|Auflage||1. Auflage, 2014|
Like many fields of science, the future of medicine is frequently predicted by the science fiction writers of today, very much as many of today's medical advances were presaged by science fiction stories of the past.
In this book, physician and science fiction author Brad Aiken conveys his own speculations about our medical future through nine highly entertaining and thought-provoking short stories. Touching upon a great variety of themes, including but not limited to telemedicine and remote surgery, vaccination strategies against unknown deathly pathogens, nanomedicine to cure diseases and retard ageing, bionics, cloning and euthanasia, we get a glimpse of what might be awaiting humanity.
Yet, in these stories it is always the protagonists, humans after all, who remain at the center stage, not the new technologies. This provides the fictional material with a unique blend of science fiction and social fantasy. It also warns us to be wary of the pitfalls of too much reliance on dehumanizing technology and to make sure it remains our helper, not our master.
Last but not least, an extensive scientific essay investigates the interplay between science fiction and both past and current advances in medical sciences and technology, making the link to the fictional material in the book as well as to the relevant scientific literature.
Brad Aiken is the Medical Director for Rehabilitation at Baptist Hospital in Miami, Florida. He has published several scientific articles, and has presented to both professional and non-professional groups on a variety of topics. Dr. Aiken has received numerous science awards, including the Navy Science Award, as well as awards from the Army, the Air Force and NASA. He began writing science fiction while in college at Boston University, and published his first book, Starscape: The Silver Bullet, in 2000. His latest book, Zone of the Tenth Degree, was published in August 2012. His short stories have appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Padwolf Presents, and the vampire anthology New Blood.