A devastating asteroid is about to rain destruction and chaos down on our world. Scientists create two groups to save mankind, our culture, and our technology. One group goes into stasis while the other heads to Mars. Centuries later, those in stasis wake up to find the Martians have invaded!
Horribly scarred as a child from a Martian attack, Tedo is eventually thrown out of his clan to survive on his own. He stumbles across Alec, an artificial intelligence created by Cynthia Carter over two thousand years earlier, and he has a problem. Unable to wake the members of Group A, he asks Tedo for help.
The world Cyn wakes up to find is completely different from the one destroyed by Apophis. But that’s okay—it’s why she was made and she has prepared for it. What she didn’t expect was Tedo, the Martians, or to wake up to a world headed for war.
Apophis is an entertaining and engaging read that looks at our world as it prepares for Apophis’ impact, and then the world a thousand years after that. Not ground-breaking, but definitely thought-provoking, Apophis examines both sides of the coin of the practice of eugenics and the lengths to which humans can go to survive when we’re on a countdown to destruction.
Rider easily gives you characters you can root for – and characters you can’t wait to see destroyed. The artificial intelligence is also surprisingly believable. She doesn’t give ALEC too many human traits, which a lot of science fiction authors do, and he stays completely logical. He/It is both a comforting presence, and vaguely intimidating at the same time because you witness early on that he will do whatever it takes to make sure that certain things happen. The things that he deems to be for the good of humanity. It’s not that far of a step from there to destruction. You can also get a sense of personalities developing in the other AIs that are formed that are different from ALEC, which is rather interesting, but everyone knows that a copy of a copy of a copy, etc, can end up looking quite different from the original.
Now, there was one issue that I had. It is a simple one. In the author’s world, two groups that speak English, after being separated by over a thousand years, are able to easily speak with each other. Language is constantly changing, so it’s hard to believe that there would be no issues communicating after one thousand years had passed. On a minor note, there was some wording that could be tweaked to make the story more pleasing. It’s mainly repetitious factors that weigh it down. It made the story a bit hard to get into.
Overall, this was a nice take on the post-apocalyptic science fiction tale that smartly avoids going for the ‘epic’ award like Stephenson and Robinson seem to consistently do. The science may not be as ‘hard’, but the story still carries itself very nicely. Definitely recommend checking it out on Amazon when you get a chance.