New release book review: SEEDERS by AJ Colucci

ScienceThrillers.com book review of SEEDERS by AJ Colucci with giveaway below!

BlueStar4

(excellent; top 30% of SciThri)

Publication date: July 15, 2014
Category: science horror thriller
Tech rating (out of 5; what does this mean?):

Biohazard3

Summary (from the publisher):

George Brookes is a brilliant but reclusive plant biologist living on a remote Canadian island. After his mysterious death, the heirs to his estate arrive on the island, including his daughter Isabelle, her teenage children, and Jules Beecher, a friend and pioneer in plant neurobiology. They will be isolated on the frigid island for two weeks, until the next supply boat arrives.

As Jules begins investigating the laboratory and scientific papers left by George, he comes to realize that his mentor may have achieved a monumental scientific breakthrough: communication between plants and humans. Within days, the island begins to have strange and violent effects on the group, especially Jules who becomes obsessed with George’s journal, the strange fungus growing on every plant and tree, and horrible secrets that lay buried in the woods. It doesn’t take long for Isabelle to realize that her father may have unleashed something sinister on the island, a malignant force that’s far more deadly than any human. As a fierce storm hits and the power goes out, she knows they’ll be lucky to make it out alive.

ScienceThrillers review:

As you might guess, I’m a bit jaded when it comes to thrillers (100+ reviews at this website so far). I tend to read analytically, and I don’t often experience total immersion in a story. But in the last 20% or so AJ Colucci’s second science-themed thriller, Seeders, I was oblivious to the world.

Horror stories will do that to you.

Yes, Seeders is a different kind of SciThri. It’s both a thriller with a foundation in real science, and a classic horror story. The book’s back cover invokes parallels to Stephen King’s The Shining, and that is a totally legitimate comparison.

AJ Colucci’s books could effortlessly be converted into screenplays. Seeders is plotted very much like a horror film, with a contrived setting on a remote island, a motley mix of people brought together and left on their own, a couple of horny teenagers, a problem with the group’s sole means of communication with the outside world, and of course some bad weather. If you enjoy horror movies, you’ll love Seeders. On the other hand, if you watch a horror movie and curse the stupidity of that girl who goes into the dark basement armed only with a pocket flashlight, you will probably get frustrated with Seeders, too. Not everybody in the story behaves rationally. In their defense, some kind of mind-altering force is apparently at work on the island, which could justify some of the bad decisions (and lack of urgency) displayed by the characters.

A key part of the originality in this story is the mystery about what’s happening inside the characters’ heads: why did George die in the prologue? how will whatever killed him affect the new arrivals? is it madness or is it plant mind control?

Colucci gives us an interesting protagonist–Isabelle, daughter of the deceased, mother of two teenage boys, and a wife who in one way or another has been a victim her whole life. How she responds to the crisis she finds herself in, especially as a mother, is a big part of what turns the pages.

Plant and fungal biology are the science-y elements to this tale. Colucci’s use of a solid foundation on these sciences to build her tale makes this a 3-biohazard science thriller. Naturally, the horrors that grow from this ground are a bit far removed from reality.

Seeders starts with a high-impact opening, then drops to a quieter baseline, and gradually, relentlessly, builds from there. You will be on the edge of your seat for the finish. I give the ending a big thumbs-up.

The gore and violent imagery in Seeders is mildly graphic, PG-13 not R level.

Unusual words: ergot; mycorrhizas; neural network; Cordyceps

If you like AJ Colucci’s cinematic writing style, you’ll like her debut novel The Colony (killer ants destroy New York; ScienceThrillers review).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FCC disclaimer: An advance reader copy of this book was given to me for review. As always, I made no guarantee that I would read the book or post a positive review.

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New release book review: REEL BIOHORROR by Victoria Sutton

ScienceThrillers.com book review of The Things that Keep Us Up at Night: Reel Biohorror by Victoria Sutton with giveaway below!

Publication date: May 15, 2014
Category: movies / nonfiction / reference

Summary (from the publisher):

This book celebrates the new subgenre of biohorror and biothriller movies which has grown rapidly in the last two decades, building on a classic past beginning with Nosferatu (1922) and The Seventh Seal (1957)moving through the Biotechnology Revolution to the movies that use engineered and natural attacks from Mother Nature. All of these movies bring an amazing view of human nature in a disaster, a pandemic and sometimes a collapse of society. This book examines 48 movies representative of this biohorror subgenre with a look through the science and the law. Could this really happen? What laws do we have to protect us? What science do we have that can combat these biological threats? A book that will keep you up at night.

