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Hardcover Forever and Ever Book

ISBN: 0978784103

ISBN13: 9780978784102

Forever and Ever

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Book Overview

For Dr. Jasmine Metcalf, gene-based aging reversal and engineered human immortality in a youthful state has suddenly arrived. Battling tragedy, relentless irony and a torrid love affair, Jasmine is... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An exciting and memorable story

This book is memorable. That's the first point that strikes me. I keep thinking about it, recalling passages, wishing it didn't end--that it would go on forever and ever. Parts that are especially good include the last scene at Lake Havasu, with the extravagant, purple prose on how good it can be to be alive and healthy. The descriptions of what it's like to realize that you're getting old, were similarly gripping. Ditto for the handling of the realization that there will be consequences of what you're about to do, and some of these consequences may be unprecedently harmful. Yet you can't--or shouldn't--try to hold back the future. Even when you can't fully see, or understand, it. I felt the characters were talking to me, and I kept thinking what I would do in their situation. The book just touches on, but doesn't develop, the big questions this technology raises. And again, I think that is appropriate. The alternatives are not attractive. The question of how much we should interfere with Nature's operation is a good example. We don't object to eyeglasses, dental work, appendicitis operations, etc. But the possibility of cloning humans makes us uncomfortable, and "designer babies" raise more serious questions than answers. The author notes these questions, then leaves the reader to ponder them. That's as it should be. The book does a wonderful job of portraying a broad spectrum of scientists, and giving the reader an appealing insight as to why people want to "do science." There are surprisingly few books that do that, and the nation suffers as a result. A key question in a book like this is: how technical should you get? I was very comfortable with how he handled that. I can't answer how many other potential readers would share my view. I have been repeatedly shocked when I write a few sentences in almost "young adult" language, and am told by a reader, "oh, I always skip the technical stuff. I just don't understand technical." These are people who can follow all the plot twists in a soap opera, or the subtleties of sports stratagems. And they may enjoy reading all the details of 18th century sailing technology...Go figure.

"Forever And Ever" is very highly recommended to science fiction enthusiasts.

Immortality has its downside. Dr. Jasmine Metcalf is a biotech scientist whose battle against a genetic disease called Progeria that causes dramatic and ultimately lethal premature aging in children has made her a renegade. Earl Metcalf is her biotech colleague. Together they create a revolutionary gene-based therapy that will not only save those afflicted with this dread disease, it will endow ordinary human beings immunity from aging and make anyone become immortal. The result is a series of ethical dilemmas and a seemingly inevitable stress between the urge to understand the molecular laws of nature and the issues of immortality in a society where a kind of 'natural planned obsolescence' has been a biological fact and a force for evolution from very the beginning of human life. Author Dan Baker has written a ripping good science fiction story that is well buttressed by a solidly impressive foundation of molecular biology that is never permitted to get in the way of good storytelling. Thoroughly entertaining, thoughtful, and though-provoking, "Forever And Ever" is very highly recommended to science fiction enthusiasts.

What the world needs now!

