Bio-Punk: Stories from the Far Side of Research

Overview

A collaborative work between scientists and ethicists working at the forefronts of their respective fields and short story writers, this collection attempts to predict some of the potential ethical side-effects of the groundbreaking biomedical research currently being developed. Exploring the increasingly gray area between the fantastical and that which is already within our reach—including programmable memories, nano-tech implants, fatherless reproduction, and interspecies reproduction—this unique volume fuses ...

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Overview

A collaborative work between scientists and ethicists working at the forefronts of their respective fields and short story writers, this collection attempts to predict some of the potential ethical side-effects of the groundbreaking biomedical research currently being developed. Exploring the increasingly gray area between the fantastical and that which is already within our reach—including programmable memories, nano-tech implants, fatherless reproduction, and interspecies reproduction—this unique volume fuses fact with fiction and speculates on the future of scientific progress. With an appeal to both science fiction fans and academics, the contributors include authors Jane Rogers, Justina Robson, Sara Maitland, Sean O’Brien, and Simon Van Booy as well as scientists and ethicists Dr. Ainsley Newson, Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Dr. Jane Calvert, Professor Martyn Amos, and Dr. Nihal Engin Vrana, among talented others.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"The bio-punk believes in the common ownership of...vital knowledge,...for the open-sourcing of all...bio-knowledge, most of which remains hidden from general view in pay-to-access research journals." This collection of 14 science fiction short stories by British authors—including Jane Rogers, Sara Maitland, and Toby Litt—focuses on the narrow boundary between fiction and reality in science research and development, and on the many ethical dilemmas that research about biological systems and creatures can create. Each story is based on recently-published scientific research, and is followed by a response essay written by a scientist or ethicist (in fields like stem cell research, genetics, and pharmacology). From "encephalic modification clinics" that use fMRI to erase brains, to a culture that has saved apes from extinction by developing their potential as agricultural workers, to the questions that can be created by supplements and drugs and their clinical trials, these stories will alternately entertain, bemuse, horrify, and puzzle. The scientific responses provide details of the research on which the stories are based as well as the dilemmas that researchers face and how far the story is removed from current scientific capabilities. It's an intriguing story collection well-complemented by the offerings of those in the field. (June)
From the Publisher

"A delight from the first page to the last."  —Observer on Jane Rogers' Mr Wroe's Virgins

"Toby Litt has taken us back into the secret and brutal lair of childhood . . . wickedly, wittily scary."  —Observer on Toby Litt's Deadkidsongs

"A Book of Silence grapples with ideas at the very heart of what it is to be human, and Sara Maitland is a joyous champion of the countercultural notion that silence is more than simply an absence of noise."  —Times on Sara Maitland's A Book of Silence

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781905583409
  • Publisher: Carcanet Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ra Page is the editor of The City Life Book of Manchester Short Stories and the founder and editor of Manchester Stories magazine. He has written for the Guardian, the New Statesman, and the Times, and is the recipient of a Jerwood Foundation Bursary. He is deputy editor of City Life and a director of the Manchester Poetry Festival.
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