Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Cyborg's Warning

 How did it come to this? My life used to be so simple. Back then, I hated it; I found it boring. Let me tell you: boring’s good. Boring’s great! I should’ve been thankful…

It was supposed to be a date like any other for James Hunter, a simple convenience store clerk. Nothing more than watching a movie in the town of Moncton. A place as unknown and unimportant as he considered his own existence to be. And yet, while walking to a cinema, James teleports to another world. There, a hostile crowd surrounds him, including various mutants with strange deformities.

Before he can even gather his wits or make a dash for it, a lone ally presents herself in the form of a winged woman named Rose. An important cultural figure in the country where James appeared, she offers him both protection and a home.

Soon, James learns that this new world is divided by a cold war. On one side is Nirnivia, home to Rose. The other, Ostark, led by a mysterious cyborg. James is unaware that the cyborg has him in his crosshairs, thinking of him as the Deus Ex Machina that will end the war in his favor.

But, the cyborg is far from the only potential threat to James. Soon after his arrival, BRR, a terrorist organisation, kidnaps him.

What would a rogue group out for revenge seeking to turn the cold war hot want with someone like James? Is there anyone also aware of this other world who will try to find him? Or is he on his own? If so, how is he supposed to escape? If that's even an option...

read an excerpt... 

The second that James saw the deformed statue, he deemed it painful to look at. The sculpture depicted a man, but not one of normal proportions. The arms were far too long, paired with short legs, and the right eye appeared thrice the size of the left—nothing compared to the elongated spike forming the nose, or the mouth contorted in a grimace. Now that he sat leaning against the grotesque shape, the figurative ache turned literal as the sharp stone dug into his back.

Even with the intense heat, James shivered. The recent revelations chilled his blood, and no matter how hard it tried, the sun couldn’t warm him again. He rubbed his chin, pondering all he had learned. His hand brushed against his stubble, and he scowled at the itching sensation. Usually he shaved every day, a habit his unplanned trip had broken. Then again, next to his companion, a bit of extra hair was nothing…

The freak still stood a few feet behind, laughing to his heart’s content. What a horrendous chortle. How James yearned to shut him up via his fist. “Gwa ha ah aha ha! Ha ha aha! Ha ha! Come on, why do you take things so seriously? You still don’t get it, do you? Gwha ha ha ha ha! You should laugh more; it’ll do ya good! Gwha ha ha ha ha! Wha ha ha ha! Gwa ha ha!”

about Benoit Lanteigne...

So, my name is Benoit Lanteigne and I’m a French Canadian (outside of Quebec) who’s trying to write in English. That can be tricky. I’m a computer programmer and I enjoy it. I see many inspiring writers who hate their jobs and hope to quit someday, but that’s not my case. Mostly, I’ve worked on websites and web applications.

Back in school, I enjoyed writing and according to my teachers and classmates; I had a talent for it. Well, not so much for grammar and spelling, but they liked my stories. Once I went to university, I dropped writing as a hobby. There were other things I wanted to focus on, such as my career. Then, in the early 2000s, around 2006 I’d say, I had a flash of inspiration. At first, it was a single character: a winged woman with red hair. I didn’t even know who she was, but the image stuck with me. From there, I began figuring out details about her origins and her world, but I only started writing for real in 2009.

It’s been roughly 10 years now, and it’s not yet finished. That’s in part because I write in my spare time, and in part because the scope of the project is huge. Maybe too much so. Still, I’m getting close to the point where I could release something. The question is what’s next? Self-publishing? Attempt traditional publishing? Nothing? I don’t know the answer yet, I’m trying to figure it out. Frankly, sharing my writing is difficult for me, and whatever I end up doing, as long as I make it available to people I consider the experience a victory no matter what comes out of it.






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more personal "stuff" about Benoit Lanteigne

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Vanilla. No, I’m just kidding. Though I have to say, that vanilla ice cream is delicious, it’s just so common that people see it as a plain choice. That being said, I enjoy pistachio soft-serve ice cream.

Describe your writing space.

My writing space is nothing special. Most of the time, I write in my bedroom while lying in my bed, but I find I can write pretty much anywhere as long as there are no major distractions.

What is your favorite television show?

I’m not sure what to answer here because I haven’t been watching much TV lately. It’s going to be something old because of that. Since space opera TV shows like Battlestar Galactica (2004) inspired the Cyborg’s crusade, you might expect I’d pick one of those. That’s tempting, but in the end, I have to go with the Simpson. Yeah, the quality fell down a drain for decades now, but that’s expected after over thirty seasons. The first eight seasons’ writing and humor were so sharp, and they contributed a lot to my sense of humor. That’s probably true for plenty of people. And beyond the funny parts, sometimes there were just some emotional moments that were perfectly executed. Some shows made me laugh more. Some shows made me feel more. Some shows made me think more. Still, the Simpson did all three with the best balance.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

The best piece of writing advice I’ve ever received is show don’t tell. My writing improved dramatically thanks to that often repeated saying.

The worst piece of writing advice I’ve ever received is also show don’t tell. Confused? I’ll explain. The problem is, for a while, it felt like every writer on the internet parroted that advice without bothering to explain what it meant. Because of this, it took a while before I interpreted “show don’t tell” in a way that improved The Cyborg’s Crusade. In fact, for a short while, I’d say it made my writing worse because I took it too literally.

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Mostly, no. I made the effort to create a whole new world because I had no interest in writing about the real one. I’m sure there are people and events from my life that influenced The Cyborg’s Crusade, but more in the subtexts rather than the actual plots or characters.

The biggest real person who influenced the characters is probably me. Because of past bullying, I struggled a lot with self-doubts, and that lack of confidence manifested itself in James Hunter. On the other hand, sometimes I feel that if those unpleasant experiences never happened, I would be too arrogant. That potential arrogance influenced the titular cyborg. Still, both James and the cyborg have very different personalities when compared to me.


  1. The cover looks great. Sounds like an interesting read.

  2. What was the most surprising aspect of your writing journey so far?

    1. Probably just the fact that I actually have books published now, it still feels a little unreal

  3. This sounds like an interesting book

  4. How do you balance your other responsibilities with the demands of writing?


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