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 RAFFLES! Enter to win)
In the history of our planet there have been several mass extinctions. The worst of these was the end-Permian. It is estimated that this event killed between 80 and 96% of all animals and plants on land and in the sea. The end-Permian extinction was initiated by an increase in global temperatures that was caused by greenhouse gases from widespread volcanism. This modest temperature rise started a cascade of events that culminated in the release of massive amounts of poisonous gas into the air and sea. We are seeing the first elements of the same cascade unfolding today. For most there will be no escape from this gas, only a quick death. A handful of individuals with sufficient foresight will, however, have a small chance to survive. This is their story.
The Zyne Project by Sara Brooke. Indie horror/science thriller.
Be prepared to take a journey into the pits of hell, courtesy of the Zyne Corporation. Six people agree to participate in a first-of-its-kind clinical trial. They’re ready to change the face of science, but they’re the ones who start changing. As each subject succumbs to the horror of the trial, they begin to turn against each other…and discover the nightmare within. What was supposed to be a medical breakthrough is turning regular people into something unimaginable. And there may be a deeper truth even more frightening than the beastly evolution occurring…
The City that Traveled the World by Studio Dongo (2013). Indie novel about ocean colonization.
Twenty-four nautical miles off the coast of Vancouver Island, a self-propelled underwater playground called New Holland has just opened to the public. An ancient family fortune rides on every decision made by Mick Kugler, who struggles to keep an even keel as the manager of a facility that must remain strictly in international waters. As New Holland begins its global cruise, Mick strives to keep the attention of the civilized world focused on the resort’s most predictable offerings: sex, drugs, and gambling. But as word spreads concerning gladiatorial contests, a suicide clinic, and the sale of human organs, Mick realizes that two dozen miles of ocean buffer will not be enough to protect him from a rising tide of moral outrage. Threatened by grandstanding politicians, zealous clergy, uncompromising animal rights activists, territorial drug kingpins, self-promoting journalists, and an international medical research conglomerate intent on recovering its stolen technology, New Holland’s maiden voyage seems doomed to fail. Infighting among the crew isn’t helping. Fortunately for Mick, his wife Ruth has a plan—and if a team-building exercise for the senior members of the crew doesn’t turn into full-fledged mutiny, she might just be able to put that plan into action.
The Transhumanist Wager by Zoltan Istvan. 2013. Speculative sci fi (“transhumanism”, a science-based movement to enhance humans abilities and lifespan).
This indie philosophical thriller has been called “revolutionary” and “socially dangerous” by readers, scholars, and religious authorities. The novel debuts a challenging original philosophy, which rebuffs modern civilization by inviting the end of the human species–and declaring the onset of something greater. Set in the present day, the novel tells the story of transhumanist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology. Fighting against him are fanatical religious groups, economically depressed governments, and mystic Zoe Bach: a dazzling trauma surgeon and the love of his life, whose belief in spirituality and the afterlife is absolute. Exiled from America and reeling from personal tragedy, Knights forges a new nation of willing scientists on the world’s largest seasteading project, Transhumania. When the world declares war against the floating city, demanding an end to its renegade and godless transhuman experiments and ambitions, Knights strikes back, leaving the planet forever changed.
White Thaw : The Helheim Conspiracy by Paul Mark Tag (2013). Meteorology thriller; book #3 of a series.
Dr. Linda Kipling has had her share of excitement working as a meteorologist with the Naval Research Laboratory. Twice in four years, she and her boss, the arrogant Dr. Victor Silverstein, have faced international crises requiring heroic action. Now, Kipling faces her most formidable foe yet: her only remaining relatives, the Müller family. Debates about climate change continue as two researchers in Greenland mysteriously disappear. Kipling soon comes to a horrific realization: not all observed climatic aberrations are coming from natural variation or an increase in greenhouse gases. Instead, someone is tampering with nature, risking a cataclysmic event that could destroy the world. Her dying father is suspicious; he believes distant relatives in South America are involved. The Müller family was once part of Hitler’s inner circle. They escaped from Germany in 1945 with a fortune in gold, and now they hope to alter the world’s climate for their own purposes. Kipling must head to Greenland under the guise of familial reunion in order to dismantle the Müller plan and save the planet from a climatic apocalypse.
The Trial of Poppy Moon by John Corder. Highly speculative indie thriller about near death experience, but has interesting medical twist.
Poppy Moon is cast overboard into icy ocean water. At the hospital, Poppy is pronounced dead from exposure. Documents she’s carrying permit the immediate removal of her organs for transplant. One kidney is destined for Bristol, the other for Paris. The one heading for Bristol gets damaged, but the Paris-bound organ vanishes. But when the human body is dangerously below normal temperature, its vital life-signs can be deceiving. Poppy is still alive. By the time she regains consciousness, it’s too late: the remaining kidney, which has been traced to a private hospital in Caen, is already in the body of a twelve-year-old boy. Unfortunately, the law regarding transplanted organs gained by illegal means is particularly clear: victims never get their organs back. Marcus Coaker, a leading London solicitor advocate, is tasked with proving the doctor’s negligence – and he has an unexpected witness to prove it. During the removal of her kidneys, Poppy had a Near Death Experience; she saw and heard everything that was done. Marcus promptly sets in motion the first legal action ever prosecuted on the basis of an NDE. There’s no time to go to trial. A well-informed and enraged public must persuade a French judge to order the return of the kidney. But Marcus hadn’t counted on such powerful forces uniting against him: the Jersey hospital, Whitehall, the European parliament – all want Poppy dead.
Grievous Bodily Harm: A Toni Day mystery by Jane Bennett Munro (2013). Indie medical mystery written by a physician; set in small town Idaho.
A new administrator is hired to ease the transition when overcrowded and landlocked Perrine Memorial Hospital is bought out by a behemoth hospital system that covers much of the Pacific Northwest and promises to build a new hospital in Twin Falls. But Marcus Manning, a good ole boy with roots in Twin Falls, far from making anything easier, manages to earn the enmity of medical staff and employees alike as he ruthlessly goes about eliminating anyone who might oppose him in his quest to become not only CEO of Perrine Memorial, but CEO of the entire system. Unwisely, he starts his campaign with pathologist Toni Day, who blows the whistle on Marcus’s twisted campaign of lies, blackmail and sexual abuse until the medical staff finally considers firing him, but is saved the trouble by someone with a more permanent solution … of cyanide. Toni, as one of the prime suspects, is forced to solve the mystery of Marcus’s murder to keep herself out of jail, and as she delves further into the private lives of those involved in Marcus’s life, finds herself forced to kill in order to save her life and finally learn the truth.