If you help out after Hurricanes Harvey-Irma I’ll send you a poem that is personalized, printed on classy parchment, and signed by yours truly.
The fine print is this:
I love to write and I love to help out.
If you love to read and to help others in need, then I think you might be interested to know that you are due a poem!
If you donate to the Red Cross and message me on Twitter or Facebook with a picture of a receipt, or if you volunteer at a place affected by either Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma (and shoot me a quick pic), I will happily send you a personalized copy of a poem I have written after seeing the folks recently hurt in Texas by the terrible storm. For the next month I hope to learn how to visit my new post office in my sleep because you have kept me so busy mailing you a one-of-a-kind piece of writing.
I just came back from a trip to the western part of the US, the Navajo Reservation, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, and I was filled with awe. There are some of the most stunningly beautiful and amazing lands and people out west. From the lofty mountains, the epic deserts, the snaking rivers, the striated rock formations of stark reds, browns, blacks, and oranges, it is a wondrous place like no other.
I feel for those in Texas. I feel for those in Puerto Rico (for those in Florida who may be hit bad again) and everywhere else that is affected by these super storms.
Eager Readers, I have so many things I am working on, but nothing is as important as helping one’s fellow human being.
That is why I wrote my poem “That Grit In Your Toes” and that is why I urge you all to give just a few dollars or hours, if you have them, to the relief efforts underway.
Let us all work to come together.
P.S. Yes, for those of you wondering I am still writing and working on creative projects every day. I will never stop. Though a bad car accident had me sidelined – or more like slowed to a crawl – I have fought and rehabilitated body/mind/soul and some really fun and interesting things are going to be published and released very soon. I have not forgotten the Eager Readers, fans of Cyberwar, or those curious in my work, and I am sorry I have largely been away for so long.
R.J. Huneke Returns to NY Comic Con Rune Works Booth #1061 where he will be signing books!
2016 sees the Rune Works Productions Ltd. team flourishing and once again occupying the New York Comic Con Booth #1061 in the Small Press Section of the main floor on October 6-9, 2016.
There will be customized bookmarks and candy available for free to all of our fans (and certainly some more fun surprises).
R.J. will appear beneath an enormous sign bearing the temple and pen logo of Rune Works. Look for it over the aisles at the Javits Center!
Hours are forthcoming for R.J.'s signings of his science fiction thriller CYBERWAR, and the Ivan O'Neill graphic novel BACKWOOD STATE, of which R.J. was editor and a part of the art/writing work for the continually selling out premiere issues featuring notorious English major Gwen.
And new things - fantastic new works and pieces - are coming and to be oh so slowly teased and brought forth just for you, Eager Readers, at the New York Comic Con 2016.
Other comrades of author R.J. Huneke, such as Rune Works writers, promoters, media specialists will all be on hand, and specifically members of the Rune Works Gaming division, and its head Maria Sumoza, as well as media guru and fine artist Liz Yoo who will also be there touting new and exciting works.
Maria is kicking off her own Twitch Stream and continues to be a female force examining gaming from her innovative perspective. Check her out on the Rune Works Gaming Section and on her Twitter feed.
Liz is bringing the great works of, The Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock to the canvas in ways like no one has ever seen! Her galleries have had enormous success in New York City and Long Island. Check out her site and Twitter feed here.
R.J. is proud to be a part of Rune Works as both a member of the media, covering all of pop culture art at its finest, and a publishing and promotion firm for artists.
The Rune Works® Productions Ltd. Mission: to give a voice to unique artists and bring their vision to the world at large.
Rune Works® began in 2007 as an outlet for innovative artists looking to thrive with their works. We now offer art, content, and business consulting for media, marketing, web design, and representation.
Want to hear an artist's perspective on comic books, video games, art, or film? Check out our News & Reviews Section.
Star Trek Beyond is truly fitting for Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary and is a moving tribute to Leonard Nimoy and Star Trek: TOS (The Original Series) while carving new ground in the fantastic genre that is all its own.
Yes, you can say Star Trek invented its own genre: the Trek genre.
