#Excerpt from #SF short story PERFECT FIT by Deborah Jay #readers #books

The World and the Stars 500Excerpt week continues!

Today, a little snippet from my forthcoming contribution to the SFF multi-author anthology edited by Chris Butler, THE WORLD AND THE STARS, that I will be publishing next month.

You are the first people to see the cover!

I trained originally in life sciences, with specialised interest in genetics, so developments in gene-splicing and genetic modification (GM) are of particular interest to me, and that’s how this story came about.

Roz is a technician in the gene-splicing lab on board a worldship, travelling to set up a new colony. Unfortunately their arrival is long overdue, and the inhabitants are getting restless.


Excerpt from PERFECT FIT, a science fiction short story

Roz sidled in at the back of the crowded meeting hall and slid onto a chair in the hope that nobody would notice her arrival. The wooden seat creaked a protest as she perched on its front edge, and she drew a couple of deep breaths to settle her pounding heart. Accustomed to the sterile atmosphere in the lab, she almost choked on air thick with the smells of so many bodies.

She glanced from side to side to check who else was there, and met a pair of beautiful velvet brown eyes, almond-shaped above sculpted cheek bones. Sam’s lips curved up, and her stomach flip-flopped. She’d met him at her second meeting, and they’d made an instant connection, though under normal circumstances their paths would never have crossed. As a gardener, Sam’s was not a profession normally found in the social circle of a lab tech, but these secretive gatherings defied the usual conventions, and for that, she was glad. Their relationship was blossoming fast, and even as Sam smiled at her, Roz’s mind was darting ahead, imagining how his unique, fuzzy-tipped fingers might feel against her bare flesh. The tech side of her brain speculated what genes might have produced the specialised modification that allowed Sam to pollinate plants with just his finger tips.

Just then, Garth, the huge man responsible for instigating the budding revolution, rose to his feet at the front of the hall, towering over everyone else, even those still on their feet. Roz’s face snapped forward, severing the delicious promise in Sam’s gaze. The assembly—several hundred, by Roz’s reckoning—settled into reverent silence, overawed by the spectacle that was their leader. With the dense double muscling of his bovine GM bulging beneath his skin, Garth looked like he could take on the world and win. Charolais genes, a mutation that had proven fortuitous for the beef industry, supplied the tech side of Roz’s mind. Sometimes she wished she could switch it off.

She’d seen countless modifications, but few as visually impressive as Garth’s. Specially designed for heavy lifting, his super-manly physique had quite swept her off her feet when they’d first met, but things had not gone so well thereafter. She crossed her legs and squeezed her thighs together, recalling their embarrassing attempt at sex.

She’d heard all the jokes about ‘size matters’, but she didn’t think that was quite what they meant.

12 thoughts on “#Excerpt from #SF short story PERFECT FIT by Deborah Jay #readers #books

  1. Oooh, modified folks…I’m interested already. And do my eyes deceive me, or does the figure on your cover have eyes in the back of her head?? I swear, I see a panther/black leopard face staring back at me. Or have I been snorting too much chamomile? 😀 Great cover, great snippet, and looking forward to the book. I have a deep love of good anthologies. Several full shelves of them in my library, as a matter of fact, so I’ll be watching for this.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Really? Cause when I enlarged it and looked closer, there are two glowing yellow eyes. I swear! No, really!!! Okay. No more tea for me! 😦 (BTW, my cataract surgery went awry a year and a half ago, and they messed up the vision in the only eye I use, so it really isn’t the tea. My eyes DO deceive me. Frequently.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lol.
          My eyes were surgically ‘corrected’ for a squint when I was a child, and they overdid it, so now they don’t line up and I can’t judge distances, people think I’m looking past them when I’m looking directly at them, and I can’t see 3D at cinemas (very frustrating).
          They operate so independently that when I recently asked if I could have one lens replaced with a reading lens and leave the other for long distance, they said yes!
          So I know (broadly) how you feel.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’d say you know exactly how I feel. When I mentioned I only use one eye, it’s because of something similar, only genetic. My left eye is tilted down, and isn’t “aimed” the same spot as my right one. You can’t focus on two different things, so only my right eye focuses on anything. My left one is very weak. Now that they’ve left me with a floater the size of Utah in my right eye, I’m having a terrible time. 😦 But that’s a long, boring story, that is very annoying to me, but of little interest elsewhere. I can’t see 3D, either, and I can’t use binoculars. I close my left eye and use them like a telescope. Ha. I was doing just fine with ONE functioning eye, though, and I really regret that the floater appeared. I had ten days after the surgery with perfect vision in that eye, and then I woke up with this floater anchored over my pupil. GAH. And removing it is very, very risky, and could result in blindness. So it stays for now. Blurry vision is better than no vision. Right?


            • Oh wow, you’re the first person I’ve met who uses their eyes the same way I do!
              The optician did say it was very rare.
              Total bummer about that floater. Could you have the lens replaced in the other eye? Mine is weak, yes, but they said that with use it would accommodate, no problem.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Not an option, sadly. My entire left eyeball is tilted down way too far, and that eye will not focus on anything unless my right eye is covered completely, and even then, the world is so distorted, I stumble around. Even with my good eye blurry, I see better using it. There is a procedure to remove floaters, but it carries a very high risk of detached retina. I’m terrified of what might go wrong the next time. I do NOT want to have to rely on my left eye for anything. So…I just blink and squint and deal with it the best I can. My doctor says I’m the only patient she’s ever had that she WOULD recommend take the risk on the surgery, but I’m just not willing to do it. Yet. You never know. Maybe I’ll risk it someday, but not now.


                • I can totally understand you not taking that risk, I don’t think I would either.
                  You never know, sometimes floaters break up of their own accord and disappear – fingers crossed for you.


          • Yay! I’ve been vindicated! My crummy eyes didn’t lie…this time! 😉 Seriously, it made sense to me. I was thinking it was some kind of genetic mutation this person had…eyes in the back of one’s head could come in quite handy, after all. 😀


  2. Pingback: Wrapping up #EXCERPT WEEK on THE WRITE STUFF #readers #books | deborahjay

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