P.J. Goddard,
(Hilltop, 2001)

Libidan is an interesting story of research science, professional jealousy and sex, all set in England. It explores many current concerns about designer drugs and corporate politics that are so common on today's world. P.J. Goddard tells the story with zest and verve, allowing the reader to hide laughs at the delightfully nasty way people often behave -- especially when it comes to sex.

Bill Kennedy works for Asper Pharmaceuticals in Research & Development. While researching therapies for the Minority Diseases Unit, he stumbles across a formula that, when inhaled, causes intense sexual arousal. He discovers this inadvertently through the advances of an intern named Angela -- advances that are frowned upon when they occur in the laboratory of your workplace. This gets him fired, with only a brief amount of time to get his notes and information on his formula, which he calls Libidan.

Sensing a moneymaker, Bill teams up with Louise Schreiber, marketing professional and friend of his sister. Together they negotiate the problems of production, creating and supplying the demand for Libidan. There is also, of course, the minor problem of Bill's former employer, the effect Libidan has on Bill and Louise, and the shady characters they must deal with, both in and out of the business world. Naturally, the police become involved as well.

This story actually has quite a bit of hard science in it, which I am generally prepared to take on faith. It also has wonderful portrayals of people, and is about how sex can sometimes get in the way of love, or even sometimes promote love! The characters are genuine and fallible, quite an enjoyable change from scientists represented as having all the answers. This well-done combination of hard science and social issues will appeal to both the SF fan and mainstream reader.

- Rambles
written by Beth Derochea
published 8 March 2003