*Materials & images provided by Reading Addiction Book Tours.
~Published: June 4th, 2013
~Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
~Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
New novel The Borealis Genome addresses the issue of increased moral ambiguity as scientific technology advances and removes our sense of individuality. The married authors throw engaged characters Tim and Nora into a scientific nightmare where mind-uploading and a weaponized virus allow the minds of the few to control those of the masses. As the population starts turning into mental zombies can Tim and Nora find the source of this mayhem? And can their love persevere through these harrowing times?
Thomas & Nancy Wise
Thomas and Nancy come from very different backgrounds. Thomas was raised in a military family and lived through the separations of war and the challenges that a family faces when coming back together. Challenges such as injuries and the frailty of the body and shifts in the personality that war bring to a family can force everyone to redefine how they see the themselves and the world around them. Nancy was raised in a family challenged by severe injuries. Her father was paralyzed and could no longer work causing the family to reform around a new breadwinner when their mother had to take over.
We chose to write a book shaped around these realities and the challenges that new technologies will force societies all over the world to deal with very soon. Mind uploading, neural networks, and human gene manipulation combined with new medical discoveries may become a new reality that we must all understand and learn what it means to our lives. These are realities today that were only science fiction just a few years ago that will soon have a real and direct affect on our lives.
Tom earned his Ph.D. in Organization and Management in 2012 and has other books including “Trust in Virtual Teams,” and “Agile Readiness.”
Today I have Tom and Nancy visiting Desert Rose- they are the authors of fascinating novel, The Borealis Genome. Lets talk to them a bit, and see if we can learn more about this book!
Tom: Rose – Thank you for the questions, and let us please first say that Nancy and I are very happy that you have taken the time to talk with us today.
Rose: You're very welcome! Thank you for taking the time to answering my questions- I'm excited to learn more about you and this intriguing story. How did you come up with the title for this book?
Tom: The Borealis Genome was really a family project, and one that we took on with that in mind. I do have to admit though that Nancy and I, and our children disagreed about the title. The title was chosen by me. I chose the title because it combines part of the name of the zombie fly, apocephalus borealis, and the idea that the zombies in this book are partly created through genetic manipulation. I kind of liked it.
Rose: That is interesting, I kind of like that as well. Zombie flies- now, that's something that will keep me up for a few days! [chuckles] How did you come up with the idea of this book?
Tom: Well, I recently completed my dissertation work and while working on it I ran across a lot of new science that sparked my imagination. A lot of scientists are working on today is great fodder for science fiction and can really drive speculative fiction to new levels.
Nancy: I helped to enhance some of the story line as I was proofing for Tom. We worked together to make the characters real.
Rose: Wow, that's really awesome you worked together on this. I agree with Tom as well, science is making it easier for science fiction writers to come up with new ideas. Why do you write books in the sci-fi genre? Any specific reason?
Tom: Sci-fi and speculative fiction allow the writer to stretch in ways that other genres do not. I write business books as well that are published in the UK. They challenge me to solve problems in new ways but sci-fi and speculative fiction challenges the participants to stretch and really explore the what if questions.
Rose: That makes sense. It's certainly a good area for exploring and expanding you mental horizons. Now, the character's names, Tim and Nora, are very similar to your names (Tom and Nancy). Are these characters based on yourselves?
Tom: Now that question our children asked as well, but no. Each of the characters express a portion of a personality that we know, but not the whole of a person, and in some cases the characters are a compilation of several people we have met. But none of the characters express an entire person. The names were actually chosen because they seemed to fit well together.
I will admit, though, that some of the scenes were chosen to express something meaningful. The carriage ride scene was special for Nancy and I. That scene was written for Nancy as a formal proposal.
We have been married for twenty four years now, and we have rededicated our vows, but she never really got the formal on-the-knees proposal that she deserved, so I did write that scene for her.
Rose: Wow, that is such a sweet gesture! This book seems to have some very deep messages in it. What is the message you'd like for your readers to get from The Borealis Genome?
Tom: The Borealis Genome challenges the reader to go beyond the traditional zombie sci-fi trope and explore what makes us human.
Is it the soul that separates us from the rest of creation? What happens if we separate our consciousness from our body? Is then what we love in each other still real if the body remains, but the personality moves to a new vessel?
Rose: Well, that is an interesting message, for sure! The cover for your book is also very interesting- who's the designer?
Nancy: We had fun with the cover. My daughter Janai, who studies commercial arts, did the cover for us. She also created the cover for Tom’s book, Trust in Virtual Teams, published by Gower Publishing in the UK.
Rose: Wow, that's pretty neat! Another family input there, that's awesome. So, is this a stand-alone book, or will there be a sequel?
Nancy: We are currently working on a sequel to the book. This one backs up just a little bit to the point where the creators of SALI find their first “victims” and how this fits with the rest of the story, and then moves the story ahead. We have a good start on the story already, but don’t expect to have it to a publisher until the end of 2014.
Tom is currently working on another book with Gower Publishing, and is almost ready to send a middle grade sci-fi book to editing, so this has backed up our sequel just a little.
Rose: So cool, definitely some things to look forward to then. What do you enjoy doing, when you're not writing?
Nancy: We spend our time together and with our family as much as possible. As a family we enjoy doing things together. Tom does teach at several universities which takes up a lot of our time, but it is important, and then there is the day job.
Rose: Wow, well you guys sound like a neat couple! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit us today! We'll look forward to the sequel :)
This book sounds pretty interesting! What do you guys think of it, and/or the authors? Let us know in the comments below!
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