And as the movie begins 966 days into the five-year voyage of the space pioneering craft, the USS Enterprise, we are reminded of when her maiden voyage really took place in September of 1966, or 9/66.
This Star Trek Beyond film talk includes spoilers.
First let us dismiss the heinous odd numbered movie curse that was considered by many to have been placed on the Star Trek odd numbered films.
Thank producer and director J.J. Abrams for dispelling this with his reboot into an alternate universe in such a perfect way with the 11th film in the franchise, Star Trek, that no fan of The Original Series could be unhappy with the amazing new twist that still breathes new life into our favorite Gene Roddenbury characters of legend.
Star Trek: TOS is alive in spirit, in shape and form and even in story.
For the 13th film in the franchise, which aired 50 years after its debut, Star Trek Beyond is an amazing movie and piece of the Trek history.
There was little to expect from director Justin Lin and co-writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung who began work on a script just six months before shooting.
But the long history of Star Trek: TOS was utilized to delve out interesting new backstories and throwbacks to the original cast and crew of the USS Enterprise, while the story itself was fresh, engaging and forging new territory.
Tune back to see more about the new film in a future write-up on Rune Works News & Reviews here.
This was a bloodier, grittier Trek story, and it centered around two things that characters Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock grappled with in their own previous TOS episodes and films . . . leaving Star Fleet.
At the heart of Star Trek Beyond is Spock learning that Ambassador Spock, his older self from another timeline and played by the original Spock, himself, Leonard Nimoy, has died.
Recruiting Vulcans to rebuild their society was Nimoy’s pivotal role that had freed his younger version of Spock to spend his time with Kirk his best friend, and the crew, his lifelong friends, to live that remarkable life, in which Kirk needed him every bit as much as Spock needed Kirk.
This is no longer feasible once Ambassador Spock has died.
The passing away of Leonard Nimoy was a loss that could never be fulfilled as his art from Star Trek and countless other productions are fiercely loved today, as they were decades ago.
And Pegg and Jung centered their script on the premise that if Nimoy is gone, so too is Spock’s chance at the Enterprise life, and he must fulfill his duty to his species.
He will leave Star Fleet after its last mission.
And at the same time, Kirk feels lost aboard a ship in the void of space and grows tired of his heavy labors and responsibility. He too will leave the ship for a desk job at Star Fleet.
It is heart wrenching.
Spock nearly dies in the film, but is saved by having his heart where his liver would be if he was human (a great nod to Star Trek: TOS), and he has an unlikely emotional moment when he peers at his predecessor’s effects.
Ambassador Spock has kept among his possessions a picture of the original cast and crew from Star Trek: TOS aboard the bridge of the Enterprise after they had grown old together, smiling, in one of the last films of Star Trek: TOS.
How we all miss Leonard Nimoy.
This truly tear-jerking moment is not lost on the young Spock who remembers his mentor advising him to live that life with Kirk and his friends.
The events of the TV show and the Star Trek: TOS films all happened, just in another timeline where Leonard Nimoy’s Spock will always remain one of the most intriguing characters in science fiction and in the Trek genre at large.
We lost a great artist and man in Leonard Nimoy, and Star Trek Beyond pays tribute to all of the greats, from Uhura, to Scottie, to Sulu, to Chekov, and of course to William Shatner’s unflappable Kirk and his courageous but disgruntled Dr. McCoy, Bones, who constantly nudged Spock as being a green-blooded Vulcan.
Spock studies the picture and decides against leaving Kirk and Star Fleet.
And somewhere, in another timeline perhaps, Leonard Nimoy is smiling and possibly wiping away an un-Vulcan-like tear.
"Star Trek Beyond Is A Moving Tribute to Nimoy & TOS" was written by R.J. Huneke.
P.S. For as long as I can remember the voice of Leonard Nimoy spoke to me: whether it was documentaries into unknown mysteries of earth or the universe, or Star Trek: TOS the TV show and the movies, and then later on as a fantastically brilliant, dangerous, and vastly intelligent villain on another J.J. Abrams work of genius, Fringe.
