‘Fragment’: Science Fiction Book Review
Fragment By Warren Fahy 528 pp. Random House, 2009.
by Thomas Mackerty
If you find yourself a fan of Micheal Crichton’s novels, and furthermore find yourself engrossed in the tales of lost civilizations (ie. Congo) and an ecosystem frozen in time (Jurassic Park), you will find yourself satisfied with a read of Warren Fahy’s Fragment. Fahy develops on the ideas explored by writers like Crichton, ultimately dialing the intensity and scope to 11.
The story sets itself on Hender’s Island, where a reality show of fake scientists intends to make a light-hearted adventure episode. A live-streamed expedition of the first contact with the previously unexplored island meets violence and bloodshed. The cast and crew don’t find a world frozen in time, but rather an environment that is the result of 500 million years of evolution broken away from the rest of the world—an alien environment here on Earth.
Through the experiences of the scientists and crew of The Trident, Fahy presents the struggles of the survivors as they face moral dilemmas involving the alien world. The creatures pose a worldwide threat, but the crew must decide if such a world is worth attempting to preserve. As they face the animals that swarm and destroy mindlessly, they make an earth-shaking discovery that explores questions of sentience and the true history of life on Earth. The questions are asked: Was this world really ours first? And if not, what right do we have to make it so?
Fahy draws a unique setting that recalls Jurassic Park or Lost In Time while keeping things fresh. Pseudo-scientific phrases and descriptions don’t become mundane or wordy. Perhaps the biggest downside to the novel is the characters—many of them present as cliche or flat. All in all, however, the story being told and the age-old fight for survival and dominance overcome this handicap and deliver a memorable science fiction thriller.
Fahy’s sequel to Fragment, Pandemonium, was published in 2013.