Cade Hagen (edacah on QT) has signed with agent Shari Maurer of Stringer Literary Agency.
Teenage hacktivist Arles Lansdale finally got caught in his Robin-Hood digital crimes, and now he's off to prison. That is, unless he takes the unexpected pardon offer from Francis Malone, tech billionaire and Arles's personal hero. In return, Arles must infiltrate the cyberterrorist Sapiens, who have been disrupting Malone's inventions for years. They'll do anything to stop his newest breakthrough—an update to “the Bard,” his AI program that writes stories for his mega-popular VR games.
But when Arles is nearly killed by one of Malone's covert androids, his allegiance wavers. When the Sapiens claim Arles's new perfect girlfriend is actually one of Malone's androids? Yeah, uh...what does allegiance mean again?
Now caught between two groups that happily kill traitors, Arles makes a chilling discovery: the Bard has determined its digital characters aren't high-stakes enough for its stories. Instead, it plans to replace them with humans—and the new update is just the tool it needs to make that a reality.
MERELY PLAYERS, a YA speculative thriller complete at 74,000 words, is Black Mirror meets The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It has strong crossover adult appeal and begins a trilogy, but with some tweaks, it could work as a standalone. I teach writing at UNLV, where I received a BA and an MA in English. I also spent a few years teaching high school English, and one marketing idea I've had is to create a free standards-based curriculum for teachers and parents. As a high school teacher, I would have jumped at the chance to teach this book with an author-created curriculum, and I know many others who would as well.
When I'm not writing or teaching, I enjoy playing guitar, video games, and above all, spending time with my wife and two daughters. My short fiction has appeared online and in print in several journals, including Typishly, BULL, and After the Pause.