Mr. Nimoy was there throughout my whole life.
Seeing him in Abrams reboot Star Trek, and how cool the premise of having two Spocks and the original Spock living in a new timeline with the younger version of himself was a thrill I never expected and was so spoiled to relish.
I knew he would be back again and again.
Sadly, Star trek Into Darkness would be Nimoy's last Trek film, and tears are welling in my eyes right now to think of that bitter truth.
Mortality comes for us all in the end, at least in this form, in this timeline.
And I miss the work of an artist who was one of a kind and a friend that I never really had, but enjoyed the company of all the same for my entire life.
We miss you, Leonard, and we are so grateful for you and your work.
Even the newest Star Trek voyage could not have taken place without your influence.
Thank you, wherever you are.
Live Long and Prosper,
Here we are and in the heart of May the Second Annual Local Author Fair will be taking place at the Port Jefferson Free Library on May 14, and R.J. Huneke will be there!
And there will be books!
Lots of books!
Come down for a rare meet and greet with local New York and Long Island authors, as they speak on their latest works of literature on Saturday May 14, 2016 at 2pm EST sharp.
R.J. Huneke will have a table on the main floor, so look for his huge CYBERWAR banner and the tumblers of binary.
Authors will be speaking, hand shaking, answering queries from intriguing and wonderful readers’ brains and last, but not least, signing the works.
R.J. Huneke was present at the launch of the 2016 Suffolk County Poetry Review last Saturday, and he read his piece “Careless Eyes” that was published in the issue (read about that here or on his web site at rjhuneke.com.
It is rumored that Mr. Huneke is very close to finishing his next novel in the variety of science fiction and/or noir and/or spy thriller genres.
If you like a page-turner, great characters, and an intensely entertaining story backed by great research, Cyberwar can offer all of that and more.
If you want to hear more about his next book, or perhaps a secret reading of its opening (SHH!) attend the fair!
Hear all about it from the author himself – I am sure he will be happy to sign a copy for any Eager Reader in attendance.
In case you were wondering about his book that is out now:
When hackers seize the world governments everything changed for all of humanity. A new sense of hope arrived in the streets and young people everywhere embraced the new world order. However, what appeared to be a new found freedom soon turned out to be a new tyranny far worse than anything they imagined.
William Waltz formed part of the new elite that guarded the regime, that is, until the regime turned on him.
Read more about Cyberwar here.
It was a tremendous launch for the Suffolk County Poetry Review 2016 at Dowling College in Oakdale.
The poets in attendance that read were nothing short of awe inspiring.
And I am so very proud to have been published amongst such talented and creative scribes.
My piece “Careless Eyes” was chosen to be a part of the second ever Suffolk County Poetry Review and I am humbled and truly moved that it was.
I submitted a few pieces, but this one has more significance to me than most.
It is something I wrote about after suffering a traumatic brain injury that has drastically impacted my life, and in turn, my writing for nearly two years now.
I attended the event and read my short piece “Careless Eyes” aloud.
My Mom and Dad and my young niece – an intelligent poet of nine years of age (who is already reading and enjoying Walt Whitman; I mean how cool is that?) were there to witness it.
The piece, as you will see by the picture here, is short.
I told the poets in attendance it would be a short read, but I wanted them to get the most out of it; I urged them to look on it in there books, as this poem is every bit as visual as it is audiological.
It was my great Creative Writing professor, and a Poet Laureate in his own right, Ed Stever, that taught me the power of a visual poem, that a poem could have no bounds on the page, and that it could in an abstract or specific way have visual stimulus other than the words.
In the class there was a piece in the shape of a smoking cigarette that shook my brain out of its norm in a very, very good way.
What do I mean when I say visual?
Well, my favorite poets of T.S. Eliot and Ginsberg made way for another, one ee cummings, who refused to even punctuate his name and whose words became art on a page.
Those of cummings are visual, as is “Careless Eyes”.
Why does that matter?
My short poem reflects my transformation from an author reading, writing, and editing an average of 1000 words a day for many years and then was struck by a car and unable to type even a simple good morning without inverting letters and words due to cognitive and visual sufferings from my brain injury.
