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PV-11 “Et Sequitur”

Ratings:
551 pages8 hours

Summary

PV 11 is a science fiction novel with plenty of space action and battle scenes, and an examination of the ethics of artificial intelligence.
When humans achieved hyperspace flight capabilities, they were invited to join, and did join a Federation of alien civilizations that had previously become hyperspace capable. However, some such civilizations had elected to not join the Federation, thereby creating countercultures of pirates, renegades and brigands.
The aliens in question are non-human. They are each the end product of the evolution of a biological genus (e.g., “Little Peoples,” cephalopods, insects, arachnids, and saurians). Each has unique attributes, capabilities and goals. Collectively, they put Space Exploration Joint Service (SEJS) in the dilemma of trying to accomplish its mission without overcommitting itself.
The story follows the career of SEJS pilot Patrick Callen from the time he transitions from fighters to command of a Patrol Vessel, PV 11.While serving aboard PV 11, Callen falls in love with his Executive Officer, Peggy Varner, and she with him. This entails many challenges because Peggy is non-human software that becomes more and more human-like as the story progresses. The situation grows even more complicated when Peggy’s intelligence is placed in a body that morphs into the very attractive shape of a human woman—the woman of Callen’s dreams.
Peggy is able to inhabit other types of spacecraft, and androids, but staying with Callen after his tour of duty in PV 11 is the least of their problems. Her designers weren’t supposed to give Peggy emotions or a sense of humor, but she overcomes that through her ability to learn and improve herself. She and Callen serve with distinction, but they wonder whether Peggy’s emotional state lessens their combat readiness, and whether they should continue their relationship. SEJS considers the matter and accepts responsibility, but has no better solution than to allow Callen and Peggy to soldier on, and to keep Peggy’s peers from following in her footsteps.
What secrets about this planet are being kept by the enemies of humanity who are blockading entry and exit? Will Callen and Peggy be the first to uncover the dangers of the forbidden planet and return with the terraformers, who crossed the boundaries set by enemy aliens, and haven’t been heard from since?
The question becomes, “What hath man wrought here?”

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