3 of 5 stars.
This psychologically compromised tale jerks between three different timelines to round out its implied horror, while skirting any revelations. By Lovecraftian necessity, the secrets of the universe are ultimately incomprehensible and likewise indescribable. This doesn’t stop the characters in their search to understand the medium of the messages transmitting through the universe.
Timeline 1 shows Chalmers trying to recruit a viable candidate to become trillionaire Etan Machen’s personal SETI experiment. Machen believes that cosmic frequencies are transmitting higher truths through the universe and wants a necronaut [someone willing to die in open space] to sacrifice himself for the cause. Chalmers runs the unnamed, and thereby dehumanized, candidate through brainwave reading machines as he experiences every conceivable extreme sensation imaginable.
Timeline 2 shows Maxwell, captain of Etan Machen’s ship, dealing with the crew going insane and the candidate preparing to launch himself unprotected into space.
Timeline 3 follows Chalmers alone on the same dead ship after everyone else is mysteriously gone. The crazy clues in their wake rattle him. The computers on the ship crashed with the surge of input from the necronaut’s last moments . . .
This tale appears in Whispers of the Abyss 2: The Horrors That Were and Shall Be edited by Kat Rocha. I received this new anthology directly from 01 Publishing through bookreviewdirectory.wordpress.com.
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