“Serengeti” by J. B. Rockwell

03/13/16

This book is very science fictional, but then again, it’s also more humanistic than most science fiction books. First off, “Serengeti”, is a space ship or rather a warship. She is also the AI that is the ship. We’ve seen this before in the old Star Trek shows were the “computer” is omnipresent, always waiting to answer questions or warn the crew of imminent dangers. Serengeti is that and more. The writer has imbued her with also human concerns and feelings. That right there changes the whole completion of the story. Serengeti is way, way too involved with her crew. And her crew is always on the brink of death because they are in a warship. Serengeti, herself can be destroyed or almost destroyed which would involve a lot of terrible emotions on the part of her crew and herself. Warship should not have emotions, especially Artificial Intelligence ones.

In this Alliance, the AI ships have total control of the space battles. The human Captains of each ship are just figure-heads, making few if any critical decisions. They can’t even convince the AI when to withdrawal when destruction is imminent. I for one would not serve on such a warship. Especially warships with AIs that have human emotions! But, without those emotions, this book couldn’t be written.

You see, the latter part of this book is about companionship, compassion, caring, and eventually, almost dying. I don’t think Serengeti can truly die, but her human crew certainly can. It’s interesting to see how much effort Seregenti puts into trying to keep the last of her crew alive. This book makes you sad in several places or at least it did for me. The author really did a good job bringing out human emotions in the reader.

I did enjoy the book, but I wish there was more. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I don’t think there will be a sequel; might not be worth it.

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