US Review of Books

Intelligent Design: Apocalypse

"Perhaps this is an act of the Originators, our creators, if it is, should we stop it?"

To many readers of science fiction, the genre’s primary appeal is an escape to the future—an escape to worlds similar enough to our own to be comforting, yet different enough to seem dangerous and exciting. If such an escape is your motivation, you are likely to enjoy Erickson’s new offering.

The author's soaring imagination and mastery of technical jargon are on full display in this tale of impending interplanetary destruction that would seem to be shattering, yet may not in fact be as catastrophic as one might first imagine. The plot involves Earth, Mars, the planet Terra, which for eons has been orbiting discretely on the other side of the sun, and Jupiter, which is threatening to create havoc with each of the aforementioned. Will the potential pinballing of asteroids and planets lead to the annihilation of species or rather their next evolution? That’s only one of the questions this interstellar story raises.

This second novel in Erickson’s Intelligent Design saga is inhabited by smart and adventurous humans; small, hairy, brave and noble Terrans; eminently wise and intelligent Martians; emotionally developing artificially intelligent computers; and unseen but not unheard originators of the universe itself. In fact it is the interplay between these diverse species that makes Erickson’s tale as charming as it is compelling. If your mind is open to both fictional science and fascinating religion, and you’re always hungry for a bite or two of slam-bang adventure, this book just might be what the cosmic doctor ordered. - Joe Kilgore