Jack Thompson’s Godmachine is a fascinating futuristic thriller reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984, with a touch of Isaac Asimov’s I Robot thrown in, except the willing relinquishment of individual freedoms to an ever invasive government/Godmachine supercomputer in the name of greater security takes place on the planet Plixon rather than on Earth. Subservience for the “greater good” seems reasonable at each step of the way … until the tampering by elitists is revealed.
The story unfolds after a strange object is discovered on Mars, which is determined to be a recording device with a stern warning message from Plixon. The astronauts who discover the device decipher the message and send it to their superiors on Earth, but when the astronauts and the device are destroyed on re-entry, the reader is left with the empty feeling that political powers on Earth are not capable of heeding it. The Godmachine is a clever story, itself a stern warning about complacency. And just when you believe there is little hope humans can learn from the mistakes of others, the saga ends with a hint of hope for us all.