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Just as Dave’s experiments make progress, an accident engulfs the Alley in a whirlwind of chaos and mysterious forces, leading Dave to a disturbing discovery: His work has uncovered the energy behind psychic powers - something horribly dangerous for a mindless machine to be spreading amongst the humans in the Alley.
While the hours slip by, crew members are going insane at a frightening pace, and Dave’s mind becomes clouded by horrifying visions. As he sorts through the aftermath of the disaster, Dave realizes that it wasn’t a singular event and if he can’t fight the impending madness, there is one certainty: The Alley will be destroyed, along with everyone in it.
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By Michael G Kurilla on 01-22-14
Exactly what is real and what is psychosis
Keith Goodnight's The Child is an intriguing sci-fi thriller that unfortunately ends with the unanswered questions of exactly what actually happened and what was merely imagined. The story is set several centuries in the future after some stellar cataclysm that destroyed the sun. The survivors have barely managed to eek out an existence until the discovery of "hyperfields". A hyperfield experiment on a remote outpost appears to have created havoc by activating latent psychic powers and in particular amplifying a child's abilities that is driving everyone slowly insane. The physicist studying the hyperfields must solve this riddle in order to save everyone.
The sci-fi elements are fairly basic with space flight and these hyperfields which appear to access some strange dimensions that permit energy extraction. Problems arise (as in Ghostbusters) when the field cross. Detracting from the tale is the late entry of an alien along with a supposed dark force out for total destruction. At the end, it's less clear if this has been a sci-fi story or merely a psychiatrically challenged suspense tale. One could imagine in the movie adaptation, the main character waking up at the end to the announcement of the discovery of hyperfields and the whole thing having been a dream or a nightmare.
The narration is outstanding with an excellent range of voices, good pacing, and a tone that matches the intensity of the action.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful