“Micro” by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston (Harper, 2011)


Found as an incomplete manuscript on the late Michael Crichton’s computer, Micro is an example of the old style of Crichton’s work, with a great extension of cutting edge science, pushing it into the field of science fiction.  In some of Crichton’s more recent novels there has been an overbearing philosophy and biased political angle; fortunately, there is little of this in Micro, though his “corrupt” characters are thin and painfully obvious.  Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone and The Demon in the Freezer, was brought in by the publisher to complete the manuscript, and he does a good job of making the whole novel feel seamless, working off of Crichton’s outlines, notes and research.

Micro opens with the scene of three unknown bodies found in a business office in Honolulu; cause of death is uncertain at first, and then attributed to a number of micro cuts and lacerations over the whole body, including, when it is investigated, inside the body on tissues and organs.  Cut to Nanigen Technologies, an up and coming company with a number of secret projects going on.  Seven graduate students are picked from MIT to become assistants for the company located in Hawaii, but stumble onto some details they shouldn’t know anything about.  Before they know it, they find themselves shrunk down to just inches in size and abandoned in a rain forest arboretum, left to die.  The question is whether they can first keep themselves alive at this size, with everything out to get them, and then get themselves back to normal size and stop the people behind all this.

Micro definitely has its high points, and while the characters can seem predictable and shallow, overall it’s an entertaining novel that doesn’t hold up to any of Crichton’s greats, like Jurassic Park and Congo, but is nevertheless a fun last book from this bestselling author.

Originally written on December 28, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Micro from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

BookBanter’s Top Ten New Releases for Tuesday, November 22

BookBanter's Top Ten New Releases

One of the big things I feel I’ve grown out of touch with since the closing of Borders is my knowledge and awareness of what the new book releases are each Tuesday, and I’m sure some of you also feel that unless you have a bookstore nearby, you don’t have this information readily available either.  So to help improve my awareness and get myself back in the game of knowing what’s new and coming out each week (I used just know this stuff automatically, whether I had read or would be reading any of the new releases or not), as well as to help you readers keep informed, we have BookBanter’s Top Ten New Releases.

So each Tuesday morning there will be a post on the BookBanter Blog and on the BookBanter site giving you my top ten new releases of the week.  I’ll be going through everything I can find coming out for that particular Tuesday and choosing the top ten important ones.  They’ll be mostly hardcovers, with some occasional paperbacks, focusing on Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, and occasional Fiction books.

So here’s the top ten new releases for Tuesday, November 22nd.





by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Found within the late Michael Crichton’s files, Micro was only a third complete when HarperCollins brought Richard Preston on to complete the book using Crichton’s notes and outlines. In the thrilling style of Jurassic Park, Micro is the terrifying story of that which we cannot see. Three men are found dead, murdered. The only evidence is the bodies riddled with minute cuts and mysterious a tiny-bladed robot.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.



Explosive Eighteen
by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich is back with her eighteenth Stephanie Plum novel, and this time she’s pulling out all the stops. Stephanie finds herself immediately getting into trouble as soon as she arrives back in Newark after a terrible vacation in Hawaii. What’s worse is her seatmate never returned during their layover in Los Angeles, and now he’s dead, the body stuffed in a garbage can, and the killer could be anyone, anywhere.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.





Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Michael J. Sullivan began his career through small press publishing, and is now joining the grand stage with a big, international publisher. Theft of Swords collects the first two books in the Riyria Revelations series – The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha. People looking to discover a great new fantasy series should grab Theft of Swords, and meet the infamous and elusive pair of thieves, Hadrian and Royce.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.




The Third Reich by Robert Bolano

Originally written in 1989, The Third Reich was found amongst Robert Bolano’s papers after his death. This is the thrilling story of death and intrigue, surrounding a brilliant strategy game called The Third Reich, which seems to bear some devastating consequences for anyone who plays it.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.




New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird edited by Paula Guran

Cthulhu and the works of H. P. Lovecraft have never been more popular. What better way to get started, or perhaps to improve your collection than with this original anthology of Cthulhu stories. Edited by Paula Guran, it features stories from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Sarah Monette, China Mieville, Cherie Priest, Charles Stross and more.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.




Well-Tempered Clavicle by Piers Anthony

Pier Anthony is back with a new Xanth novel, the 35th, in Well-Tempered Clavicle. The likes of Picka Bones and Joy’nt are off on an adventure with newly arrived creatures from Mundania. Anthony fans will not be disappointed.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.




Lightspeed Year One by John Joseph Adams

Lightspeed is an award-nominated online science fiction magazine edited by bestselling, renowned editor John Joseph Adams (Living Dead). In Lightspeed Year One, Adams collects the first year of fiction published by the online magazine, featuring the likes of Vylar Kaftan’s “I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See you in Reno,” as well as reprints from such great authors as Stephen King, Ursula K. LeGuin, George R. R. Martin and more.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.




Somewhere Beneath Those Waves by Sarah Monette

From bestselling author Sarah Monette comes the first non-themed collection of her best short fiction. This collection is a great addition to any fan of Monette’s work, and for anyone looking to try out this great author for the first time, Somewhere Beneath Those Waves is a perfect place to start.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.




Autumn Disintegration by David Moody

The penultimate chapter in the terrifying horror series from David Moody, Autumn Disintegration reveals a world forty days after its end, where billions of corpses now walk the earth. There is one group of eleven, fighting to survive, doing whatever it takes, while another group employs tactics, subtlety and planning to keep themselves alive. Moody skillfully brings the two groups together, as they all know the final battle is about to begin.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.




When the Saints by Dave Duncan

From author Dave Duncan comes the great sequel to Speak to the Devil. When the Saints picks up where Duncan left off: Anton Magnus must defend the castle from the attacking neighboring state, but fortunately Cardice has a secret weapon in Wulfgang Magnus. Only Wulfgang must choose which side he is to fight on, and whether the love for one beautiful Madlenka will sway him.

To purchase a copy from Amazon and help support BookBanter, click HERE.