|Penguin (UK Division)
'I asked you how long,' she said. 'How long am I going to live?' Francis looked back. Their eyes held for a moment, then his dropped. He studied his hands intently for few seconds, then looked up again.'I estimate your expectation of life, my dear, at approximately two hundred and twenty years.' It came from a lichen, a simple rock-loving plant made of fungi and algae. When biochemist Francis Saxover discovered its remarkable properties, the implications terrified him. But Diana Brackley, who also knew what it could do, envisaged a different outcome. She foresaw the coming of a new evolutionary order and with it, a revolution. A revolution with women at its heart, women who previously had not had the time to make the most of their lives and abilities. For the lichen contained the most sought-after substance in the history of humanity; a drug that could extend life, almost halt ageing, a drug that could change the world, or even destroy it ... Because the trouble with lichen was that there wasn't enough for everyone. And who wouldn't want to defy the march of time?