Monday Guest Post: Colin F. Barnes – Artificial Evil Blog Tour

Posted: November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Welcome, one and all, to my first ever guest post! And I am very, very proud to have the first guest that I do. I should like to welcome one Colin. F. Barnes, the man behind the City of Hell series,  the recent Crime Net anthology which, of course, I am in with the short, Becoming Tabitha, and has an entry in the prestigious Tales of the Nun and Dragon anthology, and the captain of the good ship Anachron Press.

Colin’s latest release is the first of the Techxorcist series, Artificial Evil. And from here on in, the word, ‘Cyberpunk’ is on the tip of the virtual tongue. More on the book shortly, but first, Mr Barnes has very kindly written a post very dear to my heart. For you see, when I am not writing, a large chunk of my life is taken up with tabletop roleplaying games. Colin, a fellow gamer, neatly speaks of all of these things below! Read on:

Rise of the Cyberpunk RPG

Back in the day there were few decent Cyberpunk RPGs (I’m talking about pen and paper here). You had the two stalwarts: Shadowrun and Cyberpunk 2013, but very few real stand outs.

Now, as the internet is in full-flow, and RPG fans and makers join a global community, we’re seeing a renaissance of cyberpunk RPG games, both pen-and-paper, and video-game based. Is it becoming a hot genre that game makers are looking to milk? Or is it that as we go further into the future, and out technology gets close to the games we played in the 80s and 90s, that ‘cyberpunk’ style games are now every-day life for many people?

I think the latter feeds for the former. Its an obvious task to supply an underserved and eager market, and over the last couple of years we’ve seen a small uprising of more and more games. Old favourites are getting an overhaul for the new age, and new games are breaking through to the consciousness.

Another new element to this rise of the cyberpunk RPG is the home-brew and Creative Commons crowd. More and more material is created by the fans for the fans. With the tools available now, and the interconnected networks, it’s becoming easier to share rulesets and adventures, and invite people to add to these worlds.

One of the new internet-based phenomena that cyberpunk RPGs have benefitted from is Kickstarter (A website designed to allow fans to help fund a project). Through this community funding process, Shadowrun have raised money to make not just a new tabletop game, but a couple of video games. If you search Kickstarter, you’ll also find a handful of new and exciting cyberpunk properties such as:

Lodus: A cyberpunk Co-op Action RPG

Psi-punk and cyberpunk and psionic RPG

Shadowrun Online

Punktown: A cyberpunk addition to Call of Cthulhu

And many more.

On the video game side, Cyberpunk 2020 is getting a shiny new game.

So why not check one of these great games out and relive that fun of the gritty cyberpunk worlds from the 80s and 90s, updated for a modern society.

Colin F. Barnes is a writer of dark and daring fiction. He takes his influence from everyday life, and the weird happenings that go on in the shadowy locales of Essex in the UK.

Growing up, Colin was always obsessed with story and often wrote short stories based on various dubious 80s and 90s TV shows. Despite taking a detour in school into the arts and graphic design, he always maintained his love of fiction and general geekery. Now, as a slightly weathered adult, Colin draws on his experiences to blend genres and create edgy, but entertaining stories.

He is currently working on a Cyberpunk/Techno thriller serial ‘The Techxorcist.’ which combines elements of Sci-Fi, Thriller, and Horror.

Like many writers, he has an insatiable appetite for reading, with his favourite authors being: Stephen King, William Gibson, Ray Bradbury, James Herbert, Albert Camus,  H.P Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith,  and a vast array of unknown authors who he has had the privilege of beta reading for.



Three hackers. A deadly plot. One chance to save humanity.

In the tradition of William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Richard Morgan, British writer Colin F. Barnes delivers a cyberpunk tech thriller for the modern age.

 2153. Post-cataclysm. The last city exists beneath a dome where the mysterious benefactors ‘The Family’ tightly control the population with a death lottery and a semi-autonomous network.

 All is well until the day family man Gerry Cardle, head of the death lottery, inexplicably finds himself the no.1 target of a malicious Artificial Intelligence. Gerry’s numbers are up, and he has just 7 days to save himself,  find the source of the AI, and keep the last stronghold of humanity safe.

 Gerry finds help in the shadows of the city from two rogue hackers: Petal – a teenage girl with a penchant for violence, hacking systems and general anarchy, and: Gabriel – a burnt-out programmer-turned-priest with highly augmented cybernetics.

 With his new team, Gerry discovers there is more beyond the dome than The Family had let on, and his journey to find the source of the AI leads him through a world of violence, danger, and startling revelations.

Everything is not as it seems.

Gerry is not who he thinks he is.

Evil can be coded…. can Gerry and his friends stop it before it destroys humanity?

Artificial Evil is book 1 of 3 of The Techxorcist series. The larger-than-life offspring of Blade Runner, Mad Max, and The Exorcist.

Artificial Evil: Book 1 of The Techxorcist is available as a paperback and ebook from:


Anachron Press:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:



Anachron Press:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:



Print book $10.99 (6.99)

Ebook $4.99 (£3.20)

Thank you very much, Colin. It’s been great fun hosting. I’m very much looking forward to checking out this series in full.

  1. Some quotes from Techxorcist readers can be found here:
    “Artificial Evil: Book 1 of The Techxorcist, sees the revival of everything we used to love about cyberpunk, repackaged with new twists in this tech thriller. This is a brilliant tale that combines fantastic characters, great tech and a little bit of good old fashioned possession” – Adele Wearing, Un:Bound

    “The Techxorcist project piqued my interest for a couple of reasons. First, it is the brainchild of Colin F. Barnes whose work has, to date, always lived up to expectation. The second reason is the title; not only is it fun to say, but it also sets the tone for a grim cross-genre design.

    Having had the pleasure of reading Artificial Evil: The Techxorcist Book 1, I can honestly say I was not disappointed. The quality of the writing, the originality of the ideas – they blend together to show Barnes’ work at his best. The passion behind the project comes through every description and in every brilliant character – once you meet Petal, you’ll understand.

    Artificial Evil reads as multiple stories at the same time. On the surface a fantastic plot-arc following a post-apocalyptic virtual battle against an evil AI, the brilliance is in the layers of interpretation going on behind the scenes. There are elements of a dozen classic tales intricately woven into the characters, the concept, and the dialogue, and the combination creates a story that is so rich in meaning and allusion it’s impossible not to connect with this seemingly distant and unrecognizable world.
    A story that opens the mind to possibilities, crazy ideas that somehow seem plausible, Texchorcist is an exploration of how much we’re willing to give up to be free, and how far we’re willing to go to keep that freedom.” – Krista Walsh, Raven’s Quill.

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