I am so impressed with this novel. As far as I know, and I have checked, this is a debut novel from Glen Hendrix. I have to stress DEBUT before I procI am so impressed with this novel. As far as I know, and I have checked, this is a debut novel from Glen Hendrix. I have to stress DEBUT before I proceed with the review because it will start to sound as if I am reviewing a well established Science Fiction writer. There is a tendency for reviewers to give overly optimistic review ratings because it is so very hard to give a lukewarm one to a writer you have been corresponding with. I do not do this even though it is very stressful for me. I shudder when an author reads a review I have written but I have to be honest in my opinion.
Having said all of that....Glen Hendrix is STELLAR! Glen Hendrix is my new best friend! I am now the official Glen Hendrix fan club President whether he likes it or not! OK, OK, review time....
Transmat World opens in Jakarta, 2045 A.D. Daniel Fulbright, a businessman is wrapping things up and getting ready to leave his hotel room for the airport. The world has been made aware of an asteroid that will pass close to Earth but will not strike and since this has happened many times before it is basically ignored. Daniel sees the asteroid skipping across the sky then a blinding flash which immediately tells Daniel that this asteroid did not miss. What ensues is a very realistic and frightening race for Daniel and a few others he has rescued to get to a safe haven Daniel thinks will survive the devastation the impact will cause. You are completely immersed in this scene. Glen Hendrix understands the consequences of this type of disaster and he uses that knowledge to great success. I was left reeling. Much to my surprise, we are then taken into the future of Earth and it's recovery from the asteroid. More importantly, we are introduced to Vince Miller as a college student and his brilliant father who invents a teleportation technology called Transmat. This amazing technology can do wonderful things for all types of applications but it also results in the downfall of any transportation business as well as others and eventually a crash of the world market. Vince and especially his father become hated but Transmat technology is bigger than any hate and Vince goes on to lead the company to even higher success including his dream to use Transmat to explore space and eventually find sentient life there.
Then the author sends us back hundreds of thousands of years into the past and millions of light-years from Earth to another society which is somewhat more advanced than us but a more brutal society geared towards the hunt of lesser species on their planet. Among these people, the Kolpak, is a hunter who has become bored with his prey and commissions a robot to be made to challenge him. Through a series of events, this robot has unintentionally been given freewill and the intelligence of it's creator. It gives itself a name, Maxlux, and decides it's his duty to stop all higher life forms that kill those less than them. Then Maxlux builds a ship, a really big one and decides to travel the universe in search of more civilizations to stop and Earth is in his path.
In Transmat World, Glen Hendrix creates a civilization of robots that are human-like with their intelligence and emotions. You follow them and their struggle to free themselves from Maxlux and his mission. You also see the history of Earth evolve as the leader of the freed robots tries to prepare our civilization to combat Maxlux. It is fascinating and very personal. In spite of it's far reaching timeline this book draws you in to the lives of human and robot alike. I became completely invested in the characters. More importantly, there is a lot of hard science in this story but Glen Hendrix made it approachable and completely interesting.
There is no way I can do this book justice with my limited writing skills. I can not stress enough how epic this novel truly is. I can compare it to the likes of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle with their brilliant books The Mote in God's Eye and Lucifer's Hammer which is the highest praise I can give.
Transmat World has been added to my all-time favorite books right alongside of those works of Niven and Pournelle. I cannot recommend this story enough.
Here is the book summary: Nine hundred thousand years ago in a galaxy right next door--the Greater Magellanic Cloud--an artificial intelligence is created to be a hunter’s prey. An accident produces a maniacal machine that destroys the civilization that created it and proclaims itself the Prime Mechanical and Supreme Arbiter of Known and Unknown Existence. With a space ship the size of the orbit of Mercury and an army of strikemechs, it prowls the Milky Way for sentient organics.
In the year 2045, the asteroid Isadora strikes off the west coast of Java, killing billions. Post-Hit Earth comes to realize the capricious nature of the cosmic weather forecast and begins to plan accordingly. Just when things are looking up, along comes Transmat (the first teleportation device) and the world's economy collapses. The inventor is assassinated, leaving his son, Vince, to deal with a planet that hates him and a fast-approaching Supreme Arbiter.
Book Summary: Convicted criminals are no longer sent to prison as a lost cause...they're offered rehabilitation into normal society. Inmates are allowBook Summary: Convicted criminals are no longer sent to prison as a lost cause...they're offered rehabilitation into normal society. Inmates are allowed to enter the mind of a civilian for a few days, to observe that person's life and understand how the thought processes of a normal, non-criminally inclined person work. Indira is a convicted bank robber, and has been in the program since its inception. She knows its limitations better than the researchers themselves. They think their experiment offers no danger of contamination--or full-out mind melding. Her only way to escape from prison is to prove them wrong.
