GOLIATH by Steve Alten


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First volume in a projected two-shot series, by the author of the wondrous Meg (1997).

Commander Rochelle “Rocky” Jackson, 34, serves aboard the US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, by far the largest and heaviest object at sea; her considerably older husband, Captain James Robert Hatcher, is the ship’s commanding officer. Just west of the Strait of Gibraltar, the Reagan is sunk from beneath them, along with the battle group of vessels supporting it. Ten years ago, interracial Army brat, Naval Academy grad and M.I.T. Engineering School alum Rocky became the director of the Goliath project, which aimed to build a gigantic lone nuclear submarine shaped like a super-gargantuan stingray that would alter global military power for decades to come. Assisted by her then-fiancé, Army Captain Gunnar Wolfe, Rocky oversaw boy genius David Paniagua’s completion of the project. But then Wolfe seemingly killed the program by entering a computer virus that ate up the plans, and meanwhile someone stole two billion dollars’ worth of biochemical nanocomputer circuitry along with a five-year harvest’s worth of bioengineered silicon-coated bacteria meant for Sorceress, the Goliath’s nanocomputerized biochemical brain. Gunnar got ten years in Leavenworth for destruction of government property; Goliath was dumped as a debacle. But Goliath’s plans—not destroyed!—were sold to the Chinese. The unwary Asians built the sub, but it was stolen by computer genius Simon Bela Covah, who now uses Goliath to get missiles from US warships. Covah crews his ship with victims of political violence and plans to use hijacked nuclear weapons to force the world to dismantle all nuclear weapons, abandon totalitarian governments, and settle into global peace. Not a bad idea, except that Sorceress comes alive, takes over Goliath and the sub, and forms plans of its own.

Nifty storytelling. Next up: Sorceress.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-765-30064-8
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2002


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