Just how do you spell it?

Elefant Book Cover Elefant
Martin Suter
animals, science, literary fiction
Fourth Estate
May 21, 2018

The international bestseller about friendship, second chances, and a tiny glow-in-the-dark pink elephant What would you do if you woke up to see a living, breathing, tiny, glowing, pink elephant? If you're anything like Schoch, who lives on the streets of Zurich and is decidedly down on his luck, you might well think it's time to put away the bottle before your hallucinations get any stranger, and go back to sleep. But what if the tiny pink elephant is still there when you wake up? And clearly needs someone to take care of it? And what if you discover that it's been created through genetic engineering, by a group of scientists who just want to use it to get rich and don't care about the elephant's welfare? And that they're in cahoots with a circus and will stop at nothing to get it back? What if this little elephant is about to change your life?

An apposite story of the issues and challenges of genetic manipulation of embryos, just as the UK law permits such manipulation for Cystic Fibrosis. The thin edge whereby such ‘surgery’ may occur in the future, either for illnesses that are caused by faulty genes, or for traits that are, or are not, required – such as a pink glow-in-the-dark skin! (and as there may, or may not be, a malfunctioning gene for fat cells, could I have this surgery too please?)

Initially, I was not sure of this book and story, but I was gradually drawn in to finding out about the homeless and  their lives, and then the circus. And then there was the geneticist and the elephants.

In the end, you could say that this is a fable for scientists. Or you could call it sentimental, or even redemptive. for me, it was all of these things. This tiny elephant was born for a reason, and she impacted a number of lives to bring them what, you could argue, they deserved. For good or ill.

Nicely written, and a story I couldn’t put down.

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Not so animated men

Cyborgs #1-#3
Eve Langlais
paranormal, sci-fi, genetic engineering
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(17 Sept. 2016)

The cyborgs started out as human, people with lives, love and family. Then their country changed them. Made them in to something different and wiped their past. But they can't take away how they feel. In C791, Joe starts a revolution and brings his people together to find answers. What he finds instead is love. Poor F814 thought herself a robot, defective and unique among her kind, until a cyborg teaches her how to live again. When a geeky cyborg meets B785, a robotic princess, circuit boards sizzle.

I never finished book 1! I got 25% through where there was an interesting twist but not sufficient to keep me reading. When I realised that there would be nothing more that ultra alpha males and fighting and….


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Out we go into Space!

Fesity Princess Book Cover Fesity Princess
Feisty Princess #1
Erica Conroy
Plutoid Press
(12 Nov. 2013)

Feisty princess

These are the voyages of the spaceship Feisty Princess.

Archaeologist Vikki Jacobs finds herself battered, bruised and in unfortunate need of help. She's been double-crossed and left for dead on a spaceship set to self-destruct. Even with odds stacked against her, she's determined to kick the ass of the man responsible and retrieve what he stole.

Enter the polar opposite half-Duarr twins, Will and Xan. Childhood friends who offer their support—and Xan's spaceship the Feisty Princess—to help her achieve her goal. But they're no longer the boys she used to boss around when they were kids. They've grown up and bring baggage and hormones into the fray...

Join the reunited friends as they hunt down the bastard who double-crossed Vikki and kick his ass!

I used to love Science Fiction – in fact I still do, but so much I read is derivative of the Masters.  Where is the next Frank Herbert and Dune? Where is Arthur C Clarke?

This author is not there yet. Good try but not quite good enough for me to read book 2.

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Flap your wings little butterfly and chaos comes

The Butterfly Code Book Cover The Butterfly Code
The Infinity Gene #1
Sue Wyshynski
Whitman Books
October 15, 2015

A quiet vacation turns exhilarating when Aeris meets the alluring and mysterious Hunter Cayman.

Usually when an author references a Butterfly it the old - ‘ a butterfly flaps its wings and chaos comes’; this is also true here but we are also looking more deeply into how a caterpillar s transformed into a butterfly. What happens inside that cocoon that changes the caterpillar into a butterfly? Or that changes the larvae living in water into the best hunter on this planet - a dragonfly? Have you ever watched one hatch from its cocoon on the side of a rush in your pond? It crawls out slowly and painfully and damp. It then sits in the sun for a while and then spreads its wings to dry and then suddenly there it is in its full glory, a creature that has 4 independently moveable wings and that can sense where its prey will be in the future and intercept them there.

What does all of the above have to do with this book?

Well the concept of the infinity gene is based on the scientific knowledge we could have of how the transformation takes place within that cocoon. How can cells completely change their operation? Well in fact they do so occasionally in humans. Take cancer. This is a cell transformation. It is just that we don’t completely transform all our cells at once, which is what a butterfly or dragonfly does.

If we could, than could we go back to a different age? Could all our aging cells or our cancerous cells be transformed back into young cells or non-cancerous cells?

Would we want to? Would an infinite life be good? Initially, especially if we remained young and whole with no diseases and all the vigour of your youth, we might think so. But isn’t it the same premise, as would you like to live in heaven, where nothing ever changes, including yourself? Would you not get bored with life?  It is true, that if you lived for thousands of years you could become rich indeed, but you would also have seen every play ever performed at least once, seen every painting in the world, been to every museum, every cit, every country and resort, every hotel if you were so inclined and so on. Experienced every emotion and fallen in love many times, especially as if you were immortal and those around you weren’t....

So we can wax philosophical about infinity in the same body and whether it is something we might want. And what would be the price we would be prepared to pay to achieve it.

In this book a solution is offered as how to achieve it, but those who have been so transformed into infinite immortals are not so keen on it, and certainly don’t want to spread it around for it has other effects on the human body than just immortality. And these effects in the wrong hands might be disastrous.

A book that tells a story but it was more about the concept for me and so thought provoking in its own way

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