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Monday, March 24, 2014

The Ophelia Prophecy blog tour: Guest post by Sharon Lynn Fisher + giveaway

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Today we have a guest post from Sharon Lynn Fisher, author of a delightful and thought-provoking new science fiction novel called THE OPHELIA PROPHECY. She classifies the book as biopunk -- and she's here to explain exactly what that means! Tor is also providing a couple copies of THE OPHELIA PROPHECY for a giveaway so make sure to stick around until the end of the post to enter.

 Welcome, Sharon!


What is biopunk, and what possessed me to write it?

If you'd asked me a few years ago whether I'd be writing something as sci-fi as biopunk, I would have said (after Wikipedia-ing “biopunk” to confirm it really is a thing): "Too hard-core for me."

While I was writing my debut novel, planetary romance GHOST PLANET, I never really thought of myself as a sci-fi writer. Speculative romance is my passion. Love + strange happenings is a formula that flips my happy switch as both a reader and a writer.

But at that point I hadn't really gotten in touch with [been taken hostage by] my inner geek.

The seeds were planted with that first book, because it required me to research symbiogenesis and Gaia theory (in short, biology stuff). Then I researched quantum physics, parapsychology, parallel universes, and asteroid impact winters for the second novel I wrote, ECHO 8 (due out from Tor in early 2015).

Somehow from there I graduated to the bug people in THE OPHELIA PROPHECY (April 1, 2014, Tor). And that brings us back to biopunk.

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The term has different meanings depending on the context, but basically we're talking about a subgenre of science fiction that incorporates experimentation with DNA/genetics in the storytelling. Biopunk novels often include bioengineered characters and/or races. An example of a highly acclaimed biopunk novel is THE WINDUP GIRL, by Paolo Bacigalupi.

But I have to confess I did not set out to write a post-apocalyptic biopunk romance any more than I “set out” to write science fiction in the first place. I'm motivated by storytelling. If it makes a good story to have a hero who is part praying mantis and is in love with a human woman who should be his enemy, then sign me up for biopunk.

And that's the gist of the biopunk component of THE OPHELIA PROPHECY. Creative biohackers (also referred to as biopunks), motivated partly by government contracts and partly by their own artistic impulses, engender a race of insect/human transgenic organisms, the Manti. Biohackers created other varieties of transgenics as well — like OPHELIA's human/wolf priest, Father Carrick — but these were mostly wiped out by the same Manti-engineered virus that all but destroyed the human population.

In OPHELIA, the level of mutation ranges from mild (the hero, Pax) to moderate (Pax’s winged and spiked half-sister, Iris) to extreme (the wasp creatures that attack a human survivor camp in the west of Ireland).

But the heart of the story is not biopunk. Like any good romance, the story’s heart is the attraction and tension between Pax and the mysterious woman (Asha) he picks up on the border of the last human city. The worldbuilding and backstory make for a long, slow burn, but once the two do come together (ahem), the fallout’s enough to change their whole world.


Thank you, Sharon, for visiting us on this tour!

Sharon Lynn FisherA Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist and a three-time RWA Golden Heart Award finalist, SHARON LYNN FISHER lives in the Pacific Northwest. She writes books for the geeky at heart—sci-fi flavored stories full of adventure and romance—and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. Her works include Ghost Planet (2012), The Ophelia Prophecy (2014), and Echo 8 (2014). You can visit her online at SharonLynnFisher.com.

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Here's the scoop on THE OPHELIA PROPHECY:

The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn FisherOur world is no longer our own.
We engineered a race of superior fighters--the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities.
In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.
Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us.
Some of us intend to do more than survive.

Asha and Pax—strangers and enemies—find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there. Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource—information—viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society. Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check. But neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie. With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past The Ophelia Prophecy is the thrilling new SF romance from Sharon Lynn Fisher, author of Ghost Planet.

Jenn's thoughts

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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Tor is giving away two copies of THE OPHELIA PROPHECY today.

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Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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14 People left their mark' :

  1. Biopunk sound interesting.

  2. I had a lot of fun with it! Thanks for dropping by, Marie-Claude!

  3. Thanks so much for the opportunity to guest post, Jenn, and also for the WONDERFUL review!

  4. I think biopunk sounds very intriguing, I'm always fascinated with the idea of man tinkering with DNA and genetics. I'm very much looking forward to reading The Ophelia Prophecy. :D

  5. I'd never heard biopunk defined before but I've certainly been exposed to some aspects of it even in the classics by writers like Heinlein, Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke. I like innovation in general so I'm happy to see it.

  6. I enjoy science fiction and I guess I've read biopunk before and didn't know it :-)))

  7. Hi Barbara! Agreed, it's totally fascinating! And sometimes creepy. I hope you enjoy the book!

  8. I was in the same boat when I looked up the definition! "Oh, THAT." :)

  9. It's a pretty exciting backdrop for a story -- the possibilities are mind-boggling (for both fiction and real life). Thanks for your interest!

  10. this looks and sounds fantastic!!! I loved Sharon's first book and I'm soo eager to dive into this one :) Thanks for sharing!

  11. So glad you enjoyed Ghost Planet. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  12. You're most welcome. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  13. Haven't heard of it before

  14. Interesting. Something I would definitely read.