I’m a little old for tricks, but maybe not for treats. Remember a few weeks ago, when I was agonising over cover copy? Well the process turned out to be even more fraught than I anticipated. Turns out that the more characters and plotlines and Big Overarching Themes you have, the harder it can be to nail down just how much or how little of them should be mentioned on the back of the jacket. Fortunately, with the great Jo Fletcher for an editor/publisher, all turned out right in the end. Here’s my Hallowe’en delight, delivered just now by a mysterious messenger cleverly disguised as a servant of the Royal Mail.
The actual copy reads thus:
Humanity stands on the brink. Again.
Surviving the Syndrome meant genetically modifying almost every person on the planet. But norms and gems are different. Gems may have the superpowers that once made them valuable commodities, but they also have more than their share of the disabled, the violent and the psychotic.
After a century of servitude, freedom has come at last for the gems, and not everyone’s happy about it. The gemtechs want to turn them back into property. The godgangs want them dead. The norm majority is scared and suspicious, and doesn’t know what it wants.
Eli Walker is the scientist charged with deciding whether gems are truly human, and as extremists on both sides raise the stakes, the conflict descends into violence. He’s running out of time, and with advanced prototypes on the loose, not everyone is who or what they seem. Torn between the intrigues of ruthless executive Zavcka Klist and brilliant, badly deformed gem leader Aryel Morningstar, Eli finds himself searching for a truth that might stop a war.