Fiction by

Brent Knowles

novel & story collections

The Pool: Arrival

cover for The Pool: Arrival
When Miranda is forced by her mother and sisters to leave Earth and cross the universe to the middle-of-nowhere planet her family has owned for generations she's beyond pissed. She fears she will be stranded there. Forever. Or at least the better part of her summer vacation. All because her grandmother decided to die. Really, no matter what century you live in, a teenager's life is never fair.
I set my phone inside my purse and wait for the inevitable lift off, reminding myself that there is nothing to worry about. Our mother is practically a goddess. I smile at that thought, closing my eyes. We are on our way to Grandmother's planet. Just one stop, first.

The Pool: Tower

cover for The Pool Book 2
The Clans of Terrasta continue to torment the young survivor of a doomed expedition to the planet as she seeks to save both herself and the planet.

Preorder available soon!

Mama

cover for Mama (and other robot stories)
Six stories of unusual robots in unexpected situations including the cover tale of robots that just care too damn much and the journey of a sex toy that has grown self-aware.
"We sent a crawler in already," the officer explained, pointing at a dashboard screen on the cruiser behind her. They had rolled a small robot into the building and it was recording the dining room, staring at the dead family sprawled across the floor. "The mama is at the back of the house in the nursery."

Click here for preorder!

(This short story collection contains reprints alongside original fiction.)

Feast War

cover for Feast War, Book 1 of the Wanderer Saga
Life somehow seems brighter the day the Salvation system comes online: a virtual paradise offering respite from decades of recession and warfare. But Salvation becomes a trap. Humanity sheds it flesh and falls into this digital realm, leaving a meager handful of survivors struggling to survive in the real world.
And then the invaders arrive.
This is the expansion of the story arc began in the popular short story "The Prophet" and features the future-hero Wanderer.
Several times in his life Priest had felt a stilling, as if the world itself had grown heavier, had weighed on his considerable frame and pushed him to a stop. It happened now as Ron reached for the door and Priest held his breath, forcing the warning to stay in his lungs. Ron might not have told Priest what sins he had committed worthy of jailing but Priest was a good read of character and he found Ron's lacking. The fool was too impetuous.

Bone Dreaming

cover for Bone Dreaming and Other Callings

BONE DREAMING - A young woman dreams herself to her husband who has been sent to fight in a war that cannot be won.What cost will she pay to be reunited with him?

THE DAUGHTER'S OATH - Two lovers find themselves on the opposite sides of a great conflict but which of them is prepared to make the sacrifice required to stop the bloodshed?

THE RAVEN-KEEPER - Young Dalon is not a hero. Nor does he desire to be one. He is quite comfortable hiding while others lose their heads. Yet an unfair bargain struck with the forces of death compel him to stumble his way towards rescuing a princess.

STONE EATER - This is the tale of a master builder, sentenced to death and forced to watch while incompetent fools finish the construction of his masterwork tower. When offered the chance for vengeance, will he take it?


"Dreams are flesh draped over smoldering bones, as real as wishes," mother had once answered Aneel when asked if the dreaming was true.

Click here for preorder!

(This short story collection contains reprints alongside original fiction.)

How to Start a Career in Game Design

cover for book 1 in the lazy designer series
Practical advice on starting a career in the video game industry and improving your design skills. This is your opportunity to learn from the lead designer of such commercial and critically successful video games as Neverwinter Nights and Dragon Age: Origins.

Lazy Designer Series (Basic)

cover for complete lazy designer
All Five Books... Over 500 pages! The Complete Lazy Design Collection, from starting a career to becoming a design lead.

How to Make the Next Game

cover for book 2 in the Lazy Designer Series
The author, an industry veteran with over ten years experience (lead designer Dragon Age Origins) explains how companies decide which videogames to make, how to build designer-friendly game engines and pipelines and how to prototype and test.
Along the way the author explores his own experiences with game development and the difficulties he encountered adjusting to life at his dream job. With practical and blunt advice, the Lazy Designer will give you the skills necessary for becoming a valued, and maybe even essential, member of any development team.

How to Design Gameplay and Exploration

image for Lazy Designer #3
Brent Knowles continues his Lazy Designer series with a look at exploration and gameplay. From environment design to combat to building rule systems, Brent examines how to craft quality design. Includes practical advice for designers already working in the games industry and wishing to hone their skills as well as for those aspiring to such a career.

How To Design Story and Build Worlds

cover for Lazy Designer #4
Learn to craft interactive worlds, write non-linear narrative, and create characters that players care about. Games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age resonate with game players around the world. This is your opportunity to learn the process behind creating such rich experiences.

How to be a Lead Designer

cover the Lazy Designer #5
This standalone volume in the Lazy Designer series provides insights on becoming an effective lead designer or creative director. Learn to manage large teams of specialized designers, improve your decision making process, and write clear and usable documentation.