After so many years, typing a sentence, let alone a piece in any medium, took 100 times as long to accomplish as I continually wrote it wrong; every day I wrote one of my best friends ‘good monring’ and grew angry, despondent, depressed and a myriad of emotions at this battle that was my livelihood.
For anyone that has ever dealt with a traumatic brain injury, and that includes a bad concussion, this piece is for them.
My words start off working until the HIT on the page. And then you get a glimpse of what is has been like for me for nearly two years now.
It hurts, but I fight to get through it.
Nearly a year to the day after the car accident, I had to write this poem. I had to. I cannot explain that other than saying that I had to.
It was difficult but it lives now forever in great company of poets from Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, and these talented individuals have inspiring pieces that fill the volume.
My piece is but one tiny part in this anthology, but I am utterly grateful to be a part and for “Careless Eyes” to be the one in there means the world to me.
I dedicate the poem to my love, my wife, Cassie, without whom I would have been lost to this, the past year plus.
I believe, that when an artist dies, you must fill the void with their art.
One of my all-time favorite musicians was the singer and songwriter, of Stone Temple Pilots and other bands, Scott Weiland. STP’s Core and Purple were two of the first albums I ever bought for myself, and for over twenty years I have loved their rousing tunes.
At the heart of the music is a voice unlike any other, is an emotional ferocity, a creativity, and a poetry unique to itself. Please listen to “Big Empty”, my old favorite, and “Atlanta”, my new favorite as of this year (it took me nearly twenty years to change my mind on that one), to see what I mean.
When Scott passed it hit me hard.
I do not care about his past; his death was unexpected and it was utterly sad. His demons never let go of him, but I still felt his decades of struggle were a tragedy, and his art was soul-bearing and resonate, no matter how many hundreds of times I listened to it.
And then David Bowie fell to cancer; it was bitter, sudden, painful...tough to swallow. The brilliant actor, musician and artist was up and gone, not of old age, but of a malady that no one can seem to cure, no matter how many stars are dimmed forever because of it. And he will forever be the greatest emanation of Nikola Tesla that I could ever imagine gracing the silver screen.
I love to listen, re-listen and to play these guys' music (my awful, raspy rendition of "Five Years" and “Sour Girl” and so on), and it hurt me so damn much.
The words and melodies, the voyages, the mind, body, and soul impacted so many in myriad ways and forever changed the world for the better.
Now why the fuck did they have to go so soon?
They were strangers to me, I never met either of them; though I did get to see Scott Weiland leap from the stage at Jones Beach and stand on seats, many rows deep, with his megaphone, to the utter ecstasy of the crowd in a legendary show. But my point is I did not know them, and I will not claim to know them just because I know their art. All I really know is their art, from my perspective, and what their art means to me. And it means a fucking lot. A lot more than I can even put into words, though my rambling tongue will die trying. Scott sang, “conversations kill” yet I keep talkin’.
David died, and it hurt so much.
David Bowie was gone. Fuck cancer.
He had just made an epic record: a grand fucking masterpiece that spoke back to Ziggy Stardust and Alladin Sane and “Cat Power” and yet evolved into something wholly new. Blackstar is a beautifully epic, spacey, funky, classical menagerie of an album. And just as quickly as it came, David was gone.
It was not fair.
And right around this time, an old school friend of mine named Adam passed away at the age of thirty-two.
Adam was a master guitar player – one of the true natural talents that echo the brightest of abilities with seemingly little effort (though what was the total of the countless hours he spent honing his craft, only he will ever know) – and he was a great musician, artist, and a kind human and a good friend.
He would help anyone for the sake of helping.
And he was gone. We lost him.
I still cannot believe you’re not there to talk music or philosophy or just laugh over a beer with. He brought me into my 1st garage band, 38 Down, when I was fourteen or fifteen. I learned how to write songs, how to strum a guitar, and how to yell with all my lungs from this guy.
