Shortcut – A Jason Maxx Thriller

Author: Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Series: The Jason Maxx/Shortcut Thrillers
Released: September 2023
Publisher: Villainous Press
978-1-62225-1940 hc | 978-1-62225-1957 pb | B0CF6SSSST ebook
| B0CGYGM1RT Audiobook
Buy: AmazonBarnes & NobleBookshop.orgGoodreads

For fans of Andy Weir, from the first editor of THE MARTIAN,THE MARTIAN and PROJECT HAIL MARY meet GOOD WILL HUNTING meet THE X-FILES in this page-turning thriller…

A mathematical genius. A formula that speeds up space travel called SHORTCUT. His loving wife. When Laura Maxx disappears after an attack that leaves Jason Maxx in the hospital, his only goal is to find her and bring her back. Then he gets a message: Laura is alive. Somewhere in space. To get her back, he’ll do whatever it takes—even taking on government agents who might try to stop him. Racing against the clock to perfect the formula and the system that relies on it and find a suitable craft to take him out there, Jason finds he needs more than math to succeed this time.

An unforgettable near future, hard science fiction thriller from the producer of Donnie Darko and A Time To Kill and the #1 bestselling author and first editor of Andy Weir’s The Martian, SHORTCUT will have you on the edge of your seat!


“In this cross between hard science and near-future speculative fiction, Stefan Rudnicki narrates with clarity and intensity. A brilliant mathematician develops a shortcut that will make space travel to distant stars a reality. When the man’s equally brilliant wife disappears and it’s thought that she’s being held hostage on an alien spacecraft at the edge of the solar system, Rudnicki deftly shifts from the tones of venture capitalists and military personnel to the desperate emotions of a man who is willing to do anything to rescue the woman he loves. As he races to complete his shortcut, the math genius must maneuver around NASA bureaucrats and Pentagon hardheads. Detailed and compelling, this sci-fi story proves that the sound of tech talk can also be the sound of adventure.” —AudioFile

“It’s a wonderful story. The characters are believable and sympathetic (the ones that are supposed to be), and it has a message that we can truly get behind.” —Golden Voice, Audie and Hugo winning narrator Stefan Rudnicki upon completing the recording of the audiobook for SHORTCUT.

From the Author
SHORTCUT has been my longest to write, most challenging to research novel yet, but what a blast. I met some incredible people, and I think together we came up with an incredible adventure. I can’t wait for you to read it and, fingers crossed, maybe see the movie sometime soon as well! Thanks for your interest and support!

“Smart, original, and it twists like an ice dancer. You’ll want to read Shortcut or see the movie they’re  making from this page-turning thriller.

Jason Maxx is a genius who has figured out a way to use lasers and quantum entanglement to travel faster than the speed of light. It uses a mathematical formula called Shortcut. But something, or someone, seems to be hindering his research at critical points.  When his wife, the laser part of the team—Laura Maxx—disappears after an attack that leaves Jason in the hospital, his only goal is to find her and bring her back. Then he gets a message from Laura: she is alive but the readings of where her messages are coming from only make sense if Laura Maxx is somewhere in space. To get her back, he accelerates his research, going for private funding when his usual sources won’t help. Racing against the clock to perfect the formula and the system that relies on it, and find a suitable craft to take him out there, Jason taps surprising sources and relationships while being pursued by those who want Shortcut to fail, including government agents and, perhaps, rivals.

How he overcomes these obstacles—and where Laura Maxx actually is, are both surprising and yet feel as if they are ripped from near-future headlines.”—Abyss & Apex Magazine, October 2023

(Watch the video review here) “SHORTCUT is a powerful, fast-paced, science fiction thriller. It grabbed my attention from page one and took me on a heart-pounding ride, with unexpected plot twists, and surprises at every turn. Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s characters are very deep, and the sci-fi, paranormal, space plot is totally engrossing. I was emotionally invested in how it all turned out and could not put the book down. I can’t wait to see SHORTCUT made into a movie. I’ve always been a Trekkie, love Star Wars, The X-files, and more recently Stranger Things. I also love a great thriller. Shortcut has it all! It’s like Apollo 13 only better!”—Sylvana Candela – Author, Monarch Rising: dystopian book series.


Blasters and Blades Podcast

Future Bestsellers podcast hosted me to talk SHORTCUT—Listen here:

Frank LoBuono hosted me on his podcast BEING FRANK
I had the pleasure of appearing August 24th, 2023 on Captain Phil’s Planet radio show for WUSB in Stony Brook, NY talking SHORTCUT, among other things. Listen here.