Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2009.01.28 : Pandora in Paperback
Plus New E-Mailer Sender To-er
And . . . Updike – Le Roi Est Mort

This month sees the paperback release of Pandora's Sisters in the US – theoretically (though probably not actually, unless you ask them to order it) available in bookshops but definitely from Amazon.com.

Makes a dandy Christmas gift.

'You want to know who gave you your immortal soul? You want a personal relationship with God? Well, we found God. We've got God's private number. And so do you: imprinted a hundred trillion times – once in every living cell in your big dripping corpus.'

So says a woman with a pole-axe pressed to her neck – and the solution to the entire mystery of human existence clutched between her palms.

Two weeks earlier, she was just your average designer of AI for ultra-violent video games, hanging out with her pet chimp – wondering how something as weird as human consciousness could have evolved through Darwinian selection.

But when a mysterious and disconcertingly attractive behavioral geneticist, and a hotshot cryptologist with strange religious affiliations, stroll into her life, looking for answers in the backwaters of the human genome . . . she soon finds herself on the run – pursued by multiple squads of heavily-armed religious zealots, the Feds, and worse. All seek to obtain, or to suppress forever, the key to the revelatory stretch of DNA known as The Pandora Sequence. The outcome of their race to control this explosive secret will forever alter how humanity regards itself – that is, if anyone lives long enough to tell the tale.


A recent reader, from Toronto, not actually Mandy, but rather a CBC correspondent, wrote: "Fantastic read. Seriously the book is fantastic . . . and just enough over my head to keep me interested. It was a slow day at work yesterday and all I wanted to do was take the book out and read it. And I love the fact that you're writing it from a chick's point of view, yet it is not sappy and soft." And how could two million Torontonians be wrong?

Not the least bit coincidentally, I've also just built an E-Mailer Sender To-er function: just click on the little 'e-mail this'/envelope icon in the upper right, and shoot your latest favourite dispatch (like, perhaps, this one) off to all your peeps. Easier than falling off of a thing that's really easy to fall off of.

Finally, Dispatch from the Razor's Edge notes with sadness and shock the death of John Updike. No sturdier or more central pillar of the literary landscape could be imagined – and his death is unbalancing. I'm not terribly well-read in Updike, and my experience with him was mixed – I remember putting down one of the Rabbit novels; but I found Seek My Face to be just about the most glorious and luscious book-length piece of prose I've read. But there's little denying he was – not only the most important living writer since Vonnegut went West – but the long-reigning monarch of American letters. Le roi est morte.

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close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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