Book review: SCRATCH on writing and making money

As many followers of ScienceThrillers.com know, I run a very small, boutique independent publishing company that specializes in stories with science (ScienceThrillers Media). I’m also very involved in my local Sacramento writers’ community. Therefore when I heard about Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living edited by Manjula Martin, I immediately went to my library’s website to request a copy. In the publishing business, money is like an STD: some people definitely have it, but no one wants to talk about it. Writers have little or no idea how much income other writers actually earn from selling books. In this vacuum of ignorance, expectations inflate. No, you won’t earn much money even if you get a “big” advance (typically spread out over several years, and diminished by taxes and agent fees), nor even if your book makes a best seller list.

According to the cover, Scratch aspires “to confront the age-old question: How do creative people make money?” A highlighted quote claims, “Manjula Martin…has done more than perhaps anyone else to shed light on the financial nitty-gritty of the writing profession.”

Well, I don’t know what Manjula Martin has done in general, but I can tell you that in this particular book, the only light that was shed came from a flashlight in your dad’s glove compartment powered by a couple of five-year-old C cells.

In other words, the cover copy lied. In this collection of essays, there’s no financial nitty-gritty. Actual numbers are as rare as snow in July. Instead, the essayists tiptoe around pragmatic questions of money to instead navel-gaze about issues of privilege and class. Several of them explicitly repeat the problem this book was supposed to solve: they flatly refuse to discuss specific financial details.

Now, I understand why a person wants to keep her income information private. But then don’t write an essay for a book that purports to reveal data about income or advance money.

Part of the problem is the working writers chosen to contribute to this collection are pretty much all traditionally published writers of literary fiction. The Iowa-NYC-MFA crowd. None are scrappy indies of the kind who are sweeping the amazon Kindle bestseller lists. And almost none of them write genre fiction, which is where the money, such as it is in the novel-writing business, can be found. They share a proud disdain for money, acknowledging it as a necessary evil but definitely unclean. As you might expect, this makes it rather difficult to have an honest, open conversation about “the financial nitty-gritty of the writing profession.” These people write beautiful essays, I’ll give them that. But they’re not essays that are of any use–and that (I thought) was the point of this book.

Compounding my dissatisfaction, the essayists in general make some of the most titanically bad financial decisions that parts of the book could be re-issued as a cautionary tale in poor personal financial planning. I’d rather take medical advice from Huck Finn with his dead-cat-in-a-graveyard therapy than take financial advice from these folks. Is it because these people are creatives? Is it because they’re living in an MFA bubble? I don’t know. Plenty of indie writers have embraced the practical side of the writing business. The fact that many of the essayists are also Park Slope-dwelling millennials, a group not known for its get-up-and-go tenacity, does not help.

So unfortunately I will not be recommending Scratch to my fellow authors in Sacramento, nor will I give it to the authors I sign at ScienceThrillers Media. I’ll give them straight talk about the likelihood of very small royalty payments, and a copy of a book that they can actually use (Online Marketing for Busy Authors by Fauzia Burke for business, and Troubleshooting Your Novel by Steven James for craft).

 

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Bill Nye the Science Guy co-author new middle grade thriller series

This came to my inbox and I thought I would share…Bill Nye the Science Guy and author Gregory Mone are launching a new science-themed series for middle grade students, called “Jack and the Geniuses”. Click image to link to amazon.

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Must-read microbiome stories: I CONTAIN MULTITUDES book review

ScienceThrillers.com book review of I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

Publication date: August 2016
Category: Popular science

Summary (from the publisher):

A groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.

Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Ed Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are.

The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.

Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.

ScienceThrillers review:

For once, the publisher’s summary does not overstate. I Contain Multitudes, written by one of my favorite science communicators, Ed Yong, IS astonishing and it DOES change the reader’s view of nature. Heck, I have taught microbiology at the college level and it STILL changed my way of seeing life on Earth.

The surprise, for me, was how this book covers not only the science of the human microbiome, but spreads its net more widely across all forms of life. This is a good thing, because Yong has a gift for choosing, organizing, and telling stories about microbiome science. I loved his stories about desert woodrats and creosote poison (microbes to the rescue!), about human breast milk as a fertilizer for “good” gut bacteria, and about the profound importance of the microbiome for insects. His collected tales range far and wide but weave together in a tribute to microbes and their underappreciated importance–nay, necessity–for life. He also brings in just enough description of the scientific method to make experiments comprehensible. And he avoids hype, telling a nuanced tale that includes wonder for what microbiome science might yield in the future with caution against overselling what we actually know now.

I Contain Multitudes is a splendid work of popular science. Accessible, entertaining, literate, and important, I highly recommend this book.


Hear Ed Yong discuss the book with Bill Gates on YouTube

To sample Ed Yong’s science journalism: articles for The Atlantic

Support ScienceThrillers.com and the book’s author: Click to buy I Contain Multitudes from amazon.com

If you enjoy I Contain Multitudes, you might like: Amoeba in the Room by Nicholas Money

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Would you read this book?

My next, long-overdue science thriller novel The Han Agent will finally hit bookstores in August. I’ll be sharing more with you about the origin of this story, but for now I need your feedback. To prepare advance reader copies for reviewers, I need to write a compelling back cover summary.

If you flipped over a book and read this on the back, would you take the book home?

The Han Agent by Amy Rogers

In the 1930s, Japanese scientists sought a biological weapon to give them victory over their enemies.

The war ended. Their mission did not.

Japanese-American scientist Amika Nakamura won’t let rules stand in the way of her quest for scientific glory. When the ambitious young virologist defies a ban on the genetic manipulation of influenza (flu) viruses, she loses her university job and derails her career. Enter Hiroshi Naito, scion of a powerful old Japanese clan, who offers her a position doing vaccine research with his family’s pharmaceutical company.

A few months after moving to Tokyo, Amika eagerly accepts an invitation to accompany her rich, eligible boss on a short camping trip to a remote tropical island. No one warns her the Senkaku Islands are disputed territory. An attack on the island by Chinese protesters entangles her and Hiroshi in a high-profile geopolitical struggle. Applying her singular expertise with bird flu in a risky experiment may be the only way out. Little does she know that Japanese ultranationalists and a legacy of unpunished war crimes lurk in the shadows, manipulating people, politics, and science.

But DNA doesn’t lie. Amika uncovers a shocking truth: a deadly virus is about to put the “gene” in genocide.

That’s the 200-word version. Next is an abbreviated form (150 words). Which do you like better?

Japanese-American scientist Amika Nakamura won’t let rules stand in the way of her quest for scientific glory. When the ambitious young virologist defies a ban on the genetic manipulation of influenza, she loses her university job. Desperate to save her career, she accepts a position with a pharmaceutical company in Tokyo. Soon after, a trip with her boss to a disputed island entangles her in a high-profile geopolitical struggle with China. Applying her singular expertise with bird flu in a risky experiment may be the only way out. Little does she know that Japanese ultranationalists and a legacy of unpunished war crimes lurk in the shadows, manipulating people, politics, and science.

But DNA doesn’t lie. Amika uncovers a shocking truth: a deadly virus is about to put the “gene” in genocide.

Please leave a comment if you can suggest any improvements, or tell me what you like about this summary. If you would prefer to keep your suggestions private, email me.

Coming soon: First public reveal of the cover of The Han Agent!

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Elephant ivory and cybercrime in new thriller

ScienceThrillers.com welcomes author Geoffrey Wells, whose new technothriller novel Atone for the Ivory Cloud combines elephant ivory trafficking, cybercrime, and international intrigue.

Support ScienceThrillers.com and the author by buying Atone for the Ivory Cloud at amazon.com


The Science Under the Ivory Cloud
Guest post by Geoffrey Wells

Atone for the Ivory Cloud by Geoffrey Wells. Technothriller; international espionage thriller (2017)

Readers of fiction who are interested in science and those who read ebook thrillers are no doubt already aware of our highly inter-connected world. However, they might not realize that the industry of ivory trafficking that has operated successfully using only analog methods for centuries, is now tapped into a supply chain that is managed by organized crime under the Cloud of the Dark Web. Hence the title of my new eco/cyber-thriller, Atone for the Ivory Cloud, on Amazon.

The African economies are emerging. East African countries of Kenya and Tanzania, which are responsible for most ivory exports to Asia—“harvested” from 30,000 plus poached elephants a year—are also countries, ironically, that have telecommunications infrastructure far superior to the cable and phone line-bound networks in the United States. They have innovated wireless microfinancing with technologies such as M-Pesa, have been using chip and pin credit cards for decades and use virtual currencies such as Bitcoin as standard operating procedure. Despite electrical power and corruption issues, Tanzania and Kenya’s GDP growth in 2016 was 7.2% and 6% consecutively. And criminals are taking advantage.

It is into this world that Allison, a brilliant New York composer and coder goes undercover to trap a cybercrime syndicate that has hijacked her website—to trade ivory.

In summary, Allison is stunned when the CIA leaves her no option but to go undercover to modify the code she wrote to protect her symphony. She is deployed from New York with a savvy street vendor to Tanzania, where he is from—and where the cybercrime trail goes dead. Their guarded love affair is sidelined when they are abducted by a trafficker who poaches elephants on a massive scale. To avoid betraying each other they abandon their CIA handlers and return to New York City. Allison must find a way to bring down the mastermind knowing that she might have to sacrifice her symphony, her loved ones and her privacy—for a greater good.

Here is the trailer:

Scientists are familiar with the debate over proprietary achievement versus transparent open-source accomplishment. They also know how closely the discipline of music composition is to coding. In fact, I once did an informal survey of an IT department where I worked, and found that over 80% of the staff played a musical instrument. Therefore, it was not a stretch for me to conceive a character in my novel that experiments with code as much as she does with music.

She is initially most comfortable with a passive approach to protecting her work, because she knows just enough about coding to get into trouble. Her chosen approach is to borrow extensively from existing code found in open-source programs on the Internet. She unwittingly creates an onion router similar to Tor, and works, protected by hiding-in-plain-sight, without the baggage of the dubious operators who use Tor. It’s a perfect proxy for the cybercrime syndicate that is trafficking ivory—and an ideal setup for the CIA to trap them. Except, Allison is the innocent that is still searching for her own authenticity, but who must be part of the mission because only she knows her compositions well enough to alter the code without detection.

What choice does she have? Her musical career as a composer hangs in the balance, unless she gets involved. And she does: eventually realizing that two can play the man–in-the-middle game. And so, she finds herself undercover, immersed in obfuscation, an attack using MBO (metamorphic binary obfuscation), anonymizing toolsets, bots and Bitcoins.

But the tug-of-war between her need for privacy and her conscience (con-science) weighs on her throughout the story. Being part of the “game” has an implicit responsibility to do the right thing. And she honors it.

“Atone for the Ivory Cloud is a compelling, fast-paced thriller with an exotic international flavor. Geoffrey Wells takes the reader on an enthralling ride, skillfully entwining cybercrime, music, and the fate of African elephants in a breathtaking tale of danger and romance.” -Pamela Burford, best-selling author of Undertaking Irene.


About the Author:

Impressions on a South African farm, boarding school, a father who read from the classics to his children, and a storytelling mother, sparked Geoffrey Wells with a writer’s imagination. Though the piano and drum kits and Mozambique led to his first thriller, A Fado for the River, his career as Art Director in advertising led him to the American Film Institute, and an awe of digital technology propelled him to VP of Information Technology at Disney, ABC-TV stations and CIO for the Fox TV station group. Wells wrote an award-winning animated film, has visited elephant reserves, and climbed to the tip of Kilimanjaro. He lives on Long Island where he swims the open water and runs a video and design company.

Buy the book on amazon

Signup to my newsletters about privacy, elephant conservation, cyber trends and music.
And of course, updates on the release of Atone for the Ivory Cloud.

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Guest post: Antisense RNA therapy in fiction

ScienceThrillers.com welcomes J.M. Lanham, an author whose novel The R.E.M. Effect “hearkens to Michael Crichton’s penchant for genetics gone wrong, pharmaceutical malfeasance, and high-stakes conspiracies.” Here, Lanham shows his hard-SF bona fides with a guest post about antisense RNA therapy, a central theme of his SciThri novel.


The REM Effect by J.M. Lanham. Medical/Science thriller (2016)

It’s 2021 and Paul Freeman just landed a job with Asteria Pharmaceuticals, a world leader in revolutionary drug development. Paul knows the company’s future is riding on the success of their latest product – a sleeping pill designed to interact with the human genome to deliver the perfect eight-hour sleep cycle.

Just a few blocks from Asteria’s Atlanta headquarters, troubled self-help guru Donny Ford is selling a different kind of drug, empowering followers to take control of their lives using a sacred meditation technique skeptics believe may have already taken his mind to a dangerous place.

3,000 miles away, war-hardened journalist Claire Connor sits captive in a top-secret facility hidden deep in the Costa Rican jungle, guilty of two offenses: seeking help for a sleep disorder, and asking too many questions.

When these worlds collide, the three will discover just how far some companies are willing to go to protect the bottom line.

Support ScienceThrillers.com and the author by buying The REM Effect at amazon.com


Antisense Therapy: Killing the Messenger, One Gene at a Time

Guest post by J. M. Lanham, author of the sci-fi thriller The REM Effect

What if treating inherited diseases were as simple as blocking an unwanted caller?

It may sound like science fiction, but proponents of antisense therapy have long believed antisense drugs hold the key to inhibiting the very proteins responsible for debilitating (and often terminal) diseases such as Huntington’s, Lou Gehrig’s, muscular dystrophy, and cystic fibrosis, to name but a few.

Antisense therapy—also referred to as oligonucleotide, or ON intervention—has made incredible progress during the 21st century, but the technology is far from new. Methods for ON synthesis date back to the early 1970s, with a number of scientific contributions leading up to the Zamecnik and Stephenson articles published in 1978. These articles highlighted the discovery that infected cell cultures of Rous sarcoma virus could be inhibited with antisense therapy. Nine years later, the first antisense patent was filed.

Since that time, researchers have worked to discover new ways antisense therapy could be used to treat genetic abnormalities in the future. It’s a promising technology, and one that is a central theme in my science-fiction thriller The R.E.M. Effect. But how does it all work?

Simply put, antisense therapy involves stopping a genetic mutation dead in its tracks. For example, mutations in the HTT gene are responsible for Huntington’s Disease; a fatal, progressive genetic disorder that leads to the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Such mutations are passed on through single-stranded messenger RNA (mRNA), replicating the faulty genetic instructions in cells throughout the body until the patient either succumbs to the disease, or something steps in to stop it.

This is where antisense therapy comes into play. Because mRNA is single-stranded, a synthesized nucleic acid called an antisense oligonucleotide can bind to the faulty mRNA, blocking protein synthesis and stopping translation. Since genetic disorders rely on abnormal genes continually copying themselves to other cells, the ability to inhibit problem proteins is promising for those suffering from these diseases.

Of course, this is all easier said than done.

