On a secret military base tucked in a remote desert mountain, a dangerous machine lies hidden from the American public. Known as “The Actuator”, this machine is capable of transforming entire communities into alternate realities. In theory, these often terrifying realities are reversible.
The scientists in charge of this machine employ operatives called Machine Monks, who attune their minds to manifest single ideas from the realms of fantasy and science fiction. These ideas are then superimposed upon sparsely inhabited areas for testing. For a while, the enigmatic Actuator cooperates with the experiments, using dampeners to limit the affected area. But those in charge of the project eagerly anticipate exploring the full potential of this amazing device.
Experiments progress to where they feed more than twenty different genre ideas simultaneously into the Actuator’s database. Meanwhile, an unknown saboteur dismantles the dampeners. The affect is catastrophic. The entire world is plunged into chaos, and familiar landscapes become a deadly patchwork of genre horrors. Overnight, the Actuator becomes the worst menace the earth has ever seen, claiming lives in staggering numbers.
Can a few surviving Machine Monks band together to set things right again? It all depends on whether Red McLaren and the Monks can survive their journey through the various realms that separate them from the Actuator, where ever-present orcs, aliens, pirates, and vampires seek to destroy them. They must move quickly, as time is running out to stop the Actuator and the villain who controls it and the earth’s destiny.
Also available as an Audiobook! If you own the e-book, you can get it via Whispersync for just $3.49. That’s much cheaper than buying it outright on Audible. You can also get it as a book on CD.
A collaborative book with Best Selling Author, Aiden James!
Here’s an author interview I did about this book.
The world of the actuator draws on many books. (Pun intended.) However, a few books with related genres you might enjoy are The Martian Cabal by Roman Frederick Starzl, The Bridge of the Gods by Frederic Homer Balc, The Vampyre: A Tale by John Polidori, and The Dealings of Captain Sharkey by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They’re all free in any electronic format you want!
You can listen to The Actuator Soundtrack on Playlist. It has some great songs!
Get your digital copy autographed! Just go to Authorgraph and send me a request.
Look for reviews on Fractured Earth’s Goodreads page.
When the Actuator breaks the earth into a patchwork of altered realities, the remaining Machine Monks begin looking for the Keys to put it back. In the meantime, everyone in the world has been transformed without knowing why. This collection tells about some of the people struggling to deal with the change.
See the Borderlands Anthology Book Trailer by contributing author, Wilbert Stanton.
The anthology features my short story, Cyber-Cowboy.
Want a quick book review? Check this blog.
Here’s another short story set in the world of The Actuator from Curiosity Quills Press this Summer. Cyber-Cowboy can be found in the Curiosity Quills: Primetime charity anthology. You can also find this link on my short stories page.
The Actuator: Borderlands RPG is out and ready! Go download it for free on my games page and start adventuring in the Actuator world! The game manual includes a bonus free short story, set in the Actuator world, called CRAZY TOWN.
I talk about The Actuator in this show on Dungeon Crawlers Radio. I’m the second half of the show, but the first part is hilarious!
You might be surprised by the number of cross-overs between the Borderlands Anthology, and book 2.
Dan Willis, one of the contributing authors to BOTH Actuator Anthologies has written a spin-off series. He said, ” Alex Lockerby is definitely inspired by David Archer. I’d never tried to write a detective story until the Borderlands story. Turns out I learned something important about myself.”
You can get the prequel to the series, DEAD LETTER, free on Dan’s website. Once you do. I’m sure you’ll want to read the rest of this historical Urban Fantasy featuring a magic-wielding noir detective.
The Machine Monks fight to keep control of the Actuator while enemies attack the base. As besiegers wear them down, the rest of the world struggles to adapt to the chaos left in the wake of the great change. Their only choice is to push forward and find the next key and shutdown the fantasy realm surrounding the base. When they do, Xenwyn will die.
Haunted by the incalculable death toll all over the earth, Jon accepts the mission to recover the next key. Despite his injuries and as much as he hates to leave his newfound love, he refuses to let all of humanity suffer if he can fix it.
Desperate to keep Xenwyn alive, Red determines to find a magical cure before Jon gets back with the key. Each time he takes her across a border, might be the end.
Seeing all his friends in turmoil, Dragon Star sets out to find the saboteur. If the architect of this dark world cannot offer any means of setting things right, he will at least see consequences for the horrors he unleashed.
None of them ever imagined the Actuator could still make the world even worse.
You can add it on Goodreads now.
