Category Archives: Netwalking Space

The two covers of Netwalking Space are now one

It wasn’t my intention to have two covers for Netwalking Space. But what happened was that I’d contacted my original cover artist, who had done the work on Netwalk: Expanded Edition and Netwalker Uprising to see if he could do this last cover. Which he did–the cover on the right side, with the title on the bottom.

It’s a gorgeous cover, and there’s nothing wrong with it–but. But! When I went to repackage it for the CreateSpace cover, nothing I did worked. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t get it to fit to CreateSpace specs. And he is busy at a day job, so…I turned to the designer of my fantasy series covers to have her do the paperback version. I decided to leave the ebook cover as is, and see if it sold.


So nothing was lost by switching the cover for the ebooks to match the paperback.

I think I’m going to eventually switch covers on the others, starting with the failed lousy cover I did for Netwalk’s Children. I do need to get to work on compiling the collection of the Bess and Alex novelettes (Tranquility Freeriders, Too High to Fall, and Of Archangels and Fuzzy Green Mascots). But this step is done.

We’ll see if it sells better now.

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Happy book day, NETWALKING SPACE

Netwalking full cover


The paperback edition hasn’t quite cleared Createspace yet, but there’s the cover above! While the ebook cover was lovely, it just didn’t work in translation to hard copy. So the fantabulous Roslyn McFarland worked her magic, and lo…a hard copy cover! The woman on the front cover could be Bess, or Nora Achimade, or a couple of other characters…even Ekua the Netwalker.

But the ebook is out! Here’s all the information:


Barnes and Noble:

Apple iTunes:


The blurb:

78,954 alien devices appear just outside Pluto orbit, with a projected trajectory that ends at Earth…and the data shows they’re identical to the Gizmo war machine that destroyed ten Earth cities before it was captured and confined….


For four generations Bess Fielding and her family have led the battle to control the destructive Gizmo device that also allowed for the development of Netwalk, a digital virtual networking and communication system that allows personalities to upload at death. Bess, her mother Melanie, and her Netwalker great-grandmother Sarah have suspected Gizmo’s alien origin for years.


But when a fleet of Gizmo devices arrives at the Solar System, their focus on defending against this invasion is disrupted by disclosures of dark secrets from Sarah’s past. These revelations provoke a dangerous breakdown in Bess’s grandmother Diana, turning her into a Gizmo collaborator. Bess and her family must unite to save Diana and lead the fight to protect Earth—but who is trustworthy? Who is a betrayer? Who gets sacrificed to stop the invading fleet? Bess, Melanie, and Sarah are in a race against time and face tough choices…that will impact those they love.

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Committing Prologue

I’m generally not a fan of prologues. But for some reason, this came to me as a possible prologue for Netwalking Space. Appropriate timing since I’m starting the rewrite tomorrow or Friday. So what do folks think about this?



Once there was a woman who discovered secrets about her origins. To keep those secrets from destroying her children, she became powerful and destructive herself, chasing after immortality to avoid her ghosts. But in living beyond death, this woman discovered those shadows had a deeper claim on her than ever.

Once there was a woman who loved a man who built war machines. Over their lifetime together, he weaponized his beautiful and terrifying wife as they sought to master the effects caused by the capture of the strange city-killing machine called the Gizmo. The powerful daughter of a formidable mother, this woman rose to political heights greater than any her mother had accomplished. But when her beloved lived beyond death, she could not endure the result.

Once there was a woman who was a dutiful daughter. She served as her weaponized mother’s enforcer, mastering the wireless technology enabled by the Gizmo that allowed humans to upload personalities into the virtual world of digital life. She learned to control and work with those who lived beyond death. But this woman chose her daughter over her mother, and in doing so, gained more power over those who lived beyond death.

Once there was a woman who loved both space and the devoted assassin-in-training who had grown up with her. She took custody of the great-grandmother who had lived beyond death, forging a collaboration meant to take on worlds. But this woman and the man she loved have been targeted by the Gizmo since childhood, under consistent threat by shadows of those who lived beyond death.

Sarah. Diana. Melanie. Bess. Great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, daughter.

The Gizmo stirs as it senses the approaching fulfillment of its original purpose.

But first it has to deal with these four women, alive and dead.

Perhaps the secrets of the eldest may provide the key it needs.

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Netwalking Space finished!

About six weeks and right around 85k in rough draft, but it’s DONE. I’ll probably putz around a wee bit with the ending tomorrow, but…it’s done, done, DONE.

Six weeks of intensive writing, at about 2000 words a day average with some days going as high as 3000 or 35oo words. I did hit 4000 one day, but that was a rarity. While the ending took a few right hand turns, for the most part the storyline followed my original plan. I don’t know if it was the consistent writing, or what, but for once I didn’t have to stop in the middle third to rewrite the outline and whip the plan back in shape. I’m very pleased with that prospect.

