VECTOR: Guest post by Michael Shusko

ScienceThrillers welcomes multitalented smart guy Michael Shusko, author of Vector, first book in a new military/medical espionage thriller series. Classic SciThri stuff: bioweapons, gene therapy, international terror…Sounds like fun!

All novels featured in guest author posts have been pre-screened by ScienceThrillers.com

Buy Vector from amazonBarnes & Noble

michael-shusko-vector-coverSummary:

When researcher Jawad Khattib gasps his last breath on the Massachusetts General Hospital floor, the Department of Homeland Security wants answers—especially after a preliminary autopsy suggests he died of radiation poisoning. What exactly was Khattib working on? And who was he working for?

DHS Agent Lee Jansen is rushed to Boston and paired with expert toxicologist Dr. Emma Hess to crack the case. All evidence points to the creation of a dirty bomb, but the clues seem too clean, too obvious. During the course of their investigation, they discover the horrible truth. This new weapon is far more deadly than anyone had expected. It isn’t just capable of killing hundreds—it’s capable of killing hundreds of thousands. Can they stop what’s been set in motion by a madman with a dangerous secret before it’s too late?


The Science Behind Vector

Guest post by author Michael Shusko

Genetic therapy using viral vectors is a relatively new, novel and experimental approach in the treatment of a variety of diseases. The basic concept is to use a vector (usually a viral vector) to inject therapeutic DNA into host cells. The targeted effect is to enable the newly inserted DNA to encode for and create therapeutic proteins within the cell to treat disease. While great strides in the past decade have allowed for therapeutic modification of specific genes, directed permanent alterations to endogenous human genes remain problematic. Specifically, identifying and marking in vivo genomic sequences and replacing them with modified DNA to produce life-long effects in a live human is difficult to achieve and, to many, presents ethical dilemmas.

Vector explores this science and touches on the ethical concerns surrounding permanent manipulation of the human genome for beneficent as well as maleficent goals. While investigating a mysterious and concerning death, DHS Agent Lee Jansen (who’s a bit on the bullheaded side) and the beautiful, brilliant Dr. Emma Hess sift through this emerging science as it is currently applied in the field of medicine. When they uncover illegal and unethical applications of this groundbreaking technology, their mission quickly becomes a race against time. The medical and law enforcement communities must combine forces in a high-stakes battle against international crime lords, terrorists and a dark organization. Can they thwart those who want to abuse this powerful technology before millions suffer from its effects? Or is it already too late?

As scientific breakthroughs in gene therapy continue, the medical applications and benefits of this incredible technology will continue to expand. While Vector is a work of fiction, this, like all technology, can easily be misused by unscrupulous and unethical players. Vector is the first title in my Tradecraft series. Future titles in the series will continue to explore contemporary and, at times, controversial issues as they play out on the international stage, interspersed with a backdrop of espionage, clandestine military operations and shady, subversive entities.


About the Author:

michael-shuskoMichael Shusko, MD, MPH, FAAFP, FACOEM, is an author, medical doctor and decorated Marine and Naval officer who has worked on intelligence and medical missions across the globe. Fluent in Arabic, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Rutgers University. Post-undergrad, Dr. Shusko transferred from the Marines to the Navy Medical Corps and attended medical school at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Shusko’s Middle Eastern experience and language skills coupled with his background in special operations and intelligence keep him busy deploying around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. Dr. Shusko has been awarded the Bronze Star twice for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently lives in Japan with his wife and 16-year-old triplet boys.

Full bio available at michaelshusko.com.

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New release book review: EVEREST RISING by M.D. Kambic

ScienceThrillers.com book review of Everest Rising by M.D. Kambic.

Everest Rising cover

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BlueStar5

Tech rating (out of 5):

Biohazard3

 

Publication date: November 5, 2016
Category: Science thriller / science fiction / metaphysical

Summary:

In Vancouver, an earth science firm announces the ability to replicate every known mineral on the planet.

In Switzerland, a seismologist notes a disconcerting anomaly seventy miles below the Earth’s crust.

In Nepal, the world’s highest mountain is growing.

Geophysicist James Von Kamburg leads a crack team of scientists to the Himalayas to decipher an escalating series of portentous signs: frozen glaciers are melting, plants spawn from rock, and leopards move in herds.

A mystical vision at a Buddhist monastery on the mountain forces Von Kamburg to consider science beyond anything imaginable, and to question the need for drastic action.

