We have the technology.
Television fans of a certain age know what that remark references — the 1970s “Six Million Dollar Man” series, in which injured astronaut Steve Austin was made “better, stronger, faster.”
But the new and improved humans the author imagines in “Genesis Code” are pumped up less by high-tech gadgetry and more by designer genes — enhanced genetics resulting in increased endurance or smarts.
Jamie Metzl, a veteran of the staffs of the National Security Council and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had published before on genetic engineering and had agreed to write a nonfiction book on that topic.
But the story he really wanted to tell kept getting in the way. His new thriller, “Genesis Code,” details how the consequences of genetic tweaking begin to manifest themselves about 10 years from now.
“I wanted to write about what it would be like if genetically advanced people would just start showing up.”
Despite all his time in Washington, Metzl — who attended the Barstow School — has set his story well beyond the Beltway. The amateur gumshoe who begins to puzzle out the truth is — yipes — a reporter for The Kansas City Star.
“I’m from Kansas City and I wanted to put this story in a regular place,” Metzl said.
“When genetic engineering enhancement happens, it’s going to happen in real places where real people live.”
Metzl speaks at 7 p.m. Monday at the Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St. For more info, go to RainyDayBooks.com.
Sandra Moran’s 2013 novel, “Letters Never Sent,” concerns dreams once deferred.
“I will be talking about gender roles in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, and the how expectations for women during those times informed the characters in the book,” said Moran, an adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at Johnson County Community College.
“I also will be talking about lesbianism and how one character has a decision to make on whether to bow to the social norms of the times — to get married and have children — or live the life she really wants.”
Moran’s book received acclaim within the LGBT publishing industry. But Moran said readers both inside and outside that community are responding to it.
“The trajectory of gay and lesbian literature has gone from ‘in the closet’ to much more mainstream acceptance,” Moran said.
Moran speaks at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. For more info, go to KCLibrary.org.