There will need to be some significant rewriting before I ship it out to beta readers. I know there’s some continuity needs with earlier books, and within the story. I also have a subculture with too many A names, and I need to figure out some handwavium for the science part in order to maintain the narrative tension.

But it’s pretty much a wrap for this last book of the Netwalk Sequence.

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Busy times, and a Netwalking Space snippet

Between school starting back up and trying to get the novel finished and preserving the fall harvest, it’s been a busy time. But I’m getting close to finishing the book–probably 85k-90k since I’m now at 80k and we’re at the climax. 5k to play that out, 5 more k to resolve. Cool.

So here’s some of what I’m working on today:


A prickling sensation like that of a swarm of insects with clawed feet scrabbled from her elbows down to her hands. Bess forced herself to relax as Alex/Sarah took over her hands, pushing past the springy resistance with three practiced twists. Stock and firing chamber were together.

The crawling feel reversed itself, climbing from fingertips to hands to wrists to elbows.

<Whew. That felt weird,> Sarah/Alex speeched.

<I’ll say so. Will you need to do the same thing with the barrel?> Bess balanced the half-assembled rifle in her left hand, working her right hand open, closed, open, closed until she could feel herself in it again. Then she shifted the rifle to her right hand and repeated with her left.

<No, the programming’s focused in those two pieces. Placement is more important.> More Alex than Sarah this time.

Light flashed at them. Bess ducked, careful to keep the rifle steady.

“I thought you two would try something sneaky like this,” a woman’s voice said over their radios. “Put that rifle down and raise your hands. I’m on the next ridge behind you.”

“Who the hell are you?” Alex demanded, stepping to shield Bess. He reached behind with his good hand and took the half-assembled rifle from her. He pressed several buttons.

Laughter. “I’m the ticket to your new forever.”

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The snark is strong with this one

Not sure how I feel about what I wrote today. Feels a little bit like jumping the shark.


Melanie triggered a Netwalk system-wide alert even as she raised her defenses.

<Entities of Third Planet, 3!G Star, 7!N2* Sector.> A picture of the Earth-Moon system with the sun behind it popped up. <This is The Nest. Prepare to meet your glorious destiny. Convert to the Wisdom of the Deep Mechanicals and join Our Nest in the stars.> An image of the Milky Way galaxy replaced the Earth-Moon system. <Release our flawed segment and compensate us for the services it has rendered to you so far.> An image of the Gizmo came next. <Failure to convert, release our flawed segment, and provide adequate compensation will result in unpleasant consequences.> Images of explosions, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis followed. <We hope you will come to a wise decision. Have a pleasant day, may your data always flow smoothly, and cherish your nest always.>

Pictures and the voice faded from virtual. Melanie tightened the jaw she’d dropped while listening to the Nest.

“What—was—that?” she finally forced out.

“I—it’s authentic, Melanie,” Will said.

“The Nest? With that cheesy—“ she gestured with both hands—“demand letter? Or are they just crappy missionaries? Pay us compensation? For what? Netwalk?”

“It sure as hell sounds like a crappy twentieth century scifi movie,” Andrew said. “If I hadn’t seen it in virtual, though, I’d not believe it.”

“Pretty damn presumptuous,” Paul said. “Convert and join. Doesn’t exactly sound voluntary to me.”

“Unless someone’s pulling one king-hell of a prank on the whole system,” Melanie said. “I mean—“ She shook her head. “Join us or die? Pay us compensation? Release their failed segment?”

“That’s a key right there,” Will said. “The gadget didn’t do what it was supposed to do. Or something. But they want it back.”

“Shit.” Melanie slumped against her chair. “You know damn good and well that the Courts will happily give the damn thing back to them without an argument. But compensation and conversion? That sounds worse.”

“If they take the gadget back they’ll get the Shadow Chamber with it,” Will said. “Is that something we want to see happen?”

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Today’s snippet

Almost at 48k today….and things are getting crazy.


<Save him, damn it!> She couldn’t do anything until she got this damn piece of junk landed, and right now they were headed for a rock field. She had no thruster power, and the yoke wasn’t working well. Emergency landing procedure. Bess clicked on the airbags. They inflated with a jerk. She gave up on the yoke and secured her helmet, then turned to Alex, writhing under his seat restraints. To her relief, he had managed to secure his helmet. She grabbed it to make him face her, wincing as he kept screaming, his eyes wide and nearly popping out.


Despite it all, he nodded. She tried to guide him toward a safe crash position, but his limbs resisted.

<Damn it, Sarah, DO SOMETHING.>


Bright white lunar surface coming up fast. One of them had to be alert upon landing. One of them had to function. Bess braced herself. The shuttle struck, then bounced high, flipping over. She lost track of the number of times they rolled. At last they lay still.

