Five to Four

The latest book from James Krake is available now, releasing on April 3rd.

The work week has finally come to an end with no more mandatory overtime. Five minutes before everyone leaves however, five office workers find themselves in some kind of nightmare version of their office where all the rooms have been rearranged and there’s no way out. With no cell service, no view of the city beyond the windows, and no idea what happened, they have to band together to find a way to escape.

For all that, it would be enough if there was merely man-eating monsters coming for them, stalking through the desolate halls of their workspace; but they aren’t even the only people stuck in this twisted realm between realities. Can they band together and escape? Or will doubt and suspicion tear them apart before the monsters can do the job for them?

Five to Four is a short and snappy read putting regular people through a nightmare ordeal. Sitting somewhere between science-fiction and urban fantasy, the protagonists may not even learn the true nature of what befalls them, not if learning the truth comes at the price of being able to escape. It is filled with surprises and twists sure to have you turning the page to know whether they will escape, or will the clock strike four and seal their doom?

Buy it here :

Infinite Money Glitch

I have had a strange relationship with MMOs, but probably a common one. I’ve played lots of them. World of Warcraft. Guild Wars. FFXIV. Rift. ESO. Probably some others I can’t remember because they were bad. For all that playtime though, I never actually got good at one. I very often failed in the second half of the leveling grind where I had to compare my enjoyment of playing a dedicated narrative game compared to running the same dungeon fifty times to get the loot I needed. I had friends who were top tier raiders and they would try to help me, to power level me or give me loot or just advise the most efficient thing to be doing. They didn’t really get me up to their power level, but I did get to take a look at what top tier play was like. Window shopping as it were.

Unfortunately, most of this play time was before college became real work and then after graduation there was actual real work. MMOs became a fond memory right until Blizzard launched WoW Classic (Dragonflight and the rest of retail is just not the game it used to be) and I, like a lot of people, went in craving some nostalgia. My life had settled down and my friends were into it. We were going to be a full raiding party and then…

I missed the initial batch of log-ins on launch night and it was three full hours before I got through the queue. They were all ten levels ahead of me and I never caught up. I did my best, but I was working a 9-5 so my only play hours were peak play hours and I just could not log into the server because Blizzard so severely underestimated the demand. I think I ended up around level 40 when all my friends hit level cap without me, and I uninstalled.

This all left me with a certain fondness for the tutorial zone, which every single player went through and swiftly forgot. It also left me incredibly frustrated with Blizzard, which seemed to get karmicly justified when their office culture came out in the news. (No, the Dragonflight expansion was not enough to even register as temptation anymore) That by itself would almost be enough fuel to build a story, but then $GME happened and I witnessed first hand—lost some money too—a David and Goliath heist take off and burn to the ground.

Which brings me to my re-invigorated hobby of writing. I made the main character the merchant from the tutorial zone and I asked myself how an NPC could bankrupt the company that made him. Then I threw in as much fun and humor as I could, because games are all about fun. (Unless you’re an EVE Online spreadsheet manager, but we don’t talk about those people.) A few months of work later and I had my third novel to release, Infinite Money Glitch. It’s a stand-alone story, unless it makes me thousands and thousands of dollars then yes, I’ll happily write an entire cinematic universe for it.

Buy it here.

This isn’t the same world as my other works, and frankly I don’t know whether this counts as science-fiction (They are self-aware AIs who know they are programs in a machine being run for the entertainment of humans) or fantasy (That said, the cast has dragons, golems, liches and more), but it is a comedic heist. I didn’t skimp on character or plot or tension, but it’s a fair bit more absurd than my other works and some might find it to be saturated by gamer culture. It’s a book by a gamer for gamers, but even if you don’t know what a speedrunner is or why people would ever watch someone else play a game casually, you’ll still find something to love here.

You can read the first chapter here on my site.

Faceless Now Out

My debut novel, Faceless, is now for sale, pre-orders are live and release date is February 14th. Check it out at the link below.

Faceless is a cyberpunk murder mystery set in the mega city Bastion, an urban hive filled to the brim with people, poverty, and the sweet escapism of virtual reality. Detective Elliot Blackstone is one of the only police officers in the city that still bothers to go into the slums at the bottom to help. This time, he finds the corpse of a man with no record in the surveillance database.

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For now, this website is a platform for my authorial career. I write fantasy and science-fiction with a variety of tones and themes. I hope you will be able to find something you like. As I add more projects to my plate, I will make posts about them here. Please join my mailing list to be alerted when new stories come out, or a youtube channel or anything like that.

I plan to release at least four novels a year.

Faceless Teaser


The Forgotten Man


Elliot trudged onward, in a world lit by advertisements and cigarettes. He descended rattling stairs and slogged through splashes of mud with one eye on his WPS map. Navigation to the stiff had failed, again. It was updating and buffering and apologizing for its failure to function, while he skirted neon pools and tripped over drip buckets.

Should have trusted my gut.

His nose wrinkled when he recognized the train station he passed underneath. He had known it was closer. He had known that, and still listened to the misguidance of his WPS map.

Rain pounded on the glass awnings overhead, the drizzle of static like a dying speaker. Rain never fell on the ground in Bastion. Whether it was bridges, signs, power cables or train lines, something hung overhead, covering the ground with unchecked growth.

Elliot jabbed his thumb on the map to no avail. The program apologized for low bandwidth. “EVE, come on. First you can’t talk to me, now you can’t even navigate me?” He glanced up, to the strata of city above where air could still circulate. A trickle of data flowed down, alongside the rain. Water gushed from cracks and gutters between the skyscrapers, carrying the echoes of the city.

While he was staring in the direction of his own apartment, his phone chimed and glowed blue. It had triangulated with all the wireless routers. The light colored his face with the triumphant order, “Turn left.”

Elliot was faced with a huge sheet of corrugated steel, fused into place with construction foam. It rattled like paper with the merest gust of wind from the storm. Ripped from a life as a security shutter, someone had given it new life to cordon off the alley into a shanty. Grime and paint sealed the segments shut. Someone had come by to add some beauty. They had graffitied onto it a woman blowing off her own head with a cellphone-turned-pistol. The artist’s signature took the place of the woman’s face.

After waiting all day, I at least hope they won’t mind another fifteen minutes.

Elliot pressed the button on his phone to report the obstruction and waited until a new route was presented. “Go forward, then turn left,” it said. That brought him to a better maintained passage. Calling it a road would have been overstating it, but the path essentially led into a shopping mall through the bottom floor of a tower. The floor was dry and the shelves full. The gate, however, was locked shut before him and manned by a computer.

“Welcome to Romulus Shopping Center Seven,” the digital mascot announced. The primary arms manufacturer in Bastion currently had a cartoon girl with dog ears and a fluffy tail as their representative. The mascot smiled and saluted. She said, “This area is private property of the Romulus Corporation, and we’d be happy to let you visit. For record keeping purposes please-”

Elliot stuffed his badge up to the camera. The computer stuttered as it skipped scripts. “Welcome officer. Is there anything I can assist you with today?”

“Just passing through. I’ve got a case on the other side,” he said, and shoved through the turnstile gate. The mall didn’t sell guns, despite the landlord. People from the apartments above passed between stalls of food and drinks, clothes and neural uplinks. They heard the wet slap of his boots as he marched through, and stared at him. Some merely gawked, others ducked behind walls or slipped out doors. More than one snapped pictures of him before he could get out the other side of the mall. None of them were happy to see him, his uniform.

His WPS led him out from the corporate protection and back into the wet slum. He found a utility staircase with the door broken down so anyone could use it, and ascended to the third floor. “You have arrived,” it said whence he stood outside Apartment 314. The door yielded to him, unlocked. Rot seeped through the doorway.

“Well, I’ll be damned. A cop actually showed up,” an older woman said. She had black hair streaked with grey pulled into a bun. The coat she wore had once been tailored to her, but clearly her waist wasn’t so slim as it had been.

Must be the landlady.

“Did I get here before the compost crew?” he asked.

She shrugged and dug through a coat pocket. Out came a cigarette, which she lit and puffed on. “They’re running late too. I guess I should call them off. Didn’t think you’d actually show up… You never have before.” She frowned and waved her hand through the smoke.

Always nice to see people happy to see me…

“Well, here I am,” he said, and flashed his badge: E11107. “Detective Blackstone, Military Police. You can call me Elliot. Please keep the smoke outside.”

She squinted at him. “Why? You actually want to smell that filth? Just walking near it makes my nose close up. It’s giving me wrinkles is what it’s doing. I’d sue him for medical expenses if I could.”

Well, isn’t that a charming personality.

Elliot grimaced. “You never know, a good nose might help find something.”

“Is it just you, then? No partner? They deigned to send one of you down here, but not a pair?” she asked, eyeing him as he reached for the door again.

No way Cinder would put two people on this case.

He sighed. “It’s just me tonight,” he said, and opened the door.

Now then, what was the cause? Money? Love? Hate? Where’s the betting money tonight?

Calling it an apartment was only correct in the literal sense. The bed, down at the moment and covered in sweat-stained sheets, folded into the wall. Its central position cut the room in half. Beside Elliot and the door sat a microwave on top of a mini-fridge. Beyond was the room’s only seat; the toilet. The John Doe laid across the floor in the middle, filling the air with eye-watering decay.

At first, he thought the buzzing was some off-kilter cooling fan, but as his eyes adjusted to the gloom, he saw the flies swarming in the air. The insects orbited the gas-bloated body, diving in to bite at the soft bits of flesh. They—and the maggots—had eaten the face off.