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In the high mountains of Tibet, rumors are spreading. People whisper of an outbreak, of thousands of dead, of bodies pushed into mass graves. It is some strange new disease a disease, they say, that can kill in minutes.
The Chinese government says the rumors aren't true, but no one is allowed in or out of Tibet.
At the Pentagon, Admiral James Curtiss is called to an emergency meeting. Satellite images prove that a massive genocide is underway, and an American spy has made a startling discovery. This is no disease. It's a weapons test. Chinese scientists have developed a way to kill based on a person's genetic traits. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. The success of their new weapon proves that the Chinese are nearing ""Replication""--a revolutionary breakthrough that will tip the global balance of power and change the way wars are waged.
Now the US must scramble to catch up before it is too late. Admiral Curtiss gathers the nation's top scientists, including a promising young graduate student named Eric Hill who just might hold the missing piece to the replication puzzle. Soon Hill and his colleague Jane Hunter are caught up in a deadly game of sabotage as the two nations strive to be the first to reach the coveted goal. But in their headlong race, they create something unexpected something the world has never seen and something more powerful than they had ever imagined.
The Last Sword Maker is an exciting globe-trotting thriller with unforgettable characters that depicts a haunting vision of the future of warfare.
''The danger is unique, and the treachery vast, in this rapid-paced adventure that delivers in equal doses of amazing, yet possible. An intriguing tale that will leave you thinking.'' --Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Malta Exchange
''An amazing read. The Last Sword Maker has everything: a riveting story, fascinating characters, cutting-edge technology, and, of course, romance. Great!'' --Moises Naim, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Power
''Brian Nelson has written a compelling thriller. Set in the near future, the story finds China and the US immersed in a race to weaponize nanotechnology that recalls the intensity of the Manhattan Project and, later, the near panic in the West when Sputnik revealed the Soviets were ahead of the US in the space race. Nelson's riveting narrative captures the drama of great power competition and the price the military men and scientists are forced to pay to contend with a determined and unscrupulous enemy. This is a terrific debut.'' --Patrick Duddy, Duke University, former US Ambassador to Venezuela
''A terrifying vision of future warfare in the vein of Tom Clancy's and Michael Crichton's novels...The Last Sword Maker is a powerhouse near-future thriller with explosive action and exciting science.'' --Foreword Reviews
''The Last Sword Maker is a techno-thriller that will make you nostalgic for the days when we only had to worry about nuclear annihilation; an all-too-plausible examination of how emerging technologies could be weaponized to horrible ends. I don't recommend reading this one right before bedtime-unless you are prepared to stay up very, very late to finish it.'' --Lisa Brackmann, New York Times bestselling author of Rock Paper Tiger and Go-Between
''The next big thing in warfare is small-so small you can't see it at all. The Last Sword Maker imagines a superpower competition at the collision point of nanocomputing, programmable viruses and weaponized biohacking. At stake, control over the life and death of virtually every person on the planet, at a level granular enough to make a nuclear weapon look laughably crude in comparison. Set in the not-too-distant future, the result is a head-spinning sci-fi-infused military thriller, with China and the United States putting everything they have into developing the perfect weapon, no matter the cost.'' --Francisco Toro, columnist, Washington Post
''Nelson makes his fiction debut with a gripping, frighteningly plausible techno-thriller, the first in his Course of Empire series...Nelson's intriguing scientific predictions and distinctive near-future setting make this sure to please speculative fiction readers as well as thriller fans.'' --Publishers Weekly