This week, it’s my pleasure to tell you about a new book that I published today.
I had an idea about second chances, about doing things differently.
Looking for a starting point, I figured that, if I could make it extreme, there would be a much greater impact when the story came to its climax.
And what could be more earth-shattering than an accident that changes your life? It would give you a lot of time to think about what you had done and what you wished you could have changed. If only to wonder where it might have led you, maybe somewhere better than the place you now found yourself.
Saul is in that place, his choices have led him here, whether he likes it or not.
Then, he gets offered the chance to be more than he currently is. Even though he doesn’t know exactly what that means.
In this book, as well as showing you what he did and the results, I wanted to make you wonder, what would you do for a second chance?
I also managed to touch on the modern cult of perfection, of outward appearances being more important than what’s within.
A few medical ethics crept in as well, if you read the book, you’ll see what I mean.
When Saul is paralysed in an accident, he thinks it’s the end of his life. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
While trying to come to terms with his injuries, the mysterious Dr Tendral offers him a way to make a difference. All he has to do is join his project. There are no other details until he agrees, he’s either in or out.
What choice does he have?
Agreeing is just the beginning. Saul undergoes drastic surgery, only then is the full depth of the project revealed.
Or is it?
As time goes on and he learns more about Tendral’s scheme, Saul’s new life becomes increasingly difficult.
In the end, he has to abandon everything as he learns the truth.
Here’s a short extract, Saul has been offered a medical miracle.
“And how are you going to do that, map my brain?”
“We need to connect you to our equipment first.”
I had visions of people shaving my head and attaching wires, I asked Tendral if that was what he intended.
“Not exactly,” he said, “we’ve moved on since those days. What do you know about nanobots?”
“Not a lot, they’re tiny machines or something. Aren’t they sci-fi?”
“Sort of, it’s an area with a lot of research, there’re two types, nanobots and xenobots, nanobots are made from metal and plastic, the xenobots are made from stem cells. They do the same thing, they can be programmed for a specific function, like destroying cancer cells or delivering drugs precisely. That’s where the problem with people like McGee come in, because they’re built from living tissue, they see xenobots as unethical.”
“He said as much, without all the details. He also told me that people on your project have died.”
He frowned. “I’ll be totally honest with you, now and always. We had a problem with a few of the early volunteers, but it wasn’t due to the nanotechnology, they were down to problems in surgery. We’ve found a better way of doing things, less invasive.”
“I want to know all about it, before I commit.”
“You already have committed, but I’ll level with you. It’s very straightforward. We open a small hole in your skull, we call it a burr hole. They are normally used to relieve pressure after head trauma but we use the burr hole to implant a xenobot set under your dura, that’s the name for the membrane covering the brain. These xenobots have a single task and all they need to complete it. Their function is to construct a fine three-dimensional net in the body of your brain. The xenobots are like spiders, they spin a microscopic conductive thread that is woven between your neurons. Once they’ve done that, we introduce nanobots in a drip, through your PICC line. Their function is to detect your neurons firing as we get you to describe things to us. The nanobots attach to the neurons, without damaging the structure of the brain tissue and transmit the firing information back to the net.”
It all sounded pretty drastic. “This net, all the xenobots crawling around, knitting. Won’t it damage the structure of my brain, all those wires?”
He shook his head. “No, they’re so small, they can slip between the cells. Cells are fairly robust. The wire is fifty times thinner than a human hair, it’s fixed in position by a sort of chemical glue, to the glucose monomer of the cell membrane. Once it’s in position, it can’t move. You shouldn’t feel any sensation from what they’re doing.”
“That’s way above my level of understanding but I get the idea. I find it hard to imagine anything of that size being able to do anything useful.”
“These bots are good at what they do,” he said.
©Richard Dee 2022
Here are a couple of early reviews.
What do you think?
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