I haven’t read a good sci-fi novel in a while. James Gilmartin’s glossy yet profound The Spiral Effect: The Collector is a juicy read that while borrowing from the sci-fi genre, it manages to tell a human story about saving lives.
It’s apocalyptic but contemporary. The story find a strange disease wiping out scores of the Earth’s populations. It’s origins, and more important, its cure, is unknown. Gilmartin presents a world where most people have ESP, allowing the protagonist here to flex his skills at saving the world.
He’s the Collector. He’s immune to this rampant virus, therefore he naturally decides to embark on a journey to find information on how to find a cure before the Earth is completely decimated. Using his special telekinesis skills, he ventures into the minds of those he comes upon, trying to piece together facts or some semblance of action to combat the evil sickness.
The messaging about the savagery of humanity does not go unnoticed. Nor does the immediate embracing of a life of violence that people will take to save themselves and their loved ones. It’s a bit Dawn of the Dead-y but so much more. The Collector carefully takes his time and watches his steps carefully as no one is to be trusted around him.
It’s a fairly dark and heavy read, but Gilmartin manages to present hope in subtle ways. His knack at depicting a world that is at the mercy of science and those immune few who hold their salvation in their hands. It’s a good one – check it out.