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This is Ryder’s last stop.
It’s a half million acre ranch and home to forty teenagers. It’s also home to a famous and eccentric philanthropist with a peculiar obsession with the North Pole. His name is Billy “Big Game” Sinterklaas. But shortly after Ryder arrives, secret messages begin leading him to what’s really happening. Billy Big Game believes that Santa Claus is real.
This is the year he proves it.
He says there’s one Christmas story no one has ever heard, the legend of the biggest and baddest reindeer of them all, the one who leads the sleigh and protects the herd. But Billy Big Game doesn’t want to discover the last reindeer. He wants to capture him.
That’s why he brought Ryder to the ranch.
REVIEWS FOR THE CLAUS UNIVERSE
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?
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.
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.