J. D. Brink
If taking a college fencing class, eating from the trash can, and smelling like an animal were qualifications for becoming a sword-swinging barbarian, J. D. Brink might be Conan’s protégé. But since that career path seemed less than promising, he has instead been a sailor, spy, nurse, and officer in the U.S. Navy, as well as a gravedigger, insurance adjuster, and school teacher in civilian life. Today (fall, 2014) he and his family live in Japan, where he's providing a bad example for all Americans. In his writing, as in life, Mr. Brink enjoys dabbling in multiple genres.
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Where to buy in print
When the country’s premier superhero team goes missing, it’s Spitball to the rescue! He’s a third-string hero today, determined to be first-string tomorrow. And the Army may be giving him just the chance he needs. Spitball has been invited to undertake a secret mission into America’s heartland. What he’s about to discover, however, is not a chance at stardom but a horror movie come to life...
The Prince and the Darkness
A dark fantasy double feature in one bargain-priced volume. The first four short stories feature wise guys and private eyes, black magic, bleak futures, and the feminine wiles of inhuman beauties. These deliciously dark tales are followed by a lengthy novelette of sword and soldiery warfare, where the enemy isn’t just fought on battlefields, but in the soul as well.
The Thorne Legacy
Corporal Cranston Thorne is about to face a court-martial. And his father would like nothing more than to see that happen, but a remote outpost has gone silent and Captain Thorne must take the fleet to investigate. In their absence, the planet itself comes under attack and it’s up to Corporal Thorne, who’s never cared about anyone but himself, to save planet Giger and restore the family name.
In Mesa City, there’s one hero you can count on to defend justice. Okay, two: the mysterious Shadow Puppet and that show-off, Mr. Wonderful. After his last tragic encounter with the villainess Kitty Kat, the Shadow Puppet is thought to be dead. And the man behind the mask would almost prefer that, but can’t let the Mr. Wonderfuls of the world get the best of him. Tonight he returns from the grave!
The Prince of Luster and Decay
Sergeant Jacob Knox leads the Head Knockers, a unit of scout-saboteurs fighting a war against sorcery and tyranny. After an ambush by shape-shifters kills half the squad and their company, Knox and his boys are sent on a final mission. But waiting for them beneath an empty town is the Prince of Luster and Decay—the demonic embodiment of greed—and they’ll need both steel and heart to defeat it.
A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley
This trio of dark tales is told with a sharp noir edge. They feature wise guys and private eyes, black magic, bleak futures, and the feminine wiles of inhuman beauties. This is Valentine’s Day with Halloween style. It’s sex and violence from that dark corner of your imagination you dare not share with anyone else.
Crime-noir meets ghost-horror in this flash fiction story. Mobster thugs Pauli and Mouse come across a street clown late at night who seems to know more than he’s telling; maybe too much. But you know the best thing about killing a mime? No one hears him scream. Then again, by the time this story is over, it won’t be him screaming.
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Smashwords book reviews by J. D. Brink
- The Digital Sea
on Dec. 17, 2012
An easy and enjoyable read, as thorough in its world-building and characterization as those produced by the czars of mainstream publishing--and in some cases, even better. Score one for the indie authors!
The Digital Sea is one part Neuromancer, one part Matrix, and three parts pure Carpenter. The narration follows various characters all over the globe in a futuristic world that could one day very much become our reality. The Digital Sea is a virtual veneer that covers our world, received through cyberspace links that most people cannot do without anymore. It very much echoes our growing reliance on the constant distractions of cell phones, one-thousand cable TV channels, and riding the endless surf of the Internet. Carpenter’s world also realistically mimics our own in its global problems. The nations of the world are desperate to reduce their populations, some even manufacturing wars to get it done. But an underworld warlord (for motives that, I admit, were not quite clear to me) hires/blackmails Zel Aurora to sabotage the Digital Sea in order to prevent the manipulation that is working toward nuclear war. Zel is a refreshing action hero in that she is motivated by the love her daughter rather than money or adrenaline, and that she has a unique mental handicap that puts her at a distance from the rest of humanity (though I think Carpenter might have been better off inventing a condition than stretching the one he used to fit her).
Carpenter takes on a big challenge with this novel, following various developed characters at international and cross-cultural levels, and then deftly brings them all together as the book reaches its climax. While splitting my attention and affection for so many characters was a problem for me at times, it did weave a more complex and convincing tapestry, and seeing it all come together at the end made it well worth it.
This first novel of his series is a great achievement, however one drawback to self-publishing a book of this length is finding an editor to double check your work: there were some mistakes and inconsistencies scattered around the 350+ pages, but they were easily forgivable. Carpenter’s novel is as well-developed and fast-paced as any globe-trotting cyberpunk adventure out there and well worth the read for any fans of the genre. I give it 3.5 - 4 stars.
J. D. Brink
author of A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley