Over the past few days Darker Temptations has been chatting about which robot/android/cyborg would I like to drop by for a visit.
My futuristic erotic romance has cyborgs. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyborg) “a cyborg is a being with both organic and artificial parts” and “the term cyborg is often applied to an organism that has enhanced abilities due to technology ”
Well, I would love my characters from “Claiming Hannah” to drop by. But since they are fictional, I will give you a peek into their world on Earth in the Year 50 A.A. (50 years After Armageddon). Here men and women are drafted into the Hit Association for life. They are trained to hunt down Breeder Slaves (clones) who escape their masters and run for the Free States to have a life of their own.
These drafted Hitmen and Hitwomen are turned into cyborgs. Their eyes, ears and brains (and sometimes other body parts) are enhanced so they can track down their prey. But sometimes they do fall in love…with the people they are ordered to kill.
“Claiming Hannah” (Ellora’s Cave) is one of those stories…
Hannah is a Breeding Slave. Created solely for the purpose of producing healthy offspring for an ailing human race, Hannah Roberts longs for freedom and fantasizes about the dangerous man she can never have. With her breeding status about to commence, her hunger for freedom explodes. Escaping into the night, she knows capture will bring her certain death.
Jacob is her Hitman. Trained to be a cold-blooded killing machine, the only light in Jacob Romero’s life is Hannah, a beautiful Slave whose sweet innocence brands his heart and awakens dark desires he never knew he had. Assigned to hunt her down and kill her, he’s seriously injured when he saves her life.
Forbidden love always finds a way. Now fugitives, they hide in a deserted mansion where Hannah nurses the wounded Hitman she’s always wanted. Soon their passions ignite, throwing them into a sexual ecstasy neither can run from. Their forbidden love will face one final challenge. Escaping to a harsh new life in the Free States.
Publisher Note: Previously released by another publisher under the title of A Hitman for Hannah, this book has been extensively revised and reedited for Ellora’s Cave.
Here’s “Claiming Hannah’s” Book Trailer: http://www.ellorascave.com/claiming-hannah.html
And the “Forward” for Claiming Hannah:
Year 50 A.A. (50 years After Armageddon)
Compliments of Armageddon, radiation and pollution continue to plague the Earth. Disease, stem cell research and organ transplants are common. Treatment for certain diseases is often extreme, leaving many afflicted with side effects such as sterility. Human reproductive failures are at epidemic proportions.
Cloning from quality, radiation-resistant embryos becomes the norm, allowing non-reproductive couples to have access to healthy test-tube babies. However, studies reveal such babies aren’t as resilient to pollution or radiation as those conceived in a human host. Couples demand access to healthier children.
Hence a large amount of Copies or Clones, as they were known in the A.C.—After Christ—years are created. They are designer babies, genetically manipulated to produce superior-quality offspring and their sole purpose in life is to be Breeding Slaves or Studs. Rich, childless humans are eligible for the enhanced offspring of the Breeder Slaves. These superior babies will be integrated into society.
After a conditioning period of eighteen years, the Breeding Slaves and Studs are moved to privately owned breeding farms—a very lucrative business where a rich couple will pay quite handsomely to purchase a baby and watch their child’s creation from conception to birth by the two Copies they select. Certain factions protest the use of Copies for breeding purposes. It goes against human morals, they say. Copies are just as human as the rest of the people. They bleed blood, they understand and have emotions. They should be free to live in society as the rest of the humans. They should have the right to pick their mates, have their own children. To gain an education.
Activists fight for Breeding Slave and Stud rights. The government does listen to an extent. Strict rights are granted. Female Copies are educated and allowed to keep their firstborn until the child is eighteen when a master can either sell the firstborn as a Breeding Slave or set him or her free. And then there are the downfalls. Being a Breeding Slave must remain a life sentence. It is after all, why these enhanced humans have been created. To serve mankind. There can be no marriage between Breeding Slave and Stud or humans. If a Breeding Slave or Stud runs, he or she must pay a deadly consequence.
Hannah is a Breeding Slave and she’s running. Jacob is a Hitman assigned to eliminate her.
Neither has known passion or love.
Glossary for Claiming Hannah
Hitman or Hitwoman: Men and women drafted into the Hit Association. Their draft is for life or death, whichever comes first.
Hit Association: A group of men and women drafted and trained to hunt down runners. They are given enhanced eyes and ears and other equipment to assist in their jobs.
