Maze: A Maze Novella

Tony Bertauski
11

 Ten players.
Memories wiped, their bodies each dropped into a tank. Their consciousness thrown into the Maze—a virtual reality where anyone is anything and anywhere. Battles are fought, riddles are solved. To win a lifetime of riches one has to escape the Maze. First, they have to remember who they are.

Some never do.
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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. 


3.9
11 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Tony Bertauski
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Pages
45
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Science Fiction / General
Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
 
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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. 


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Read between the lies.

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“Like a house of mirrors, The Wife Between Us kept me guessing around every corner, delving into the complexities of marriage, friendship, and obsession.” —Javier Ramirez, The Book Table

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