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WesternSFA
The Immortality Factor
by Ben Bova
Tor, $15.99, 480pp
Release Date: August 21, 2012
The author declares in a new introduction that this is NOT a scifi novel, but rather set in the modern world when written in 1996. It was printed then in a shorter version with the title Brothers, and Bova has now restored the excised parts. Alright, many are calling it a medical thriller, but given that many chapters occur in a Congressional hearing for a “science trial” of stem cell research, one might also call it a political thriller. The premise: stem cell breakthroughs can lead to immortality by expensive organ regeneration. The conflicts: political and religious opposition to it, and the personal conflicts of the scientist with his opponent brother, rival for the same lady, and a sick baby who could benefit from treatment. Bova is stepping in to fill the void left by C.P. Snow’s novels of the place of science in society, from half a century ago. I can’t think of anyone else doing it who doesn’t resort to anti-science diatribes. ~~ Mike Griffin

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