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space opera | Stephen Ames Berry

Tag: space opera

The Biofab War: Available as a Kindle eBook

The first in the Biofab series, The Biofab War, is now available as a Kindle book. I updated it to reflect modern-day Earth and some changes I made later in the series, notably in the last book of the spaceship and tunnelquartet, Final Assault. And tightened some of the writing. (I flatter myself that four novels and 30 years later I write better.)

I hadn’t read The Biofab War since Ace Books published it in the 80’s.  Once you’ve finished your first novel, you’ve typically rewritten it four or five times. Published, it sits on your shelf, more trophy than book.

But, yeah, I finally reread it and said, “It’s a fun romp!”

Amazon’s still struggling to display all four of the Biofab Quartet as a series, and numbered sequentially—a few more days on that. The suggested reading order is on each books’ Amazon description page.

Though the Nobel Literature Committee never did call,  The Biofab War is noteworthy as probably the origin of the term “biofab.”  (Biological fabrication: a designed life form.) In 1983, that was science fiction.  Biofab is now in vogue, an evolving branch of the life sciences, with biofab facilities and researchers, who must surely have read science fiction when they were teens. Smile

Except for some housekeeping, The Biofab Quartet is done. I’ll eventually bolt all four books together into an omnibus edition, to be entitled, unsurprisingly, The Biofab Quartet. (My Art Department’s created a stunning cover.)

I’m now writing a piece of short fiction based on my last seven years as a teacher of wayward youth in a dropout prevention program, much of it only believable as fiction.  (The transition from Harvard and Vivaldi to south Florida and Tupac was jarring but fulfilling.) One of my former students, who’s lived with us on and off for years, is serving as technical consultant and sounding board.  We’ll see if anyone reads it. Then I’m writing a sequel to my Philadelphia Experiment-inspired novel, The Eldridge Conspiracy.


Building Better Biofabs (II)

Finished first rewrite of FINAL ASSAULT, the last of the original Biofab Quartet.  (Ace & Tor, 1980’s.)  Enhancements to characters (some) and plot intertwined, cascading through the last 1/3 of the book.  Still very much the original story, but with greater dimensionality.  And yes, as a reviewer, a loyal reader of the original series, sadly noted on Amazon, Kronarin names have been modified into standard English.  My own children haven’t read any of these books:  “What’s with the apostrophes?” My squire had the same issue; others down the years have complained without reticence that they take pleasure in pronouncing names as they read and what was I smoking when I decided to use apostrophes in place of the first vowel in proper names?  (Dunhill Reds.) 

Now back to the beginning of FINAL ASSAULT and the second draft.  (Happily, I don’t see this going much beyond 2.5)  The book’s not done, but there’s a cover.  (And yes, am sending it out to be copy edited. My old eBook publisher had all four novels transcribed—thank you, Melisa!—and even then there were problems.)finalassault

After FINAL ASSAULT, I’m rewriting THE BIOFAB WAR, last as it was first: like a battered brigantine, it needs to be rebuilt from the ribs up: other than the basic plot and characterization, won’t look much like the original. Nice to have had all four novels out at once, but with THE BATTLE FOR TERRA TWO and THE AI WAR in reasonably good shape, they were sent first out into the world to see if they’d make new friends.  And they have.  T2 keeps ghosting in and out of the Amazon’s Top 100 Science Fiction Adventures and is often camped comfortably in the Kindle’s Top 100 Space Operas.


Building Better Biofabs: Status

A big thank you to all who’ve read the ebook versions of The Battle for Terra Two and The AI War and who follow my tweets.  Coming next in the Biofab series is Final Assault, the rewriting of which is taking longer than I’d hoped.  (sigh)  Not tinkering with its intricate plot line, I’m enhancing Final Assault to stand alone as do the other books in the series.  As originally published by Tor/MacMillan, it’s too dependent on The AI War.

A happily consequence of the ebook revolution is the rewind button it’s given authors: ebooks are living documents, infinitely malleable—a virtue of which I’m happy to take advantage; life has few rewind buttons.

Next up: rewriting the first book in the series, The Biofab War, first published by Ace/Berkley.  Of the four novels, it requires the most work.

As always, I’m deeply indebted to my fellow author, the gracious and gifted Melisa C. Michaels, for preserving the MS Word files of the Biofab books.


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