What the world needs now, and urgently, is a serious discussion on the interaction or play between science and sci-fi, fiction and non-fiction, comedy and melodrama, and philosophy and art. Dan Baker's "Forever and Ever," might serve as a starting point for that discussion. The novel clarifies where we have gone astray and points to new directions for civilization while there is still time to take direction. Speaking as a scientist, Dan Baker's "Forever and Ever" proves that science is still ahead of sci-fi, but it is catching up. Recently, an historian and close friend complained to me, "You scientists, you know all this stuff; we have to learn it before we can write anything!" and he's just talking about the past. Baker is concerned with the future, and he has learned "all this stuff." In fact, we (scientists) know how to do all the tricks Baker alludes to. He's less inventive than he is synthetic: he's the first to put it all together. The future has arrived in "Forever and Ever." From my point of view, the most important feature of the novel is that Baker "got the science right!" He understands genomics, bio-informatics, networks and modeling, systems biology and stem-cell therapy. "Self-regulated gene cascades" slide off the page as easily as tender love scenes. He is also a bit of a word smith when it helps and he provides a glossary to be consulted when all else fails. He does NOT make the science plodding and impenetrable. He doesn't make the mistake of trying to teach the reader science. Rather, the science tacks and sails smoothly through the narrative. He has whipped up a storm of controversy among my small group of bio-gerontologists, gerontologists, geriatricians, and pediatricians concerned with progeria. It's as though he has told our secret: we probably already know how to reverse aging, but are we ready for it? I imagine the novel will also be provocative for the masses of baby-boomers interested in anti-aging and regenerative medicine. The point is, inevitably, that the larger community must tell scientists what it wants them to accomplish and be willing to pay for success in all the ways that success demands. "Forever and Ever" is right there with questions, answers, with realistic prescriptions, and a healthy dose of pragmatism about what eternal youthfulness and immortality will take. Of course, Baker tells a story and portrays people, even scientists, coping with life. For the most part, they're reasonable people. If anything, my greatest complaint with the novel is that it lacks any hint of scientific fraud of the sort currently plaguing the stem-cell community. Baker's heroes are uncontaminated, although others are avaricious and pay for their vices. Scientists (worthy of the name) no longer imagine themselves truth seekers. We are sophisticated enough to know that truth, like God and Santa Clause are beyond our grasp. What we seek to understand are our motivation and our power, their constraints and frontiers, what sci

Faster & Funnier than Crichton.

The smartest boomers in the world are getting old and they don't like it. They're also rich and just as fed up with rules and regulations as they were in the 60's. Everyone wants to live forever (even you!) What we hear in the news about longevity is a mix of skepticism and credibility stretching infomercials, but Baker's characters spring from the minds of today's most imaginative biotech scientists who can see what's really possible - if we'd get out of our own way. Their brain power mixes in this novel with a dynamic movement and attitude that only a generation who lived with both Woodstock and the first Moon landing could concieve. Forever and Ever is a thrilling adventure where the brass ring is nothing less than immortal life. Detours through ethics, scientific potential, global impact and the corruption of governments and wealth remind you that we live in a hardball world. In one sense, we're seeing a coming of age story where 60 year olds face a life just beginning instead of facing death. In another, there's a clash between altruism and self interest that reminds us of what's at stake when money loses its conscience. The main characters take back their own creativity from the crush of legal considerations and enter a lively world where the source of money and technology comes with a simple "don't ask" instead of a restrictive grant. Nobody looks back. Baker's style is faster, funnier, and more thought provoking than any Crichton novel I've read in years.

The ride of your (immortal) life

In Forever and Ever, Dan Baker transports us into the fascinating world of biotechnology, from the dog-eat-dog corporate environment to the renegade underground, where geniuses build homemade supercomputers in shipping containers. This is a fast-paced thriller that does not blind us with its science. Thanks to Baker's easy colloquial style, we can understand almost intuitively the esoteric banter of the gene jockeys who work at the far boundaries of human knowledge. Yet the science is all there, logical, convincing and perhaps prescient. Doctors Earl and Jasmine Metcalf are genetic researchers driven by their desire to help victims of progeria, which accelerates physical aging to the point where eight-year-old children die of old age. When they run up against conservative anti-science regulations, they enlist the help of the übergeeks at the fringes of society, working unobtrusively to advance their research. They realize they hold the key to Eternal Youth. They also realize that they are being watched by powerful men who are willing to kill for a cure for death. Baker skillfully combines science, humor and fascinating characters to build a riveting story of research done in the name of humanity, which could spell the end of the human race as we know it. When eternal life can be bought and sold, who will be the new Immortals? Is there a point beyond which science should not be allowed to go? Is there any way to put the genie back in the bottle? How close is science to the scenario of Forever and Ever? Kudos to Dan Baker for creating such an enjoyable and stimulating story and opening the eyes and minds of his readers to the awesome possibilities and dangers of this very possible future.
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