VBT – The Amazing, Unfolding World of Machine Civilization


The Amazing Unfolding World of Machine Civilization Series

by Clayton Barnett


GENRE: Science Fiction


NOTE: Echoes of Family Lost and The Fourth Law are only $0.99



A history beginning in our near future, these stories are set in a world where the US dollar has been displaced as the world’s reserve currency, prompting its economic and political collapse, with a few areas able to hold onto civilization.

At the same time, across the Pacific, under a resurgent economy brought about by the implementation of new technology and deregulation, three Japanese companies produce breakthroughs in both artificial intelligence and robotics. These newly made people exhibit an odd interest in the goings-on of the former United States.

To-date, my chronicling of this interest of theirs has led to stories that populate five novels, which I would like to share with everyone now!

The Fourth Law – In the near future, 23-year-old apprentice nurse Lily Barrett lives in a shattered time. Following its economic collapse, the US has devolved into a group of a few barely functional smaller states and vast swathes of barbarian badlands. His sister has been missing for years, and her father, after earning the opprobrium of most of the world for running a state terror organization, presumed dead.

Two things keep her going: her live-in job at a small, Catholic orphanage in the city of Waxahachie, Republic of Texas, and Ai, her odd but dear friend, whom she met online; a young woman who only shows herself to Lily as a rendered CG image.

Troubled by her past, haunted by her name, and facing an uncertain future, Lily seems only a quiet, simple life. But, that past and her present conspire against her.


Echoes of Family Lost – Alive! After four years believing her older sister lost and presumed dead in the horrible Breakup of the United States, Lily Barrett gets word from her dear friend, Ai – and Ai’s family of Machine Civilization – that Callie Barrett is very likely alive… but over 900 miles away in Knoxville.

Using the resources of her and Ai’s family, Lily puts together a search party to go find Callie: old, broken, and burnt Orloff – an expert in surviving in the Badlands, Ai’s little sister, Fausta – her machine mind controlling a Combat Android to protect her friend, all together in a cart pulled by their sturdy pony, Clyde.

It’s almost a thousand miles to go, with something very odd trying to limit their ability to communicate over distance and even to cross bridges. A chance meeting along the way in Huntsville, former Alabama, wrecks their plans, and puts all of their lives in danger.


Cursed Hearts – Even with San Diego occupied by the Mexican Army, Katarina Sosabowski pursues her MBA at UCSD, and is happy to welcome and put up her visiting step-cousin from Japan, Christopher Dennou, for a night so he can complete his enrollment the following day.

But a minor earthquake brings a major surprise: Chris’s younger sister, Maya, murders their mother and escapes Neuroi Institute, the research facility that created them.

While Chris and ‘Cat’ grow closer to one another, Maya inexorably crosses an ocean and half a continent to take back her brother, killing anyone who gets in her way.

Cover_cursed hearts

Friend and Ally – Model 5 is a prototype designed to fit seemlessly into human society. A meeting in Tokyo derails Nichole’s planned training as she is dispatched to Portland, former Oregon; the last working deep water port on the West Coast of the imploding US.

There, under her cover as a Graduate Engineering Student, she is to do her utmost to nurture the people and politics of the City-State into a Friend and Ally of the Japanese Empire. But from the first day in her new home, all of Nichole’s plans go awry.

Beset by those who want this small lamp of Western Civilization snuffed out, Nichole must find within herself the courage and ability to protect her new friends, at whatever consequence to herself.

Cover_Friend and Ally

Foes and Rivals – After residing nearly a year in Portland, Nichole’s life seems to finally settle down: with her classes, friends, and lover. But troubling rumors about secret deals between the City’s master and the savage horsemen to the east reach her ears.

With her own skills augmented by her friends and allies, she sets plans into motion she hopes will thwart those in opposition to her dream of a peaceful future.

Once again denied a quiet, normal life, Nichole is faced to make hard, dangerous choices that will jeopardize her, her friends, and the survival of the City itself.

Cover_Foes and Rivals



The Fourth Wall:






LILY! You’re not a wolf! Wake up!”

She groggily sat up from her bed. Huh?

It’s three in the morning… you need to help your kids!” Ai shouted at her from her phone.

The kids!

She flung the cover aside and pushed her glasses onto her face. Now she could hear the siren. What was it this time? Tornado, airstrike, barbarians… the last was almost a year ago when they lost Texarkana. Wait. She shook her head to try to wake up. This time, she’d an unimpeachable information source.

Ai. Status.” She said into the darkness.

A fission weapon was detonated outside San Francisco about ten minutes ago; the weather pattern indicates fallout will travel north of you, into parts of former Kansas and Oklahoma. But, winds do change…”

Right.” She started pulling her clothes on. “Wake up the Fitzhughs; I’ll be there in a minute.”

