Monday, October 17, 2011

Count to a Trillion-John C. Wright

Count to a Trillion

John C. Wright

Tor, Dec 20 2011, $25.99

ISBN 9780765329271

In AD 2221 in independent Texas, eleven year old Menelaus Illation Montrose listens to the elders discuss the old future that never happened. He wishes he could confront the perpetrator who caused destruction of what the old future should have been. From reading and listening, Menelaus knows The War of Religion and the War of Economics devastated the planet that now is equivalent to that of the late nineteenth century as the oil is gone and the electric grids no longer work while the Infertility Plague went pandemic. Menelaus especially distrusts political and religious leaders who make holy claims while each day his world deteriorates.

In AD 2235, Menelaus the duelist for hire has a chance to escape Texas a place he loathes. He joins a space expedition traveling to a nearby system in order to obtain antimatter from an alien relic. To increase his intelligence, Montrose undergoes an experiment, but it leaves him in a coma for years. When Montrose finally awakens he is a super genius and learns his former space mates used the antimatter to conquer Earth. As he translates the alien language on the relic, he learns of the planetary debt his comrades remitted to the aliens and fears what will happen when they collect their IOU.

Extrapolating contemporary trends, John C. Wright writes an action-packed futuristic science fiction. The story line starts slow as Mr. Wright provides the backdrop of life in the twenty-third century; however once the angry Menelaus joins the space mission, the story line soars into a fast-paced thriller. Menelaus is an interesting protagonist who goes from an acrimonious gun for hire into a save the world hero on an earth that is not looking for a hero.

Harriet Klausner

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