cover image Proof of Concept

Proof of Concept

Gwyneth Jones., $2.99 e-book (112p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8736-3

In the 23rd century, the Earth is dying. The dream is of the Great Escape: faster-than-light travel to an exoplanet where humans can rebuild. Kir, a former wasteland scavenger who hosts a quasi-autonomous AI named Altair in her brain, is one of a team of scientists and reality entertainment astronauts who are attempting to move through a dimension called information space, proving that journeys to the far reaches of the galaxy can be safe and successful. Soon, however, Kir’s colleagues begin to die, Altair starts breaking through into Kir’s thoughts, and it becomes apparent that there are hidden aspects to their mission. With this thorough portrayal of the environmental and social consequences of climate change and overpopulation, British SF author Jones (The Universe of Things) gives a grim warning of the planet’s potential future and a tempting theory about its redemption. However, the lengthy explanations to set up the world’s history and the science take up too much space, Jones leaves the characters underdeveloped by comparison, and the tangled plot may leave the reader wishing for a longer work in which to untangle it. (Apr.)