Join us for an evening devoted to exploring speculative fictional versions of the Golden State. In S.B. Diyva’s Runtime, a thriller set in a futuristic California, cybernetically augmented Marmeg Guinto participates in the grueling Minerva Sierra Challenge in hopes of achieving financial freedom to get the education she wants.
Pacific Fire, a heist novel set in osteomancer Daniel Blackland’s alternate California, has just transitioned to trade paperback. Greg has expanded readers’ access to Daniel’s world through a California Bones one-shot comic, consisting of a nine-page story, a three-page vignette, and five character pin-ups, written by Greg and drawn by Ryan Cody.
The Minerva Sierra Challenge is a grueling spectacle, the cyborg's Tour de France. Rich thrill-seekers with corporate sponsorships, extensive support teams, and top-of-the-line exoskeletal and internal augmentations pit themselves against the elements in a day-long race across the Sierra Nevada.
Marmeg Guinto doesn t have funding, and she doesn t have support. She cobbled her gear together from parts she found in rich people s garbage and spent the money her mother wanted her to use for nursing school to enter the race. But the Minerva Challenge is the only chance she has at a better life for herself and her younger brothers, and she s ready to risk it all.
"I'm Sam. I'm just this guy. Okay, yeah, I'm a golem created from the substance of his own magic by the late Hierarch of Southern California. With a lot of work, I might be able to wield magic myself. I kind of doubt it, though. Not like Daniel Blackland can. Daniel's the reason the Hierarch's gone and I'm still alive. He's also the reason I've lived my entire life on the run. Ten years of never, ever going back to Los Angeles. Daniel's determined to protect me. To teach me. But it gets old. I've got nobody but Daniel. I'll never do anything normal. Like attend school. Or date a girl. Now it's worse. Because things are happening back in LA. Very bad people are building a Pacific firedrake, a kind of ultimate weapon of mass magical destruction. Daniel seemed to think only he could stop them. Now Daniel's been hurt. I managed to get us to the place run by the Emmas. (Many of them. All named Emma. It's a long story.) They seem to be healing him, but he isn't going anyplace soon. Do I even have a reason for existing, if it isn't to prevent this firedrake from happening? I'm good at escaping from things. Now I've escaped from Daniel and the Emmas, and I'm on my way to LA. This may be the worst idea I ever had.
Daniel's adopted son Sam, made from the magical essence of the tyrannical Hierarch of Southern California whom Daniel overthrew and killed, is lost-consumed by the great Pacific firedrake secretly assembled by Daniel's half-brother, Paul.
But Sam is still alive and aware, in magical form, trapped inside the dragon as it rampages around Los Angeles, periodically torching a neighborhood or two.
Daniel has a plan to rescue Sam. It will involve the rarest of substances, "axis mundi, " pieces of the bones of the great dragon at the center of the Earth. Daniel will have to go to the kingdom of Northern California, boldly posing as his half-brother, come to claim his place in the competition to be appointed Lord High Osteomancer of the Northern Kingdom. Only when the Northern Hierarch, in her throne room at Golden Gate Park, raises her scepter to confirm Daniel in his position will he have an opportunity to steal the "axis mundi"-under the gaze of the Hierarch herself.
And that's just the first obstacle.