James P. Hogan
Baen, Apr 7 2015, $14.00
“Two Faces of Tomorrow.” In the near future, automated technology has made the world a better place by eliminating hunger, which led to peace and prosperity on a global scale never seen before. However, Titan applies programmed logic to a situation that nearly causes a tragedy. Dr. Raymond Dyer leads a team to reprogram Titan to include giving the system a sense of right and wrong, and awareness of human frailty. He and his team test the prototype Spartacus on a space station, but an unforeseen nightmare arises leaving everyone in peril.
“Realtime Interrupt.” Oz Project Chief Joe Corrigan wakes up confused in a hospital in a world he does not quite recognize. Joe knows the top secret effort to create a virtual environ indistinguishable from that of the real world failed, but cannot fathom what happened to his former life.
These are reprints of two fascinating cautionary science fiction tales that use the “Terminator” syndrome of out of control machines (Two Faces of Tomorrow was written several years before the release of the movie). Although both novels slow down due to character metaphysical pontification, overall each entertains while readers score James P. Hogan’s prediction of the future.