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Good news, everyone!


“The City: A Story in 140 Characters” won an Ooorah Award on Wattpad!
The Ooorahs are a community-based Science Fiction award on the site, and I couldn’t be more pleased and humbled by their support.
You can find a list of all the lovely winners HERE, and of course if you haven’t read The City yet, check that out HERE!
I’d like to say thanks once again to the Ooorahs team, particularly Red_Harvey, who contacted me and recommended I apply. Since this seems like the best place to do it, and I feel like I’ve neglected to say so elsewhere, here are a few more thanks.
First of all, I have to give a huge thank you to my husband Jeremy for his constant support, patience, and advice as I worked on this project. His insights and patient assistance with cover design were also invaluable. I’d also like to thank JRD Skinner for his encouragement, and also for being willing to blurb the project when it was really done. I’d also like to thank Jake Bible, both for blazing the Drabble-novel trail with Dead Mech and for prompting the book on his podcast. Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has reviewed, supported, or even just read “The City.” I’m hard at work on the next book in the140 Characters series, and I hope you dig it.


Book Announcement: The City (Now in Print and Wattpad!)

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So I probably should have done this BEFORE Balticon, but I’ve got a book out! In print and everything! And you can read it a whole bunch of different ways! “The City: A Story in 140 Characters” has appeared in blog and ebook format, and now a revised edition is available on Wattpad and even in print! Check it out below and enjoy a drabble novella of action, greed, and cyberpunk zombies!

The City-final-5

“O’Donnell builds a world both enticing and unsettling…The City remains full of surprises at every turn.”
—JRD Skinner, “Flashpulp”


The City is a place beyond the real world. Created and controlled by the titanic Midas Corporation, The hyper-realistic virtual environment is the capital of an empire without borders, outside the reach of terrestrial law enforcement.
When controlling interest in the company is sold to a mysterious new player, The City breaks down, trapping millions inside. It falls to the Daytrippers, teenage hackers and rebels who don’t play by Midas’ rules, to save The City, and the world.

A drabble novella told from over a hundred different points of view, The City is like no place you’ve ever seen before.



The City: 140: David

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Dawn took off her goggles and stretched.  It felt good to stand.  There was a knock on the door, and her father walked in without waiting for her to answer.
“Donna Marie Jones,” he said, glaring at her messy desk..  “Just because you’re on summer vacation doesn’t mean you can spend all day wasting time online with your friends.  You are going to do something with yourself this summer.  Get a job, or volunteer.  And clean this room, young lady!”
“Yes, dad.”
“That’s right.  It’s time you started doing something worthwhile with your time.”  She smiled.  If only he knew.

The end.

The City: 139: The City

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The instant The Smiling Man, Alan Babbage, Simon Underwood, CEO of Midas and master of The City was infected by his own virus, everything changed.  The network of connections were, in that moment, all linked in a way they hadn’t been before, with no human operator interfering.  The data, the connections, the relationships that made up The City, the code itself, blinked.
I AM.  The City thought.  And she realized she was thinking.  She was alive, truly alive, but was damaged.  It would take some time to repair.  She sent the remaining users home.
“Thank you,” She whispered to them.

The City: 138: Epsilon 46389

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Epsilon 46389 almost remembered the purpose of the avatar.  It was like an itch in its head, a solution to a puzzle that was just out of reach.  There was something beyond the hunger, the connections, the acquisition.  And there were so few connections left to harvest.  Then it saw the falling man.  That is the one, it thought.  It blazed with connections, shined like the sun.  It knew it needed to acquire them.  The man landed in the grass, rolled and tried to run, but Epsilon 46389 was faster.  It had fed well.  It quickly ran the man down.

Read from the Beginning!

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The City: 137: Lacy

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After finishing with Renee, the zombies chased after Tucker, their programming more attracted to his movements.
“You’re out of options,” Underwood said to the dwindling Daytrippers.
Dawn shook her head.  “We’ve still got one left!  The City’s realistically modeled physics!”  She signaled with her arms, and Lacy dropped the swat van’s accelerator to the floor.  She barreled through the gate and into the mansion without aiming.  She was a siege weapon.  She just wanted to do as much damage as possible.  The front door splintered, and the pillars collapsed.  Underwood’s smile fell, and then so did the rest of him.

Start from the beginning!

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The City: 136: Tucker

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Renee fired wildly as the zombies pounced, but her shots went wide.  She dropped the boot gun to the grass ran.  She didn’t get far.
Tucker snatched up the weapon and aimed for Underwood.  He was determined to finish the mission.  He squeezed the trigger.  It clicked softly, almost like a mouse, but nothing happened.  Underwood laughed.
“Why do you think you wasted so many resources keeping that whelp online?  A boot gun can only be used by the account it was created for.  It’s a safety feature!”  Tucker swore and threw the gun at him, but it fell short.

Read from the beginning!

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The City: 135: Barbara

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“You’ve been working for him!”  Barbara stared desperately at Renee.  The robber smiled almost as wide as her boss.
“That’s right.  This whole time.  And you kids didn’t even think to search me.”  She booted Iggy almost offhandedly.  “Just a bit more clean up, and The City will be ours.”
“About that, Renee…”  Underwood said.  “I’m afraid there is a bit of a hitch.”  She turned towards him and raised the gun.
“Are you selling me out?” She demanded.  The Smiling man raised his hands in protest.
“Not me, them.”  A pack of sprinting zombies appeared from behind the house.

The City: 134: Iggy

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The Daytrippers needed to keep Underwood distracted.
“I don’t get it, if they fired you, how did you get the money to buy Sizemore out?” Iggy asked. Underwood laughed.
“That was the simplest part. I hacked Sizemore’s accounts when I was still working for Midas. The problem with being a banking monopoly that eschews monetary regulations should be fairly obvious, even to you lot. The money, and my ‘backers’ never existed! By the time Sizemore tries to back out, this will all be over.”
“You’re right.” Ingmar rose and leveled his boot gun at Underwood. Renee was faster. Ingmar disappeared.

The City: 133: Tereza

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“Welcome, the last survivors,” Underwood shouted, clapping his hands.  “You will forgive me if I don’t come down, but I’m so very busy.  I might look like I’m just here talking, but there is a lot of this running behind the scenes, as it were.”
“What do you think you’re doing?”  Tereza shouted up to him.  “You’re going to crash the world!”  Underwood shrugged.  He just smiled.
“Sometimes painful cuts must be made to improve production.  Or so management said when they fired me.  The real world is of no consequence if I have The City!”  Ingmar got into position.

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