(If you’re here for the SFR Brigade Presents excerpt, please go HERE.)
Veronica: Laura and I ‘met’ in the Science Fiction Romance community on Facebook and she’s written Passages, an exciting new science fiction romance featuring cyborgs. Take it away, Laura!
Laura: What do you think of when I say “cyborg”?One of my favorite shows as a kid was The Six Million Dollar Man. If you don’t recall the story, test pilot, Col. Steve Austin is injured in a crash and “repaired” with nuclear powered cybernetic parts—his legs, an eye and a hand. He becomes a secret operative using his increased speed and strength to fight for justice. And when Jamie Summers came along two years later in The Bionic Woman, I was in heaven. She’d damaged her legs in a parachuting accident, as well as one hand and her ear. They used their computer-like bodies to undertake secret missions, fight villains (and sometimes aliens!) and, for a precious time, had a romance storyline before the shows split off.
These two were the first cyborgs I had encountered, and they are the archetype I used to develop the cyborg characters in Passages. I love the idea of people being given biomechanical parts, and being able to tinker with those parts gave me the freedom to incorporate the features I needed for my story. The only problem I’ve had is with the name.
Cyborg is short for cybernetic organism. Darth Vader is a famous example, and the term is used widely. But when I talked to people about my story, they thought my characters were robots or AIs—Artificial Intelligence beings. In other words, not real humans.
This misunderstanding helped to shape one storyline, but it also made me hesitate to use the term cyborg. Instead, I have called my characters “electorgs,” short for electronic organisms, and described them as humans with electronic implants. I’m not sure a new term has cleared up the confusion…but writers are always testing the waters with new ideas, and the readers will let me know.
Fortunately, I’ve never been asked a tougher question—to explain how the body electronics work. Oddly, that’s just accepted.
Excerpt from Quinn’s point of view:
With lights flashing in my retina display, I jumped into action.
I tailed her through the store, out the front door and into the night. Up the cobbled main street we hammered. She darted down a side street. I followed. She cut through the dirt yard of a stable, bolted over a gate and fled through a field along a thread of smooth dirt. I pounded behind her.
Strings of new—or latent, perhaps suppressed?—information came to me. Eve was using the enhanced speed of a Class 1 Blackguard. If I wanted to catch her—
E-IV function desired? Activation procedures.
A demo clip appeared. I slowed and jabbed at the spot on my outer thigh. Eve looked over her shoulder, saw my action and burst into the fastest gait available in her system, ten miles per hour.
Seventeen seconds later, I snaked an arm around her waist and jogged her to a stop against my chest. “Zero to twenty-five in fifteen seconds,” I panted. “Duration, four and a half minutes, but adequate. To outrun an enemy. Or catch my prey.”
“Damn your E-run-only features,” she muttered with a glare, but then her yellow-tinted eyes froze in place.
I tapped my fingers across her keypad rapidly, then slowed as every diagnostic returned a normal result. Normal, except for a hum I detected in the overall system. Or rather, her body.
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VS NOTE: This is not a stop on the official bog tour so there is no sign up or chance to win here. Visit her website link to learn more about the giveaway.
“Find someone you can trust.”
For decades, Eve and her fellow electorgs—part human, part machine—have worked on the quiet planet of Aarde, beating back toxic spores that threaten to poison the native people. When the new commander halts work right before a deadly spore release, Eve frantically plots to protect the villagers she considers friends and family.
On the run after an ambush, Quinn holds a secret that nearly got him killed. If only he knew what it was. Though the attack scrambled his memories, Quinn is sure of one thing—he can’t trust the electorgs. But they know information he desperately needs to puzzle out who wants him dead, and why.
With the fate of life on Aarde in the balance, the logic of joining forces with Eve overrides Quinn’s fears…and erupts into an attraction that could prove fatal for both of them.
Because the planet’s commander might just be Quinn himself.
Passages is on preorder & sale for .99 through February 5th.
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Before kids, Laurel Wanrow studied and worked as a naturalist—someone who leads wildflower walks and answers calls about the snake that wandered into your garage. During a stint of homeschooling, she turned her writing skills to fiction to share her love of the land, magical characters and fantastical settings.
When not living in her fantasy worlds, Laurel camps, hunts fossils and argues with her husband and two new adult kids over whose turn it is to clean house. Though they live on the East Coast, a cherished family cabin in the Colorado Rockies holds Laurel’s heart.
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(VS NOTE: This Giveaway is not on this blog and I am not involved in selecting or announcing the winner. Please visit Laurel’s blog.)