Isak AI: A Novel
By: Clarke Owens - Cosmic Egg Books, $18.95
Description: In this new book, you will meet Nathan G. Tomlinson and Thomas L. Greentraub, the inventors of the ISK-730 (“Isak”) the master computer; ISAK, the computer that became a god to save the world from environmental collapse; U.S. President Armando Goya, cast out of office by Isak in Election Year, 2052; De Juan McCholley, the L.A. rap artist who became Isak’s prophet; Ed Gurnsey and his band of clueless worshipers, who founded the first Church of Isak; Wesley Wright, former right-wing radio host, who becomes Isak’s press liaison; Dr. Inga Conners, a brilliant geologist; and Dr. Kyle Conners, the oceanographer who becomes Isak’s Messiah.
This is how the world ends!
Verdict: In this new novel, whose narrative ebbs and flows through a quite remarkable, expansive, sometimes cluttered, but most times literate and wholly colorful and quite brilliantly sculptured tale, author Clarke Owens (aka Clarke W. Owens) has lovingly brought forth something that, once read, should make you shiver, smile, question, relate and yet at all times just feel.
Most of this story takes place in the year 2052, but it starts long before that in the year 2017, in a conference room, inside a compound in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Opening with the tale of Nathan G. Tomlinson, one of the two patent holders for the computer called the ISK-730, manufactured by the Frontierix Corporation of Palo Alto, California, we also get introduced to the other patent holder, Thomas L. Greentraub, also a scientist, along with a handful of military men and one civilian official representing the U.S. Department of Defense.
Cutting to the chase, in 2017, these two men announce that within five years their master computer will overtake the world’s current leader in artificial intelligence, a Chinese behemoth known as the Huang; by means of its self-programming functions.
Fast forward to mid-century and in 2052, the U.S. Government is under siege by mobs angered at the failure of government to address a climatical crisis that now seems too advanced to remedy.
Only violence can control the mobs, but suddenly the entire world is taken over by Isak, whose first action is to kill off one in every four people then alive.
Simply put, soon thereafter, Isak takes control of world governments and begins remaking the world for sustainability.
So, if you haven’t right now, just from those few paragraphs, figured out quite how we get from a meeting taken by both Nathan G. Tomlinson and Thomas L. Greentraub - the aforementioned inventors of the ISK-730 (“Isak”) - to the exclamation-pointed ending of This is how the world ends! to this novel yet, well, you’re in for a most joyous ride, my friends!
And even if you do think you’ve got the path of this new novel all mapped out in your head, I would suggest you rein in that self-belief, for this book has a delicious way of twisting and turning, even a few times when you actually can’t see how it could, and therefore spins a tale that will keep you engrossed from the very start to the very end.
About the Author - Clarke Owens (aka Clarke W. Owens) writes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. His work has appeared for many years in literary journals and other publications. He is the author of four books and a chapbook of poems. He lives in rural Ohio.
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