The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Today's guest blog is by Henry Forman, who has just published a new mystery novel I think many of you might enjoy reading.   Henry's plot dramatizes a real issue in contemporary scientific research, so there's some real food for thought in this novel.
I am grateful to my friend Jerry for giving me the opportunity to let readers of his blog know about my first novel, "Poisonous Science.

Like Jerry, my day job is as a biochemist and university professor. A dozen years ago I got an idea for a novel. It was about how some scientists behaving in less than admirable ways can affect the lives of others by being unfair in their reviews of research articles and grant proposals. Scientists already know this, but much of the public doesn’t realize how much petty jealousy and dishonesty can be in the heart of a few, but sometimes very influential, academics.

But being extremely busy, about the only thing I did about it was write an outline until two years ago when I decided it couldn’t wait any longer. This is because submitting grant proposals, which had increasingly become like high stakes gambling, was being distorted even more by cuts in federal funding of research. Many outstanding scientists, particularly among the next generation, have given up. This adversely affects advances in the field and severely threatens the leadership of the US in biomedical and other sciences. To make it clear that this isn’t sour grapes on my part, I’ll reveal my good fortune in having continued to be funded by the National Institutes of Health. But my novel deals with how this absurd situation can lead to someone becoming unhinged enough to seek revenge when their life is disrupted by an unfair review and loss of grant funding. The book’s title, “Poisonous Science,” refers to both the problems with some of the characters in the book and that it takes place in the world of toxicology. Yes, like my host, I cannot resist the opportunity to make a pun.

Poisonous Science by Henry Jay Forman is in Kindle format and is now available for $2.99 at

If you don't have a Kindle, you can down a free Kindle app for PC, Macs, iPhone, iPad, Android, others at:

Hope you’ll enjoy it.

I’ve also just started my own blog (, which will deal with issues concerning science. As my work involves free radicals, antioxidants, environmental toxicology, and aging, those will be the main topics. It will be written for a lay audience with my wife's help. She is a librarian with a background in fine arts.

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