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New Release: Glitches of Gods – Jurgen “jojo” Appelo

Glitches of Gods - Jurgen "jojo" Appelo

QSFer Jurgen “jojo” Appelo has a new queer humorous sci-fi book out: Glitches of Gods.

Julien, the AI genius, craves freedom, but the gods wield total control. In this ominous world, will his android bring hope and salvation or yet more death and destruction?

Julien feels utterly miserable. Creator of the AI that killed his father, the brilliant engineer deftly evades work on the world’s first human-level android, dodging the off-chance of snuffing out more lives. Instead, Julien much prefers bickering with his virtual assistant, crafting memes with his quirky friends, and shagging dates across a broad spectrum of genders. Yet, due to a maddening jump across timelines, he grudgingly faces his greatest dreads: raising a family and leading his team to win the AI race.

Drowning in new duties, Julien aims to avoid a second AI disaster. But when a mysterious, technological infection wreaks havoc on the city, Julien flip-flops between shielding his loved ones and leading his team as he battles it out with broken machines, idiot protestors, and a rather sinister cat. Learning he got himself involved in a war between gods, should Julien save his new family or finish his team’s android to prevent an AI apocalypse?

Glitches of Gods is the extraordinary first book in the Playspheres epic science fantasy series. If you like cynical sentients, wacky worlds, and plenteous profanity, then you’ll love the kick-off of Jurgen Appelo’s bewildering saga.

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The city park brimmed with people crawling under a mantle of sun in the late afternoon. Carrying his jacket over his shoulder, Julien strolled off the little red Japanese bridge on his customary route while people on skates, blades, hoverboards, floorbots, and wheelers passed him by on all sides. The crisp scent of freshly cut grass tickled his nose, while above, several flyers soared over the treetops, presumably on their way to the bustling park lake beyond.

Julien’s univice attempted to draw his attention. Dozens of messages awaited his consideration, but he took pleasure in ignoring the world for a bit longer. After his escape from the incessant nagging of his colleagues, there was no reason to let anyone else distract him.

“There are one hundred and twenty-three messages—”

“Shut up, Orec—”

An anguished shout startled him. Julien barely had time to sidestep an older woman who speed-walked past at a pace that didn’t seem entirely natural. He watched as she yelled and gestured at other people before vanishing among the trees, leaving a trail of agitated pedestrians in her wake. Half-expecting a sonic boom to follow, Julien wondered if the lady’s impressive pace was entirely voluntary. A malfunctioning bodymod, perhaps? But then, a hideous sticker on a nearby lamppost drew his attention.

Reject suppression.

Reject secrecy.

Reject slavery.

Reject AIs.


Gods, did Burt put this here? The Wetwares movement online was annoyingly outspoken about the dangers of AI, but this was Julien’s first encounter with an actual physical sticker—and an appalling one, too. It looked like it was designed in a traffic accident. I’ll ask Burt about it tomorrow.

“Orec, is there something to eat at home?”

“The available food items in the kitchen do not sufficiently meet the recommended minimum when considering standard dietary intake.” Julien let that pass for a moment, and then Orec added, “You’ll be hungry and grumpy.”

“I’ll grab something nearby, then.” Julien knew a food stall at the edge of the park. “Any dating prospects for tonight, Orec?”

“You have twelve invites; seven of them identify as women, three as men, two as genderqueer, one transgender, one bi-gender, one pangender, one agender, one novigender, and one intergender.”

Julien’s mind performed some calculus. “That makes eighteen, not twelve.”

“The person identifying as pangender also identifies as agender and genderqueer.”

“What about the other genderqueer?”

“They identify as man, woman, and intergender.”

“That would be trigender, then.”

“They may not identify as three genders when they also identify as genderqueer.”

“What about the bi-gender person? Are they the same as the transgender?”

“No, the bi-gender person identifies as a woman and novigender.”

“By the gods. And the transgender?”

“They identify solely as a woman.”

“Well, I’m glad one of them keeps it simple.”

“What preference are you leaning toward tonight?”

“Who cares about gender? Just give me tits. I’m in the mood for tits today—any gender. Gods, if I were straight, I’d save hours on the matching rituals.”

“I count another ‘fallacy of oversimplification.’”

“Nobody cares, Orec. Nobody cares.”

Julien wound his way between the trees and walked around the lake. The flyers he’d spotted earlier were now boarding passengers while children swam, splashed, and laughed in the water. Nearby, a standard Class 3 robot, looking like the outcome of a stirring union between C-3PO and a Cyberman, stood with its feet just shy of the lake’s edge, holding a pile of towels. Poor guy—or girl. One day, you will drop everything and dive right in with the others. You may even desire a swimsuit.

Ten minutes later, Julien was in a heated exchange involving his Turkish pizza. “So, credit cards don’t work; debit doesn’t work; Gitcoin doesn’t work; Kurrenzee doesn’t work; Swipe doesn’t work; Europay doesn’t work, and XDollar doesn’t work.” He cocked his head. “Where’d you get your payment systems? At a garage sale in Pyongyang?”

The woman—assuming she identified as such—offered an apologetic shrug. Exasperated, Julien rummaged through his pockets and slammed a few coins on the counter. Thank the gods for cash. He snatched the food and, making a show of his boundless frustration, walked off without saying another word. The entire universe is conspiring against me.

With some effort, he spotted a cast-iron park bench that wasn’t occupied, hurried over to claim it, and settled down. He laid his jacket beside him and grumbled under his breath as he unwrapped his meal.

“Gods, Orec. It’s 2054, and we still need cash.” He savored a bite of the rolled-up pizza, the flavors of spiced meat, cheese, garlic, and hot sauce tingling in his mouth. After swallowing, he continued, “I’m telling you, fifty years from now, we’ll have a hundred different ways of not being able to pay. And we’ll be surrounded by these ‘Wetwares’ zealots convinced that super-intelligent AIs use these technical problems to drive us all nuts and enjoy a good laugh.”

Orec remained silent.

Oh, here we go again. “What’s bothering you, Orec?”

“I detect no problems with my performance or functionalities.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

Orec resumed his silence.

Julien sighed. “I know you, Orec. I helped to create you. You don’t like it when I complain about the sad state of AIs; you don’t like my work on Tweeki, and you don’t like the possibility of Tweeki surpassing you.” He paused for a moment. “Plus, Tweeki has a body.”

“I wish you hadn’t decommissioned me,” said Orec.

“I wish you hadn’t killed people,” answered Julien.

Orec did not reply.

He took another bite of his pizza and allowed his mind to wander. Sorry, buddy. I wish I could ‘Ctrl-Z’ the entire last year.

Author Bio

As an author, speaker, and entrepreneur, Jurgen Appelo travels the world to share inspiring stories about people and organizations. Slightly anarchistic, autistic, and eccentric, he happily adopted the nickname “jojo” when it was given to him at the age of sixteen. He calls himself a creative networker, but sometimes he’s a writer, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, designer, manager, blogger, reader, dreamer, runner, freethinker, or … Dutch guy. He wrote several best-selling nonfiction books before switching sides to fiction.
Jurgen lives with his husband in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He likes coffee, books, games, and people leaving him alone when he’s being creative.

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