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Excerpt from Big Jack is Dead:
"I flew to Houston first class. Why not? Your dad only kills himself once. The seat next to me was empty, which was great since I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. So what brings you to Texas?
Slumping back in the seat, I turned my head and pressed my cheek against the cool leather. The plane wobbled and dipped, rattling a tray nearby. Two men across the aisle stopped talking briefly and the seat belt reminder chimed and lit up. We jerked around then hit smooth air, leveling out. An airline attendant passed, offering blankets. I closed my eyes to erase the people around me, cupping a glass of ice in my left hand. The whiskey was gone, but the smell was still strong and the ice cubes still carried the flavor. I struggled to unwind even as the warmth of the drink spread through me.
It would be impossible to relax around my family. They would come up with stunts I couldn’t predict, guided by unknowable winds that resulted in improbable acts."
As co-creator of acclaimed videogames such as Dishonored and Deus Ex, Harvey Smith uses the interactive medium to construct intricate, engaging worlds. However, his latest project is a semi-autobiographical, Southern Gothic novel that depicts inherited behaviors we cannot escape. Not only a well-crafted narrative, Big Jack is Dead gives insight into how personal demons are translated into power and escape themes in videogames.
Big Jack is Dead tells the story of Jack Hickman, an antisocial software exec who designs team-building applications in the late 1990s. Controlled and calculating, his world begins to splinter when he learns - in the middle of a corporate meeting - that his father has committed suicide. Returning home to the Gulf Coast, Jack struggles with a host of unresolved feelings as he buries the man he hated most.
Interwoven throughout the novel, chapters set in the 1970s depict Jack as a boy, chronicling his relationships with a storm-tossed mother and a menacing father, living in the shadows of the petrochemical plants scattered along the Gulf Coast.
Big Jack is Dead is now available in paperback and digitally on Amazon.com - www.amazon.com/Big-Jack-Dead-Harvey-Smith/dp/1482563657