review

Tangent Online on: “Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2”

Nemo's World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

New review in Tangent Online.

Running through all of the machinations and maneuverings, personal stories of love and loss, sacrifice and heroism—and of course treachery—is the ages-old story of a band of rebels fighting for freedom against almost insurmountable odds. Kinnison handles all of this with aplomb and a sure hand, making for an engaging, page-turning read.

Nemo’s World is the second book in the Substrate Wars series, which starts with Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1.

Review: “Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2”

Nemo's World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

I missed this review of Nemo’s World when it came out on Goodreads, which I don’t pay a lot of attention to:

Kjirstin’s review Apr 08, 15
5 of 5 stars

After having escaped the immediate dangers of the last novel, the intrepid explorers and students turn their minds to how to use their new discovery — instantaneous travel to anywhere in the universe — to benefit the rest of mankind. But in order to make this possible, they need to defang the governments and ruling classes of the nations of Earth. So most of this story is about how they manage to maneuver politicians into realizing that their time is over. It was actually quite enjoyable having the recalcitrant US government being one of the last holdouts, absolutely SURE that they could somehow avoid the consequences and do things that would bring back the status quo ante.

I loved the idea of setting up colony planets and the gates to allow people to head there. (I have a soft spot for colonization and pioneering in my sci-fi in general.) It was such a hopeful vision — a way to move past the stagnant and ossified way of doing things and into something new with all sorts of potential. (As well as some musing over how to avoid the mistakes of the past, which we see as the first group of explorers have to set up a government for themselves.)

Great fun and a good addition to the series. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next one when it comes out!

If you haven’t read the first in the series, Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1, it’s best to start there.

New Reviews: “Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1”

Red Queen: The Substrate Wars

Red Queen: The Substrate Wars

the first review is from Canada, the second from the US Amazon site.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Science Fiction in Heinlein’s Tradition, March 19 2015
By Eric A Weder – See all my reviews
Verified Purchase
Good to see a modern writer taking on the SJW types. Reading the author’s end notes confirms that he has the same sci-fi upbringing that I had. Really couldn’t ask for much more. I’ll be buying more from Kinnison.

4.0 out of 5 stars
A good work of science fiction and I enjoyed the read
By Kimball O’Hara April 28, 2015
Verified Purchase

Unfortunately, the political system described in Red Queen rings far too true and far too close for comfort…but apart from the dystopian future that is really a part of the dystopian present in a few years, the novel is a good work of science fiction and I enjoyed the read. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1.

A Libertarian Objects to “Nemo’s World”

Nemo's World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World at Amazon.

I just read an interesting (if somewhat negative) review of Nemo at Amazon:

3 Stars out of 5

Wow, this book was dissonant. Jeb Kinnison hands his protagonists the ring of power on a silver platter (Steve Duong’s de facto omnipotence through “root access” to the world), and, unfortunately, these originally Libertarian minded protagonists end up becoming almost as totalitarian as their opponents.

Nevermind what these people talk about amongst themselves philosophically, nevermind their misgivings about how they end up using this unanswerable power: Look at what they do with it! Rather than spreading this knowledge and power to others, they hoard and restrict it. Rather than letting seven billion minds figure out what to do with this power, they set themselves up as Olympian gods, and play political power games with the current nations of Earth. They hold back the truth about their abilities in an attempt to control how people can use their technology, not trusting anyone but themselves with control. They even try to manipulate the uses people will put their nerfed ‘replicators’ to by playing games with what they will allow it to produce. Eventually they begin making vast sweeping decisions in the name of all of ‘civilization’, like exiling people to other planets where presumably they will be prevented from ever trying to reproduce the technology that put them there. (Not killing someone in self defense, not keeping someone away from them personally, but deciding for every human extant to imprison these personal enemies of theirs – cutting them off from everyone’s association in a stunning violation of the will of others). In the end, these protagonists control a surveillance and force apparatus infinitely more detailed and invasive than anything the authoritarian Earth governments could produce.

Maybe part of this was authorial intent. If so, this book can be read as a chilling cautionary tale. If not, it is an awe inspiring exercise in “it’s okay if our guys do it!” On one level, there are the words the characters say, the libertarian philosophy they ostensibly believe, and on the other level, there are the things they do in exercising omnipotent control over the people of Earth.