Adam gave me my first guitar, when I was sixteen, and that Epiphone has not rested ever since – it went with me in the subway tunnels beneath Manhattan where “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” was frequented and on to the rest stop of Tahoe and the coffee shop of Sonoma and back 3000-plus miles to Long Island. I will always cherish the instrument that he gave me.
We had not been close for many years, and now I rue the missed opportunities to jam with him. He’s gone, passed away 50 or 70 years too young - it's crushing.
For those who wish to donate to an important cause bringing aid, awareness and support to those suffering from the disease of addiction, and their families, you can reach out through the “Look Up For Adam” Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Look-Up-For-Adam-195509140801081/?fref=ts.
This grief eats away at you, whether it is for utter strangers or once good friends or both.
For the artists that have gone on, we all need to unite. For those that impacted us, their art is what we have to remember and to propel more and more, to blast on high ever loudening, as our days go on.
The pang of sadness is a lot sharper when an artist is taken at a young age.
There is not just a void in us, but there is a void in the world when an artist leaves this plane of existence.
And now I have not been a huge Prince fan by any means; I just never got around to really get into his music (and I am sure I will), outside of “Purple Rain”. But Batman is one of my all-time favorite movies and so too one of my favorite soundtracks, which was all Prince.
Now he too has left us. Seeing Elvis Costello bring down the house at the Beacon with an impromptu "Purple Rain" as my wife and I lost our minds screaming with joy will forever be one of those magical music moments in time for me, for as long as I live.
And Prince is gone.
The man's art was amazing.
We have a void to fill. Maybe you do not believe in a collective consciousness or Ralph Waldo Emerson, but there is something we can all do.
Project their art.
If, for nothing else, do it for yourself. Play the art that had/has/and will have meaning for you.
Send up a call and play their art!
For these fine musicians, and for ourselves, we can project their art forever.
It may be something they would be happy to know, were they alive, that we would continue to follow our bliss through their art far after they passed on.
You are so missed...
But we can fill the void.
P.S. Listen to STP go over the master tracks in the studio to reflect on their beloved friend, Scott Weiland, after his passing in a heartfelt tribute; the song is “Atlanta”, and I will warn you: you might cry the first time you hear this.
Wow, Stephen King’s 11.22.63 eight-part mini-series on Hulu, now that was an adaptation!
There have been some great adaptations of the legendary author’s works, The Green Mile, The Mist, and Shawshank Redemption to name a few, and some blunders (I’ll keep these to myself), but 11.22.63 is one of the best emanations of his books onto the film medium.
This is a spoiler free spout of words, though I delve into the overall plot that you would read on the inside cover of the book.
This J.J. Abrams produced mini-series was made to accurately portray an amazing tale of mystery, visually.
11/22/63, the novel, was one of King’s most ambitious pieces and is, in this author’s humble opinion, one of his greatest works.
Mr. King came up with the idea in 1971, less than a decade removed from President John F. Kennedy’s assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald (with help . . . possibly).
The idea required years of research and due diligence to sift through the many yarns told on that day, the myriad conspiracy theories, and the records of the very very strange FBI, CIA, and other US government agencies’ involvement with the one man we do know shot the President on that horrific day.
King, being very wise, felt he could not run with the idea at that point, because he did not have the time or wherewithal to invest himself fully into what he knew would consume his brain, his researching skills, and his skills as the most gifted of writers taking on a steep task of historical fiction with a time traveling twist.
Did Oswald act alone?
Did the CIA put him up to it?
Was there a second shooter?
These age-old questions have loomed for over fifty years and though we are no closer to finding the truth in our own timeline, King imagines answers to all of these questions and more in his epic story.
There is so much research, not just into how the 1950’s and 1960’s were in the US, but also into the lives of the Oswald’s and the crazy events that happened in history, from General Walker’s failed assassination attempt, to the hand written letter Lee wrote to a federal agent. There are so many documented details from numerous sources about that day and the days leading up to it.
The book 11/22/63 was a huge success in both a long stay on the best seller list, and the tremendously emotional and epic journey of Jake Epping.
And the TV mini-series is just as impactful.
Jake learns of a secret door at Al’s Diner to September 9, 1958, at 11:58 a.m.
You go through and come back to 2011.
You go back to the same time and events in 1958.
Al has been going back to 1958 and researching the Marxist Lee Oswald to see if he acted alone to murder JFK or if he acted for a Communist or democratic agency.
You can come back to the future in the 2000’s and any changes you made in the past keep, at least until you go back in time again, which resets it all back to the start.
Al has become consumed with the idea of saving JFK on 11/22/63 and forever altering history to improve the world.
But the past does not want to change, and it fights back.
Jake takes on the quest Al bestows him, but the past quickly becomes an invisible character in the book and TV show, creepily popping light bulbs and generally ruining the divorced English teacher’s day any time he comes close to altering reality.
Jake, the man from the future, endures the up and downs of finding the love of his life in the past.
And all the while it is years before he can try and prevent the horrid result of 11.22.63 and they go by slowly in a suspenseful series of tribulations and challenges that are often word for word, scene for scene as King described them in the book.
The look and feel of the times are perfect.
The deep and serious performance of Jake Epping might be the best James Franco has ever been; it is outstanding and the performance of a lifetime.
The eerie details come through so well on film. The translation is nearly flawless.
The time traveling conundrum is fun and thrilling.
The story is an emotional gravitational force, as you are pulled so very hard.
And in the end it all comes down to one infamous day: 11.22.63.
For the half of the nation that has not yet voted for their presidential nominee yet, go check your state’s registry and ensure your right to vote, because the registry has been hacked.
Both my wife and I have had our registered party erased from record before our state primary has taken place, and we have other confirmed sources coming forward as well.
If you declared as a Republican or a Democrat when you registered to vote, then Google your state’s primary, like this, and see if you are still registered for your party.
If you are in New York you can look it up here: https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx.
Reports are coming in that many have had their political party records erased, hacked, before the vote in presidential primaries in New York and elsewhere in the USA have taken place.
If you are not registered as a member of the party you wish to vote for, online, in their system, then they will NOT allow you to vote in the presidential primary.
Forget parties. I will not mention a candidate in this article. You should be able to vote if you want to.
I do not care who you want to vote for, or what party you are affiliated with, if you want to vote in your party’s primary, please check online to make sure you have not been erased in the wake of massive hacks of the digital databases.
We all have a right to vote and take part in this great democracy of the USA.
We get to choose who represents us in government with a fair election.
And when voter turnout is up, better candidates are, historically, voted in.
Somehow the hack has targeted individual's status as being registered for a party, regardless of their prior designation and declaration when they registered to vote.
You can try and change this blank party status back to your chosen party by going to your local DMV web site, or you can call your county of residence.
My 15-year allegiance to my party has been erased days after the due date to declare that party in my state’s primary. My wife’s party has disappeared from her record too.
We are both ineligible to vote, as it stands by record, despite us both ensuring we were still registered to vote weeks ago.
We will fight.
We will call and hound our way back into the system to vote for our candidate, as is our right.
We are determined. You should be too.
Make sure you can vote.
The new digital age has spawned an all-digital voting system that can be manipulated and hacked.
On the wake of a huge November election, where not just the new President of the United States is to be decided but also 88% of the Congress (you know, all those people you have been pissed at for somewhere between 2-8 years, or more), voters are not being counted because of fraudulent and criminal activity that has affected our voter registry.
Now friends across social media forums are spreading the word and calling their local county offices and trying to regain their right to vote for their registered parties.
And this comes out on the same day that the “U.S. indicts Iranians for hacking dozens of banks, New York dam” proved to be impactful.
That’s right, folks, DDOS attacks took down numerous bank systems and a dam in New York today.
If your faith in the digital is stalwart, you have to admit the digital world is becoming more disconcerting as we depend on it more and more.
And these cyber attacks, though surely not planned, are proving to be a great distraction from disappearing voter registry records.
Just days ago, over a million Arizona voters found they could not vote for their candidate in the primary, because their registered party records were not visible online; they were not allowed to vote. This includes Americans who have voted in many primaries for the same party, over decades, and those who were new to voting for primaries alike. There might be different results than what has been reported for Arizona.
