The future is here. Are you wearing antiviral gear?
Sex. Disease. Love. Fear. Faith. Grief. Star reporter Dayton Winstead juggles all these in Viral Times, when a viral pandemic of HIVE-5 and AIDS Ultra drives out full-contact sex. After millions die in less than a year, new SimSuits on a network give the world the technology to experience SafeSex's passion, lust and climax in simulations as real as any forbidden embrace. But love takes a beating in Viral Times. Casualties of loved ones mount in a pandemic that spreads through touch. Dayton's lost wife haunts his heart and drives his work through a losing battle.
Although SimSuits keep the virus at bay, they also open the door for attack. Nobel-winner Jenny Nation's evangelistic faith sparks the Nobel geneticist's mission to erase the SexNet, the Suits' lure, plus any sinner who wears one. On the seventh day after her ultimatum, Nation's engineered virus Mighty Hand will sweep through the net and into the Suits to infect the millions who believe they are safe.
Humiliated and broken by a counter-attack against his investigations, Dayton meets Angie, a naturopath with her own losses in love and sex to bear. Spreading the medicine of natural immunity through ageless practices and cures, she finds herself on a head-on course with Mighty Hand's death and Dayton's love. Mighty Hand threatens to change their world forever, unless Angie and Dayton can find and forestall the first biological virus to attack over a network. Only faith in immunity can recover love in Viral Times.
"In Viral Times, Ron Seybold creates a mesmerizing and horrific future world that blooms like a deadly plant from the seeds we sow today. It's a tale full of danger and love and hope. And infused with a weird steampunk glamour. Think William Gibson meets Raymond Chandlerbetter yet, experience this world of fear and faith for yourself."
Donna M. Johnson, author of Holy Ghost Girl
"I loved this book! Viral Times is very Michael Crichton-like and certainly a cautionary tale for the future of public health. I used to scare people in my field by telling them the implications for a pandemic, and how easy it would be to get it started."
Laurel Sharmer, Emeritus Professor of Public Health, SUNY
"It's Andromeda Strain meets 1984, a world where Big Pharma invokes divine influence and deadly viruses spread via machines. In Viral Times, Ron makes Armageddon look desirable by comparison."
Guy Smith, author of Afterlife
"You can tell Ron knows drama and moviemaking, with nimble jump cuts and images that will stay with you long after you've finished this novel."
Laurie Cosbey, The Writing Center, Texas State University