Armageddon: In the year 2050 A.C. the Fourth World War begins. It rages for seven long years. After a rain of nuclear bombs completes the war, the ensuing pollution gives the world an ailing civilization that clings to the hope of a future using genetically designed healthy Breeding Slaves and Studs—Clones, designer babies, Copies—to produce offspring for them.
enhanced eyes: Infrared heat-seeking lenses embedded into the eyes and wired to the brain of Hitmen and Hitwomen drafted into the Hit Association.
enhanced hearing: Electrical implants embedded into the ears and wired to the brain. The unit enhances a Hitman’s or Hitwoman’s hearing.
tazer gun: Sends out green ray probes of electricity and shocks the intended victim into unconsciousness.
laser gun: Depending upon the strength of the ray, it can either severely burn or kill the intended victim. In most cases it is used on a runner.
runner: A Breeding Slave or Stud who decides the breeding life is not for him or her and runs for the Free States.
Breeding Slave or Stud: Designer babies produced specifically to be conditioned into being Breeders. As adults they will be paired with mates, creating healthy babies for the ailing human race.
Free States: A harsh, lawless, cold land north of the States border where runners gain their freedom. They must survive here using their wits.
States: Since Armageddon the States have been run by a harsh dictatorship government that is trying to repopulate the land with a superior race of humans. It uses any means necessary to accomplish its goals.
To get your copy of Claiming Hannah:
Ellora’s Cave – http://www.ellorascave.com/claiming-hannah.html
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the future and some day in the near future – maybe next year – I do have plans for more stories of this world so stay tuned.
Hugs and Happy Reading!
I was introduced to science fiction early in life. Early enough that it’s possible I thought the first moon shot was just another TV show when first I saw it. Amusing as that may be, it meant that my first exposure to robots/cyborgs was as bad guys. During that era, robots embodied humanity’s fears of burgeoning technology and change. Atom bombs weren’t new anymore. They were still terrifying – maybe more so – because twenty + years after watching them in action, the species was still counting the ongoing cost of having unleashed them. Couple that with the fears inspired by a seemingly unending Cold War and the late 60s/early 70s were a nearly psychotic blend of unbridled optimism and puckered up fear.
Leave it to someone as bright as Isaac Asimov to come up with the Three Laws of Robotics:
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Great laws, right? They ended up becoming part of the scifi canon – referenced and acknowledged by other scifi writers all over the place (including tongue in cheek cracks made by one of my least favorite robots in TV: Tweeky from Buck Rogers.) You know why he created these rules, yes? So he could break every single one of them in his stories about robots and then spend his literary time working out the mystery about how and why the Laws were broken or bypassed in any given story. My father suggested that along with Asimov’s Three Laws, there were three kinds of robot story.
- A man, a woman and the robot – pseudo-romance wherein the robot believes it loves (and of course ends up having to be destroyed)
- The robot that’s going to destroy the world
- The robot that’s going to save the world
I have favorites in each category. Among those who intend to save the world, C3P0 is my favorite. This isn’t about sexy. It’s just about fun. C3P0 would play a mean game of Scrabble, I’m sure.
Among the robots/cyborgs going to destroy the world, I’m torn. The robots of Westworld or the Borg. Both deliciously bad. One without meaning to be (this is another story where Asimov’s Three Laws were assumed and one of them broken), and the other unrepentantly out to consume us all.
I left the ‘man, woman, and a robot’ trope to last because there are two ways (more actually, but we’ll get to that) for that storyline to go. Guy falls for girl. Robot falls for girl. Guy and robot battle one another for girl. In the first of the ways for that to end, the girl is horrified by the attentions of the inhuman ‘monster’. The guy conquers the robot, guy gets girl, everyone but the robot lives happily ever after. My favorite: Edgar the computer from the 1984 movie, Electric Dreams. I’m sorry, the hero of the movie is yummy and all, but Edgar had a sterling sense of humor and of the absurd. He was way more fun.
The other ending for this comes from modern romance novels. The robots/cyborgs ARE the heroes of the romance story. And my all time favorite is Linnea Sinclair’s cyborg hero Kel-Paten from her novel Games of Command. Smexy and yummy. The story is also a super fun read. This is my favorite of her books. And the hero of this story is easily my fav cyborg. Anywhere. He could come knocking on my door just about any day.
As for the other possible story permutations I mentioned – has anyone done a story where the robot falls for the guy and not the girl? Do robots *have* gender? What about a robot that falls for BOTH? So many possibilities out there on the edges of questioning what makes us unique and human.
