Overview


2026: Something is growing in the Pacific Ocean, a strange fungus-like organism that may threaten our entire food chain. Christened "the slick," the bizarre phenomenon is quickly the subject of intense, top-secret analysis-which rapidly reveals that it contains DNA unlike that of any other life on the planet.

Where is it from? A Chinese mission to Mars is rumored to have discovered life beneath the Martian icecap, but the Chinese aren't ...
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The Secret of Life

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Overview


2026: Something is growing in the Pacific Ocean, a strange fungus-like organism that may threaten our entire food chain. Christened "the slick," the bizarre phenomenon is quickly the subject of intense, top-secret analysis-which rapidly reveals that it contains DNA unlike that of any other life on the planet.

Where is it from? A Chinese mission to Mars is rumored to have discovered life beneath the Martian icecap, but the Chinese aren't talking. Dr. Mariella Anders is recruited by NASA to join an urgent mission to the Red Planet to find out. Brilliant and committed to science, Mariella wants only the truth, but others' motives are less noble. Faced with corporations, activist groups, and superpowers, each with their own secret agendas, Mariella is on a perilous quest for knowledge. . .and she's about the discover the high price of truth.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429977593
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 5/19/2002
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 603,777
  • File size: 427 KB

Meet the Author


Paul McAuley was born in England on St George's Day 1955. He has worked as a research biologist in various universities, including Oxford and UCLA, and for six years was a lecturer in botany at St Andrews University. The first short story he ever finished was accepted by the American magazine Worlds of If, but the magazine folded before publishing it and he took this as a hint to concentrate on an academic career instead. He started writing again during a period as a resident alien in Los Angeles, and is now a full time writer.

His first novel, Four Hundred Billion Stars, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and fifth, Fairyland, won the 1995 Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Awards. His other novels include Of the Fall, Eternal Light, Red Dust, Pasquale's Angel, the three books of Confluence, Child of the River, Ancients of Days, and Shrine of Stars, The Secret of Life, Whole Wide World, and the forthcoming White Devils. He has also published two collections of short stories, The King of the Hill, and The Invisible Country. A Doctor Who novella, the Eye of the Tyger, is due from Telos Books in November 2003, forty years after the author was scared behind the couch by the Daleks, and a third short story collection, Little Machines will be published by PS Publishing in 2004. He lives in North London.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting SF

    In 2026, humanity faces a new crisis. There is a humongous biological growth in the Pacific that threatens to destroy the food chain. NASA believes that the Slick is a result of a find by the Chinese on the Martian polar cap. Microbiologist Mariella Anders joins a team of scientists investigating the Martian northern icecap to determine what the Chinese actually uncovered. <P>However, the idealistic Mariella must contend with bottom line scientist Penn Brown of Cytex, who wants to monopolize whatever is discovered, especially the means to eradicate Slick. On Mars, the Chinese team working at the site where the organism was originally found flees the area as they are now contaminated. The NASA team finds samples of the original organism and Mariella makes a desperate effort to return them to earth, alienating Cytex, the Chinese, and NASA. <P> THE SECRET OF LIFE is an engaging science fiction novel that once again shows how talented Paul McAuley is in getting his message across within an entertaining plot. Mr. McAuley rips extremists on either side of scientific discovery through his intrepid lead character. The greed and the ban without debate types are skewered and ridiculed for their intolerance towards the common good. However, the secret to what enables Mr. McAuley¿s books (see his Confluence stories) so good is he rips skin, but does so inside a believable, terse futuristic tale. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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