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Proteus Rising
Peter Dingus., $20 trade paper (440p) ISBN 978-0-9785232-0-6
Sci-fi fans will appreciate Dingus’s page-turning debut. In the 24th century, kindhearted and unassuming physicist George Mills lives on a settlement on Mars ostensibly conducting behavioral research while secretly working on advancements in genetic manipulation and artificial intelligence. He and his coworker, molecular biologist Joanne Zhu, are distressed when the Terran military learns of the project and plans to use both the genetically altered children and George’s fully functioning AI for their own means. George and Joanne must protect their charges from a heartless, narcissistic admiral who’s hovering over Mars in a massive warship, while also avoiding the Martian independence movement that’s creating political unrest and riots on Mars. The smart, thought-provoking writing (“We think of ourselves as good people, people steeped in civilization and tradition. Yet we seem, like alcoholics, unable to avoid taking that next drink.”) reads like a mix of Neal Stephenson, Arthur C. Clarke, and John Varley. It’s a tightly woven story that’s as scientifically realistic as it is philosophically beguiling. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 04/29/2022

Release date 09/01/2006