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the biofab war | Stephen Ames Berry

Tag: the biofab war

The Biofabs: New Covers

Major ebook retailers recently increased their size requirements for book covers. I have complied. (Done right, it’s a bit of work—the results of just clicking on Photoshop’s “Make Me Bigger!” icon are hilarious.)

While doing this, I took a hard look at my stable of covers and replaced two: The Biofab War and Final Assault. Arguably the new covers are more dramatic:

    Before                     After     

spaceship and tunnel                             Biofabwar New Earth 8    


     Before                     After

spaceship and tunnel                           The AI War New 8.1.12    

Amazon’s published the fresh covers, though they’re still awaiting approval at Smashwords, the ebook aggregator for most other major ebook retailers. Given the multiple interfaces and approval processes, they should appear by the Winter Solstice. (Did you know that Apple vigilantly reads every book before releasing it? Though steady income for hired readers, it takes a while. I’m betting without checking that Apple long ago approved Fifty Shades of Grey.Who me?)

The ebook universe is always in flux, a processes of continual reinvention; enhanced content, new cover requirements. Perhaps we’ll soon be into the dizzying world of moving ebook covers? Whatever happens, I’m in for the long march—beats the heck of my days as a midlist serf of legacy publishers.

Back to writing the sequel to The Eldridge Conspiracy. If you’ve read Eldridge, Jim and Angie’s twin boys are now sixteen and . . . challenging. (When not writing, I teach and mentor at-risk teens. The hard-won insights gained are proving a boon to fleshing out the two lads.) As for the remorseless Dr. Schmidla, he’s not done with us.


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: Final Assault

A significantly rewritten Final Assault is out as an Amazon Kindle:  I enhanced some of the characterization—this after years of comments and reviews of the ilk “Well-written, non-stop action,  light characterization.”  image001

This being the last book of the Biofab Quartet, with Implacable back home, there was more wiggle room in the plot to flesh out one of the main characters than in the other books.  (Which character? I hear you cry. )  Tor Books, the series original publisher, wanted them quickly with the ongoing expectation of intricate plots and heavy weapons fire.  Then of course there was the day job.

I strove to avoid  the stereotypical hero common to science fiction—and I succeeded; those who wished for this should recall the advice echoed by Admiral Sagan at the start of Final Assault: “Be careful what you wish for.” Smile

A rewrite of The Biofab War is  underway.  I’m fond of this book—it was my first novel, unearthed from the slush pile at Ace Books.  Though each of the four novels can stand nicely on its own, there’s been some reasonable grousing that publishing them first in, last out, is an irritant depriving the reader of background detail, at least in The Battle for Terra Two.  I apologize; however, The Biofab War needed the most work—leaving it for last seemed the most productive use of my time.  I hope to publish it in a few months.  Then on to a sequel to of The Eldridge Conspiracy, first with a foray into the world of Amazon Singles.

Happy Holidays. 


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