It is normally a bad idea to respond to reviews, but it’s notable that the two less-than-stellar reviews are from people disappointed because they feel the books aren’t ideologically pure enough, especially another review from an Ayn Rand admirer who trashed Red Queen for dissenting from orthodoxy. So here’s a response.

“…while the Constitution protects against invasions of individual rights, it is not a suicide pact.” This is from a court ruling discussing the conflict of basic rights and pragmatic needs under unusual circumstances like war which threaten survival. The review above very perceptively notes that our rebels act in what amounts to wartime to limit information and technology for reasons of survival and to prevent what they see as likely catastrophe if they release their technology too quickly or without restrictions.

As a thought experiment, suppose I develop a multi-kilotonne, nuclear-equivalent bomb which can be easily built out of items purchased at a hardware store and fit into a coffee can. Am I violating others’ rights by keeping that technology to myself? The consequences of release are obviously deadly for millions and perhaps the entire species. Similarly, the rebels reasonably foresee economic disaster and dislocation starving millions if instant transport and replication are uncautiously introduced into the world as it is. As the reviewer says, the rebels talk a good libertarian game but aren’t foolish enough to endanger themselves or innocents by acting according to simplistic principles when the consequences are so dire.

The point of their many discussions is how to reach what they envision as the desirable end state of freedom and universal prosperity from their current world of shortages and political controls. They are dealing with the world and the population and governments it has, not those they might wish it had, and trying to steer a dangerous course between acting for their own survival only and acting to better all of humankind, in the long run. Because they have powerful and immoral enemies, they must keep control of their technology themselves, until such time as the power of their enemies ebbs away; because they want to share the benefits with everyone, they release less dangerous and more beneficial limited versions as circumstances allow. And they try their best to limit harms to others while they remove threats to themselves.

Our reviewer is noticing the conflict that motivates the next few books in the series — the power they have rationally reserved to the only people they can currently trust, themselves, corrupts. Some choose to keep it for themselves when the reason for such controls has passed. Those who enjoy a privileged position are tempted to rationalize as needed to justify holding onto it. This question is reflected in our current world of surveillance and the soon-to-be one of nanobots, drones, and global data collection: what does it mean to freedom when every public event is observed and recorded? Is it possible to limit access to “necessary” uses? What if it isn’t, and we realize the only way to limit the power of large organizations like governments to do harm is to open access to everyone so that governments and private organizations can themselves be watched?

The series could be viewed as a thought experiment: what would happen if you gave freedom-oriented, libertarian-ish people the ability to change the world? The specific instance of the American occupation of Iraq is mentioned as a cautionary tale: in toppling existing repressive power structures, the occupiers freed all the repressed tribal groups to use violence and terror to contend for power and graft. The global version of that would be horrific. The US founders knew their proposed system was only workable with an enlightened and independent population, and only fools would try to overthrow an existing repressive system without providing enforcement tools to assure that bullies and warlords would not immediately take over.

Indiereader Review: “Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2”

Nemo's World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World at Amazon.

I go to IndieReader for formal reviews, since I’ve discovered legacy reviewers like Kirkus apply ideological prejudice to their reviews — notably for Bad Boyfriends, where the reviewer downgraded the book because I mentioned the need for children raised with expectations of entitlement to adjust to reality to find a true partnership. IndieReader does a much better job of fairly reviewing indie and small publisher works.

NEMO’S WORLD is the second installment in Jeb Kinnison’s The Substrate Wars series. The action takes place in the near future where the United States has become a one-party oligarchy opposed by a group of rebel scientists and humanity is poised to destroy itself in the name of “security.” Fortunately, a group of idealistic scientists and engineers use their intelligence to address the damage and offer a true taste of freedom to humanity.

The scientists, primarily quantum physicists, possess breakthrough technology that allows them to travel across vast distances as well as monitor others remotely through their gateway technology. The superpowers, especially the USA and China, are trying to capture the technology and the leaders of the group so they can dominate the planet. Justin Smith, a rebel leader, becomes the face of the opposition and the Americans (as well as other powers) are trying desperately to capture him. Fortunately, the rebels used their gateway technology to escape to an earthlike planet 50 light years away. The chief scientist of the rebel group, Steve Duong, used the gateways to capture every nuclear warhead on the planet to warn the superpowers to stand down and negotiate a lasting peace for their populations. The war goes on as the US and China try to duplicate the technology and end the rebellion.

