After reading the first few chapters of Mark F. Worthing’s Arc Continiuum, one might be tempted to conclude that it’s intended for only fanatical sci fi readers. “They discussed his [Kenny’s] extrapolation of superstring theory,” Worthing writes, ”the construction of his atom smasher model by modification to the electron beam afterburners and standalone laser pulsars…”
But mainstream readers shouldn’t be scared off by the scientific jargon. One doesn’t have to be acquainted with the space-time continuum (to which the title relates) or other scientific theories to enjoy this fascinating novel. Most of the technical language makes sense somehow, and the chilling story never bogs down.
The apocalyptic message of Arc Continuum is painfully relevant–a forewarning of things to come if climate change is ignored. It’s the year 2063 on Planet Earth, and the human species is on the verge of dying from global warming. “Scorching” has left the only a few shrunken hydro zones to sustain life. The only hope of preserving the species lies in the hands of Alex, colonel of the Western Alliance, and his brother, Dr. Kenny Clugston, a brilliant scientist, who together lead a desperate time-travel mission to find a planet to colonize.
On a spaceship in another continuum, Iptat Morne, from Areth, also heads an urgent mission to save its own species. Much like Earth, Areth is on the verge of doom. Iptat’s cryogenically frozen cargo of the last few individuals left to regenerate the gene pool is being threatened by a psychotic killing robot. On Areth, a ruthless strain of humanoids encounters Alex’s team of human explorers. Can a conflict be avoided?
Worthing writes without frills in a straightforward style that moves the story along at a quick pace. Alex and Kenny are well-developed and appealing characters with whom readers can identify. Thematically, readers may be reminded of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, in which a superior alien species encounters a troubled and destructive humanity. With dramatic effect, Worthing argues convincingly: we may not have a choice but to relocate to other worlds. The follow up, Bellum, is already in the works.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.