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PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS OF "THE OMEGA WAVE" BY RICHARD RYDON


REVIEW 1

PROFESSIONAL REVIEW OF THE OMEGA WAVE BY RICHARD RYDON

Lulu Publishing (2008)

ISBN 9781409212980


"A government conspiracy novel that makes you think 'what if?'"

The year is 2025, and Wes Lane, Inc. has hired a Swedish scientist named Luper Beauchamps to develop and research neurospheres. Neurospheres are biological computers created from neurons. The neurons in this research are obtained from deceased human brains. This research is supposed to provide answers to the questions of when consciousness begins and when it ends. The scientists also want to prove that consciousness can exist outside of the human mind.

Luper becomes closely acquainted with two of his colleagues, Rose and Frieda. They all have some suspicions about some of the people who work above him. When some of the neurons start disappearing and they discover other ones that they did not create, the group knows that something is not right. When a Central Asian Embassy appears on adjoining property, their suspicions are confirmed. They suspect that the neurospheres are being used for mind control and torture. They have to hide some of their research. It is very apparent that the government wants to take control of this project. This puts their personal safety in jeopardy.

The author of "The Omega Wave" is a retired university scientist. His scientific knowledge and education is obvious in this novel. Being an educator, he is able to easily explain the scientific concepts used in this story. He makes everything seem very plausible and real. As a non-scientist, I have to admit, I am not quite sure where reality ends and fiction begins. That's what really makes this story an adventure. It all seems so real.

The author also does a wonderful job of developing the characters. I found myself truly liking the main hero and heroine. The ones that the reader would not be sure about are very complex, and might not fit into a black and white "good guy/bad guy" category. This complexity of their characters makes the story more real. I think what makes this book truly terrifying is that there is an underlying feeling that this novel is something that could really happen in our country if our government were to get too much control. "The Omega Wave" by Richard Rydon will definitely stimulate interesting conversations and provide you with thought provoking questions about bioethics.


Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views, October 24, 2008

7101 Hwy 71W#200

Austin, Texas 78735

www.readerviews.com



REVIEW 2

PROFESSIONAL REVIEW OF THE OMEGA WAVE BY RICHARD RYDON


The Omega Wave, © Richard Rydon 2008,

Lulu.com, 408 pages


"The Creation of Consciousness"

The Omega Wave is science fiction in its most complicated presentation. Author Richard Rydon injects pure science into a story that incorporates kidnapping, torture, and cover-ups. Science is the base of the terror that ensues and the center of the enlightenment that ultimately leads to the end of a nightmare.

Luper Beauchamps was originally hired by Wes Lane Inc. to develop new chip interfaces and to secure patents. After a short, but successful stint on the job, Quade Barras, the Director of the Neurochip Facility befriended Luper and ultimately offered him a job in his department testing neurochips. Frieda Delvin, an IT Assistant is assigned to help Luper with his new assignment. Quade's assistant, Rose Allen, also works very closely with Luper and Frieda on the project.

The neurochips are created from strips of human brain. Wes Lane has an agreement with local hospitals to obtain the tissue from the deceased. There are limits to the number of neurochips the company can develop due to rules established by the Computer Ethics Committee. As Luper, Frieda, and Rose begin to mesh as a team, they explore various techniques and equipment for increasing the life-cycle of the neurochips. The scientists are seeking answers to two questions: Where does consciousness begin? Where does consciousness end?As the neurochips gain in age and brain function (including perception and telepathy), Luper and Frieda discover strange activity on the adjoining Army base and Central Asian Embassy. After several secret expeditions to the embassy, the couple learns that prisoners are being tortured with the assistance of "minders", people trained to coordinate their brain waves with those of the neurochips to cause distress and physical pain to the detainees.

The Omega Wave includes detailed scientific references from the opening of the book. Initially, the text may be difficult to follow for readers who are not scientifically inclined, but as the story progresses, Rydon breaks the science down into manageable components that fit seamlessly into the rest of the plot. Throughout the book, the three researchers "... systematically test the effect of various electromagnetic (EM) frequencies in the range from 1 to 100 cycles per second (hertz)" on each neurochip. They also work towards putting an end to the abuse of human rights taking place at the embassy. Luper and Frieda risk their own freedom to achieve their mission.

The Omega Wave will provide a refresher in college-level sciences, stimulate the reader's imagination, and feed the desire for adventure.


Melissa B. Levine

For Independent Professional Book Reviewers,

September 22, 2008

www.bookreviewers.org



REVIEW 3

PROFESSIONAL REVIEW OF THE OMEGA WAVE BY RICHARD RYDON

The Omega Wave by Richard Rydon

Lulu Publishing (2008)

ISBN 9781409212980

November 06, 2008


"A science-fiction tale dealing with artificial intelligence attempts to cross itself with a political thriller dealing with state-sponsored torture"

In the year 2025, young scientist Luper Beauchamps has just secured a dream job with Silicon Valley powerhouse Wes Lane Inc. testing cutting-edge biological computers known as "neurospheres."

