Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What is Ted Kosmatka reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Ted Kosmatka, author of The Games.

His entry begins:
I recently spent time up at the Rainforest Writer's Retreat where I was lucky enough to snag a signed copy of Jay Lake's Mainspring, so that's the book I've been reading lately. I was familiar with the premise of the book, and I'd been meaning to read it forever because it sounded so interesting. Basically, it's steampunk to the nth power. The world circles the sun on a brass track, like a kind of celestial clockwork, but the big problem is that the world is slowly winding down. The only thing that can stop it is the key perilous, which must be found and used to rewind the world. I'm...[read on]
About The Games, from the publisher:
This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think.

Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas’s boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten.

The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer’s cold logic.

Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia João. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and—most disquietingly—intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror.
Learn more about the book and author at Ted Kosmatka's website and blog.

Writers Read: Ted Kosmatka.

--Marshal Zeringue