Experiment Thrae (RoseDog Books; 2021) by David A. Mell is a science fiction story that may not be as flashy as many sci-fi but is still full of everything avid readers of the genre look for: technology, interplanetary exploration, terraforming, artificial intelligence, and even suspended animation, as well as conflict, cautionary tales, and possibilities. He recently guested on Kate Delaney’s nationally syndicated radio talk show America Tonight to talk about Experiment Thrae.
What Experiment Thrae is all about?
Kate asked David how Experiment Thrae came to be. He answered, “While the book itself is an accumulation of knowledge that has existed over 50 years, it took me 50 years to write this book. It culminated into its present form as a means of teaching people different elements of science.”
With his book, David tries to make sciences the narrative focus, with his characters being the metaphors and offering his readers some reflective moments. “Today we don’t have heroes. There are some heroes in fiction, which is what this book basically is – science fiction – but people do not identify and they do not receive enough background information about different sciences.
“So I attempted to create – and was successful creating – a book that included every aspect of science that one could think of. By this, I am hoping that the reader can actually take elements of this book the different science fields, understand it a little bit better, and make better choices for the future and themselves.”
What is life for David?
“Life is a continuing learning thing. I could tell myself and others to basically existing for knowledge. If we don’t realize what for, driving purposes, if yellow light is flashing that we could proceed with caution or red light we must stop, then obviously we would never work. If without learning, there’s gonna be a lot of wrecks.”
A.I in the book’s context
Artificial intelligence figures heavily in Experiment Thrae, which gives a picture of how artificial intelligence, as well as living machines, could impact the future of human habitation in interplanetary space, as well as a power struggle.
“It’s got so many different factors that I deliberately put in there without confusion because I want the person to understand and to entice people to learn and understand and enjoy.
“One of the things that’s in there is artificial intelligence. In today’s world, people are just scared to death of artificial intelligence that’s gonna take over and humankind is gonna disappear. Well, the element is, as we develop artificial intelligence and its perfect inability, it’s also gonna develop emotions. By that, an entity called Cytron I is a supercomputer with artificial intelligence and it has emotions that actually grow and eventually becomes totalitarian in wanting to control all of humanity.
“So, for that reason, it basically says ‘I’m going to create a new planet because of overpopulation on planet earth.’ In other planets that we have are lunar bases and things of this nature, so they reanimate a person called Doctor Thrae, which is obviously part of the title of the book.
“Doctor Thrae existed many, many years ago. It was put into a suspension device and reanimated because the knowledge that was essential for the creation of the artificial planet was not present due to an action called a Third World War. Society destroying knowledge in what we see today: just erasing history!
“So, Doctor Thrae was given the responsibility of finding a new planet and basically terraforming it, creating new earth. But because it existed in a different areal space, it underwent new laws of physics which we didn’t understand at the time, and we have new plants which existed millions of years ago now existing and coexisting with modern plants and animals like dinosaurs running around.
“There’s an element introduced involving how time changes and how we can actually call the past from it. There’s genetics where we can actually change the genetics of a seed, and the plant will adapt to the soli and change the soil around it. Even humans are affected by these.
“Human beings do exist on planet Thrae but it’s a shock to find out how they exist.”
Make sure to listen to the whole interview.
Experiment Thrae by David A. Mell is available on Amazon.