I do not read many short stories because I am greedy for a good story to last as long as possible. Having said that, let me say that I was more than a little bit unsure on how to review this short story. I have read Anthologies and such and was able to base most of my review on the whole of the work but Mind Melding is only 4000 words. Would I be able to write a review to do it justice?
The answer is yes. Yes, Mind Melding is a short read but it is clever. Clever and interesting. It immerses you into a surreal world and culture where rehabilitation for criminals has become an invasive look into the lives of people who do not commit crimes. Mind Melding also raises issues concerning any agency having the right to use people unknowingly in order to deal with a criminal mind. I also found the arrogance of the programs researchers to be amusing. Engineers once said the Titanic was unsinkable and look how well that turned out.
I am looking forward to more from Melissa M. Kent. 4000 words is not a huge amount of content to develop a compelling story that readers will remember but Ms. Kent does it easily. I can't wait to read a full novel from her, i'm thinking it will be brilliant.
Book Summary:A gel-like substance is suddenly discovered across the country. Ted Stevens, a Director in the Department of Homeland Security,3.5 Stars
Book Summary:A gel-like substance is suddenly discovered across the country. Ted Stevens, a Director in the Department of Homeland Security, is assigned to investigate. He enlists the help of scientists at a government laboratory to analyze the ‘goo’. They discover the substance was sent to Earth and has unique properties; it can clone animals. Ted soon learns the substance can also clone humans.
Sue is the first of eleven new people cloned from the alien substance. She and the others are contained by Ted on an abandoned military base. While there, the clones receive a message. Sue decides she must deliver it, and one morning they find she’s gone.
During the recovery of Sue, Ted learns of the clones’ message and begins to understand their true intentions. He needs to know more about the clones, so he collects samples for DNA fingerprint testing. The fate of the new people will be decided by the results from Ted’s friends at the laboratory.
This type of story is my favorite type of Science Fiction. An event that produces extraordinary results which could prove disasterous. A team of scientists experimenting, speculating and debating the purpose of the event and the government trying to conceal and control it. In the case of Sue's Fingerprint, the presence of the clones poses the obvious risk of panic. The unknown is an automatic enemy and the people closest to these clones are rightfully wary however, with time, they cannot see anything other than human behavior and emotion from them.
The story becomes a type of analogy to human rights. Rights of the innocent. In the case of the clones, are they genetically different from their original counterpart? If not, then do we have the right to lock them up and treat them as the enemy?
I have to give the concept of this story a 4+ star rating. The 3.5 star final rating is due to the lack of complexity in some of the characters. I also found the telling of the story to be a bit simplistic as well.
Having said that, I have worked with several people in the scientific community. Oftentimes these men and women tend to dumb things down a bit for us regular folk. Andrew D. Carlson has an extensive background in science and there is a possibility that that is the case.
In conclusion I like where Mr. Carlson is going. This is his debut novel, there was meat in the story. I am going to be watching him because I have a feeling he is going to be one of my favorites. I recommend this to all fictions lovers, science and other!...more
Summary: Science scoffs at the concept of luck. The lottery is called a tax on people who are bad at math, and Vegas rakes in cash based on precise odSummary: Science scoffs at the concept of luck. The lottery is called a tax on people who are bad at math, and Vegas rakes in cash based on precise odds, not good fortune.
But what if good luck were a scientific reality? An evolutionary trait?
Cornelius Worthington, the luckiest man in the world, washes up on a beach in Miami with no knowledge of where he is.
Natasha Barrett, the most gifted psion the government has ever trained, is tasked with capturing or killing him.
Seymour Zimmerman, a freelance journalist who writes a syndicated column about strange deaths, follows their path of destruction and winds up with a bigger story than he could have ever imagined.
Then things really start to get weird.
Psychomancer is alternatingly funny and horrific, philosophical and explosive. It asks: When good luck is real, what happens if we end up on the wrong end of someone else's?
