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Proteus Rising

19/11/2006. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Speculative Fiction Review releases Proteus Rising, a mainstream science fiction novel that explores the what-ifs of the new genetic and computer modeling sciences in a chase across a Martian colony during an ethnic insurrection.

The direction of "Proteus Rising" is set in the heading of the first chapter by a quote from the main character: "What if I told you I'd discovered a genetic cure for Original Sin?" - George Mills, Ursa University, Mars, 2321 A.D.

"Proteus Rising" turns into a trek across the landscape of a twenty-fourth century Martian colony by physicist George Mills and his exotic associate, Dr. Joanne Zhu. They struggle to find out who is slowly peeling away the layers of a secret they initiated in a fertility clinic 15 years earlier. Despite their efforts, the authorities soon discover the emergence of a new nonhuman species and the existence of the most powerful computer ever created. So starts a paranoid chess game between a small group of scientists, a self-aware computer and the invincible security forces of a fleet admiral in a desperate gambit to save a group of synthetically bred children from imprisonment and medical experimentation.

Research physicist Peter Dingus posits a time that transforms today's possibilities in genetics and computer modeling, and speculates on the impact of a future when human beings can "remake" themselves so completely that they bear little resemblance to the beings that evolution took a million years to forge.

Peter Dingus received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1988, and has had posts at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, DESY in Hamburg and CERN in Geneva. From 1991 until it was shut down in 1993, he was a staff physicist at the Superconducting Super Collider project, in Dallas, TX. In the mid-nineties, he left particle physics to work in the field of Speech Recognition. Since then, he has been a principal in two software startups and the co-founder of a third.

Proteus Rising (468 pp, tpb, $17.95) ISBN 0-9785232-0-2.

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