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Bearing down on 45k…another Netwalking Space snippet

So I hope to break 45k on Netwalking Space today, despite a lot of busy stuff going on. Should be easy since it’s only 500 words away…and then I aim for 50k before the end of the week. Hopefully maybe even get close to my goal of reaching 60k by the end of the month…we shall see, we shall see…

Meanwhile, here’s another 2nd person POV from Diana…where things are not what they seem.


And yet the voices don’t seem to swamp one cool, calm sector of clarity in your mind. You take a closer look at the datathread whispering those awful things. It’s from the Shadow Chamber.

<Enjoying yourself?> This virtual voice is stronger than it has been. It’s oddly familiar, but you want to hide the clear-thinking part of you from it. Something about that particular voice makes you worried.

<I have no idea what’s happened or where I am.>

<Good,> the voice laughs. Chills run down your body as you suddenly, horrifically, place it.

Parker Landreth. Your evil, twisted, dead father-in-law. War profiteer who sent his own son out to be captured and tortured because he chose a relationship with you. Murderer of your father. You recognize his tones in that voice that has been screaming in your head about the evils of Netwalk. How the hell did he get into Netwalk? He never survived to be a Netwalker, and the traces of him that were present in the bloodbonding that Will incorporated into Do It Right technology shouldn’t have been enough for him to create a complete Netwalk personality.

<What are you doing here?> you ask, dread oozing through what you can feel of your body.

Parker’s head takes shape in your mind’s eye, fiendishly grinning. <Payback, my dearest daughter-in-law. Payback. Victory over you and your mother. Revenge on a son who was unfaithful to his father.>

<What are you planning?> And is there some way you can get a warning out to Sarah, or Melanie, or Bess? Or Will. Oh God, Will. Your father. What kind of threat is he to you? What can he do to you in virtual?

<Ah, ah, ah. That would be telling. And if there’s anything I am not, it’s one of those people who dialogues on forever about their Secret Plans.> Parker’s head arches a brow at you. <You’ll just have to find out what my plans are when I make you fulfill them.>

<I won’t do what you want. You can’t make me.>

Pain throbs through your body, then fades.

<Oh yes you will do what I tell you to do,> Parker says. <Oh yes, you will.>

More pain washes through your body, until a welcome cloud of darkness blots it out.

But still, before your consciousness fades, you vow to yourself. I’ll find a way to stop you, Parker Landreth.

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Cracked 25k on Netwalking Space…another snippet

I promise, there will be non-Netwalking Space posts soon. Just pounding away trying to hit 50k before September strikes. So here’s a piece from today’s writing…


“What are you doing?” Melanie asked, slipping in a small compulsion tone as she spoke.

Gupta grimaced in reaction to her tone. “We’re sending a communication probe toward the incoming fleet. Based on observations and trials with the Gizmo, we’ve managed to create a welcoming message.”

“Are you out of your everloving minds?” It was all she could do to keep from screaming at Gupta and the other Exec members. She’d thought Zhao could keep a better rein on their impulses! Maybe we should have risked Mom’s proximity to the gadget and left her here to keep them in line. Sending her out to DIR1 sure didn’t stop bad things from happening!

“What part of an invading force armed with strength we can’t match don’t you understand?” Gupta shot back. “Why alienate them if we can defang potential hostilities?”

<He does have a point. We don’t know whether the gadget is representative of its kind,> Will speeched.

<Not you too!> Melanie snapped. “And how do we know that your probe isn’t being co-opted by the device to provide a booster link to the incoming fleet so that it can get free? Can you guarantee that?”

“No,” Tessa Chandler said. “But we can certainly take precautions. With your help, we hope.”

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” Melanie sighed, sinking back in her chair. “I think this is a supremely stupid move. I can’t talk you out of it?”

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Today’s snippet

Nearly 20,000 words in, and things are getting difficult….


“Mom, don’t.” Raw fear echoed from Andrew. “Don’t do anything you regret.”

“I’ve done plenty to regret,” Diana retorted. “Now I’m going to make amends for my past choices.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Diana turned coy. “You’ll find out soon enough. I never thought I’d live to see the end of days, but it looks like it may be my privilege to bring it.”

“Mother, please. Don’t do this, whatever it is you’re going to do. You have problems with us. Come deal with us directly. Don’t take it out on the rest of humanity!”

“Humanity has been contaminated by Netwalk,” Diana said, her voice falling into a rote pattern as if she were repeating words she had been coached to say. “Humanity needs to be cleansed and purged.”

“Mother, no.

“Say your prayers, Andrew. Maybe you can be saved. Acknowledge your abomination before God.”

Melanie gulped back a sob of her own. She tapped out a message to Alex, Nik, and Bess as Andrew continued to try to reason with their mother, only the occasional crack in his voice revealing his emotion.

Assume Diana Landreth to be dangerous and hostile. Stop her no matter what it takes.

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