Brian Dana Akers

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.

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“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

The ellipses, of course, mask vast swaths of unfavorable commentary. ;-)

What the Readers are Saying

You’re a very gifted writer with a wry sense of humor . . . I really like your story—it is very intelligently written . . . I read your story and really enjoyed it. Excellent . . . I read your short stories and enjoyed them very much . . . I look forward to your next short stories . . . I just read one of your stories. I really liked it . . . I like the story about Tetsuo . . . I loved your site! Very to-the-point and easy to navigate . . . I liked your story—it was one of the better ones, I thought . . . Great idea and very well written. Thanks again for a great story . . . I will look out for some of your work . . . I liked your story in “Chicks ’n Chained Males.” It was one of the better stories in the antho . . . I enjoyed your two short stories, especially “Online.” It had a realistic edge to it that I liked . . . I immediately read your story. Great fun! Loved it . . . I visited your web page and I think you did a great job . . . I enjoyed your page very much! . . . I enjoyed your site . . . your site looks to be an excellent resource for writers of all skill levels . . . I loved your sample stories, heck the second surely hit home! . . . This is a great site . . . I thought they were very interesting . . . I enjoyed it very much and liked Tetsuo—I could picture myself feeling just as nervous as he was about the presentation . . . I just checked out your home page. It is very impressive and I read the first story which I enjoyed very much . . . It’s a delightful story . . . I like your writing . . . your story was great . . . I enjoyed going through your web site, particularly your resources for new writers . . . Its whimsical-yet-serious take on the future is at once disturbing, edifying and funny . . . I really enjoyed them, especially “Online.” You write excellent dialogue and you really captured the essence of chat rooms--I chuckled consistently . . . I have just been going through your web site and I want to compliment you on the clarity, ease of use, and terrific information you have provided. As a beginner, it is really great to have all of my questions answered before they are even formulated! . . . I just read your story “Online” and I must say that it was very good. As a matter of fact, I just got done reading it and I’m late to an appointment already, but I just had to drop a line and thank you for writing such an entertaining story . . . I really enjoy your writing . . . I just read your short story “Online.” I was impressed. I feel something like this could happen to anybody. I hope to read more of your work some day . . . I think you’re right about your predictions, and put the article aside! . . . hilarious! I enjoyed reading it . . . Thanks for having that page on good writing books. I’m interested in writing and that’s very helpful . . . Just read your cute and somewhat chilling story about Sally. I liked the lists of chat room names and the overall carving of the narrative. Nicely done . . . Rollout was very captivating . . . Djinnetic Code? Great title! . . . read your stories. I enjoyed them a lot . . . I did indeed enjoy visiting your home page. The ending to “Online” was quite unexpected and eerie; very plausible story line made for a good read . . . I was really impressed with your simple and informative web site . . . I curled up in my recliner for the first time since God-knows-when and read your story. It was great! I need my very own Harry. Very good story! . . . I just wanted to say that your second story, “Online” was absolutely hilarious and I would be selfish not to thank you after the tremendous laugh I got out of reading it . . . I really liked your story “Online.” And thanks for your help to us newbies . . . I enjoyed what you had to say . . . Loved your autobiography (the long one - fascinating!) . . . I found your site and thought it was well done . . . I traveled to your site and it delighted me . . . Btw you have an awesome site, especially your family/personal history. What a great story about Lincoln . . . I like your work . . . I enjoyed reading and looking at your autobiography . . . That’s an excellent resource page . . . Very impressed. It’s definitely a very good work . . . Reading your autobiography was quite fascinating. You write crisp sentences, one sentence leading to the other so you don’t want to stop reading. I was also intrigued by your varied experiences in life. Your writing convinced me that you are genuine, honest, and sincere.

Here the ellipses merely separate different readers’ comments.

Table of Contents
Island Vacation
Arm of Decision
The Jewelry Shop
Helpful Harry
Career Fair
Death Looked Down
Older Patterns
Her Big Chance
Djinnetic Code
Job Fair
The Ascension of Saint Susan
May/December at the Mall
Continuing Ed
Falling Forward
About the Author
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.