Deus Ex Machina (God from a machine)
The Haunting of House
~ originally a short story. A young lawyer (Cohen)travels to upstate New York to see to dispensation of a will. The beneficiary (Treak) is a most disagreeable man, and Cohen rues the day he was assigned this task, then he meets the caretaker, Oscar Trevant.
Oscar is a mild mannered man of astounding talents, but even more astounding is his creation, a sentient house.
While Oscar is uneffected by Treak’s manner, House is not, and when upset House is like a junkyard dog, more than willing to ‘put the bite’ on people.
So ends the ‘short story,’ so begins an epic three novel series.
Cohen returns to work, and he is an unhappy person. The reason he is unhappy is because he has deep, dark secrets.
Then House is brought to the big city by Oscar, and House likes the apartment building that is young Cohen’s investment.
He likes the young beauty who teaches martial arts, he likes the sculptor in the basement, he likes the Korean who grows plants, but most of all he likes young Jimmy Cohen.
Jimmy has the same last name as Cohen, but there the resemblance ends. Jimmy is a sickly child, doomed to an early death.
And he is perfect for what House plans.
This book is 73,293 words, and comes in paperback and Kindle.
This book has the best tagline ever invented.
A mad Arab sets off an atomic bomb, that leads to ‘The Big One,’ then something really bad happens.
The Haunting of House created characters that will appear in this book, but in the beginning, they are forgotten.
A dirty Dodge van crawls up the Grapevine outside of Los Angeles. inside the van is an atomic bomb. It has been brought all the way from Canada, and is almost at it’s destination – downtown Los Angeles.
There are two Arabs in the van, but one has a change of heart, and he escapes into the Southern California wilderness.
The other Arab travels to Pershing Square, picks up a dead man’s switch, and holds a news conference.
Unreal demands, no hope of appeasement, for the Arab wants to set off the bomb. And he does.
Deep in the earth tectonic plates are shifting, moving because of the terrible force of the atom bomb, and California suddenly begins…sliding. Water pours in through the golden gate, new shorelines are being formed, and mankind is finding himself trapped under yet another terrible tragedy.
And mankind begins to change.
Across the country a new reality is dawning. A reality where machines no longer work, and where people are morphing into giant cockroaches..and other things.
In New York it starts with a simple snap of the fingers, and then the hands turn dark and scabby, finally becoming hard shelled. Snap, snap, snap.
People go to work, and are attacked.
People go home, and are eaten.
People travel the subways, and the subways turn into giant worms and eat them.
Yet, in the midst of this terrible carnage, there is one place that is safe. There is a lone apartment house where no one changes, and where the people of New York who haven’t changed gather. It is the home of Jimmy Cohen.
But Jimmy Cohen has been charged with a plan:
Go to San Francisco. Take the people across the country and fight the bugs. Go to San Francisco. Go, because in San Francisco something is about to happen.
But you’d better hurry, because the bugs have a plan. And if their plan isn’t horrific enough, there is a young man who has been changed in the worst possible way; he is a weapon, and he doesn’t like mankind.
Machina is a big book, 208,748 words. It was too big to put in one paperback, so there is a part one and two. But it comes in one part in Kindle.
The inspiration for Machina was Stephen King. The author simply read too much King, became warped and twisted, and Machina popped out.
Interestingly, at various places during the write you will see homage to the influences that touched the author. You will meet a Stephen King character in the desert, you will find a Ripley dealing with aliens in a greenhouse, and so on. It gets to be really fun to recognize the influences as they happen.