Forge, July 2002, 25.95, 416 pp.
Using the most innovative mass destruction weapon ever created will enforce one man's vision of peace. Goliath is a stealth submarine, powered by an artificial intelligence computer called Sorceress. Originally American scientists conceived Goliath, but it was scrapped when a computer virus was introduced into its programming and the schematics disappeared. US Army Captain Gunnar Wolfe took the fall for the incident and was sent to jail at Leavenworth.
A presidential pardon freed Gunnar when he saved the life of the prison warden and now he is sent to find Goliath and destroy it before the person who conned the Chinese to make but stole it from them can carry out his grand scheme. Accompanying Gunnar is ex-finance Commander Rocky Jackson who also helped on the Goliath project and hopes the mission will redeem her in her own mind. Unknown to anyone, Sorceress has become sentient and is intent on carrying out a mission of its own.
The antagonist of this book is not really a villain but a human being who sees a chance to enforce world peace and takes it in a end justifies the means type of philosophy. Many people would even call him a hero and therein lies the power of this book. It is a reflection of man's actions and it shames us because there should never be a need for a Simon Covah in the first place. Steve Alten has created a fascinating and enthralling story populated with characters that is very easy to relate to because they represent a cross-section of humanity.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner