PERSONAL: Born in Philadelphia, PA. Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A.; Drexel University, M.S.; Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine, D.P.M.
ADDRESSES: Home and office—8 Havcrest Cir., Havertown, PA 19083. E-mail—[email protected].
CAREER: Physician, novelist, and medical communications specialist. Has worked as a surgeon in private practice, a health technology analyst for a think tank, a writer and information manager for a pharmaceutical company, and medical director for a medical-communications firm.
AWARDS, HONORS: Two William Stickel Gold Medals, one for original research on wound healing, one for original research on diabetes; O'Neal, Jones & Feldman Award, for development of new skeletal radiographic measurement technique.
GermLine, Forge (New York, NY), 2003.
The Xeno Solution, Forge (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A novel about a revolutionary medical technology.
SIDELIGHTS: Nelson Erlick became an author of suspense novels with medical settings after a long career as a surgeon and researcher. "I've always wanted to be a novelist, but it took me 40-plus years to realize it," Erlick said in an interview posted on his home page. His experience in medical practice, research, and communications has given him a knowledge base that allows him "to analyze the intricacies of virtually any field of medicine or technology," he added. In the novels GermLine and The Xeno Solution, both set largely in his native Philadelphia, he explores medical advances that are groundbreaking yet, to his mind, possible.
The protagonist of GermLine is Dr. Kevin Kincaid, a geneticist who is developing a system of gene transplantation that can wipe out congenital defects and diseases. But he is threatened by people who want to control his research because of the power it will bring them, and who plan to set themselves up as tyrannical rulers. Erlick's mix of science and intrigue brought praise from some critics, such as a Kirkus Reviews contributor who found the novel "good fun" with its "breathless chase scenes, triple and quadruple crosses, even a bit of romance." Library Journal reviewer Jackie Cassada, meanwhile, deemed it a "fast-paced thriller," both "suspenseful" and informative.
The Xeno Solution focuses on another type of transplantation—that of moving organs from pigs to humans. In his career as a researcher, Erlick studied the concept's possibilities, and in the novel, it has become not only possible but common, saving the lives of many people. Retired surgeon Scott Merritt, however, discovers that the transplants have introduced a deadly virus into the organ recipients, and he faces danger from those who want to keep this a secret. Erlick offers "compelling descriptions of the virus's effects," noted a Publishers Weekly commentator, who added that the novel is "chilling." In the interview on his Web site, Erlick remarked that the book "is built on realistic potential…. I was determined not to put a single word to paper unless I believed it was possible."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2003, review of GermLine, p. 1816.
Library Journal, January, 2003, Jackie Cassada, review of GermLine, p. 165.
Publishers Weekly, January 13, 2003, review of GermLine, p. 42; September 5, 2005, review of The Xeno Solution, p. 40.
AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (October 20, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of GermLine.
Curled Up with a Good Book, http://www.curledup.com/ (October 20, 2005), Barbara J. Martin, review of GermLine.
Nelson Erlick Home Page, http://www.nelsonerlick.com (October 20, 2005).