While you read on through the blurbage, etc., play some of the music from the Soundtrack for Conditioned Response, all listed out here. If you like this music, you'll love this book! The music literally poured energy into the book....like a little Phoenician we all know, emptying her internal stores.
A fast-paced, science fiction thriller that reads more like a mystery, Conditioned Response is set in the far-future on an alien world, where humanity's last remnants are trying to save the species from extinction. Huxley-ian eugenics + Heinlein-ian "citizenship + service" are blended together artfully against an erotic backdrop with an Asimov-ian "machine-turned-man" story by first-time Author, Marjorie F. Baldwin.
The Seven Chiefs have a Plan for all life on Altair.
The Seven Chiefs have a Plan for all death on Altair.
The Seven Chiefs have a Plan for almost everything on Altair. Almost. They never planned on Raif.
Shayla didn't ask to be a Councillor. As a Phoenician, she shouldn't have to live among the humans, let alone take part in their world. But the Seven Chiefs ordered her to go with Raif, a Proctor from the world Outside. They said they had a Plan. Well, the Seven Chiefs always had a Plan, and Shayla had plans of her own after suffering 13 long years as a member of the humans' World Council.
Raif had never intended for things to go this far. A few months, maybe a year, and he could send the little Phoenician girl home again, back where she belonged. She's not a little girl anymore and now he finds himself in competition with his own progenitor for control over his Heir--and future. It's not a Councillor's job to protect a Proctor but that's just what Raif needs right now. Can Shayla save him before he loses his mind completely?
Baldwin hooks you into her world so deeply and completely, you'll wonder if you've been Adjusted yourself! You'll think about this book even when you're not reading it. You'll wonder if that was the Plan all along.
You'll find yourself on the edge of your seat, dying to see what happens next--and dreading it as you turn the page, even when you've seen it coming for the last 3 chapters. The only bad thing to say about this book is that it ends, but it's a series book so at least the story will continue--with or without Raif! Vote for Raif on the Goodreads list "Characters Whose Story You Wish Would Continue" to see Raif again (I have a Plan but need your endorsement to write it!)
Goodreads members voted for this Sexy SciFi Thriller as follows:
#1 Beach Read for 2012
#1 Hottest SciFi#1 Human Male (non-human female) Mates
#2 Best Indie Book to Read in 2012
#3 Best Dystopian Original
#8 Best Social Science Fiction
#18 Best Artificial Intelligence Book
#21 Best Science Fiction by a Female Author
#23 Characters Whose Story You Wish Would Continue
#7 Best Second Chance Romance
#46 (out of 181) Books to Read More Than Once#94 (out of 482) Books I Could Read Over and Over Again
#103 (out of 854) Books You Have Read More Than One Time
#237 (out of 1,061) My Dream Leading Men...
#555 (out of 3,133) Read Them Twice...at Least
#613 (out of 1,508) Can't Wait Books of 2012
(( See all of the lists featuring Conditioned Response on Goodreads ))
The series was originally written during the period 1984-1990, and the books were all solicited, submitted and reviewed by an editor who was then at Del Rey. He read and commented in the margins on all 4 books and was quite enthusiastic about them but for one thing. His one big concern, preventing him from buying them at that time, was that the series books were too inter-dependent. He felt none was a standalone novel and he couldn't buy a series which couldn't be sold one book at a time.
I was young, inexperienced and didn't realize unpublished, first-time authors never ever get this kind of feedback. This was like a miracle and I just didn't see the point he was making. My 20 something self thought Great! People will have to buy all of the books to fully-appreciate the meta-arc of the series. I refused to change anything and he (wisely) passed on purchasing any of them. He solicited and reviewed (and passed on) two additional novels and then he left Del Rey for greener pastures. If you know the fate of Del Rey in the 90s, you'll know he was a wise man to jump ship when he did.
I've grown up quite a bit since then. Thankfully.
I've since learned (from Lois McMaster Bujold, Herself) that the secret to good series writing is to make each book of the series independent of the others. To paraphrase Lois, if a reader cannot pick up any book of the series, or "enter" the series at any point, then I have failed in my duty as an author.
If I'd known then what I know now and published these books all those years ago, I wouldn't have had the chance to improve on them! I think the series will be better for having "aged" this long. I've already combined parts of the remaining series into the version of Conditioned Response on sale now. The balance of the series still needs editing. The next book to come out, however, will be Book 1, which I haven't even written yet. It'll be all-new material. I'm going to first get the "history, written in stone" and then worry about how that shapes the future volumes of the series.
There is an "end" to this series, though. Sorry. I could, theoretically, keep writing prequels indefinitely I suppose (haha). I have a few in mind already but I'll probably only write Book 1 and either one or two more in "history" stories. Given that I only write and edit part time for now, I anticipate releasing one book a year, and possibly one every 14-18 months. It all depends on how quickly Conditioned Response starts selling. If I sell enough copies, quickly enough that I can quit the day job, I could get the next book done in about 6 more months! Go tell all your friends to buy Conditioned Response ^)^
See? There is a Plan!
If you'd like to get up-to-the-minute notifications of when the next book will be released, just use one of the widgets in the sidebar to the right to subscribe to this blog and/or follow me on Twitter @phoenicianbooks (check for the hash #ConditionedResponse) You can also either "Like" The Phoenician Series on Facebook or "friend" Marjorie "Friday" Baldwin on Goodreads. Or both. Or all!
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