USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author S.M. Schmitz

Sci-fi Romances and Mythic Fantasies with a little bit of heart and a whole lot of snark

From USA Today Bestselling Author, S.M. Schmitz, comes Frankenstein reimagined

Releasing this weekend is my new sci-fi novel, Genesis Rising, which tells the story of Drake, a young man who has been genetically engineered by a U.S. government financed project to create the perfect special operations soldier.

Drake's behavior is controlled by the microchips that were implanted in his brain as a fetus, and he is the sole survivor of Dr. Mike Parker's decades of research and experiments. But Drake has always resented the life he has been cursed with, and the sequence of events that lead him to realizing The Genesis Project's grip on him might be breakable are the foundation of the first novel in my new series, The Genesis Project.

Mary Shelley's classic science fiction novel, Frankenstein, serves as an inspiration for the heart of The Genesis Project. In Frankenstein, we're presented with the story of a young scientist creating life, and his despair over the monster he's created. The Creature, meanwhile, is intelligent and articulate but hideously deformed, and when Frankenstein and other humans reject him, the Creature turns to violence and murder in his grief over his existence.

But what if this novel had been told from the Creature's point of view? How different would we see him? Would his deformities still keep him as some sort of Other in the reader's mind, or could he be accepted as human and sympathetic? If his appearance were different - if he were attractive rather than large with yellow skin through which people can see what lies beneath - would he be more sympathetic to readers?

Of course, Drake's life takes a different course and this is a different story. The Genesis Project controls him although they believe it's for a good purpose. After all, millions of soldiers all over the world are tasked with protecting their country, and that's Drake's sole reason for existing. He's also attractive and looks completely human, but it's the ability of a computer program to control his behavior that separates him from other people.

I hope readers will enjoy the first installment of The Genesis Project and I hope they'll find a fresh spin on the familiar theme of what makes us human. This is the story of Drake's journey to find the answer to that question.

A sneak peek at the first chapter of Genesis Rising is below ~ happy reading, friends!


Chapter 1


A strange beeping sound woke me up, but I couldn’t identify its source. I slowly opened my eyes and squinted at the bright lights surrounding me. I tried to shield my eyes with my hand but couldn’t lift my arm. I struggled to raise it again and my sluggish mind began to register why I couldn’t move. You’re restrained. Your arms are tethered to this bed.

I blinked and waited for my eyes to adjust to the unrelenting light then glanced down the bed toward my arms. They were, as I’d suspected, strapped to the cot I was lying on. I had no idea why I was restrained. I couldn’t remember how I’d gotten here or why I was on this bed. I had no idea why I was lying there naked with only a thin white sheet covering the lower half of my body.

I had names for most of the equipment I could see around me now. And I had what seemed like memories, but somehow, I knew they weren’t really memories.

But I knew things. I knew how to use an MK11 and MK13, although as I lay motionless on that bed, I struggled to recall any time I’d actually ever fired one. I couldn’t seem to find that memory, yet I was confident I could use either rifle with deadly precision.

And I was able to pull up all of this information about close combat training, but when I tried to place myself in any of those training exercises, I was always missing.

A tickle on my nose made my left arm twitch in response. I tried to lift my hand again and again, it was met with the resistance from the restraints around my wrists. I sighed and looked helplessly at my arm as the heart rate monitor to my right continued to beep at me.

It was then I noticed the black mark on the inside of my forearm.

I twisted my wrist so I could turn my arm and see the mark better. I lifted my head and tried to remember if I’d ever gotten a tattoo, and if I had, why would I have chosen this?

It was fairly small, a rectangular black box, unremarkable in its shape and coloring. Sporadic blue lines intersected the blackness, but that was it. No other shapes or letters or implied significance.

The origins of the tattoo, if that’s what it was, remained as completely mysterious as how I knew things I shouldn’t have known.

I heard a door open behind me, and my heart accelerated. The heart rate monitor beeped faster in response.

“Drake,” the man’s voice said. “You don’t need to fear me.”

That name.

That was my name.

And there was something familiar about his voice.

My heart rate slowed and the beeping slowed with it.

His tall, lanky figure appeared at my side and he looked down at me, studying me like a specimen under a microscope.

I didn’t like the way he was looking at me.

“Do you know who you are?” he asked me.

“You just called me Drake. Even if I didn’t know my name, I could have guessed it.”

The man snickered and tapped something into a tablet he carried with him.

“Why am I restrained?” I asked him.

He glanced up at me and tilted his head. “Because you might be dangerous. We can’t allow you to move freely until we know you won’t harm us.”

I sighed loudly and retorted, “I’m naked and disoriented. How dangerous could I be?”

The man just smiled and kept tapping on his tablet. I wanted to snatch it out of his hands and grab him by the throat until he answered my questions… and then I realized that might be why they thought I was dangerous.

Why did I want to hurt a man I’d just met who hadn’t threatened me?

“You’re angry,” the man told me. “What’s made you angry, Drake?”

“I’m not angry,” I lied.

The man held up his tablet and turned it so that the screen faced me. “Do you see this graph? It charts your adrenaline, noradrenaline, and testosterone levels. They’ve recently spiked.”

I swallowed and blinked at the screen. “How are you charting that?”

The man turned his tablet back toward him and studied me again. I suspected that chart was recording another spike right now. “Do you know what you are, Drake?”

“Tied down?” I answered. “Naked and a little cold?”

“We’ll get you another blanket,” the man promised. “You’re our first survivor. The first successful outcome of The Genesis Project.”

Something prickled the back of my mind and I wanted to get off this table and away from this man. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide.

But I already knew hiding would be impossible.

There would be no escaping this man or this place.

“Then what am I?” I asked, my voice small and distant.

“You,” the man said with a smile, “are a four billion dollar investment. If you work as we hope, then you are only the first.”

“What am I?” I asked again, louder and more insistent, even though I had begun to fear his answer.

“A breakthrough in genetic engineering,” the man answered. “Completely designed by The Genesis Project. Part human, part computer, created to be the ultimate lethal machine.”

I shook my head to protest, but he had typed something into his tablet again and an unsettling buzzing sensation filled my head. I closed my eyes in a feeble attempt to drown it out or ignore it, but there was no ignoring the message being directed to my brain – if that’s what I actually had inside my head.

I will not harm the men in this building. I will follow their directions. I will obey. I am not a man.

I am not human.


Copyright S.M. Schmitz, 2016.


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