NOTICE: Kragen's longtime publisher, ArcheBooks, closed last year 2020. Kragen's books are presently unavailable. In the coming months The KillWare Chronicles and Plagueman are looking to be re-issued, as well as the debut of Kragen's latest fantasy novel Space Leviathan. Upcoming Press Releases will announce re-issue and publishing dates.   

KillWare III: The Accidental Prisoner
The Books

In The Conflict Between Life-extensionism & Human Mortality, Dead Always Wins

In KillWare I, the online people's revolution failed to save Harry Osborne, or his brain, but Bob Howard and Mona Grant were rescued from the corp, brains intact — sorta. Thus the birth of PESD, "post-virtual epistemic stress disorder" (broken reality-connectedness mechanism).

In KillWare II: The Wastes, the corp re-invents itself, as often happens with fiduciarily compromised companies seeking to "go to the next level" … or escape prosecution. This time, IntelliGen, aka Sunrise Industries, has re-branded itself IGC, Intelligent Genetics Corporation, and they are taking up residence in the world's largest pirate garbage dump called The Wastes where young brains are plentiful. And Bob and Mo once again get caught up in the machine. 

KillWare III: The Accidental Prisoner - Bob has a son, Scott, whom he never saw growing up because his wife left him for Europe.

My wife dead? Bob sat up, glanced over at Mo.
Mo: Wife?
Bob: She...she left me for Europe.
Mo: Better than being left for another man. How can you compete with a whole continent?
Bob: I was young then. Long time ago. Before PESD. Before Harry's brain.

KillWare III, future present sci-fi where we live and where we die. There's a tension between life-extensionism and assisted dying, between longevity, cryogenics, Transhumanism on the one hand, and dying well and the existential reality of human mortality on the other. It's not just the what, the facts of the matter about this dilemma of the human condition: human vs. biomechanics. (Are we just our memories which might one day be uploaded into something "better" than meat-based reality, or are we that which has memories?) It's also the who, the social-ethical philosophy involved in the future — and present — that classic human drama: who gets to live, who gets to die.

"i can trust my own mind only as far as i can trust the creator of my mind. 
as for 'noninvasive' neural implants, the same thing logically holds true: i can trust my implants only as far as i can trust the programmer."  --Linuxus Xianicus

"the old saying still goes, 'if you can hack into their system, they can hack back into yours'. in the old days they got into your files, stole your 'stuff'; now they get into 'you', steal your soul."  --Linuxus Xianicus

GoogleDocs PDF Download: KillWare-OneSheet


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KillWare I

KillWare (originally published in 1999) is the story of the earliest days of the online community, where human intelligence is more than it's cracked up to be, PESD (post-virtual epistemic stress disorder) causes reality-disconnectedness and headaches, and the Bill of Rights takes on the brave-new-virtual-world of cyberspace. For a long moment before commercial industry, governments and multi-national/trans-national powers and principalities ruled e-space or vied for its territories, a new frontier lay before the connected common folk, the online little people, the techno-nobodies. This is their story.

He was a philosophy professor. She was a genetics engineering student. He was short and shy. She was aloof, "the woman in black." Together they dared to challenge the corporation, IntelliGen, the people who stole Harry's brain.

"Please, Dr. Howard, Ms. Grant," the man's voice was surprisingly sympathetic, "as you know, things are a bit unprecedented around here." Captain Wisdom looked up at the ceiling and sighed. "I'm sorry. Your friend -we're not even sure he's alive or dead. Bloody 'Twilight-Zone murder'. Scientist eaten by machine!"

Robert Howard and Mona Grant are the only witnesses to the strange events surrounding Harry Osborne, head of the university computer department. Harry had become the victim of his own research into Intelligence Emulation (IE). So Bob and Mona steal the security video tape which shows their friend getting jacked into one of the biggest computer systems in the country.

The next day, on their way to see Police Captain John Wisdom, Bob and Mona are kidnapped by the Genetics Intelligence Corporation, IntelliGen, the big bucks behind the IE project. The corp wants the "Harry-vid." But Mona has left it with her old friend Kavaria Jensen, screen-name KavDragon, a sci-fi writer and seasoned PC-onliner. Not easily intimidated, Kavaria goes after the corp to rescue Bob and Mona. In doing so she initiates the Online Peoples' Revolution:

"Kavaria Jensen was going to get IntelliGen. IntelliGen did not know what an enemy was. IntelliGen did not yet know Kavaria Jensen. Nor did it know that there were a million little people out there, mutants, secretaries, and just plain Joes, from little moons and rooms all over the known corporate universe, all of them teleconnecting, chatting, bonding, developing screen-to-screen loyalties that crossed organizational bounds, even national ones. It was a new (office) workers revolution. Yet unlike its recently deceased predecessor, it was a revolution without central organization. This was a PC-personal revolution, an intimate rebellion raising up like an army of electrons on the microwaves of the future, rising out of the electronic marketplace, the Casbah of thought, the night carnival of human conversation."

KillWare II
KillWare II: The Wastes

Note: KillWare II was originally published in 2004, in a double volume with KillWare I

Boys called themselves the wastes, los desechos. The girls, the toxics. Dredged up old disks of Metallica, MachineDeath, La Familia Necrophilia, 1910 Fruitgum Company, obscure Industrial Matrixpunk and Bubblegum Rock n' Roll. Lived in holes tunneled into landfills, abandoned dumps, lowlevel toxyards. They skillfully rigged scavenged electrical cable to nearby transformers. Hotwired their dens with ripoff city power so they could run their precious CD's. Gang colors were black and yellow, color of police tape used to cordon off a crime scene, color of radwaste warning signs; tag was a circle with three upside-down triangles in it, sign of the devil, radiation danger. They were outcasts. Cave dwellers. Abortions that wouldn't die. The next generation.

Or maybe the day after.
Some of the events in this story have yet to happen.
The worst ones have already begun.