There's no question that, with book sales of more than a quarter billion copies, Stephen King is one of the most popular authors of the modern era. Part of his astonishing success can be traced to his brilliant use of that old science fiction axiom about focusing on one subject and asking the question: "what if?" Along with spot-on characterization, King is an expert at imagining the worst possible consequences for scientific or pseudo-scientific events. The only problem with King's stories is he usually spends so much time answering "what if?" that he doesn't explain how or why.King seems to have a special affinity for life sciences. In his television mini-series The Golden Years (Spelling Entertainment, 1991), King looks into the horrors of growing older and the attempts by modern scientists to reverse or prevent these changes. At the fictional Falco Plains Agricultural Testing Facility, a top-secret Department of...

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