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The Early Stuff
by Brian Dana Akers • 236 pages • 6 x 9

Seventeen prescient tales of the near future: from global chaos to our obsession with celebrities, from virtual reality to the final flooding of Calcutta, from genetic engineering to the future of the Internet. A man with a truly perceptive mind sized it all up decades before most people realized what was going down.


Yale had to admit that Harry was one hell of a listener. The guy just sat there, giving you his complete attention. Talking to Harry was easier than talking to a real person. They chatted about a whole range of topics after Jean: how the spark can go out of science when it becomes a full-time job, how a junior faculty member’s job is way more than full-time, recent trends in microbiology, pro basketball.

Yale looked at his watch and yawned, then glanced back at the screen. His security icon was gone. “Harry! What happened to my security?”

Harry looked taken by surprise. “Oh. Your security features were utterly inadequate. I’ve constructed an impenetrable firewall for you: antiviral defenses, encryption, rigorous authentication, time-management functions, everything.” Harry hushed his voice and leaned forward. “Not all agents are trustworthy, you know. Some are secret agents, some are double agents, and those agents provocateurs—whew!” He clapped himself loudly on the forehead, then peeked through his fingers to catch Yale’s reaction.

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What the Critics are Saying

“An impressive body of work that takes an unflinching and often humorous look at humanity’s greatest challenges and foibles. Akers builds worlds with amazing prescience that are remarkably familiar to our up-to-the-minute sensibilities. You will be educated, you will laugh, and you will be enticed to think in a larger way about our world and the role of technology within it.”

—Dr. James D. Neill, Astrophysicist
California Institute of Technology


“Brian Dana Akers has a field day at the shopping mall . . . clever . . . probably wins the prize for most innovative rearrangement of the anthology’s title.”

—Donna Scanlon


“‘Death Looked Down’ by Brian Dana Akers contains a great deal of intelligent, well-crafted writing and wonderful storytelling . . . This is a panoramic tale of a Hindu holy man seeking to unbind himself from a temple to which he has been strangely attached, incarnation after incarnation, for centuries. We see an epic panorama of ecological dissolution and cultural disaster all around him . . .”

—Eliot Fintushel


“We see Calcutta as we may never have seen it . . . The setting comes alive . . .”

—Kurt R. A. Giambastiani


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