Title: Apocalypse Alley
Series: Blue Unicorn #2
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Simone
Publication Date: February 26, 2018
Length: 201 pages
About Apocalypse Alley
Home from a six-month assignment to war-torn East Asia, genetically engineered supersoldier Noah "Comet" Wu just wants to kick back, share a beer, and talk shit with his best friend, JT. But JT's home has been shot up like a war zone, and his friend has gone missing.
Comet's only lead is a smart-mouthed criminal he finds amid the mess. His name's Buzz Howdy. He's a con man and a hacker and deserves to be in jail. Or in handcuffs, at least. The only thing the two have in common is JT. Unless you count the steamy glances they're sneaking at one another. They have those in common too. But that just makes Comet all the more wary.
Despite their mutual distrust, they'll have to work together to rescue JT before a cyborg assassin gets to him first. Racing down a miserable stretch of road called Apocalypse Alley, they must dodge radioactive spiders, a killer Buick, and rampaging cannibals. They also try to dodge each other. That last bit doesn't work out so well.
Hello, all! I’m Don Allmon and this week I’ll be touring the web to promote my new book, APOCALYPSE ALLEY, the second in the Blue Unicorn series.
If you’re looking for fast-paced cyberpunk/fantasy romance – Terminator 2 meets Fury Road with two sexy guys and a dragon – this is your jam.
Join in the fun by leaving a comment which enters you to win a Riptide gift card!
Back before I signed the contract with Riptide for the Blue Unicorn series, the editor suggested Book 2 be about a couple other than JT and Austin. I said, “No problem!” more enthusiastically than I should have because I had no effing idea who Book 2 would be about if not about my orc and elf.
A week of panic later I sat in a bar with a writer friend (much more accomplished than I) and laid out the problem: “I can do Buzz plus someone, but who and what? He can’t be human or an orc or an elf.”
“Dragon,” she said.
“Too all-powerful.” (And dragons are assholes, and not sexy ones. Sorry, dragon-shifter fans, but no.)
“Sexy. Too pastoral.” (Though I filed that idea away for later, and someday I’ll tell you about Benjamin the satyr who is hot af.)
“Cyborg,” my friend said.
“That’s the villain.” (This is why my writer friends don’t talk to me much. I ask for help and then say no to everything they suggest.)
“Frankenstein.” (She meant the monster, not the doctor.)
“That’s just a biological cyborg,” I complained. (See what I mean?)
But that idea stuck in my head and I slept on it and showered with it (all my good ideas come in the shower when I can’t write them down). And eventually I thought the chain of thoughts that you’ll find in Chapter 6:
Comet, rebuilt, was some kind of Frankenstein’s monster.
Except Victor Frankenstein had never loved his creation, and Buzz had no doubt that Duke loved Comet deeply.
A different story, then: Pinocchio.
I identify with the story of Pinocchio in so many ways. When I was a young man trying to work out who I was, Pinocchio’s misplaced desire to become a “real boy” made a powerful metaphor. Lampwick was so many of the wrong guys I found myself attracted to (Oh, Pleasure Island!!!). And now that I’m older, Geppetto’s desire for a son is far more understandable.
And though Pinocchio is all magic and fairy-wishes, its subject (like Frankenstein) is cyberpunk. At the risk of swinging way too academic, Pinocchio is about bodies as a technology of identity. (I’ll just leave that here for y’all to mess with.) Pinocchio is Spielberg/Kubrick’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence except with an ending that doesn’t break your heart.
I admit APOCALYPSE ALLEY doesn’t delve too deep into the Pinocchio metaphor or my thoughts on it (that’s why it’s here). I’d rather write about crashing cars and having sex. But if you’re wondering where Comet came from, there you have it: a talk with a friend who’s convinced I never listen to her suggestions, and a 78-year-old Disney flick.
About Blue Unicorn
JT is an orc on the way up. He’s got his own boutique robotics shop, high-end clientele, and deep-pocketed investors. He’s even mentoring an orc teen who reminds him a bit too much of himself back in the day.
Then Austin shows up, and the elf’s got the same hard body and silver tongue as he did two years ago when they used to be friends and might have been more. He’s also got a stolen car to bribe JT to saying yes to one last scheme: stealing the virtual intelligence called Blue Unicorn.
Soon JT’s up to his tusks in trouble, and it ain’t just zombies and Chinese triads threatening to tear his new life apart. Austin wants a second chance with JT—this time as more than just a friend—and even the Blue Unicorn is trying to play matchmaker.
About Don Allmon
In his night job, Don Allmon writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance. In his day job, he’s an IT drone. He holds a master of arts in English literature from the University of Kansas and wrote his thesis on the influence of royal hunting culture on medieval werewolf stories. He’s a fan of role-playing games, both video and tabletop. He has lived all over from New York to San Francisco, but currently lives on the prairies of Kansas with many animals.
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To celebrate the release of Apocalypse Alley, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 3, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!