Existence Augmented (Black Band Shorts)

Existence Augmented (Black Band Shorts)

by Channing Whitaker

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Existence Augmented is a dystopian, sci-fi novelette and psychological thriller. The world outside is cold, hostile, and virtually lifeless. Human existence depends on sophisticated, technological living compounds. The people who don't have them, once driven to theft and murder, are believed to be long since dead. Alden, a genius of physical and computer engineering, spends his time tending his hydroponics garden, maintaining and improving the complex systems critical to survival, and, in turn, continually refining the pleasant life he's created with his wife, Laurel. On a day like any other, everything is following Alden's plans until the power begins to fail…

Product Details

BN ID: 2940155573982
Publisher: Off Speed Press
Publication date: 05/28/2018
Series: Black Band Shorts
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Channing Whitaker is a novelist, screenwriter, and filmmaker originally hailing from Centerville, Iowa. An alum of Indian Hills Community College, Channing went on to study cinema, screenwriting, literature, and mathematics at the University of Iowa. His college years were also spent tending bar and in bar security, which he considers a valuable study of humanity, and an indispensable supplement to his formal education.

Post graduation, Channing began his career in the production of television news, independent films, and commercial videos, as well as writing for websites, corporate media, and advertising. His career has taken Channing from Iowa to Texas, Alaska, Oklahoma, and to California where he currently resides.

Channing is a fan of many media forms and genres. He considers himself a storyteller foremost and works in multiple media and genres himself. Channing’s artistic influences include Trevanian, Gene Roddenberry, Kurt Vonnegut, Jim Jarmusch, and Robert Altman, though he credits his late father, a psychology professor, with profoundly impacting his approach to the deep, conflicted, and multifaceted characters which drive his stories.

In his home life, Channing is a father of two, a sports lover, and a real-life space exploration enthusiast.

Channing is among a small subset of writers who are also dyslexic. He considers learning to overcome the challenges of this diagnosis to have aided him in persevering amid the rejection-filled, uncertain, and competitive fields of writing and screenwriting.

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Existence Augmented (Black Band Shorts) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
GillianH More than 1 year ago
what an interesting story! I admit I felt a bit lost at first and I’m not sure if we were actually supposed to completely understand it all – as it feels like it is an alternate-existence that is based on some current realities already (like AI), but also, there is a darker, more mysterious vibe present that makes it seem like we are just getting a small snapshot of a much larger story. So there is more room for reader interpretation I think, like what happens to us if we put too much reliance on tech and count on it for ‘everything’, from entertainment, food, companionship… and how it shapes (and manipulates) our ‘reality’. I like how this written in such a way we are engaged and in Alden’s shoes. And the whole story had great flow and presentation. Well done.
JennaBrewster More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I generally reserve my more effusive praise for long, epic novels that I feel have completely consumed me and hijacked my brain and soul for a time, not usually shorter stories or novellas that I read in an hour or less. But today I will be making an exception because both of these short stories/novellas by Channing Whitaker have taken me by surprise with their profound intelligence, creativity and originality, and how very well written they are. This one, “Existence Augmented” is a slightly different genre, but just as dark, disturbing, and complex as the other I just read (“The Remnant”) – just in a different way. I was surprised by the amount of emotion and investment Whitaker managed to pull from the reader in these shorter tales and got under my skin – in a good way. Science fiction isn’t even my favorite genre, but I just really like when an author can take my mind to new places and make me think about things differently and new possibilities and this definitely happened here. Will definitely be checking out works from Whitaker in the future
TabithaP1 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I think that Channing Whitaker may have made a Science Fiction/Dystopian (and short story) fan out of me! I’ve always had a bit of an aversion to novellas/short stories mostly because I like to feel a deeper connection to the characters and stay in their world for a while, and most of the sci/fi I read feels contrived and frankly, not all that plausible. But I was surprised how effective the author was in totally transporting us to another time and place and where we can really experience another’s lives (or a brief segment of it) enough to really get inside my head and make me think and even freak me out a little! I can totally see this being man’s future in a way, especially with his “wife”. The writing was top-quality - a good amount of details and lyrical prose that added to the scenery without bogging it down any. Brilliant layers of storyline that have a psychological edge wrapped with action and occasional high stakes. For the most part the pacing was good, but I did think there could have been more heightened tension more consistently, especially considering the shorter length. But still remarkable, memorable reading!
essieh More than 1 year ago
"Existence Augmented” is a wonderful science-fiction/dystopian and psychology-inspired novella, with a literary flair I rarely see especially in indie authors. I’ve read several short stories/novellas in the past and while I usually enjoy them as I like the shorter length and the tighter focus on a singular plot, I really enjoyed this one because it felt more ‘open’ in the sense that a lot wasn’t as definitive and wrapped up like it usually is – we always have the sense that there is a lot more going on in this world Alden inhabits than we initially suspect. I think for me it is when Sloan is pointing out Laurel’s “flaws” that I realized just how different this book was, and that Alden’s life isn’t what we think. Great writing and characterizations and takes you to this dark, lonely, and strangely fascinating world that is familiar, and totally different at the same time. A fun read for fans of science fiction and dystopian.
NicolaF More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars eye-opening and engrossing, this quick story (40 pages) with dystopian & sci/fi elements will have you on the edge of your seat, turning the pages as fast as you can, and leave you wanting more! In fact even though it wraps up well enough, I would love to know more about Alden’s life and his future… if it changes? I knew it was short but I was surprised to finish so quickly, but I didn’t want to stop reading once I started! And I found the story length to be perfect when I’m more pressed for time. Nice to be able to get the closure and payoff in one sitting. Enjoyed exploring this ‘alternative’ reality it makes me really wonder when… if… this could be an actual reality sooner rather than later. I enjoyed this story and would recommend it to others to read as well.
BellaReadz More than 1 year ago
although Science fiction/ fantasy/ dystopian is not my favorite genre I just read another story by this author (“The Remnant”) and was really impressed by his storytelling and the way that he pulls us into these crazy, unique and seemingly far-fetched situations and realities, yet does so in a way that is strangely believable. Like some of it could happen (crazy, I know, but that’s how it feels). Like his other story as well, I found this one to be well-written and I could always picture everything (and everyone) perfectly. I like the edgy and creative writing style very much, and the ending made me think. I was almost disappointed when I was finished because I wanted to read more. Hope to see a large collection of all of Whitaker’s stories someday.
LauraClarke More than 1 year ago
I’m not sure this is appropriate to say here – but this ‘novelette’ has more interesting character development, world building, and story themes than many full-length novels I’ve read lately, and that is the truth! It is emotionally engaging, as well as intellectually captivating – I felt pity and compassion for Alden, and was intrigued by this ‘augmented’ life and reality he lived. Whitaker is good at pushing the boundaries of the genre and taking some really “out there’ ideas and putting them in stories in a way that is entertaining and even believable (because of the solid world-building and characterizations). Literary, psychologically driven and with cool tech, AI, alternate reality, multi universes… Highly readable and extremely enjoyable.
SDecker More than 1 year ago
"Existence Augmented” by Channing Whitaker was an absolute delight, and a great way to experience a brief taste of unusual concepts, characters and surreal situations in a short amount of time. This is the second short I’ve read from Whitaker, and even though the genre is pretty different (the other was more horror) like the first, this is well-crafted, complex and moving with a sci/fi-futuristic angle. I was surprised by Laurel’s true nature, and Alden’s bleak existence is one that is relatable and also sympathetic. Mr. Whitaker is a hugely talented writer who not only can tell powerful, riveting stories in a short amount of time, but the way he writes them so realistic (even for being fantastical at times), intelligent, thought-provoking and engaging. The way he uses language to create emotion and describe scenery is impressive, and the sci-fi/dystopian scenarios are believable. (Harmony is like Alexa in a way) A great length to read in one sitting – I do wish there were more! Recommend for fans of dystopian/science fiction and I also recommend his other short “The Remnant” as well as it is pretty awesome too.
MegKing More than 1 year ago
Another must-read from Channing Whitaker for lovers of literary science fiction and dark drama and dystopian. This book falls into that rare group that tells an unexpected and original story that doesn’t rely on cliché’s or overused plot devices – nice, especially in the Sci-Fi genre where it is hard to find really unique plotlines and genuine character development. Although there are familiar tropes here in these stories (alternate reality, AI and “augmented existences’ etc…) Whitaker does a great job making this story an individual entity with a flavor and message all its own. The shorter length keeps you hooked from beginning to end, and if you are like me you’ll find you just want to keep reading more even when you reach the last page. Not necessarily what I’d call a happy, feel-good book, but it is very good, nonetheless.