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Biotime 24: Isn’t deformity a constant problem with cloning?

Here is the twenty-fourth droplet of my novel Biotime.  Jake Moonrath arrives in Beverley hills and finds a Neon-Glo blue Nagasaki commemoration stood in the driveway of 137 South Clark.  We begin to learn more about how the Central Authority of the United States – and its elite secret agency, the Home Security Bureau – enforce the law.

Biotime Cover

Biotime.  The future, today.  Excerpt 24

Jake felt the Cheyenne slow for the Beverley Hills turn-off. The streets grew wider. Houses retreated beyond swathes of shrubs and lawns. Upmarket malls stretched for block after block.

It felt safe and prosperous. Yet according to Rose, this was all about to come crashing down.

The pulse tracker on his bracelet was red. His chest tightened as he imagined Jennifer and her boyfriend waiting to ambush him. He turned to face the back of the car and closed his eyes. Time for calm. Time to remind himself why he knew more about Biotime than Rose could ever imagine.



7 ways to explain the meaning of life

    A wise man was reading my novel Biotime the other day.  He said “how can you get to the depths and layers of Biotime earlier in the book to draw readers in?”
    Depths and layers.  It’s true.
    On the surface, Biotime is a straightforward story about a detective who is framed for the murders of 10,290 mothers, babies, medical staff and visiting family members in a Santa Monica neonatal unit and has to prove his innocence.
    The background is Biotime itself – a life-exchange fluid of which one gram equals one year.  Great news, right?  No-one ever need be poor again – in theory.
    If you’re short of cash you can sell some of your life expectancy to someone else.  Ditto, the rich need never die – provided they can keep producing enough wealth to buy Biotime to live until eternity.
Biotime Cover
    The world of Biotime is hyper-capitalist.  But unlike pale imitations such as In Time (good premise, poorly executed) people don’t go on behaving as in today’s world.
    In Biotime, although things look familiar, everything has changed. That change is encapsulated in the opening quote by Steve Jobs: “Death is very likely the single best invention of life“. (more…)

Biotime excerpt 23: ‘Be careful, little brother’

Here is the twenty-third droplet of my novel Biotime.  In California, Jake Moonrath heads towards Santa Monica to terminate ‘Time-expired Jennifer.  He’s scared – enforcing termination contracts is a ticklish business.  He has no idea how much more scared he should be.

Biotime Cover


Biotime excerpt 22: By now, the baby’s arm was thick with needles

Here is the twenty-second droplet of my novel Biotime.  We begin to have some inkling of what the man in the boat has planned for Sue Phu’s baby boy.

Biotime Cover

Don’t forget the “story so far” page, bringing together the excerpts published up to now.

Biotime.  The future, today.  Excerpt 22
[Chapter 4 continues]

The man in the boat’s real name was Doctor Boris Suleikin. He was an American citizen, although he had not visited the United States for over a century. He closed the door behind him as the boat drew away from Sue Phu’s house. Then he swung the crate containing her baby onto a metal trellis in the centre of the spacious cabin and snapped it into place. With practiced ease, he folded down the metal sides to make a crude table and stretched a rubber strap across the baby’s midriff to prevent it falling to the floor if the boat hit a patch of rough water. The child took a deep breath and began to scream.

Suleikin cursed and looked around the cabin. ‘Patel?’ he shouted. ‘Where are you?’


Biotime excerpt 21: a severed hand, transfixed by a knife

Here is the twenty-first droplet of my novel Biotime.  An unknown informant from the Home Security Bureau of the Central Authority of the United States assigns to Martha O’Leary, Deputy Head of Mission at the US Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, a top secret task.

As Martha sits in shock, we return to the man in the boat and Sue Phu’s child.  What will be the fate of her first ever baby boy?

Don’t forget the “story so far” page, bringing together the excerpts published up to now.

Scan 4

Kalyan Minaret, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 1992 – Photo Robert Pimm

Biotime.  The future, today.  Excerpt 21
[Chapter 4 continues]


‘I’m in the Holo Hutch.’ Martha glanced again at the control panel. She could feel her heart beating. ‘Are you really calling from the Home Security Bureau? Is something wrong?’

‘I am a senior official of the Home Security Bureau of the Central Authority of the United States, yes.’ The disembodied voice spoke the words slowly, as if relishing the length of the title. ‘Something is indeed gravely wrong. A catastrophe in the making. An impending doom scenario. But I don’t know what it is. That is why I am calling you.’

‘I never dealt with the Bureau before. The Ambassador will be back in a few days.’

‘I know. It is important that he learns nothing of what I am about to tell you.’

‘You don’t trust the Ambassador?’ Martha took a deep breath. ‘How do I know if I can I trust you?’

‘An astute question.’ (more…)

Biotime excerpt 20: a late-model Tokyo Firestorm

Here is the twentieth droplet of my novel Biotime.  Martha O’Leary, Deputy Head of Mission at the US Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, receives an ominous message.

This is our first introduction to Martha, a single, idealistic, red-head worried about her fading good looks.  She can’t afford Biotime.  She is paid by the US Government.

‘The secure zone of the embassy was off-limits to everyone except US-based diplomatic staff, of whom Martha was at present the only example in the Republic of Uzbekistan.’

Don’t forget the “story so far” page, bringing together the excerpts published up to now.

Biotime Cover

Biotime.  The future, today.  Excerpt 20

[Chapter 4 continues]


At the US embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Martha O’Leary blinked at her computer screen and wondered what to do.

‘Is something wrong?’ Across the room the locally-engaged Biotime Attaché, Toxirov Ergash Gulomovich, had stopped typing.

‘You know I’m acting Chief of Mission in the Ambassador’s absence.’ Saying the words made Martha anxious. ‘I got a service message. There’s a DECOM holo coming in.’

‘DECOM? What is that?’

Martha glanced at her assistant. Working in Biotime enforcement made you paranoid, it was a fact. But Gulomovich always seemed to focus on the most sensitive aspects of her work. He also drove a late-model Tokyo Firestorm on a pittance of a salary. She decided to play it straight. (more…)

Biotime. Excerpt 19: Sue Phu sells her baby boy

Here is the nineteenth droplet of my novel Biotime.  Sue Phu, on the Mekong, waits to see whether the man in the boat will pass her baby fit for dollars.

‘Say goodbye?’ the man in the boat said.

Sue Phu shook her head.  She had no baby now.

Don’t forget the “story so far” page, bringing together the excerpts published up to now.

Scan 27_2

Santa Monica, California, 1979 – Photo Robert Pimm

Biotime.  The future, today.  Excerpt 19

[Chapter 4 continues]

Now the man had taken an envelope from one of his grim-faced crew and was tearing it open to extract a damp, filmy-thin white plastic sheet. He spread this on the cane matting in front of Sue Phu and knelt down next to her. The ritual was beginning.

‘May I see the baby, Sue Phu?’ the man in the boat asked.

The tiny boy began to cry. The man laid the infant gently on the white sheet. Sue Phu saw a fat tear well up on the baby’s cheek and trickle down onto the plastic. She longed to wipe it away. But instead she watched, expressionless, her hands folded in her lap, as the man tickled the baby’s toes, examined its eyes, and, using a disposable syringe, extracted a sample of blood, which he passed down to the boat. Sue Phu bit her lip as the crewman took the blood inside, slamming the door behind him.


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