HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN (forthcoming)

“Seth imagined all the minutes he’d lost sitting at traffic lights that were poorly-timed, or couldn’t detect the flow of traffic. He remembered the frustration of standing in long lines on election day, or being bumped from an overbooked flight to New Orleans, or being denied access to his bank account when the Web site was “down for maintenance.” At least three times a month he stood over the meat counter at The Fresh Market and examined cut after cut of perfect ribeye steaks, trying to discern a difference between them. As if any cut would taste better than another after he had cooked it to an exact internal temperature on his two-thousand-dollar infrared grill. Seth could see now, when it was too late, that what appeared to be a careless and chaotic society had in fact represented thousands of years of accumulated knowledge and organization that enabled millions of imperfect humans to live nearly on top of each other. His daily frustrations and disappointments with life had been misguided. He’d been spoiled by living in the most advanced civilization in human history.” –excerpt from House of the Rising Sun

One of the biggest risks modern humanity faces is the threat of electromagnetic pulse. An EMP is a sudden, powerful burst of electromagnetic energy, either natural or man-made, which carries the potential to destroy the delicate circuitry inside transistors and microchips. On a large enough scale, an EMP could wipe out a regional or even national electrical grid and possibly even neutralize many modern vehicles, which are difficult to start and run without their electronic controls. In House of the Rising Sun, a supernova is responsible for the pulse, and the effects are immediate and dramatic. Planes begin falling from the sky, traffic grinds to a halt, and neighborhood grocery stores throughout the country and the world are depleted in hours. People with empty cupboards and pantries go immediately hungry.

THOMAS PHILLIPS, a newly-successful screenwriter, has just sold a film to Hollywood about an EMP, and the experience of writing the script frightened him into building a room filled with food and supplies. He also purchased a vintage 60s-era Mustang, and when the pulse happens, has just picked up actress SKYLAR STOVER from the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport. His car continues to run while others around him fail, and the two of them just manage to get away as commercial airlines begin to crash near the airport. But even if the two of them can survive the aftermath of the pulse, do they really want to? What sort of life will they be left with if the power is never restored?

SETH BLACK, drowning in debt, has decided to take his own life in order to save his family from financial devastation. He’s in his own garage, engine running, when the pulse interrupts his plans. Seth and his wife, NATALIE, manage to buy groceries from a nearby store, but how long will they last? And will their suffering marriage survive the apocalypse?

AIDEN CHRISTOPHER, a burgeoning sociopath, finds new meaning in a post-pulse world when the laws of society and civility go out the window. But how will he procure the supplies he needs to survive? He realizes a nearby Wal-Mart grocery distribution center might hold the answer, but he soon learns plenty of well-armed civilians have thought of the same idea. Will the first great, post-pulse battle be fought there? Especially when PAIGE MILLER, a young woman with a gift for sharpshooting, has taken her sniper rifle to the roof of the warehouse?

In a world where modern convenience disappears without warning, and with no information or help coming, the culture quickly devolves into a tribal state. And so do individual relationships. How would you survive in such a world? And how does this fictional post-apocalyptic America reflect the state of our divided culture today?

THE BOYS OF SUMMER

“This beautifully written supernatural thriller is vibrantly original and his characters are intricately detailed.” —Booklist

“The mind-blowing aspects of this complex, challenging novel build slowly, inexorably, to a climax that involves a storm to end all storms. And it is glorious.” Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi Blog

The Boys of Summer is is speculative fiction, science fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy, incorporating political, economic, and religious philosophies. It reminds me simultaneously of Stand by MeThe Omen, and The Truman Show.” Lone Star Literary Life

Both a haunting coming-of-age story set in North Texas against the backdrop of a deadly tornado, and a character-driven, deeply-affecting supernatural thriller. In 1979, a massive tornado devastates the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, leaving scores dead, thousands homeless, and nine-year-old Todd Willis in a coma, fighting for his life. Four years later, Todd awakens to a world that looks the same but feels different in a way he can’t quite grasp. For Todd, it’s a struggle to separate fact from fiction as he battles lingering hallucinations from his long sleep. The new friends Todd makes in 1983 are fascinated with his experience and become mesmerized by his strange relationship with the world. Together the five boys come of age during a dark, fiery summer where they find first love, betrayal, and a secret so terrible they agree to never speak of it again. But darkness returns to Wichita Falls twenty-five years later, and the boys–now men–are forced to reunite and confront the wounds from their past. When their memories of that childhood summer refuse to align with reality, the friends embark upon a search for truth that will threaten their lives, and transform their understanding of each other–and the world itself–forever.

