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by David Arrayet
Category: Science Fiction/Mainstream
Description: Written in a conspiratorial reportage style, it follows Kima as this secret country scams aliens, sets up black market deals in China, buys slaves, babies and spies, remaining invisible to all but its own and a handful of intimidated world leaders. The resolution is positive for the main character, Kima. In the end, time has passed and Kima has entered the 21st century and seeks to meet their founder (and to some degree goddess) Grace: a person now far less advanced than anyone in KIMA. Kima is about the place, its people and its culture. The culture is that of the slacker, GRACE, who is the source of all knowledge. Grace Michaels is a comatose slacker whose mind is linked to that of a pre-Columbian woman named FISHBASHER. In the years their minds are linked, Grace teaches Fishbasher and her primitive tribe, science and history; enough to give them the power to secretly influence human history.
eBook Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing USA LLC/Club Lighthouse Publishing, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: August 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [162 KB]
Reading time: 88-123 min.
Starships and Aliens reviews http://www.starshipsandaliens.com/reviews.htm#754799568
Book Description ONCE UPON A TIME, there was a Company. Nanoplan Inc. It had a plan, it had endeavour, and now it had a mess. (For the rest of the long book description please visit Goodreads) Concept/World This story is set on Earth. There are some aliens in it, though they don't stick around for long. The concept -- what might happen if a woman from modern day Earth could communicate with someone in the far distant past -- is original and intriguing. Story The story develops at a good pace. You do need the information in the first chapter to make sense of what's happening but the story really takes off in chapter two with the introduction of Fishbasher. The different time zones and locations are handled superbly, drawing you on to a very enjoyable ending. Characters The characters are one of the great strengths of this book. David Arrayet uses character vignettes to create engagement with the story. I cared about Grace and Fishbasher right from the start, but even characters who come and go in a matter of a few paragraphs have a life of their own. I particularly liked Janet Berman, an "unsuccessful and generally talent-less showbiz wanna-be". President Nixon also puts in a hilarious cameo appearance. Presentation With no disrespect to the cover artist, I didn't really understand the cover of this book till after I'd read it. The book description is actually the first page or so of the book. That's good for getting a sample of the style of it but it doesn't give much indication of what the story is going to be about. If I'd been browsing Amazon I don't think I'd have downloaded Kima based purely on the cover image and book description. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are all of a professional standard. I found one or two tiny formatting blarts on the kindle ("And if you don't? jumps to new paragraph indent ?we'll lay waste to your whole nation") and some big indents in chapters 1-3, but they didn't affect my enjoyment of the story. Overall: Five Smiles I loved the entertaining style of this book. It has a lot of humour in it and made me laugh several times whilst at the same time working as a good sci fi story. It is the mark of an excellent story when I get so into it I read it just for fun and then have to read it again more analytically for review. This is definitely one I'll be keeping on my kindle to read again for enjoyment. I'll be looking out for more David Arrayet stories, too!
ONCE UPON A TIME, there was a Company. Nanoplan Inc. It had a plan, it had endeavour, and now it had a mess.
"The Enhancer will be the greatest single advancement in human scientific history!"--the opening words of a now embarrassing bit of hubris, speedily on its way to the shredder.
The statement was excessive, issued by the otherwise conservative head of research for the now defunct "Project Rose".
Looking back, it was very much out of character, as Dr. Lorenz had built his career on staying with the crowd, not making waves and, unfortunately, not having any meaningful impact on science. This was to be his opus.
Not that his reputation had done anything but assure his appointment to the coveted head position of "Rose". He could rest on his laurels, given that his subordinates gave him the necessary respect, as did the corporate middlemen from Head Office, who, on occasion, came to inspect the facility and sign the necessary cheques.
Dr Lorenz never did understand the science of the project. The theories were vague and the applications speculative. There were those, however, who saw it worthy of investment and Dr. Lorenz, seeing a career opportunity beyond any he had ever known, jumped onto the bandwagon without bothering to mention how clueless he really was.
The project itself was housed in an old Montreal garment factory building that had been cleaned up and stocked with more equipment than would ever be required. Montreal had been chosen as it was close to the Head Office in New York, yet outside of the United States . . . in the event of complications.
The city's facilities had been useful a few years earlier for clandestine experiments on brainwashing and biological warfare. The local government was always agreeable, especially when promises of campaign contributions were involved. No more than $15 million in "oiling" would clear the way for an H-bomb detonation -- if required.
Rose was not so dangerous, but rules might have to be broken. It was hoped Rose would yield significant breakthroughs in a new technology, and that justified both economic and moral costs. The moral cost lay in the basement, in the foetal position.
Yet the money bothered the Doctor more than the state of the girl. She'd known...
In that unfortunate venture, lay many millions of dollars worth of research and development. Lorenz had to live with that. She knew the risks. No, she hadn't. Lorenz knew she hadn't. He hadn't. Nobody had. Nobody had realized that they had no idea of what they were doing.
Rose was the pinnacle of human/cybernetic technology, entailing an electronic brain implant capable of enhancing and magnifying all mental operations and producing an intellectual superhuman. Rose was also a fraud.
Dr. Lorenz was never as truly enthusiastic as he appeared. Experiments in the lab had been successful, but he still had trouble getting a handle on the theory of how and why the implant worked. Still, the position paid well and the prestige, had the project succeeded, would have been enormous. He had put himself on the list of recipients of the technology after all, but two of the Board of Directors had chosen to use their positions to jump the queue.
All that was moot now . . .
The surgery had gone well; the implant had taken . . . and now they had a vegetable named Grace Michaels. Grace, comatose and in the foetal position, was in a bed in the basement.
"The operation was a success, but the patient died," came to mind. Faxed memos traveled back and forth between Montreal and New York. Heavy guns from Head Office were coming in--members of the Board. This was a disaster: an inexplicable disaster.
The surgical team had been the best that money could buy. The implant, designed to discreetly be attached to several parts of the brain with the help of nanobots, had indiscreetly attached itself to numerous parts, and had, without any apparent reason, taken over the brain itself. It was transmitting more telemetry than it should, and on dozens of wavelengths. Grace's brain was operating, but in more ways than normal, and in some ways that made no sense at all.
Grace Michaels had been a professional student: "Miss Million Minors," a bright grade-skipping, wonder-child who, through grants, subsidies, scholarships, loans and bursaries, had spent the last few years gathering credits while avoiding graduation and the unfortunate realities of the workaday world. A true Goddess of Slackers, she had worked only three days in her life, each day at a different job. McDonald's (fired for eating a tofu and alfalfa sandwich in front of the customers), at P'tit Poutine (the boss spoke only two words of English "Work" and "Faster") and for three hours as a dancer at Le Sex Machine; she couldn't dance well.
Schools would no longer have her . . . banks were calling in years of unpaid student loans, her credit cards had melted (the fools had given her three!), and Grace, qualified to be unemployed in dozens of unrewarding fields, was desperate.
She had responded to an ad in the newspaper. The ad had offered $50,000 to anyone willing to undergo the experimental surgery. Now she was in a coma. She had never even seen the cheque!
Grace could hear sounds in the background. A radio had been left on to keep her company. If she were somehow still aware, at least she would be amused and informed. The radio was her only companion in the room.
There was, however, more than the room.