-old-cyberpunk world need to be broadcast from a datahaven in a trendy ethnic location? Is gaming criminalised in the future? And why does the narrator in these stories always choose to tell instead of to show?

    Ahh, yes, because nobody ever brings up “carefully engineered cold cells delivering a prolonged payload of top-flight methamphetamines directly to the spongy flanges of his right hemisphere” in real conversations. Nor should they.

  5. What if computers had never been invented? We’d all be sitting around writing (on typewriters natch) really cheesy cyberpunk about, like, central vacuum cleaning systems or something.

    Spike was 14 when he first jacked in, trying to impress a girl with the hottest rig he’d ever seen. Dyson 465 airwatt centripetal engine straight out of the Chinese development labs – you couldn’t even get them in this country yet – 150 CFM and a 65 decibel threshold. He took one look at it and he wanted to do her mother, just to see if another one like her would pop out.

    Girl like that wasn’t going to look twice at some burb cleaning suck geek with an ’07 Eureka bagless rebuild, a hand-me-down from his dead sister Slice, plastered with emo band stickers and blood spatter on the cowling. No, Spike knew if he wanted a bit of that, he needed to walk the edge, he needed to really cut loose and ride the tornado. He needed to jack into the central flow downtown at the source, the Hoover Tower itself. Dyson girl wouldn’t even plug her system into that.

    But Spike did, because he was young, dumb and immortal and topped off with testosterone. And he liked how she got a little scared when he used his dad’s petol valve wrench to pop the metal cap on the access pipe in the alley behind the tower – the banshees shrieking down, down in the cavernous vacuum chambers far below the street. She licked her lips, whispered “do it,” and he heard it as “do me” as he slammed the hose attachment into place and then the street was gone and Spike was there.

    He felt those raw airwatts flashing behind his eyeballs, pollen concentrations spiking into hay fever nirvana – 50 ppm, 100 ppm, higher. And then the fumes from a million cigarettes, dander of a million pets – and yes, the salty arginine smell of semen in the background. All of it slashing into his brain like a million CFM of genetically reengineered Japanese hash smoke. And Spike forgot all about the girl. This was it, baby. This was what he’d been looking for all along.

  6. KICKYFAST Ahh, yes, because nobody ever brings up “carefully engineered cold cells delivering a prolonged payload of top-flight methamphetamines directly to the spongy flanges of his right hemisphere” in real conversations. Nor should they.

    Yep, they’ll Tase your sorry ass for that sort of thing back where I come from.

  7. it’s sort of good and sort of bad all at once. maybe i’ve become too much of a minimalist, but there’s just too much going on at some points. at the same time, i jsut may end up somehow getting sucked into reading it all.

  8. I submitted this as a link but Cory said this was a better place to post it, so here you all go. For a while now, I’ve been writing a serial novel, also CC licensed, called The Hole.

    I’ve been describing it as “a serial novel of supernatural apocalypse about a global plague, zombies, and a small group of survivors making their way across a very weird Midwest.”

    I’m consistently getting terrific feedback (including a lot of people, though I’m not sure I believe them, telling me its as good as Wellington’s work) and I’m around half way in (50,000 words as of now). New parts go up once or twice a week and the traffic has been rather good (over a hundred people on the email list).

    If you like zombies, apocalyptic stuff, or weird Mormon mythology, you should check it out.

  9. Psssst, Aaron? Cut the line about Wellington next time. Say you’re surprised at how positive the response has been, and leave it at that.

    p.s. I deny that EvaJean can tell what the crazy used on his hair.

  10. I wrote a Creative Commons “book” for the iPhone on my website. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure style story, and I’m surprised how positive the response has been… check it out!

    It also works on the iPod Touch, at no extra cost!

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