(includes samplings from the original query letter)
Have you ever wondered if fish in aquarium are happy swimming within their tiny finite sea? Or do they desire to swim in the open ocean? Do fish ache to be free and uninhibited, despite lurking predators and having to scrounge for food?
Jesse Baines is somewhat familiar with this quandary, his understanding born of unfathomable circumstances. You see, Jesse lives at the bottom of the sea, his home an upside down inside out aquarium of sorts. His home is the only place quite like it on the face of the earth. His home is call Pacifica.
In days not far off, conditions on earth suddenly begin to decay. A rapidly disappearing ozone layer, along with the searing consequences, sends humanity and environment alike into an inexorable tail-spin. Amidst the chaos, some folks manage to find sanctuary in one of the most unlikely environs on the planet - the bottom of the ocean just off the coast of San Diego.
Pacifica was born during the golden age of green technology, the project conceived to address several 21st century needs. Aside from the exotic aquatic resort, research programs in oceanic foods and bio-fuels had been established; and most notably, several alternative energy prototypes. At the time of its conception nobody could've imagined that the underwater Eden would someday serve as one of the last places where humanity was not sleeping with the fishes.
Jesse is one of the fortunate few to have made it down to Pacifica - although these days, Jesse wasn't feeling all that lucky. To Jesse, Pacifica was no more than a plastic paradise, lacked the utopian appeal shared by most of the others. Although safe, the dark quarantine of the sea and the thick synthetic bulkheads protecting them like a giant womb, Jesse still wanted out. Incessant claustrophobia along with his lust to once again breathe air untouched by ducts had him suffering dearly.
Unfortunately for Jesse, leaving Pacifica was tantamount to a prison break. Chewing through a limb to escape a bear trap would be an easier task. Although few, the community had rules, and leaving without authorization was against those rules - flat out. And with fairly good reason; because nobody knew what was going on up top, if the conditions of plague and cannibalism had improved, or gotten even worse. The only way to know for sure would be to journey back to the surface. But for most, the paralysis of fear out-weighed the will to dare.
With the fate of a Quija board twist, Jesse finally gets his chance. A team is assembled and sent back to the surface. And what they find is startling and strange and fraught with mystery. The environment so vastly changed as to be another planet entirely, rigor mortis now the universal biome. From this point the implications distend, ultimately becoming as deep and dark and dangerous as the Marianas Trench. Every step amid the cauterized soil is an adventure in environmental drama and intrigue.
To find out what happens next, read Unnatural Selection. Follow the crew and your own inner wanderlust. Find out why the vast majority of survivors in Pacifica are dark skinned. Find out how the humble endeavors of a common moth provides a stunning plotline analogy. Find out what the crew discover when they finally emerge, and the nefarious ambition behind it all. Experience the classic showdown between Jesse and the mother of all evil forces. And most of all, find out if you have the Darwinian vigor to survive!
With our first African American president in the White House and environmental woes metastasizing out of control, the time for this story is now. With a pinch of To Kill a Mockingbird and a heavy dose of Island of Dr. Moreau stirred into a Crichton-like plot, Unnatural Selection is a 106,000 word sci-fi thriller of pure literary alchemy. The novel is written in a mainstream voice that will speak to a wide audience. Very little of the underlying message is political in nature, speaking much more to issues on the social and environmental end of the spectrum - issues squarely in the cross-hairs of my personal clock-tower of concerns. Built upon sound science, facts meet fiction like the perfect fitting lips of a giant clam shell. The story is spliced into three equal parts: 1-Pacifica, 2-The surface, 3-A new era. Take a look and you'll see - Unnatural Selection is truly a natural selection.
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