Tumble Hitch A Novel About Life in Science by Pernille Rørthessie Aitkin, the long-time Editor-in-Chief of a leading life sciences journal, receives a fantastic job offer. A young animal rights activist requests an interview with her husband, Peter Dahl, a research scientist at a prestigious institute. An unexpected revelation sets in motion a series of events that shifts the course of their careers and their relationship. In this novel, another page turner by the author of Raw Data: A Novel on Life in Science (Springer 2016), enthusiasm for basic research and for how science is – and could be – communicated combine in a thoughtful reflection on the impact of ambition on personal relationships. In a non-technical appendix, the author discusses the use of narrative in scientific papers and considers alternative modes of science publishing, one of which is featured in the novel. Storytelling in science has the potential to enhance communication, but may also have unintended consequences. This novel and the appendix explore these timely and important issues for the scientific community.
Publication Date: 2018
The Unedited A Novel About Genome and Identity by Pernille RørthThis novel is set in the near future, where human genome editing has become routine. First adopted to fight a lethal virus, it is now widely used to prevent diseases and favor other traits. Ben, Eiko, Celia, Raphael and Leo have just had their coming-of-age genome reading and are struggling with this new information for each their own reasons. Soon, they are cast into the middle of a crisis that threatens the future of their society and pits it against a parallel, but strictly separated, society where genome manipulation is forbidden on religious grounds. The book includes an essay on the potential of human genome engineering and related genome-based choices.
Publication Date: 2020
The Pet Thief by Kassten AlonsoThe Pet Thief is a dystopian fable of science, rebellion, humankind's inhumanity, and the struggle for identity and survival in a post-human world. When scientists, the government, and venture capitalists conspire to hybridize humans with animals--cats, specifically--for organ harvesting, drug testing, and military applications, the experiment is an irredeemable failure, producing human-like beings with uncanny abilities who are nonetheless fundamentally defective. Oboy and his mentor/tormentor Freda are two wayward hybrids, "cat people," who have escaped with others to the depths of a rundown European city being leveled for reconstruction. They are members of a street gang led by an ominous leader called Swan. Oboy is unable to think or speak except in mimicry, but he is a physical savant, which serves Freda's mission. Enraged at what has been done to her, Freda wants to "rescue" every pet she can. When Oboy returns with a human baby after his first solo outing, their world and the truths of their existence come unraveled.
Publication Date: 2013
A Question of Mercy by Elizabeth Cox; Jill McCorkle (Foreword by)The mysterious death of a mentally disabled boy sends his stepsister on the run in this historical novel by the Robert Penn Warren Award-winning author. Rural North Carolina, 1950s. When young Adam Finney is found dead in a river, his teenaged stepsister, Jess Booker, is sought for questioning by the police. Making a desperate escape, Jess treks and hitchhikes across four states to a boarding house in tiny Lula, Alabama. Pursued by a mysterious car with a faded "I Like Ike" sticker, she is also haunted by memories of her mother's early death, her father's distressing marriage to Adam's mother, the loving bond she formed with Adam, and her boyfriend Sam's troubling letters from the thick of combat in the Korean War. In Lula, Jess finds a respite among a curious surrogate family, as well as the strength to return home and face the questions she cannot answer about her stepbrother's death. Set in the mid-twentieth-century South, A Question of Mercy examines individual freedom and responsibility, as well as America's legacy of shameful practices regarding the mentally disabled. Through her vibrant characters and lush southern settings, Elizabeth Cox illuminates the moral, ethical, and seemingly unnatural decisions people face when caring for society's weakest members. Foreword by Dos-Passos Prize-winning author Jill McCorkle