ScienceThrillers review:

The Things That Keep Us Up At Night: Reel Biohorror is part academic treatise, part reference book for movie buffs. Author Victoria Sutton is a professor of law and science (ooo, I love that!) at Texas Tech University School of Law, and an expert on bioterrorism and the law. Clearly she’s a fan of bio science-y fiction like I am, but her focus is on film. She uses movies with biological threats (natural and man-made) in her law school classes. Her students analyze legal aspects of hypothetical scenarios, including important issues regarding quarantine and the Constitution (habeus corpus), local vs federal jurisdiction and civil liberties in a national or global emergency, and legal aspects of use of federal military power to enforce state laws (posse comitatus).

These issues are also discussed in this book. Sutton opens Reel Biohorror with a series of short, interesting chapters that examine the common structures, themes, and elements of movies in the biohorror/biothriller genre. Chapter topics include the psychology of fear and the rule of law, villains, cinematic biological agents, and the use of innocents in film. These chapters aren’t heavy academic fare but they do have a distinctly intellectual bent. (For example, Sutton categorizes endings of movies in this subgenre: apocalyptic, hopeful, happy, tragic, and ominous prediction endings.) Movie fans may want to skip over to chapter 12, which is the bulk of the book.

Here, Sutton individually discusses 48 movies from 1922 to 2013 which fit her definition of the subgenre. Her criteria:

a central plot around a biological agent; the resolution of the biological disaster or epidemic is central to the plot to be resolved; and {the movies} present interesting public health and legal issues.

In ScienceThrillers.com style, Sutton gives each film a rating for legal issues (how much? how accurate?) and its public health content. (Few of these movies contain accurate depictions of science or scientists in action, with the notable exception of 2011′s Contagion.) The author provides a plot summary of each film and includes still images for emphasis. Then she discusses the significance (or lack thereof) of each film, and the legal issues raised.

In perusing this comprehensive list of killer germ movies, I was struck by how many were made in the 2000s. Sutton agrees that since 9/11, biohorror is a growing area of interest. I see this in fiction, too, as more and more writers pen bio-themed science thrillers. I was also struck by how bad the science is in most of the films. Hopefully some of the quality SciThri books being written these days will be made into more accurate films.

Reel Biohorror will give you a sense of the conventions of this genre. There are some good plot ideas in some bad movies, such as Venomous and Killer Buzz which use snakes and bees, respectively, as agents to transmit a killer germ. If you are a fan of film, you’ll be sure to find a few titles here you want to see. I added Nosferatu and Pandemic (2007) to my list to watch–and quite a few more to my list to avoid. Other interesting titles are Pandemic (2009) a subtitled Japanese movie which is an epic tragedy with a strongly Japanese sensibility, and Hud (1963) starring Paul Newman which won three Academy Awards for its depiction of a disease outbreak in cattle.

Check out the ScienceThrillers reviews of two movies in Sutton’s book: Contagion and World War Z.

a Rafflecopter giveaway of REEL BIOHORROR

FCC disclaimer: An advance reader copy of this ebook was given to me for review. As always, I made no guarantee that I would read the book or post a positive review.

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SciThri new releases: June 2014

This month’s 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:

(Bonus this month: BOOK GIVEAWAY RAFFLE!)

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Shades by Brian Schwarz. Indie technothriller (2014).

Human civilization has reached its pinnacle after a genius, Dr. Grypphon Caldwell, creates the revolutionary O-Chip: a technology that turns the human mind into a wireless device. Just by thinking, people are able to turn electronics on and off, access the internet, change the temperature of a room, and communicate in any language without actually speaking out loud. Syntax Corporation has become a household name. But one day, something goes terribly wrong. It begins when a husband continues to communicate with his wife through one such device weeks after his death. Within a few short days, a group of completely random strangers are brought together to try to uncover the dark mysteries surrounding the O-Chip before time runs out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Renaissance of Aspirin by Glenn Parris. Indie medical thriller (2013).

Anita Thomas, M.D., PhD is professor of medicine, molecular biology, and genetic engineering. She’s also the youngest member of the research team that discovers FMDS400, the Fame Days drug. This is an intravenous designer antibody (Like Remicade) that is a 99% cure for fibromyalgia. This is better than a miracle, but Anita Thomas, ambitious if she is, digs into the background of fibromyalgia and discovers the underlying cause and the real solution to the problem. She also discovers flaws in the formula for FMDS400.

When rogue pharmaceutical executive, Orson Quirk, discovers that Anita is poking around in his potential fortune, he decides that she must go. He sets his attack dogs first to spy on her and then to do away with her, but misses on his first attempt. Once she realizes that she is a target, she disappears with the help of powerful friends. She flees Boston and heads to Atlanta where she takes on a new identity as an intern at Hamilton Medical Center (a fictional institution). At Hamilton, she finds herself supervised by one Dr. Jack Wheaton, senior resident physician there. Jack is immediately smitten by the beautiful Anita Thomas, but soon finds that she’s not the typical intern. Not only is she much smarter than most residents, she’s smarter than most attending faculty.

It soon becomes apparent to Jack and some of his colleagues that Anita is not really “one of them”. She’s much higher on the totem pole. As this realization sinks in, so too does the intrigue notch up, tightening the noose around Anita and Jack, and their friends; Al, Khandi, Stormi and Dasher. The danger looming high above the blunt instruments of destruction, Jason Brasil and his ex-military thugs, is femme fatale, Lucianna Velasquez, known as Lucy, the seductive mercenary/assassin posing, very convincingly, as a pharmaceutical representative. Before they know it, Jack, Anita and Khandi are running for their lives from Lucy and her gang.

Time Calling by Martin Clark. Indie science thriller (2014).

A junior intelligence agent in the British government is assigned to provide security for four young Asian women in the remote countryside while they attempt a unique and strange task – developing a language from pure numbers. None can imagine the world-changing consequences of their work, the danger it will place them in, and the critical decisions about loyalty and love it will force them to make…
Time Calling is “hard” science fiction. Using the latest science, it explores the human language-creation phenomenon and how it must some day face the ultimate communication challenge. True “cognitive-science” fiction!

**********

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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The LabLit List expanded by 40 titles

It’s been a while since I reminded my ScienceThrillers audience about LabLit.com, an extraordinary website and online community whose focus overlaps with ours. LabLit is

 “dedicated to real laboratory culture and to the portrayal and perceptions of that culture – science, scientists and labs – in fiction, the media and across popular culture. It does not generally deal with the genre of science fiction.”

Around 2010, Jennifer Rohn, LabLit author and mastermind behind the site, noticed an uptick in the number of science-y titles being published. She says the trend is continuing, so we can expect ever more portrayals of science and scientists in fiction. (Our new publishing arm ScienceThrillers Media expects to contribute to that tally!)

Here is a reprint of the titles newly added to the LabLit List (not all are recently published; some were written long ago but are “newly discovered.”) Many of these qualify as SciThri, too. Wish I had time to read them all.

Novels

(with title links to amazon.com)

Pure

by Andrew Miller
Historical Fiction: In 18th Century Paris, an engineer trying to solve the problem of an overly full cemetery starts to realize that politics is everywhere.

The Loop

by Nicholas Evans
Drama/Romance: A wolf biologist has to counter hatred against her object of study in a small town.

GOOD BENITO

by Alan Lightman
Drama: A professor of physics struggles with life and in a tale of disillusionment.

Principles of American Nuclear Chemistry: A Novel (Phoenix Fiction)

by Thomas McMahon
Drama: The lives, scientific discoveries and excitement of the Manhattan Project through the eyes of a teenager.

Loving Little Egypt

by Thomas McMahon
Drama: A physics prodigy hacks into the telephone grid in 1920s to counter saboteurs.

The Jackhammer Elegies

by Stefan Jaeger
Thriller: A structural engineer teams up with an FBI agent to stop a criminal mastermind.

Antisense

by Richard Marshall
Thriller: A scientist explores connections between the disputed theories of Lamarck and his own family’s past.

The Dark Frontier (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

by Eric Ambler
Thriller: A physicist gets involved with international spies in a fictional Eastern Europe country in the 1930s to prevent a nuclear disaster.

Decoded: A Novel

by Mai Jia
Drama: The story of a semi-autistic mathematical genius and one of the great code-breakers in the world (translated from the Chinese)

Plague and Cholera

by Patrick Deville
Historical fiction: Microbiologist Dr Alexandre Yersin is brought to vivid, thrilling life (translated from the French).

Sex, Rain, and Cold Fusion

by A.R Taylor
Drama/comedy: A charming physicist cad flees Caltech and his three girlfriends for the Pacific Northwest.

