Small Miracles

( 2 )

Overview

Garner Nanotechnology is developing nanotech-enhanced protective suits and autonomous first-aid nanobots.  It’s cutting-edge stuff, and when it saves Brent Cleary from a pipeline explosion that killed hundreds, the Army takes notice. 

Near-death experience changes a person, so no one is entirely surprised when easy-going Brent turns somber and studious, focused and cold.  Not at first.  But Kim O’Donnell, Brent’s best friend, cannot get past some of the ...

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Overview

Garner Nanotechnology is developing nanotech-enhanced protective suits and autonomous first-aid nanobots.  It’s cutting-edge stuff, and when it saves Brent Cleary from a pipeline explosion that killed hundreds, the Army takes notice. 

Near-death experience changes a person, so no one is entirely surprised when easy-going Brent turns somber and studious, focused and cold.  Not at first.  But Kim O’Donnell, Brent’s best friend, cannot get past some of the changes.  This just isn’t her friend, and she wonders what’s gotten into him. 

With an Army field trial imminent and the company’s future at stake, possible nanotech side effects aren’t something anyone wants to discuss.  The bad news is, Kim’s right.  Something has gotten into Brent – and he isn’t the only one changing. 

If Kim can’t stop them … maybe we’ll all change.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This high-concept techno-thriller from a real-life scientist is unfortunately lacking in both tech and thrills. Set less than a decade in the future, a budding nanotechnology firm has developed a lightweight "supersuit" outfit with life-saving technology, including microscopic robots that, in the event of a medical emergency, are released into the bloodstream to battle injury. During a routine sales-oriented ride-along with law enforcement, the nanosuit saves employee Brent Cleary from a catastrophic accident that kills hundreds. Although the nanobots are designed to exit the human body after 24 hours (through an anatomically convenient "escape hatch"), Brent begins to suspect that the machines have not only moved in to stay, but are developing a consciousness of their own. Lerner's intriguing premise fails to gain momentum, training his heavy-handed narrative on Brent's shallow social and mental lives, and the nanobots' apparent influence on them. By the time any tangible consequences take effect, most readers will have already lost interest.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Another science-fiction-ish thriller from Lerner (Fools' Experiments, 2008, etc.). Field-testing Garner Nanotechnology's cutting-edge protective suits, Brent Cleary is caught in a huge explosion. The suit protects him from blast and fire, and its medical nanobots (bacteria-sized machines) shield him from fatal trauma, but he is severely injured. After a long convalescence, Brent returns to work and gradually immerses himself in the technology. Somehow, he seems more committed and smarter than before-at least, to his longtime friend, programmer Kim O'Donnell. Garner's president doesn't mind at all, since he hopes to sell the suit to the U.S. Army. Kim wonders if the nanobots injected into Brent, programmed to die after 24 hours, somehow survived and migrated into his brain via the spinal canal. How else to explain his burgeoning new abilities? But new Brent, who's taken to wearing mirrorshades with direct Web feeds, doesn't seem to have much of a conscience any more. When numerous bums and winos arrive at a local hospital, their spines damaged from clumsy attempts at lumbar punctures, Kim doesn't immediately make the connection. Nor does she yet notice how the guards at Garner's upstate New York facility have taken to wearing Web-feed mirrorshades. Guess what's going on? After a slow start, matters culminate in frothy, desperate action. Well handled but predictable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765360700
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 369
  • Sales rank: 1,365,215
  • Product dimensions: 4.31 (w) x 6.69 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

EDWARD M. LERNER has degrees in physics and computer science. As an engineer, Lerner has led development projects for NASA and various contract work from telecommunications to national defense. His books include Probe, Moonstruck, and the collection Creative Destruction, as well as a collaborative series of Ringworld prequels (Fleet of Worlds and Juggler of Worlds) with Larry Niven. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Ruth.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an exciting modern day Frankenstein

    At Garner Nanotechnology, Brent Cleary demonstrates a new nanosuit that will save the lives of cops or soldiers. Upon impact from a bullet, the suit tightens and stiffens to keep the projectile out; if it should penetrate and injure the wearer, nanites are secreted that clot the wound.

    The demos are successful as Brent rides along with the police. That is until a gasoline pipeline explodes killing hundreds and imbedding Brent into a brick wall. Brent survives, but his friends and workers believe he has changed though he, CEO Daniel Garner, and the medical research team in charge of the experiment insist he is back to normal with nanites removed from his system. However, Kim at Garner notices his ability to absorb information at a level geometrically greater than before the accident and his rate of absorption is growing even more rapidly daily. She begs him to undergo more intensive tests, but Brent refuses even as he begins to lose control of his mental faculties while the firm keeps on testing others while hiding the results from federal and state inspectors.

    This is an exciting modern day Frankenstein as Edward M. Lerner makes a case for better scientific ethics with stronger government oversight instead of rotating back and forth doors, which means no true review. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the explosion occurs and never slows down, but the tale is totally driven by Brent, Daniel, and Kim; each is obsessive in different ways. Although in some ways similar to Robocop (in terms of the critical conversion incident) mixed with Phenomenon, SMALL MIRACLES is a refreshing cautionary science fiction thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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