Ninth Day of Creation: A Hard Science Fiction Techno Thriller

Ninth Day of Creation: A Hard Science Fiction Techno Thriller

An undisclosed ecological catastrophe sparks a race to avert an all out clash between China and the U.S.
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One part Tom Clancy, one part Gregory Benford, Leonard Crane's debut, Ninth Day of Creation, successfully weaves cutting-edge scientific speculation into a political thriller with a propulsive, Byzantine plot.
Marc Goldstein
A cross between the novels of Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton, with a bit of Ian Fleming thrown in.
Stephen K. Ritter
American Chemical Society
Crane spins a gripping tale with all the complexity of a Tom Clancy novel...
Publishers Weekly


The Colorado river has run dry. Water supplies are being rationed in cities across the Northern Hemisphere, and political tensions everywhere are running high...

In the storytelling tradition of Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy comes a tale of international climate-induced crisis sparked by the hottest year on record.

When an ecological catastrophe changes the face of Northern China only the country's panicked leaders know the full extent of the disaster - and to ensure their survival they are going to do whatever they must to keep it that way...

Fearing blame for the disaster's grisly toll, the Politburo gather in secrecy inside Beijing's famed Temple of Heaven - and issue instructions for the Army's top gene-technologist to initiate a startling plan of action.

Across the Pacific in San Diego, Richard Kirby, a promising biochemist at Immunological Technologies prepares to announce a breakthrough in medicine. His introduction of a third strand into the double helix of Watson and Crick will unite organic chemistry with gene therapy, and ignite the imagination of millions...

But when Kirby travels to Geneva to make public the news, he inadvertently sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to derail more than just Beijing's carefully scripted plans for the U.S. Kirby also impedes the White House's last-ditch strategy for dealing with Camilla Montoya - Mexico's troublesome first woman president - when he attracts the fiery leader's attention at the WHO conference.

From the moment of that chance meeting, until Kirby and Montoya's eventful reunion at its biologically alarming conclusion, Ninth Day of Creation explores that rarely-glimpsed world borne of science and politics in full collision, and delivers a tale so convincingly detailed as to guarantee its unique placement among science thrillers.

Release date: June 1, 2000

Publisher: Connection Books

Print pages: 662

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Behind the book



In 1990, when Michael Crichton penned his vision of a commercial climate that breeds powerful genetic engineering start-ups, like the dino­saur-cloning creators of “Jurassic Park,” it was easy to imagine the biotechnologists as the group poised to produce the next world-changing technology. “By the end of this decade,” wrote Crichton in support of this view, “[biotechnology] will have outdistanced atomic power and comput-ers in its effects on our everyday lives.” But this has not happened. Instead, the rise of the World Wide Web has virtually eclipsed our former preoccu­pation with the promise of genetic engineering, and reinstated the com-puter as the dominant technology in our lives as we enter the twenty-first century.

For the biotechnology start-ups, the net result of this development has been disastrous. Their cash flow has slowed to a trickle as Wall Street and the private sector clamor to be part of the e-commerce gold rush. The capital that does enter the industry is highly directed. Thus, in July of 1999, twenty years after raising 35 million dollars by selling shares in itself and introducing the world to the technology of gene splicing, Genentech of San Francisco launched its second public offering. This time it garnered a cool 2 billion dollars, draining from the investment pool enough cash to keep a hundred starving start-ups going for the next 3 years.

It is this struggle—to prevail in the face of huge odds, against well-heeled giants, and nature herself—that has transformed what began half a century earlier as dispassionate scientific enquiry into the molecular bio-logy of heredity, into the most exciting, and for the players exacting, commercial endeavor yet devised by our species. It was inevitable. And yet mostly it will be played out behind closed doors, beyond the glare of the media and the purview of industry watchdogs. And we shall be witness to little of the adventure—and on occasion the danger—that seems all too certain to accompany the inventive pathways by which today’s challengers will try to displace the winners using any means they can: to establish their place in the world, and reap its biological treasures.

Leonard Crane

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