Rogue Event

Fiction - Science Fiction
103 Pages
Reviewed on 11/16/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

In addition to creating the Birds of Flight series and the other award-winning science fiction stories, Future Prometheus and Intelligent Design, J. M. Erickson holds a BA in psychology and sociology from Boston College and a master’s degree in psychiatric social work from the Simmons School of Social Work. Certified in cognitive behavioral treatment and a post-trauma specialist, he is also a senior instructor of psychology and counseling at Cambridge College, visiting lecturer at Salem State University’s School of Social Work and a senior therapist in a clinical group practice in the Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Rogue Event is a futuristic science fiction novella written by J.M. Erickson. Earth of the near future is not at all the grand and glorious place one would like to imagine. A vast and controlling corporate entity has virtually enslaved the populace who are trained to be productive, efficient, and compliant workers courtesy of the educational system and the pharmacological treatments that are mandated for all citizens, no matter their age or health status. There's a lunar colony that seems to have developed their own culture independent of the corporate entity controlling the surface dwellers, and a series of mines deep within Earth house other individuals who've given up the light of day, but have also retained a separate identity.

In 2134 AD, Gabriel Lawless and his two children were engaged in unproductive and illicit activity as they explored the ruins of a long-abandoned university out in the country and away from the urban dwelling they call home. The three of them keep secrets from his wife, the children's mother; she would never approve of their adventures, nor would she condone them reading the old works of literature Gabriel and the children loved so much. His children would be going away to school, euphemistically called camp, the following year, however, and their adventuring would become a thing of the past.

J.M. Erickson's futuristic science fiction novella, Rogue Event, is a chilling look at a future where corporations have gone past having human rights and have stripped the populace of anything that isn't efficient and designed to further the interests of that vast corporate entity. I was chilled by the world the author envisions and saddened by the concept of a corporate state that has hints of the world Orwell feared and overtones of Patrick McGoohan's pioneering series from the 1960s, The Prisoner. Gabriel Lawless is a marvelous character and that opening adventure he shares with his children is enthralling. Erickson's plot is original and compelling, and his writing is a treat to read. Rogue Event is highly recommended.

Ray Simmons

Rogue Event by J.M. Erickson is a great read. One of the big fears of the information age is that authority will use access to information to create a society of sheep. J.M. Erickson shows us one vision of what such a society might look like. It is chilling and all too possible. But don’t get depressed. Rogue Event is ultimately a novel of hope that demonstrates how, even in the most adverse conditions, some human beings have a way of rising to the occasion. Gabriel Lawless is an ideal father in a world where such a person cannot thrive. His story is one of many that unfolds in the wake of an extinction event that the corporate government of Earth refuses to acknowledge. This government is frightening in its casual inhumanity and a lot of people pay a huge price fighting it.

As a reader I was touched most by the scenes of Gabriel playing with his children while instilling a love of reading fiction in them. I was saddened by the fact that Rebekah, his wife and the mother of his children, never gets it, never really understands, even in the face of impending disaster. Rogue Event made me think about my life in China, where information is suppressed and spun to ridiculous and dangerous proportions in the name of social harmony. Rogue Event is a powerful novel in the science fiction genre and J.M. Erickson has the potential to move up into the ranks of the greats.

Maria Beltran

In J.M. Erickson’s Rogue Event, we are confronted with a new world order where productivity and efficiency are highly valued while emotions and the arts are suppressed. Under the Central Corporate Command & Maritime Control, people are classified as: the surface or urban dwellers, organized based on their expertise, production, and efficiency; the rural dwellers, workers in agriculture, farming, and power production; and those who settled in a lunar colony called Peary Crater, where they declared their independence in 2071. A writer and a teacher, Gabriel Lawless is a surface dweller and is married with two kids. He tries to make his children appreciate outlawed books and the arts and has problems fitting in. In 2137, he finds himself estranged from his family and sent to Deep Station Power Plant Six, a power station two miles under the earth’s surface. Over a century ago, it was discovered that a large rogue planet was heading towards the outer edge of the solar system, but with no possibility of collision it was not considered that dangerous. But now that this planet is fast approaching, things do not turn out as expected.

Rogue Event is an engaging science fiction novel that paints a chilling picture of life in the 22nd century. Imagine our world where people are encouraged to be devoid of emotions and are brainwashed to be efficient and productive so that most of them behave like robots. Author J.M. Erickson sends us a warning of what the world may become in the aftermath of the growing influence of the multinational corporations in government and the technological revolution that has now invaded most aspects of our lives. The story unfolds from the perspective of Gabriel Lawless, a non-conformist who will eventually lose his family in the process. With the world under the control of a corporate entity, his interest in books, arts, and past cultures simply has no place and is even considered dangerous. What makes this story highly interesting is that it is actually unfolding before our very eyes. Will the world eventually lose its soul in pursuit of productivity and efficiency?

