The purpose of this blog is to have a little fun. It is NOT to start arguments. I don't profess to be an expert on Sci-fi, nor do I aspire to become an expert. You are welcome to comment on any and all content you find here. If my opinion differs from yours, as far as I am concerned, it's all okay. I will never say that you are wrong because you disagree with me, and I expect the same from those that comment here. Also, my audience on the blog will include some young people. Please govern your language when posting comments.

Posts will hopefully be regular based on the movies I see, the television shows I watch, and the books I read as well as what ever strikes me as noteworthy.

Spoilers will appear here and are welcome.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Quest for the Truth - Review of John-Paul Cleary's Convergent Space

Convergent Space by John-Paul Cleary – 2011

This story is set in a distant future where space travel is commonplace and the galaxy is heavily populated.

In a war that takes place two hundred years before the events in Convergent Space, a catastrophe happened called The Great Wave.  It was the result of an explosion so massive that a great deal of the populated galaxy was laid waste.  Former members of the Guild and others blamed the Earth for this disaster.  This resulted in the people of the Earth becoming obsessed in proving that they were not responsible, as a matter of fact, it had become the religion of the people of Earth to find whatever proof there was to hopefully clear their name.  The people of Earth sent out Archeosoldiers to seek the truth; Convergent Space is the story of one such Archeosoldier named Rone.

Rone is a female Archeosoldier who has retired from the quest, but finds herself pressed back into service when another mortally wounded Archeosoldier shows up on her doorstep.  Rone and her Companion, Necessity reluctantly set out to find the truth of the circumstances surrounding The Great Wave.

Just a word here about Necessity, the Companion.   According to Cleary, each human born is paired with a sentient artificial intelligence that grows and learns with its human counterpart.  These devices are quite amazing as they serve as a knowledge database, and sounding board.  Conpanions can also regulate body functions in humans controlling pain and emotional responses.  As intelligent computers, Companions can also pilot ships and communicate with other computers.  Quite the device, wouldn’t mind having one myself.

At any rate, during her travels, Rone meet up with Tihn Forlihn, a member of the Phlegar race.  He also seems to be on a quest to find a purpose for his life.  He finally finds his purpose as he joins Rone in her search for the truth of The Great Wave.  Tihn is in possession of a device that holds the memories of his Phlegar clan that date back to the time when the Great Wave took place.  The device called the Wits of Forlihn, however is damaged and cannot seem to give anyone a straight answer to any question.  It is apparently useless.  So Rone and Tihn set about finding someone that can help them repair the Wits.

Meanwhile, a very dangerous race called the Herneses is moving through the galaxy on their self-appointed mission to purify populated worlds and resettle entire populations on worlds that they have already cleansed.  The Hernses encounter a populated world and remove a portion of a population from a given world and then use their technology to cleanse the planet, destroying all remaining life.  Unfortunately, they never remove the entire population of a planet, so the cleansing also kills millioons that are left behind.  This is their mission, at least until they encounter the home world of the Phlegar.

As far as the Herneses are concerned, the Phlegar are a scum race and have to be eradicated from the galaxy.  They destroy the Phlegar home world, but fortunately not before the Wits device is repaired and able to give Rone some valuable information.

Rone learns that the Herneses are headed for Renaissance Space, a body of planets that replaced the Guild as the governing body of the sector of the galaxy that includes Earth.  Rone tries to reason with the Herneses, but they are unwilling to listen to reason and feel that they are in the right to do whatever they feel is necessary to purify the galaxy.  So Rone decides that she must stop the Herneses, no matter the cost.

Rone learns that, unfortunately, the people of the Earth are indeed responsible for the Great Wave and is in possession of the same weapon, invented by the Phlegar, that caused it.  She uses it to eliminate the Herneses, and causes the Second Great Wave, not only taking out the Herneses, but uncountable other worlds at the same time.  History repeats itself, as the Great Wave was the result of someone determining that another menacing race needed to be eliminated 200 years earlier.  But Rone knew what the result would be in using the weapon, while those who used it before thought it would create a shield against the enemy.  Now she must live with the guilt of her decision.

All in all, this is a good story and fun to read.  Cleary spins a hell of a tale that some might say resembles a Star Trek style of yarn.   One must be patient with the author and stick with the story as the exposition for the story is spread out over many chapters, giving just a piece at a time, but everything comes together and makes perfect sense when it needs to.

One complaint that other reviewers (mainly on Amazon) have expressed is that Cleary is not precise with his use of science fact in the story.  This was not a problem for me because the characters are so well developed, and the story flowed so well that I had no problem suspending my disbelief.  Rone, Tihn, and Necessity, as well as others that join the quest as the story unfolds are truly characters that I cared about and became engaged in wanting their efforts to be successful.

Good story plus good characters equal a great story worth reading.  ‘Nuff Said.

Well, there it is…