Books

Books : reviews

David Walton.
The Genius Plague.
Pyr. 2017

The contagion is in your mind

Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker in the NSA when his brother, Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But once he recuperates, he has enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have also fallen ill and recovered with abilities they didn’t have before.

But that’s not the only pattern—the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists, all seem to be working toward a common, and deadly, goal. Neil soon uncovers a secret, an unexplained alliance between governments that have traditionally been enemies, while Paul becomes increasingly secretive and erratic.

Paul sees the fungus as the next stage of human evolution, while Neil is convinced that it is driving its human hosts to destruction. Brother must oppose brother on an increasingly fraught international stage, with the stakes being the free will of every human on Earth. Can humanity use this force for good, or are we becoming the pawns of an utterly alien intelligence?

David Walton.
Superposition.
Pyr. 2015

Jacob Kelley’s family is turned upside down when an old friend visits his home, waving a gun and convinced he’s being chased by an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker … somehow murdered around the same time he was standing in Jacob's kitchen. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial. As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.

David Walton.
Supersymmetry.
Pyr. 2015

Ryan Oronzi is a paranoid, neurotic, and brilliant physicist who has developed a quantum military technology that could make soldiers nearly invincible in the field. The technology, however, gives power to the quantum creature known as the varcolac, which slowly begins to manipulate Dr. Oronzi and take over his mind. Oronzi eventually becomes the unwilling pawn of the varcolac in its bid to control the world.

The creature immediately starts attacking those responsible for defeating it fifteen years earlier, including Sandra and Alex Kelley—the two versions of Alessandra Kelley who are still living as separate people. The two young women must fight the varcolac, but the cost of defeating it might be their lives.