Jared Griffon, Von Kamburg’s brilliant former student turned rival, arrives in Nepal with no such scruples.

Everest is rising.
A cataclysm begins.

ScienceThrillers review:

Everest Rising first came to me in the autumn of 2015, as a debut author submission to my publishing company ScienceThrillers Media. In his query letter, Matt Kambic revealed a plot element (that I will NOT spoil here) that hooked me into reading the manuscript. I found a text that sparkled with intelligence–I love Kambic’s expansive vocabulary–and a strong sense of place with the setting in Nepal. The plot held together despite some weaknesses in the climax, but the book was riddled with rookie mistakes especially regarding point of view. I wrote up my critique and sent it to the author, along with a rejection. I thought that was the end of my part in this story.

Fast forward six months. Kambic not only listened to my comments, he set out to make himself a better writer. He returned to me a manuscript that had been transformed to a degree I’d never seen in a situation like this. After a few rounds of editing and back-and-forth discussion, we’d polished this debut novel to a professional level and I was proud to publish Everest Rising in November 2016.

Everest Rising is a highly original, genre-blending novel with both real science and speculative fiction elements. Kambic also steers the story into metaphysical questions and a profound ethical dilemma loosely tied to environmentalism. James Von Kamburg, an Oregon-based geologist, is afraid to father a child into a world of environmental decline. His lack of interest in their infertility is slowly pushing away his wife Maggie, an artist who occasionally experiences moments of special insight. Von Kamburg’s reckless former student–and Maggie’s former lover–Jared Griffon declares that he has found (and commercialized) the power to synthesize any mineral from cheap starting materials, and a skeptical Von Kamburg wants to believe that this seemingly impossible feat will benefit the planet. Meanwhile, a team of scientists (an amusing group of New Zealanders!) working in Nepal discovers that Mount Everest is rising–a lot, not the tiny amount expected from continental shifts. Eventually all the players end up in Nepal, where the entire natural world is being turned upside down, and Von Kamburg is faced with choices, any of which might lead to global cataclysm.

If you’re intrigued by exotic locales and Buddhist mysticism, if you like suspense without car chases and gunfights, and you think science should not be separate from ethics, pick up a copy of Everest Rising by MD Kambic.

Buy Everest Rising from publisher; amazon/Createspace; amazon/Kindle; Barnes & Noble; Apple

About the Author:

Matt Kambic hails originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He currently resides in Middle Earth, a half-hour from Hobbiton in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Matt has served as a creative writer, content developer, art director, and executive producer for a portfolio of commercial and academic clients. His work has been featured on television (The Magic Woods), in Disney games (MathQuest with Aladdin), and as a gigantic mural of a WWII “Ghost Bomber” on the side of a Pittsburgh museum (The Heinz History Center). He has also done work for Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, Robomatter, The National Robotics Engineering Center, Kennywood Amusement Park, The National Scenic Visitors Center, and Pittsburgh Filmmakers.

He is an accomplished illustrator and occasional musician.

Everest Rising is Matt’s debut novel. He is currently at work on two novels, the science thriller Tacoma Narrows, and a fantasy, The Three Green Sisters.

Find out more about Matt at his website: www.mdkambic.com.

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Artist Lisa Nilsson creates anatomic art from paper

I came across the amazing anatomic artwork of Lisa Nilsson a while ago and asked the artist for a brief interview about her Tissue Series: Anatomical Cross Sections. Nilsson creates these works out of paper using a technique called quilling.


nilssonart

ST.com: Tell us about your artwork.

In making these sculptures I aspire to a treatment of the body that combines the sensual pleasure and graphic strength of an art object, the informative and analytical approach of a scientific specimen, as well as the reverential and devotional nature of a religious reliquary.

They are made of Japanese mulberry paper and the gilded edges of old books, and are constructed by a technique of rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper called quilling or paper filigree. Quilling was first practiced by Renaissance nuns and monks, who are said to have made artistic use of the gilded edges of worn out bibles, and later by 18th century ladies who made artistic use of lots of free time. I find quilling exquisitely satisfying for rendering the densely squished and lovely internal landscape of the human body in cross-section.

ST.com: How did you get interested in anatomic art?

I’ve had a long-held interest in anatomical imagery.  Probably starting with filleting fish as a kid with my cousin Doug, who became a doctor.  Looking inside, and seeing how things work is fascinating and such a privilege when living things are involved.