While the FDA has approved a small dose of antisense drug regimens used to treat genetic disorders from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to high cholesterol, other drugs haven’t fared as well, like GlaxoSmithKline’s failed antisense drug designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) during phase three of the FDA clinical trials in 2013. Three years later, the FDA issued a Complete Response letter to GlaxoSmithKline, stating “the standard of substantial evidence of effectiveness has not been met.”

Research and development setbacks are a fact of life for pharmaceutical companies, but antisense is a particularly expensive venture, costing billions to develop new and experimental drugs that may never make it to market. It’s a risky business, and a step away from reliable pharmaceutical cash cows, like medications for blood pressure, allergies, antacids and antidepressants—all of which bring in billions in revenue for drug companies each year.

R&D setbacks play a significant role in The R.E.M. Effect. In the novel, Asteria Pharmaceuticals has spent billions developing the perfect sleep aid. The pill is called Ocula, and it works by using antisense technology to inhibit a set of genes linked to insomnia. The result? The perfect eight-hour sleep cycle. Unfortunately, a handful of clinical trial participants experience strange side effects that seem to be making their dreams come true.

This leads to an important question the book poses: How far would a pharmaceutical company be willing to go to hush up a few clinical trial outliers after putting every penny on the line to develop the drug of the century? Well, one can only hope such a company would just go as far as bankruptcy, but hey, this is supposed to be a fun, sci-fi thriller, right?

While the story of Ocula takes an ominous turn in the book, the true promise of antisense therapy should not be overlooked. Pharmaceutical companies continue to shell out R&D dollars toward antisense, and for good reason. Imagine diseases like sickle cell disease, Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, and Crohn’s disease being a thing of the past, joining the defeated ranks of measles, smallpox, and polio. What if one day a cancer diagnosis became little more than an inconvenience, with antisense therapy there to stop malignant cells from passing their genetic misinformation from one cell to the next?

One can only hope. Until that day comes, I’ll be rooting for the very scientists tirelessly working to make antisense therapy a reality for every genetic disorder. And, borrowing a few headlines here and there to weave into my next science-fiction thriller.


About the Author:

J.M. Lanham is an American author of science fiction, thrillers, and suspense.

Born in Georgia in 1983, Lanham has been fascinated with science fiction ever since he could pick up a paperback. Influences include Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Philip K. Dick, H.G. Wells, and Orson Scott Card, among many others.

Lanham’s obsession with Big Pharma stems from his research into publicly traded pharmaceutical companies dating back to the early 2000s. He holds a bachelors degree in business administration, which has played an important role in filling an 11×14 frame he found at Goodwill. Lanham has been a professional copywriter and ghostwriter for five years. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and son.

Visit www.jmlanham.com to learn more about the author of The R.E.M. Effect, upcoming book signings, and special events. You can also sign up for his mailing list to receive future offers, book discounts, and more.

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Guest post: From physicist to novelist

ONE WEEK ONLY: “Smart, scary science thriller” Reversion by @ScienceThriller Amy Rogers is free. Get yours from your favorite ebook retailer, and please post a review if you can.


ScienceThrillers.com welcomes Dr. James Marshall Smith, an expert on nuclear terrorism who got serious about writing a novel. The result, Silent Source, was a finalist for the Clive Cussler Grand Master Award.


Silent Source by James Marshall Smith. Medical/Science thriller (2016)

The hate is deep. The death is slow. The cause is silent.

You know that Atlanta PD has given up on a case when they call in Dr. Damon Keane. The sleuth scientist is quietly famous in forensic circles for unraveling the most daunting technical puzzles, but this case is bewildering. Two people are already dead. The third victim, a priest, is dying by inches in an Atlanta hospital, and the cause is a complete mystery to doctors and detectives alike.

As if matters weren’t strange enough, the dying priest’s rosary beads have suddenly turned the color of blood.

Despite that bizarre transformation, Keane knows that he’s not chasing something supernatural. The killer is a man—twisted by anger and a lust for vengeance—but still very much human. As the death toll mounts, the story races to London’s Hyde Park and on to the edge of Siberia and a place once home to the world’s most secret atomic city. For all of his perception and skill, Keane is always one step behind.

