Rated 3.53/5 based on 19 reviews
Molecular biologist Dr. Carl Peters is under pressure on two fronts: his research grants are disappearing and his marriage is falling apart. But when medical researchers discover that genetically modified animal feed has tainted the food chain, he finally gets the funding he always dreamed of. Dr. Peters discovers the reason behind the cancer link, but it's so crazy, he barely believes it himself. More

Available formats: epub mobi pdf html

Words: 7,870
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458117175
About David Gaughran

David Gaughran is a 34-year old Irish writer, living in Sweden, who spends most of his time travelling the world, collecting stories.

He is the author of the South American historical adventure "A Storm Hits Valparaiso" and the short stories "If You Go Into The Woods" and "Transfection" as well as the popular self-publishing guide "Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should."

Also by This Author


Review by: Elizabeth Miller on Feb. 27, 2012 :
Another great short story by David Gaughran. I would like to see some longer works because he has the short story down and would like to know if he can maintain a whole novel. Well written and good a read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Elizabeth Miller on Feb. 27, 2012 :
Another great short story by David Gaughran. I would like to see some longer works because he has the short story down and would liek toknow if he can maintain a whole novel. Well written and good a read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Cathy T. on Oct. 05, 2011 :
This is a Reading Good Books review.

I love a good medical thriller. I challenge myself in understanding all the technical jargon and keeping up with the pace and different plots of the story. Short story thrillers are a little tricky. Usually, thrillers take their time establishing the mystery and building up to the big reveal. This book only had 5,000+ words to set it up and execute.

The blurb seemed very promising. It doesn’t really give away much, if anything. But it read like a teaser or a pitch rather than a stand-alone story. The premise had so much to work on and a short story format was not enough for that. A lot was left unexplained, including the “reason behind the cancer link with GM food”. So yeah, I ended the book scratching my head and trying to figure out what the hell just happened.

The writing was excellent and polished. I was impressed by that and frankly, that’s the reason why I kept reading. For its length, the character development was done well even with the time jumps. But because plot development was severely lacking, I didn’t care much for the story itself. It could’ve worked as a full book or anything longer than a short story.

Rating: 3/5.

Recommendation: It’s 5,500 words, it shouldn’t take you too long to read. I read it during my down time at work and still got stuff done.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Lenora Gogerty on Sep. 05, 2011 :
Good writing, interesting story.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jessica Riddoch on Aug. 26, 2011 : (no rating)
This was a well written story, however to me it was nothing new, the story line was one that I had encountered before (though in a slightly different way. It seemed to be written as a twist in the end tale, however the twist for me was just the way it was always going to end.
but still it was an enjoyable read for all of the description, I would read this author again
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: rhonda laney on Aug. 25, 2011 :
Dr. Carl Peters worked at a university in a lab and was eccentric. His only friend was assistant Jim Glover. Carl spent more time in the lab than he did at home. He worked with genetic modification food.
It tells how much he obssessed with work and science till he lost everything and he knows part of it was his fault for the choices he made.
It shows him spireling down and up. That you need to work on more than one aspeck at a time.
Also shows greed and how science studies can be made into less than truethful ways.
The story was a little hard with the science for me to follow but it was good. Just not a story I would pick up and read again.
I was given the short story in exchange for honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jean Morris on Aug. 10, 2011 : (no rating)
Interesting book. Just too short. I felt like it would have been better as a regular novel. The author seems right on with this idea. Science is changing our world so quickly that this idea seems very plausible.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jennifer Langevin on Aug. 01, 2011 :
This book drew me into the world of science right away! I loved it and was surprised at the end!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Hannah Hummel on July 27, 2011 :
I laughed out loud at some of the antics as I was reading. Transfection is well worth the price-tag...yet another well written and, dare I say again, thought provoking, tale from David Gaughran
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Misty Greene on July 26, 2011 :
For a short story it was really great. From the very begining I wanted to keep reading. I could see it made into a larger novel with less narative on the main charactors life and more action/story line. A must read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Molly Rabbitt on July 25, 2011 : (no rating)
I don't quite know how to feel about this piece. For a short, it's good. But it felt like there was far too much telling and not enough showing. I know that with scientific stuff it's kind of hard to show instead of tell, but I felt like there wasn't enough effort put into the showing and instead was excited with telling instead.

