Genre: NA Contemporary
Word Count: 50,000
Twenty-two-year-old Evan returns to his privileged home and new BMW in oil-rich Alberta from Columbia University with a commerce degree and no direction. His college friends have moved forward with their lives, most working for multinational oil companies. Chantal, his high school girlfriend, has their life planned out as a socialite couple moving in political circles, but Evan can’t bring himself to care.
As Evan gets reacquainted with his old friends and scores never-ending eight-balls from his old coke dealer, he learns his friend River has chosen the unexpected path of producing graphic online videos. Evan is shocked at his old friend’s willingness to post his violent films online and is intrigued by the amount of notoriety his friend receives from anonymous sycophants. The lure of fast money and online popularity forces Evan to choose between a daily grind at an oil company, or sink into the cesspool of River's violent video productions.
Intrigued, Evan takes part in the production of one video, inducing painful torture on a girl for the pleasure of others. If he doesn’t pull himself away from his friend’s obsessive impulses, he risks becoming the same type of monster as River and losing Chantal along with any future political opportunity.
DOOMED AND COOL is a gritty, new adult contemporary at 50,000 words. A modern-day take on Less Than Zero, and similar in feel to The Slaves of New York, it explores the depth to which someone will go for instant online recognition and validation.
“I hope you packed some warm clothes,” she says.
She flicks on the signal, and we turn to exit down the ramp and onto the four-lane highway toward the city. The traffic is dense because of rush hour, but she handles it with ease, moving smoothly between the other vehicles.
“Did you hear me?” she asks.
“Yeah,” I say. “Warm clothes.”
The fact that she is talking about appropriate clothing doesn’t bother me, but I start to get uncomfortable at being home and feel that, other than getting back on a plane, nothing else matters. I reach into my carry-on bag and pull out my glass vial of coke and do a hit. I tilt it in her direction.
“Do you want some?”
She shakes her head.
“Not while I’m driving.”
I put the coke in my pocket and push into the chair, letting the heat sink into my body. The lights along the edge of the highway swipe across her dashboard in a regular rhythm and I start counting them. A wave comes over me, and then I don’t care anymore. I don’t care that I am twenty-one and it is May and that my flight from New York was delayed and that the couple from Fort McMurray, who were sitting with me in first class, got drunk to the point that the man threw up and the lady laughed like a hyena. I don’t care that the spring thaw splattered my new Hugo Boss shoes, which felt like a perfect fit when I put them on this morning.