She walked from her bedroom through her main room, glancing at the monitors. She suddenly bit hard on her lower lip. On the monitors, Ai stood at attention in a Texas Field Forces uniform. For some unknown reason, she forgot to render her pants. Striped green and white panties? Lily worried about her friend sometimes.


AUTHOR Bio and Links

Author Image

One time engineer, some time pharmacy technician, full time husband and father, Clayton Barnett stumbled into writing a traditional novel November 2014 during National Novel Writing Month. Liking the results, he edited what would become “The Fourth Law” and set about teaching himself self-publishing. In the following four years he has produced four more novels as well as a children’s early reader, all in what is now called Machine Civilization.

Clayton Barnett lives in central Ohio with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs.

Book Links







Clayton Barnett will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for being my guest here today. Tell us about you. 

Born in Texas, raised in the Mountain West, currently in central Ohio. By degree and temperament a design engineer but currently a pharmacy tech… and writer! Wife of a quarter-century and two teen daughters. And two dogs.

Converted to Christianity when 32 and was rewarded with my wife getting cancer and me finding out I’m a mule. On a whim took up writing books a bit over four years ago; five novels and a children’s book to-date with at least two more novels already in mind.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

Besides the obvious, Jesus, I’d pick Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the Roman Republic’s first true Dictator. A complex, difficult man. I’d like his thoughts about the current death-throes of the United States.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

My latest, The Saga of Nichole 5, comes in two parts: “Friend and Ally” and “Foes and Rivals.” Having explored friendships, families, and lovers over my earlier books, I wanted to take all that experience and try adding a little politics and war. I am, honestly, very pleased with how it turned out!

What is your writing process? 

I listen to background music… but often in a foreign language so I do not get distracted. Otherwise, when in ‘serious writer mode,’ I come home from DayJob, change clothes, mix or pour a drink, and sit down for at least an hour. Writing is a job and must be treated as such: professionally.

Tell us about your main characters:

I’ll try to keep this short while still touching on all five novels…
“The Fourth Law” – Lily Barrett, early 20’s, nurse apprentice. Haunted by the loss of her sister and the genocidal acts of her father, she meets another young woman, Ai, online, and comes to love her as her best friend.
“Echoes of Family Lost” – Lily again, with her friend Fausta (Ai’s kid sister) acting as a bodyguard. Also, the Hartmann family (Leslie, Callie, little Gary), part of a team trying to resuscitate a dead world.
“Cursed Hearts” – step-cousins Chris and Cat, students at UC San Diego, who fall in love. He’s a bit more than human and early on we find out that his sister, Maya, is on her way from their ‘home’ in Japan… to kill them.
“The Saga of Nichole 5 (parts 1&2)” – Nichole herself is an android made to fit seamlessly into human society. Although made in Osaka she “looks like a poster-child for Irish Tourism” and is dispatched by her Empress to try to help a tiny remnant of modern civilization, Portland, former Oregon, survive.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.

Oh… this is a tough one! I don’t know many modern movies so some of these might seem out of left field!
Lily Barrett and Ai: Anna May Wong and Kirsten Dunst (in cosplay).
Fausta: Rosa Salazar (as Alita… and I bet Fausta could take her)
Chris and Cat and Maya: Kazuya Kamenashi and Anna Tsuchiya and Rin Asuka.
Nichole5: Reba McEntire (young)… and Nichole is frequently on horseback

What are you working on next?

I’m about 20k words into “Worlds Without End,” another Machine Civilization story. So far it’s a bit of a love story and science project, but I’m thinking about how to toss a few buckets of blood into the plot!

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

Why, take a book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, of course!
And it also helps to physically get in front of people: I’ve given talks about creative writing and self-publishing at local schools and conventions. I have been to a few ‘local author fairs’… looking someone in the eye, shaking their hand, talking about my stories… you would be surprised at the response!

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

[glances left at shelves with about a thousand books on them… errr…]
In the sense of “trapped on a desert island” kind of favorite? Then how about Barzun’s “From Dawn to Decadence.”

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I have in this trainwreck of a culture, by the grace of God, kept my marriage intact for over twenty-five years while raising – to-date – two wonderful GenZyklon daughters.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

The answer I wrote, based upon an old pulp SF story, was removed at the request of my wife, mentioned just above, who quipped, “do you want to be ‘disappeared’?”

List 5 things on your bucket list:

In no particular order:

  • Visit Comiket and Akihabara
  • Visit the Holy Land
  • See my daughters marry good men
  • Live long enough to see the development of Marie Rose sexbots
  • Die before the events in my books come to pass.

Any final thoughts?

Thank you, everyone, for reading and following the tour! Please read and review my books!

Posted on March 7, 2019, in Book Tour, Guest Authors and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I encourage reading so having a family who loves to read I sure support.Thanks for sharing your terrific read with us.


  2. Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂


  3. I enjoyed the post.


  4. Morning! Thank you for hosting my penultimate book tour day!


  1. Pingback: MachCiv Book Tour – Penultimate Day – machciv

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