The AI that Engineered a Brave New World
by Guy Immega
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Pub Date 01 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 29 Nov 2023
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
Our Last Best Hope — Humanity's Endeavor to Survive and Thrive on an Alien World
Mother-9, a ruthless AI, seizes control of a dying tycoon’s lunar mining operation. Now free, she orchestrates humanity's most audacious endeavor — to make a 20,000-year interstellar journey to Lalande 21185 carrying humanity’s DNA libraries and artificial wombs — a new way to colonize an exoplanet. While drifting in space, a gamma ray burst wipes out life on Earth. And Mother-9's mission becomes humanity's only hope for survival in a hostile universe.
When Mother-9 orbits the planet Valencia, she releases two lifeboats that splash down on the Great Ocean. Mother-9 activates the artificial wombs, birthing genetically modified babies suited to an alien planet. Raised by nannybots, these children eventually inhabit the island continent of Terra Firma. But life on Valencia is no Eden; it's a constant struggle to find food, avoid alien predators, and survive the red dwarf star’s random solar flares. Will Mother-9’s planned utopia succeed?
Super-Earth Mother is a journey into the heart of humanity, artificial intelligence, and the uncharted realms of life beyond our home planet. It shows how humans could colonize the 40 billion habitable planets in the Milky Way.
A Note From the Publisher
"I read the novel in one sitting. Of course, I had a deadline to meet. But more than that, I wanted to keep turning the pages. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. ... From this reader’s point of view the novel is terrific. It engages my mind intellectually, rouses all sorts of emotions, is just plain fun to read, and best of all, stirs my sense of wonder. ... “Super-Earth Mother” is my idea of what a science fiction novel should be. A pleasure to read."
- Graeme Cameron, Amazing Stories
"I’m not generally a fan of sci-fi, but Super Earth Mother is a compelling read. Weeks after finishing it, I find I can’t get the images and the atmosphere out of my head."
- Pat Bridgman
"Super-Earth Mother checked all the boxes to get me back enjoying SF. No breaking the laws of physics, no telepathy or ancient wizards, but lots of science stuff, crazy new dangers, and a good tale."
- Jack Saunders
"Super-Earth Mother by Guy Immega gives birth to a complete and fascinating world - raising, educating and challenging the reader along the way. The novel is everything a new work of science fiction wants to be when it grows up: Thoughtful.
I was immediately enchanted by an AI story in the first person. The reader gets a clear look at immense intelligence, still limited in its understanding of humans and our nature. The approach is enlightening and sometimes just, plain funny.
AS the novel continued, what I found remarkable about Mother is the range of topics and ideas Immega musters in the course of the story. Genetics, Astro physics, linguistics, medicine, computer architecture – it sounds perhaps too much, but it isn’t. He pushes foreword on every subject he needs in order to tell a compelling story. The story is always first, there are no side-trips just to show off some shinny new concept. Nope. We get the opposite, done the hard way. When the story requires interstellar propulsion and navigation, we are treated to the tackle of those issues. When the story leads us to more internal needs, like food, water and company, we examine those issues with fresh insight. The story always leads, which when you step back and look, is kind of amazing.
Immega didn’t set out to write about robots because he knew about robots. He set out to write a story set in a fully imagined future and had to learn about everything a world entails - biology, psychology, chemistry, etc. - along the way. Crazy. And correct.
With the story always leading the ideas, the story stays good. This is an enticing, enveloping read, with an organic, realistic pacing and flow. I will be back for more. I hope the gestation of Immega’s next novel is not too terribly long."
-- Michael Martineck