Book 2 in the series references several other books in it. If you haven’t read these before, you might want to brush up before the next installment comes out. First, the classic poem Beowulf. Next, you definitely must read Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. Finally, I recommend The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights, translated by Sir James Knowles. Those are all the free ones, but you’ll be glad you invested in The Judas Chronicles by Aiden James. There’s even a hat tip to The Charge by Sharon Bayliss and Scarlet Spider by Chris Yost. Oh, and Exacting Essence, by yours truly. 🙂
Scattered all across the world, the Machine Monks struggle to deal with the saboteur’s next big move. Isolated in a situation they’ve never experienced before, their mission to collect all the Actuator keys grows desperate.
In “Eyes in the Void,” by Dan Willis, Holly Dark must convince David, a hard bitten, Noir PI, to help her rob a high security train so she can pay off an Ogre who is also her late father’s loan shark.
An elven ranger finds himself in the Old West after a ritual gone awry. Having traded in his longbow for six-guns, he accepts a quest from a strange lawman in exchange for help returning to the home he loves. Matthew Cox tells us “The Ruin of Man.”
When the world’s most dangerous kaiju marches on manga-inspired Japan, can Isaac Tran defeat it using only his wits and the power of anime? Find out in “Memories of a Kaiju,” by Bob Defendi.
A honeymoon “Safari” (by Lorna Marie Larson) goes horribly wrong when rudely interrupted by the chaotic Actuator. Without guns, how do you fight against ancient wildlife with a mind of its own?
Harry’s back from out west, but he’s returned as an orc. Now he’s trying to set up a drug deal that will make Butch rich, if it doesn’t get him killed first. “Monsters in Chicago,” by D. J. Butler.
“Stranded in Camelot” by her so-called friends, Machine Monk Elizabeth Darling seeks a way home to Steampunk London—and finds an unexpected surprise in the medieval forest. Get medieval with C.M. Spivey.
Tina and a group of injured teens stands between a horror and millions of innocent lives. Robert J. Defendi gives us “Big Trouble in Greater Tokyo.”
Patrick Burdine gives us the continued story of orphaned teens in “The Bayou King.” While Lennie is traveling to a safe haven with her little brother through the nightmare lands of the Dead South, disaster strikes and she is forced to rely on a woman with a dark secret if she hopes to survive.
James Wymore tells the next part of the ongoing saga as Brian and his crew face the saboteur face to face in a high tech war that will alter the fate of the world.
Get it for Kindle
Get it in Paperback
See an article I wrote about the series so far on Forever Writers. It’s also a discussion on the arbitrary classification of stories and how the Actuator series breaks them all!
Get a FREE BOOK in the spin-off series by Dan Willis.
Incredibly, there is a SECOND SPIN OFF SERIES, featuring Kelly Donovan, one of several characters in THE RUIN OF MAN by Matthew S. Cox. He said he enjoyed writing the short story so much that he wanted to write more about her.
Book 1 in The Adventures of Ubergirl series is MY DAD IS A MAD SCIENTIST. She has the same adorable naivete, but now she faces a lot more bad guys. Set in San Francisco, as indicated in the Actuator books, she faces new and awesome villains.
The sequel is already out. Get book 1 now!
The Actuator, a machine capable of literally changing reality, was created to make a utopian paradise. Before it happened, a saboteur used it to transform the world into patches of every kind of genre fiction, scattering the keys necessary to put it back across the globe. Everyone alive found their lives radically altered, some living in fantasy realms with real magic and others in incomprehensible horrors. Thrown into chaos, people struggled against aliens, pirates, orcs, and vampires. Many died. Only a handful of people on the planet, called Machine Monks, even knew why it happened or how. Now they have to put it all back before humanity is destroyed.
Continuing their quest for the Actuator keys, the Machine Monks realize their cause is becoming hopeless. An army of half-machine men is rapidly spreading over the face of the earth, converting anybody they don’t kill to their cause. With superior numbers and technology, their leader will not stop until every living human is subdued and loyal to him.
Keeping the first key with him, preventing anybody from using the Actuator to change the world, the sociopath rampages. Even if they could get all the keys, the small group opposing the tyrant don’t know what to do when they get to the final one—a key they’ve never seen before. If they don’t find the answers fast, the world will be lost.
Get it for Kindle.
Get it in paperback.
Listen to a podcast on Dungeon Crawlers Radio about the final installment in this epic series!
Here are the first edition covers, if you want to see them.