Getting ‘punked: Synthetic Dreams

Synthetic Dreams–a cyberpunk romance–released this week from Carina Press.  It’s my first push into the ‘punks (I have a not-quite-a-steam-punk and bio-punk lurking in the background too) and I’m hooked.

Dreams started with an image of my hero, Paul Cross, sitting on the heroine’s battered couch, waiting for the heroine, Vyn. The room was reminiscent of  the squalor of 1984, but he was beautiful, rich, immaculate. So that incongruity pushed me towards a society of extremes. With tech. It was at this point I realised a cyberpunk bunny had finally snagged me.  I saw Lawrence Person’s quote on Wikipedia and ran with it:

“Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.”

Add to this my attempt to play with quantum key distribution, Vyn’s quiet desperation for illegally obtained coffee and Paul’s obsessions and Synthetic Dreams was born.

And the other ‘punks? Watch this space… 😀


Vynessa Somerton was just a girl when she learned about true evil. An encounter with the tyrannical Corporation scarred her body and exiled her to the crime-ridden S-District. Now an adult, Vyn creates glamours, worn by those who visit a virtual playground to live synthetic dreams. She’s tried to stay unnoticed by the Corporation, but her latest invention has brought their agents to her door.

Paul Cross works for the Corporation, but he’s been plotting their downfall since they took his brother and replaced him with an imposter. Paul has a plan to get his brother back, but he’s going to need Vyn and her invention to carry it out.

Vyn agrees to help Paul, but their alliance shatters the barriers she’s put up to protect herself, tempting her to give in to desire. Just as Vyn starts to trust Paul and believe he wants her, scars and all, the Corporation prepares for its final move. Can Vyn trust Paul completely, or has he been using her all along?

You can read an excerpt here

There’s also a Behind the Scenes look at the novella here

Carina Press || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon DE || ARe || B&N


Kim Knox brews sex, magic, darkness and technology in a little corner of North West England. She writes erotic science fiction and fantasy romance for Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and others.

Website || Blog || Twitter || Facebook



  1. That’s a distinct visual that snagged you for Synthetic Dreams. And I’ll be waiting for more on that biopunk!

  2. I knew you’d want to know about the bio-punk. It’s…brewing.

  3. Congrats on the new release, Kim. I haven’t read much cyber or bio punk yet, but I plan to this year. Synthetic Dreams sounds like a good one to start with. I found Ella’s ‘Jaq’s Harp’ very intriguing too–the beanstalk was an ingenious touch.

  4. So looking forward to reading this one!

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