Recent releases

Birth Defects

by Tomas Harding (2149)

Birth Defects, by Tomas Harding, examines the life and work of scientist Diffy-May Lee (2056-2139).

Lee was born in to a Franco-Chinese family in the suburbs of Paris. The family business was lost over gambling debts and Lee, aged 16, took on financial responsibility for her family. She had long been feted as a child genius and won the €10m top prize in the French version of Instant Wealth, a quiz show requiring her to win 100 consecutive rounds of competition. She gave her family the prize money before enrolling at the University of Paris, where she studied medical statistics.

In her 20s, Diffy-May Lee started working with Professor R.G. ‘Robbie’ Blanco, Head of Medical Research at the Sorbonne. Although 26 years her senior, they started an intense and volatile relationship that lasted until his death in 2106. Their initial work focussed on identifying predictors of early onset dementia. They expanded this work to other psychological conditions in the 2090s. Although facing considerable experimental challenges, not least the time gap between when predictors were observable and the onset of disease, Lee and Blanco found links between very early body and language development and certain personality disorders. Blanco and Lee were given the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2104 for their work on Borderline Personality Disorder.

After Blanco’s death, Lee became severely ill and was sectioned for nearly eight years. After her recovery, she travelled throughout China for many years. She wrote a short biography in 2129, which almost entirely concentrated on her love affair with Blanco. This was made in to a successful film, Folle et Fou (2134), starring Hoko and Pierre Grant-Flynn.

She returned to Paris and became a mentor for Chinese students at the Sorbonne. Aged 78, she revealed she had suffered from Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder for most of her life. She died after a fall in 2139.

Harding’s book takes us in to the mind of Diffy-May Lee, at times brilliant, at times a place of madness, her turmoil sometimes anaesthetised, sometimes exacerbated, by her blinding love for Blanco. Harding also takes us by the hand through the complexities of her and Blanco’s exceptional ground-breaking work together.

Minnie Faurster, Volume 3: Redemption (2122-2136)

by Keven Leicester (2149)

Ten years after the publication of Minnie Faurster, Volume 1: Brilliance (2080-2104), Keven Leicester has completed the third and final part of his definitive study of Minnie Faurster.

Faurster is regarded by many as the leading Western author of the first half of the 22nd century. She rode the literary wave between fine mannerly control and heady lyrical abandonment in early works such as Spinner (2101), Weave (2106) and Dirty (2116). These early works, mostly set in late 19th and early 20th century Britain, examined the plight of women then and now and were seen as being at the forefront of the 5th Feminist Wave. She achieved both critical acclamation and commercial success with these early works.

In this 3rd volume of his biography, Leicester looks at Faurster’s later works, which were sparser, harder and less forgiving of the failures of earlier generations of feminists. Whilst still novels, they read like philosophical and political essays, with the characters playing second fiddle to Faurster’s towering if intellectually flawed rhetoric. The books were pilloried by critics and readers alike until after her death, when they were re-examined in a more forgiving light. Her final redemption.

During the writing of this final volume, the Faurster family gave Leicester access to some of Faurster’s private papers from the latter part of her life. These have enabled him to reveal more about the evolution of Faurster’s character over her short life.

‘In writing this final volume, I feel like I have held out my hand to Faurster and helped her down from the dizzyingly high and lonely pedestal I and others condemned her to. She has stood beside me: short, slightly crippled, trembling, crushed by life, unable to look up from her shoes. A human. A human it was not easy to love. An unlovable human who changed and improved the lives of many.’

Leicester finally takes us through the mental turmoil of the last terrifying weeks of her life, before her suicide in 2136, aged just 55.

The Mouse Behind the Skirting Board

by Jago Pieterson (2149)

Pieterson brings his usual verve and humour to this biography of K.L. Marmose, one of the world’s most eccentric software geniuses.

Marmose was born in 2035 in Copenhagen. His father was an engineer and his mother a politician, becoming Prime Minister of Denmark in 2039. Aged 6, Marmose was sent to boarding school in England: ‘My father hated us and I got it. Kids are awful. He was happier, we were happier and none of us cared what mum thought. She had a country to run and it kept her busy.’

At school, he was nicknamed ‘the mouse’ and he spent most of his time in a cupboard, his ‘mouse-hole’, where he worked on his many computers. Aged 15, he devised ways to hack the three main global payment systems. He contacted the companies involved and offered each a demonstration. Only one responded, the newest upstart, HipermonE. Two days later, Marmose found himself sitting in the office of HipermonE founder Johnnie Daniel. Marmose came dressed as Mickey Mouse.

Daniel and Marmose set up Take Mickey Inc. Within two years, Marmose had developed a global payment system that remains secure to this day. Marmose sold his share of Take Mickey to a banking consortium for $2tn in 2077. He built a house with some of his fortune, which appeared to consist of just one room, over 100 feet high, with a sixty-foot front door and skirting boards big enough for a man to walk through – if there was a convenient mouse hole. All the rooms were concealed behind the skirting board.

He announced in 2081 that all virtual currency could soon become valueless. He made this announcement shortly after having whisker implants. No one took any notice. In 2083, Marmose demonstrated how he could manipulate virtual currency transactions: halting and redirecting individual payments. Although he had only used the software in simulations, he was arrested and briefly imprisoned on charges of fraud. The software system, entitled Sharkattack!, was destroyed, but virtual currencies lost 90% of their value over the next ten years.

Marmose died in 2120. His body was laid out on a giant mouse-trap, before being interred in a Mausoleum styled like a wedge of Emmenthal.