ST.com: Where do you get your anatomic information? The artworks resemble MRI scans.

I used many different sources of reference when making the Tissue Series.  Primarily, the amazing and beautiful data base of cross-sections of the human body that comprise the “Visible Human Project” augmented by illustrations from historic anatomical medical books, mainly Braune and Doyen.

ST.com: Is your work medically accurate?

The work is as accurate as I could manage to make it.  I attended a one-year long program and was certified as a medical assistant in 2010.  My A&P class was very helpful, and I’ve since had the pleasure of meeting with anatomists who have told me that the work is very accurate.  This is pleasing to me, though at the time I was aware that I was making sculpture.  My goal was to make engaging objects that were accurate enough not to annoy the people who knew what they were looking at.   I did not hold myself to the high standards of a medical illustrator, nor do I have that level of expertise.

ST.com: Where is your work available for sale?

I am represented by Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York City (pavelzoubok.com)

ST.com: Who buys your Tissue Series art?

Buyers have included anatomists and surgeons as well as art collectors.

ST.com: Where else can your work be viewed?

I have an upcoming show this summer at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia.


To learn more about Lisa’s art, visit her website Lisanilssonart.com

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Science in SciFi: Guest post by author Arthur Doweyko

ScienceThrillers welcomes Dr. Arthur Doweyko, author of the hard sci-fi novels Algorithm and As Wings Unfurl. Arthur blogs about science and science-y fiction concepts at his website. He offered to share some thoughts on the accuracy of science in science fiction in the essay below.

All novels featured in guest author posts have been pre-screened by ScienceThrillers.com


Science in Science Fiction: How hard?

Guest post by Arthur Doweyko, PhD

Anyone who pays close attention to the fantastic special effects in SF movies, in particular space operas, knows that most of what they see is impossible.

For example, a ship blows up in space. What do we see (and hear)? A fireball, a roar…maybe even some debris whooshing past. Unless you’re inside the ship and about to swell up with 14.7 lb/in2 ballooning your abdomen, you won’t hear a thing. And by the way, since there’s no oxygen in space, a flame would never have a chance of leaving the ship’s outer skin.

Then there’s artificial gravity … a convenient workaround for actors who would rather not be strung up like mannequins or trudge along metal floors with magnetic boots. Even if it were possible, how would you limit that gravity to the flooring of a spaceship? Speaking of gravity, what about inertia? A sudden decrease in speed from warp to normal would pancake everyone and everything in the ship.

The Enterprise shoots out a photon beam and we see it. Remember, there’s no air, no molecules, nothing for that beam to reflect off. I admit it’s more exciting to see the beam, hear the explosion, and see the ensuing fireball.

How about space travel? How often do we see a ship traverse the galaxy? Our Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across. Even at the speed of light, it would take 100,000 years (Earth time) to get from one end to the other. Okay…there’s Einstein and his theory of relativity. If you accelerate at 1 G (equivalent to Earth’s gravity), it would take you about a year (Earth time) to get to about 99% of the speed of light (btw, you would need a year’s worth of fuel!). If you reach 99.9% of the speed of light, it would take you about 1100 years (your time) to cross our galaxy, while more than 100,000 years would have passed by for the folks back at home. Oh yeah, there’s always wormholes … although they represent a theoretical way to span huge distances in an instant, they also promise to bring you to a different time (past or future). And what about communications? Forget about it. You might need to wait more than 200,000 years for an answer to a radio message. With that long a wait, it’s likely a different form of life would be answering anyway.

Hard science fiction is meant to be a poignant warning, a realistic vision of tomorrow, which gives the reader or viewer a sense of place and destiny. However, it just doesn’t sell on the big screen. Let’s face it. We want noises in space, we like to travel quickly, we want instant communications, and we want all our alien friends to speak English. If we replace the “what if” question with “what the heck,” we’ll all get a kick out of great SF stories, because those stories are actually about us more so than the actual science. Live long and prosper.


algorithmSummary:

A gold medallion is discovered in a lump of coal over a hundred million years old. It contains a code describing human DNA at a time when there were no humans. How could this be? Adam Dove wants to know, but when he starts to investigate, his laboratory is destroyed and a close friend is murdered. Joined by a brilliant biochemist, Linda Garcia, the two are hunted by a Nazi underground bent on retrieving the disk and a mysterious alien presence, which may be more interested in destroying it. Adam and Linda face the most difficult decision of their lives-to leave all they know behind for the chance to discover mankind’s origin and purpose.


