Provocative, gripping, startling: bestselling author Ben Bova delivers a knockout read with his trademark blend of cutting edge science and unrelenting suspense….
Some see stem-cell research as mankind's greatest scientific breakthrough. Others see a blasphemous attempt to play God. Suddenly, the possibility of immortality exists. Two brothers, both doctors, stand on opposite sides of the controversy. To Dr. Arthur Marshak, his work is a momentous gift to humanity. To Dr. Jessie Marshak, it is a curse. Between them stands a beautiful, remarkable woman both brothers will do anything to save.
Somehow, before it's too late, Arthur and Jessie Marshak must bridge the gap that divides them…on an issue that could mean nothing less than life or death for millions.
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|Publisher:||Tom Doherty Associates|
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About the Author
A six-time winner of the Hugo Award, a former editor of Analog, former editorial director of Omni, and past president of the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America, Ben Bova is the author of more than a hundred works of science fact and fiction. He lives in Florida.
Ben Bova is the author of more than a hundred works of science fact and fiction, including Able One, Leviathans of Jupiter and the Grand Tour novels, including Titan, winner of John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005, and in 2008 he won the Robert A. Heinlein Award "for his outstanding body of work in the field of literature." He is President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past president of Science Fiction Writers of America, and a former editor of Analog and former fiction editor of Omni. As an editor, he won science fiction’s Hugo Award six times. Dr. Bova’s writings have predicted the Space Race of the 1960s, virtual reality, human cloning, the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), electronic book publishing, and much more. He lives in Florida.
Read an Excerpt
Washington: The Capitol
The crowd surging along the barriers that blocked off the Capitol steps was on the verge of turning ugly. It was much larger than the Capitol Police had anticipated and growing bigger by the minute. At first it had been orderly, well organized, mostly women of various ages led by earnest young men in dark suits and narrow ties who shouted their directions through electric bullhorns. Their permits were all in order and they patiently submitted to searches by the special antiterrorism squad and their bomb-sniffing dogs.
The placards they carried were professionally printed in red, white, and blue.
NO MONSTERS! DON’T INTERFERE WITH GOD’S WORK STEM CELL RESEARCH KILLS BABIES MARSHAK IS A BABY KILLER
But now a different sort of crowd was pouring in, men and women, older for the most part, lots of gray hair and bald heads, many in wheelchairs. They were being searched, too, before being allowed across the broad parking area in front of the Capitol building. They had only a few placards among them, many of them hand-lettered.
DON’T CONDEMN ME FOR LIFE TO THIS WHEELCHAIR I NEED A NEW HEART MY BABY IS DYING. PLEASE HELP ME!
The demonstrators marched up and down the parking area outside the Capitol steps, chanting slogans and counterslogans.
"Marshak does the devil’s work!"
"Marshak is a gift from God!"
"Marshak ...Marshak ...Mar-shak ...Mar-shak!"
Now TV news vans were pulling up, like sharks drawn to blood, camera crews focusing on the placards and the marching, chanting, shouting, red-faced demonstrators.
The sky overhead was a clear summer blue, although the morning traffic had already raised a smoggy haze on the streets. Security choppers buzzed overhead; no news media helicopters were allowed near the Capitol. A hot, muggy July morning in the nation’s capital; it would have been a slow Monday, news-wise, except for the demonstration. Knots of picketers began to cluster around each of the camera crews, yelling out their slogans and waggling their placards.
Captain Wally Lewis watched it all from the top of the Capitol steps with a sour frown on his dark fleshy face.
"Better call the Army," he said into his handheld radio.
The little speaker crackled. "You mean you can’t handle a few yahoos?"
Lewis grimaced. "There’s more’n a few." Squinting through the pollution haze past the Supreme Court building up toward the roadblock on Maryland Avenue where incoming buses were stopped and searched, he added, "And more busloads heading this way."
"How many more?"
"Six . . . eight ...must be a dozen I can see from here. Plenty of nuts in with them." Then Lewis added, "Some terrorist outfit could use ’em for cover."
"You see any A-rabs among ’em?"
"Like they’re gonna wear turbans and bushy beards," Lewis grumbled.
"You’re overreacting, Wally."
With the weary head shake of a veteran, Lewis said into his radio, "These people are gonna turn nasty, I tell you. I can feel it in my bones."
"The hearing’s over at the Rayburn Building, ain’t it? Dumb shits don’t even know where it’s happening."
"Don’t matter where the hearings are," said Lewis. "If there’s a riot it’s gonna be right here."
"Who in hell would’ve thought people’d get this worked up over some science stuff?" In the tiny radio speaker his supervisor sounded more surprised than annoyed.
"Yeah," said Lewis. Then he added silently, Who in hell?
Excerpted from The Immoratality Factor by Ben Bova.Copyright © 2009 by Ben Bova.Published in April 2009 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Grenford Laboratory Director Arthur Marshak discovers a method for human organ regeneration that enables the host body to replace ailing parts. The announcement causes a tsunami of support and criticism. Some called him God's agent on earth while others claimed he was a blasphemer.----------- Arthur agrees to appear before a Congressional "science court" in Washington, D.C. so that his project is not destroyed by politicians pandering their political base as he believes strongly that his achievement is a great gift to mankind. On the science court board is Arthur's estranged brother, Jesse, a winner of humanitarian awards for his work with the poor in the Bronx. Jesse opposes the technique claiming another example of money buying health as only the wealthy would be able to afford it. He has personal reasons to be against it too as he and Arthur fell in love with Julia, but he married her and then there is their late mother to split them further. ------------ This is an insightful exciting medical thriller that makes a strong case to keep politics out of scientific research. The story line is at its best during the tribunal hearings as all sorts of irrelevant headline grabbing sound bites is tossed continually including by the "judges". The relationship triangle feels stiff and out of place as means to add sibling conflict. On the other hand a hostile business takeover attempt though not as explored like the politics intervening in science is interesting as the other firm has agenda to squash certain unacceptable research. Fans will enjoy Ben Bova's latest tale as he argues politics and science research are a bad combination.---------- Harriet Klausner
This book would make a great movie to help bring to light some of the ethical issues that stem cells and its associated science will undoubtedly bring to the forefront in our day and time. The book is fiction but very close to reality with its venue and setting. It is definitely a good read. Enjoy!!!