cover image Transhuman


Ben Bova. Tor, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3293-6

Iconoclastic cellular biologist Luke Abramson is determined to save his dying eight-year-old granddaughter, Angela, with his cutting-edge treatment for cancer. Inconveniently, his process is not yet approved for use on humans, and he’s stymied by the objections of Angela’s parents. When Luke and Angela vanish, FBI special agent Jerry Hightower is assigned to recover them. While Luke’s allies are manipulating him to gain control of his revolutionary treatments and the profit they promise, his enemies will go to great lengths to keep the life-extension genie in its bottle. Luke has more immediate concerns: the side effects of the treatments that he has inflicted on himself and his helpless granddaughter are progressive and potentially lethal. Characters struggle to escape cliché (Angela’s mother “screeched” and “bleated” upon discovering the kidnapping, and Native American Hightower is “unsmiling” and taciturn), and the Fugitive-style plot is all too familiar. This oddly archaic novel never manages to engage. (Apr.)