Good gods, it's June already. Wow. Am feeling pretty great this morning. The timing is perfect. I've a lot of work to do. Blackthorne comes out in August! That's just a couple months away. I kind of suck at the promotion thing. (Bad, I know.) So, bear with me as I go into book promotion gear.
I'm excited about this one. It combines some elements of SF with the Epic Fantasy--specifically one of my favorite science subjects: genetics. As it happens, I got my love of SF (and genetics) via a novel about a JFK clone. I studied it in college/university and even wanted to be a geneticist. Unfortunately, I had a rather terrible Human Anatomy and Physiology professor, flunked it, and well...that killed that idea. I'm still fascinated by genetics. In fact, one of my favorite films is Gattaca.
The idea of wedding SF with Epic Fantasy came to me when I read The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson. If you haven't read it, do. Yes, I know it's YA. However if you ask me, it's one of the most under-rated novels ever written. Semi-based on true events, it's about a slave who is used in an small pox vaccine experiment by a group of naturalists. I also have read a great deal of True Crime--specifically, serial killers. They are one of the well-documented sources of what realistic evil looks like, after all. In this case, it caused me to do further research. You see, most of the time in Epic Fantasy we see a great deal of Evil with a capital E. That is, obvious evil. Everything is firmly delineated. These are the Good Guys and these are the Bad Guys. I wanted to do something a little different. So, one of the characters is based upon a Soviet serial killer: Andrei Chikatilo. One of the most fascinating aspects of the case is the fact that the Soviets insisted there could not be a serial killer outside of a capitalist country. It was seen as a capitalist problem. Thus, state denial of reality added to the body count as it often does. In case you're curious, there's an excellent film about the case called Citizen X. It's Hollywood-ed up a bit, admittedly, and it plays fast and loose with certain facts. But it's a fun film.
 Sadly, there is a distinct lack of POCs in that film. (Except for the genetics doctor.) In a way, it works because the people are like the setting: sterile, steel-like, and white. But still...no. On the other hand, if broadly implemented eugenics were a thing, racists would be all about a strictly white population. Wouldn't they?
 Pox parties did exist. And the novel is extremely well researched. I'm not sure that scientists secretly tested vaccines on slaves, but honestly, that isn't a small leap of logic there. Medical science has done similar things in more modern times. See the Tuskegee Study and Loretta Lacks. And that's just the two that are famous/infamous. I've no doubt that there are more. See ‘Explosive’ Growth in Foreign Drug Testing Raises Ethical Questions.
 See the state-created famines in the Ukraine during Chikatilo's childhood. In spite of what you might discover via an internet search, this isn't the first instance of a state-created famine. The UK created The Great Famine in Ireland using the same exact method. [sarcasm font] Odd that it got the same result. Ah, colonialism. Ain't it grand? [sarcasm font end]
 Am I thinking of Climate Change Denial right now? Fuck yes, I am.
 Russians going on about how wonderful the US's FBI is might be one of those instances. [innocent whistle]
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is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.