Michael Blumlein is a medical doctor and a respected SF writer whose novels and stories have introduced new levels of both horror and wonder into the fiction of scientific speculation. His work as a cutting-edge medical researcher and internist at San Francisco’s UCSF Medical Center informs his acclaimed stories and novels as they explore what it means to be truly—if only temporarily—human.
Author: Michael Blumlein
Publisher: PM Press/ Outspoken Authors
Page count: 128
Subjects: Science Fiction
The innovative novels and stories of Michael Blumlein, MD, have introduced new levels of both terror and wonder into the fiction of scientific speculation. His work as a medical researcher and internist at San Francisco's UCSF Medical Center informs his tales of biotech, epigenetics, brain science, and what it means to be truly----if only temporarily----human.
“Blumlein has an exceptional vision, and he conveys it with exceptional talent.”
“Blindingly brilliant...Blumlein is beyond any genre...a genuinely great writer.”
—Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
“A wonderful and disturbing writer.”
“Offbeat and unpredictable...a talent that bears watching.”
—Joe Lansdale, creator of Hap and Leonard
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Thoreau’s Microscope: A Review
by Mark Wadley
Despite his tendency for minute observation, Thoreau rarely turned his microscope on himself, even in the late stages of his tuberculosis. While this dismays and fascinates Blumlein, he notes that “self exposure, particularly of the most intimate, gruesome, physical details of one’s own body and health, as riveting and irresistible as it may sound, is not everyone’s cup of tea.” Fortunately, Blumlein respects Thoreau’s restraint and discretion while fully embracing his own gruesome physicality. For a collection so heavily concerned with disease and death, Thoreau’s Microscope rarely feels melancholic; Blumlein’s acceptance of mortality allows him to hopefully and exuberantly dig into the blood and guts of humanity.
Thoreau’s Microscope: A Review
By Gary K Wolfe
September 27th, 2018
Overriding the cynicism, though, is a deep compassion, and it’s a compassion in evidence in his nonfiction as well. His contribution to the PM Press series of “Outspoken Authors”, Thoreau’s Microscope, includes four of the stories in All I Ever Dreamed (“Paul and Me”, “Your Quantified Self”, “Fidelity”, and “Know How, Can Do”) together with the series’ usual freewheeling interview with Terry Bisson and – perhaps most important – the remarkable title essay, inspired in part by a trip to the High Sierras with Kim Stanley Robinson, Gary Snyder, and a few others, with the goal of naming a mountain after Thoreau. Blumlein considers the role of the observer in wide-ranging terms, from Leeuwenoek’s original microscope, to Thoreau’s role as the archetypal poet-scientist, to the modern imaging techniques that have traced the progress of Blumlein’s own lung cancer. Blumlein’s voice takes on a degree of urgency here, but it only reminds us of the deeply humane urgency that his fiction has always exhibited.