I started reading cyborg romances a while before I decided to write my own. While doing beta reading for T.J. Quinn on her Cyborg Reborn Series, I started reading cyborg romance by other authors. I started Cynthia Sax’s Cyborg Sizzle series with No. 10 Seeking Vector. Of course, after that, I had to go back and read the entire series. Pretty soon, I was reading every cyborg romance I could find.
Eventually, Vyken Dark was born.
I spent years writing and polishing my Aledan series and creating the Aledan universe. The heroine Michelle “Chelle” Marlow is living in the ruins of the fictional city of Farringay on an Earth devastated by alien interstellar war. Cyborgs were made to fight wars.
Even though I used a number of the same tropes familiar to cyborg romances, I wanted it to be different than the others. Some cyborg series have them escaping misguided natural humans who want to destroy them once the war is over. They seemed to forget that even though the cyborgs are genetically and cybernetically enhanced, they are also human beings.
Some series have cyborgs that are more machine than human. Naomi Lucas’ cyborg shifters are enhanced with animal DNA. Marie Dry’s cyborgs were aliens.
But not all cyborgs were made for war. Nellie C. Lind’s cyborgs are made for love in her bound by her series. While some cyborgs were made for war, there was also a line of cyborg lovers.
“Can’t find Mr. Right? Why not create him?
MedAct is the company that can make all your dreams come true! Just give them a call and let them create the perfect man for you. But remember, you can never give him up. It will kill him, literally.”
Only they don’t all die. Some go rogue, and some go insane. Something sinister is going on at MedAct, but no spoilers here. I really enjoyed this series and devoured each of them almost as soon as they were released.
In my series, the cyborgs start out being treated like property, but when the public learned that they were created from human embryos, they demanded human rights for the cyborgs. After that, they were committed to a finite length of service and freed.
Befriended by a Federation Spacefleet admiral, Vyken Dark is encouraged to go back to post-apocalyptic Earth after the war instead of going to live in the cyborg colony on a world called Phantom. Because of his unique relationship with the Admiral, Vyken wants to grant his friend’s dying wish. There is a group called the Civil Restoration Enclave, trying to rebuild a pocket of civilization just south of Chicago in the former cyborg production facility.
There he finds his female, the one female he can sire offspring with. Vyken later believes the Admiral convinced him to go back to Earth because the gene pool there would most likely have produced his female. That does happen for him, but Vyken also discovers thousands of cyborgs still in stasis at the facility.
In some respects, it’s kind of like the wild west, and the cyborgs are the new lawmen in town. Or the Vikings of the future, ruthless warriors bred and conditioned kill with abandon until there are no more enemies to kill. What’s a cyborg to do when the killing stops?
To keep them motivated, they are promised they will find their genetic mate to breed and make a family, to love and be loved. While I never actually said as much in the story, I am pretty sure Vyken Dark didn’t really believe in that fairy tale.
When he finds her, he is sexually attracted to her, but he doesn’t quite know how to translate his attraction to her into a relationship. Most courtship customs have been forgotten in post-apocalyptic Chicago. However, Danya’s father, introduced in the Cyborg Awakenings Prequel, came from a family that valued books and reading. He collected books wherever he found them and taught her mother to read as well as Danya.
While Danya never had a real romance, she had read about romance, so she knew that dating was mainly about spending time with a prospective mate. My whole Cyborg Awakening series is a prequel to the Aledan series.
So why do I now have Clarissa Lake as the lead writer for the series now? I am retired from my day job with a modest retirement income that allows me to write and publish but the return on the hours invested would make pathetic wages. I plan to write some shorter stories based on both series next year and plot some longer works in the Cyborg Awakening Series with Clarissa. There may be a box set of Cyborg Awakenings in the Future.