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The Oakland Press wants to share book-related news with you, including updates on events and reviews. We want to talk books with you, so feel free to contribute.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Scott Sigler , a New York Times bestselling author, and Michigan native, will be in the DETROIT area on his book tour signing at the Barnes & Noble in Royal Oak July 10th @ 2:00pm).

Sigler first started podcasting his books for free on his popular blog and garnered such a loyal and devoted following that Crown picked up and published his first novel, Infected. After a successful book tour and promotion, we published Contagious which hit the New York Times bestseller list (and in which Detroit got nuked!), all while Sigler was still podcasting his books for free! The digital age is upon us and Sigler has embraced it in a way that has still allowed him to be popular and profitable. Now for his newest book, ANCESTOR, which releases this week, he is putting the same muscle behind the promotion, but he's also developed a user-generated video contest with some impressive judges to boot. See for more details (and some impressive videos! See the book trailer & entry #13) but to give you a taste of the caliber here, he's got Lucas Foster (Mr. & Mrs. Smith; Man on Fire), Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity), Justin Manask (Office of Literary Adaptation), and Ron Karkoska (Monster FX) all judging.

What happens in ANCESTOR, as Sigler has done with his other novels, is drawn upon real science to create the most realistic experience for the reader. Other than just being a science nut himself, Sigler has experts in several different fields read his manuscripts in the early stages to make sure that the science is plausible…then he kicks it up a notch…or two. In ANCESTOR, Sigler explores xenotransplantation—the process of implanting tissue from one species to another—which is a very real science, and researchers are actually experimenting now with transplanting animal organs for human use (such as baboons and pigs). And although it sounds like science fiction, it truly is backed by cutting-edge science. There are some very real possibilities for:

Zoonosis, or a virus jumping from one species to another. We've seen this already with Avian and Swine flus. The danger with transplanting animal tissue is the possibility of triggering a pandemic among humans.

Synthetically-generated life forms. Science magazine recently published J. Craig Venter's paper on how he sequenced a bacteria's genome on a computer and got it replicate by controlling it through the computer.

The worldwide shortage of organs driving some incredible advances in science—though they seem like science fiction, these studies are actually being funded and studied today by major biotech firms.

On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, PJ Colding leads a group of geneticists who have discovered this holy grail of medicine. By reverse-engineering thousands of animal genomes, Colding's team has dialed back the evolutionary clock and re-created the progenitor of all mammals. The method? Illegal. The result? A computer-engineered living creature, an animal whose organs can be implanted in any person, with no chance of transplant rejection.

There's just one problem: these ancestors are not the docile herd animals that Colding's team envisioned. Instead, Colding's work has given birth to something big, something evil…something very, very hungry.

Courtney E Greenhalgh Publicity Manager • The Crown Publishing Group Random House, Inc. 1745 Broadway • 13th floor New York NY 10019 (p) 212.782.8971 • (f) 212.940.7868

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