Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Fourth Domain - Finale

Thank you, once again, for those who took the time to read the third entry in the Shaun Brewer series. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it :)

Each story I write has a theme to it, a message I want to send to the world. That applies to each individual story of Shaun & Dmitry. I have my beliefs on what makes the world great, and what also makes it horrible. I believe the relationships we share with those close to us holds more value than anything - the connections we share empower us all into being great people. I also believe the biggest threat to that is the establishment - our governments, our religion, the corporate fatcats. In some cases these groups will bring people together, but on a worldwide scale they only exist to create conflict and separate us from each other. That is exactly what I hoped people would take away from this story: the potential consequences of global division.

We are all people with something to offer the world. Work and live together, embrace our differences. Don't build walls to separate them.

I wrote this story mostly to celebrate 'Blood Falls' winning an award for best of 2016 on nosleep and offer a thank you to those who voted for it. This story is yours because you asked me for it. But I also felt compelled by the recent events of my country and the utter incompetence and negligence of all governments to send a message to the world. I hope that message resonates with you.

Onto the handbook


THE FOURTH DOMAIN

I mentioned previously that this was an entirely new area of science, and to a degree that's true. What I wound up doing was combining the research of different fields and drew conclusions when those separate areas were combined.

A large part of the scientific background for this story came from research conducted by Stefan Luketa, a member of the Department of Biology and Ecology for the University of Novi Sad in Serbia. He has proposed what would actually be a five domain system that would add Prionbiota and Virusbiota as two additional domains. Luketa went into extensive detail dissecting our current taxonomy structure, offering alternatives to adequately classifying life in his paper "New views on the megaclassification of life". It's quite an interesting and educational read. Here is a direct link to the pdf of his work.

He says a few things in this paper that I used as a basis for creating the Angels:
  • Animals are monophyletic; they originated not from fully developed plant predecessors, but rather from the predecessors of a lower organization.
    Found on Page 2
  • Predecessors of contemporary eukaryotic cells had once ingested free-living prokaryotes, which became adapted to survival and proliferations inside the hosts cells over time.
    Found on Page 5
  • Prions are infective protein particles with an ability to multiple/replicate and evolve. They live exclusively in eukaryotic cells and consist entirely of proteins without nucleic acids.
    Found on Page 6

One of the most important things of prions is the lack of genetic information. Genes necessary for prion replication are provided by the host cell.

I began thinking about the possibilities of prions having previously evolving into full multi cellular organisms and could self-replicate. And the link I used for this was Biological Dark Matter. As noted in the story, no one quite knows what it is and it's widely considered to be the blueprints for the fourth domain.

Here is a great video from Ted Talks that describes the nature of biological dark matter:



What if there was a way to basically take this dormant material inside all of us and just...turn it on? How could we do that? Prions served as a way of answering that question.

I also based the behavior of Angel peeling away her own skin on the prion disease known as Scrapie.

The bunker itself is a real place as well.


I'd like to give a HUGE thank you to /u/dration, who helped with the research of hidden underground bunkers. Without her help a lot of this story would not have been possible.

Object 506 is a real place that was used as part of Biopreparat. Here's a Russian news segment on the bunker:



A couple more useful links for other items mentioned in the story:


THE FUTURE

This story took a lot out of me to put together. It was initially conceived last summer but I didn't have the proper information to make it all feasible. I've spent almost every moment of free time over the last two months writing and researching everything. So, for the immediate future, I'm going to take a bit of a break from writing. I'm somewhat burnt out.

Moving forward, though, I'm going to start exploring other areas outside of nosleep. Don't misinterpret, I absolutely love posting on nosleep and it will forever hold a special place in my heart. But I've thought for some time now that I should be looking ahead. Something /u/BLOODWORTHooc mentioned in his nosleep interview really hit home for me:

"Quit writing for nosleep. Start writing novels. Start a mailing list. Start facebook advertising. Facebook likes are for suckers; look-alike audience ads are where it’s at."

It's not the last time I'll post something to nosleep, but it'll be a long time before I return. There's this deep ambition within me to write full fledged novels, and I can't do that if I'm spending months at a time writing for something intended for nosleep. It's time I step away, at least for a little while, and focus on actually being a novelist.

I hope to see you all stick around for what the my future endeavors generate. All your kind words and encouragement has been so very dear to me. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Shauntry - The Third Details



Welp, I'm sorry this is a little late. I was having difficulty with the artist for this image. Say hi to Dmitry!