THOMAS WORLD

“Reading Thomas World is like gazing into the fragments of a shattered mirror and seeing someone else’s face reflected back. I couldn’t tear my eyes away, and after I put the book down, it stayed with me as a little voice in my head insisting: ‘None of this is real.’ Wildly hallucinatory, disturbingly schizoid, and bloody marvellous!” – Mark Hodden, Philip K. Dick Award-winning author of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack

“A crackling thriller brimming with both paranoia and philosophical conundrums.” – KA Bedford, author of Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait

Thomas World made me forget I was on an airplane. Cox communicates his plot beautifully interlacing heartwarming scenes with the bleakness of a man’s life coming down around him. To fans of Philip K. Dick, or films like Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I think Thomas World will be right in the wheel house.” – Staffers Musings

Author Richard Cox (that’s me) is known for combining high concept ideas with adrenaline-fueled suspense, and he’s taken the concept to a mind-bending new level in the psychological thriller Thomas World (Night Shade books, September 6, 2011). Thomas World explores the mind of a man who suspects his life isn’t real, that everything he knows to be true might not be true at all. And once he begins to question the most essential facets of everyday reality, his life spins quickly out of control. On a journey to find answers to our most intringuing questions, Thomas turns reality inside out…not just for himself, but for everyone. Including you.

Read about the genesis of Thomas World.

Read “Let There Be Ants.”

THE GOD PARTICLE

Barnes & Noble: “A speculative masterwork…Comparable to “consciousness- expanding” novels like James L. Halperin’s The First Immortal, Stephen Baxter’s Evolution, and Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt, Cox’s ambitious second novel fearlessly explores the gray area between science and religion with both tact and insight. The God Particle is a cerebral page-turner of the highest order; readers will find it practically impossible to put this book down before getting to the last page.”

Kirkus Reviews: “Laden with eye-popping special effects, Cox’s follow-up to his 2004 debut (Rift) turns on speculative high-energy physics and the Higgs boson…A gripper of a yarn, swatting around really big ideas.”

Publishers Weekly: “A bizarre human experiment complicates a physicist’s quest for the Nobel Prize in Cox’s engaging, challenging second novel, a wryly comic thriller that incorporates several concepts from modern particle theory.”

Booklist: “This is an imaginative mix of mystery and fantasy.”

There is a divine spark within us all. In one man, that spark is about to explode. American businessman Steve Keeley is hurtled three stories to the cold cobblestone street in Zurich. In the days that follow, a doctor performs miraculous surgery on Keeley, who wakes up to find that everything about his world has changed. He seems to sense things before they happen, and he thinks he’s capable of feats that are clearly impossible. It’s a strange and compelling new world for him, one he quickly realizes is also incredibly dangerous. Meanwhile at a $12 billion facility in hardscrabble North Texas, a super collider lies two hundred feet beneath the Earth’s surface. Leading a team of scientists, Mike McNair, a brilliant physicist, works to uncover one of the universe’s greatest secrets-a theoretical particle that binds the universe together, often called The God Particle. When his efforts are undermined by the man who has poured his own vast fortune into the project, McNair begins to suspect that something in his research has gone very, very wrong. Now, these two men are about to come together, battling mysteries of science and of the soul-and venturing to a realm beyond reason, beyond faith, perhaps even beyond life and death.

RIFT

“…fast-paced narrative and a well-drawn protagonist. Cox has enough natural storytelling skill to keep his audience hooked.” — Publishers Weekly

“Cox’s first person, present-tense narrative gives Rift an immediacy and urgency that is the equivalent of a movie unspooling.” — Tulsa World

“Cox has created some interesting characters, including the unlikely protagonist…” — Chicago Sun Times

“Richard Cox… is already making a name for himself in the writing world of science fiction and suspense.” — The Daily O’Collegian

“The answers [Cameron] finds to the doubts that motivate him are surprising and satisfying. The physics of transmitting matter is made believable. Packed with unexpected plot twists including murder, this book is impossible to put down.” — The Daily Oklahoman

In an age where reality and science fiction are colliding, Richard Cox’s extraordinary debut thriller takes its place as an all-too-believable novel of white-knuckle adventure. For when an ordinary man makes one great leap for mankind, he triggers a chain of events that endangers his life, fractures his certainty, and plunges everyone he knows into a place where nothing is what it seems. Cameron Fisher is bored. With his wife, Misty. With his job as an accountant at NeuroStor, the high-tech microchip firm. With everything about his life–until he is offered five million dollars to test a secret new technology that uses a wrinkle in quantum physics to transmit matter from one place to another. A company’s high-stakes brainchild is ready for its first human test. And Cameron Fisher is all too happy to oblige.

The science and technology of Rift.