Date of Award

Winter 2017

Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Call Number

PS3610.O2855 V4 2017

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

David Anthony Durham

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Hand

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


Velocity Blues is a first-person, future-noir, science fiction, mystery novel with action, suspense, humor, romance, Chandleresque dialog, and a Philip K. Dick view of the future. The story is about privileged young people called Energy who were genetically engineered to be brilliant, creative and healthy, but in their late teens, they become exceedingly erratic and uncontrollably energetic; their minds become so frenzied that their former genius and creativity are now frustratingly inaccessible. Zip has only recently gone through these physical and psychological changes, but he has already been rejected by society and even his parents – going from loved and admired to a frenetic annoyance. Creating this new group of ostracized people enables Velocity Blues to explore society’s reluctance to own up to its own failures, and the exploitation of those who are powerless, especially if they are obviously different. To fight for and secure a better future for all Energy, Zip must grow up quickly, summon courage he doesn’t know he has and accept responsibilities he does not desire, all the while struggling with his relentless need to expend energy, his lack of focus, and his constant hunger.