Greetings, Voyagers! I have some exciting news for you, Corporate Gunslinger by Doug Engstrom is on sale where books are sold. Please scroll down to read more about this novel that explores a potential future that’s sure to scare the crap out of anyone. In Engstrom’s eerie debut, debt slavery is very real, and corporations are training professional gunfighters to settle their disputes with customers.
In a story structured around a duel, with the tension and darkness reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Long Walk, comes a thrilling dystopian debut about corporate greed and the gun violence.
Like many mid-21st century Americans, Kira Clark financed her education with loans secured by a “lifetime services contract.” If she defaults, her creditors will control every aspect of her personal and professional life. Behind on her payments and facing foreclosure, she accepts a large signing bonus to enter a new career – corporate gunfighter. She’ll spend a year training to represent TKC Insurance on the dueling fields that have become the final, lethal stop in the American legal system. She plans to use the time to figure out how to repay her signing bonus, stay current on her loan, and find a viable alternative career before her first real match. Instead, she chooses to confront financial reality, preserve her freedom, and become a gunfighter.
Kira puts her MFA in acting to work, showing the public a cold, fearsome persona called “Death’s Angel.” The character not only intimidates the citizens she faces on the dueling field but, in Kira’s mind, bears the guilt for their deaths. Just as she becomes the most feared gunfighter in the TKC stable, she’s hit during a duel and nearly bleeds to death on live video, shattering her aura of invincibility. A cheating investigation threatens her employment, and her best friend, a fellow gunfighter, is murdered by an opponent’s vengeful family member. During a duel with a naive young woman desperate to protect her family from contract servitude, Kira’s ability to rationalize dies along with her opponent. She’s a killer of innocents, and she knows it.
TKC offers Kira the opportunity to fight another professional for a huge purse, and Kira sees it as a chance to buy a new life or die trying. On the field, her attempt to out-maneuver her opponent fails and he puts a bullet through her abdomen. She rallies, hits her opponent in the chest, and a bleed-off commences. The first to fall will lose. Wracked with pain, Kira struggles to remain upright as her lifeblood drains away and her vision narrows. Before losing consciousness, she considers her life and the choices that have brought her to this point.
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