One of the Verge's Best Books of 2017
Captain Ronaldo Aldo has committed an unforgivable crime. He will ask for forgiveness all the same: from you, from God, even from himself.
Connected by ansible, humanity has spread across galaxies and fought a war against an enemy that remains a mystery. At the edge of human space sits the Citadel—a relic of the war and a listening station for the enemy's return. For a young Ensign Aldo, fresh from the academy and newly cloned across the ansible line, it's a prison from which he may never escape.
Deplorable work conditions and deafening silence from the blackness of space have left morale on the station low and tensions high. Aldo's only hope of transcending his station, and cloning a piece of his soul somewhere new is both his triumph and his terrible crime.
The Fortress at the End of Time is a new science fiction novel from Joe M. McDermott.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
A military officer suffers through a nightmarish posting on the furthest edges of human civilization in this introspective, oddly subdued far-future tale. Ensign Ronaldo Aldo just wants to fly spaceships, but instead he's trapped aboard the Citadel, a claustrophobic space station, where he's surrounded by corrupt colleagues and neglectful superiors with absolutely no hope of escape or promotion. As he whiles away his days, plagued by bad luck and poor choices, he struggles to reconcile his principles with the ways things are actually done on the Citadel. Eventually, he chooses to do the unthinkable in a final attempt to change his dead-end existence. Though McDermott (Maze) introduces some intriguing concepts, such as humankind spreading through space with the use of so-called quantum clones, the execution suffers from stilted dialogue and emotional detachment, as well as a general air of apathy and fatalism; whether Aldo is pursuing romance or watching a crewmate die horribly, his narration never fully engages the reader. This passionless, purposeless, high-concept story never truly hits its mark, and the conclusion will leave readers cold.
A Daunting Task
The concept of cloning an individual for instant transfer to a distant locale is fraught with personal, ethical, and moral problems. Person "A" now exists in his/her setting of origin, entirely familiar - where individual and environment are a product of each other; and then in an entirely new setting where the two have no commonality. The casual, endless repetition of this scenario is, in my opinion, a monstrous sin. Whether it's worth it as a solution to an alien invasion remains to be demonstrated in the author's further work. I wish him luck.
This is an exceptional work that leaves you wanting more and pushes you to understand the motivations of a man who has a life that is certainly different than your own.
Waist of time
What started as an interesting concept, dragged on, and on, and on....
A whole book in which nothing really happens, very disappointing.