Plausible Reality with Kirby Crow and Reya Starck

Welcome to the Circuit Theory virtual book tour! As a thank you for helping us celebrate the release of Circuit Theory, we’ll be giving one lucky reader a $10 gift credit to Riptide Publishing! To enter, just leave a comment with your email address included below. Earn additional entries by commenting along each stop of the tour. Thank you to MANtastic Fiction for hosting us and helping us celebrate this exciting release from Riptide Publishing!

Plausible Reality
Kirby Crow

Writers chase their dreams across the page. In “Circuit Theory”, Reya Starck and I took elements and tools of virtual worlds that we knew already existed and pushed them a small step further.

Defining what constitutes science fiction isn’t difficult. Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with futuristic plausibility. Not unarguable, only placing somewhere in the realm of possibility. Sometimes the argument is half the fun; “Could it happen? Will it happen? How could that come about? What would have to go wrong (or right) for the future to turn out this way?”

When people hear “science fiction”, they tend to think of giant spaceships or lifelike robots, neither of which truly exist yet. It’s not set in stone how far into the future a writer has to peer for the story to qualify as scifi, but I would say it’s about a millisecond.

Real-life future romances like Circuit Theory are not only plausible, but inevitable, including the way that Dante and Byron rarely address their real-life problems and selves. Their avatars are what matter to them, their living presence in the virtual world, and how other virtual citizens participating in that world perceive them there. What exists in the flesh becomes much less important when most of your life is spent interacting through digital expression. The projection becomes the real you.

We can already see the spores of this in several areas of social media. Our web presence and how our readers and Facebook friends and Twitter buddies ingest the parts of ourselves that we produce for them has become vital to our daily lives. The online presence that we create is how we want to be perceived by friends and individuals who interact with us solely through that medium.

In Circuit Theory, the avatars of Dante and Byron are involved in a complex gay romance that follows carefully-orchestrated ground rules that only work inside the virtual realm of Synth. The problems they encounter are unique to that world, but surprisingly relevant to their daily lives. If you’ve ever been upset by someone unfriending you on Facebook, you know what I’m talking about.

The importance to us of binary contact can’t be downplayed anymore. It’s part of the digital culture that we’ve created, and like all creations, it’s going to grow and transform into its own animal, despite the best intentions of its makers. In the time it takes you to read this sentence, the future is already here.

-Kirby Crow

Attraction is Binary.

Dante and Byron are avatars. Driven by human beings, yet still only digital representations of their ideal selves. In reality, they live far apart, but share most of their waking and working hours together in a virtual world called Synth.

In Synth, like in most code, the laws are infinitely more simple and infinitely more complex. Navigating the system rules of virtual lovers is like steering through a minefield of deceit, suspicion, heartbreak, and half-truths.

Under pressure, Dante makes a friendship that trips Byron’s warning bells, disrupting their carefully-ordered lives and calling into question the wisdom of trusting your heart to a man you can never touch in the flesh.

Kirby Crow worked as an entertainment editor and ghostwriter for several years before happily giving it up to bake more brownies, read more yaoi, play more video games, and write her own novels. Kirby is a 2010 winner of the Epic Award and a two-time winner of the Rainbow Award for her published works in fiction. Her published novels are:

Prisoner of the Raven (historical romance, Torquere Press, 2005)
Scarlet and the White Wolf: The Pedlar and the Bandit King (fantasy romance, Torquere Press, 2006)
Scarlet and the White Wolf: Mariner’s Luck (fantasy romance, Torquere Press, 2007)
Scarlet and the White Wolf: The Land of Night (fantasy romance, Torquere Press, 2007)
Angels of the Deep (paranormal/horror, MLR Press, 2009)
Circuit Theory (scifi, Riptide, 2012)


Reya Starck lives in England, never gets quite enough sleep, and is a professional procrastinator and consumer of chocolate. By day she is an intrepid bacteriologist, eradicating microbes for a better world order. By night she writes wonderfully queer stories featuring an array of lovely men.