As the summary promises, this book does deal with the question of good luck and what the consequences are if you aren't the one with it but it is no where near as simple as that. Natasha, as one of the most powerful Psion's in the CIA, senses another more powerful Psion which doesn't feel quite right, not quite human. Standard procedure in this case assumes the new Psion is rogue and must be dealt with by a team containing firepower as well as other CIA trained Psions. If the rogue is powerful yet able to be trained, then they will recruit. If not, they will eliminate. Natasha has no idea what this new entity is or if it's a threat. It seems to be co-habitating with a human but can manipulate events to work out in it's, or the humans, favor. Years in advance. Everything this entity does affects those around it and benefits this man. Natasha also realizes that she is being 'allowed' to remote view by design and senses she has a place in his manipulation of events. Natasha's personality is very cold and arrogant. She feels superior to those around her and has spent all of her time honing her abilities. No friends, no family, her only motivation is to be powerful. You don't get a true sense of her as being a hero in any way. At first. Cornelius has lived his life on an island, isolated from society and unaware if there even is anyone else left. Books and his late parents have taught him the basics but he is lonely and bored and tries several time to kill himself. Everytime something intervenes and he is left unharmed and unaware of the power within him that is keeping him safe. Finally successful in jumping from the cliffs of his island home, Cornelius washes ashore in Miami. Having no idea how to interact with society, knowing he is there for a purpose and realizing Natasha is involved somehow, Cornelius and the 'power' within him leave a trail of death and destruction as he follows her.
An important player in the story is Seymour. A bitter and jaded journalist who has a rare condition in which he doesn't feel pain. Although horrified by Cornelius's lack of empathy he is compelled to go with him.
I found the most important aspect of this story to be self-discovery. It was fascinating to watch the characters come to terms with who they really are. Their motivations. Natasha discovers forgiveness and acceptance. Seymour discovers fear and pain while Cornelius shows them a realistic approach to thier lives they cannot refute.
I do not have the background in philosophy to truly analyze this story but it still made me think. On the outside, Psychomancer is a thriller that takes it's reader on a ride into hell and chaos; Violence and the evil inherent in us all but once you are done reading you realize there was also the story of human weakness, fear and vulnerability....more
Book Summary: Deep below a desolate Utah mountain lies the largest platinum deposit ever discovered. A billion-dollar find, it waits for any compan2.5
Book Summary: Deep below a desolate Utah mountain lies the largest platinum deposit ever discovered. A billion-dollar find, it waits for any company that can drill a world's record, three-mile-deep mine shaft. EarthCore is the company with the technology, the resources and the guts to go after the mother lode. Young executive Connell Kirkland is the company's driving force, pushing himself and those around him to uncover the massive treasure. But at three miles below the surface, where the rocks are so hot they burn bare skin, something has been waiting for centuries. Waiting ...and guarding. Kirkland and EarthCore are about to find out first-hand why this treasure has never been unearthed. This started so great. The anticipation and mystery.
I love this stuff but I fear that Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child have completely spoiled me.
The protagonist,(Connell), experiences a heart-breaking loss at the beginning of the story. Unfortunately, this turns him into a complete anti-social jerk that only lives for his career. I understand him but I don't like him. Luckily I don't need to like him, just be interested in him. Through the process of horror and survival in the caves where he had hoped to make his company billions, he tries to redeem himself. The change in his actions seemed trite and unbelievable to me. This cast of characters include; a psychopathic ex-NSA agent, a narcissistic genius, a naive archeologist as well as two ex-military security personnel. Quite frankly the 'token' ex-military personnel were the only two characters I liked.
They get trapped miles below the surface and have to make their way even further down in order to eventually find a path to safety. With the use of 'Kool Suits' they are able to tolerate the high temperatures, but the suits are not armor and a tear can compromise the suits integrity. On top of that, there are some very bad things waiting for them
Like I said before, this is usually a plot that grips me but instead of the terror ramping up, it fizzled for me. The characters seemed to be modeled on some action/horror archetype someone wrote in the 80's. The female lead was an idealogical airhead of the 'save the artifacts, not yourself' variety. All the makings for a fantastic horror/action-adventure were there but it felt rushed and skeletal. ...more
SciFi Fantasy Action/Adventure...with just a hint of a Super-Hero comic. Brilliant manipulation of time in a twisting plot-line that left me wanting SciFi Fantasy Action/Adventure...with just a hint of a Super-Hero comic. Brilliant manipulation of time in a twisting plot-line that left me wanting a sequel before I even finished it.
I loved this book and absorbed it in two days. Intelligent,sarcastic humor. It seemed like every other page at least 10 Kindle readers had high-lighted a laugh-out-loud passage. (If you read a digital reader like Kindle, you can enable the high-light function to see what other people found interesting.) I laughed while on the edge of my seat, gripping my Kindle and ignoring eveything else I planned on doing this weekend.
I'm not gonna tell you about this books plot. This story was unique and the best part was not knowing what was 'supposed' to happen while speed-reading to see what does happen.
p.s. Ping Bannon is the "hawtest" Chinese-Irish, blade-using, 20ish looking, 30 something Detective I've ever had the pleasure to read.
I wish I could cuddle between Roy and Dek on the couch and eat popcorn while watching Blade Runner.
I demand a sequel from Lee Doty...lol pretty please???? ...more