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New #STEM contest for kids: Mars Medical Challenge

Just announced: A new #STEM contest for kids

Future Engineers Mars Medical Challenge: The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, in partnership with NASA, is sponsoring a 3D printing design challenge to US students of all ages (5-19, grades K-12). If people spend three years in space traveling to Mars, how will they maintain their physical health? Turn your ideas into devices that can be 3D printed.

For a complete list of #STEM contest opportunities, visit the ScienceThrillers post.

1. Future Engineers’ Mars Medical Challenge: sponsored by American Society of Mechanical Engineers and NASA. The challenge: Create a digital 3D model of an object that could be used by an astronaut to maintain physical health on a 3-year mission to Mars. Your design must be intended to be 3D printed and could be used for a range of medical needs including diagnostic, preventative, first-aid, emergency, surgical, and/or dental purposes

futureengineers

  • K-12 students in US
  • 5-12 year-old and 13-19 year-old divisions
  • Top winners earn trip to Houston/Johnson Space Center; also MakerBot 3D printers
  • Entry deadline: January 25, 2017

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THE JEKYLL REVELATION by Robert Masello

I’ve enjoyed Robert Masello’s history- and science-themed thrillers and reviewed one, The Romanov CrossWhen I heard he has a new release this week The Jekyll Revelation, I thought I’d share. Sounds like a good one! –A.R.

On August 31st, 1888, just as the stage play of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was taking London by storm, the most notorious serial killer in history struck for the first time.

Jack the Ripper.

The grim coincidence did not escape the notice of the police, or the public, and in the hysteria that followed – the Ripper’s rampage continued for the run of the play – suspicion fell on everyone from the star who so convincingly portrayed the savage Mr. Hyde, to the author of the original story, Robert Louis Stevenson himself. Who but the creator of such incarnate evil, it was argued, could have given birth to such an actual monster?

But what if he had?

In THE JEKYLL REVELATION, history and mystery meet in a story as provocative as it is chilling. Spanning centuries and continents, from the darkened doorways of nineteenth-century London to the arid mountains surrounding present-day Los Angeles, THE JEKYLL REVELATION culminates in a terrifying discovery that solves at once an age-old puzzle and a contemporary crime.

The coincidence of the opening of a stage adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with the first Jack the Ripper murder provides an intriguing starting point for Masello’s engaging thriller. In 1894 on the island of Samoa, where Stevenson has moved for his health, the writer learns that a native woman has been butchered in the same way as the Ripper’s victims. Stevenson fears that the nightmare he thought had ended in Whitechapel has come halfway across the world “to resume its dreadful enterprise.” The focus shifts to an environmental scientist in present-day California, then back to Stevenson’s creation of his legendary personification of human evil in the late 19th century. The relevance of the present-day action isn’t immediately clear, but readers’ patience will be rewarded. The sections featuring Stevenson undergoing an experimental treatment at a Swiss medical facility are nicely creepy, and Masello (The Einstein Prophecy) tosses in quite a few surprises en route to a delightfully devilish conclusion.
Publishers Weekly

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BLOOD OF THE WHITE BEAR: Guest post by Marcia Calhoun Forecki

ScienceThrillers welcomes Marcia Calhoun Forecki, co-author of Blood of the White Bear along with Gerald Schnitzer. Zoonoses, infectious diseases that jump from one species into another, are scary in real life and make good fiction. Here, the focus in on hantavirus and the Four Corners area of the US.

All novels featured in guest author posts have been pre-screened by ScienceThrillers.com

Summary:

Images of a White Bear Kachina erupt from the dreams of virologist Dr. Rachel Bisette and invade her daytime consciousness. The kachina draws Rachel to the Four Corners to lead the search for a vaccine against an exploding and lethal pandemic. One elusive indigenous woman, Eva Yellow Horn, carries the gift of immunity. In her search for Eva, Rachel discovers power beyond science, the secret of an environmental disaster, and the truth of her parents’ death.