Cobbler and Minion

image_alt
A young man, living on a strange world where robots fall from the sky and serve those that bind them, finds his harsh life all the more unbearable when his robot abandons him. (Story - Originally appeared in Ruined Cities)

Sin and Toil

cover for On Spec #96
A man has been banished to another planet to make amends for the horrors he unleashed on Earth. His penance is to build a new world. But will he do it?
I am unworried now that others might claim my prize. We do not fight over our spoils. Not our way, anymore.

Some We Eat and Some We Keep

cover for issues of Robot and Raygun in which this story first appeared
A detective attempts to solve a series of odd murders with the help of his robotic sidekick. (Story - originally appeared in Robot and Raygun)

Digital Rights

cover for the Writers of the Future #26
Izzy’s new job aboard a solar station orbiting Earth becomes more complicated when she begins receiving cryptic messages from a ghost. This story was a winner in the “L Ron Hubbard presents the Writers of the Future” contest, and first appeared in Writers of the Future Volume XXVI. (Story)

Summer Lover

Cover for Shroud #12
A young wife spends a frightful summer at her husband's family beach-house. (Story - originally appeared in Shroud Magazine)

Stone Eater

A builder sacrifices his life and family, to construct the ultimate tower but then finds himself forced to do the unthinkable. (Story - originally appeared in Abyss and Apex)
Ongar stopped eating the pebbles on the eleventh night of his impalement. The badger that had collected them growled at him, frustrated and concerned, but Ongar was determined now to end his life.

Foolish Wishes, Fairy Kisses

A man returns to the isolated island where he spent his childhood and searches for a vanished friend. (Story - originally appeared in NewMyths)
Josh hurried up the stairs but she backed away, into the house. What had he expected? To be greeted with hugs and kisses? Not after what he had done.

The Kol Effect

cover for Neo-Opsis
A specialist in time travel attempts to help a wealthy tycoon unravel a tricky domestic situation with unexpected results. (Story - originally appeared in Neo-Opsis #19)
Skipster has proven moderately interesting but so far the results are disappointing, especially considering the amount of money I spent to acquire this early prototype. I suspect my resources might have been better directed towards procuring…

Slaying Dragons

cover for Plasma Frequency #6
A mother must make difficult decisions to keep her son alive. (Story - originally appeared in Plasma Frequency Magazine)
“Will the servants ever learn?” Taloma muttered as she swirled away from the polished metal mirror where she had been preparing herself for night. The double doors were to be used only during the day! Guests who came late always entered via the…

Great White

Cover for OOMPH anthology
A young man finds himself in the possession of a powerful item belonging to another superhero. (Story - originally appeared in Oomph Anthology)

The Onion Farmer

cover for Aoifes Kiss 42
The onion farmer must right the failures of his past in order to secure a future, not just for himself, but for the kingdom he once served.
The onion farmer watched the princess from his hiding place within a thick copse of trees. Bending low she used her hands to turn the soil and then placed the baby into the shallow depression she had made

John's List

cover for War of the Worlds: Frontlines
John Seven, a clone, is scouring deep space to rescue his creator’s lover from a race of brutal aliens. It falls to him and his crew of fellow clones to finish what their originals started. In the final battle between human and alien John will be forced to choose between following his duty or following his heart. (Story - originally appeared in War of the Worlds: Front Lines)
The gas flowing into John Seven’s lungs brought with it several lifetimes of yesterdays and the warm intensity of those memories dragged him deeply into the distant past.

Her Robot Babies

In the aftermath of a civil war between robots and their makers, a robot family makes their way across country, looking for a place to call their own.
AT NIGHT WE STUFF OUR BABIES inside microwave ovens.

LIMITED TIME

Proof in the Pudding

cover for Flush Fiction
A man sets about proving, via a tangible experiment, his thoughts on the nature of consciousness. (Story - appeared in Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Presents Flush Fiction)
The lower body had been the easiest to remove though convincing surgeons to do it had taken years, the support of a tech company with deep pockets and a law team to challenge his wife

an ideal short story

the story continues by revealing that Ongar has been tied to a stake facing the tower that he has helped create, his grand masterpiece, which is now being built in ramshackle fashion by an inept overseer.

Stone Eater | Andy Goldman

explores the high-tech world

Knowles writes with a fresh outlook on sci-fi and has created a strange new world that sounds daunting even if it is far away.

Digital Rights | Sandra Scholes

Brent Knowles is a regular in ‘On Spec’...

Levi is experimenting to find out if faith is enough to build a well-rounded personality or if the certainty of an afterlife would be better. The story alternates Levi’s point of view with Carol’s and is an interesting meditation on a philosophical and religious issue.

A Primer on the Ins and Outs of Building Bliss | Eamonn Murphy

thoroughly enjoyed it

There are books that make a reader think, "I could have written that." Then, there are books like these that make a reader sigh and say, "I wish I'd written that."

Digital Rights | Amazon Reviewer

Almost...human in intelligence.

A bit chilling, to imagine we could not only bring life to computer programs, but also TORTURE them. Quite a new twist on the singularity. Might make you consider A.I. rights, even as we merely approach that future.

Digital Rights | Dionne

Subscribe to Brent's List

* indicates required
Email Format



Author Control -- Version: 0.0.0.7.2 | For support visit Brent Knowles's Contact Page