The Resurrectionist: A Novel

by Matthew Guinn
Drama: A medical college in South Carolina discovers mysterious bodies from a century ago.

Letters from Yellowstone

by Diane Smith
Drama (Epistolary): A group of scientists on an expedition in 1898 to catalogue the flora and fauna of Yellowstone Park before tourists, the railroad, local entrepreneurs and poachers destroy it.

Tödliches Geflecht

by Axel Brennicke
Drama: (In German) A young molecular biologist discovers potential foul play in Southern France.
Links: Amazon (UK)

The Rosie Project: A Novel

by Graeme Simsion
Drama: A geneticist who hasn’t had luck in dating turns his quest into an experiment and meets a woman who turns everything upside-down.

Imaginary Friends: A Novel

by Alison Lurie
Drama: Two sociologists infiltrate a cult as participant-observers and are at risk of getting pulled under.

True Jacob: A Novel

by Tom Sriver
Drama: An American physics professor enlists after Pearl Harbor and is charged with finding a fabled uranium mountain on Java.

The Signature of All Things

by Elizabeth Gilbert
Historical drama: A female botanist in the Enlightened Age makes her way in the world.

These Are Our Children

by Julie Maxwell
Drama/comedy: A professor of neonatal medicine invents a new machine to save babies while his illicit lover is pregnant; is the baby his or her husband’s?

Syndrome

by Thomas Hoover
Drama: A clinic conducting stem-cell clinical trials seems to work wonders, but is it ethically sound?

The People in the Trees

by Hanya Yanagihara
Drama: A scientist medic and an anthropologist find an extremely long-lived yet senile tribe on an Micronesian island – do they have the keys to immortality?

Blueback: A Contemporary Fable

by Tim Winton
Lab Lit Lite: A boy grows up wanting to understand the sea and becomes a biologist.

The Only Witness

by Pamela Beason
Thriller: A gorilla is the only witness to a crime, and her psychologist trainer has to use her as an eyewitness.

Leave Me Never

by Suzanne Carey
Silhouette® Romance: Possibly the only pulp romance novel ever written that contains science and where the (brutish) male love object is a scientist.

Too Late

by Zvi Yanai
Semi-Autobiographical Drama: (In Hebrew) A man’s ode to his lost ecologist brother.

Roger’s Version

by John Updike
Drama: A professor of divinity gets embroiled with a computer scientist who wants to prove the existence of God.

The Wives of Los Alamos: A Novel

by Tarashea Nesbit
Drama: The wives who accompany their husband to the Manhattan Project tell their collective story.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

by Jacqueline Kelly
Children’s fiction: A girl in 1889 learns about Darwin and being a naturalist from her Grandfather, but society does not approve.

Archangel

by Andrea Barratt
Historical fiction: A group of five interlinked short stories tells the tale of discovery throughout the ages.

Secondary Immunization: A Scientific Mystery

by BB Jordan
Mystery: Virologist Dr. Celeste Braun finds the corpse of an FBI agent.

A Fierce Radiance: A Novel

by Lauren Belfer
Historical fiction/thriller: A photojournalist captures the race to develop antibiotics during WWII, and stumbles over espionage, blackmail and murder.

Crossover novels

Ratner’s Star

by Don DeLillo
Drama: In the near future a brilliant mathematician is living with Nobel prize winners to decipher transmissions from outer space.

Fluke: I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

by Christopher Moore
Drama: A marine biologist studies humpback whales, which shouldn’t be able to spell – should they?

FlashForward

by Robert J. Sawyer
Thriller: What would you do if you saw your future in a flash? And what would the world do?

The Infinities

by John Banville
Magic realism: The family of a mathematician who contributed to the foundations of quantum physics has to deal with his terminal illness.

The Jericho Deception

by Jeffrey Small
Thriller: A Yale neuroscientist is on the verge of a groundbreaking discovery unlocking the secrets of God before a war breaks out.

The Colony

by A.J. Colucci
Thriller: A super-colony of ants is sweeping in to attack New York City – can the world’s greatest ant expert save the day? (4 star ScienceThrillers.com review)

Annihilation

by Jeff VanderMeer
Drama/Thriller: A biologist and her team explore dangerous and unknown territory. The first of a trilogy.

In The Garden of Iden

by Kage Baker
Drama/Thriller: A botanist travels back in time to collect samples from an Elizabethan garden. Series.

