Into the Twilight

What It Means to Be and Remain Human

Fiction - Science Fiction
504 Pages
Reviewed on 04/06/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Into the Twilight is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel by Michael Segedy. The book opens with Ike, a superintelligent advanced AI who relates the story of Jacob Ladder and Emma Fine, two twenty-two-year-olds who wake up after two hundred years of suspended life. Jacob and Emma find themselves in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has been almost wiped out, with a few remaining evolved humans residing inside the protected dome of a colony called Sumpseris. As they acclimatize themselves to their new home and environment, Jacob and Emma revisit the painful memories of their pasts. Additionally, they learn that humans face an existential threat of the end of humanity, and a small black hole named M-16 is headed directly toward Earth. With two opposing factions offering different solutions, can humanity find a way to survive?

Filled with philosophical musings, metaphysics, and some fascinating theoretical scientific concepts, Into the Twilight is a captivating read that gives readers a lot to ponder. Author Michael Segedy's enthralling character-driven sci-fi drama asks a vital question: "What does it mean to be and remain human"? With increasing advancements and dependence on technology, how will sentience be defined in relation to futuristic AI tech, and how far will humans push themselves in their pursuit of immortality? Segedy's gripping narrative asks these questions and much more through a story that follows two young humans who unwittingly find themselves trapped in a time and place that bears no resemblance to their own. Any sci-fi lover will enjoy Into the Twilight, as did I.

Leonard William Smuts

Imagine a scenario where the earth is devastated - first by war in the year 2095 and then by an asteroid strike in 2090, which plunges the planet into a new ice age. There were few survivors, but those who remained had prepared for the event by creating a high-tech underground dome to house them. It is into this protected world that Jacob and Emma awake, after 200 years in artificial suspension following traumatic deaths before the catastrophe. In creating Into the Twilight, Michael Segedy takes readers on a journey into this new world through their awakening process. They must adapt to unfamiliar technologies that have created a mini Utopia, but at the same time come to terms with their past, including the knowledge that they have no remaining relatives left alive. Unresolved family issues continue to haunt them. As they explore the idyllic but confined world called Sumpseris in the year 2230, Jacob and Emma interact with their neighbors and therapists but discover that this Utopia is not all it seems to be. Have the remaining humans lost their passion and become a sterile society, dominated by artificial intelligence and served by robots? The Council who administers what is left of earth is faced with another dilemma, as a black hole is heading towards the planet that can destroy humanity entirely. They have to decide how to save the species from extinction. It seems that Jacob and Emma are regarded as some sort of benchmark to define humanity as it was. The options as to what it should become cause conflict.

Into the Twilight examines what it is like to be human. Jacob and Emma come from very different backgrounds but need each other to make sense of their new environment and their role in it. Michael Segedy paints a fascinating picture of the emotional struggles of two individuals trapped in a time warp, and their quest for identity. It seems that the past shapes our destiny and yet in Sumpseris, the past can be eliminated by a rejuvenation process that ensures long life but erases memories. Is coherent consciousness possible without a sound historical base? The manner of reproduction of the species has also taken on a new form and there is no longer natural childbirth. Sex and libido thus become important themes. Into the Twilight examines these issues, as well as questioning what form a future society and its inhabitants should assume. The characters are graphically described, as well as providing a glimpse of what society could become. In a sometimes rambling account, this book examines the role of artificial intelligence and whether it could develop human consciousness. The book ends on a philosophical note, debating the psychological, philosophical, and spiritual issues. Readers will have to form their own opinions of this thought-provoking look into the future. An original view of a potential new world, which raises interesting issues!