This is a bit of sneak peak into the next Shaun Brewer story and serves as a handbook for part 1. It'll be posted on March 30th on /r/nosleep under the title I was recruited by the Government. Here is the finalized schedule for part of the series:


  • Part 1 - March 30th
  • Part 2 - March 31st
  • Part 3: Story & Handbook - April 3rd
  • Finale & Handbook - April 5th
EDIT: I originally intended the handbook to be included with part 3, but the pacing has resulted in pushing the material requiring the handbook to the finale instead.

At the time of writing this blog post I am nearly completed with Part 3. It's the most difficult part to construct with all the science details it has along with all the varying plot elements. Parts 1 & 2 are completed and do not contain enough details to merit a handbook for each. The story starts out a little slow in part 1. Halfway through the opening part though it picks up fast and hardly lets up until the ending.

The series as a whole is shaping up quite nicely. It's got puzzles, suspense, gore, new characters, and it will be proposing an entirely new, unexplored area of science that'll be exposed in part 3.

There's really only one particular item on part 1 I feel needs to be sourced in order to verify authenticity. It's a minor sub-plot of the first entry, but I'm a little worried people will read it and start scratching their heads, or the nay-sayers will jump and shout that it's not real or it's stupid. Well it is real, and it's not stupid.

I'm talking, of course, about insect cyborgs.

YES! They're real! And the neural engineering to create them is actually quite simple.

This is one of the rather simplistic versions of hacking into an insect's nervous system and manipulating their movements:


DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been toying around with insect cyborgs since the 1940s:
  • The next time you see a moth, dragonfly, or other winged insect, go in for a closer look. (DARPA) has been developing insect cyborgs for the past seven-plus decades...Since the 1940s, DARPA’s toiled to develop Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). It didn’t take long for engineers to realize that the key to effective MAVs was right in front of their eyes: Nature’s own insects — and, in some cases, winged mammals — were ideal case studies to be mimicked and, in some designs, enslaved.


That just about covers everything you need to know for the first part. Oh, the drawing of Dmitry? Ah, yes, that...well, you'll have to wait to read part 1 to find out what it's about :)

The next blog post here will be on April 3rd to explain the science that's presented in more thorough detail and include sources for what I've proposed.

See you all on March 30th!




EDIT 3/18 - Part 3 has been completed, but it's far too long to include the science of everything in the same part. The handbook will be presented along with the finale, NOT part 3 because of this reason.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Shauntry - The Third

EDIT: I know I said there would be an update towards the end of February, but I'm working on something specific for the update that's been delayed. We're still on track for March 30th though! Check back in a couple of weeks for the update!

Hey everyone! I've made some mentions on reddit about a possible third entry to the Shaun Brewer series. The concept I've been toying with for months now is starting to come together and I finally put together a basic outline for the third story. So, you're getting more Shaun, more Dmitry, more science :)

Details are scarce at the moment. For fear of giving away the plot I won't say much, but rest assured it'll uphold the high standard I set whenever I write these stories. I will do my best to keep this series fresh and interesting. Further announcements on everything should come later this month.

As far as a release date, it's a bit too soon to tell. March 30th would be great since that's when part one of Blood Falls was originally posted. But I'm not certain that's going to suffice. I may compile this with the other two entries to the series and release it as a novel on amazon first and then post it to nosleep afterwards.

There's a lot up in the air right now, but a third story is coming. Like the other two entries, it will stand on its own with minor mentions of the previous events that took place in the universe. I like the idea of everyone being able to pick up each individual story and read it on its own without feeling obligated to read the previous entries.

I want everyone to go in fresh! But I'll give you a little hint on the premise - maybe you science nerds can figure it out:



Check back here later this month for more details on release dates.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

New Year - New Goals

Hey there everyone! It's been some time since I last posted anything, so I suppose an update is in order.

Last year I set specific goals for myself in terms of writing. I achieved all of them, and with months to spare! So, 2017 brings a new set of goals I'm giving myself.

While things have been quiet on my end I do still see a steady stream of traffic to this blog, so I'd like to assure everyone that bigger projects are in the works for 2017. I have a two-part series coming up titled "The Scarab Window", along with a story about Neil Armstrong.

Lots of stuff coming in 2017 that I'll be updating this blog and /r/citadel with prior to their release! I look forward to sharing everything I've been cooking up!

The Fourth Domain - Finale

Thank you, once again, for those who took the time to read the third entry in the Shaun Brewer series. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as...