Convergence: the act of coming together from different directions. Is it science fiction or fantasy? Or is the truth the strangest of all?
Convergence: a science fiction novel based on real science, future possibilities, and the awful truth of war. I want to touch on the last section first: war. History of conflict. Our inability as a nation to easily grasp change or admit defeat. Hicks throws in scenes that are reminiscent of the cultural revolution in the 60s and 70s when our youth were assaulted with water blasts, tear gas, and mistrust. Hicks also takes the story of our imprisonment of the Japanese in camps to ward off the threat of a Japanese attack. While Hicks’ novel is based in the future, its message is clearly derived from the past: do we learn from our mistakes or the mistakes of others? To quote the main character, Jonah, “Indifference became a national pastime.”
If the populous, then, no longer cares for the present, do they care for the future? Has their indifference also extended into complacent fear of their current encampment? Jonah stated that he had grown complacent: he had forgotten the dreams of his past and the ability to live freely. This is both in part due to the war and to his DRMR addiction. Americans seemed to have lost their memories of what their America used to mean because “by the time America fell, the country had been well overdue for a change”. But the greater picture here, I think, lies deep beneath what we see as being “human”. If someone loses their memories, are they still that person? Can they, after a hard-wire reset, rebuild to become the same person?
The more one learns of neuronal chemistry, the harder it seems to be to construct an image of “being”. The memories we know actually change each time we reawaken them. The synaptic rigidity loosens and new information is added – did you remember the location of that chair incorrectly or have your feelings changed that now taint your memories? The great aspect of this novel is all of the neuronal activities described in this novel are true – our addictions and happiness are fueled by our access to serotonin, etc. Michael stated that he did much research into memories and it clearly shows in this novel. A small gem for those of us looking for some real science fiction! If you are interested in the piece he says started it all, check out this link.
It may have been obvious above, but I thought the novel was very well written. I enjoyed the questions that arose during my reading as well as the actual science. The story does weave through the plot line a little, which I’m sure many will not enjoy. I; however, do not mind twisted storylines and enjoy letting myself go into the author’s hands… as long as there is some sort of resolution in the end. I would highly recommend this novel.
Do not forget to look for the next book, Emergence, due to be released in May!
Title: Convergence (A DRMR Novel)
Author: Michael Patrick Hicks
Number of Pages: 394
Original Release: 27 February 2014
Memories are the most dangerous drug.
Jonah Everitt is a killer, an addict, and a memory thief.
After being hired to kill a ranking officer of the Pacific Rim Coalition and download his memories, Everitt finds himself caught in the crosshairs of a terror cell, a rogue military squadron, and a Chinese gangster named Alice Xie. Xie is a profiteer of street drugs, primarily DRMR, a powerful narcotic made from the memories of the dead. With his daughter, Mesa, missing in post-war Los Angeles, Everitt is forced into an uneasy alliance with Alice to find her.
Mesa’s abduction is wrapped up in the secrets of a brutal murder during the war’s early days, a murder that Alice Xie wants revenged. In order to find her, Jonah will have to sift through the memories of dead men that could destroy what little he has left.
In a city where peace is tenuous and loyalties are ever shifting, the past and the present are about to converge.
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