April 30, 2018

Blurring a Fine Line in Medical Research

April 11, 2018

Animal Farm for the 21st century

April 11, 2018

Pig for president soon!

April 11, 2018

Blurring a Fine Line in Medical Research

Dark Paradise---an anthology of short stories---deftly explores the underbelly of Hawaii from the perspectives of eleven diverse authors. This collection offers a deep sense of place from each writer, quite at odds with the typical “postcard Hawaii” familiar to tourists. The sights, sounds, and smells of some of the grittier Oahu neighborhoods come to life in these compelling narratives. Varying in style and tone, the individual tales intertwine and weave together into a fascinating tapestry. These ‘Mysteries in the Land of Aloha’ are a must-read for those seeking a more complete understanding of this island paradise! ★★★★★

With this work, AK Gunn has transported me to Hawaii. He has allowed me to step into a world seen through the eyes of the people who live there. As always, his characters are well-drawn and the book draws me through. I am a fan! ★★★★★

Even though this novel is familiar to those living in Hawaii, the social, cultural, and racial situations could easily be found in another part of the country, with different groups. The complex relationships are described with (sometimes disturbing) realism. The themes of this book are very relevant for today. From a purely enjoyment perspective, this book is a page turner. The character descriptions and their interactions enhance the plot where I wanted to read a little more to see how things would turn out. The tension builds at just the right pace, displaying the skill of A.K. Gunn's writing ability. ★★★★★

Having spent many years in the islands, and particularly because I was plugged into the haole establishment, I feel qualified to comment. Author Gunn has done a masterful job of capturing the fragile essence of aloha, and how it binds the disparate ethnic and racial communities. Those of us who love the islands are hard-pressed to offer realistic solutions to the myriad problems which seem to plague this small corner of the U.S. in a unique manner. There appears to be genuine effort to save a community torn by forces frequently beyond local control, but it remains a monumental task in this day of instant judgement and lack of patience. I hope the efforts at reconciliation are successful to preserve the character of this marvelous pocket of humanity. ★★★★★

I was somewhat surprised to read of the extremes of hatred and racism in Hawaii, beautiful Hawaii. Gunn's writing, again, is superior, and I came away from this read with many questions and thoughts as to how to change these attitudes. It seems our entire culture is heading this way, and it needs to be stopped. But how? In THE DEATH OF ALOHA, we see at least a start toward a solution, though I felt that the problem is much more complex and that it will take years to solve. Unfortunately, our current POTUS has brought much divisiveness to our entire country, taking us back years in our fight toward any kind of unification. As in Gunn's book, this needs to be shown by action and deed, along with care and law. All in all, a good thoughtful book that I would recommend highly. ★★★★

The novel’s opening scenes focus on the mayor’s son and his troubles with bullying classmates. But as the new mayor of Honolulu, Hawaii, Kimo fast learns that discord on the island does not begin in the schools. The extensive ethnic backgrounds represented in the county of Honolulu also reflect the diverse and churning emotions about what 'aloha' really means. As tension builds - something author A K Gunn has mastered with this telling - the voice of the people becomes louder and more demanding. Kimo is willing to compromise wherever possible to retain the true spirit of unity and love. But those who feel their rights have been squandered prefer conflict and disruption to the mayor’s idea of cooperation. Until drastic changes are made to recognize their losses, the ‘aloha spirit’ will suffer, maybe even die. Kimo’s plan is to unite and heal. Some judge his proposal as too idealistic. Others outright refuse to listen. In the end, Kimo must deal with the bloody expressions of anger that stand between his goals and the death of aloha. ★★★★★

Realistic storyline weaving through the lives of these well developed characters. I especially loved the young son of the Mayor. Story was sad but hopeful at the same time. ★★★★★

AK Gun shows us a Hawaii tourists never see. It's a candid look at the melting pot of the Pacific that sometimes boils over. An engaging read. ★★★★

Written by a Yale 1965 classmate, so I've got to say it was 5-star! "A. K. Gunn" is a world-renown pediatric orthopaedic surgeon to boot. I sent the book along to a George Washington University Law School 1968 classmate, Jeffrey N. Watanabe. Jeff was Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inuoye's personal attorney for 50 years, 'til he died in 2012. Jeff reports that he very much liked the book, as did I. William R. Thomas, II (Yale 1965 and George Washington U. Law School 1968) P.S. I practiced law and have lived in San Diego since 1973) ★★★★★

How close are we, really, to disaster? We think of Hawai’i as the Land of Aloha, a lovely melting pot where we're all enriched by the many races and cultures. In A.K. Gunn’s just-published novel, Honolulu is a powder keg of racial tension just waiting to blow. A series of events as far away as the China Sea sends Hawai’i’s economy spiraling. The police are conducting homeless sweeps. The already volatile situation ignites into widespread violence. But don’t despair. The story does have some resolution. Could it really happen? I say the scenario is very plausible. I grew up as a haole in Hawaii and I’m well aware of the racial hatred that seethes just below the surface and in isolated incidences boils to the top. This is probably A.K. Gun's strongest work to date. He brings up issues that we who live here must examine, before it's too late. The author's love for the islands comes through with each word. The characters are complex and the action taut. Everyone should read this eye-opening scenario of what could happen on our beautiful island. ★★★★★

I really liked the book and found it fascinating. You can tell that a lot of research went into the scientific details.The book has no slow parts, and keeps your interest throughout. Recommended for all readers. ★★★★★

I'm not a sci-fi fan, but I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well-developed and believable. The scenario was intriguing. How the characters dealt with events and with each other was engrossing. I would hope that the people on earth would behave in a more civilized manner, but then we are dealing with humans here. Alain had an amazing amount of detail about how space explorers could actually survive on a different planet in such a way that it would be worth the trip. I'm getting to work on my biosphere. Enjoy the adventure. ★★★★★

A Tale of Two Planets is good read which kept my interest throughout. The plot moves at just the right speed, and covers a lot of ground. It is hard to find in most science fiction literature, but this book actually has a lot of 'real' science, and is presented in a way which supports and enhances the story. I learned many scientific concepts in an enjoyable fashion while reading the book. ★★★★★

This novel is like one of those birthday packages that arrive in the mail unannounced. You do not know what to expect until you open it. A Tale of Two Planets is an unexpected pleasure. Always eager for an adventure, I quickly strapped myself into the Arean Explorer, ready to join the crew of Aeronauts on a three-year trip to Mars. Mystery is my favorite genre and Isaac Asimov has proved that Sci-Fi and Mystery make good bedfellows. In the novel, A Tale of Two Planets, Alain Gunn has done the same. Before reading this novel, what I learned from the book cover was that the author is a retired military officer, a surgeon and medical school professor, and a scientist who enjoys scuba diving. I knew next-to-nothing about DNA, biospheres, MHC sequences, or vaccine production. I still found this tale fascinating. Every scene contains tension or conflict that makes reading the next chapter necessary. The cast of characters was diverse, with distinct and essential roles that kept the plot active and steadily moving forward. Multiple settings were woven into a tapestry of events that culminated in a credible and satisfying climax. ★★★★★

Thoroughly enjoyed the story. ★★★★★

The scientific detail in this Sci Fi novel is astounding. Much of the medical particulars are accurate and based on present knowledge. i suspect the engineering details recounted in a spaceship trip to Mars are accurate as well. Well done Dr. Gunn. Tom Grollman, MD ★★★★★

This is a fascinating book about an ill-fated expedition to Mars that just happens to launch right before a global pandemic ravages Earth. I found this book in one of Amazon's "New Voices of Sci-Fi" lists and was glad I did. The science in this book is so detailed that it didn't seem like science fiction... it reminded me a bit of "2001: A Space Odyssey" in the way it clearly and plausibly described the life of a crew living in space. You really empathize with the crew and their desperation and paranoia as they worry that the disease may be present on the ship, and that there may not be an Earth to return to after their mission. You also respect the crew's ingenuity as they deal with disaster after disaster. This isn't Star Trek with the magic "reverse the neutrino flow" pseudo-science to solve problems; every solution seems brilliant and based in true science. Looking forward to future novels by Alain Gunn. ★★★★★

I read both the TALE OF TWO PLANETS and RED EXODUS. and I must say that the development of characters and the way the story (RED EXODUS) is told is quite amazing. Maybe it's because kids are involved; maybe it's because it's kind of a mystery, but it had me sitting up late reading until I finished it. The story is compelling, and the characters are interesting. I can't say too much about it because there are some surprises that I don't want to ruin. I would definitely recommend this book to both sci-fi readers and others. ★★★★★

Interesting book about Mars and the story about the people traveling to and living on Mars. It was difficult to put the book down. Great read!!! ★★★★★

When the actions and activities of the main characters start getting under my skin, I know the Author has written well. ★★★★

I went to Yale (1965) with "Alain Gunn." He was mega-bright then, and that carries through with his enthralling writing seen in "Red Exodus." I haven't finished it yet, but I've really enjoyed the Religion vs. Science dichotomy in the book.

