"A must read for sf fans"
In 2026, humanity faces a new crisis. There is a humongous
biological growth in the Pacific that threatens to destroy
the food chain. NASA believes that the Slick is a result
of a find by the Chinese on the Martian polar cap.
Microbiologist Mariella Anders joins a team of scientists
investigating the Martian northern icecap to determine what
the Chinese actually uncovered.
However, the idealistic Mariella must contend with bottom
line scientist Penn Brown of Cytex, who wants to monopolize
whatever is discovered, especially the means to eradicate
Slick. On Mars, the Chinese team working at the site where
the organism was originally found flees the area as they
are now contaminated. The NASA team finds samples of the
original organism and Mariella makes a desperate effort to
return them to earth, alienating Cytex, the Chinese, and
THE SECRET OF LIFE is an engaging science fiction novel
that once again shows how talented Paul McAuley is in
getting his message across within an entertaining plot.
Mr. McAuley rips extremists on either side of scientific
discovery through his intrepid lead character. The greed
and the ban without debate types are skewered and ridiculed
for their intolerance towards the common good. However,
the secret to what enables Mr. McAuley's books (see his
Confluence stories) so good is he rips skin, but does so
inside a believable, terse futuristic tale.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 25, 2001