An Audience For Einstein [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Mark Wakely
eBook Category: Science Fiction/Suspense/Thriller EPIC eBook Award Winner
eBook Description: Professor Percival Marlowe is a brilliant, elderly astrophysicist who's dying, his greatest achievement still unfinished and now beyond his diminished means. Doctor Carl Dorning, a neurosurgeon, finally discovers a secret method of transplanting memories from one person to another, thanks to Marlowe's millions. Miguel Sanchez, a homeless boy, agrees to become the recipient of Marlowe's knowledge and personality in this unorthodox experiment, enticed by Dorning's promises of intelligence, wealth and respect, but dangerously unaware that his own identity will be lost forever. What results is a seesaw battle for control of Miguel's body, as Marlowe learns to his dismay what his lifetime of arrogance and conceit has earned him. And when Marlowe stumbles upon the shocking procedure Dorning used in desperation to succeed, the professor does what he must to defeat Dorning and redeem himself at last.
eBook Publisher: Mundania Press LLC/Mundania Press, Published: 2005, 2005
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2005
13 Reader Ratings:
"This is a very good sci-fi that will leave you in deep thoughts long after you finish reading."--Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews
"An Audience for Einstein is a well-written, at times riveting story of the search for the afterlife."--Ellen Feig, Skuawk Literature Reviews
"A clever, original, and satisfying manipulation of science-fiction topics."--R. Swords, Elmhurst, IL
"Thought provoking and entertaining"--Diana Tixier Herald, Genrefluent
Cambridge, England 1924
In all of his fifteen years, nothing mattered more to him than this.
The poolside bleachers were filled to capacity, the students intense in their crisp red and white uniforms, the faculty men serious in their school sweaters and sturdy black bowlers. They clapped and cheered as he lined up with the rest of the swim team qualifiers for the final race. He faced the end lane, having barely earned a berth.
"I didn't sleep very well last night," he said over the din to the taller, more muscular teen next to him. "Did you?"
The teen scoffed, stretched up on his tiptoes as if to emphasize the physical difference between them then rolled his shoulders to loosen up. "I slept like a baby. That comes from having confidence. Something you must not possess."
Another school cheer went up from the tightly packed crowd, echoing in the cavernous, tiled room. One of the swimmers dipped his foot in the smooth water, sending ripples on their way to the other side.
The smaller boy waved his arms about to limber up. "It's not that, it's just that it all comes down to this, our last and most important race of the season. School champion." He looked at the mass of spectators on either side of the pool with scarcely concealed trepidation.
The teen regarded him with a brief sneer. "That's right. And frankly, I'm shocked you actually made it this far, Marlowe."
"Well I did, didn't I?"
"Doesn't matter. Everyone's certain you're going to lose, you know. You're just a brainy underclassman, not a true athlete like me." He flexed prominent biceps to make his point. "Go back to your books, bookworm. You're no threat."
Percival drew himself up, his expression dark. "We'll see about that, my good man."
The teen sneered again as he twisted from side to side. "I suppose we will."
A group of teenage girls clapped in unison, and then one of them held up a paper sign with the tall teen's name scrawled on it.
The teen waved to them. They squealed and waved back, bouncing up and down.
"See that, Marlowe? How can I possibly lose with them cheering me on?"
Percival stared wistfully at the auburn-haired girl with the sign as he now twisted. "I could win it."
The teen scoffed. "Not likely. This is for all the glory. I'm not going to let it get away. The rewards will be great and many, if you know what I mean." He nodded at the girls then glanced at Percival with scorn. "But then again, I don't think that you do."
The swimming coach stepped forward, satisfied with the team's preparation.
The young swimmers assumed their start positions as the crowd quieted down.
"May the best man win," Percival offered.
"Yes," said the teen. "And that will be me."
The coach raised a silver whistle, a stopwatch in his other hand.
"Steady now, gentlemen."
The swimmers leaned forward, muscles tensed.
The sound of the whistle launched them.
He flopped into the water, a terrible start. All Percival saw were the feet of the other swimmers as they sped away.
He dug in, his arms flying and legs kicking furiously. They all reached the other side and turned around at nearly the same time.
His lungs aching, he swam with an intensity he never had before, determined to prove everyone wrong.
He drew even with the leader, the tall teen next to him. The teen looked startled to see him, and in that instant, lost his rhythm and faltered.
Percival took advantage of the teen's mistake, and took the lead.
The teen swam frantically to close the distance in the last few feet, but Percival lunged forward and touched the wall half a heartbeat before the teen did.
The coach stood in front of Percival's lane, staring at the stopwatch with surprise and delight. He raised his hand to silence the excited chattering in the room, everyone now on their feet. The only sound was that of the swimmers' labored breathing.
"The winner, with a new school record, Percival Marlowe!"
Percival's arms shot up out of the water as the bleachers erupted in a roar of approval.
The tall teen turned his back to him, and the other swimmers huddled to whisper in amazement.
They all climbed out and grabbed their towels to dry off for the award ceremony. Percival acknowledged the congratulations from several of his teammates--solid pats on his back and playful shoves--then stepped up to the top of the three-level award stand for the first time. He bent down to allow his coach to slip a medal on a red and white ribbon over his head. A fresh chorus of cheers went up from the crowd. As he shook his coach's hand, he saw the group of girls applauding for him now.
He straightened up, boldly raised his right arm to point at the one who still held the sign with the vanquished teen's name on it. Aware they weren't the chosen one, the girls around her leaned away. With an innocent look, the auburn-haired girl grasped the sign in the middle with both hands, then grinned and tore it in half.
On the second tier, the tall teen scowled and lowered his head.
Percival raised two fists in the air as he listened to the crowd chant his name, absorbing their adulation. Then he held out the medal for them to see, looked closely at it himself, even took a whiff of it before letting it drop back down to his chest. He wondered how, in all of life still stretching ahead of him, he would ever equal or surpass this moment, and could only conclude that would be impossible. This was, and would forever be, his one best, defining moment--the time when his life truly began, forever and ever and ever...