cover image The Immortality Factor

The Immortality Factor

Ben Bova, . . Tor, $25.95 (480pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-0525-1

Bova's cautionary medical thriller, the uncut version of his 1996 novel Brothers , explores the political, social and religious ramifications of what could be humankind's greatest medical breakthrough—organ regeneration. When biotech lab director Arthur Marshak discovers a way to grow replacement organs and limbs within a patient's own body, the uproar from religious extremists, conservative politicians and sensationalized media coverage threatens to derail the project. When Marshak decides to let a “science court” in Washington, D.C., rule on the validity of human organ regeneration, the subsequent travesty of a tribunal not only imperils his career but also his tempestuous relationship with his estranged brother, who happens to be married to Arthur's ex-fiancée. Even an implausible love triangle and a cast of two-dimensional characters can't dim the forcefulness of Bova's message: the singular significance of science in modern-day society. (Apr.)