Had this been a proposal for a longer novel, I think I could have stood with the amount of tell over show. Hell, I'd absolutely love to see a full-length novel with these characters and this concept. It's a solid read, but it could have used a little more visualization and a little less text to it.

Still, give it a read and see what you think. I like it as a short, but I think I would have liked it more as a longer novel/novella.

(posted to librarything, goodreads, and shelfari)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lynxear on July 25, 2011 :
I was eager to read the story as it seemed to be about something that did interest me...Genetic Modification of food.

I think there is the basis of a nice short story here. However, I doubt I would have finished a 100-300 page novel if it were written in this style. I was never sure what the message of the story was meant to be. There are hints of a plot by the GM industry but that is all...hints. The plants give off a radiation burst when modified and this so-called radiation code was broken, but you never know what it said other than they seem to be the cries of dying plants (yet they obviously grow to produce food??). You never find out why he lost control of his research...he just seems to give up being a team member which is being in character I suppose.

I read nothing more than the angst of a marginal researcher who struggled to get a handle on probably his first real discovery but was not respected by his peers. A nice premise but I found I really did not "like" this character and there were huge information gaps in the story that did not help me understand this person better. The writing style was rather fractured for me.

The ending suggests perhaps sequels to this story but I would rather read a tighter version of the original one.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: R Shelton on July 24, 2011 :
David Gaughran has a voice for storytelling, and this topic makes for great reading. You don't have to be a science fiction fan to appreciate this, in fact if you've never read a sci-fi novel this would make a perfect introduction into the genre being that it's a short story.

The main character is a scientist practicing molecular biology. His ground breaking discovery reduces this great man into a homeless character, yet he carries his knowledge with him around his neck on a flash drive hoping to redeem himself someday. When he is found in his current condition by a fellow scientist, he is brought back into the limelight. It's his next discovery that makes for a fun twist at the end.

This is a really fun read for both sci-fi readers and for anyone who loves a consipiracy theory. Gaughran has a way of pulling the reader into a story and make you feel comfortable around the characters. Then he puts a kink in the line and makes you say, 'wait a minute!' I'm a fan of his work not because of the genre he writes in, but by how he tells the story (see his other books, they all have different settings). Awesome read, like his previous ones.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: dolphinchick on July 08, 2011 :
I liked this short story..not as much as 'If You Go Into The Woods'..but the story is totally different also. It was a lot of information and detail for a short story, felt like it ended to soon. Although that is part of what draws me to Davids other… It jumped around a little bit too much for me. Felt like it really wanted to go longer and I think it would have been great if it had, even just a little bit! All in all it's a good book!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Martens Girl on July 06, 2011 :
I was very pleased to get a copy of Transfection to review- I am a bit of a science geek and was enthralled by the summary of the book. Sadly, the book fell short of my expectations. I felt like the plot was not suitable for a short story- there was simply too much to fit in so few pages. As a consequence of fitting in so much plot, the prose suffered- it didn't flow, was fragmented and was not an enjoyable read. This is a shame as I read Gaughran's other work, If You Go Into The Woods, and found it to be excellent. Gaughran can write well, but this book does not do him justice.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Tome Keeper on July 05, 2011 :
Transfection to me was a let down – the cover was perfect, the blurb intriguing and concept exciting but the execution – just didn't live up to the promise. Transfection is a short story of only 5,700 words, I have nothing against short stories but hold them to the same standards as a full novel, and that was where Transfection failed for me. The whole book reads like a proposal for a novel, it is very descriptive, as if you are being told the story rather than reading it. In addition the story seems to jump in time at several points with little signposting which made the book feel disjointed and even more of a ‘proposal’. The characterisation was good, especially considering the length of the book, although at times Dr Peters’ character undergoes quite dramatic shifts that are not fully explained or explored, although perhaps this is due to the length of the book.

Overall, the premise was excellent and had the promise to be an excellent example of the medical thriller genre and I hope Gaughran continues to come up with such interesting plots. However, the execution was sub-standard, and the book felt more like reading a proposal for a new novel, rather than a stand-alone story it’s self. There was too much ‘tell’ on the part of the author and at times the story jumps around which disrupts the flow although it does mean that the story is pacey. This story could have easily been much longer, and it was ambitious for Gaughran to attempt to fit such a full plot into such a small number of pages.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: justmax on July 03, 2011 :
I tend to avoid short stories because, usually, it just feels like there is too much missing, the characters are flat, and there isn't enough time for the willing suspension of disbelief to kick in. Not so with Transfection - in a very few pages, you become invested in the story and the main character, Dr Carl Peters.