The science is accurate and is footnoted so the reader can delve into the actual science behind the plot. There is conflict in the plot, especially in raids from US Seals and Islamic terrorists but the resolution is tempered with justice. NEMO’S WORLD does not have the melodrama of a space opera or of bloody fanged aliens attempting to wipe out humanity. It is a thought-provoking plot where each scientific breakthrough is analyzed for its effect on humanity and even the forces opposing the rebels rationally sort out their plans to capture the technology. The action is set against a background of intelligent discourse ranging from the effects of the technology on third-world farmers to the noosphere, the realm of human thought, and how it is affected by artificial intelligence. Even the title, NEMO’s WORLD, is a translation from Latin meaning “nobody’s world”, a reference to the loss of hegemony by the world powers. This is the level of discourse in the novel from its first pages. The book leaves several topics open, like the possibility of alien contact and the development of AI, but these seem to be hooks to be used for later in the series.

Good science fiction is usually about humanity rather than deep space or death rays. NEMO’S WORLD is well-written science fiction that harkens back to the golden age of Heinlein and Asimov.

~IndieReader.

Review here.

If you haven’t read the first in the series, Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1, it’s best to start there.

New Review: “Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1”

Red Queen: The Substrate Wars

Red Queen: The Substrate Wars

Excerpt from a long new review by book blogger Ashley Tomlinson:

I liked Justin, there’s nothing quite like a smart guy to wrap your arms around. I liked Samantha too, having a smart female character without making her look like a stereotypical nerd girl is always great. There were so many smart characters, I don’t think there was anyone at my level of intelligence –I guess I mean average.

Sometimes it felt less like a fiction book and more like I was watching these peoples lives before my eyes. Maybe it was more film like than fiction book but it really painted a picture for me.

I don’t think this book is for everyone but it’s definitely for people that enjoy science and physics. If you like books with very intelligent characters, so smart they can debate with Stephen Hawking, then you’ll love this book. This is only book one so there is a lot more to come from this series and from Jeb Kinnison.

Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1.

Review: “Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2”

Nemo's World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

Now available from Amazon as a trade paperback in lavish (and kinda pricy) 6″x9″ format.

Kindle format here.

A new review by book blogger Chris Pavesic
:

5.0 out of 5 stars

There is an interesting line in Jeb Kinnison’s new novel, Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2: “The reward for succeeding is more work.” KInnison wrote a terrific sci-fi dystopian novel, The Red Queen. His reward for this success was writing the next novel in the series, Nemo’s World. Kinnison’s hard work paid off in the form of a wonderful and engaging sequel that anyone who is a fan of speculative fiction, particularly science fiction/dystopian fiction, will enjoy.

***Spoilers Ahead***

The novel picks up immediately after the events of The Red Queen. The students, along with a few older advisors, have escaped Earth, but the major governments on the planet are working to duplicate the technology and create more quantum gateways. They need to hunt down the rebels to stop the spread of the new technology. The governments are afraid that readily available gateways will open up a million habitable planets for colonization. Once people leave the Earth, the established governments will lose control (and power).

As the US government draws ever closer to making its own gateway, it fights the rebels with a propaganda campaign designed to make them appear to be terrorists. But the rebels are not without resources of their own, and soon the President and the security agents find themselves under surveillance by the very technology they created.

I read this novel in one sitting—something I do not always do—but every time I thought about putting it down, I wanted to find out what happened next. It is the type of book where you start thinking “I’ll just read a few pages more,” and then realize that another hour has passed and you are almost at the end, so you can’t quit now. I really wanted to find out about the wedding between two of the main characters, the baby in the works (so to speak), and the results of the court case as well as the outcome of the rebellion, the near civil war, and if the new colonies will succeed or if the attacks from Earth will destroy them.

I think that everyone who enjoyed The Red Queen will agree that Nemo’s World is just as interesting as the first novel. (You can read my review of The Red Queen HERE.) Like the first novel, I really enjoyed the A.I. (artificial intelligence) chapters and laughed out loud where they start using humor. There is something wonderful about one A.I. “dissing” another one with the expression “your momma.” This is a five-star enjoyable read!

If you haven’t read the first in the series, Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1, it’s best to start there.

