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The Secret of Life

Paul McAuley

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Classic science fiction

The Slick is like nothing else on Earth. So where did it come from?

2026: Something is growing in the Pacific Ocean.

"The Slick" appears to be a strange, fungus-like organism, but its DNA is unlike anything else on the planet.

Rumours start to fly. Was life discovered deep beneath the Martian icecaps on a recent Chinese space mission? If it was, no-one is confirming it, but could that same life now be spreading through the ocean and threatening Earth's entire food chain?

Brilliant scientist Dr. Mariella Anders is recruited to join an urgent NASA mission to Mars to see if she can uncover the truth of this organism, but this is no straightforward investigation. Corporate powers are committed to exploiting the secrets of the Slick for profit; radical eco-terrorists strike out against rampant genetic engineering; and a second Chinese mission to Mars at the same time has its goals shrouded in mystery.

The secret of life on Earth and Mars might be found on the red planet, but who can Mariella trust with the truth once it's found? And what price will she have to pay for it?

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Paul McAuley

Paul McAuley (Born 1955)
Paul James McAuley was born in Gloucestershire on St George's Day, 1955. He has a Ph.D in Botany and worked as a researcher in biology at various universities, including Oxford and UCLA, and for six years was a lecturer in botany at St Andrews University, before leaving academia to write full time. He started publishing science fiction with the short story "Wagon, Passing" for Asimov's Science Fiction in 1984. His first novel, 400 Billion Stars won the Philip K. Dick Award in 1988, and 1995's Fairyland won the Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Awards. He has also won the British Fantasy, Sidewise and Theodore Sturgeon Awards. He lives in London.

You can find his blog at: http://www.unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com

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