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Current Topic: Fiction

Topic: Fiction 3:21 pm EST, Mar 12, 2006

Are you a hard-working research biologist waiting for your story to be told? Look no further than Allegra Goodman's new novel, which Booklist called "a timely inquiry into our society's problematic matrix of science, money, and politics."

From the book jacket:

Hailed as "a writer of uncommon clarity" by the New Yorker, National Book Award finalist Allegra Goodman has dazzled readers with her acclaimed works of fiction, including such beloved bestsellers as The Family Markowitz and Kaaterskill Falls. Now she returns with a bracing new novel, at once an intricate mystery and a rich human drama set in the high-stakes atmosphere of a prestigious research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sandy Glass, a charismatic publicity-seeking oncologist, and Marion Mendelssohn, a pure, exacting scientist, are codirectors of a lab at the Philpott Institute dedicated to cancer research and desperately in need of a grant. Both mentors and supervisors of their young postdoctoral protégés, Glass and Mendelssohn demand dedication and obedience in a competitive environment where funding is scarce and results elusive. So when the experiments of Cliff Bannaker, a young postdoc in a rut, begin to work, the entire lab becomes giddy with newfound expectations. But Cliff’s rigorous colleague–and girlfriend–Robin Decker suspects the unthinkable: that his findings are fraudulent. As Robin makes her private doubts public and Cliff maintains his innocence, a life-changing controversy engulfs the lab and everyone in it.

With extraordinary insight, Allegra Goodman brilliantly explores the intricate mixture of workplace intrigue, scientific ardor, and the moral consequences of a rush to judgment. She has written an unforgettable novel.

You can read an excerpt at Amazon. "Intuition" earned a Starred Review from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. They wrote:

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. In another quiet but powerful novel from Goodman (Kaaterskill Falls), a struggling cancer lab at Boston's Philpott Institute becomes the stage for its researchers' personalities and passions, and for the slippery definitions of freedom and responsibility in grant-driven American science. When the once-discredited R-7 virus, the project of playboy postdoc Cliff, seems to reduce cancerous tumors in mice, lab director Sandy Glass insists on publishing the preliminary results immediately, against the advice of his more cautious codirector, Marion Mendelssohn. The research team sees a glorious future ahead, but Robin, Cliff's resentful ex-girlfriend and co-researcher, suspects that the findings are too good to be true and attempts to prove Cliff's results are in error. The resulting inquiry spins out of control. With subtle but uncanny effectiveness, Goodman illuminates the inner lives of each character, ... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ]


Trust Network :: A New Book By Rick Osborne
Topic: Fiction 2:16 pm EST, Mar 12, 2006

Xochitl Green is a burned-out web geek that has spent the last three months writing an app that will change the way the Internet works.

She burned out and left for vacation before anyone knew how powerful it really was.

Now someone doesn't want her to come back.

Whom do you trust?

Read the first chapter. The full book is available online from Lulu.

Trust Network :: A New Book By Rick Osborne

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
Topic: Fiction 12:16 am EDT, Jul  3, 2005

About Cory Doctorow's latest novel, Kirkus says:

This chimera of a novel takes a plot with the geek appeal of a Neal Stephenson story and combines it with a touching family tale built out of absurdist elements that could have come from Italo Calvino or Kurt Vonnegut.

Sci Fi Magazine summarized it like this:

The latest novel by this Nebula-award nominee is every bit as strange as it sounds, but considerably more powerful than you might guess. The tone swings wildly from farce to technological exposition to horror. There are even two touching love stories, one of which Alan experiences as a child, and one as an adult. The surprises arrive at the rate of one every couple of pages.

Publishers Weekly gave it a Starred Review:

It's only natural that Alan, the broadminded hero of Doctorow's fresh, unconventional SF novel, is willing to help everybody he meets. After all, he's the product of a mixed marriage (his father is a mountain and his mother is a washing machine), so he knows how much being an outcast can hurt. Alan tries desperately to behave like a human being -- or at least like his idealized version of one. He joins a cyber-anarchist's plot to spread a free wireless Internet through Toronto at the same time he agrees to protect his youngest brothers (members of a set of Russian nesting dolls) from their dead brother who's now resurrected and bent on revenge. Life gets even more chaotic after he becomes the lover and protector of the girl next door, whom he tries to restrain from periodically cutting off her wings. Doctorow (Eastern Standard Tribe) treats these and other bizarre images and themes with deadpan wit. In this inventive parable about tolerance and acceptance, he demonstrates how memorably the outrageous and the everyday can coexist.

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

For 'Code' Author, 24 Months in a Circus
Topic: Fiction 6:54 am EST, Mar 22, 2005

Two years and 25 million copies later, Dan Brown, the author of "The Da Vinci Code," has all but gone into hiding.

"I still get up at 4 a.m. every morning and face a blank computer screen. My current characters really don't care how many books I've sold, and they still require my same effort and cajoling to persuade them to do what I want."

There are hints that the pressure to repeat his success might be wearing on Mr. Brown.

For 'Code' Author, 24 Months in a Circus

Rave Reviews: Bestselling Fiction in America
Topic: Fiction 12:46 am EST, Mar 18, 2005

In this exhibition, we celebrate the fiction Americans actually read -- fiction we admire, fiction we love, fiction we pretend to ignore.

The books on display are significant both as physical objects and as reminders of great stories. Taken as a whole, they provide an index of American interests and reading tastes over the last two and a half centuries.

Be sure to check out "The Blockbuster" under "Types of Bestsellers."

Rave Reviews: Bestselling Fiction in America

New York Times Best-Sellers - Hardcover Fiction
Topic: Fiction 1:11 pm EST, Mar 13, 2005

This Week: #2. Weeks on List: 1.

THE RISING, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. (Tyndale, $25.99.)

The Prince of Darkness chooses a Romanian woman to be the mother of the Antichrist.

New York Times Best-Sellers - Hardcover Fiction

Cory Doctorow | I, Robot
Topic: Fiction 2:16 am EST, Mar  1, 2005

His ex-wife. He hadn't thought of her in years. Well, months. Weeks, certainly. She'd been a brilliant computer scientist, the valedictorian of her Positronic Complexity Engineering class at the UNATS Robotics school at the University of Toronto. Dumping her husband and her daughter was bad enough, but the worst of it was that she dumped her country and its way of life. Now she was ensconced in her own research lab in Beijing, making the kinds of runaway Positronics that made the loathsome robots of UNATS look categorically beneficent.

He itched to wiretap her, to read her email or listen in on her phone conversations. He could have done that when they were still together, but he never had. If he had, he would have found out what she was planning. He could have talked her out of it.

Cory Doctorow | I, Robot

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