ScienceThrillers.com welcomes author James Leth to tell us about his debut science fiction novel Phoenix Afterlife.
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Mind vs Brain: Author James Leth on Phoenix Afterlife
Based on current theories of the mind’s emergence from the brain, Phoenix Afterlife is a story about the nature of consciousness, the quest for immortality, and the meaning of humanity. The story takes place just a few years in the future in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Summary: Dr. Alice Kurz is a neuroscientist driven by the memory of her grandmother, who raised her and then succumbed to Alzheimer’s. For years, Alice has been studying how to repair the brain to save damaged minds. All she needs now is a test subject for the nanotechnology her team has developed. She finds him in Eliot Stearns, a research librarian skilled at seeing the larger perspective and interested in everything.
When Eliot meets Alice, he’s drawn to her immediately. The experiment requires him to be isolated from the world for five days, communicating only with Alice and the other researchers through a videoconference system. Misgivings aside, Eliot finds the study—and Alice—too interesting to refuse. But there is far more to the experiment than he’s been told, and others on the project have their own agendas: “Trick” Trilby, the lead software developer, who knows that the project’s technology could lead to a kind of immortality; Matthius Pin, the first test subject, determined to have nothing more to do with the project; Sam Gleigh, the reclusive billionaire investor; and Dr. Gold, the psychologist locked in a strange conflict of wills with Alice Kurz.
Eliot never foresaw the danger inherent in the experiment. Once inside, he has no control over how long the “five-day” study might last. When he discovers evidence that he’s already been sequestered far longer than that, he realizes that the nanotechnology placed in his brain may be altering his memory. Is the woman he’s grown to love keeping him prisoner? Is there any way to escape? Or will he spend the rest of his life repeating the five-day study over and over again?
About the author:
Phoenix Afterlife is my debut novel. The technology in this story is informed by two degrees in computer science from MIT and over 30 years’ experience in engineering R&D. I live in Colorado, where I’m currently working on my second novel.