A sci-fi novel about retinas, friends, aliens, and rock and roll has been written by Ben Shaberman, senior director of scientific outreach and community engagement at the Foundation Fighting Blindness in the United States
The Foundation funds research to eradicate the entire spectrum of retinal disease including retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, Stargardt disease, Leber congenital amaurosis, and age-related macular degeneration.
Retina Boy is Mr Shaberman’s third book and is a self-described, “homage to those who persevere and thrive” with retinal disease. The story is about a young boy who grows up without sight and is called on to save the earth and an alien world of blind inhabitants on the brink of environmental collapse.
“As a writer for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing dozens of people and families impacted by these retinal conditions,” writes Mr Shaberman. “While I fully embrace the Foundation’s mission to eradicate all retinal degenerative diseases, Retina Boy is an homage to those who persevere and thrive despite having few treatments or cures for their vision loss. Their courage, resourcefulness, and resilience have been incredibly inspiring for me. They are my heroes.”
This interplanetary tale… is a reminder to all of us that physical disabilities do not prevent us from leading extraordinary lives
Dr Stephen Daiger, Director of the Laboratory for Molecular Diagnosis of Inherited Eye Diseases at The University of Texas Health Science Centre described Retina Boy as “a great read”.
“It’s a fast-paced story which brings elements of science fiction and science fact to a fun and satisfying conclusion. The fact that it covers up-to-date human genetics (and bands and music) is a bonus enriching the story. The ending, complete in itself, leaves you wanting to hear what happens next,” he said.
Dr Jacque Duncan, Retinal Specialist and Professor at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center said, “Retina Boy is an intriguing story with characters who are compelling, resourceful and tenacious. It’s an entertaining and thought-provoking novel.”
Dr. Shannon Boye, Associate Professor at the University of Florida said “This interplanetary tale, rooted in the author’s real world experience with the Foundation Fighting Blindness, is a reminder to all of us that physical disabilities do not prevent us from leading extraordinary lives. Life has its high notes, and its low notes, but Retina Boy reminds us they’re all part of a great song. Retina Boy is a fun read for people of all abilities.”
Mr Shaberman’s other books are Jerry’s Vegan Women (2015) and The Vegan Monologues (2009). His stories, essays, and articles have been carried by a variety of outlets including The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, National Public Radio, Empty Mirror, and Flock.
Retina Boy is published by Apprentice House, Loyola University Maryland. It’s available from Amazon (https://tinyurl.com/retinaboy), Audible, and other retailers.
Learn more at www.RetinaBoy.com