Monday, March 03, 2008

Title: The Future Happens Twice - The Perennial Project
Author: Matt Browne
Publisher: Athena Press
ISBN: 978-1-84401-830-7
Genre: Science Fiction

The earth is in danger and the human species may not survive the danger. So, a project is conceived to send humans to another earth like planet 82 light years away. The only problem with that is that humans cannot survive such long journey which will take thousands of years. Other problems of engineering, reliability etc. could be overcome but how to ensure the safety of the human beings over thousands of years of space travel?

A controversial solution is being attempted, viz., cryo-preservation of human embryos, which will be thawed and hatched by Artificial Womb Devices and the babies will be brought up by humanoid robots which have Natural Language Processing capabilities. And before the actual spaceship can be launched, the whole solution needs to be tested in a perfect simulation inside a space craft which, however does not fly in space. The future needs to be tested now. And hopefully repeated as envisaged and scripted now in the real future. Embryo splitting is necessary but is illegal. And the identical twins need to be born years apart and not know that they are test tube babies.

The book is about the simulations, the problems of managing a project in a secret facility, the ethical and legal issues involved, how they are overcome etc.

The book is the first of the trilogy and the author succeeds in maintaining a tight story line and suspense of what is going to come. Thus, reading the large tome of 700 plus pages is not difficult.

The editing and printing of the book is quite good. I would have preferred a hardcover but understand the cost implications.

Author Matt Browne holds a M.S computer scientist and works for a large organization. He brings his knowledge of Computers and Language Processing, Robotics etc. to a good and plausible space scenario.

A very good read indeed. I look forward to the remaining two sequels in the trilogy.

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