Upon waking up in a new city on a different planet, homicide detective David Bagini discovers that he is in fact the forty-second clone of David Bagini. He's been created to solve a murder ... specifically the murder of his prime. Standing in the way is the clues point directly at the other Bagini clones and they already know all his tricks.
How do you solve your own murder when you are the only suspect?
Hello. I'd like to thank the folks here at LovLivLife for having me on as a guest poster and giving
me the opportunity to feature my latest novel to the readers.
My writings range from fantasy (both YA Epic and Urban), to pulp superhero adventures, and science fiction mysteries. The novel I am currently promoting is called Prime Suspects: A Clone Detective Mystery and is a science fiction thriller - my humble attempt to author something akin to Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep). It is the story of a cloned homicide detective working the streets of a company town (full of other clones) and trying to solve the murder of his Prime, or his original.
Complicating matters is the clues point toward one of his own line as the perpetrator. This begs the question of how he can solve his own murder when the suspects all wear his face and know all his tricks.
When I started this book, I was faced with the dreaded Technobabble Dilemma. By that, I mean how much technobabble to incorporate into the plot. Since my novels span different genres, I chose to write Prime Suspects as a mystery set in a science fiction backdrop rather than trying to make it about the ins and outs behind cloning.
No matter what, good writing (even mediocre writing too) must pass the sniff test when it comes to your science or the magical system you are using in the novel. If it isn't plausible, the reader's
ability to suspend their disbelief starts to unravel. Unless you are writing what's referred to as hard science fiction, the technology doesn't have to work; it just has to make sense!
A writer can somewhat get away with sloppy science or head scratching magic systems in a standalone novel, but the more books in a series there are, the more the plot holes start to add up. The usage of the system the author uses must also be consistent.
Take a plot device like the Room of Requirement from the Harry Potter series (introduced in the 5th book). The way it was misused in the final two books greatly contributed to my very low opinion of the final two books. In book 5, Umbridge has no problem breaking into it to catch Dumbledore's Army. In book 6, Draco Malfoy spends all his free time in it trying to fix a cabinet to serve as a way to let the Death Eaters into the castle. By book 7, Neville Longbottom had managed to use it as an impregnable sanctuary the Death Eaters couldn't get into that also could create a tunnel to the nearby village anytime the hiding students needed supplies.
So Umbridge could get in with just a bunch of Slytherin students backing her up, but Snape and the Death Eaters running the castle could not in book 7. Malfoy couldn't come up with that secret tunnel idea after spending a whole year in there? Seriously?
I also found it hard to believe that a room that could be anything, in a school filled with teenagers aware of its location, would actually be free long enough for Malfoy to try and fix the cabinet in the first place. Everyone would be trying to get to it, especially the teachers.
It was more like the Room of Deus Ex Machina, in my opinion. (Please stop me before I go on a wand allegiance rant.)
So that's an example of where a system can go off the rails. I'll give you an instance where I think it works out. In Heinlein's Starship Troopers, the Mobile Infantry Powersuit is integral to the story, but the author made it easy on the reader by saying that the trooper simply wore the suit and the synthetic muscles responded to and amplified the movements of the person inside.
There was no long dissertation on the science behind negative feedback or detailed explanation of how it was powered. It just was and it stayed consistent throughout the novel.
Consistency should be the clarion call of any book that aspires to be a series. The Harry Potter books got away with it because they were the 800 pound gorilla. The rest of us don't have that luxury and owe it to our readers to suspend their disbelief.
Thanks for reading this and I hope any of you that try my novels find them both enjoyable and consistent. If you don't, call me on it!
Visit my website at www.jimbernheimer.com.
Check out Jim's Other books on Amazon
Thank YOU Jim for coming out to visit us.
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