One of the very first Splashdown books I read was by owner Grace Bridges called Faith Awakened. This was a long time before I was signed with them, so my opinion wasn’t biased in any way. I love, love, loved the story. Two plots running side by side and twisting together for a refreshing end. Have you read it yet? You can get it from all the usual places. Just click right HERE to go to its Splashdown page.
Since then, I have come to know Grace as my publisher, one of my editors and a truly dear friend. She has agreed to share an excerpt from Faith Awakened with us. You can also catch a sample HERE if you are intrigued, which I hope you will be.
My review of Faith Awakened can be found HERE at Amazon.
Out of curiosity I sat down on the dusty seat in front of the desk and felt my hand reach for the grimy mouse as if it was my second nature—as indeed it was once, in the days when such work was all I knew. The glow of the sunset was fading and the glimmer from the screen lit my face as I opened the program entitled “Survival System”. More out of curiosity than anything else, I called up the help file to look for a description of the program. What was it anyway? I had never expected to use a computer again, and I had enjoyed the work, as far as this was possible under conditions of slavery.
There appeared now on the screen what looked like a wiring diagram, and in the centre was an outline of the human body. It seemed to be laid out in a box, and various machines and wires were drawn in, attached to wrists, eyes, and other various parts of the body. Then I saw that the whole body was “dressed” in a fitting suit with tubes for air, nutrition and waste, and a concentration of gadgets around the head, especially covering eyes, ears, nose and mouth. I had seen similar survival suits used for patients in comas, but the headgear was unlike anything I had ever known.
Why provide stimulation for the senses—sight, sound, smell and taste—if the patient is unconscious? I moved the selector to the head area. The view zoomed in and I saw that various elements had labels like “Video Output” for the eyepiece and “Audio Signal” for the ears. One thick cable seemed to be wired into the head under a label reading “Data Input”. I drew in my breath. This was a prototype of the much-debated virtual reality systems that included hygienically isolated, reduced-temperature life support, but also allowed the subject to continue living in a constructed, conscious world where he could see and hear and smell and taste! Many people had scoffed at the idea and claimed no such thing was possible, hence the debates that rose from its rumours. I squinted up at the cables that wired the terminal into a network. What if it was true?