A HAPPY PANTS SHORT STORY
"Not since the Martian and Andy Weir has there been a better science fiction combination."
Charles Martins, prisoner number 61789, is serving time in a body suit—a prison cell that he wears 24/7. One part prison cell, one part life support system, it takes care of every biological need, provides video for re-education, and even gives him psycho therapy from an AI psychiatrist. What it doesn't do is allow him to touch or feel anything. And while it monitors his every action, it prevents him from doing anything that feels real.
When Charles learns about the Edge—the edge of the world, maybe, or maybe the edge of some virtual reality—he volunteers for the most dangerous community service the penal colony offers. He risks life and any chance of future freedom to enter the Red Zone, where his job is to remove an ocean of zone sludge and earn time off of his sentence. Charles wants to escape, but he may not like what he finds on the other side of the edge.
"In parts, it reminds me of Larry Niven's Ring World."
"I haven't been this thrilled since reading David Brin's Existence." "In terms of sheer geeky coolness, Kevin may be the next Ernest Cline."
Kevin Tumlinson was born in Wild Peach, Texas, during the early 70s. Which means he had practically nothing to do for the first 18 years of his life.
That meant he was free from outside stimulus, which gave him a creative edge. He spent his days roaming the back woods and open pastures and abandoned junk piles of Wild Peach, getting into a lot of trouble and building a rich inner world that comes in real handy today.
Kevin is the author of dozens of novels and novellas, including his popular Citadel science fiction trilogy and his ongoing Sawyer Jackson contemporary fantasy series.
Kevin was the winner of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy award, as well as a two-time winner of the Danny Lee Lawrence Award for Fiction.
In addition to writing and publishing, Kevin is the host of the Wordslinger Podcast (wordslingerpodcast.com)--a weekly interview-format show in which Kevin talks to some of the most interesting and upwardly mobile entrepreneurs around. Kevin makes a regular habit of coaching and helping other authors, entrepreneurs and would-be authors improve their craft, build or grow their business, and generally just make their lives better through writing.
Kevin lives with his wife, Kara, in the Greater Houston area, but has a grand master plan to chuck it all and live as an RV nomad, exploring the world, chasing his travel muse, and creating stories from the grist he finds out there.
Visit Kevin at kevintumlinson.com for more information about his work, and to connect with him and become one of his Slingers. You can also follow him on Facebook (/kevintumlinson) and Twitter (@kevintumlinson). He is no longer responding to smoke signals, and apologizes for the inconvenience.