Nothing Left to Lose: Everything To Give
Toria Gensai, a terminally-ill assassin, is determined to use her blade to cut the world free in the time she has left, but can she start a revolution before her disease claims her? In summer of 2086, dissent brews in Vancouver, home to both the Helios megacorporation headquarters and the Pity Market, a tented slum for economic refugees. Helios’ de-facto world government has created a vast divide between their own wealthy employees and the rest of society. The Vanguard, a special corporate police force, tirelessly pursues Toria and her employers, the Reality Trust. Toria’s team, Eclipse, has been tasked with the critical job of eliminating the opposition. Only a few executives stand between the Trust and their goal: the subversion of Helios from within and the release of the corporation’s secret research project to the world.
get your copy
The Reality Trust is available in paperback and e-book editions now!
Facts Within the Fiction
Fatal Familial Insomnia
In the book, Toria Gensai, our lead character, is living with Fatal Familial Insomnia. This very rare, real-world prion disease runs in a few hundred families around the world. Research for a cure for this, and other prion diseases, has advanced possible treatments for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
The case study used as a reference for Toria’s disease progression (and the smoothie she drinks).
The Prion Alliance is currently researching cures for FFI and other prion diseases, and you can donate to help!
When The Reality Trust was written, Vantablack was the blackest thing ever created on earth, absorbing 99.965% of the light that hits it. (Now there’s an even blacker substance, yet unnamed, that can absorb 10x more light.) Made from carbon nano tubes, this material can be applied to a wide array of surfaces but it only works in the visible light spectrum. The author took some liberties.
When working on the cover design, Adam Schmidt considered depicting Toria’s jumpsuit in Vantablack, but that would have required him to illustrate a jumpsuit-shaped hole cut in the scene. Not great for comprehensible artwork, so a simple black, somewhat reflective style was chosen instead
3d printers have already begun to reshape the world. They’ve certainly reshaped Lydia’s apartment. Rather than buying parts which may or may not fit, or searching for a replacement lighting fixture, we’re able to use spools of plastic to print the objects we need. Plus they make really cool D&D minis.
The next steps towards getting the incredible resolution and control required to create nanoscale materials at high speeds include adding electron microscopes and acetylene torch features to 3d printing tech. Until that massive leap happens, check out the author’s favorite at home, plastic-based 3d printer here.
Azolla-Nostoc & Carbon Sequestration
In the book, Helios Corporation was instrumental in putting the brakes on climate change. One method involved cultivating massive lakes worth of Azolla, tiny ferns that could be used to make cooking oil and sequester carbon.
in real life
The Azolla Project raised $22,160 in 2014 to study a tiny fern that has the potential to recapture carbon and begin to repair the damage done by climate change. This plant in particular made a massive impact on global climate in the past, and a group of amazing modern scientists want to do it again.
Book Clubs, Press Inquiries, & Speaking Engagements
Lydia loves engaging with readers and other writers. She’s happy to visit Book Clubs to discuss the work and answer questions, as well as speak to groups about creativity, identity, and writing. She’s available for meetings in person in the Pacific Northwest or online via various teleconferencing platforms.
Lydia identifies as a bisexual, cisgender, white woman living with chronic illness and uses the pronouns she/her/hers.
She lives and works in Portland, Oregon with her partner and their cat, where she writes, play D&D in the Dungeons Against Humanity podcast, and avoids the sun at all costs.
Contact the Author
To schedule a speaking engagement, book club visit, or for press inquiries, reach out here: