cover image Observer


Robert Lanza and Nancy Kress. Story Plant, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-61188-343-5

Lanza, a pioneer in the fields of stem-cell and cloning science, makes his mind-blowing theory of biocentrism—“that the universe springs from life, not the other way around”—the focus of this brilliant Crichtonesque thriller, coauthored with SF veteran Kress (Sea Change). After Caroline Soames-Watkins, a gifted neurosurgeon at a Florida hospital, accuses her superior of sexual assault, the hospital administration dismisses her complaint, and she’s targeted by an online smear campaign. Caroline gets an opportunity for a new start and a lucrative payday from her great-uncle, Samuel Watkins, who operates a private research facility in the Cayman Islands and needs her skills to implant computer chips into brains. She agrees to participate in an audacious experiment to prove her great-uncle’s theory that it’s only the act of observation on the part of an individual that creates reality. That participation proves to be more than she bargains for when a family member dies, and the facility becomes the focus of a murder inquiry. The authors imagine what the implications of that would be, integrating them into a page-turning plot complete with betrayals, violent deaths, and difficult moral choices. This is perfect for fans of Blake Crouch. Agent: Michael Signorelli, Aevitas Creative. (Jan.)