Pandora’s Gene’s by SFWA Member Kathryn Lance Eerily Foreshadowed Aftermath of Gulf Disaster
The transformation of 1986’s science fiction to 2010’s ugly reality has fiction lovers reaching once again for award-winning author Kathryn Lance’s near-prophetic Pandora’s titles. The new relevance of her book Pandora’s Genes and its sequel Pandora’s Children has prompted e-reads, the leading reprinter of out-of-print genre fiction, to feature the books nearly 25 years after their original publication.
When Lance first envisioned how attempts to clean up a massive oil spill could go wrong, she never dreamed that she would one day see some of her cataclysmic imaginings come to life. Unfortunately, with the Gulf oil spill disaster, she has. Like everyone else, Lance wishes the Gulf oil spill had never happened. “The book was something of a cautionary tale,” she says. “But no one listened.”
On its original release, Pandora’s Genes received the Best New Sci-Fi Novel award from Romantic Times and was named to that year’s Locus Recommended List. Lance, who has written 50 other books of nonfiction and fiction, calls the post-holocaust Pandora’s novels, set in the late 21st century, her favorites of her own books. In Lance’s imagined world, attempts to minimize the environmental damage and clean up a catastrophic spill are similar to those occupying today’s best minds in science and technology. But Lance’s story thereafter took a – hopefully – different, and more ominous path.
In the novels, attempts to clean up the oil spill through genetically altered bacteria lead to the apocalyptic destruction of all modern technology, and to the escape of experimental viruses from germ-warfare laboratories. These deadly microbes spread rapidly through the biota, ultimately endangering the very future of humankind.
Two opposing societal groups vie for control of this devastated future. One is led by The Principal, a visionary but deeply flawed man who strives to rebuild civilization. His foes, the Traders, vow to complete the destruction, eliminating all remnants of evil ‘science,’ from basic hygiene to education and political organization.
Clearly, Pandora’s Genes was an imagined world way ahead of its time. The book’s first chapter can be read on the author’s website. For an inside look at how Lance came to foresee 2010 news go to this interview at e-reads. Both Pandora novels are available in paperback or downloadable e-book format, at amazon and e-reads.
Author Kathryn Lance is available for phone, radio, or email interviews to discuss the meeting of science fiction and reality and how and why she created the world of Pandora. For further information, contact her at: [email protected].