Midnight's Simulacra

From dankwiki

My first novel, coming 2024-01-02!

Front and back covers, and spine (subject to change)

It's a romp featuring plenty of hacking, clandestine chemistry, and even a spot of at-home uranium enrichment. Along the way, there's lots of science and philosophy of science, and some big questions.


Michael Luis Bolaño is the scion of Mexican oil wealth gone to rut in Texas. Sherman Spartacus Katz is the hyperliterate son of evangelical eccentrics from the North Georgia mountains. One hopes to restore what's been lost, the other to attain what never was. Ambitious, creative, and as fiercely intelligent as they are hungry, they excel in a blur of differential equations, amphetamines, hacking, and élan. Fifteen years later, they're formidable engineers, firmly ensconced in the upper middle class, with a smoothly-oiled drug enterprise.

Michael hopes to unwind an operation grown too large for comfort, but not until they've finally cleaned their money and moved it into the banking system. Sherman stays awake for days on meth, building baroque machines, designing powerful drug analogues, and chasing scientific glory. The DEA and FBI circle, aware that there's something rotten in Atlanta. Katz's dreaming grows more difficult to separate from waking reality.

A bulk LSD sale goes sideways, but opens new opportunities of an entirely different nature. Carried away by events increasingly beyond their control, the two find themselves targets of governments, industry, and old friends unable to resist the allure of incredible power. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...

MIDNIGHT'S SIMULACRA is a comic novel of friendship among rogue engineers, packed to the gills with cutting-edge science. It explores the psychology, morality, and philosophy of the modern technological priesthood, drawing the curtain back from STEM education and new modalities of drug culture.

Dramatis Personae

Major characters are introduced in prime-numbered chapters. Originally, I was going to do something inspired by serialist music, and identify each character with a prime number, and then only have characters in a given chapter if they were in that chapter number's prime factorization. This idea sucked for several reasons, so I abandoned it.

  • Sherman Spartacus Katz (b. 1980)
    • Also mother Eveline (Evy), and her husband Cassius James. Also Theodore Roosevelt and Jodie Foster, agents of an undetermined agency in a series of recurring dreams.
    • Enters GT 1998 CS+MATH BS, graduates 2005
  • Michael Luis Bolaño (b. 1979)
    • Also great-great-grandfather Gustavo, and his wife Guadalupe; their son Antonio, and his wife Valentina; their three children: eldest son José Luis, and the twin daughters Xevera and Zita; Lillian, wife of José Luis; their son Luis, and his wife Rosemary; their son Diego (brother of MLB).
    • Enters GT 1998 IE+PHYS BS, graduates 2002
  • Devesh Choudhary (b. 1977)
    • Also a pursuing alligator snapping turtle.
    • Enters GT 1997 PHYS BS, graduates 2003
    • Enters GT 2008 PHYS PhD
  • Alexei Orshanskiy (b. 1980)
    • Enters GT 1999 CS+MechE BS, graduates 2003
    • Enters GT 2003 MechE MS, graduates 2005
  • Vladimir cel Tredat (b. 1982)
    • Enters GT 2002 CS, graduates 2005
  • Anarbek Tursyn (b. 1982)
    • Enters MEPhI 2000 NucE BS, graduates 2005
    • Enters GT 2009 NucE MS, graduates 2011
  • Cloud (b. ?)
    • No educational history reported
  • Erica Marelli (b. 1985)
    • Enters UC-Berkeley 2003 Chemistry BS, graduates 2006
    • Enters GT 2006 Bioinformatics MS, graduates 2009
    • Enters GT 2009 BME PhD, graduates 2013
  • Greg Moyer (b. 1979)
    • Enters GT 1998 MGMT BS, graduates 2003
  • Do Yoon Kim (b. 1991)
    • Enters GT 2009 CS+PHYS BS, graduates 2013
  • Oriana Marino (b. 1988)
    • Enters GSU 2007 Phil+Journalism BS, graduates 2012