Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The New Age of Breeding: Guest Post by M. Pax

As part of her blog tour for The Backworlds, author M. Pax is here today to talk about science-y stuff! Since I did a degree in Genetics and Biochemistry (as well as a course in Plant Breeding) I thought it would be really interesting to hear from this author about bioengineering.

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Humans have manipulated plants and animals around them since the dawn of our evolution. Grains, corn, livestock, and dogs are all prime examples of how people influenced the evolution of other species through cross pollination and selective breeding.

Now we can do it faster with more precision through bioengineering. Simply put, bioengineering is manipulating DNA to make a better organism, a more sophisticated version of breeding livestock, dogs, or crops. A more precise method of creating hybrid species to serve our needs better. Why? To make us healthier, to make our food healthier, and to feed more of us on less and on easily sustainable resources.

I envisioned bioengineering important for humanity leaving Earth one day and settling other planets. Most worlds would have factors making them different from the one we were bred to survive on. So, I figured we’d have to give ourselves modifications to insure that we thrive out there.

The characters in The Backworlds have all been bioengineered to cope with various environments. They’re still human. I figure no matter how many changes are made to us physically, they can’t bioengineer out essentially who we are — our noble and base traits would remain intact and would continue to play out on worlds far from our origins.

The Backworlds After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

Available as an ebook from: Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords / Feedbooks

Free on Smashwords & Feedbooks. Will be free on Amazon in a few weeks.

Sign up for M. Pax’s newsletter to be notified the moment The Backworlds goes FREE on Amazon, and when it becomes available from other retailers.

About the author:
M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and at Wistful Nebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodread, FB and other sites.


31 comments:

Trisha said...

I'm really excited about reading M Pax's novel! I've got it downloaded and ready for the readin', just got to figure out when to read it :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

Bioengineering is one topic that I can argue with myself on! It's good because... it's bad because... it's good... you get the idea!

Carole Anne Carr said...

This is so much in the news at the moment, due to all the advances in science, interesting to see where it takes us.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The essence of who we are can't ever be bred out. Looking forward to reading this!

Rek said...

Yes, the positive and negative traits, we can't to erase the base ones, sometimes events ensure that we use them for survival.
I should be able to read in soon.

Brinda said...

That's interesting to think we could create the perfect body for an environment.

M Pax said...

Thank you for hosting me on your lovely blog, Rachel. I'm thrilled you wanted to be part of the launch.

I agree, Annalisa. There's good and bad in it.

It will be interesting, Carole Anne. I have a cousin with that lovely name.

I don't think it can, Alex. Maybe over time, on other worlds, our psyches would eventually change, too, but somehow I don't think so.

It also makes for good drama, Rek. :)

I think it would have to be so, Brinda. We've been so perfectly bred for this planet. To survive on another, we'd have to interfere and give ourselves the same advantage. So, I think.

Rachel Morgan said...

You are very welcome! Great to have you "here" :-)

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Mary, are you by any chance a fan of H.R. Giger's art? He does a lot of stuff with biomechanics (probably distantly related to this topic). I'm just curious if you think his art is good.

M Pax said...

I find his art interesting, Michael. Artists always make me wish I could paint.

Misha Gericke said...

So true. No matter how technologically advanced we become, at our core we're still exactly the same as our ancestors.

Southpaw said...

The book is a great concept and a great idea for a series too.

Bioengineering is a hot topic right now too.

Cherie Reich said...

Such a great concept! I'm looking forward to reading Mary's book. :)

M Pax said...

I think so, Misha. I think we still have the same basic set of psychology, wants, and dreams. With some modern touches.

It's an interesting topic, Southpaw. Great seeing you.

Thanks, Cherie.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Scary thought M Pax. Nice insight though.

M Pax said...

I suppose it is a little scary, Maurice.

Tonja said...

Definitely an uncomfortable topic.

Christine Rains said...

It's so fascinating. I think our future will take us some place we hardly imagine.

M Pax said...

Perhaps, Tonja. I think there's good to be found in it though.

I think so, too, Christine. I wish I could see it.

Melissa Bradley said...

I've got to download this ASAP! I love bioengineering and the thought of creating humans for various environments is intriguing.

Mark Koopmans said...

And to think I was wondering how would we survive once we get "out there."

Thanks for the insights, M. and thanks Rachel for the great hostification :)

M Pax said...

I hope you like it, Melissa. :)

I figure it's probably the most feasible way to colonize other worlds. Great seeing you, Mark.

Summer Ross said...

Truth be told, I'm not good at science- LOL thanks for helping me understand it better. the book sounds entertaining.

Libby said...

MPax, you're everywhere! Yay! I'm using bioengineering, or the threat of, in one of my short stories. The one that is killing me. :)

Libby said...

MPax, you're everywhere! Yay! I'm using bioengineering, or the threat of, in one of my short stories. The one that is killing me. :)

M Pax said...

Even though I use science some to create the story, Summer, there's not much of it in the book. It's mostly about the people and the wacky things they do.

I did my best, Libby. :) I think it's so fascinating--bioengineering. I'll be using it and its premise more in a novella featuring the Foreworlds, which will probably come out between Stopover and the 3rd novel. Something while folks wait.

Ciara said...

I'm looking forward to reading this! I love the premise.

Damyanti said...

Rachel, thanks for hosting this awesome book and author! :)

Intriguing premise for the book, and great post Mary..! Also, great pic :D

M Pax said...

Thanks, Ciara.

Great seeing you, Damyanti.

The Golden Eagle said...

It will be interesting to see where bioengineering heads in the next decades. Scientists always seem to be making some kind of breakthrough in genetics and biotechnology.

Great post!

M Pax said...

I think so, too, Eagle. The breakthroughs they've made are mind-boggling.