Second Nature

Second Nature

by Mark Canter


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2013 SILVER MEDAL for Science Fiction, ForeWord Reviews.

Michael Crichton meets Hans Christian Anderson in this romantic thriller with the brains of science fiction and the heart of a fairy tale.

Kirkus Reviews says: "Canter once again demonstrates his first-rate ear for dialogue, as well as a knack for nonstop pacing and a thoroughly convincing scientific grounding... the book's large amount of exposition-on everything from nanotechnology to cetacean biology-is smoothly integrated into the fast-paced narrative. Confidently told sci-fi sure to reel in adventure fans."

Gen is a teen-age woman. She is also a bio-warfare research project, designed by Col. Jack Eberhard. Born at Redstone Military Laboratories inside a quarantine unit rated Biohazard Level Four, Gen's body harbors billions of microscopic organisms that have mutated from her genetically altered cells. The tiny entities in Gen's tissues control life at the molecular level and Eberhard weekly tests their ability to heal the simulated combat wounds he inflicts on her.

When a deadly threat forces Gen to escape the lab, she discovers that her marvelous power to reconstruct living tissue, from proteins to cells to whole organs, enables her to transform herself bodily into any animal whose DNA she collects through a simple touch.

While in the form of a dolphin, Gen saves dolphin researcher Cade Seaborne from drowning. Her heartfelt attraction to him compels her to spontaneously shape-shift back into human form; but the morphing is incomplete and Cade encounters Gen as a woman with her head and face hideously deformed.

As Gen struggles with her dilemma of falling in love with a kind-hearted man who nonetheless regards her as pitifully ugly, the evolving microscopic life-forms inside her compel her to complete a frightening journey to fulfill their mysterious mission. Meanwhile, Eberhard has tracked down Gen and he's sending in Special Forces to carry out a priority-one Executive Order: capture and destroy his dangerous experiment. When Cade at last recognizes beauty behind the mask of a beast, he'll give his life to protect the strange woman he cherishes. And he learns that love has its own transformative power.

When the heart sees more keenly than the eye, beauty is unexpectedly found.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481145466
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 12/06/2012
Pages: 434
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

Mark Canter was raised in Kentucky hill country in a metropolis of 400 tobacco and hog farmers, where he belonged to the only Jewish family in the cosmos. In his dharma-bum youth, he hitchhiked and jumped trains across the Western States and Canada and went through jobs from pizza chef to surgical orderly, massage therapist to rock-show stagehand. After getting a journalism degree, he wrote for a few Florida newspapers before landing the senior editor post at Men's Health magazine. His non-fiction writing also has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, Miami Herald, St. Petersburg Times, Yoga Journal, Shambhala Sun, Writer's Digest and other periodicals. His short stories have been published nationally and his debut novel, Ember from the Sun, was published in 10 languages.

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