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Biochemist finds the formula for storytelling success


Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Communities and also in Education

University of Leicester scientist wins Andorran national award for science fiction novel

Science and fiction have proved a winning combination for a University of Leicester biochemist who has received a prestigious award for his latest novel - a tale of the dangers of mind control.

The judging panel, formed of nine 14 to 17 year-olds, even displayed their own powers of prediction as the literary lecturer’s fifth novel has yet to even hit the shelves!

Dr Salvador Macip, a lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry, has won the first Premi Carlemany pel Foment de la Cultura for his upcoming book, Hipnofòbia, which will be published in this month (March) in Spain. The newly established prize is given by the government of Andorra to a novel written in Catalan that has “a crossover interest for both young and mature readers”. As is common practice in Andorra, the award was given in advance of publication.

Hipnofòbia, a thriller that mixes science-fiction and horror, tells the story of a scientist who discovers how to control the human mind and a military general who tries to prevent him from taking over the world.

Dr Macip said: “I was very pleased to receive this award, especially because my book was selected by a panel of young readers.

“I initially wrote it for adults, as a metaphor for how we are constantly being manipulated without knowing it, but seeing that it can reach a wider audience is really encouraging. I guess that’s in part due to the fact that it’s a fast-paced story with mystery and action, and this can have a cross-generation appeal.”

Since 2005, Salvador Macip has published five novels, a collection of short stories, three books for children and two books about science for general audiences, for which he has been awarded four other prizes in Catalonia.

His last novel, Ullals, co-written with Sebastià Roig, is currently being adapted for the cinema (

You can watch footage of the awards ceremony here:


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