"A superb tale that every lover of science fiction will want to have around. Completely off-trail science fiction—and highly recommended therefore." —Galaxy Science Fiction
This amazingly prophetic 1931 novel, which some say inspired Flowers for Algernon (on which the film Charlie was based), is easily the best novel Hugo Gernsback ever published in Amazing Stories. It features characters so mature their like would not be seen again until the post-war sf of the 1950s, and a theme that, in its rise and fall, prefigures that of Flowers for Algernon and carries it to a level of operatic tragedy not to be equaled until Bester's The Demolished Man.
Seeds of Life, in short, is the story of Neils Bork, an alcoholic and failure raised to supernal heights of scientific genius and altruism by a scientific accident. And it is the story of what became of his golden dream of free, limitless energy for all, and of the marriage he thought would be crowned with glorious offspring.
"In the unbelievably short period of six years, from 1924 to 1930, John Taine (Professor Eric Temple Bell of California Institute of Technology) drove himself to a unique position in the science fiction world through the outrageously daring flights of the imagination which are the Taine trademark. Seeds of Life is top-notch Taine. The theme is biological—the sources of life, and the forces which mold life. An accident remakes the blundering technician, Neils Bork, into the mutant superman, Miguel De Soto, and at the same time sets in motion other processes which attract the attention of Bork's employer, Andrew Crane, and the very competent Dr. Brown. The author keeps several mysteries at the boiling point—what has happened to Bork, to the black widow spider, to Bertha the hen; what is "De Soto's" plot against the mankind he considers degraded and degrading; what, above all, is the theory of evolution and devolution around which the whole book is built?" —Analog Science Fiction
Amazing Stories Classics is proud to bring this landmark work from the pages of the Amazing Stories Quarterly, Oct 1931—with all of its original Frank R. Paul magazine illustrations—back before the reading public.