Using powerful telescopes on the far side of the Moon, the project's astronomers have discovered an Earth-like planet that is eighty-two light years away; simultaneously, a major breakthrough in bio- engineering presents the project with the unique opportunity of long-distance space travel.
At first Debrya has no idea why the study of language is to play such a central role, and why twin studies are also so important. During her orientation week she discovers a disturbing secret that makes her wish she had never joined the project. Soon she is faced with the dilemma of revealing the dark secrets of the project or being part of the most ambitious undertaking in the history of humankind.
Matt Browne's beautifully worked space epic explores the bounds of human hope and plumbs the depths of human duplicity. Tender relationships between the budding astronauts are pitched against the disillusion they feel when an embattled President confronts them with their true origins and purpose. The author's fascination with the fields of bioengineering and information technology sustains the reader's interest all the way through this roller-coaster ride.
The adventures continue in parts II and III of Matt Browne's thrilling trilogy, The Future Happens Twice - Human Destiny and The Andromeda Encounter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Though I am a fan of science fiction books in general this is definitely one that I could recommend to those who are not typically fans of the genre, b/c while it is a story about a journey to another solar system some time in the future, it is not a fantastical trip complete with warp drive and phasers. One of the most startling things about reading the book was how close we are to possessing most of the technological advancements that would make this type of interstellar travel possible. Honestly it even seems plausible to me that we could achieve the same level of technology in the same time frame laid out in the book (the next 50 years). As a result of using such a realistic basis for all the science involved the book has a much more here and now feel to it that draws you deeper into the story than most sci fi books where it is very much a galaxy far far away.
In addition to the sound science employed by the author the story is masterfully told in such a way that you are drawn into each of the intertwined story arcs. At times you will even find yourself rooting for the various characters, even when they may have conflicting goals. The story arcs themselves could almost have each been a separate story. Had they been you would have had a private detective mystery, an exploration of the ethical dilemmas faced by the scientists involved in the project, and the lives of the perennial crew.
Likely you will both be appalled by the egregious violations of the rights of the test subjects by the project scientists and yet understand them as necessary. And in the end you will be asking yourself many of the questions the author posits in the book: Are we alone? Is it our right/duty to expand human civilization to the stars? To what lengths do we have the right to go to insure the survival of humanity, and what would be going too far?
For decades scientists have dreamed of sending deep-frozen humans on interstellar missions. But until this dream comes true, they must settle for a much simpler technique available: the freezing of human embryos. However, long distance space travel of this nature poses other challenges, none more so than the management of artificial pregnancies and how to raise the children produced. One viable solution comes in the form of advanced biotechnology and highly sophisticated androids, and a large scale project has been implemented to explore these options. To prove that it can really work, the project's scientists go a step further. Somewhere in the Nevada desert and well hidden underground, they conduct an eighteen-year-long experiment using a young starship crew unaware of their true environment. Surrounded by complex simulations, the crew believes they are approaching a distant star system, one that appears to host a planet suitable for human colonization. What they also don't know is the fact that their embryos had been split prior to the implantation in the womb devices. The scientists' bold plan is to send the twin embryos on the real mission, pioneering the frontier of space. From both identical genes and an identical environment inside the starship, they arrive at the assumption that the future is a mere repetition of the present events. And indeed, about 42,000 years later the twins grow up with the very same android parents. But then things start to drift away from the original plan. The real starship crew now faces a constant battle for survival. Only their fortitude and strong determination to land on the extrasolar planet averts a disaster. The reward is the new exotic world that awaits them, full of overwhelming potential. Matt Browne's beautifully worked space epic explores the bounds of human hope and invention and plumbs the depths of human duplicity. Tender relationships between the budding astronauts are pitched against the disillusion they feel when an embattled President confronts them with their true origins and purpose, only to reveal the real culprit in the entire project - something closer to all of us today. The author's fascination with the fields of bioengineering and information technology sustains the reader's interest all the way in this futuristic roller-coaster ride. And he asks a terrifying question. Setting aside man's inhumanity to man, what if Nature herself turns against us? This gripping novel of epic proportions skillfully mixes elements of drama, medical thriller and science fiction. As the story unfolds, Matt Browne takes his readers on a breathtaking journey through vast stretches of time and space.