Monday, July 8, 2019

The Adventures of Sonny Knight

The Adventures of Sonny Knight is an action adventure science fiction series for Young Adults (and Old Children) which features 
  • Explosions
  • Tsunamis 
  • Pliosaurs
  • Train wrecks
  • Cattle stampedes
  • Killer robots
  • Roller coaster sabotage
  • Avalanches
  • Gunfights
  • Megalodons
  • Vicious genetically modified unicorns
  • Industrial steam calenders 
  • Bad guys with various weapons 
  • Kidnapping
  • Vandalism
  • Medieval astrological symbolism
  • Chases
  • Intrigue
  • Romance
  • And other miscellaneous perils.
Set in a post-dystopian climate-changed version of North and South America, in 3748, after the meteors and the plagues and the coastal revision and oceanic deoxygenation and catastrophic extinctions, and humans have finally figured out how to live peaceful, sustainable, satisfying lives, safe from the horrific climactic extremes which are the new norm. You could almost call it utopian.

Except for a handful of people still holding grudges over a war that supposedly ended several years ago. And one particular trouble-magnet teenager known as Sonny Knight.
The story begins with One Sunny Night, which begins on the Spring Equinox of 3748. Leroy Knight is enjoying a free trip to a championship game in a country recovering from a devastating war when terrorists ruin everyone's day. After an accident in which he temporarily forgets his own name, Leroy becomes Sonny Knight, adventurer, as he teams up with an unusual assortment of friends, traveling across a far-future Earth where travel has become excruciatingly inconvenient.

The middle of the trilogy is Retrograde Horizon. It's still 3748 and Sonny has found his way back home, but things just aren't the same -- those terrorists are still following him around, setting off explosions at his school, tampering with roller coasters while he's riding them, exchanging gunfire in tiny seafood restaurants where the neon signs reflect bitterly in the rain-swept streets. Things like that.

The trilogy concludes with A Dark and Stormy Day. Sonny is ringing in 3749 at Times Square (over by the pigeon memorial in Central Park) when the explosions find him, sending him on a mission to rescue his girlfriend from the clutches of a pack of terrorists … assuming she wants to be rescued. 

There’s also a prequel novella called Sieging Manganela, which marks the point where I gave up trying to write grimdark like everyone else and embraced a sunnier, sillier vision set in the kind of world we could have if we ever learn to work together. It provides some interesting backstory to Sonny Knight's story for those who would like to know more.

Audio versions are coming next year, unless I can find someone else that can do a better job than me (like I did with my cover, and my editing).

Statement of Positive Values

The Adventures of Sonny Knight contains positive depictions of characters (i) of color; (ii) who are neurodivergent; (iii) who are not heterosexual; (iv) who are nonbinary; (v) who are disabled (see nontraditional mobility assistive device depicted on cover of Retrograde Horizon); (vi) who don’t even really have bodies because they’re made of pixels; (vii) who are even more extraordinary but you’ll just have to read the books to find out more.

It does not contain sex, although it does include various kinds of romance. It is neutral with regard to religion and people of faith. While it includes foul language that is scatology/anatomy based it specifically excludes cussing, blasphemy and sexual epithets. It includes capitalist and post-cash economies, among others. 

It contains no supernatural activity whatsoever, including ghosts, telepathy, vampires, spirits, psionic powers, or magic. However, it’s full of GMO, and endorses psychologically healthy coping skills, and is structured around pre-modern astrological symbolism.

It passes the following tests:
Bechdel (two women are shown conversing about something other than a man); 
Mako Mori (women characters have arcs that don’t support a man’s story); 
Sexy Lamp (none of the female characers could be replaced by a sexy lamp without messing up the plot);
Vito Russo (contains LGBT character not defined by their orientation who is essential to the plot); 
PoC (PoC characters converse about something besides race);
DuVernay (black and minority characters have fully realized lives rather than serving as scenery to the white characters);
Latif (2 named PoC characters; they speak to each other; they’re not in love; they don’t comfort/support white characters and … at least one is not a “magic” PoC); and 
Simplified Shukla (PoC characters talk to each other for 5+ min about something besides race).

There’s a pedophile, but he doesn’t live long enough to do anything disgusting, and good riddance. 

I, the author, identify ethnically as a “haole” (or “pakeha,” or “European-descended person born and raised in the South Pacific”) as well as an asexual nonbinary neurodivergent with autistic tendencies who enjoys writing about teenage romance in all its dramatic and overblown glory. I'm a she/her/hers, and it's pronounced just like "Sharon." 

The dog lives. 

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