Electric Review

Culture & Criticism From the Far Distant Realms

In F. Paul Wilson’s Panacea, Man Becomes His Own God

PANACEA. F. Paul Wilson. Tor.

Panacea

Cover courtesy of Tor.

The purpose of a meaningful book is two-fold: As it entertains the reader and helps time pass, it should simultaneously enlighten the soul and teach you something about yourself and the world in which you live. And that, then, is  the strength of F. Paul Wilson’s body of work and the very thing that makes his latest effort, Panacea, such a compelling and provocative piece of fiction. The plot-line of Panacea centers on two secret societies engaged in a battle to create a medical cure-all that will stave off death and give control over mortality to man. Think of it: No more would you fear a sudden heart attack, or Gehrig’s Disease, or cancer. No more would you fear the unpredictability of illness derailing your life plan. But this control over nature’s circumstances also imposes a heavy toll as morality, spirituality and conscience are dismissed along with the cornerstones of religion. Wilson’s narrative proves truly riveting as he takes a supernatural or ‘fantasy’ story and twists and plies it until it leaves the reader muttering to himself, “this can really happen.” Yes, this can really happen. And some day it probably will.  200 years ago, could anybody have entertained the idea of the internet? Smart phones? Instant information? The digital highway?  Organ transplantation? Stem cell research? Cryogenics? 200 years ago, each of these examples would have been termed pure wanton “fantasy.” Yet, in 2016, they are part and parcel of the daily ritual. But as Wilson’s Panacea leaves us asking: “Is any of it really good for the soul?”

Also of Note This Month On the Fiction Shelf

NECESSITY. Jo Walton. Tor.

A distant cousin to Wilson’s Panacea, Jo Walton’s Necessity explores the connection between the human plane and the deified scale. Readers will find the writing layered and the characters brimming with passion as secret worlds come to be wed.

On the Nonfiction Shelf

THE HUMAN SUPERORGANISM. Rodney Dietert. Dutton.

Human Super-Organism

Cover courtesy of Dutton.

Written by Cornell University professor of immunotoxicology Rodney Dietert, The Human Superorganism analyzes the microbiome and the way our failure to understand its reach has negatively affected the global populace. Uniquely accessible and marked by cutting-edge insight, Dietert’s treatise has caught the attention of multiple government agencies charged with protecting world-wide health.

by John Aiello

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This entry was posted on August 5, 2016 by in 2016, August 2016, In the Spotlight, Rat On Fiction & Nonfiction and tagged , .
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