Is Arizona a conspiracy theory? Who knows? The truth might be stranger. Regardless, people are losing their ability to vote in the primary.
Do not let this happen to you.
There is still time for the half of the nation that has not yet had their primaries.
Corruption has plagued electronic voting registers and machines since their inception (history tells us that corporations can buy votes, literally and legally, by purchasing voting machine companies, in the US), but now something more insidious has risen.
Personally, I am shocked the media has not covered this yet, but maybe the cases in New York have just started to come out.
Please spread the word on all social media platforms and by analog methods, the old ways, by word of mouth: check your voter registration and ensure you can vote.
We must be proactive and vigilant.
We must be allowed to have our voice heard.
Last night as I listened in horror to my Stony Brook Seawolves getting shellacked in their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, I wrote a piece that I felt was important to address my last book and it is titled: "THE CYBERPUNK BODY HACKING GRINDERS IN CYBERWAR."
This first appeared on the book's web site Cyberwarseries.com as the night grew old.
But here it is in full Eager Readers:
My latest book is a thriller and it is science fiction, but it is also known as what is called a genre smasher, and so I felt it was time to address the cyberpunk body hacking grinders in Cyberwar.
I hate labels, but sometimes they are necessity when it comes to easily finding information.
Without the fantastically fun sub-genre of speculative fiction known as ‘Cyberpunk’, it would be pretty damn hard to find new books that I like that in some way loosely resemble the technologically gritty woes of imagined futures or worlds or realities brought to us in stories like Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (the neighbors will have your balls if your robotic sheep proves to be impersonating a real one) or William Gibson’s unparalleled Neuromancer.
It occurs to me, right now, as the horrid commercials blare their noise at my back, while I eagerly await my Alma Mater’s first entry into the March Madness Tournament, that my book has been marketed wrong.
That is, to say, Cyberwar meets the expectations for a sci-fi thriller, but that is far short of the whole picture.
Marketing is more important than I like to acknowledge.
So let’s talk cyberpunk and grinding!
If delving into the book offers up some more insight for Eager Readers that might take an interest in its vast world, who am I to deny them that.
I wrote the damn thing, so I hope you will not mind if I make an edit to expand its description – late in the game, I know – to hit on some of the nuanced and highly researched aspects that go beyond computing technology, political revolution, and cyber warfare.
A lot of the research I put into robotics crossed over into humanoid bots, AI (artificial intelligence), and then further into android-like devices and a merging of man and machine.
The birth of the cyborg is old news.
Chipsets placed in the brain to allow for electrical impulses and thought to go wireless is tech currently being tested for human beings.
Successful cybernetic prosthetics are allowing people with artificial limbs to control their new hands and legs with nerve interaction and thought.
This is today and this is yesterday.
And this is the public news published in scientific journals.
Below the surface, the unaccepted, and often widely innovative grinders, or body hackers, are starting a movement that many feel is the next step in the human evolutionary ladder: that of the cyborg.
Grinders will place glowing chips beneath the skin of their hands to allow them a bio-chip coded to their own DNA that is the grinder’s method for waiving a hand and paying for an item, or accessing health metrics.
Some grinders are even plugging parts of their brains into physical electronic interfaces that give them abilities beyond the traditional senses.
This is the case with Neil Harbisson, a colorblind artist from Barcelona, who persuaded a doctor to implant a camera in the back of his head so that the antenna can detect the dominant color in front of him and translate it into musical notes so he is aware of the color.
He considers himself a ‘cybernetic organism’ and no longer identifies as a human.
Harbisson co-founded the Cyborg Foundation to advocate for cyborg rights.
The doctor that performed Harbisson’s surgery did so only after many other surgeons refused, and only under the condition of remaining anonymous.
Grinders are pushing the boundaries of the human-cyborg relationship all over the world, often at great personal risk of their own health.
The future of Cyberwar is torn in two.