The problem-solving skills and scientific acumen of Luper and his team soon result in dramatic improvements to the neurospheres, much to the delight of their ambitious boss, Quade Barras. However, their success also creates difficulties-as the biological computers grow smarter, they inch closer to achieving a state of true, humanlike self-awareness, thereby making them subject to a complicated web of rules and regulations designed to ensure the ethical treatment of A.I. entities. Computer ethics expert Broc Fulton guides Luper and his colleagues through this ethical minefield, and their conversations constitute an occasionally thought-provoking foray into a conversation begun by Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics and continued by many science-fiction writers since.

Unfortunately, Rydon chose to bury this subplot under a plodding, poorly executed political thriller. In that plot, Luper and his friends increasingly suspect a connection between their ethically challenged boss Quade, the experimental new neurospheres and the military base and "Central Asian Embassy" adjacent to the facilities of Wes Lane. This storyline fails to thrill for several reasons: the novel is slowed to a crawl by dull descriptions of Luper's laboratory work ... and the protagonists are prone to volunteering anomalous anti-American remarks, such as Luper's comment, "I'm glad I'm not American...I'd hate to be born so stupid."

The attempts to describe how mankind will grapple with the ethics of emerging artificial intelligence are this novel's strongest moments.


November 06, 2008

Kirkus Discoveries, Nielsen Business Media,

770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003.

discoveries@kirkusreviews.com



REVIEW 4

PROFESSIONAL REVIEW OF THE OMEGA WAVE BY RICHARD RYDON

Science Fiction/Fantasy

The Omega Wave By: Richard Rydon

Publisher: Lulu.com  July 2008

ISBN: 978-1409212980

Reviewed by: Ellen Feld  


"Intriguing look at creating intentionally conscious entities" 

We first met Luper Beauchamps, a promising Ph.D. candidate, in the science fiction thriller The Oortian Summer. The newest offering from Richard Rydon, The Omega Wave picks up where the first book ended. Luper and his beautiful girlfriend Andina travel to the United States to work at Wes Lane Inc., a Silicon Valley research corporation. The two work in separate groups, Andina in nanofabrication and Luper in developing chip interfaces. While Andina is energized, Luper is quickly bored. His boss moves him to a unit testing the effects of electromagnetic radiation on the performance of fuzzy logic components. Unfortunately, Andina and Luper’s relationship suffers from their separation and Andina decides to return to Sweden.   Luper is soon moved again, this time to a team working on cutting edge research in neurochips. His new research group consists of Frieda Delvin, a young, very enthusiastic IT assistant and Rose, a technician in the lab. Under the tutelage of their boss Quade Barras, the team is quickly settled and making good progress. Using brain tissue from the local hospital morgue, they encourage neurons to make connections with other neurons. Their hope is to eventually create functional, “intentionally conscious entities.” Before Luper joined the lab, the neurons would do well for a short period, but after about 10 weeks they’d start to decay. When Luper’s research leads to a breakthrough to keep the neurospheres (the connected neurons) alive beyond the 10 weeks, progress escalates. But soon the team begins to suspect that Quade, and Der Bandon, a coughing, phlegm swallowing brain biologist, are up to something.   As research progresses, suspicions continue to rise. With the handling and accounting of the neurosphes carefully controlled by Broc Fulton and his Ethics Council, the valuable research material should be secure. But Luper, Frieda, and Rose are not so sure and they share their suspicions with Broc. Did Quade take a “living” chip, pretending it had deteriorated, and remove it from the lab? If so, why? And where did he take it? As they continue to poke around the area, the group stumbles upon the Fort West Wing Army Camp and the Central Asian Embassy. Is there something unscrupulous going on at the two facilities?   The Omega Wave asks the reader to tackle a fascinating philosophical question: should science probe the possibility of creating robots that are intentionally conscious and if so, how might they be used? Rydon imagines a world where the intelligent neurospheres in question are used by “minders” (people trained to use the neurospheres to read minds) to delve into the thoughts of enemy combatants and aid in torture; all in the name of science and furthering a country’s security needs. How will the scientists doing the research handle the moral dilemma when they discover the truth?   The author makes no secret of the fact that The Omega Wave is heavy on the science aspect of science fiction. From the first page, science, and the terminology that accompanies the discipline, is abundant. This will undoubtedly appeal to those well-versed in the various sciences but may prove a challenge to people simply looking for a great story.   The Omega Wave is not a light read. Indeed, there are spots where the plot takes a back seat to the science and the story comes to a halt as the reader is given a science lesson. Dialog too, suffers in places. When Luper and Frieda discover a link between fragrances and the chips ability to communicate, Rydon devotes a full page to a table that identifies various scents and their chemical compounds. In other places, in an attempt to help the “science challenged,” conversations between characters become clunky as the real reason for their dialog is to explain the science to readers. This attempt to enlighten the reader results in language a scientist would be unlikely to use with colleagues.   Despite the somewhat overabundant use of science, The Omega Wave offers an intriguing read. With the development of intentionally conscious entities, espionage, torture, kidnapping, escape attempts, and characters whose motives are unclear, this story offers a thought-provoking read. If you’re unsure of your ability to get through the technical jargon, start with The Oortian Summer, it is lighter on the science, will give a good introduction to the characters, and encourage you to continue your reading with The Omega Wave.  

Quill says: If you like science in your science fiction, then sink your teeth into The Omega Wave and be prepared to ask yourself some hard questions about creating intentionally conscious entities.   Intriguing look at creating intentionally conscious entities,


August 18, 2009 Feathered Quill Book Reviews