Silk and Steel is a cyberpunk story that I started writing in October of 1992, and which sputtered to an incomplete end in August of 1993. Each chapter was posted to the newsgroup alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo as I completed it. The first chapter, "Staff Meeting", was intended to stand on its own as a short story, with the possibility of continuing in some fashion if people liked that sample. It was very well received, and I got quite a lot of fan mail from around the world. I was even approached by an agent seeking to represent me so we could to publish it in print form. I ran out of steam before that could be followed up on.

It was fairly common when I started posting this for writers on the Chatsubo newsgroup to post their stories as one of the characters in their tales. I originally signed my posts as Shadowcat, though I used my real name in the story headers. After a while, as the possibility of publication in print became more real, I switched to posting them under my professional pen name, as Jason Magnus. It's all still me.

What you see here is all the material that was originally posted on the newsgroup alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo. The original text is pretty much as originally posted, typos, lack of formatting and all.

It remains, unfortunately, an unfinished work. A change of employer, a move halfway across the USA, and a reprioritization of Home vs Net life took their toll on my writing time. One of these day's I'll go back and finish this story. It's in there somewhere, waiting to be released. For now, you will have to be patient.

Index of Stories (In chronological order, as first posted)

Part one: "Staff Meeting" -- Posted 24 Oct 92 18:55:00 GMT
Silk & Steel Errata/Tech Info -- Posted 27 Oct 92 05:31:23 GMT (Notes on Chapter one)
Part two: "Preparations" -- Posted 1 Nov 92 21:07:10 GMT
Part three: "Dancing through the datanet" -- Posted 16 Nov 92 21:22:54 GMT
Part four: "Turnabout" -- Posted 7 Dec 92 15:59:21 GMT
Part five: "Understandings" -- Posted 16 Dec 92 06:53:14 GMT
Part six: "Conflict" -- Posted 1 Jan 93 16:28:21 GMT
Part seven: "Hunted" -- Posted 18 Jan 93 23:24:41 GMT
Part eight: "Death and Deceptions" -- Posted 8 Feb 93 03:47:45 GMT
Part nine: "Hide and seek" -- Posted 7 Mar 93 04:26:24 GMT
Part Ten: "Rebound" -- Posted 29 Mar 93 06:45:58 GMT
Part Eleven: "Recognition" -- Posted 27 Jul 93 17:39:30 GMT

There is no Chapter 12 or higher at this time...

The ill-fated prequel...

In August of 1993 I made a fatal error - I tried going back and writing a few "prequel" chapters to flesh out what happened before Chapter one. That resulted in the worst case of writer's block I've ever experienced. Here's what did get written...

ADMIN: Silk and Steel parts 0.x -- Posted 19 Aug 1993 13:38:43 GMT
Part 0.1: "Prologue: Opportunity kicks butt" -- Posted 19 Aug 1993 13:40:01 GMT
Part 0.2: "Prologue: First Contact" -- Posted 19 Aug 1993 13:41:27 GMT
Part 0.3: "Prologue: A Class Act" -- Posted 30 Aug 1993 04:00:51 GMT

This is where the writers block set in. I couldn't make the transition between first contact and the material in Part One, without doing a drastic rewrite.

Before the story can continue, there's several things I have to do. I seriously do need to do a rewrite on some of the characters and locations, to eliminate copyrighted material like Ratz and the Chatsubo bar. This was, after all, my first attempt at writing this genre, and I was trying to tie the story in to the interactive fiction taking place in the alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo newsgroup. I also need to clean up some consistency errors, and either tie in the Prequel chapters or scrap them entirely.

At any rate, I still retain full copyright on this material, and do intend to finish it at some time.

Jay Brandt (aka Jason Magnus)

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