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Michael Crichton's Next

I received my monthly Borders Rewards email this week, featuring new and noteworthy books, movies, and music available in their stores, and was delighted to see this teaser campaign for MIchael Crichton's Next.
Borders The book originally caught my eye because of its plotline:

The ability to grow new limbs. Puppies that never grow up. Miracle cures. Humanzees.Michael Crichton's latest scientific thriller considers the best and worst possibilities of our evolving capacity to alter DNA.

I happen to be reading a ton of information on genomic sequencing these days in connection with a website build at work, and I find the subject fascinating (albeit far-fetched in the case of this fiction work).

But plotlines aside, what really got me excited about this book is the creative marketing campaign its publisher has developed in order to generate buzz around the title. Following in the footsteps of Lost, they have created a companion website for the fictional organization in the book, NEXTgencode.

Nextgencode The site highlights NEXTgencode's eight innovative products (including the ControlGene, found in every Dictator), the latest genetic news (like "scientists predict natural blondes will be extinct by the year 2206"), and the obligatory "About Us" section. Every page should be read. It's absolutely hilarious.

My favorite product is the Permapuppy which stays small - and cute - for its entire lifespan (which you choose).

Permapuppy_1 There are also links to the companion blog, Ethics in Genetics, where people are talking about no-sneeze kittens and transgenic chickens (posts and comments are both available via RSS), NEXTgencode's MySpace page (420 Friends as of this posting), and two additional microsites: Cockroach Adoption and Franken's hybrid meals (created by Hijinx Design).

A ton of work - and fun, presumably - went into this campaign. I'm eager to read the book.


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