Shadrach in the Furnace
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Shadrach in the Furnace

by Robert Silverberg
Release date: 1976
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

Hugo Award: Best Novel nominee (1977).
Nebula Award: Best Novel nominee (1977).

In the twenty-first century, a battered world is ruled by a crafty old tyrant, Genghis II Mao IV Khan. The Khan is ninety-three years old, his life systems sustained by the skill of Mordecai Shadrach, a brilliant young surgeon whose chief function is to replace the Khan's worn-out organs. Within the vast tower-complex, the most advanced equipment is dedicated to three top-priority projects, each designed to keep the Khan immortal. Most sinister of these is Project Avatar, by which the Khan’s mind and persona are to be transferred to a younger body.

Shadrach makes the unsettling discovery that it is his body that is to be used. His friends beg him to flee, but he refuses to panic. Instead, and with startling composure, he evolves a dangerous plan that could change the face of the earth or, if it backfires, mean the end of life.

Shadrach in the Furnace is at once a broad, sweeping novel and a harsh, abrasive, irreverent book about a life-and-death battle between two titans – one the epitome of evil, the other a paragon of idealism – in a society pushed to extremes.

updated 2010-09-07

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