A sequel, of course, to H. G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau--set on the same Pacific isle where that mad doctor surgically transformed animals into human shapes. Now it's 1996, and, in the midst of global war, a space shuttle crashes in the Pacific, and Undersecretary of State Cal Roberts finds himself washed up on Moreau Island--where a new mad doctor is up to similar tricks. His name is Dart--or ""the Master""--and he is a 1960s thalidomide baby grown up, equipped with elaborate metal limbs to compensate for his deformities. And Dart, a Haydn-loving gent who claims to be more victim than monster, has been experimenting with ""the relativity of flesh""--using drugs to change the fetus in the womb, producing the grotesquely varied half-animal/half-human creatures who populate the island and tremble in fear of ""the Master."" Narrator Cal is horrified by all this, of course, especially when he learns that Dart's experiments are being surreptitiously supported by the State Department (Dart has created a species of gnomes that is radiation-resistant). And--after an uprising of the animals, brushes with death, and a guilt-free sexual idyll with a family of half-seals--Cal finds that all his values (including belief in God) have been thrown into question. By turns amusing and genuinely creepy: a slight, unsubtle, but neatly told tale that should also send readers back to the splendid Wells original.