Time is running out. The killer is making final preparations to unleash a cloud of death over the entire city of Atlanta. By now, Damon Keane has learned that the only way to take down this villain is to outmatch his cunning in a face-to-face showdown.

It’s the most hectic travel weekend of the summer at the world’s busiest airport …

Support ScienceThrillers.com and the author by buying Silent Source at amazon.com


My Road from Physicist to Novelist: the 9/11 Connection

Guest post by James Marshall Smith

Why on earth would a physicist decide to write a novel?

I think that many of those who have worked at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—as I did for more than two decades—have at least one or two stories to tell the world. Mine began in earnest on September 11, 2001. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

That horrific attack on our Homeland turned my career around. And not just my career, but those of many at the CDC. We became aware more than ever that nuclear terrorism was not just a hypothetical threat. Although many of us considered that possibility long before 9/11, it was that date in history that really drove home this is a serious type of event that could occur.

With our expertise in nuclear radiation, my group and I began emergency response planning for other kinds of possible terrorist events: an improvised nuclear device (sometimes called “Hiroshima in a suitcase”), a dirty bomb, or the use of silent sources of deadly radiation. We worked with other federal agencies, states, and cities in understanding the scope of such threats and how we would team-up to respond if any of these scenarios should erupt anywhere in the country.

I’m now retired, but looking back over those years, it occurred to me that there was a novel there! Not just a thriller, but also a story for teaching a little science along the way. I especially enjoy fiction that teaches me something new as I read.

Why did I think I could write a novel? Blame it on Michael Crichton. Reading his classic Andromeda Strain many years ago blew me away—and not just the story itself. What knocked me over was realizing that Crichton published his novel while he was in medical school. If he could do that, I thought, why can’t I write a thriller? Naïve, yes. My many starts and stops over the years never amounted too much. Then I began taking classes in writing fiction and dipping into savings to attend workshops in New York and LA (If there’s one thing that we can learn from screenwriters in LA, it’s dialogue.) I attended summer sessions in creative writing as well at the University of Iowa and one summer at Oxford, both of which were unforgettable experiences for this rank amateur.

In retirement with the fresh idea for a novel that reflected my knowledge acquired at the CDC following 9/11, I began Silent Source. Two and a half years later, it was completed and a few months after that, one of three international finalists for the annual Clive Cussler Grand Master Award.

Silent Source is the story of forensic genius Dr. Damon Keane, who probes bewildering cases of a fatal syndrome emerging in Atlanta. People are dying without any sign of cause. Lurking in the background is a killer—twisted by anger and with a lust for vengeance. The story races form Atlanta to London’s Hyde Park to the edge of Siberia, a place once known as the world’s most secret atomic city, now a magnet for the international nuclear black market. The killer is planning his next step—unleashing an explosive cloud of death across the city of Atlanta. Damon Keane has learned that the only way to halt this terror is by outmatching the cunning of this demonic mastermind in a face-to-face showdown. It’s a July 4th weekend at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, the world’s busiest airport…

About the Author:

I’m a physicist with a research career that spanned space satellites to molecular biophysics. I was Chief of Radiation Studies for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta for over a decade and have served in consulting or advisory roles on nuclear-threat countermeasures for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, the G7 Global Health Security Action Group in Berlin, London and Paris, and for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

You can visit me at my website: www.JamesMarshallSmith.com

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Guest post: PHOENIX AFTERLIFE by James Leth

ScienceThrillers.com welcomes author James Leth to tell us about his debut science fiction novel Phoenix Afterlife.

Support ScienceThrillers.com and the author by buying Phoenix Afterlife at amazon.com–if you don’t win the book giveaway below!

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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?

This book is available in paperback or e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple iBooks.

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.

Visit my websites at jamesleth.com and Goodreads.

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