Black Hull by Joseph A. Turkot
Imagine a distant future where technology’s inexorable advance has halted for all but the richest .1% of humanity. Indigents who still have it fly spaceships that are hundreds of years old, and entreat the help of robots that are relics of the past.
The wealthy, having achieved immortality through science, and secured total power through purchase of all government seats, spread and consume the last resources of the cosmos. The unlucky majority pursue one goal: The generational commitment to buying a ticket into Utopia—the virtual reality program that simulates what in antiquity was known as heaven. Little do they question the mysterious origin and purpose of their gloried destination.
For those who can’t afford to upload their consciousnesses into Utopia, and leave their physical bodies forever behind, there are few options but to live the life of an outlaw.
Eight hundred years in the past, Mick Compton is ripped away through a wormhole into the dystopian future of the Messier 82 galaxy. In a place where the only thing that matters is getting into paradise, he wants only to get back home to his proper place and time, to his wife and family, so that he can right the wrongs of his past. But Sera, a battle-hardened smuggler with plans of her own for him, won’t make it so easy.
And a darker agenda is at play in M82—the terrorist known as The Force of Darkness has reached a terrifying conclusion: Humanity is a virus, whose chance at equilibrium with its environment long ago failed. The only solution is complete extermination of mankind. After decades of surreptitious construction, FOD is nearly ready to detonate a quantum black hole with the power to consume the entire spread of the human race.
Will Mick succumb to the draw of Utopia and forsake his desire to return to a real family? Will FOD pull off the ultimate terrorist act and destroy humanity once and for all? Find out in Black Hull.