REVIEW: Time of the Phoenix Man

What do you when a human explorer of another galaxy becomes a Messiah to his colleagues? Recreate him in a lab to fight himself. What could possibly go wrong?

In an effort to make sure mankind doesn’t disappear from the universe by killing our own planet, politicians managed to get an unmanned orbiter around Alpha Centauri A- 5, a barren planet that needed some work before humans could walk the surface. But they didn’t stop there; they had a full load of nanites aboard ready to go to work. In addition to working on the environment, the nanites built an entire team of scientists based on the team that worked on the project back on Earth. So now there were humans on ACA-5, working and ready to open the planet to human habitation. But the people back on earth lost interest in traveling to the stars and seeing what was out there, so the program was shut down. Rather than just leave things as they were, the military took over the project and brought back one of the scientists: Dr. Jack Gutierrez. Jack was not just an ordinary scientist. He was the Messiah.

The team on ACA-5 were all now followers of the Messiah, and they were not listening to the directions from back home. The military was concerned so they decided that the best way to catch a madman was to set him to catch himself. They downloaded the memories of Dr. Gutierrez and told him what had happened. He didn’t have all the Messiah’s memories but he was the same man up to the point where they arrived on ACA-5. What could go wrong? Apparently a lot, and the military and politicians both were afraid of what one Dr. Gutierrez could do, much less two of him.

The book is well done, the science is interesting and presented in a way understandable to most folks. The characters are enjoyable and make you want to find out more about them. The story is an interesting twist on politics versus military control and also a twist on what happens when science gets ahead of itself, another version of “just because we can, should we?”

The book is a lighter read than I anticipated as the storyline shifts through the main character and the search for his other self. This will be a good author to keep an eye on in the future as he gains experience and skill at writing his books.

Related articles

Microcosmos by Nina Allan

Microcosmos (Imaginings Volume: 5) by Nina Allan

In the Forward to Microcosmos Nina Allan explains that, having forgotten the finer details of the requirements for the collection, with her stories tending to ‘run away with themselves’ and being rather long for short stories, she had amassed considerably more material than the book would be able to contain. She had intended a survey […]

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part IV: To Boldly Go Where No Fan Has Gone Before

Over the last three weeks I have discussed the sources and causes of Science Fictions self-esteem problem. The genre’s inability to shed it’s pulp roots and ongoing pulpishness, the relative obscurity of SF to the book reading public and the enduring legacy of brainless Hollywood Science Fiction films have all contributed to the critical non-acceptance […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.