I’ve been away from these pages for several months, a combination of promoting The Onyx Unicorn, website revisions and laziness.  I’ve also begun a new book.Unicorn cover

The Onyx Unicorn is now available at all the usual places.  As I’ve noted before, I plan to make Unicorn the first of a series.  Toward that end, and in an effort to set it apart from my other novels, the print book’s physical appearance is smaller, more compact than the others.  The cover, which will always be the same except for the colors, has a matte finish rather than a glossy one.

Regarding the website, I’ve finally straightened up the home page and main sidebar (with a lot of help), and made it easier for readers to learn more about my books (and maybe buy a few).

The new novel is tentatively entitled The Order.  It’s the next (and maybe the last) of what I refer to as The New Hope Canon.  The protagonist, my old friend Harry Monmouth, finds himself enmeshed in crime and intrigue at the College.  I’m 25,000 words in–the story lines are set and the characters are ready to go.  I plan to furnish a more detailed explanation on the Works in Progress page of this website in a few days.

Finally, that old bugaboo, genetic engineering, is in the news again.  Some of you may recall past posts on this topic, and some may have read Lucifer’s Promise wherein  it’s misuse was the primary plot-line.  What’s now called gene editing has gone mainstream, a process likened to ordinary surgery.  As one of the characters said in Lucifer, gene manipulation “is the Midas gold, the genie in the lamp who grants every wish,” and recent events confirm it.

According to the December 6 edition of The Wall Street Journal, the gene editing technique called Crispr has generated “more than $600 million” in investments from venture capitalists and public markets.  “Scientists” around the world are squabbling over the patent.  The Patent Trial and Appeal Board commenced a hearing yesterday.

Not a word about whether or not gene editing is a good idea.  There’s a brief paragraph about using Crispr to treat disease, but nothing about its potential for abuse (baby enhancement, physical and mental augmentation, and so on).  Given the ocean of cash involved, does anyone think questions will be asked?


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