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The story behind Blood of the White Bear

Guest post by Marcia Calhoun Forecki

In 2010, I edited a charming and very funny memoir called My Floating Grandmother by Gerald Schnitzer. Jerry tells about growing up in Brooklyn in the 1930’s, in an energetic Jewish family that included two bootlegger uncles and, of course, his floating grandmother.  The writing style reminded me a lot of Neil Simon, that wonderful self-deprecating humor. We communicated by email about my edits and questions. Through that correspondence, our friendship grew. I was overwhelmed when this amazing story-teller asked me to collaborate on a project that became our book, Blood of the White Bear.

Jerry was always modest about his resume, which included screenwriting, producing and directing movies, documentaries, television series and commercials. He was responsible for the film made by the government of an atomic bomb test in New Mexico in the 1950’s. As our friendship grew, Jerry shared more and more details of his inspiring life. Jerry wrote the screenplays of nearly all the Bowery Boys movies I watched on Saturday morning television as a child. He made a documentary about commercial fishing narrated by William Conrad, with music composed and played by Gustavo Santaolalla. I admit it, I was star-struck.

Jerry sent me fourteen pages of handwritten notes about a virologist, Dr. Rachel Bisette, pulled to the Four Corners by visions of the White Bear Kachina. There she fights a lethal pandemic. One elusive indigenous woman, Eva Yellow Horn, carries the gift of immunity. In her search for Eva, Rachel discovers power beyond science, and the truth of her parents’ death.  Fourteen hand-written pages. It was a beginning.

I stared at those fourteen pages for a long time. Where to start, how to find the characters, how to tell a coherent story from someone else’s notes?  I had read and loved John Barry’s non-fiction book, The Great Influenza, about the pandemic of 1918, so I felt I had a pretty basic understanding of what happens when a zoonotic disease jumps species, from animal to human. The two ingredients needed for an epidemic are high lethality of the disease and ease of transmission. When both criteria are met, in a world of rapid and prolific travel, the potential for a pandemic arises.

The science was easily available on the internet. We decided to write about a fictional, mutated hantavirus. These viruses are endemic to field mice, and epidemics have broken out from time to time in the American southwest. The virus was called Sin Nombre. The Unnamed virus! I also found a lot of information about public health practices, including CDC protocols.

We hit upon the title, Blood of the White Bear, referring to the immunity found in the old healer’s blood. For Aleut and Haida people, the bear is a symbol of motherhood and child protection. For the Lakota people, the bear also has healing symbolism. I loved writing the loving yet mysterious character of Eva Yellow Horn, our book’s white bear.

Our collaboration, Blood of the White Bear was published in 2013. The book went on to become a finalist in the Willa Awards sponsored by Women Writing the West.

Jerry lived in California and I live in Iowa. We collaborated by email and telephone. We never met face to face. Now we never can. Jerry passed in January 2016. Jerry was 98 years old when he died. Jerry saw stories in everything. He influenced me as a writer probably more than I know. I was also proud to call him a friend.

Buy Blood of the White Bear from amazon

Masks reveal as much as they conceal in Blood of the White Bear, a novel that smoulders with mystery and crackles with suspense, so much so that readers may start seeing Kachina dolls over their own shoulders in the wee small hours. – Gary D. Rhodes, writer and filmmaker.


About the Author:

Marcia Calhoun Forecki has published three novels and a memoir about her deaf son. She has published numerous short stories, including “The Gift of the Spanish Lady,” about the 1918 influenza pandemic, which was a Pushcart nominee. See www.mcforecki.com

Buy Blood of the White Bear from amazonwww.writelife.com, Barnes & Noble

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SciThri new releases: October 2016

Here’s the ScienceThrillers.com occasional roundup of newly released, or new to me, indie science & medical thrillers.  These books are among the many I don’t have time to read and review, but genre fans might enjoy.

If you are an author or publicist and would like your book listed, contact me with title, author, release date, weblinks, and summary. Only books with scientific or medical themes or characters will be included. Ask me about hosting a giveaway raffle on your behalf (paper books only).

SciThri New (or new to me) Releases:

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Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan (2016). Medical/technothriller.

What if the one thing meant to keep you alive was used to kill you?

Embattled CEO Jack Getty is nervous. This is his final chance to save his company. He is announcing his firm’s breakthrough discovery at the world’s largest annual biotech conference. A discovery that trials show will extend human life by 75%. But as Jack approaches the podium, he suffers a major heart attack and collapses onto the stage, stunning the conference attendees.

