It’s 2110 and Creid Xerkler, the creator of the Molecular Advantage Machine – a virtual system that facilitates instantaneous access to all of humanity’s knowledge and experience – is unwillingly entangled in a government Council plot to prove the existence of an illegally engineered race called the Imagofas.
Unfortunately Xerkler knows more than he should and fears what the Council might discover.
The Imagofas are revered by many as the next step in human evolution – a nano-DNA hybrid: part human, part machine – but to the Council they are a dangerous aberration and a threat to the very existence of humankind.
In their quest to prove this crime against humanity, the Council plans on abducting specimens from the Order sanctioned research facility on Mars.
When the kidnapping takes an unexpected turn and the Imagofas are forced to become fugitives, the Council vows to destroy them — while others plan to capitalize on their existence.
The Imagofas, in a determined bid to return to Mars, must draw upon their still developing and unique skills to survive the dangers of Earth.
Along the way, they are helped by three unexpected and unlikely heroes: the Cadet, a hard core gamer; Ochbo, a cleanlife pervert; and Prometheus, an enlightenment seeking MAMintelligence, who, while on his own secret quest, ultimately holds the answers to everyone’s survival.
Rebecca K. Rowe
Rebecca K. Rowe is a freelance writer, published author and member of the National Space Society and The Mars Society. She has M.A.'s in Journalism and International Relations. Her short work / poetry has been published in Polyphony, Ascent Magazine, and Sol Magazine. Rebecca is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop.
"Rowe's world is full of strange new ways of living -- and dying. Her rich descriptive language and arch dialogue potently reflect her surreal world: "He kept an eye out for bluegrazers; he'd know them by their rotten, blue-edged mouths." Dealing with issues of freedom and responsibility, as well as epistemological and existential quandaries, Rowe still manages to deliver a slam-bang adventure." -Paul Di Filippo - The Washington Post
"With Forbidden Cargo, her first novel, she joins a distinguished company of young writers—such as K.A. Bedford and Cory Doctorow—who will have a strong say in the shape of the science fiction of the future.... this is an interesting story which treats a number of important themes. Rebecca Rowe is a writer to be encouraged. I look forward to reading her next novel." - David Mead, The New York Review of Science Fiction
"[Forbidden Cargo] is very well written, the pace is just fast enough so you teeter on the edge of wanting to flee, but you never slip over that edge into chaos, and the characters are powerfully written. Sashimu, Thesni, Creid, Ochbo, Prometheus and Councilwoman Joli are all three-dimensional, credible characters with complex but realistic agendas and good blends of strengths and flaws." - Chris McCallister, Rambles.NET reviewer
"Rowe's first novel is a well-paced adventure based on a deeply imagined background of nano-technology and directed evolution in which the web of multiple plot threads comes together." - Fred Cleaver, Special to the Denver Post
"...this is an impressive first novel. Rowe is a name to watch in science fiction." - Mark Graham, Rocky Mountian News
"Forbidden Cargo is an exciting page-turner, a non-stop explosion of action and adventure filled with memorable characters. My personal favorite is Prometheus, an artificial intelligence (AI) struggling to find sentience by capturing a virtual catfish with a virtual gourd – a devious challenge posed by its creator, Creid Xerkler, the father of the MAM. Prometheus embodies another rich side-plot in the story, the dangers and promise of AI, a thread that brilliantly parallels the main storyline of the human nanogens." - Brian L. Enke - National Space Society
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