Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Free Fiction: Rhesus Factor

Some more free fiction for your summer reading list:

Australian science fiction writer Sonny Whitelaw has made an e-book of her 2005 eco-thriller Rhesus Factor free for download. From the description:
Marine engineer Kristin Baker advises the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu on environmentally sustainable development projects. After meeting US Navy Commander Nicholas Page, she discovers her unwitting role in the Exodus Project, a scheme to protect the West's interests in the face of global warming. But what neither know is that a stealth virus has quietly become a global pandemic; one that health authorities cannot stop. For this virus hasn't emerged from an African jungle or a remote Chinese province, it's come from within our own DNA.

Rhesus Factor's claim to fame is that it's warning about the dangers of global warming inspired a politician to urge every member of the Queensland State Parliament to read a copy. Whitelaw is member of the "writing science fiction is more fun than doing science" club. From her biography:

Amidst the chaos and clutter of Sydney University life in the seventies I actually managed to acquire a degree - principally because most of my undergraduate life was spent on a beach. The best way to understand the mathematics of a breaking wave is to go surfing! Half way through writing the final draft of my thesis on sea level change and global warming, I decided that running a sail boat and dive operation in the South Pacific would be safer, and probably a whole lot more fun, than a career as an academic.
[snip . . .]
One evening in the late 1990s, sitting on the edge of an erupting volcano with a jug of slightly ashy margaritas in hand, I allowed a couple of my friends – a volcanologist and an epidemiologist – to talk me into finishing my thesis. With the philosophy that ‘the play’s the thing’, I chucked the thesis idea and instead began writing the factional eco-thriller,The Rhesus Factor.

You can download Rhesus Factor from Double Dragon Books or

(via DragonKat via the Australian Speculative Fiction Blog Carnival)

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