Vakov Fukasawa used to be a Reaper, a bio-enhanced soldier fighting for the intergalactic governing body of Harmony against a brutal invading empire. Now, he fights against the stormtech: the DNA of an extinct alien race Harmony injected into him, altering his body chemistry and making him permanently addicted to adrenaline and aggression. It made him the perfect soldier, but it also opened a new drug market that has millions hopelessly addicted to their own body chemistry.
But when Harmony tells him that his former ally Reapers are being murdered, Vakov is appalled to discover his estranged brother is likely involved in the killings. They haven’t spoken in years, but Vakov can’t let his brother down, and investigates. But the deeper he goes, the more addicted to stormtech he becomes, and Vakov discovers that the war might not be over after all. It’ll take everything he has to unearth this terrible secret, although doing so might mean betraying his brother. If his own body doesn’t betray him first.
Stormblood is The Wire meets Mass Effect with a dash of David Cronenberg. It’s character-driven, packed with visceral action and will appeal to those who like a strong dose of body horror in their space opera.
Jeremy Szal was born in 1995 and was raised by wild dingoes. He writes about galactic nightmares, little traumas, and broken characters fighting for hope in dark worlds. His science fiction stories have appeared in Nature, Abyss & Apex, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, The Drabblecast, and have been translated into multiple languages. He is the fiction editor for the Hugo-winning StarShipSofa and has a BA in Film Studies and Creative Writing from UNSW. He carves out a living in sun-bleached Sydney, Australia, but prefers snowy weather. He loves watching weird movies, collecting boutique gins, exploring cities, and dark humour. Stormblood is his first novel.