Author Tony Bertauski is like no author I have ever read before. One of my personal favorites I am always excited to see a new book or collection of his come out, and I grab it fast. His characters are complete and relatable, and his writing is a refreshing and unique. Enjoy!
Halfskin Boxed: A Technothriller
by Tony Bertauski
Genre: Teen & Young Adult | Computers & Technology | Science Fiction | Fantasy
Underground Reviews 2015 Top Pick Award
Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease. No cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier.
We become better.
At what point are we no longer human?
Jamie wants to be a halfskin.
Her life has become dull and pointless. If she had more biomites — synthetic stem cells that promise hope — she could take control of her life. But Jamie’s body is already 49.9% biomites. The rest is clay — her God-given organic cells. Any more biomites and she becomes a halfskin. And halfskins are shutdown.
But there is a way.
Fabbers, slabbers and fakies were dehumanizing slurs for fabricated humans. Bricks, however, was the People’s favorite.
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
WHAT GENRE DO YOU PREFER?
Science fiction, dystopia, technothriller and, to some extent, young adult. I do have a series of novellas in the vampire genre. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t fit. That character, Drayton, came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. The technothriller Halfskin is similar to vampires in that technology promises immortality and complete control of our bodies. But then what?
WHY A SYNTHETIC STEM CELL?
Organic life is too nilly-willy. We’re limited by our DNA. Give it to the scientists to perfect this vehicle that carries us around because it is a vehicle. If we no longer have organic bodies, if every one of our cells is replaced by something manmade all the way down to the neurons and synapses, then what are we? What if our world is just a computerized environment, ala The Matrix? Would we know the difference? Look, we’re printing organs today. I’m not, but someone is. Some genius has figured out how to push play and heart or liver or kidney comes down the chute. Halfskin takes the idea into the distant future and explores whether this leads to more happiness or just more of the same. Because more money, more problems.
DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?
Day job, I’m a college horticulture teacher. Writing is a passion. No plans to change it.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?
Omnipresent supergalactic oneness.
IF WE HAD A CUSTOM THAT ALLOWED US TO EAT OUR CHILDREN, WHAT KIND OF SAUCE WOULD YOU USE?
Ketchup, the miracle condiment.
ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE
OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?
I offer white bread and the toaster gives back crunchy, brown bread. Never doubt a true miracle.
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