The Moreau Factor
"When the matter of the flying werewolf first surfaced in Washington DC, I never once thought of the dinosaurs."
When Jack Valone, a hard-drinking, down-on-his-luck science journalist well past his Pulitzer Prize days, gets a phone call from a geneticist promising the "scoop of the century", he's curious but more than a little skeptical. But when he goes to do the interview, he arrives in the middle of perhaps the weirdest crime scene investigation of all time. His subject is missing, the room is covered in his blood, and the perpetrator appears to be... a flying werewolf? Soon Valone is pursuing a shadowy group of geneticists working far, far beyond the bleeding edge of genetics and technology. It's the story of a lifetime... IF he can survive long enough to publish.
A re-envisioning of the underlying concepts -- if not the actual plot -- of H. G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau in the light of the dawning age of genetic engineering, The Moreau Factor is the last non-serial novel of noted 20th-century speculative fiction writer Jack Chalker. The book represents something of return to form for Chalker, with a tighter plot and harder science than some of his lengthier efforts. Well worth the read, if you can find a copy.
- Author Appeal: Chalker, remember? But it is never gratuitous and never gets in the way of the story.
- Baleful Polymorph: Via Slow Transformation
- Body Horror: Averted despite the setup.
- Evilutionary Biologist
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke
- Gender Bender: Not so prominent as in some Chalker books, but addressed to the extent that it is implicit in the subject matter.  The only explicitly gender bent characters were all turned into hermaphrodites.
- Half Human Hybrids: Artifically crafted ones, at that.
- Happiness in Slavery: The "Puff Girls", an entire species of genetically engineered lab assistants with a very odd semi-inorganic metabolism that gives them near-total immunity to virtually all toxic substances and biohazards.
- Hermaphrodite: Several species of them, largely by accident due to pleiotropy.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The scientists were forced to become their own creations
- Lego Genetics: Specifically averted within the story itself, with a thorough explanation of how pleiotropy makes it impossible.
- Petting Zoo People: They include a few no one would want to see.
- Phlebotinum Rebel and Phlebotinum counter-revolutionaries as well
- Second Law of Gender Bending: More of a case of the second law of transformation: The organization specifically recruits people who would be intrigued by the prospect and uses mind control to enforce the rest.
- Slow Transformation
- Transhuman Treachery/Pro-Human Transhuman
- The Unfettered: Dr. Foo will allow nothing to interfere with her experiments on humans.
- Valone is the rare Chalker hero who escapes with his balls intact.