I’ve reviewed three of the books in R. Gary Raham’s Dead Genius Series and find it to be one of the most imaginative contemporary science fiction series available. You can read my previous reviews on Amazon for A Once-Dead Genius in the Kennel of Master Morticue Ambergrand: From deathbed to pethood and beyond in Earth’s far distant future and A Twice-Dead Genius Comporting with Misunderstood Abominations.
Not Quite Dead Geniuses at Large on an Angry Planet continues the story of Rudyard Albert Goldstein, inventor of the Biomic Network algorithm, a genius so brilliant that the Artificial Intelligence, Mnemosyne (known as Nessie), has kept his consciousness alive as his guardian through millions of years of earthly upheaval, alien invasions, and advances in technology that proved destructive because of abuse and misapplication by human and other species. But not everyone wants to live forever. In the far, far future, Rudy wants to be free of all the mind-melding relationships he’s been forced to endure, in spite of the good work his partnership with Nessie has done. In this novel, Nessie wakes up Rudy’s human intelligence to help deal with this angry post-apocalyptic planet and its remaining inhabitants. Without consulting Nessie, Rudy begins to plot his escape from their alliance.
One of the things I love about this series is the cast of imaginative characters, including human, alien, and the combinations of living creatures with the surviving intelligence of great minds long gone. I’m fascinated by discussions of Artificial Intelligence and how that might affect our immediate future, but Raham’s series projects those ideas into the distant future. I won’t be here, (and I’m not a genius whose intelligence might be worth saving) but as with all great tales of science fiction, I can’t help but wonder how predictive this series might be.
Even though most readers will probably zero in on the Artificial Intelligence parts of the Dead Genius Series because of current developments and the associated controversy, there are other themes worthy of attention. One concerns how humans and invading aliens have treated Planet Earth (a consciousness known as Gaia) and other planets as well. We are not alone in our disregard for the environment. Another theme examines how human and alien creatures treat each other and how those relationships change over time. Can you imagine yourself as the super-intelligent pet to a three-segmented worm-like Jadderbadian? Me neither…but who knows what tomorrow might bring?
If you haven’t read the earlier novels in this series, I highly recommend reading them in order. Start with A Singular Prophecy, then continue into the Dead Genius titles.
I received an advance copy of this novel from the author for review.
Notes from a previous review: Author R. Gary Raham is a scientist with degrees in biology and a very active imagination, so who better to write novels about biological beings from the far distant worlds of Earth, Jadderbad, and Grove? Raham is also an artist/illustrator, so who better to create the timeline illustrations and drawings of the Jadderbadians and Grovians. Finally, Author Raham is a humorist who’s able to let appearances and circumstances create their own laugh-out-loud moments without any obvious effort.