Medicine in literature

August 15, 2018

I was surprised when Amazon classified my new novel Magic Bullets as Medical Fiction.  But then I read an article I saw on the Wellcome Book Prize webpage (see https://tinyurl.com/yaf3hb7c) where judges and former winners picked their all-time favourite fiction books that touch on this topic and it seemed that their links to medicine appeared rather vague.  So I decided to list three books that I felt could be similarly classified.

The first one on my list is Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham.  This is about two biochemists who extracted and anti-aging drug from an unusual strain of lichen only to find that it could induce harmful side effects.  My memories of the book are rather vague as I read it a long time ago.  I do remember it as being rather heavy reading but I kept going as I found the plot most intriguing.

The second on the list is The Invisible Man by H G Wells.  In this book Wells goes into great detail about how to change a body’s refractive index and become invisible.  What I liked about the story was that Wells skill in explaining the science behind the plot makes it seem entirely plausible.  I have read this book several times and still enjoy it as an absorbing read

But my favourite has to be The Double Helix by James D Watson.  It is an autobiographical account of the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA.  It is controversial due to Watson’s willingness to appropriate data surreptitiously from others and his sexist attitude towards scientist Rosalind Franklin who, because of the harmful nature of the X-rays she worked with, died early and therefore could not share the Nobel Prize.  Despite these flaws, I found the story fascinating.  It is probably the greatest medical discovery of all time which has lead and is still leading to momentous breakthroughs in modern medicine.  It is the best detective story I have read and is the main reason why I followed a career in biological science.

 

Keith Jahans


Available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback,
as an ebook and audiobook.

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Book Review – The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

January 21, 2013

A classic tale of what can happen when a scientific experiment produces an irreversible result.  Wells was a Master of Science Fiction.  He describes the science of visibility in great detail so that his protagonist’s experiment becomes believable.  The attempts of the protagonist to regain normality are cautionary and shocking.  This is a tale that has been imitated many times on film and TV but the original outshines all these and remains well worth reading.

ivman coverpic

The Invisible Man by H. G. Well is out of copyright
and can be downloaded free of charge in a variety of ebook formats from Project Gutenberg.


Wonders of the world – Part 1

November 26, 2012

Since becoming a full time writer in 2008, I have travelled the world and present some of the wonders visited during that time in no particular order.

The Earth

 This is the most beautiful and wondrous of all the planets in the vastness of space.  If there is another out there capable of supporting life it will never be as wonderful as our very own world.

 The Woking Martian

 This magnificent sculpture can be seen in the centre of my home town.  It fires the imagination about what may exist out in space and also is representative of an outstanding piece of literature.  The author, H. G. Wells, lived in Woking and his nocturnal trips to the nearby common inspired this great story and created a new literary genre.  It shows that you do not have to venture far from home or the imagination to find a wonder.

Great Wall of China

 Contrary to modern mythology this structure can not be seen from space.  But it is a gigantic achievement and is testament to the lengths that humans will go to to protect their land.

 The Taj Mahal

 The most beautiful building I have seen.  It shimmers to the view and touch, and is a powerful symbol of beauty and love.  There may be a more graceful piece of architecture somewhere in the world but I have yet to see it.  I will let you know if I do.

Other inspirational travel stories can be found at http://www.bucketlistpublications.com