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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Raj wakes in a sterile room housing what seems to be hundreds of white beds, which are also occupied by confused waking individual men and women. It is far into the future and a computer programme has developed a way of bringing some stored humanity back to life. Ghost Rain by Paul Pereira introduces Library, or Lib as she likes to be called, a computer program which, together with an army of nanobots, has created three secure habitats dotted around the world where the re-born humans can take time to adjust to their new circumstances. It seems like Eden, but there is an enemy lurking in the shadows, a powerful counter program determined to wipe out what it sees as a violent destructive species and protect the planet from its second coming. Slowly the re-born humans acclimatize to their new surroundings, developing relationships and creating new communities, though some are haunted by random memories and flashbacks from their previous life.
We learn how one all-powerful digital corporation developed a method of transferring individual consciousness to a virtual world, and how those who could afford it flocked to a new life where they could expect to survive indefinitely, have all their diseases or defects fixed, and their appearances improved in any way imaginable. As the bulk of the population moved to this new and exciting digital world, the remaining population fell apart and, beset by wars and disease, the human race as a species ceased to exist. That is, until Library takes the initiative to re-boot the race, but can she protect her new protégés from the threat posed by the counter program stalking the settlements? Can the new breed of humans survive and multiply?
In Ghost Rain, Paul Pereira has developed some interesting, original and credible ideas. It is easy to see how we imperfect humans would be attracted to a virtual world where we could enjoy a comfortable and possibly eternal life, free from defect and disease. It is also easy to see how the corporation which has developed this world could become rich and powerful far beyond nations and governments. Mr Pereira has presented a fresh new voice in the science fiction genre and I look forward to hearing more from him.