Rogue Event
by J.M.Erickson


"Maybe if you took your pills, this whole thing could have been avoided."

Gabriel Lawless is a curious, adventurous, and passionate man. Unfortunately, well into the 22nd century, all of these forms of expression and emotion are considered criminal by the government known as Central Corporate Command & Mainframe Control. This blend of commercial and governmental power has introduced emotionally inhibiting drugs that allow people to simply focus on doing what is efficient. Gabriel's refusal to take his drugs makes him a special case but also miserable, with his efficient wife drifting away from him and even his children over time refusing to go on his adventures because of their distracting qualities. Sent underground as a criminal for possessing literature, Gabriel and the other power plant workers now have to protect themselves from the surface dwellers when a mysterious object diminishes the sun and dooms the planet by sending it into deep space.

Despite being of novella length, this is a story that presents facets of multiple types of science fiction in one cohesive package. As we meet Gabriel and his family, the main concern is the government's enforcement of taking drugs that limit the human experience, a dystopian concept that fits nicely alongside the stories of Huxley and Orwell. The second half of the story focuses more on the hard sci-fi of a planet capable of dimensional travel, absorbing solar energy in order to find its vision of ideal sentient life, and the orbital and climatic repercussions such an object would have. What makes it all come together and function however are the living, well-crafted characters that the author exhibits such a knack for presenting, even during such apocalyptic events. The gripping nature of the story combined with its shorter length guarantees it won't take long to read through, but the entertainment value is consistent throughout.

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