Monday, August 5, 2013

Script Kiddie

Michael F. Stewart and Mac Doninri (Don) L. Dimanlig are the author and artist, respectively, of the Assured Destruction Series.  Michael F. Stewart is not afraid to experiment and combine the written story with stylized modern graphics, technology, and social media.  The Assured Destsruction series is published by Non Sequitur Press.

In Stewart’s first Assured Destruction the reader was introduced to the major character, Janus Rose.   Since Janus’ dad deserted the family, Janus and her mom have taken on the computer recycling business.  To complicate matters, Janus’ mom has multiple sclerosis.  The prognosis isn't good.  And this is how Janus’ life is—complicated. 

This second novel in the series, Script Kiddie, adds more drama to Janus’ life.  Assured Destruction is in danger of being foreclosed.  Janus’ friend runs into trouble with online dating.  As usual, school marks are precarious.  Janus’ boyfriend is running out of patience.  Mom’s boyfriend is suspicious.  The police have Janus doing community service.  Teen age stress is complicated even more by the online hacking community. 

An interesting concept is that Janus has a few alter egos.  She has set up old computers with names and personalities, and interacts with them.  They’re Gumps, Frannie, Heckleena, Tule, and more.  Not only do they help Janus think through her options by getting her to focus, these on-line characters help us, the reader, to explanations, and character motivation.

NB my favorite quotes:

If life’s a stage, then you should be in the audience, Heckleena tweets.
@Heckleena For some reason the director keeps shoving me out for more, JanusFlyTrap replies.

Heckleena is one of my many alter egos, which allow me to say what I want without inciting direct hatred. JanusFlyTrap is the real me.
Shadows have lengthened and the sun shines into my eyes through the windows. The hair on
the back of my neck does a little dance.  It’s nearly closing time and despite the thrill of adventure a new hard drive always sends through me, I’d rather not profile a killer in the dark.
I don’t understand the half of it, but I want to, oh how I want to. And I will. It’s like
cracking the binding on a dusty old spell book and reading arcane language promising to augment your powers, create wards of protection, and destroy your enemies.
First Prize: I will bow to your feet, sing your praises,
and be otherwise suitably impressed. But you’ll never have all that, because this code is

impossible to crack.

NB these related sites:

How about taking a chance on a raffle to win a $ 25 gift certificate from Amazon, or a free ebook of Assured Destruction, Script Kiddie  ?
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