Breakthrough: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan by Stephen Tremp is a fun, modern day science fiction story. As all described seems to be practically possibly, it left me with the eerie feeling that such events could happen right now, even though many people would quickly dismiss the story as nothing more than fantasy.
Although they run together, the story seems to come in two parts; at first it is described how a small group of sinister scientists at MIT are using stolen technology to manipulate events in their favor and cause crimes, even murders at the highest levels of government. Next, we watch as Professor Chase Manhattan, from southern California, is pulled into the mess by Dr. Nicholas Fischer, who is asking Chase to prove it is not he who is responsible for the misuse of his work.
I enjoyed this book. It has the right mix of what seems real and what seems like fantasy to make me step back and look at the world in a different light. I am somewhat interested in taking a look at this Book’s sequel.
The Unwanted: The G6 Chronicles by Daniel L. Carter is the surprisingly good mixture of crazy, off-the-wall mad science experiments and believable, un-exaggerated faith. If, like me, you like the explanation of ‘science’ to come up with crazy fun it doesn’t seem should be possible or don’t want to be preached at when another’s belief is shown; this is a book worth checking out.
The story follows the early lifetimes of 5 children who were produced as part of an experiment in a secret genetic lab in Chicago. There were actually several of these labs, yet wanting to keep the project a secret, the company funding the project has taken to destroying the labs and killing their non-central workers in the unwanted facilities at any time when they looked to be in danger of falling under public scrutiny. As one of these laboratories is being covered up, two nurses are able to load a car with newborns and escape before they are all killed.
It also focuses on the investigation led by two FBI agents who are trying to figure out what is happening to cause the sudden seemingly-unprovoked killing of these workers. At least in Chicago it doesn’t look like infants were killed, yet investigators are simply baffled as to what the purpose of these deaths could be.
Of course, let’s not forget the great Dr. Tibon Agha here; his wonderful psychotic mind is responsible for a good bit of the fun. A large part of this story is the recounting of past events in his life. While these may not actually give him the right to act as he does, they certainly develop him into an interesting character.
Overall, I’d say this is an enjoyable story. While in a couple of places I was worried it my be ready to go ‘fantasy-religious’ on me, it never did. If we can just ignore the super-human science for a moment, the characters handled situations the same as real people may do.
Particle Horizon by Selso Xisto is an entertaining, highly detailed portrayal of wonders in a far off future where the lifestyle dependent on highly advanced technology and the prejudices of complete unquestioning faith in unseen gods collide in horrendous violence that could tear the very world apart for everyone that happens to get caught in the middle. The religious citizens of New Jerusalem see it as their duty to destroy the research coming out of the space-station research facility ‘Angelhaven’ before it can unleash powers that man was never meant to tinker with.
This story is wonderful in that you have the opportunity to watch developments from every possible viewpoint. When you might question why someone acts as they do, you are given their individual story presented so that you can almost believe in their cause. Even if that cause runs completely against the desires of the last character you just agreed with. The beautiful, imaginative descriptions bring to life very great or terrible aspect of the story. Visions of vast fields of grain being consumed by a terrible inferno inside of the concentric station clash with the exquisite picture of flight that children of zero-g practice without a thought.
I do have to admit that Dr. Baghdasarian is now one of my all-time favorite mad scientists. The man is ultimately responsible for cataclysm that occurs. He is financially responsible for much of Angelhaven and he’s had his hands into a bit of questionable genetic engineering. When the story takes place, he is busy using the mind of the genius daughter he built to unravel the base code for the universe itself. He figures that, if he can see the components of the laws of nature, what is stopping his working to perfect them?
There are several who have as much reason to fight for their beliefs with good reason. It does go a step further than old religious men being scared of science. In this future, most human settled worlds outside New Jerusalem are under the government of the Union of Free Worlds. Part of a peacekeeping agreement they have made law is to totally disallow any type of religion. Intelligent, reasonable people would rather side with those who shouldn’t just be dismissed as superstitious idiots than live where their faiths have been outlawed.
There is no solid ‘good’ or ‘bad.’