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'Fascinating reading.' - Financial Times

'An exhilarating read.' - The Short Review

Toby Litt's Bio-Punk story 'Call it ''The Bug'' Because I Have No Time to Think of a Better Title' short-listed for the 2013 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award.

AUTHORS: Jane Feaver, Simon Ings, Annie Kirby, Toby Litt, Sara Maitland, Adam Marek, Gregory Norminton, Sean O’Brien, K.J. Orr, Justina Robson, Jane Rogers, Dilys Rose, Sarah Schofield, and Simon Van Booy.
SCIENTISTS and ETHICISTS: Professor Martyn Amos, Dr Melissa Baxter, Dr Jane Calvert, Sarah Gilbert, Dr Jane Haley, Dr Nick Love, Dr Ian McGonigle, Dr Ainsley Newson, Dr Simon Stott, Dr Nihal Engin Vrana, Dr Angharad Watson, Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Prof Stephen Lawrie, Prof Burkhard Schafer and Prof Joanna Wardlaw.

Programmable memories, fatherless reproduction, nano-tech implants, amphibian-powered scar treatment, full body modification, brain-scanning lie-detectors, inter-species reproduction, self-determining synthetic ‘green goo’…

Which of these would you wager is pure science fiction, and which currently being developed in the lab? Such is the speed and excitement of today’s bio-medical research – sprinting from the starting gun that was the Human Genome Project – it’s sometimes hard to tell. In a unique collaboration, fourteen short story writers have been invited to explore the increasingly grey area between the fantastical and that which is already within our reach. Closely collaborating with scientists and ethicists working at the forefronts of their respective fields, each writer has been tasked with predicting some of the potential ‘ethical side-effects’ of this groundbreaking work. Not all progress, after all, is progressive. And dark forces are afoot that threaten to hi-jack what many declared would be ‘the century of biology’. 

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