Released in July 2019, "Oracle" is one of writer Douglas E. Richards' near-future science fiction thrillers.
*Mild Spoilers Ahead*
Los Angeles detective Anna Abbott has a gift. She has trained her subconscious mind and learned to follow it. This "gut feeling" or intuition is what has propelled her to being a near legend in detective work. She doesn't want to be a legend, only a very good detective, preferring the work itself to any accolades. Recently, Anna has been doing detective work to help stop the spread of a new recreational drug called "foria".
Our crack detective soon becomes embroiled in a battle between two opposing races of human-like aliens; namely, the Tartarians (Tarts for short) and the Vorians (Vors). Tarts are bent on world domination, any world, apparently, but also specifically our world. The Vorians are trying to aid humans by thwarting the Tart's domination scheme. The humans, Tarts and Vors are only three of twenty-eight known intelligent species in the milky way galaxy with planet Earth being the only one in the "boondocks". Our galactic core is the more densely populated (all twenty-seven others) due to the greater density of stars and planets. Gatekeepers are the unseen but all-powerful race that is hypothesized as both aiding, via mysterious portals that provide instantaneous travel to other populated planets, and limiting, via some sort of glass ceiling that prevents unlimited technological advancement by any single civilization (Fermi's paradox solved). Notably, "the portals are random. In number, location, destination and so on. And those that lead to Earth are all but nonexistent." Portals both appear and disappear without warning. The non-human alien races also have FTL travel but, with a maximum speed of only nine million miles per second, it is a snail's pace compared to the mysterious portals.
With twists and turns and cliffhangers, "Oracle" is another Douglas E. Richards page turner. As is his custom, a section on what is real
is provided at the end of the novel. Some highlights: Are UFOs real?
, Does our subconscious control our lives?
(real, of course, but the narrative pushes the limits), Microtubules and the hard problem of consciousness
, and finally, DNA Information Storage
. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I always enjoy this section as much as the story.
Mix in a love interest, lots of danger and some underhanded dirty tricks and you have a recipe for a good read... for humans, anyway.