Fifty percent of the population consider the cyborg way of life a right and have permanently altered some part of their body; many of these body hackers have cybernetic eyes that replace one of their own functioning eyes with an infrared and thermal imaging device.
The other half of the world populous remain steadfast in what they deem their birthright: the right to have no mechanized or electronic device, forced into their bodies.
This is a conflict that is ongoing in the Cyberwar Series.
Localized EMP’s can kill those with complex electronics in their skulls, but the government, in the Cyber United States in particular, is slowly pushing toward everyone getting their own bio-chipset to use for electronic currency, eliminating all cash, and all of the “off-the-books” transactions that accompany physical currency (there is more of this in my next book, which is coming soon!).
The main characters are haunted by cybernetics!
Grinding and androids and brash new futures are at the heart of cyberpunk, and I am proud to say Cyberwar has plenty of that in its gut as well.
If you want to check out the start of the book, please read the first few chapters in an excerpt here.
I am compelled to talk to you about some of the fun I have been having recently involving inventing not-so-subliminal messages in binary code for chapter breaks and typing the infamous words “[THE END]” on my next novel’s manuscript.
It has been sometime since I have opened up to you, Eager Readers, and that is why I felt the need to get in touch today to catch up.
I should have said more of myself, but I did not.
A bad car accident has had me in disarray over the last year and a half plus, but my health is improving and so too, I hope, my writing going forward.
It is not an excuse, but it was difficult to write my thoughts down and hard to get them out in the world.
What has been incredibly frustrating is a drastically altered ability to read, to see in general, and subsequently to write and edit.
All kinds of quality of life issues have stricken me down, but the acts of reading, writing and editing, which have been second nature for as long as I can remember, were crippled.
Fear not! Things should improve for me in the not too distant future.
I will get back to making art at a high level, and I am working oh so hard to get back there, and to a healthy state, every day.
But back to the fun I figured you would enjoy hearing about.
Reading and rereading some fascinating articles on translating binary code – and just where the hell those numbers come to have meaning – had me inspired.
This is one of the articles I read from math.grin.edu.
It is called “The Binary System: A pretty damn clear guide to a quite confusing concept by Christine R. Wright with some help from Samuel A. Rebelsky” (and it is quite fun, even for one who tries to ignore math regularly, as I am wont to do).
I will never be able to grasp the sheer math of it all, and the geniuses using this method and other in-depth ways for creating myriad works of art in the Cyberverse continue to have my utmost respect.
But trying to wrap my head around just what those numbers mean and how does so much meaning and information pass through them in the world today, invisible and yet visible at all times through the digitally dependent society that circumvents much of the globe.
Do not get me wrong: I simultaneously love and hate the digital Cyberverse that has infused itself into modern civilization; as much as I am fascinated and utilize the tech, I wish we were not so completely dependent on it.
But I digress, back to fun.
Being moved by the complexity and yet utter simplicity of binary, I decided it would be fun to make a different interconnecting message in binary code as a chapter break at the end of each section in the latest novel I have been writing to follow-up Cyberwar.
I am afraid I do not have a title to reveal just yet, but the book, which was largely complete before my car accident is inching nearer to its culmination.
The binary serves as a great visual break between parts of the book’s words, but also allows me to add in some of my own views on a level, a fun level, that requires a little research on the part of the reader to find the meaning hid in the 1’s and 0’s.
You may also be interested to know that this very week, I typed the words, “[THE END]” onto the ms.
Now there is a good deal of words on the page after those, and that will have to be addressed.
And there are numerous sections that need to be expanded upon, some that need to be chopped down to timbers, and others that no doubt need transplanting, either to other sections of this book or into another book entirely.
That will be the fun as the editing and the writing continues.
I can give no timeline, but want to say a hearty “Hello” to you all and hope that 2016 is a healthy and magical new year for us all.
"FUN: I wrote [THE END] and binary chapter breaks" was originally written for CyberwarSeries.com by R.J. Huneke
I have turned the tide and started on my journey. Words and Worlds hang in the balance and I am writing it all down before the RJ Tower! Read about my newest novel on CyberwarSeries.com