The Discovery of Heaven

by Harry Mulisch
Magic realism: An astronomer who loves fast cars, nice clothes and women meets a cerebral chaotic philologist who cannot bear the banalities of everyday life (translated from the Dutch).

Films

Contagion

(Dir. Steven Soderbergh)
Thriller: A realistic tale of the outbreak of a deadly pandemic and the scientists struggling to save the world.
Links: IMDb

Rubberneck

(Dir. Alex Karpovsky) Thriller: A scientist becomes dangerously obsessed by a fellow researcher in the lab.
Links: IMDb

Plays

Newton’s Darkness: Two Dramatic Views

by David Pinner
Historical fiction: Two plays about two of Newton’s infamous conflicts: one with Hooke, and one with Leibniz.
Links: Amazon (UK)

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New release: FAREWELL TO DREAMS by CJ Lyons


CJ Lyons is a tremendously popular writer of what she calls “thrillers with heart.” I’m a big fan of her early medical thriller/romantic suspense trilogy Angels of Mercy, which starts with Lifelines (ScienceThrillers review here). CJ Lyons has subsequently written a number of non-medical thrillers. Last month she returned to her roots (Lyons is a board-certified emergency medicine physician) with the release of FAREWELL TO DREAMS: A Novel of Fatal Insomnia by CJ Lyons (May 2014).

In the chaos of the ER, functioning without sleep is a prized skill. But even Dr. Angela Rossi will admit that five months is far too long, especially when accompanied by other worrisome symptoms: night sweats, tremors, muscle spasms, fevers. Then a dead nun speaks to her while Angela is holding the nun’s heart in her hand.

“Find the girl,” the nun commands—although no one else in the trauma room can hear, the words drilling directly into Angela’s brain. “Save the girl.”

Falling into catatonic states where she freezes in the middle of a resuscitation and hears dead nuns talking to her? Not good. Maybe she should check herself into her own hospital…except a lost girl’s life depends on Angela.

Because the girl IS real. The threat to her is deadly.

Aided by a police detective fallen from grace, Angela searches the midnight catacombs beneath the city, facing down a ruthless gangleader and stumbling onto a serial killer’s lair. Her desperate quest to save the girl leads her to the one thing she least expected to find: a last chance for love.

As her symptoms escalate in bizarre and disturbing ways, Angie realizes exactly how serious her illness is. She might be dying, but she’s finally choosing how to live…

If you think fatal insomnia is interesting, you must read:
Sleep Donation by Karen Russell.

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Vote on title for my next science thriller novel

My next science thriller is on the way! Release date is October 20.

More news to follow about this page-turning tale of bio-mayhem (with plenty of real science and scientists), but right now I need help choosing a title.

I know you don’t know anything about the book–that’s the point. A good title should hook readers into learning more–make them read the plot summary, for example.

Which of these titles, by itself, might pique your interest enough to click a link or turn to the back cover?

I have my personal favorites but your opinions count most.

You may vote for more than one title. Please leave a comment if you have one.












My survey tool isn’t posting the titles that you are suggesting, so I’ll copy them here. Write-in votes for:

Distempered
Rabocity
Retro Vira: A Nanotech Thriller
(Clever! Might have to write a book just to match that title.)

You can also leave your write-in votes in the comments.

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New release book review: THE FURIES by Mark Alpert

ScienceThrillers.com book review of THE FURIES by Mark Alpert.


BlueStar4

(excellent; top 30% of SciThri)

Publication date: April 22, 2014
Category: science thriller
Tech rating (out of 5; what does this mean?):

Biohazard4

Summary (from the publisher):

For centuries, the Furies have lived among us. Long ago they were called witches and massacred by the thousands. But they’re human just like us, except for a rare genetic mutation that they’ve hidden from the rest of the world for hundreds of years.

Now, a chance encounter with a beautiful woman named Ariel has led John Rogers into the middle of a secret war among the Furies. Ariel needs John’s help in the battle between a rebellious faction of the clan and their elders. The grand prize in this war is a chance to remake the human race.

ScienceThrillers review:

The Furies is science novelist and journalist Mark Alpert’s latest gift to the science thriller genre, following his spectacular Extinction (2013). Furies is set in the present-day U.S. but offers an alternative history backstory, tilting it a little more toward speculative fiction than his other books. After a prologue set during a 17th century witch hunt in Europe, this fast-paced, imaginative thriller begins in New York with the collision of lonely guy John Rogers and a mysterious, alluring woman named Ariel. To his delight and surprise, a one-night stand begins, only to be violently interrupted. Instinctively John commits to helping Ariel, and from then on, their fates are linked.