Author David Gaughran has a real gift for saying big things in short spaces. This short story deals with the question of genetically modified foods, their risk to the public , the willingness of some corporations to trade the public safety for profit, and the willingness of some scientists to bend (or fake) their research to match the corporate line. And, at the same time he is filling the reader with a sense of suspense and paranoia about the industry, he lets us know Dr Peters, warts and all, and, what's more, he makes us care about him. And he does all this in 18 pages, not a mean feat by any stretch of the imagination.

This is the first story I have read by this author and all I can say is, I want more!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: LE Olteano on June 20, 2011 :
And here I am, again talking about David Gaughran‘s artful wording again. It feels like only yesterday I was talking about his amazing work, If you go into the woods. Wait, it actually was yesterday Well as you can clearly see, when I say I love someone’s work, I mean it; I was yearning for an encore. And here it is.

Transfection is a different ballgame altogether. The topic, for one thing, falls in a completely different area. We’re talking of a thrilling sci-fi work here, as opposed to rich fantasy, again delivered in the short and sweet form that Gaughran seems to so skillfully master.

Obviously, as the great writer I believe him to be, David Gaughran demonstrates the acute ability to shift between styles with such grace and eloquence, that you’ll be left wondering what it is that he can’t do, really. I know what reading this work of his left me with, and that is the clear desire to read more by him.

The characters are well built, the author again demonstrating the keen ability to condense in few words great impressions. His quirky and quite charming character, Dr. Carl Peters feels like an old acquaintance, a dear old friend even, after the first 2 pages of the story. His life is bound to stir some strong emotion within you, I know it did for me. As the read went on, I found myself focused entirely on the writing, and guessing what would be next very little to not at all – that is one of my most annoying habits when reading, watching movies, plays, and so on, my mind’s always rushing with possibilities of what would be coming next; a lot of the time, I guess the plot lines before they’re presented to me, leaving me with a somewhat disappointing flavor for the story itself, though I am aware this is my own fault.
Well, for this story, there was none of that. And although I did get a somber feeling there would be something big happening next, mostly because of the fresh memory of Gaughran’s strong twists from yesterday’s read, I totally did not expect that ending. I really didn’t see it coming, although evil corporations and big-league business always seem to go hand in hand with dramatic happenings (just in books, movies, and so forth, in reality you don’t really get to know about them surely…of course, I mean they probably don’t exist! *stares around nervously*).

Yet again, the author uses some very strong images in his great work. The notions he plays with do have a haunting quality to them, just like the case was with If you go into the woods, though here I’d say they are less poignant, for me at least. It seems I am unable to stop comparing the two, and it is somewhat unfair of me, since they have different writing styles, subjects and everything.
And the unfairness goes on still: I’m giving this beautiful read a full-hearted 4 butterflies rating. It’s a piece of beauty, well written, well thought, well put together. However, had I not read If you go into the woods so recently, I might have been persuaded to actually give this lovely work a 5 butterflies rating, for many reasons. But right now, with yesterday’s beauty still lulling in my soul, I wouldn’t be able to.
The cover though, the cover is absolute full-on 5 butterflies material, just like the cover for If you go into the woods, Kate Gaughran, you’re an amazing artist!

All in all, I recommend this to people who do enjoy a well written sci-fi, and surely to those who enjoy short stories. But what I’d wholeheartedly recommend is, after you read this beautiful piece of writing, you go and read If you go into the woods too; David Gaughran’s writing is so good, you’ll be left craving for more.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: TC on June 05, 2011 : (no rating)
Dr Carl Peters is a biologist who has sacrificed a lot to his research and has been struggling with funding. When there is a suggestion that GM food is linked to cancer suddenly the money comes rolling in and he is on the up. However when he discovers the reason for it he's labelled crazy and is soon on a downward slope again.

This story touches on some interesting topics, and I would have happily read more should the author have chosen to expand on the themes. The book is about 23 print pages and I raced through it. However for the length I was impressed that I felt sympathy for the Dr and everything he goes through in the course of the book, the character was obviously developed economically but well. I went through a range of emotions as I read, as the book ran the gamut from amusing to sinister. While the story is only short the author has obviously spent a lot of time in creating a polished product.

This was a really good quick , well written and I'm pleased to have more by the author on my kindle, to be read and reviewed at a later date.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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