Jack is rushed to the emergency room where surgeons implant the latest Wi-Fi enabled pacemaker, saving his life in the process. What Jack doesn’t know, however, is that an underground hacking group has its sights set on manipulating his “secure” pacemaker to get information only he can provide. Despite the hackers unrelenting terror, Jack refuses to give them what they want and soon starts to uncover the true motives of this mysterious and powerful group.

“…a heart-pounding novel that dances on the fringe of the dangers lurking within today’s modern technologies.”

Recipient by Dean Mayes (2016). Psychological/medical thriller.

Casey Schillinge is a vivacious young woman on the verge of making her mark on the world. While backpacking, she is struck down by a tropical disease and suffers cardiac failure. But at the eleventh hour, Casey receives a life-saving heart transplant and a rare second chance to begin again. Three years later, Casey has become a withdrawn shell of her former self: she is estranged from her loved ones, afraid of open spaces and rides the line between legitimate and criminal work. The worst of her troubles come in the form of violent night terrors; so frightening that she resorts to extreme measures to keep herself from sleeping. When she can take no more, she embarks on a desperate search for the source of her dreams. In so doing, she makes a shocking discovery surrounding the tragic fate of the donor whose heart now beats inside her chest. As she delves deeper into the mystery of her donor, she realizes her dreams are not a figment of her imagination, but a real life nightmare.

The Kafir Project by Lee Burvine (2016). Speculative fiction thriller with science and religion.

Astronomer and TV science guy Gevin Rees just landed the interview of a lifetime with the world’s most famous physicist. Remarkable, because the eccentric genius is notoriously reclusive … and he’s already dead.

What happens next forces Rees to run for his life from not one but two deadly assassins and global powers desperate to bury what he’s just uncovered. Mind-blowing technology and solid evidence that would rewrite religious history and challenge the faith of billions.

“…blends together credible scientific concepts with religious history to craft a fast-paced and truly page-turning adventure. It’s hard to avoid comparisons with Dan Brown. What if it were possible to go back and view the foundations of the major religions–to know for certain what happened, and what didn’t? How might those truths change the world? This thought experiment is just one thread in a tapestry weaving together quantum computing, relativity, observational time travel, DNA data storage, archaeology, and international politics.”

The Darkest Side of Saturn by Tony Taylor (2014). Hard science fiction.

Two astronomers discover an asteroid on a potential collision course with Earth.

Harris Mitchel and Diana Muse are old friends and scientific rivals, but when they jointly discover a new asteroid, which they name Baby, their lives are upended for good. Harris’s wife Jennifer is growing increasingly frustrated with his dedication to work over marriage. A fundamentalist minister with money troubles hopes to boost his ministry by taking public exception to Mitchel’s advocacy of science as a new frontier and a new inspiration – and a conservative radio personality is stoking the fight for his audience’s amusement. A New Age community views Mitchel as a new prophet. But the stakes are higher than any of them realize, since Baby appears to be on a collision course with Earth. Can Harris and Diana manage to save the world as well as their own personal lives?

Spores: Don’t Even Breathe by Douglas Parker (2016). Science thriller/Horror.

The good folk of small town Fulton are dying in a horror of bleeding and hallucination.

It is up to the town’s redoubtable Chief of Police, Marion Quirke, and it’s only doctor, Shona Price, to find the truth. But soon the two women are mired in a world of conspiracy and deception as the media; politicians and big business all manipulate the fate of Fulton for their own ends.

As the disease spreads it carries lies, fear and chaos with it. Marion, Shona and their small band of allies must decide just how much they will risk in their fight to get the truth before the public. First though, they must uncover exactly what that truth is.

What on earth is this terrible disease, and where did it come from? Is it an accident of nature or a deliberate attack? An isolated incident or deeply connected to mysterious events in China, Australia and Iraq? What is the real interest of Homeland Security in all this and is it just coincidence that the Presidential election is only weeks away?

Only one thing is certain – deadly spores are in the air. It’s time for you to be afraid and do what you’re told. Don’t ask questions, don’t leave the house, don’t even breathe…

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Do you enjoy thrillers with real science? Read Petroplague by Dr. Amy Rogers. Oil-eating bacteria contaminate the fuel supply of Los Angeles and paralyze the city. “Compellingly written, technically literate” “top 5 on my best of 2011 list” “the science is utterly believable” “I couldn’t put this one down”

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