Thursday, April 14, 2005


Tetrasomy Two

My criteria for good books are firstly they shouldn't feel faked, affected and above all stupid and formulaic. Good books should be non judgemental , non proselytising, have humor, (very dark preferably) great wit and it's own style of writing...I don't particularly care about what the contents are as long as they fall under those broad criteria and they are fine with me...

Don't read much Science Fiction...but from the few that I have, Kurt Vonnegut's Cats Cradle, Galapagos and the rest of his ouvre are great reading. Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adam are good if you happen to read them when you're at the right age...much like yes...catcher in the rye (which is not SF of course)...

Phillip K Dick's short stories are rather pedesterian to my taste... But what I really like to talk a bit is about this book that I read a very long long time ago...I've completely forgotten about what it's all about but I remembered what caught my attention was the blurb which mentioned that one of the main characters who is comatose passed his stool at exactly the same time and exactly the same amount (weight) every time....I could be wrong but that's how I remembered it...It's a kind of Science Fiction...

On checking it only has one reviewer who obviously gave 5 stars and the there are 71 new and used books available from $0.01 which to me sounds very funny...and this reviewer sounds like an interesting fellow too...he has quite a few other science fiction reviews too...The book is called TETRASOMY TWO....



Tetrasomy two (Doubleday science fiction)by Oscar Rossiter
71 used and new from $0.01
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Average Customer Review: based on 1 review
5 stars

extreem intelligence and madness, December 6, 2000
"mathilde_de_gardin" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
Would a truly extreem intelligent person bother to interact with people?
Tetrasomy two is the name for the extra chromosome pair that the protagonist (a young psychiatrist) discovers in his vegetable patient. A patient that seems to have much more influence on his environment than one would expect from someone who hasn't spoken or moved for nearly 50 years. Rositter describes the search for answers of the doctor, and how he tries to walk the very fine line between sanity and madness in discovering the disturbing thruth.
The book has well rounded characters. It's a good read, has tension and speed, and really gets to you. Though this book is classified as science fiction, I'm sure people who like books on psychology, ESP, hospitals or horror would also really appriciate this book.
About mathilde de gardin

What should I tell about myself? I'm a curious person, interested in almost anything. Well, accept for sports, cars, wars, and the like. The like? Well whatever.
I especially like science-fiction, because more then any other genre it can make me change my mind, and see things in a new perspective. And I do enjoy the what-if-questions SF raises. Themes I liked to explore are utopias, high intelligence, conceptual breakthroughs, reincarnation, cloning. I'm currently working my way through the Nebula and Hugo Awards.
I'm also interested in IT, partly because it's a way to create a furture, partly because it is so very much funded on hard logic thinking. Topics that are high on my IT reading list are hackers and artificial intelligence. I intend to be my own Pygmalion sometime...(grin)
Of course history is among my main daily activities. Foremost medieaval and ancient history. I like the mystery in it, and the tales. But also the atmosphere, the culture. If you only could percieve the way they believed in their God(s) and Heaven. Amazing.
I collect books. I've been a starting writer once, and I suppose I still am, but on a (long) sabattical. My writing main drive was that I couldn't find the books I wanted to read. That's why I started to create them myself. Of course that was way before I discovered Amazon. Talking about Heavens. (no, no, no, they don't pay me for writting this)
This must be it for now.
Have fun.It's your life, you know

Another review from a search in

Tetrasomy Twoby Oscar RossiterFirst published 1974

Dr. Stephen Boyd is doing his internship in a nondescript urban hospital, and inherits a patient who is in a catatonic state and has been so for years. He becomes strangely interested in Mr. Peckham and learns some unusual things. For one, Mr. Peckham should be in a nursing home, not taking up valuable space in a hospital bed; but it is impossible to remove him. For another, the medical records don't show Mr. Peckham ever having been ill a day in his life, nor has his blood pressure ever fluctuated.
Dr. Boyd begins getting intimations that Mr. Peckham is sending him secret messages. He also discovers that every time he has contact with alcohol, his memory is enhanced.

Who is this writer?

A physician named Vernon H. Skeels. A relative writes:

My uncle Vernon is/was one of those captivating personalities who took up various hobbies during his lifetime, like collecting hundreds of antique magazines on one binge and hundreds of fountain pens during another. When he became fascinated by energetic fiction writing, it became inevitable that he would try his hand at writing and that it would be entertaining. For built-in criticism, his three brothers were all lit scholars.
Dr. Skeels started another novel but didn't finish it, and never returned to writing. In the early 1990s, he was in a severe accident, and was in therapy for years.
Although he has substantially recovered, his command of complex medical terminology, diagnostics, etc., do not allow him to return to serious writing.

Who does this writer remind me of?

A hybrid of medical thriller and science fiction novel, it isn't really comparable to anything else I've read. The writer used his professional background to good advantage; the settings and the medical detective work were convincing.
Skeels/Rossiter didn't write anything like Murray Leinster, but Leinster's famous story "The Strange Case of John Kingman" shares a few themes with this novel.

Could this writer offend delicate sensibilities?

Well, Dr. Boyd has some heavy-duty fantasies about a nurse who works on his ward. This rich sexual dreamworld gets worked appropriately enough into the story, but it may not be for everyone.
Dr. Boyd is also a geek. His interpersonal style echoes Dostoyevsky's less well-adjusted characters (A Disgraceful Affair comes to mind) – or those excruciating sitcoms that are built upon humiliation.
I couldn't help wondering if the writer was working out a few personal and professional issues; besides personal inadequacy and beauteous nurses, there are some thinly veiled, and pretty spiky, opinions about the internship system and the distribution of medical services.

Would I support this writer's career by buying his books new?

This novel was published as "A Frederik Pohl Selection" by Bantam, but did not make an impact on the SF world despite its originality and the Pohl imprimatur. As related above, he did not return to writing.
Which is a shame. This was by no means a perfect book, and it was tough going in places, but I'd read something else by him if something else ever arrived.


I am 50 pages into Tetrasomy Two. I picked up the book last week after purchasing Mr. Skeels' house in Seattle. Since his daughters said he'd like to visit in the future, I figured I'd have his book read by then.
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