This book starts off post-apocalypse, as the main character and his family fight to survive after civilization has collapsed. They connect with a Christian sect that has the goal to leave Earth and settle on Mars. The book deals with the journey to Mars and the events during the first few years after colonization. It explores two interesting questions: 1) how can faith in a benevolent God persist when civilization has fallen apart, with millions dead? 2) Can a belief in science coexist with a belief in a higher purpose designated by God and faith? I thought the story was interesting and thought-provoking. ★★★★★

Just finished "Red Exodus" and enjoyed it. I highly recommend reading "Tale of Two Planets" first for the back story, but that's not essential. Gunn's writing is easy to read and moves right along. There is somewhat less technical scientific detail in this book than in its predecessor, which is another reason to read "Tale" first, get the technical back story on earth's pandemic, space flight, and survival on Mars. "Red" covers more years than "Tale" as children grow up, and adults age. It involves a misled leader of a new Christian group, "The Chosen" (no, its not by Chaim Potok), which seems to cover a familiar pattern. Still, there are many interesting developments. Some questions raised involve the roles of fanatic followers, questioning believers, scientific believers and scientific non-believers, all represented in the mix. (The author is a Christian, a surgeon and a scientist, so he knows a thing or two.) The mix of skills, gifts or disciplines and their importance to community survival on a new planet is also interesting, particularly the impact of music. This is a sci-fi mystery adventure that is fun to read. Don't forget, read "Tale of Two Planets" first. ★★★★★

Great read. They probably are smarter than most of us anyway. The feral pigs on the Big Island cause enough destruction, one can only imagine what these would do. ★★★★★

I like Hawaii and things Hawaiian, so I enjoyed all "da kine stuff" about the Big Island and the local characters. The book wrestles with some interesting ethical issues in bioengineering, both benefits and unintended consequences. At times the book is quite scary; there's some parts I don't recommend reading just before sleepy time. There are also some violent sex scene descriptions that, while brief, detract from any story, so far as I'm concerned. Gunn writes in a fast-moving, easy-reading style. Be sure to read his other books, "Tale of Two Planets" and "Red Exodus," in that order. ★★★★

This book is amazing! It brings out every emotion you have and makes you want to discuss the ideas with others. The moral and ethical impications are huge and mind boggling. I couldn't put the book down. Every one of Gunn's books has twists and turns which make for excitement. The author makes this all sound so true that you wonder if it is really happening now and where the limits have been put in place. It is hard to write a review about this book without giving away the plot. Just know that it is extremely interesting. I would recommend this book to everyone, and I can hardly wait to read more reviews. ★★★★★

Something between science fiction and medical horror, as I read this book I couldn’t help thinking of Planet of the Apes. The writing is solid and I was immediately drawn into the story of scientists on the Big Island of Hawaii who are genetically engineering pigs so their organs can be used for transplanting into humans. The author is a medical doctor who knows his stuff when it comes to genetics, but lay person will easily understand it. The premise is not far fetched at all. Research in this area has been done for more than a decade. But what happens when human DNA is introduced into pigs? At what point are they still pigs? And at what point do they become too much “like us” to ethically harvest their organs? This is where the story takes off in a “what if?” direction. The author treats us to lovely descriptions of the Big Island. The characters are interesting and well-developed, each with their own issues and conflicts. The plot clips along with frequent point of view changes. We are even given brief glimpses into a pig’s point of view. I would warn readers that the violence is sometimes graphic and there are disturbing descriptions of animal cruelty. This book is not for the squeamish. But if you enjoy a really good thriller, you’ll definitely love this one. ★★★★★

While extreme in its view it does pose some very interesting scenarios. Food for thought. Be careful what you wish for...... ★★★★

A gripping read with incredible pig attributes. The villain gets his due. ★★★★★

Terrific book -- it kept me turning the pages. I couldn't wait to find out what happened at the end!!!! Loved it! ★★★★★

This a fascinating story of unintentional consequences of scientific experiment gone awry. The science is believable. The milieu is on an outer Hawaiian island with a peek into present day local culture along with a helpful glossary to explain the meaning of the many local words. ★★★★★

This book combines a medical research story with an aggressive psychological drama, a love story and a fanciful original premise about humans and pigs. The careful research is believable, the settings are authentic, the characters well developed and the overall story is delightful. Make no mistake, this is not a children's tale, rather an r-rated semi-horror story. I was entranced and repelled at the same time. ★★★★

