He’s the man with the metal arm, fixin’ to bring justice, peace, and honor back to Texas. He’s the lawman, the bounty hunter, the criminal. At the end of the day, he’s the man still holding the gun. The man still standing.
A fast-paced cyberpunk western in the wastes of a Texas ruined by technology and neglect.
J.D. wants only to make things right by the residents of Dead Oak, but nothing’s simple when tech gets involved. Gangs scour the skies on flying motorcycles, men warp their own minds with implants, and nothing–not one damn thing–is ever what it seems. Try as he might, J.D. doesn’t always know how to put this broken world back together. Maybe he never will.
The Metal and Men boxed set comes with the complete trilogy:
✓Justice in an Age of Metal and Men
✓ Peace in an Age of Metal and Men
✓ Honor in an Age of Metal and Men
✓ Bonus Short Story: The Guardian of Old Texas
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The Metal and Men series came from a few places. Inspiration came from science fiction like Firefly and Cowboy Bebop, but the story also draws heavily from Westerns like True Grit or Gunsmoke. Cyberpunk stories exist at the edge of a civilization in decline while western take place as a civilization expands across an uncontrolled frontier. The combination worked surprisingly well, and gave me a great backdrop to talk about things that are traditionally covered in both genres–questions about values and what they mean for the future.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
J.D. came to life because I had this incredible cyberpunk Texas and I wanted a character who was just completely unflappable. He dislikes technology and doesn't really see the point in it. He like tradition and doing things the way they've always been done, only his idea of tradition doesn't look like the one we see today. It's great exploring how traditions change while the bullets fly, and that's why I love this character.
We walked down the middle of a wide road, the moon a silver smudge across the still-hazy sky. The ashen wind let us be, only returning for the occasional tug at our backs. Even in the relatively bright moonlight from the clearing sky, it was too much of a risk to walk Muffin through the uneven trails. The road might be harder on the old horse’s knees, but it was preferable to twisting an ankle on the uneven earth of the burned forest. Behind her, Francis’ coffin drifted in silence like a big, white ghost.
I flexed my right hand, which still ached something fierce after slugging Johnny. Rebandaging it had hurt like hell, and the wound hadn’t closed up as nicely as I would have liked. We’d walked hours without speaking, and I’d just started to kindle some hope that it could stay that way.
“Won’t they come after us?”
I considered it. “I give it about fifty-fifty.”
“You could have killed them. They attacked us.”
“So, if you’d killed them, we’d be safe right now.”
I shook my head. “You weren’t so eager to kill that bear.”
“That’s different. The bear wouldn’t track us down and knife us in our sleep.”
“Fifty-fifty isn’t bad odds.”
Quin looked at me, horrified expression on her face. “How are you even so old?”
I took out a cigarette, stuck it between my lips, and lit it. “Rugged charm.”
She made a disgusted noise.
“Look, kid, I made a promise a long time ago. Said I wouldn’t kill anyone if I could help it. Promises are important.”
“Important enough to get both of us killed?”
“A fair bit more important than that.” I turned to regard her. “A person’s honor is bigger than them. It’s the thing that holds everything together, even when the law breaks down way out here in the wild. Give that up and you’re as good as dead anyway.”
After that, she didn’t talk for a long while.
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