Check out my first novel, midnight's simulacra!

Midnight's Simulacra

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Front and back covers, and spine

My first novel released 2024-01-11!

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. A partial bibliography is available at


The twenty-first century's primary path of socioeconomic mobility is engineering; scientists took over from the priests no later than the twentieth. America's most ambitious students these days compete for placement in STEM programs, as do some of her wiliest rogues.

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. Together at an elite Institute of Technology they train as engineers. Together in the dark they study forbidden teachings. By graduation, they're formidably competent, audacious to a fault, and wholly ungovernable.

midnight's simulacra is a hysterical, scientifically rigorous, and fastpaced thriller, a modern picaresque, a portrait of the autist as a young man, and unlike any other novel you've read.


  • Hardback ($40): the intended format. 9x6"
  • Trade ($20): also good. Exact same text/paging as hardback. 8.5x5.5"
  • PDF ($0): free. No cover. Not the best format for some ereaders. 9.25x6.125"
    • Should you like the book, it would be cool if you bought a copy, or at least spread the word.
  • EPUB ($10): least faithful version, but most flexible on ereaders

In the future, I might release an annotated edition. This would likely only be available in hardback, but who knows? I might annotate all formats simply to cut down on annoyances. The likelihood of me doing this is directly related to reader response as seen in sales and reviews.


Part I

  1. coming of age in confusion
  2. sherman katz gets himself expelled
  3. michael bolaño indulges in small pleasures
  4. elephant seals

Part II

  1. devesh choudhary is all about physics and rolls
  2. atrium vestae
  3. y’all’ve any more of that vee-cee?
  4. alexei orshanskiy thinks he can get you lemons
  5. pavlov’s hierophant and schrödinger’s hæresiarch
  6. vladimir cel tredat takes up a collection
  7. ergot
  8. welcome to my lab; we’ve got Taq polymerase

Part III

  1. cloud wandered lonely like a daffodil
  2. max-cashflow min-cut theorem
  3. if you eat that i think it is going to kill you
  4. erica marelli grows tired of bivalves
  5. anarbek tursyn busts a move
  6. the chemical history of an eightball
  7. uranium

Part IV

  1. greg moyer receives some bad advice
  2. a stamped-in network of paths
  3. overall there is a smell of fried onions
  4. vancouver! vancouver! this is it! (necroplanetology)
  5. it’ll really raise the tone of your trap
  6. oriana marino speaks in riddles
  7. feedback loops are Bad Shit, to be Avoided
  8. my mistakes are many, but less terrible than god’s

Part V

  1. usurper
  2. prima luce



fullpage black and white illustrations by Justin Barker

not all of these ended up being used.

warning: these arguably contain spoilers