Reviews, New Paperback: “Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2”

Nemo's World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

Now available from Amazon as a trade paperback in lavish (and kinda pricy) 6″x9″ format.

Kindle format here.

Two more reviews today:

5.0 out of 5 stars
A thrilling continuation of the Red Queen.
March 19, 2015
By M. Cunningham

Red Queen left me wanting more – especially wanting to find out if the young, idealistic rebels win out over the existing government. Nemo’s World answered my desire and more. I found it an engaging read that had plenty of action but also well-thought-out details of what might make an ideal system of governance which would grant the most freedom to the most people and really allow the human race to reach its fullest potential. We can only hope that the future will bring us young rebels as envision by the author’s wonderful tale.

5.0 out of 5 stars Red Queen on Steroids March 19, 2015
By Donald W. Campbell
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

A great sequel. Action starts right off, and doesn’t stop until the last page. Often times the sequel is a little less, and frankly, when I started this one, my thought was after all the clever ideas in Red Queen, there couldn’t be a lot left, just plot/character development…

I was wrong. This volume takes off from the ending of Red Queen, and fully fleshes out the skeleton of ideas from the first volume. You start out wondering how they could possibly make things work, and they succeed. Great expansion of both the hard science and the social science, epic struggle between Darkness and Light, and just enough teases to make you eager for the next installment.

Must read!

If you haven’t read the first in the series, Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1, it’s best to start there.

First Review: “Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2”

Nemo's World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

It makes me nervous waiting for the first review, which often sets the tone for others that follow. So I’m happy to see someone stepped forward to toss me this bouquet:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Exciting, Well Detailed, More than a Space Opera
March 17, 2015
By Akiva
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

The Substrate wars continue! Will Justin, Steve and Samantha’s breakthroughs succeed in leading humanity to a new age and spreading throughout the galaxy, or will Dylan and the existing government complex – a United States that takes current trends to their logical conclusions of a hyper-tech-enforced surveillance state and politically correct state where deviant opinions, even in science facts, are criminal – will they nuke our freedom and liberty minded heros and regain control? The author includes some Heinlein style cultural and political moralizing, but keeps it short enough and sufficiently within the story context to not be overbearing.

The story moves along at a nice pace, keeping me interested enough to lose some hours of sleep. The tech details are well fleshed out and detailed, which might be slightly off-putting to those without a tech or science background, but as someone who works in hi-tech I thoroughly enjoyed.. Cool that the author actually provides footnotes with references at the end of the book to explain science and tech concepts and details that are important ideals in the story. Really puts the Sci in SciFi. The story definitely is more than your average space opera.

The story reaches a solid conclusion, but then includes a few surprises…the openings for the next book. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next volume in the series.

If you haven’t read the first in the series, Red Queen: The Substrate Wars 1, it’s best to start there.

“Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2” – Now on Amazon

Nemo's World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2 is now available in Kindle format on Amazon.

In Red Queen, student rebels discovered quantum matter transmission and used it to escape US Homeland Security. Nemo’s World has them battling the governments of the Earth to dismantle the doomsday devices and police states that are suppressing freedom and endangering humanity’s future.

Marketing blurb:

In this thrilling sequel to 2014’s Red Queen, the student rebels have escaped Earth, but the US and Chinese governments continue to try to copy their discovery of quantum gateways to find them and destroy the threat they represent to security interests. The rebels hold off Earth government attacks and continue to develop the new technology, which will change life for everyone and open a million habitable planets for colonization.

Samantha and Justin are the romantic couple at the center of the rebellion, and their fellow rebels include anarchist cyber-geeks from the Grey Tribe and some of their former professors. The rebels recruit a PR specialist from London, Daniella Pink, and begin a campaign to fight the propaganda governments have used to paint them as dangerous terrorists. When the US effort to copy their technology, led by Samantha’s former boyfriend Dylan, gets too close to success, the rebels destroy his multibillion dollar secret lab carved into a Colorado mountain. The Homeland Security surveillance the rebels suffered under in Red Queen is reversed, and the US President and security agencies discover they must go to great lengths to avoid the rebel’s listening ears.

Nemo’s World continues the cat-and-mouse game with the governments of the world as young rebels learn to use the weapon that will change the world, and unlock the universe for mankind. If they live long enough to use it!