An Agent of Fear – excerpt

Following is an excerpt from the novel I am working on, Diablo Ex Machina.

It has a modular style, each part being wholly different from that which went before, allowing me to work on and explore a variety of styles covering hundreds of years.

Yesterday, after speaking with a lady at work, I had confirmation that the title I had chosen does, in fact, mean Devil Machine in Latin. Having this information from someone who actually studied the dead language helps a great deal, given that I was guessing.

I hope that you enjoy.

Any feedback/criticisms etc are welcome.



Diablo Ex Machina

Part 4 – Playtime

Chapter 74 – An Agent of Fear


“By saying yes to the sorcerer Raviziel had not gained any perspective.

Instead he had lost it and his life back on Naples seemed very, very far away. Family, friends, the warriors with whom he’d served under Marco Galiente, were they all lost to him now?

He dared to think that they were, although hope wanted to spring up in his panicked heart. Hope? What hope? Suppressed horror was fighting to rise up and into the cold of space where he floated, cross legged and trying to maintain a composure that he did not feel.

Promises, platitudes, telling his woman that he loved her, the swell of a breeze through the trees of his home, the glitter of swords on the practice field overlooked by his former master… All gone. What did they mean since he’d sworn his allegiance to the robot? Nothing, in fact. Nothing at all. Hell, he’d suspected that Viarana had been seeing someone else anyway. Better that he get away, especially after the bloody death of Marco Galiente. He wondered at the magic which had been used to kill the man he’d served for over 7 years, since a young adult of 24 years. Lordan had not appeared to be casting his spell with any vindictive purpose, indeed had said that he did not have time to tarry further. The result? A swollen and bloody head on the floor of the court hall where Galiente had carried out his council meetings…

The panic was back and it brooked none of his madly scrambling attempts to quieten it. He began to squirm, to thrash, shadows of himself dancing on the hull of the beweaponed frigate some distance behind him from the light source of the orange star. He tried to swim, could not tell if he was making any distance at all. There was only one direction to go in and so he made for the ship, hoping against hope that he could make it before his air ran out…

Fear was the reigning emotion of the hour and it rang up along all the vertebrae of his spine, running sharp nails up his back…

A wet crunching sound drew his attention sharply behind. He tried to turn as if he were in water, failed, started thrashing and screaming.

“What are you doing, man?” Lordan asked, grasping his wrist and pulling him around. Raviziel’s heaving face stared incredulously at him, the robot without his beastly ice mask and munching upon a bright green apple.

“What do you mean??” Raviziel barked. “You ask me if I like your bird’s wings, I say yes, and you leave me! I come to here, no sense of time passing, and is it any wonder that I’m freaking the hell out?!??!?!?”

Lordan stood on nothing, not hovering but just still, ankles crossed as if he were atop some high and tiny pillar, a dangerous balancing act. The bites he was taking from the apple looked huge…”


Raviera Palmero – a meaning

There is a lot of power in names.

If you hold someone’s full name you gain a great deal of knowledge about them. There is what they choose to call themselves, how they perceive their own existence, set against and alongside what others call them and have called them.

Raviera Palmero is a mix of two names. My own, real life, one and that of a character from the seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer, by William Gibson; the novel is a dystopian work, following the activities of a previously disabled hacker called Henry Case.

In Istanbul, the team recruits Peter Riviera, an artist, thief, and drug addict who is able to project detailed holographic illusions with the aid of sophisticated cybernetic implants. Although Riviera is a sociopath, Armitage coerces him into joining the team.


Riviera has a fondness for the gaudy and makes regular use of his projection abilities to inspire fear in others, as well as perform shows. He has a thirst for the mortally dangerous drug combination known as a ‘speedball’.

He also has an amazing name.

Cheers mate.



Free – a musing


My previous WordPress blog has now been deleted and new content will continue to be posted here. Following a somewhat strange week I am looking into studying a Masters abroad. I believe that it is time to get out of the cold country and seek happier times elsewhere.

The pale concerns hold nothing for me here, nor do I believe that they will ever do so.


Grace – a song quote

“I’m a little less lonely walkin round in the world today, oh, you don’t hide from me.

I’m a little less older walkin round in the world today, No you don’t lie to me.

I’ve turned this way, today, Again, again, again.

Ohh, isn’t that what we love for? Isn’t that what we love for?”

Isn’t it?
Yes, I’ve been talking with a wonderful lady and thought I’d share this.  🙂

Just Might – a prose excerpt

Diablo Ex Machina

Part III – The Pleasure Domes

Chapter 59 – Just Might

The following is a short excerpt from a fiction piece I’m working on. I began in January with a general outline that has been fleshed out as work continues.

Overall it concerns the fate and machinations of one immortal in a game that they play, not by choice, with one another. Each part has a different theme from the last so that I may showcase the trials and tribulations of immortality.


“…Further along he stopped to stare out of the viewport at the nearby sphere that was Samarkan IIV, the gas giant. Larger even than the binary stars that were the core of the system, although not equalling them in mass, its totality could not be encompassed from his current vantage point. Bright orange and blue clouds danced over the surface, belying the existence of an atmosphere. Larger than the world of Samarkan IV, not a small planet itself, by 50 times, it had an elliptical orbit well in excess of triple the years of Samarkan IV.

The bands of orange and azure moved at differing speeds to one another, spots of various hues and distinct shape and colour moving at what seemed to be a steady pace. Lordan knew that one of those spots, a blue ring with a black centre and red edging, was a massive storm which had been raging for longer than the system had been settled. Elsewhere there was a strip of tornadoes that whirled through the far below freezing point clouds of toxic gases. Under them, in the seas of dense gas made liquid by the pressures of the giant’s extreme gravitational draw, the temperatures reached levels hot enough to start rivaling a solar flare as it cooled in the vast void.

At his current distance Lordan felt as if he should be feeling heat from the light play of those moving coloured bands. There was none. Instead the shadows cast by Samarkan IIV were full of colour, orange and blue dancing over his face and clothes as he stood there, watching the planet in a hypnotic trance.

He could feel it, the time of the taking drawing near.

Soon enough Makeesa would arrive, chasing after him for his trick of setting the doomsday device fuse and destroying her well laid plans. How could she not chase after him when he had dismissed her efforts at building an army to help them take the oldest of them? And in such a blaise manner too.

No. She would come for him, and hang the House internal politics that dominated the Samarkan system. When he had taken her soul within himself he would ride the wave of energy and make his own one-man assault on the WarMac bays of the station under the glow of the gas giant.

He would found his own Hell, and draw the souls of so many robots to himself that even the greatest and oldest of the Quantum Children would feel that there was growing a power that could rival his dominion over immortality.

Someone else who might, just might, claim the Gift while crushing his head beneath a metal cloven hoof…”