Donn Cardenio, damaged veteran of Earth's disastrous first interstellar war, and two hundred fellow Caretakers are charged with caring for a quarter million embryos en route to colonize the extrasolar planet Tau Ceti III.
Cardenio considers this assignment a chance to redeem himself from the ravages of the past great war.
But, when one of his Caretaker colleagues snaps, Cardenio is forced to begin an investigation that leads to more questions than answers—questions about his relationship with his lover, his own past, and the nature of the mission he's on.
Unfortunately for Cardenio, nothing is as it appears. His fellow Caretakers do not share his reverence for the lives in their charge; friends and lovers hide vital truths; and his enemies and rivals become allies.
By the end of the mission, Donn Cardenio will confront the terrible reality of what he's done to determine how the future will unfold.
Sean O'Brien is an educator and writer from Southern California. He is married and has two children along with an ever-growing number of animals. He was named Educator of the Year by the California League of High Schools and has been a head varsity football coach, television broadcaster, and Gilbert and Sullivan singer (though not a good one). He’s the author of A Muse of Fire, Wondrous Strange, Vale of Stars, and Beltrunner.
As an independent beltrunner mining asteroids in the frontier of space, Collier South is a dying breed. Scrounging and cutting corners to work cheap, Collier isn’t a stranger to lean times and make-do repairs; in fact his onboard computer hasn’t had outside maintenance in years and its beginning to show its personal quirks.
When Collier finds an asteroid that shows promise, he thinks he’s bought himself some time. But his claim is stolen out from under him by his vindictive ex-lover and her shiny new corporate ship. Powerless against the omnipotent mining corporations, Collier has always been too stubborn to give-up without a fight. Broke and desperate, Collier has one last chance to land a strike. If he doesn’t come back with ore, he’ll end up destitute and trading his own biologicals for his next meal.
What he discovers in the farthest reaches of the belt has the power to change his life and the fate of the entire system forever. That is, if Collier and his onboard computer can keep his discovery out of corporate hands.
The vision behind the DARPA project was to mine the social sciences literature for alternative theories of human behavior, and then formalize, instantiate, and integrate them within the context of an agent-based modeling system. The research team developed an experimental platform to evaluate the conditions under which alternative theories and groups of theories applied. The end result was a proof of concept developed from the ground up of social knowledge that could be used as an informative guide for policy analysis. This book describes in detail the process of designing and implementing a pilot system that helped DARPA assess the feasibility of a computational social science project on a large scale.