Halfskin Boxed: A Technothriller

Tony Bertauski
12
Free sample

For fans of Bladerunner and Brave New World comes a new twist…

Perfection has arrived.

Synthetic stem cells mean no more organ failure, no more pharmaceuticals. No cancer. The human race is stronger, smarter and prettier. Is it better?

Cali Richards is a nanobiometric engineer who has been her younger brother’s guardian since their parents died. She’s lost too many people in her life to lose another. When the government declares the Halfskin Laws will shut down anyone with too many synthetics, she decides to hide him. But even brilliance can succumb to the pressure of suffering. And synthetics can’t cure insanity.

Follow their twisting, slippery grip on reality as they strive to find happiness in a world that has everything it could possibly want.


REVIEWS FOR HALFSKIN

“This, quite frankly, is one of the best books I’ve read.” –John Gregory Hancock, Amazon Reviewer“WOW.” –Amanda Taylor, Amazon Reviewer“I was not expecting the twists…” –Amazon Reviewer“Hated finishing this book… many hours of enjoyment.” –Eleanor Wendlberger, Amazon Reviewer“Halfskin is one of the best science fiction stories I’ve read this year.” –ACFlory, Amazon Reviewer“Twisty turny, unexpectedness!!!!!! LOVED THE BOOK!” –Aisha-Kimberly Hashmi, Amazon Reviewer“One of the best stories i[sic] have read in a long time!” Brian, Amazon Reviewer“I was absolutely hooked from page 1!” –Amazon Reviewer


AWARDS

Underground Reviews 2015 Top Pick Award

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Additional Information

Publisher
Tony Bertauski
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Published on
Sep 18, 2015
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Pages
900
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ISBN
9781516337163
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Sagas
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Science Fiction / Cyberpunk
Fiction / Science Fiction / General
Fiction / Science Fiction / Genetic Engineering
Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological
Fiction / Thrillers / Technological
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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A synthetic stem cell called a biomite can replace any cell in your body. They are infallible. As our percentages of biomites rise, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier. We become better.


Can we resist the temptation of perfection? Are we still human when our bodies are replaced by synthetic replications?


If biomites exist, laws will be imposed to prevent excess and abuse. Those with 50% biomites will no longer be considered human. 


They will be halfskin.


Halfksin: The Vignettes is a compendium of short stories found throughout the Halfskin trilogy, a harbinger of what humanity’s pursuit of perfection may look like.

 

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?

Breathe.


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. 


We map the universe with five senses 
Interpret reality with our mind 
We rely on this body 
What a poor vessel it is 

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. 

Black market biomites, called nixes, can’t be detected by the government’s halfskin hunter, M0ther. Jamie would have to sacrifice her clay to get the nixes, but they would make her halfskin without anyone knowing. Including M0ther. But first she has to find them. 

Nix Richards can help. He’s the first halfskin to escape M0ther and Jamie has something he wants. He’ll need her to help him find a fabricator. He’ll betray anyone to get it, even those closest to him. 

This psychological thriller will keep Nix and Jamie second-guessing every move while they elude M0ther and Marcus Anderson, the man that wants to rid the world of biomites. But in the end, they’ll all discover just how deep the betrayal goes. 


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?

Breathe.


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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