Ariel gives John frustratingly little information about who she is, and who is trying to kill her. Their trek leads them back to John’s home territory in Philadelphia, where we meet a poignant character, an old friend of John’s who fell from being a respected surgeon to being a junkie who caters to the medical needs of the drug trade. Onward they rush toward a secretive farm collective on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, by way of a spectacular scene involving Mackinac Island and the ferry across Lake Michigan. John learns more than he should about Ariel and her family, the Furies. Because the Furies rely on secrecy to protect themselves from a hostile world, his knowledge marks him for execution.

I won’t reveal the Furies various secrets here, but I will mention that the science in this science thriller is related to the Furies X-linked mutation in a gene they call Fountain. Alpert does a great job of explaining sex-linked traits and providing a biological explanation for the unequal status of men and women in Fury society, invoking sound principles of gene regulation and protein-protein interactions. He even includes a Punnett square on one page! (Penalty, however, for hitting a pet peeve of mine: Herbal remedies are ascribed miraculous healing powers that only the Furies apparently are smart enough to notice.)

In the second part of the novel, the bond between Ariel and John grows ever stronger inside the Fury compound as Ariel struggles to complete her scientific work, to save John’s life, and to save her family and community from the twin threats of exposure and violent rebellion. With the rebellion, Alpert uses the opportunity to explore intriguing questions about aging and death, and about the instability of a society in which one group is inherently advantaged over another.

Despite the love affair in the plot, The Furies is no romance. It’s edgier and more violent than Alpert’s previous work. Both Ariel and John are forced to show deep physical and emotional resilience to reach the conclusion, after much loss. The ending partly ignores the near-impossibility of the Furies being able to maintain secrecy in the 21st century (specifically, the problem of engaging with the banking system without suitable identity verification), but the genius and wit of the characters and the Fury leadership make it acceptable to believe the story’s resolution.

The Furies is a top-notch thriller with real science, just what we like here at ScienceThrillers.com.

FCC disclaimer: An advance reader copy of this book was given to me for review. As always, I made no guarantee that I would read the book or post a positive review.

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SciThri new releases: May 2014

This month’s 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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Resistant by NYT bestselling author Michael Palmer. Medical thriller (2014). Much beloved physician-author Michael Palmer’s last book. He was nearly finished with the manuscript when he passed away suddenly last year.

They fight without conscience or remorse. Their only job is to kill.

They are the most ruthless enemy we have ever faced.

And they are one millionth our size.

When Dr. Lou Welcome fills in last minute for his boss at a national conference in Atlanta he brings along his best friend, Cap Duncan. But an accident turns tragic when Cap injures his leg while running. Surgeons manage to save the leg, but the open wound is the perfect breeding ground for a deadly microbial invader committed to eating Cap alive from the inside out. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, a teenaged girl is fighting for her life against the same bacteria. The germ is resistant to any known antibiotic and the government scientist tasked with finding a cure has been kidnapped. Turning to the Centers for Disease Control for help, Lou Welcome uncovers a link to a shadowy group known as One Hundred Neighbors that has infiltrated our society and is using our health institutions as hostages. Like the deadly germs they can unleash, One Hundred Neighbors will stop at nothing to further their agenda. From the hospital corridors where anything you touch can mean your end, to the top corridors of power in this race against time, Lou must stop an epidemic, save his best friend, and face even his own most terrifying demons.

The Kraken Project by NYT bestselling author Douglas Preston. Science thriller (2014). Features character Wyman Ford from Impact.

NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed “Dorothy,” a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the internet.

Former CIA agent Wyman Ford is tapped to track down the rogue AI. As Ford and Shepherd search for Dorothy, they realize that her horrific experiences in the wasteland of the Internet have changed her in ways they can barely imagine. And they’re not the only ones looking for the wayward software: the AI is also being pursued by a pair of Wall Street traders, who want to capture her code and turn her into a high-speed trading bot.
Traumatized, angry, and relentlessly hunted, Dorothy has an extraordinary revelation—and devises a plan. As the pursuit of Dorothy converges on a deserted house on the coast of Northern California, Ford must face the ultimate question: is rescuing Dorothy the right thing? Is the AI bent on saving the world… or on wiping out the cancer that is humankind?

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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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