HH Com 514

Dr. Ally Johnson is searching for three one-hundred year old frozen corpses on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. She's hoping they'll still contain traces of a flu virus that killed 40 million people world wide at the beginning of the twentieth century. A virus that may be the key to developing a cure for a far deadlier modern-day version of itself. When
microbiologist, Dr. Marc DeCuir, stumbles across her bodies, Ally hurries to recover the corpses before their precious DNA is lost.

Dr. DeCuir's research team is studying the unique bacteria that grow in Ellesmere Island's glacier-covered cold sulphur springs. Marc accidentally exposes Ally and himself to a large amount of the bacteria. But, when everyone else falls ill with the flu, Marc and Ally realize the bacteria they've found may be the only cure any of them have.

As the modern flu begins its deadly march across the globe, Marc and Ally race to overcome the pharmaceutical company agent who doesn't want them to succeed in bringing a cheap and easily reproduced cure for the flu to the world.

This is set up, not a hook.
It's also yesterday's news to make pharmcutical companies the bad guys--it's been done to death so to speak.

You're going to have to come up with a fresh perspective on brave doctors battling a virus to hook me on this one.


KingM said...

I found the Arctic setup interesting. It reminds me a bit of Connie Willis' Doomsday Book with the modern and the historic plagues mirroring each other.

But the evil Big Pharma? Way too easy.

zdaddyo said...

Also the 1918 flu has already been recovered and sequenced AND RECREATED. This was a big deal last year.

Taubenberger, J.K., et al. 1997. Initial genetic characterization of the 1918 "Spanish" influenza virus. Science 275:1793.

Taubenberger, J.K., et al. 2005. Characterization of the 1918 influenza virus polymerase genes. Nature 437:889-893.

Tumpey, T.M., et al. 2005. Science 310:77-80.

Anonymous said...

I too like the Arctic setting, and the idea of the sulphur springs bacteria being used to combat the virus.

Perhaps the overdone evil pharma antagonist could be recast as a environmentalist whose singular zeal for preserving the wilderness
would justify the suppression of a discovery that would save millions of human lives?

Maybe that's overdone too, I dunno, but if it is, I'm sure someone will jump in and point that out. At any rate, I think you've got something worth pursuing here. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I'm too skeptical about the ability of under-glacier arctic sulfur spring bacteria to establish a harmless chronic infection in humans, never mind to produce antiviral byproducts specific to that flu strain. Which I think is what your scenario requires. And I don't see how any pharmaceutical company could benefit from such a cure-obstruction ploy. You can't even sell aspirin to dead people, never mind more lucrative products, so obviously the company's better off if half the population doesn't die from influenza, whether someone else sells the cure for that particular disease or not.

Anonymous said...

This premise is a near clone of an episode from "Prey," Sleeper(6/18/1998).

shtml (Number 10 down the page.)

I recall it took place in Alaska, they dug up bodies for the virus, and people got sick.

Anonymous said...

I would read this if the name on the cover was Crichton or Cook, but not by an unknown. It's too much like every other "outbreak"-related book on the market, and I want a perfect delivery when I read these books.

Oh, yeah, and I'm a liberal, but I don't believe there are huge companies that want to perpetuate illnesses. Too silly for words. They're human (and potential victims), too.

Wilfred the Author said...

If you've read "State of Fear" by Crichton or "Seizure" by Robin Cook (both recent works) you may stop reading these types of things all together. They both were heavy in research, but poorly written efforts.