Mars Adrift – The Halo Trilogy: Book 3 By McFall and Hays – Lone Star Book Blog Tour

MARS ADRIFT
THE HALO TRILOGY, BOOK 3

by
KATHLEEN McFALL + CLARK HAYS
Categories: Science Fiction / Detective ( Hard-Boiled) / Mystery
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
Date of Publication: February 14, 2022
Number of Pages: 300 pages 
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An interplanetary mystery and a searing critique of the contemporary billionaire quest for Mars. The year is (still) 2188 and Crucial Larsen is officially done with Mars. But just as he’s set to head back to his beloved Earth, meteors crash into the orbital platforms, ravage the luxury domes and knock Halo—the powerful AI running Mars and Earth—offline. And this is no random cosmic event. An invading force has the technology to redirect space rocks at will and intends to level the Five Families.

Their first act? Put a bounty on missing Staff Scientist Melinda Hopwire, Crucial’s ex-lover—the only person left alive who can find the back-up servers to introduce the AI empathy hack, the endgame of the beleaguered Resistance. Crucial has to claw his way across the deadly Choke armed with nothing more than a glue gun, expired maple rum and Sanders, a malfunctioning cybanism, to find Mel and her synthetic perma-kitten Wisp. If he fails, it’s the end for both planets.

“A compelling saga, edgy and different…the personal, political, and social issues create a Mars story that is thoroughly absorbing. Other books have attempted to blend the genres of an investigative detective piece with sci-fi, but few achieve such a seamless integration.” – Midwest Book Review

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Review
5 Stars

Imagine an environment where all humankind on Earth, Mars and beyond is connected through a vast all powerful computerized network .  Contemplate a condition where all infants are fitted with ocular implants that constantly transmit and receive information to and from that very network, an entity known as Halo.  There is no personal privacy.  Everyone is exposed to the same data and you can’t turn it off or detach from it unless you literally rip your eye, the one with the OCD implant, from its socket.  Every  visual image, every spoken word, thought and emotion is recorded.  Every recording can be accessed by those with high enough authority, and so can every live feed – in real time.  This story is told, 50 years after the fact, from the point of view of two who have that authority – a human professor of history named Lauren Valentine and her partner, Sanders.

Sanders is an android or cybanism (cybernetic humanoid type). Through him, Valentine’s class of young history students literally relive the adventures of Crucial, Essential, Jynks, Mel and other rebels as they fight against a cruel invading force, led by the Hucksworths, a family who seeks control of Halo and all human life.  Why are the Hucksworths so bound and determined to rule over everyone? As Crucial sees it, “Greed is like a dark form of emotional gravity, always pulling the worst behaviors out of people.” Greed is what has always motivated the ruling powers throughout history.

Personally, I don’t think humankind is ready for OCD’s. Most human minds would surely crack wide open from the constant stream of avatainment, advertising, shared memories and other invasive information causing a headspace of constant noise.  But I’m sure there are those out there who are designing such systems for us right now.  Some future generation will probably live it. I’m glad it won’t be me.

But I am very glad I read this book.  It is an amazing forecast of future possibilities.  Some, I’d be happy to see implemented while others, I truly hope humankind manages to steer clear of.

Of the 77,000 Texas authors currently out there, Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays are, without a doubt, my favorite Texas author duo. I truly wish I knew who wrote which sentence or paragraph in their thought-provoking analysis of humanity in the future years between 2188 and 2238. Philosophical contemplations emanate from them as smoothly as ENC (experiential neural correlate) pulses. Every word they write makes one think and think and think again. Mars Adrift – Book 3 of The Halo Trilogy is no disappointment. In fact, I literally could not put it down.

In 2022, we are just entering the Digilithic Era of The Halo Trilogy.  In the Digilithic Era, according to McFall and Hays, social algorithms such as religion have lost their prominence in society – as morals become replaced by computer generated algorithms or ‘rules’. In this novel, these rules implement an unjust uniformity and uneasy stability for the citizens of Earth, as well as those of Mars.  That is, until rogue human factors invariably introduce flaws into the unsympathetic computerized social system. The highly anticipated and hoped for result is a machine with the capability to empathize with human kind.

In our lifetime and especially in the very brief lifetime of our computerized world, the human factor has taken control of various aspects of a burgeoning social media, that started out full of humor, wit and intellect; and manipulated algorithms in order to force it to become a place so full of rules that it’s nearly no fun to play there any longer. When life is completely controlled and regimented; no matter how much avatainment may be immediately accessible; then there is no longer any real joy to any of it.

Come on, Melinda Hopwire…bring on the empathy hack. We need something like it now to save us from a potential future where everyone is at the mercy of a machine that has been programmed to preferentially assist society’s elites.

Oh, to live in a world where all information is available upon command, where life is full of every entertainment known to man, where everyone works at and for some grand design. . .where no one starves or suffers any maladies. Wouldn’t that utopia? It could be if there was a way to truly make everyone equal but there will never be a world where the rich don’t get richer and the poor don’t get poorer. There will always be individual human beings who will grab more for themselves and everyone else be damned. It’s a terrible quality of human nature.

If our foray into our own brave new world falls apart as quickly as it appears destined to, humans may never experience the things I’d like to see like quantum loop ships, space elevators, illuminating light foam, and med-booths. That would be quite a shame.

In the meantime, read this book. It is quite an eye-opener.

Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Mars Adrift is their tenth co-authored book.

PUMPJACK PRESS
◆  WEBSITE  ◆

THE AUTHORS ON:
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CONNECT WITH KATHLEEN:

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One winner gets
autographed copies of
all three books in The Halo Trilogy.
(US only. Ends 2/21/22).

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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 
or visit the blogs directly:

2/14/22

Review

Sybrina’s Book Blog

2/14/22

Review

Chapter
Break Book Blog

2/14/22

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

2/15/22

Review

The Clueless Gent

2/15/22

Review

Tangled in Text

2/15/22

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

2/16/22

Review

Reading
by Moonlight

2/16/22

Review

Book Fidelity

2/17/22

Review

Momma on the Rocks

2/17/22

Review

Bibliotica

2/18/22

Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

2/18/22

Review

Forgotten
Winds

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