Thursday, September 18, 2008

Frank Herbert "The White Plague"

In the near future, a mild-mannered geneticist sees his family murdered by religious terrorists in cold blood. Deciding to take revenge on the parties involved, he begins working in a basement. But his weapon has unintended consequences... Hard science, strong characterization, poetic language, this is one of my top 10 books. Many people only know Herbert from his Dune books, and if you've only seen the movies, he's been very poorly adapted. All of Herbert's books are brilliant, he has the most multi-layered backstory and widest range of real-world knowledge of any Hard SF writer I know. The White Plague has Yeatsian lyricism and antiseptic Orwellian style. The plot line should give you nightmares, because it could already be under way in Lebanon, in London, in Pakistan, in Iraq, in Albuquerque. The picture is from Here is the Amazon listing. The book had been long out of print, which, given its timeliness, speaks volumes about the publishing industry. It has been re-released in an oversized paperback edition. You can find it at your local used book store, or for cheaper than bottled water at

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