Alain Gunn brings Animal Farm into the 21st century with If Pigs Could Cry, using better science than Orwell but with the same graphic imagination. In an effort to breed pigs to provide better matches for human organ transplants, a university research team patches human DNA into pig embryos inadvertently creating a strain of supersmart pigs. There are well developed characters with heroes and villains in both species, all set vividly in the sense and scent of Hawaii. Interesting at the start, the pace quickly becomes compelling, and in the end … well, you need to read it. ★★★★★

Great concept, taking the current medical work with pigs and expanding into one potential future. I still like bacon but will sure think twice about it. I know animals are smart, we seem to be the dumb species! Great story, good read! ★★★★★

Research initiated to extend the longevity of human life with successful heart transplants takes an unexpected turn . . . when the heart donors rebel. Pigs of the domestic variety are considered highly social and intelligent animals. In this novel, pigs are genetically modified to supply medical science with acceptable organs for transplant in humans. This is, in fact, medically feasible reality, not science fiction. Internet searches for “pig heart saves human life” and “first human heart transplant” reveal that something is impossible only until it becomes possible. In fiction, though, something can and usually does go wrong. In the case of IF PIGS COULD CRY, author Alain Gunn weaves an intriguing story without venturing into the plot dynamics of Animal Farm. With each new literary building block, Gunn further immerses the reader in a world of possibilities increasingly more difficult to dispute. But what can happen when human DNA is injected into an animal whose scientifically proven DNA is closely matched to that of a human? It could lead to murder. This tale does raise several arguments pertaining to moral, ethical, and religious practices. After reading the well-researched novel, it is easy to see the importance of such research. What is more difficult to determine is where medical research should draw the line. ★★★★★

Wow! What an exciting tale! Lucid writing, well-developed characters, a gripping plot, and a fascinating and credible disaster scenario. The author has obviously spent a lot of time researching submarine operations. As a former naval officer, I can assure you that, although the author is a retired Army doctor, he has also mastered Navy lingo and procedures and gives a very credible account of life aboard a submarine. This is a great novel, deserving of wide recognition and a major publisher. It would also form the screenplay for a great movie. ★★★★★

This was a little different kind of book from Alain Gunn,but I have liked all of his other books so I knew I would like this one also. It's pretty exciting, and it is so realistic that you have to keep reading it to see what is going to happen The author is both a Yale physics graduate and an orthopedic surgeon, so he's brilliant, but he also has a great sane imagination and it's fun to get into his books and see where he carries us. The introduction to the book on Amazon tells us what it is about but once you get into it, you will get involved with the characters and the situations as though you were there. I thought this book was well written, the character development was good, and the plot was amazing, All in all, a great book. ★★★★★

Very readable, interesting plot, good protagonist. ★★★★

'The Honey Bee' is a well written book. It takes the reader on a journey that encompasses all the emotions. When I was done reading this book, it left a lingering effect- that not all things in life, are as they seem- that ultimately honor and justice are served. ★★★★★

At 71% the kindle version froze & would not let me finish book. Wanted to finish it, was quite captivated up to that point. Was it Calley? Really wanted to find out... can someone just tell me if it was Calley?

At 71% the kindle version froze & would not let me finish book. Wanted to finish it, was quite captivated up to that point. Was it Calley? Really wanted to find out... can someone just tell me if it was Calley? ★★★

On the surface, this is a murder mystery, an intriguing whodunit with many suspects. When Tom Britton, sheriff of a small Texas town, investigates the murder of his childhood friend, he begins to uncover long-hidden secrets among the townspeople he grew up with. As the story unfolds, the reader discovers layer upon layer of their interwoven relationships spanning several decades. Everyone has something to hide, but which one of them was driven to commit murder to cover their shame? Gunn’s style is easy to read, the pace measured, and yet his writing is filled with deep emotion and lovely turns of phrase. While in some ways it reads almost like a cozy, I would caution that there is strong sexual content related to the nature of past crimes brought to light. For anyone but the extremely prudish, this is an excellent read.


A K Gunn is a born storyteller. As evidenced by the very first chapters of his latest novel, THE HONEY BEE, he has perfected the art and craft of writing. Each scene and chapter add another layer of mystery to the tale, making the reading a pleasurable experience. Murder in a small town usually means excessive gossip and age-old secrets that often fester into full-blown scandals. THE HONEY BEE doesn't disappoint on that score but also delves deep to uncover so much more. The plot unfolds with uncontrived logic while maintaining a delicate balance between past tensions and current suspense. Surprise revelations sprinkled at unexpected intervals tightly knot the storyline threads together to form a cohesive climax equal to the plot's intensity. Wanting to learn the mystery of the novel's title and the auctioneer's role in the plot kept me curious enough to read straight to the end in short order.