Mistress of Molecules

Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
Libra has never seen a tree. On her planet, every growing thing poisons humans. Using her extraordinary powers of chemical synthesis, she terrorizes the corporations and churches that hold everyone in slavery. Across the galaxy, Andre saves a Zgaarid spaceship and is implanted with Zgaarid technology. Andre meets Libra. The reaction is explosive. The galaxy will never be the same. More

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About Gerald M. Weinberg

Gerald M. Weinberg (Jerry) writes "nerd novels," such as The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, and Mistress of Molecules—about how brilliant people produce quality work. His novels may be found as eBooks at or on Kindle. Before taking up his science fiction career, he published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. He also wrote books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the four-volume Quality Software Management series. He incorporates his knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, and software engineers). Early in his career, he was the architect for the Mercury Project's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. Winner of the Warnier Prize and the Stevens Award for his writing on software quality, he is also a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame. The book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) honors his work for his 75th birthday. His website and blogs may be found at http://www.geraldmweinberg.com.

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Review by: Susan Hidley on Jan. 24, 2012 :
Don’t be fooled. From its setting on Precursor—a barren planet where everything that grows is toxic to human life, and where people are enslaved by a corrupt alliance of corporate and religious interests—Mistress of Molecules might seem like the kind of machine-laden, hard science fiction that is strong on technical descriptions and weak on human interest. But human interest is what drives this engaging, action-driven novel in which chemistry—both the scientific and the romantic kind—plays an important part. Weinberg, who has made a career writing nonfiction that sheds insight into our relationships with technology, infuses this book with astute, often witty, and sometimes profound observations on the nature of societies, religion, freedom, and terrorism. The book also brims with intriguing scientific ideas and speculations. But what keeps the pages turning are the stories of Andre and Libra, two gifted, troubled souls, who, in seeking to shape a better life for the inhabitants of Precursor,find their own happiness as well.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
Review by: Banty Hen Publishing on July 29, 2011 :
Gerald Weinberg's sci-fi work 'Mistress of Molecules' is, on the surface, a tale about chemicals, eco-terrorism, and interstellar travel. However, it works on another level - one of two people, each seeking freedom of their own. They may start out in different sections of the galaxy, but it's when they come together that things kick into high gear.

Libra, a gifted chemist, seeks to liberate the residents of her planet, Precursor, from the pollution-spewing policies that cut lifespan by almost half. Making matters even more dangerous is the nature of her society, which is run by a quasi-religious police state.

In another part of the galaxy, the young man Andre is brought up amidst squalor and abuse, in both his own household and in the religious order he's inducted into. Some of the book's more tense and gripping scenes take place where Andre finally rebels, and desperately flees the confines of the monastary-island and stows away aboard a starship.

Andre, against all odds, manages to survive and thrive amidst the alien race he encounters, the Zgaarid. But his world is turned upside down yet again as he meets the mysterious and intriguingly alluring Libra on Precursor.

Without giving away any more spoilers, let's just say that their road together doesn't run smoothly. But it's wide, deep, and the consequences shape the future of both the humans' world and that of the Zgaarid.

A solid, engaging sci-fi read!
(reviewed 35 days after purchase)

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