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Recommended Reading by Professionals…with A.J. Colucci

In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve.

Today’s recommendations are by AJ Colucci. A.J. Colucci is the critically acclaimed author of THE COLONY and SEEDERS, which combine true, cutting-edge science with the adrenaline-rush of a thriller. SEEDERS was described by Douglas Preston as “gripping and brilliantly original.” Her debut novel THE COLONY received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, and Booklist called it “a frightening combination of well-researched science and scenes of pure horror.” A.J. Colucci was a journalist and editor for 15 years and has authored hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles.

A science thriller, which is more fictionalized science than science fiction, is a small but growing genre. If you like Michael Crichton or James Rollins you should give these authors a read.

  • Mark Alpert – What I like about Alpert is he has a knack for making the impossible seem possible. The Furies, his latest book, is about a group of real-life witches that have been hidden from the rest of civilization for hundreds of years. Alpert uses cutting-edge science to show how a simple genetic twist could have created this group of people capable of living for generations, and uses the history of witchcraft to explain the fear that keeps them segregated from the rest of the world. But it’s his characters that drive this story. Mainly the witch Ariel, who must go out into the real world and pick up a regular guy for a one night stand in order to mate, and John Rogers, the guy she chooses, who doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into with her warring fractured family. This is Alpert’s first science thriller that contains a touch of fantasy, but if you like harder science, he’s got three more terrific books: Final Theory, Omega Theory and Extinction.


  • Amy Rogers – I read Rogers’s Petroplague a couple of years ago and still think about it today. It’s one of those books that stick in your mind, with a message you can’t ignore. The story is about Christina Gonzales, a biotechnology student working to free America from its dependence on oil. Instead, an act of eco-terrorism unleashes her genetically-modified bacteria into the fuel supply of Los Angeles, rendering the city’s petroleum useless. With the city slipping toward anarchy, Christina must find a way to rein in the microscopic monster she created. But not everyone wants to cure the petroplague—and some will do whatever it takes to spread it. The characters in the book are realistic and entertaining, and the story brings up some provocative issues we face today. What if our nation was forced to find an alternative to oil, and very quickly? The answer turns out to be a disaster, and Petroplague makes you see both sides of the argument more clearly.

Stay tuned for the next post where we get reading recommendations from Jamie Schultz!

About Kristin Centorcelli (842 Articles)
Kristin Centorcelli is the Associate Editor at SF Signal, proprietor of My Bookish Ways, a reviewer for Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, and has also written for Crime Fiction Lover, Criminal Element, and Mystery Scene Magazine. She has been reviewing books since late 2010, in an effort to get through a rather immense personal library, while also discussing it with whoever will willingly sit still (and some that won’t).
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