I’m a big fan of mystery elements in SF stories. One of my all-time favourites is Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke, in which an intrepid human crew enters a giant, hollow alien cylinder adrift in our solar system. They know absolutely nothing about its origin or contents, and little by little, you could say step by tentative step, Clarke teases out the cylinder’s fascinating secret. It’s a masterpiece of plotting and ideas, as you never quite know what’s going to happen next.
In Cyber Sparks, I wanted to introduce readers to a hi-tech future Earth, and then peel back the layers with a mystery that goes right to the heart of man’s relationship with technology. That the heroine of the story is a cyber tenderfoot who’s knocked for a loop during her virgin upload, well, let’s just say it gives her ample opportunity to throw her caustic observations around. She doesn’t know what the #!@k’s going on, but she’s damn well gonna find out.
The story’s classified as F/F, but it isn’t a romance (the romantic elements don’t drive the plot) and there’s very little sensuality. Instead it’s a tale involving mutual but undeclared love between best friends wary of taking it any further. In this future world, the issue isn’t a social resistence to same-sex relationships—they’ve been accepted long since—it’s one of real-world-versus-cyber intimacy. The more connected we all are, the more isloated we feel.
Introducing Cyber Sparks…
Unlike my sparsely populated home, on Earth everything and everyone is plugged in. As a blacklisted model who needs to reboot my career, I can no longer resist the ultimate in virtual-reality networking: the omnipod. At first, altering the sights, sounds and scents around me seems harmless. Then I hear the voice.
Do not adjust your headset. You are in danger…
He says I must help him warn the public about the perils of the omnipod. I think he’s just a hacker—until innocent people start dying, and the police want to hold me responsible. Now, I’m on the run in a stolen shuttle, trying to figure out why he needs me. And if I don’t do as he says, he’ll kill the woman I love.
Currently scheduled for a late August release, Cyber Sparks is the latest book in my Cosmic Sparks collection at Carina Press:
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