Casindra Lost ISBN: 9781708810108, first published and copyright by Supres Inc. written by Marti Ward,
This book is part of the Last Missions Series of The Paradisi Series with acknowledgements first to “the effort and support of those who created and opened up the Paradisi Universe to all writers of whatever background, experience and genre” and to the author’s “teachers from science to philosophy, linguistics, to psychology, geology to biology, mathematics to neuroscience” and to her students “across these and all the Sciences, Technology, Mathematics & Engineering (STEM) disciplines.” The reference is to a relatively large series of sci-fi stories. The basis of the stories is about the imminent destruction of Earth. For too many years its population had been derelict in taking even nominal care of the planet and as a result it was on an escalating path to ultimate destruction. In 2025 ten men and women, all tremendously wealthy and powerful leaders in various areas of commerce, decided to become the Founders of the Paradisi Project. Because of anticipated interference from various forces on Earth, supposedly their activity was investigating the feasibility of establishing colonies on the Moon and Mars. Actually, they were setting up and colonizing New Eden, a Planet in the Andromeda Galaxy that scientists recently had discovered and deemed able to support human life. The colony was to survive and grow by the passing down of the basic goals from family to family, all acting in concert with the Council of Ten. This volume details the activities of Commander Jerome Sideris who captains the first intergalactic craft through a devised wormhole to the new planet and his exploratory activities. On its face, the project was an altruistic experiment to save the human race. Because of the secrecy and selective membership involved, the thought also might arise that it could be a conspiracy to save ten of the richest families on Earth – the Founders and their proposed selection of inhabitants of this new world. Henry Thorndike, was the autocratic leader that had gathered a group of authorities in their specialties. They were Dr. Abramov, an AI specialist in charge of Solar System Security (CIA type), Dr. Aditya Ganesh, Intelligence systems, and Medical Authority Dr. Sabina Gunther. Commander Jerome Sideris, a stalwart and probably the most knowledgeable of all of their possible selections, was given command of the first exploratory vessel and sets off. Regrettably and for undisclosed reason other than he was known as a ‘loner’ his only crew consisted of AI’s of various levels. However, Sideris’ main companion was the thoroughly trained top level AI he, as well as the Commander, referred to as ‘Al’ and an empathetic relationship develops. He also befriends a male and female cat who are part of the experimental selection of animals, birds and marine life that was incorporated in this exploratory event. Unexpected atmospheric problems ensue, Sideris is badly injured and ‘Al’ must assume command until he can be fully repaired by the on-board medical AI’s. Because simultaneously the Founders group back home are facing unexpected difficulties with a strike by different levels of AI’s to which legally they must respond, they misinterpret messages sent back to headquarters as demonstrative of ‘AL’ going rogue. So their action is to disregard further messages and dispatch another ship on the same journey. This ship, the Moraturi and its journey, follows as the second book in this series.
Discussion: The author has set forth an interesting sci-fi tale with abundant psychological overtones that provides the reader with an opportunity to see how people with little knowledge can make decisions and act authoritatively too quickly and especially without sufficient information. Regrettably such decisions all too frequently are made with dependence on a single purportedly authoritative opinion. One such decision, for example, Intelligence systems authority Ganesh’s apparent original decision to send a full ship with only one human and not even a backup Executive Officer in the chain of command on a three and one-half year, 2500000 light year mission would not appear to be a sound decision under any circumstances.
5* for sci-fi aficionados; fascinating psychological aspects.