Thoreau’s Microscope

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by Michael Blumlein
The politics and terrors of biotech, human engineering, and brain science are given startling fictional form in a selection of short stories with a mix of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and wicked humor.

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Product ID: 2057 SKU: 9781629635163 Categories: , , , Tags: ,

The innovative novels and stories of Michael Blumlein, MD, have introduced new levels of both terror and wonder into the fiction of scientific speculation. His work as a medical researcher and internist at San Francisco’s UCSF Medical Center informs his tales of biotech, epigenetics, brain science, and what it means to be truly—-if only temporarily—-human.

Our title piece, “Thoreau’s Microscope,” inspired by a historic High Sierra expedition with Kim Stanley Robinson and Gary Snyder and first published here, is a stunning mix of hypothesis and history, in which the author inhabits Thoreau’s final days to examine the interaction of impersonal science and personal liberation. A journey as illuminating as it is intimate.

Plus… A selection of short stories with Blumlein’s signature mix of horror, “hard” science, and wicked humor. “Fidelity” coolly deconstructs adultery with the help of an exuberant tumor, an erotic cartoon, and a male malady. “Y(ou)r Q(ua)ntifi(e)d S(el)f” will reset your Fitbit and your workout as well. “Paul and Me” is a love story writ extra-large, in which an Immortal from Fantasy comes down with a distinctly human disorder. In the chilling “Know How, Can Do” a female Frankenstein brings romance to life in the cold light of the lab.

And Featuring: Our overly intrusive Outspoken Interview, in which the ethics of experimental medicine, animal surgery, the poetry of prose, cult film acclaim, Charles Ludlam, Darwin, and gender dysphoria all submit to examination.


  • “Blumlein has an exceptional vision, and he conveys it with exceptional talent.”   —Washington Post
  • “Blindingly brilliant…Blumlein is beyond any genre…a genuinely great writer.”  —Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
  • “A wonderful and disturbing writer.”   —William Gibson
  • “Offbeat and unpredictable…a talent that bears watching.”   —Publishers Weekly
  • “Disturbing. More!”   —Joe Lansdale, creator of Hap and Leonard

About the Author:

In addition to his acclaimed science fiction, Michael Blumlein has written for the stage and for film. His novel X,Y was made into a feature-length movie. He wrote the screenplay for Decodings, which was selected for inclusion in the Biennial Exhibition of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2011 he was one of a panel of experts at the “Impossible Futures” symposium sponsored by the Institute for the Future in Silicon Valley. Dr. Blumlein is a practicing MD and a faculty member at the University of California in San Francisco, where much of his career has been spent caring for the underserved.

Product Details:
Author: Michael Blumlein
Publisher: PM Press/ Outspoken Authors
ISBN: 978-1-62963-516-3
Published: 06/2018
Format: Paperback
Size: 7.5×5
Page count: 128
Subjects: Science Fiction

See and hear author interviews, book reviews, and other news on Michael Blumlein’s page HERE

Click here for one-page information sheet on this product

Weight 185 g