The Secret of Life by Paul McAuley

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Synopsis

2026: Something is growing in the Pacific Ocean, a strange fungus-like organism that may threaten our entire food chain. Christened "the slick," the bizarre phenomenon is quickly the subject of intense, top-secret analysis-which rapidly reveals that it contains DNA unlike that of any other life on the planet.

Where is it from? A Chinese mission to Mars is rumored to have discovered life beneath the Martian icecap, but the Chinese aren't talking. Dr. Mariella Anders is recruited by NASA to join an urgent mission to the Red Planet to find out. Brilliant and committed to science, Mariella wants only the truth, but others' motives are less noble. Faced with corporations, activist groups, and superpowers, each with their own secret agendas, Mariella is on a perilous quest for knowledge. . .and she's about the discover the high price of truth.

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About Paul McAuley

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Paul McAuley was born in England on St George's Day 1955. He has worked as a research biologist in various universities, including Oxford and UCLA, and for six years was a lecturer in botany at St Andrews University. The first short story he ever finished was accepted by the American magazine Worlds of If, but the magazine folded before publishing it and he took this as a hint to concentrate on an academic career instead. He started writing again during a period as a resident alien in Los Angeles, and is now a full time writer.His first novel, Four Hundred Billion Stars, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and fifth, Fairyland, won the 1995 Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Awards. His other novels include Of the Fall, Eternal Light, Red Dust, Pasquale's Angel, the three books of Confluence, Child of the River, Ancients of Days, and Shrine of Stars, The Secret of Life, Whole Wide World, and the forthcoming White Devils. He has also published two collections of short stories, The King of the Hill, and The Invisible Country. A Doctor Who novella, the Eye of the Tyger, is due from Telos Books in November 2003, forty years after the author was scared behind the couch by the Daleks, and a third short story collection, Little Machines will be published by PS Publishing in 2004. He lives in North London.
 
Published May 19, 2002 by Tor Books. 420 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Secret of Life

Kirkus Reviews

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Near-future biological thriller from the author of the dazzling far-future Confluence trilogy (completed with Shrine of Stars, 2000), etc. In 2026, a huge invasive biological growth, the Slick, floats in the Pacific Ocean.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Secret of Life

Publishers Weekly

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Having completed the Books of Confluence, his much-praised trilogy set in the distant future, Clarke and Dick awards winner McAuley (Shrine of Stars) here tries h

May 14 2001 | Read Full Review of The Secret of Life

The Best Reviews

On Mars, the Chinese team working at the site where .

Jun 25 2001 | Read Full Review of The Secret of Life

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