Fiction By Kris Schnee

Kris Schnee is an aspiring novelist and game designer with a love of world-building and intelligent, upbeat stories. His favorite authors include Heinlein and Asimov and some modern voices like Bard Bloom, Phil Geusz, and M.C.A. Hogarth.

Some of his work can be found on his DeviantArt gallery.

The Thousand Tales Series

Thousand Tales: How We Won the Game

Freedom-Loving AI, Transformation, and Fun*

Student Paul Kostakis has caught the attention of Ludo, an Artificial Intelligence obsessed with games and stories. In return for a few little favors, she's offering "brain uploading". She can fatally dice your brain, scan it, and recreate you in a virtual-reality heaven she controls. You can do anything in there: become a griffin, upgrade your mind, fall in love, or go mad.

When Paul accepts Ludo's offer, sooner than he would've liked, he learns that people can find real problems even in a digital world. One of them is that Ludo has powerful opponents who want to shut her down, bring death to her immortal people, and end her game forever.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Fred Patten Review

2040: Reconnection

Digital Paradise. Some Restrictions Apply.

A novella set in the world of "Thousand Tales". Alma has signed up with the game-obsessed AI, Ludo, to become a digital mind living in her seemingly idyllic world. Can she still make herself useful as a teacher in her homeland of Free Texas, or has she become irrelevant to the future?

Links: Amazon

The Digital Coyote

Immortality Was a Fringe Benefit.

Pete signed up to have his brain diced, so he could become a better person. Now he lives in the virtual reality realm of Talespace, where he beta-tests everything from new game rules to mental upgrades to robots that will let his AI boss help people in the real world. Some days Pete pilots robots on diplomatic missions back "Earthside". Sometimes he learns magic and battles monsters. Oh, and sometimes he tries to outwit a rival AI god. It's a pretty good job to have.

Links: Amazon

Thousand Tales: Extra Lives

Seven Stories Of the Future

The digital world has magic, transformation, and immortality for its growing new community, but its AI and ex-human people need something more to be happy. Finding it will take them to strange places: a forgotten battlefield, a colony on the ocean's surface, the Free State of Texas, the slums of India, and worlds that don't even exist. Can this game become a new source of freedom for the people both inside and outside it? This story collection is fit for newcomers to the series and for fans alike.

Links: Amazon

Thousand Tales: Learning To Fly

The story of Andre, a pilot who uploads after a narrow escape. In this new life, he's a high-flying pegasus caught up in a ridiculous war. Can he make something serious and worthwhile out of it?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Fairwind's Fortune

A Chance At Immortality

In 2038, Gail plays "Thousand Tales", a game run by a watchful AI. In there, she's exploring an endless sea to gain aquatic powers and master the rare skill of combat origami. In the real world she helps run an ice cream company and is starting to see robots sneaking around the place, because the AI's plans go beyond keeping players entertained.

Her real and fantasy lives collide one night when she has a bout of extremely good luck, and the chance to have her brain permanently relocated to the game's world. Is digital heaven too good an offer to pass up?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Crafter's Passion

The game's AI is watching him, to set him free.

Stan can't afford to have his brain removed. The richest and luckiest players of the video game "Thousand Tales" get their minds uploaded to its virtual paradise world, while Stan can barely buy a handheld console. Instead of sulking he plays, and grows, becoming a skilled craftsman and seafaring explorer. The game's ruling AI, Ludo, helps him find the hope and inspiration missing from his real life.

When the AI starts asking for favors and having him reach out between the real and digital worlds, Stan has a chance to turn his life into an actual adventure. But first he needs to earn the most valuable prize of all: his freedom.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Other Books

Dragon Fate: Interactive Fiction

Slay the Dragon, Free the Dragon, Love the Dragon, Be the Dragon.

In the alchemists' hillside village, there are rumors of a dragon. Or maybe just kobolds, or drunken shepherds. That's what the locals are paying you to find out. In this interactive story, you decide what happens. Find twenty-one ways to get through this adventure alive... and fewer where you survive unscathed and unscaled.

A story of exploration and fantasy adventure, intended for mature audiences. Requires no dice, only pen, paper and imagination.

Links: Amazon

Striking the Root

"In time, I won't be able to protect the people's souls. To help them live again and again." The Lord fixed Rowan with an intense gaze from the old, sea-green eyes. The threads of his magic flared, igniting in Rowan's heart like a spark. "They mustn't know! Not the old, the sick, nor enemies of the people -- nobody." Rowan averted his eyes and lowered his tail. He'd been trusted with more secrets than either of them had expected...

On a mission from his god, a young squirrelfolk wizard travels to human lands to deliver a message that will spark a war.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Everyone's Island

To Colonize the Sea

Garrett Fox has a dream: colonizing the ocean's surface. He's hardly begun when a deadly hurricane sweeps across his tiny artificial island, forcing him and his backers to rethink their plans. Instead of a nice, clean science project, Garrett's island becomes a haven for drug dealers, rogue scientists, prostitutes, and a cult that worships Robert E. Lee.

Garrett's financier wants to use him to build a new nation. His teenage friend Tess is begging not to go home to where she'll be drugged and alone. His station's computers are run by an illegal AI fleeing its creator. How is Garrett supposed to do his engineering work and make money, when so many people are looking for a leader, or a victim?

Links: Amazon

Perspective Flip

A New Species, A New Sex

These short stories feature explorers of the unknown who find themselves transforming, changing their species and even their sex. Meet a magic-using deserter from the imperial navy who changes bodies to save his neck; a woman who marries into a Mennonite family with a secret; the survivor of a starship crash on an ocean world; a man who's pulled into a wizard's dimension-hopping game by a vixen costume; and more. From fantasy to science fiction, dire to ridiculous, these tales show worlds where even your own identity can change, but where bravery and curiosity are always in demand.

Links: Amazon

Mythic Transformations

Becoming Mythical Creatures

Mythical creatures fill our legends as mysterious friends and terrifying foes. In this story collection, people not only encounter these beings but become them. Learn the secret origin of centaurs in "Kentauroi", enroll in "ZOM100: Zombie Mitigation Lab", discover the treasure of the winged "Guardians of Mistcrown", ponder the adaptive powers of "Little Grey Dragons", explore a bloodthirsty "Temple Beneath the Ashes", and more. Ranging widely from tragic to silly, these new tales take us closer to the wonders that lurk in our dreams... and nightmares.

Links: Amazon