This blog has been seriously neglected. But not for much longer…
After paying homage to Sagan’s Contact (through Contact Ascension) it became apparent that there was something inside screaming to be let out. The result is Pilgrim’s Ark.
The book is aligned with the very best of speculative fiction in literary and cinematic texts. It blends narratives and concepts from works like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Contact, Solaris, Permutation City and even Exegesis.
What is “Pilgrim’s Ark all about?
“Pilgrim’s Ark” is the first novel of a series that asks fundamental questions about intelligence, innovation, consciousness and identity. It considers the hive mind of humanity as it imperceptibly replaces individuation with a third eye of perception. In doing so it provides a timely and vital meditation on the future of our ever-adapting society.
The style of writing is true to the notion of “Science Fiction” and eschews “Science Fantasy”. The reader is not asked to suspend disbelief in dealing with complexities such as interstellar travel and grapple headlong with constraints imposed by the laws of physics and engineering. The science draws upon real and contemporary concepts and paradoxes such as quantum superposition, entanglement, causation and locality. This gristle can be digested by the stalwart scientific mind without stalling the pace for the reader seeking a lighter essay.
Through this approach, a reader can find empathy with the characters; whether victims of the rapidly changing world, or those succeeding in riding the waves of disruption.
In the ocean on a planet, light-years away, and in the distant past, a species of life evolves a defence mechanism based on bio-electricity. The emergence of a hive mind, supported by herd-creatures, thrives and develops technology to transcend and explore. Present-day Earth is looking to the skies for extraterrestrial intelligence. Mike Brazier from SETI detects the signal, not from the stars, but within our Solar system. A probe sent from Earth helps develop a Rosetta signal as the visitor, nicknamed the Pilgrim, settles at the Lagrangian point of Earth’s orbit. Astronaut Ben Herdsman leads a mission to encounter the Pilgrim aboard ‘Thetis’. Daniel Clark is a paraplegic employee of Bergamot corporation. He creates an AI called ‘Macca’ who sparks into awareness as an Artificial Consciousness. But society is unsettled by the prospect of AI and automation. A victim of these shifting fortunes, Andrew Cooke, aligns his destiny against these forces with a revolutionary new Jihad.
Here is an excerpt…
It was flared out as if it were a cosmic parachute. In this firmament, where Earth was just another pinprick, an object chilled with veins of superfluid, and superconductive memories traversed the final remnants of the Oort cloud. Yet another micrometeorite struck the spectacular sail, and as tensile forces gently teased at the thin, frayed trailing edge of a hole framed by a distended cone, it travelled another million or so kilometres. Eventually, a segment that swayed chaotically about in the vacuum happened to touch another flailing piece of the material. These pieces ‘stuck’.
Over the next few million kilometres, the hole began to disappear, leaving a thin membrane. Over a few billion kilometres, the sheet then carefully drew the surrounding material together and progressively healed the puncture. There were several dozen other such holes, some much larger than the raindrop sized wound. The largest of them was taking much, much longer to draw together. The annulus it left behind was still dilating millimetre by millimetre; an iris looking out into the expanse of a black universe with trillions of stars.