For this month’s BIG THRILL, I interviewed Paul McEuen about his new book, SPIRAL, and his work in the field of nanotechnology…
When Nobel laureate Liam Connor is found dead at the bottom of one of Ithaca, New Yorks famous gorges, his research collaborator, Cornell professor of nanoscience Jake Sterling, refuses to believe it was suicide. Why would one of the worlds most eminent biologists, a eighty-six-year old man in good health who survived some of the darkest days of the Second World War, have chosen to throw himself off a bridge? And who was the mysterious woman caught on camera at the scene? Soon it becomes clear that a cache of supersophisticated nanorobotseach the size of a spiderhas disappeared from the dead mans laboratory.
Stunned by grief, Jake, Liams granddaughter, Maggie, and Maggies nine-year-old son, Dylan, try to put the pieces together. They uncover ingeniously coded messages Liam left behind pointing toward a devastating secret he gleaned off the shores of war-ravaged Japan and carried for more than sixty years.
What begins as a quest for answers soon leads to a horrifying series of revelations at the crossroads of biological warfare and nanoscience. At this dangerous intersection, a skilled and sadistic assassin, an infamous Japanese war criminal, and a ruthless U.S. government official are all players in a harrowing game of power, treachery, and intriguea game whose winner will hold the worlds fate literally in the palm of his hand.
Paul McEuen is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Physics at Cornell University and Director of the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science. He is a visionary and pioneer in his chosen field, but now Paul has taken on a new challenge and joined the ranks of published authors. He explodes onto the thriller scene this month with his new novel, Spiral, a book that has been described by Booklist as what may be the most gripping and engrossing thriller this reviewer has ever read in almost 50 years of thriller reading.
You can read the rest of my article and interview with Paul McEuen at http://www.thebigthrill.org/2011/02/spiral-by-paul-mceuen/