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The Coffin Cure   By: (1928-1992)

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The Coffin Cure by Alan Edward Nourse is an enthralling science fiction thriller that dives deep into the human psyche and explores the darker side of medical advancements. Set in a dystopian future, Nourse constructs a world where technology and ethics clash, leaving readers questioning the true price of progress.

The story follows Dr. Joseph MacAuley, a brilliant physician with a haunting past. He is summoned to Mars to investigate a mysterious plague that has been tormenting the colonists, causing them to slowly waste away in their sleep. Armed with little information and a strong sense of duty, MacAuley embarks on a perilous journey to uncover the truth behind this deadly affliction.

Nourse's writing is concise yet vivid, managing to paint a vivid picture of the barren Martian landscape while also delving into the intricate workings of the human mind. His meticulous attention to detail creates an immersive experience for readers, making it easy to get lost in the story. The scientific aspects of the plot are well-researched, adding an air of realism that further enhances the narrative.

What sets The Coffin Cure apart is its exploration of the moral implications of medical progress. Nourse raises thought-provoking questions about the boundaries of science and the ethical responsibilities of those in power. As the plot unfolds, readers are forced to confront their own beliefs and consider the consequences of unchecked scientific advancement.

The characters in this novel are multi-dimensional and relatable. Dr. MacAuley's internal struggle to reconcile his past mistakes with his desire to save lives is compelling. The supporting characters, such as fellow doctor Cynthia Masters and disillusioned engineer John Madden, provide additional depth, each wrestling with their own demons in the oppressive Martian environment.

While the pacing of the story is generally well-maintained, there are a few moments where it lags, particularly during the exposition-heavy passages. However, these moments are far outweighed by the intensity and suspense that permeates the narrative. Nourse skillfully builds tension throughout the novel, culminating in a satisfying and unexpected climax that leaves readers on the edge of their seats.

The Coffin Cure is a gripping sci-fi thriller that tackles complex themes with finesse. Nourse's skill as a storyteller shines through as he crafts a cautionary tale about the perils of unchecked scientific progress. It will appeal to fans of classic science fiction and anyone who enjoys thought-provoking narratives that push the boundaries of what it means to be human.

First Page:

The Coffin Cure

by Alan E. Nourse

When the discovery was announced, it was Dr. Chauncey Patrick Coffin who announced it. He had, of course, arranged with uncanny skill to take most of the credit for himself. If it turned out to be greater than he had hoped, so much the better. His presentation was scheduled for the last night of the American College of Clinical Practitioners' annual meeting, and Coffin had fully intended it to be a bombshell.

It was. Its explosion exceeded even Dr. Coffin's wilder expectations, which took quite a bit of doing. In the end he had waded through more newspaper reporters than medical doctors as he left the hall that night. It was a heady evening for Chauncey Patrick Coffin, M.D.

Certain others were not so delighted with Coffin's bombshell.

"It's idiocy!" young Dr. Phillip Dawson wailed in the laboratory conference room the next morning. "Blind, screaming idiocy. You've gone out of your mind that's all there is to it. Can't you see what you've done? Aside from selling your colleagues down the river, that is?" He clenched the reprint of Coffin's address in his hand and brandished it like a broadsword. "'Report on a Vaccine for the Treatment and Cure of the Common Cold,' by C. P. Coffin, et al. That's what it says et al. My idea in the first place... Continue reading book >>

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