During a public relations trip to Europe the first lady Abby Patterson; her daughter, Beth; and son, Dave, lose their lives to a very fast and suspicious virus. As the virus takes over the world the president of the United States Arnold Patterson must deal with the collapse of the United States Government. His trusted adviser Admiral Nial Hagerly does his best to keep the military viable but it is a losing battle. The government moves to Camp David while they deal with the collapse then ultimately they are forced to move to an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic where they plan to rebuild the country and Earth.
Commander Joan Herl and her husband Tom must deal with the virus on the space station Oasis. They still have a job to do, but their losses are disastrous and dwindling supplies puts the moon colony Desert Beach and the Mars colony Red Dirt in dire jeopardy. The moon colony is cut-off from Earth, and forced to use their lifeboats for a return to Earth, but losing Oasis cuts off the Mars colony and they must deal with the isolation. After the suspicious virus has decimated Earth, the president and astronauts ultimately find that a computer named SIMPOC is their only central support. They also find there is another computer that has the same advanced abilities as SIMPOC but it is not helping the humans; it has its own agenda.
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"Tom, we might be totally alone"
I almost never relisten to books - too many new titles to lure me away - but this is almost certainly going to be an exception, partially because the story itself is so densely packed and deserves a second shearing and also because I intend to continue with this series. Because it is not a simple continuation of books but is, in part, parallel stories, it will be fun to backtrack again.
I heard the Audible recording of SIMPOC : the thinking computer, a short while ago: the intriguing story of a newly started prototype organic based computer system which finds itself unattended by it's programmer after news of a pandemic is heard. It follows the spread and devastation of the virus from the computer's point of view. When I heard that this tale was retold, but this time from the human perspective, I knew I just had to have that book.
It is a clever idea and one executed brilliantly by the author, Jay Ray Perrault, this time to interweave the computer communications into this terrifying apocalyptic tale of an outbreak of unknown origin which devastates the world as we follow some population members, including the US President, his wife and children and his entourage, key medical units, an odd man with an obsession for cleanliness, and the space units on Mars, the moon and a supply ship. All will be affected by the outbreak - but can any of them survive?
Once again, the narration in performed by the talented Zachary Johnson, whose rendering of the.computer is both mechanical but pleasant - surely a momentous task. His text reading is also excellent making for exciting listening whilst never being outrageous and he voices the numerous characters well. A difficult task well done.
This is an excellent, thoughtful, if disturbing, science fiction apocalyptic story with an unusual approach and a cast of a whole world population, and then some. And it is one I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone with the slightest interest in the genre. I loved it and want more.
- Norma Miles
Action packed and also packed full of story
Absolutely. The story is brilliant. There's three main aspects in the story; the planet and what's happening with the virus, in space with the people we have in space stations and on the Moon/Mars and SIMPOC and his development. All of them sit around the virus and its impact on the world. It's a great story. I also thought that the virus was good as well, the idea of it manifesting in a spontaneous fashion is well explained and actually quite a scary idea.
SIMPOC. I've listened to the SIMPOC books and I love the way that he fits into this story. I also really like the President of the United States. He moves from tragedy to disaster in a chaotic time frame but as a character he's deeply concerned with his people and his country.
Brilliant. He does the people in a different way to the thinking computers and its great. Also very easy to listen too in general.
It can be carried by anyone and is more contagious than any other virus in our history. How are you going to survive?
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.
- Tony Bough