US Review of Books

"Maybe if you took your pills, this whole thing could have been avoided."
Gabriel Lawless is a curious, adventurous, and passionate man. Unfortunately, well into the 22nd century, all of these forms of expression and emotion are considered criminal by the government known as Central Corporate Command & Mainframe Control. This blend of commercial and governmental power has introduced emotionally inhibiting drugs that allow people to simply focus on doing what is efficient. Gabriel's refusal to take his drugs makes him a special case but also miserable, with his efficient wife drifting away from him and even his children over time refusing to go on his adventures because of their distracting qualities. Sent underground as a criminal for possessing literature, Gabriel and the other power plant workers now have to protect themselves from the surface dwellers when a mysterious object diminishes the sun and dooms the planet by sending it into deep space.
Despite being of novella length, this is a story that presents facets of multiple types of science fiction in one cohesive package. As we meet Gabriel and his family, the main concern is the government's enforcement of taking drugs that limit the human experience, a dystopian concept that fits nicely alongside the stories of Huxley and Orwell. The second half of the story focuses more on the hard sci-fi of a planet capable of dimensional travel, absorbing solar energy in order to find its vision of ideal sentient life, and the orbital and climatic repercussions such an object would have. What makes it all come together and function however are the living, well-crafted characters that the author exhibits such a knack for presenting, even during such apocalyptic events. The gripping nature of the story combined with its shorter length guarantees it won't take long to read through, but the entertainment value is consistent throughout.- Michael Radon

Essie Harmon

Usually I tend to gravitate towards more literary, romance, or character-driven novels, but I like this author from another book of his I’d just read so even though hard core sci-fi isn’t really my thing, I decided to give it a shot. Well, I can definitely say that a lot of people would love this book! First off the characters are awesome, and even for being ‘fantastical’, there is things that felt relatable to modern day, like having too much government control, work over humanity and feelings, outcasts, earth heading for possible destruction…! There are a lot of characters, some more developed than others, but all are realistic enough and don’t seem like cardboard cutouts. I especially like the darker psychological angle that Mr. Erickson employs that gives this story an edge over many I’ve read lately. I enjoyed this much more than expected and will look for more from him in the future. (4 stars) Essie Harmon- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Jhonni Parker

“Rogue Event” by J.M. Erickson was an interesting mix of dystopian, action, high-stakes drama, science fiction, and dare I say, a psychological adventure? I can’t quite say that I’ve ever really read anything like it before, and even though it’s a fast read that I finished in the span of an evening (less than…) I loved the level of detailing and thought to the futuristic world development… There are many complex subplots woven throughout and we experience through different characters perspectives. The book is divided into 6 ‘sections’, but it all reads as a cohesive novella. I saw some minor editing/proofing things and honestly didn’t like the ending…. Felt like I was on a great date that was suddenly over out of nowhere and never see the person again. But an enjoyable, memorable experience nonetheless. (4 star) Jhonni Parker- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Anabella Johnson

I really enjoyed “Rogue Event” by author J.M. Erickson, even though science-fiction isn’t usually one of my more preferred genres (don’t dislike it, just don’t generally gravitate). But I was really impressed! I really liked the setup with it being in the future and feelings were considered ‘bad’ and they had to take pills to act like robots. There are people living under the earth that provide the energy, and a ‘rogue planet’ is passing near Earth throwing things into chaos. Wow! I thought that Mr. Erickson did such a wonderful job with the descriptions of the world and the different characters. There are several of them, some more fully fleshed out than others, and I was so shocked at some things that happened. Emotionally engaging and with lots of action considering the shorter length. Would have been cool to see what the author could have done with this had it been longer. Very cool promise! Feels pretty suitable for mature teens on up. I had a great time reading this! (4-5 stars) Anabella Johnson- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Stacy Decker

I read a lot of fantasy and Science Fiction, so this is a genre I’m familiar with. Having read several others of J.M. Erickson’s books and really enjoying them, I was curious to see how he would deliver in this one “Rogue Event” and if it would be as good as the others. Mr. Erickson is unarguably a very talented writer, but more than that he genuinely impressed me with his thorough world-building and sheer creativeness on many levels in such a short amount of time (this is a novella). All too often I read works that feel clearly derivative of other books, and although I appreciate literary influences (as is felt here as well), when something this original comes along it is a refreshing change of pace! Some of the writing was downright lyrical in the simple elegance of the prose, and other times I was nearly breathless from the intensity and violent passion. I finished it in less than two hours, and went through so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster of a full-length novel! I was hoping for a different ending, but it was powerful nonetheless. A must read for Sci-Fi fans. (5 stars) Stacy Decker- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Karen Matthews

This book was great… lots of fun to read and very creative, but very true to a standard sci/fi universe. I’m a huge fan of Erickson’s work and I knew that he could write and tell a great, captivating story. But I was in no way prepared for how totally addicting this novel would be, and the sheer magnitude of the world, the characters, the multi plots, the rules and tension… I was totally hooked and read it in one sitting. The way Erickson writes is captivating from the beginning and you just want to keep reading and reading and not stop. It is both descriptive and has great world building (important for a fantasy-sci/fi) but also is fast moving and unpredictable so that you aren’t bored. I was disappointed when it was over, especially because it seemed really abrupt and I just wanted more… But overall was an interesting and original tale of government control, free will, fate and the role of the ‘other’… Recommend for fans of psychological thriller/ action/science fiction. (5 stars) Karen Matthews- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Cody Brighton

Brilliantly crafted and written, “Rogue Event” is a thrilling new standalone novella (not part of a series it appears) by J.M. Erickson, author of other several amazing series I have enjoyed. This futuristic dystopian world is wholly conceived, and I was pleased with the level of character development in such a limited space – the writing needed to be focused and tight and it was. The plots are complex and intelligent, yet quirky enough to keep you guessing and shift the dynamic of the storyline in unexpected ways, something that even a jaded reader like myself can fully appreciate and still be shocked by. This is great because nothing I hate more than predictable clichés. Even though there are some familiar “Orwellian” elements present, Erickson gives a fresh perspective that works so well in the context of this story. I would also like to commend the level of professionalism in this novel, from the cover, to the formatting, to the editing – all top notch. Looking forward to more great stories from J.M. Ericson and will be recommending to my friends who enjoy quality science/fiction. (5 stars) Cody Brighton- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers