“a truly unique voice” – Readers’ Favorite
“… you can’t get better than The Man of Cloud 9” – Rene Auberjonois, Director/Actor (aka Odo from Star Trek Deep Space Nine)
A Silicon-Valley spirited, high-tech thriller with an intimate soul. A tale of genius, conscience, and consequence.
Seventy years from now, the world’s been heavily damaged by climate change, but its appetite for big dreams and innovation is gone. Steve Jobs-esque inventor Niko Rafaelo is driven to bring back the banned technology of nanobots and change the world. What lengths is he willing to go to, and what is his ultimate goal?
Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Targeted Age Group:: All audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
After writing 4 books in my Steampunk meets Fairytale series, a friend nudged me and asked if I'd consider writing a short story having to do with the human microbial cloud (the bacterial and dust that surrounds each person). I was fascinated, and ultimately it became a novel.
At the heart of this book is every version of me who had an idea and wanted to change the world, and was beaten down for it, or had the idea taken out of my hands.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I pulled from my more than 20 year career in high tech, including my time in Silicon Valley and at Microsoft. Niko Rafaelo is more iconic of every Silicon Valley pioneer, rather than just a knock-off of Steve Jobs (as validated by one review who IS a Silicon Valley exec and has been for 25+ years).
Writing it terrified me in many ways, as I dug deep into myself and put so all too honest elements of me on the page, mixed in with the painful misperceptions some people have had.
CHAPTER ONE – A Goodbye
“Few people know that when the solar flare burned the middle states, Niko almost abandoned his dream.
Imagine that for a moment. There would have been no NanoClouds, no hero bringing about an era of
innovation, no one reminding our broken nation that it could heal. We would have stayed in the shadow of the
past, instead of rising and casting our own.” Phoebe took a steadying breath and smiled. The crowd waited
“I got to know Niko,” she continued, “right after The Flare. He was so passionate about this vision he had. And each and every day he was urged by those in authority to drop it. His life would have been so much easier if he had, but he wouldn’t, he couldn’t. That’s not… wasn’t Niko.” A sorrowful laugh escaped. “Not at all.”
She gripped the sides of the old podium and stared out at the enormous crowd. There sat captains of industry,
heads of startup companies, press, politicians, and friends. She still couldn’t believe she’d been asked to give
the first speech.
She pushed her long, curly black hair over her ears, revealing more of her beautiful square jaw and the
sadness that soaked her from soul to her mocha-brown face.
She looked at the front row. She smiled at Tass, a younger woman with a topknot of dark hair. For so long,
the two women had acted like rivals for Niko’s attention. Why had it taken Niko’s death for them to be able to find common ground?
Phoebe glanced at the silent cameras-drones as they floated about, broadcasting the funeral to hundreds of
millions of people around the world. She closed her eyes and took in a breath of the warm and welcoming summer air.
“For days, the news had been filled with stories about the raw power of the destruction, about those who had
been evacuated from the coasts decades before or who had escaped the Great Quake of California, having once
again lost everything. It didn’t matter that the best minds had seen it coming over a year ahead of time and that
everyone had been safely removed because it was yet another opportunity to tell tales of destruction and
despair. It almost tipped Niko over the edge.”
“But somehow,” she said, glancing at the woman with the topknot, “he held on to his dream. It was a privilege
to see it first hand in the early days, as that almost extinguished spark of innovation became a roaring fire.
And then, to be there at the end, despite his broken body, to see his passion and fire still burning as brightly. There won’t ever be another Niko Rafaelo.” She shook, tears streaming down. “Thank you.”
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