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I recently completed my first stab at a novel, a science fiction thriller with the working title Pareidolia. The very quick and dirty premise is below. Fans of Neil Stephenson and Peter Straub will feel at home here.

Excerpts will be posted at regular intervals. Check back soon, and enjoy!

Premise: Kenneth Holcomb, a physicist working for a military contracting company in the ’60s, is tasked with back-engineering pieces of recovered alien technology that appear to have profound effects on human perception and behavior. Finding his inner whistleblower, he steals a cache of sensitive documents, quits, and fakes his own death. He lives underground as a transgendered man for decades, surrounding himself with a growing circle of students, programmers, and believers. His goal is to expose the conspiracy, and thirty years later he gets his chance — Roland, an old friend with ties to the FBI, informs Kenneth that one of the pieces of alien technology has just gone missing.

The circle is dispatched to find it before the government does, but it’s closer than they think. Inner circle member Zeke reports that the alien artifact has just been spotted at a New Age expo, next to a young woman named Leah who has just given a live demonstration of her sudden ability to communicate with the dead. The device is stolen before Zeke has a chance to bring it back to the circle. When Roland is shot by mysterious assailants, Zeke is forced to find a way to vindicate Kenneth’s life’s work without getting himself killed in the process.

Read a deleted chapter here. Read another deleted chapter here.