Ms. Danica Avet asked me to write a post about what I think a Pleasure Planet would be like. I laughed and then gladly agreed.
Close your eyes, wait… you can’t do that and read this. Hmm, okay. Read along and let your imagination set up the world for you. Imagine two thousand years from now. Space is no longer a mystery. The human race has met and combined with hundreds of other races throughout the heavens. Traveling the speed of light is a simple concept, and we’ve expanded our understanding of science a hundred-fold. We’ve moved beyond our petty differences and live a life of purpose and peace. The Earth is just one of many places humans can be found living and working.
Sounds great, right? Except we’re individually still working under stressful situations, doing too much and being expected to get more done that we humanly can. It’s not like Star Trek where everyone is wandering corridors looking for the next loose chic. So, let’s add in what space and highly developed races would bring to the mix. Pleasure planets. Oh, yes. If we’re going to be in space, dealing with other races then we’re taking full advantage of their technology.
Pleasure planets will be places built specifically for stress reduction. They will only exist on exotic places, those that make your chest ache because they are so beautiful. Tears of joy will stream down your cheeks when you land. They’ll be run by beings who ooze peace and serenity. Holistic, peaceful, and filled with all of those things you could ever want for a relaxing getaway. Like what, you ask?
Beautiful music made to calm you will play in every room. Scented air will enter your lungs and made you smile. Perhaps candles will be warming the air around the edges of the rooms, even though fire will be so last millennium.
How about foods that are made specifically from your memory? You press your finger into a small depression in the wall and the computer reads your thought patterns and creates exactly what you want. A piece of New York Cheesecake with cherries? Mmmm…
Oh, but what if you need a dose of endorphins? You’ve had a tough week and you are in desperate need of release and a flood of love-induced chemicals flowing through your body? Because, you know, that sex will be determined to be the best method of bringing the body into perfect emotional alignment. What? I’m writing this story and so I’m using some author prerogative.
Enter the idea of organically made cyborgs. These babies can be programmed to look like whoever the client wants to boink. You have a thing for a Xanagl purple-skinned warrior. Fine, you get him in all his violet glory. How about a smoking hot male from Fangor? Sure. Anything you want in the male species can be bought for a price. But, oh, the orgasms. They’ll be guaranteed. When you sign your contract the Pleasure Planets will promise you mind-blowing, tear-jerking, body-shaking releases.
Mmmm… sorry, got lost in the image. Who wants to fast forward two thousand years with me? Hmm? *raises hand* I’ll even drive the ship!
What would your perfect Pleasure Planet hold? Would it be like mine or something more exotic? Everyone wearing leather leashes and cuffs? Wait that would be in mine, too. Let me know by leaving a comment. I want to know what you’d expect to find on a planet dedicated to nothing but pleasure and relaxation.
About Lea Barrymire
Lea lives in Western New York with her hubby, three children, and miscellaneous critters. Before the rugrats, she lived a life of adventure, following her husband all over Europe with the US military. She’s slept in a car outside Paris, drove six hours just to see tulips in the Netherlands, and knocked ash from her shoes at Pompeii. Now she spends her time in life’s adventures at soccer games, PTA meetings and school plays.
Lea has loved reading from a very young age, spending many sleepless nights devouring books. Science fiction and paranormal were her favorite genres to read as a teenager, and that love bled into her adult life. She started writing during a bout of insomnia, to fill time, and found it filled a creative void. Now she communes regularly with the characters in her head and tries not to laugh out loud when they say something funny.
When Lea isn’t reading, writing or corralling kids, she enjoys watching movies and sciencey shows, or just kicking back and listening to some music.
Rella Cinder was born to the submissive race on her planet and has finally reached the age of maturity. She has hated her nature since birth and has fought her submissiveness. As the youngest of four sisters, she’s watched the others go off and look for mates. This time she’s forced to comply with the government’s edicts, which includes attending the Unity Ball and taking a mate from the warrior species. What she doesn’t know is that she has already caught the eye of a warrior before stepping foot into the Ball.
Warrior Sabar T’Brun is ready to take a mate but doesn’t want a weak female. He sees what he craves in the willful Rella during her Initiation Ceremony. Her sweet submission and soft cries of passion are exactly what he wants in a mate.
Can they find each other before the Unity Ball ends? Or will someone else claim her?
Releases 1/28/2013- Available for preorder now: