Writing Projects

Current Project

My current project is Do No Harm, a thriller about a doctor who uncovers a worldwide conspiracy when a patient is abducted from his office.

This is my first attempt at writing a major piece in first person. So far, I love it. I love getting deep inside a character and filtering everything through his senses. Of course, it's a challenge sticking with one character throughout a novel, but I think I can pull it off.

I'm trying to make it fun with a surprisingly complex conspiracy, exotic locales (e.g., Osaka, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, Cabo San Lucas), and a relentless pace.

Completed Scribblings

“Birth Control”
Bioengineering and politics collide, accidentally producing a world where everyone is infertile, save for a few thousand children. In this complex near-future short story, an auditor arrives at one of the boarding schools where the children are sheltered, and the administration must discover her agenda in order to protect the children. This is probably my best work to date. Currently collecting rejection slips. (2003)
Kill Switch
A science-fiction novel about the exploration of a planet outside of our solar system. How far would you go for a second chance at life? At love? What would you sacrifice to change the world? Could you press the Kill Switch? Includes action, adventure, drugs, aliens, and a romantic triangle. I think of it more as a story that happens to have a science-fiction background, but it definitely has a couple sci-fi ideas. (2003)
“The Girl Next Door”
A near-future short story about a young women trying to keep her struggling brothel in business. I'm circulating this one. If it doesn't sell, I'll post it here. (2001, I think)
Connie Lynn
A short story about how the information age enables big business to invade our privacy. OK, so maybe I'm a little paranoid, but a little paranoia can be a healthy thing, especially now that we have the PATRIOT Act. The entire story is published here for your enjoyment. (2000)
“Unit and Regression Testing”
Hey! I actually got something published. This is an article for programmers that illustrates the usefulness of unit tests and demonstrates how they can be automated (using make) and integrated into the build process. See Dr. Dobb's Journal, February, 1997, p. 18.
Buying Time
A two-hour screenplay about a man who has himself cloned for spare organs. The clone, who the man has raised as a son, begins to discover his origins. It earned me a very polite rejection letter from a major Hollywood agency. Would have made a great movie of the week when Dolly the sheep was in the news. (1991)
“Automaton Dreams”
A spec-script for Star Trek: The Next Generation written for the second season (remember Dr. Pulaski?). The primary plot involves Data suddenly acquiring the ability to dream. Several seasons later there was an episode about Data dreaming, and some of my friends who had read my script thought that I had sold it to Paramount. (1989)
An awful one-hour screenplay that I wrote for a screenwriting class. I won't let anybody read it. (1989)

The Back Burner

Kidnapper Novel
The idea is far from complete, but it starts with a kidnapping from a surprising location.
Untitled Novel
A humorous, fictionalized account of my experiences working at a corrupt company.
Women Seem Wicked
A strange idea I have for a novel that starts lighthearted but grows ever darker. It would probably be impossible to sell.
A two-hour sci-fi action-adventure screenplay about a colony of humans on another planet who are forced into slavery by a bug-like species of aliens. I know, from that description, it sounds a bit like Starship Troopers, but it's not. (1989-1994)

Writing Technology

After years of wrestling with different word processing systems, I've gone back to TeX1 (often LaTeX). I can't stand WYSIWYG2. I must be the only person in the world who can't use Microsoft Word. I don't just dislike Word, I cannot get it to behave.

Never heard of TeX? It was written by Donald E. Knuth, a professor of mathematics and computer science at Standford University. Combined with METAFONT, TeX is probably the best typesetting program available today. It's free, portable, and bug-free. No, really! To learn more about TeX, visit the TeX Users Group (TUG). LaTeX is a macro package for TeX that turns TeX into more of a document markup language than a typesetting package.

For screenwriting, I'm resurrecting ScriptTeX, a macro package I wrote for TeX and released as freeware. It's floating around on some of the TeX collection CDs and Internet archives although most of the copies I've seen have some glitches. Get a glitch-free version here on Aidtopia.

1More correctly, that's TEX, but that looks awful in HTML.
2What You See Is What You Get (supposedly).
© 2001-2003 Adrian McCarthy. All rights reserved. Last updated 12-JUL-2003.