Sunday, October 15, 2017

Book Review: 'Momentary Stasis' by P.R. Adams

Colorado author PR Adams has had a career in the US Air Force and as expected he has lived coast to coast with significant time in St. Louis, Missouri and a tour of duty in Korea. Though born and raised in Miami, Florida he has now retired in Denver, Colorado where he pens novels of the science fiction fantasy genre. His initial series of books (of which this is Book 1 of the Rimes Trilogy) is named after the chief character Jack Rimes whom Phil states is his entry point to the universe. Phil is fascinated by the concept of transhumanism, which according to Wikipedia is defined as ‘an international and intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as the ethics[3] of using such technologies. The most common transhumanist thesis is that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into different beings with abilities so greatly expanded from the natural condition as to merit the label of posthuman beings.’

PR (Phil) Adams demonstrates a steady hand as he unveils his concept for this extended exploration of stories that swirl in the universe and in imaginations of people like the author. Opening his book in the year 2164 in Singapore he introduces Jack Rimes right away: ‘Sergeant Jack Rimes jerked awake as his Battlefield Awareness System chimed. The BAS's display showed a string of green text, bright against the evening dark: Mission authorized by United Nations Special Security Council. Even before the Special Security Council's approval, Rimes had been running on adrenaline. He needed something more now. He popped a stimulant and winced at the bitter aftertaste. Nearly twenty hours to give the go. So much for the element of surprise. Rimes looked through the window he’d been leaning against, taking in the shadowy shell of the abandoned house he and the rest of the team had been hiding inside since their arrival. The BAS overlaid what he could see with imagery and data harvested from every security system it could discreetly access. A rusty, wrought-iron gate hung limply from a crumbling brick wall that enclosed a cratered courtyard. Beyond the gate, a cracked asphalt road ran southeast, framing apartment complexes before connecting to Lim Teck Boo Road. Rimes was tense, a compressed spring waiting to be released. The rest of the team, all in black nano-particle bodysuits, weren’t much better. In particular, the Indian Marine Commando, Tendulkar, was driving them nuts, pulling a boot-knife out and jamming it back into its sheath for hours on end.’

The provided synopsis is a fine map of this story: ‘World peace can be deadly. Humans discover alien technology and start colonizing worlds outside the solar system. Genetic modification produces miracles. Science advances the human condition. And, for the first time in history, the nations of the world have achieved real peace with each other. But only the elite truly benefit from all the advancements. Most people are still trapped on an Earth ruined by chemical pollution, nuclear accidents, and chaotic weather changes. Rebellious "genies"--genetically engineered servants--cause more harm than good. And global corporations have stripped the idea of nations and freedom of any real meaning. Sergeant Jack Rimes is no stranger to intrigue. The U.S. Army Special Forces operator lives in a time where every nation on Earth is at peace… but there are plenty of secrets to go around. As corporate greed threatens humanity, genetically engineered humans are making international mayhem of their own. After his unplanned reassignment to the Intelligence Bureau, Jack is tasked with tracking down a rogue agent implicated in a political assassination. As he and his new partner, an old flame, search the globe for answers, the truth shakes him to his core. The powers-that-be may not be very interested in keeping humanity alive…’

It appears we have a new giant on the intrigue/sci-fi/dystopian scene. Phil Adams has the gift to maintain credulity even in a world few of us understood until completing this book. And remember, this is a trilogy…Grady Harp, December 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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