We interrupt this blog tour…

I’m supposed to be promoting the heck out of HMS Lanternfish, my new book baby. I’ve done it all week, but it’s the weekend now. Since the free days for Voyage of the Lanternfish have lapsed, I’m going to tone the tour down to a couple of days per week.

Today, still finds me promoting to a certain degree, but stick with me, because I think it’s interesting.

Once Upon at Time (2019) I wrote a book called Grinders. This is a cyberpunk tale about Earth’s near future. I published it on February 18, 2020. Most of my followers understand the writing process, and most of this was a project dating back to the summer of 2019.

Check the publication date once more: February 18, 2020. This was before the world went to crap and everything became one massive upheaval. Some of what I’m about to share with you kind of freaks me out, even though I should feel somewhat justified.

Part of writing in the near-future involves making some guesses at the changes that might happen between now and then. I really put my effort into the world building here.

Since I’ve published, COVID-19 has changed our world, but there have been many changes aside from that.

I wrote about cyber-shut-ins in the book. This was based on the ability to work from home, and have virtually everything delivered, including groceries. We’re already living in that world mere months after I published. I made quite a few projections about things like Alexa and how artificial intelligence would improve over time. These haven’t come true, but I almost think it’s inevitable.

I’m a big believer that history repeats itself, and I’ve seen it too many times to think otherwise. I knew that historically there were many kinds of currency in the United States. This could be anything from Army scrip to company dollars that you could only spend in the company town at the company store. This was a way for big businesses to create a captive labor force, because they couldn’t afford to leave the coal mining community, for example.

I took part of this concept and projected it into cyber-currency. Many cities in Grinders have their own cyber-currency and this led to an active exchange business where executives can work from home as modern-day money changers.

This week, I found a news article involving local currency. It appears one small town in Washington is going back to something they did during the Great Depression. They are printing their own local money to help people get through the C-19 crisis. This money can be spent all over town, and is somehow redeemable for US currency eventually.

This will provide the locals a way to keep the wolf away for now, but it also traps them into shopping local. That helps the local businesses stay afloat, because places like Amazon aren’t going to accept this local currency. You can’t drive down the coast and spend it either.

I see it as one more step toward the world of Grinders. Check out the article here.

I also projected what global warming might do to us a hundred years down the line. The temperature belts have drifted away from the equator. My story is set in San Francisco, which is almost sub tropical now. It still has its cold snaps, but the weather patterns are different.

The seas have risen, and the entire coastline has been changed. Some of the original buildings still stand slightly offshore. These have been modified to allow occupancy of units that are below the waves. You might stumble across Telegraph Island if you’re reading the story. This doesn’t exist today, but could if things keep changing.

Then I found a recent news article. The last Canadian ice shelf has broken up. Read that again. The LAST Canadian ice shelf has broken up. There is a chunk of ice floating around now that is bigger than Manhattan. The article says it will melt rapidly now that it’s surrounded by sea water. Here is the link if you’re interested.

I don’t have links for other articles (sorry) but this has been happening in Antarctica, too. The point is that when all this ice melts, the seas are going to rise. Some of this has been predicted for a long time, but I never actually thought I might see it in my lifetime.

One of the things they’ve predicted is that the Pacific will get the worst of it. There is more melting ice at that tip of the South Pole. Maybe the California Coast will wind up like I predicted.

There are a couple of scenes in the book with holographic projections, even one involving a doctor. Is this so far removed from the tele-medicine we have making headway in the country?

Since all of this seems to be happening now, maybe someone will get to work on some of the good things in the story, like The Grid. A programable surface on the street that pairs with automobiles and drives them for us. No more traffic, because it handles all the cars at once. Oh, it also generates electricity as a kind of solar panel system.

If Grinders sounds like something you might like to check out, I would really appreciate it. I’ll drop a cover and blurb while I’m at it.

We will return to our regularly scheduled blog tour next week.


Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.

Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.

Paired with a veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.

I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

Don’t forget you can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Purchase link: http://mybook.to/Grinders


Filed under Writing

32 responses to “We interrupt this blog tour…

  1. I did wonder at the time if you had a crystal ball there somewhere…
    I wonder if a new cover would help promote it in the light of its premonitionary properties?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The currency article is absolutely fascinating. Love that the community banned together. Global warming is a frightening thing. I worry about the animals who depend on ice, like polar bears, and the ones whose habitat is shrinking. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved Grinders, Craig, and even while reading it, I was thinking about some of these things. Your list of parallel occurrences is very interesting! Super post, and for those of you who haven’t yet read Grinders, I highly recommend it. I felt like I was walking through the whole book with a look on my face like Alice gaping at Wonderland. (Sometimes with a smile, sometimes not so much.) It’s a great read! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have this book, Craig. This post really has revived my interest in it and I will boot it up my TBR.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Whoa … careful what you write about! Lols. Love that list of parallels, Craig 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Terrific promo of Grinders.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. When I read Grinders, everything you predicted sounded really plausible in the near future, but I didn’t expect so much to happen so soon. I’m so irritated about the climate change because we could be making a difference but aren’t even really trying. I was surprised by how fast smog disappeared when people sheltered in place. None of us want to give up our cars, but your grid idea should make less emissions. Hope more people give Grinders a read!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It seems like I find something weekly that harkens back to this book. I’m amazed it hasn’t performed better in light of all that, but maybe people don’t want to read what they’re already living.


  8. Spooky, Craig! Maybe you are clairvoyant on a subconscious level. It’s pretty amazing all the things that have happened since COVID-19 hit us. And, since there’s no end in sight, I’m afraid we’re looking at our new norm. Very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Scary when we’re prophetic in the wrong way, huh? I hope Grinders got a lot of downloads today.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So, you’re a prophet? It’s quite sad that all of our visions of the future are grim (well maybe not the currency thing). What does that say about humanity?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The currency situation isn’t too far from me. We sometimes forget that “currency” is what a community decides it is. It disagree, though, that citizens are “trapped” into buying from local businesses. The people in Tenino are able to avoid destitution because society outside their immediate area has failed them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s how it used to work in company towns. They could use the local currency anywhere that accepted it. In the 1800s Army scrip wasn’t accepted a lot of places and those who did usually didn’t give a fair exchange rate. Near the forts it was wonderful. A little of it would make a neat collector’s item, but it will help the locals while things stabilize outside the community. Making it of wood is a bit strange, because it would be somewhat fragile.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I read Grinders when it came out, and noticed some of the stuff you mentioned. Also, the grid… There is something like that starting to be worked on. I think I sent you a link a couple of months ago… More along the lines of the solar panels part of it right now, but give it time…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You’re a modern day Nostradamas, Craig. That’s kind of freaky thinking about that much ice floating around. I’m also about halfway through Grinders – review to come soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope you’re enjoying it. Similar breakups are happening at the South Pole, too. I believe all the forest fires are part of this. It’s the environmental bands moving. Fires clear the way for the desert to move in. The forest will invade the tundra, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Grinders is such a great book. One of my absolute favorites from you.
    It’s scary how things are falling into place with so many different items. That’s amazing about the town doing their own currency. I think, too, about our current coin shortage and am amazed that it’s happened. I guess a lot of sci-fi and cyberpunk may one day be our reality. If that’s the case, I want a “Cole” for Raven 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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