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NEW RELEASE: KYN – Laurence Ramsay

KYN - Laurence Ramsay

QSFer Laurence Ramsey has a new queer cyberpunk book out: KYN.


In a near post-dystopian future, an immortal assassin fights to defend civilization’s last city from the encroaching threat of mysterious invaders – all while struggling to protect those he loves from the twisted machinations of those he was bred to serve.

Kyn is an Envoy, an elite assassin and messenger of the Unity.

Trapped by a life of endless servitude and death, existentially lost and stuck in a self-destructive loop, Kyn is forced to confront his assumed place in the world when a routine assignment pulls back the curtain on Unity lies – exposing ancient enemies and raising new hopes while challenging everything he thought to be real.

And threatening everyone he cares about.

Now, with hacker boy-toy Alec in tow, and aided by fellow Envoys – the will-bending Ashe, and indestructible Runa – Kyn is in a race against time, his masters, and the mysterious Dividers, as he blazes a violent path through the neon lit stacks of Earth’s last city on his quest to find answers.

Answers that will ultimately bring him face-to-face with humanities’ glittering future. Or cost him everything.

He just has to decide how far he’s willing to go for the truth.

And if he can trust the AI.

Action-packed and dripping with slick style, KYN is a queer, hopepunk anthem set in a post-dystopian world of blazing colour and neon grit. Hyperkinetic and irreverent, it’s a f*ck you to the ‘Bury your Gays’ trope, and a brazenly campy homage to the cyberpunk classics that birthed the genre. Filled to its ever-sassy brim with irreverent immortal assassins, charming hacker boy-toys, and gender fluid sirens, KYN is a love story to the indomitable spirit of queerness that dares to dream of a new and better future beyond dystopia.

Get It At Amazon | Publisher | B&N | Kobo | Indigo


The Boy in the Room [Prologue]

A lone boy sat on the floor of a stark and sterile white room. Waiting.

Gossamer-thin holographic screens, each ethereally translucent, floated in the air around him, encircling the boy in a constantly flowing ring of disparate images that shifted and changed with chaotic discord. Nameless faces, eclectic live-vids, and boxes of rapidly scrolling code flowed around him in the dizzying jumble.

The boy’s large gray eyes – the colour of unpolished silver – flitted from screen to screen, studying one intently for a still moment, laser intent, before jumping to the next. The glow of the projections glinted and glittered off his keen gaze, as if dancing across two pools of quicksilver.

The boy sat cross-legged in the middle of the circle, spine straight. A glowing interface hovered above the white tile, and his dexterous hands fluttered back and forth in a semi-circle around himself; flicking and twirling rapidly to smoothly manipulate the flow of the circling holos.

The boy turned to a floating screen of hand-to-hand combat tutorial videos. Neatly ordered lines of soldiers grappled each other into submission, lashing out viciously to disable their opponents with agility and overwhelming force.

He squinted, eyebrows knitting themselves together in concentration as he tracked the movements, the expression bunching up the dramatic slash of dark freckles that cut across his angular face and over his sharp nose. A swirling galaxy of black stars spattered across sandy brown skin.

His attention jumped to another gossamer holo. A shaky handheld vid of a ballet class. Young adults in uniformly black leotards glided fluidly back and forth across the frame.

He studied the neat lines of dancers, each lightly gripping the barre, their lithe forms moving in unison through a series of complex and improbable shapes. Leaping and twirling with seemingly impossible grace. The vid ended after catching a bright faced young woman wiping sweat from her brow as she smiled for the cam, before looping back on itself to start again.

Another screen was nothing but scrolling green lines of self-replicating computer code. Below that, a scrolling text of complicated mathematical equations whipped by at dizzying speed. To the left, a brilliant green flash of a forest grove choked with moss.

The boy shifted his gaze to a slideshow of human anatomy in hyper-realistic pictographs. He briefly studied each, before swiping them away again. The rejected holo flew back into one blank white wall to be replaced with an intranet article dedicated to a detailed regional chronological history. Skimming the article, he swiped it away.

The gray eyed boy manipulated the circular wall of projections with ease, bouncing with a new manic energy while humming tunelessly to himself. Gesturing at a glowing icon by his right hand, he swiped upwards, pulling out a cluster of new files and expanded them.

He studied this new material, intent as he scratched distractedly at his left forearm, picking at the fresh layer of black scabs that had formed over a pattern of interlocking triangles tattooed along his inner forearm. His mind began to wander with the uncomfortable itch of the healing skin and his eyes darted shy, distracted, glances towards one curved corner of the hovering feeds, flicking to a Unity issued ident of another boy his own age. The other child’s face was stern and unreadable, his dark hair buzzed short.

He pulled his gaze back to the other circling holos, narrowing down his image catalogue by smoothly swiping away unneeded feeds, trying to eliminate distractions.

Unbidden, like an unconscious tick, his gaze flicked back to the ident. A strange heat rose in his cheeks, and his mind drifted trying to read that stern face despite determined attempts to focus.

He’d gotten to see the other children that morning.

A low mist had hung over the meticulous green of the compound grounds as the children greeted each other with shy waves before digging small hands back into the pockets of their outdoor uniforms, huddled close to the adults for reassurance.

All except the boy with the shaved head.

The shaved headed boy stood with his shoulders back, silently staring at a far-off point somewhere in front of himself, oblivious to the other child and the adults around him.

Memory made the gray eyed boy feel strange. Conflicting emotions tugged at him, and his hands felt uncomfortably clammy as a tingling warmth rushed him and his eyes welled with moisture, threatening to spill over.

His hand hesitated from swiping away the holo.

The Handlers had chosen him to be the first.

The children had been arranged in a loose formation around a large circle drawn in chalk white powder in the compound’s expansive green pitch.

The children loved their outdoor time. Each young face was bright and smiling in the fresh air despite the early hour. They stood patiently, too well trained to let their enthusiasm get the better of them and beamed joyfully as they waited obediently for further instructions. Their Handlers stood beside them, staring silently into the center of the chalk circle, not acknowledging one another, arms hung casually at their sides, each loosely gripping a disciplinary rod between both hands.

A stout woman with thick limbs and a drawn, pinched face stood next to the shaved headed boy. His Handler. She placed a hand on the boy’s shoulder and shoved him decisively towards the center of the ring.

The shaved headed boy stumbled, momentarily off balance, before catching himself, his face refusing to lose its strange expression.

The gray eyed boy was pushed in next.

His stomach dropped as he felt the strong hand on his shoulder, and he looked back at the kindly bearded face of his Handler as he stumbled forward, suddenly unsure of himself. But, seeing nothing but blankness in the adult’s face, he reluctantly set one foot in front of the other, moving to stand facing the other boy…

Author Bio

Laurence Ramsay [he/him]: A contemporary dancer, urban parkour monkey, and all around indie artist, Laurence lives on the stunningly beautiful coast of British Columbia with his sexy live-in manfriend and blanket-loving adopted cat. KYN is Laurence’s debut novel.

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