Short Take: The Curiosity – Stephen P. Kiernan

This debut novel rounds out our Indie Next Picks for July. While a debut novelist, Kiernan is already known as a nonfiction writer and journalist whose accolades include a George Polk Award. This first foray into fiction is a high concept page-turner that feels like the love child of Michael Crichton and The Time Traveler’s Wife. It launches with two starred advance reviews and some good publicity: It’s a Parade magazine book pick and was included in the Los Angeles Times and Philadelphia Magazine summer books features, and will be included in Alan Cheuse’s summer reading feature on NPR’s All Things Considered.

“A compelling, beautifully written, and thought-provoking literary thriller that will call to mind Daniel Keyes’s classic Flowers for Algernon.” –Library Journal (starred review)

“[A] smart, heady, and irresistible science thriller…Kiernan gets every element right in this breakneck, entertaining, and thought-provoking tale about time, mortality, the ethics of science, and the meaning of life.”
Booklist (starred review)

For his ambitious fiction debut, a contemporary reworking of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Kiernan has crafted an emotionally satisfying and brisk narrative about Jeremiah Rice, a Harvard-educated judge who drowned on a scientific expedition to the Arctic in 1906. His frozen corpse is found, intact in a large iceberg, in the present day by molecular biologist Kate Philo. The evil genius Erastus Carthage, who funded the expedition, successfully reanimates Rice before a media horde. It’s a clever conceit, and Kiernan milks it for all it’s worth: religiously motivated protestors lambaste the feat as “blasphemy”; the media goes into a predictable frenzy…There’s a sweet bit of romance between Philo and Rice, and Kiernan is good at making the science fiction sound like science fact.”
Publishers Weekly

The Curiosity (9780062221063) By Stephen P. Kiernan. $25.99 hardcover. 7/9/13 on sale.

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