The Infinity Program, by Richard H. Hardy: A Quantum Computer Run Amok

infinity_programIf a computer told you it could save the world, would you believe it?

The Infinity Program ($13.95, 250 pp., ISBN: 978-1-60381-933-6), is a work of science fiction by debut novelist Richard H. Hardy.

** Click the cover image to order online **

** Or order it in Kindle, Nook, or other eBook formats on Smashwords **

5 Stars: “Hardy is smart to use a sci-fi hook in order to discuss these crucial cultural issues. He draws readers in with an otherworldly premise that promises to entertain, while enlightening them about the challenges that people face in everyday life that are no less extraordinary or important than a super intelligent species looking to take over the earth. He mixes the mundane with the fantastical to maximum effect, causing readers to think with their minds and their hearts. Framed in this context, prejudice and intolerance are just as frightening as getting encapsulated in gelatinous slime or being resurrected by nanobots.” Read more ….

—Nicole Langan, Scranton Book Examiner

“I was highly impressed with the storyline and the way everything played out. With ups and downs, a touch of romance, and a bunch of pig headed supporting characters, The Infinity Program by Richard H. Hardy is sure to please the high tech science fiction readers as well as the readers who are not so technically savvy.  In general, this novel was absolutely fantastic!  I am more than ready to see what Hardy comes up with next.”  Read more ….

—Jennifer Hass, BC (blogcritics), Room with Books Blog

“The Infinity Program proved to be a fantastic and captivating read, providing interesting and well rounded characters with a definitely relatable situation. Hardy’s work is well written, though potentially overwhelming for your non-tech speaking fellows, offering insight to those who both enjoy alien conspiracies and technology mixed into one. He pulls upon the idea that we are not alone in this universe, and definitely holds his own in the Science Fiction Genre. I highly recommend any science fiction lovers to give this book a try.”  Read more ….

–The Librarian Fatale

“I plowed through The Infinity Program, thoroughly enjoying it despite not understanding approximately 20% of the terminology…. It’s not so different from reading Dan Brown or Robert Ludlum …. Jubilant, self-indulgent mind candy. Enjoy!”

—S. Millinocket, Readers Lane

5 Stars: “With ups and downs, a touch of romance, and a bunch of pig headed supporting characters, The Infinity Program by Richard H. Hardy is sure to please the high tech science fiction readers as well as the readers who are not so technically savvy.  In general, this novel was absolutely fantastic!  I am more than ready to see what Hardy comes up with next.”  Read more ….

—Jennifer Hass, Blogcritics

This is definitely a nice book to read if you know about computers or like to read about aliens. There was a great balance and I felt as though I could understand all the computer “lingo”. Harry has no idea what he is unleashing. Will he be able to fix what he has done, or is it too late? I liked that Jon and Harry were friends, but not best friends. They were believable as coworkers. The ending was good. I also thought that the book was paced pretty good. I am giving this book a 4/5. – See more at: http://www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-infinity-program-by-richard-h-hardy.html#sthash.sRgaBU3p.dpuf

“This is definitely a nice book to read if you know about computers or like to read about aliens. There was a great balance and I felt as though I could understand all the computer ‘lingo.’ Harry has no idea what he is unleashing. Will he be able to fix what he has done, or is it too late? I liked that Jon and Harry were friends, but not best friends. They were believable as coworkers. The ending was good. I also thought that the book was paced pretty good. I am giving this book a 4/5.”  Read more ….

—Deal Sharing Aunt Blog

“Until close to the end, I wasn’t sure which way things were going to fall. This book reminded me of early science fiction stories…. Hardy did an excellent job of making the details accessible for a layperson…. I know next to nothing about [the programming world], and I was pulled into the story. So, it works for the layperson too…. a fun, light read.”

—Cora Foerstner, Exploring Speculative Fiction

This is definitely a nice book to read if you know about computers or like to read about aliens. There was a great balance and I felt as though I could understand all the computer “lingo”. Harry has no idea what he is unleashing. Will he be able to fix what he has done, or is it too late? I liked that Jon and Harry were friends, but not best friends. They were believable as coworkers. The ending was good. I also thought that the book was paced pretty good. I am giving this book a 4/5. – See more at: http://www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-infinity-program-by-richard-h-hardy.html#sthash.sRgaBU3p.dpuf

Jon Graeme and Harry Sale are unlikely friends. Harry is a world-class programmer, but his abrasive personality alienates co-workers. In contrast, Jon is a handsome and easy-going technical writer, the low man on the IT totem pole.

Sharing a love of nature, the men set out together, planning to go their separate ways—Jon on a hike and Harry, fly fishing. Three days later, Jon arrives at the rendezvous point, but his friend is nowhere in sight. When Jon finds Harry unconscious on the floor of a cave, Harry claims to have been lying there the entire time. But he is neither cold nor hungry. What Jon doesn’t know is that Harry fell into an underground cavern, where he came into contact with an alien quantum computer.

Back at work, Harry jettisons his regular tasks and concentrates exclusively on inventing new operating language to access the alien system. In the process he crashes his office’s Super Computer and is fired. Jon convinces the company to give Harry a second chance, arguing that the system he has invented will make them millions.

Jon has no idea what havoc Harry is about to unleash.

Says the author, “When I worked with programmers, I saw them blow up and walk out the door over a point in logic and react to criticism like a mother who had just been told that she had an ugly baby. I saw them working thirty-six hours straight, absolutely ecstatic when they had a breakthrough, or banging their heads against their desks when they failed. They were passionate, intense, and larger than life. I soon decided to write a book about them. Not the same people, of course, but imaginary characters filled with that intense passion and bubbling over with that odd mix of logic and irrationality.”

Richard H. Hardy was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His family later moved to England and then on to America. Most of Richard’s career has been in Hi Tech, where he was soon promoted from technical writer to Senior EDI Programmer, creating EDI maps and writing UNIX scripts and troubleshooting on AIX systems throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Infinity Program is Richard’s first published novel. He and his wife live in New Hampshire. Click here to find Richard online.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

When Harry blinked his eyes open, he didn’t know where he was. He tried to recall where he had been and what had brought him here, but the effort only confused him. Not only did he not know where he was, but he also couldn’t recall who he was.

He grunted when he felt a sudden pressure against his genitals. Looking downward, he saw that his body was enveloped in an odd, greenish light. Some kind of mechanical arm was holding him up. Narrowing his eyes, he saw that the arm was attached to an amorphous, though vaguely pyramidal, shape. Suddenly, the metal arm began to move upward. He could see his feet lift from the floor as the steel arm swung in a short arc.

A driving spray of oily fluid pummeled his body. He opened his mouth to scream but could not. The bitter oil flooded into the back of his mouth and choked him, and he began to cough convulsively, kicking and struggling against the steel arm that held him. Seized by panic, he fought like a demon, throwing his arms out wildly and kicking against the steel harness. He barely noticed the minute sting of a small needle as it stabbed into his upper right thigh. In the next instant he went completely limp, engulfed by a rush of euphoria. He began to giggle foolishly. This is all just a crazy dream, he thought. A second later, he was asleep.

When consciousness returned, he lay in a prone position. As his eyes began to focus, he saw that his entire body was encapsulated in a clear, gelatinous material. A half-dozen ribbed plastic tubes were connected to his chest. He tried to follow them to their source, but they stretched into an unknown blackness.

The scene overwhelmed him and he could make no sense of it. I must be in an intensive care unit, he thought, and under heavy-duty drugs. But then he was struck by another realization: since he had woken, he had not taken so much as a single breath. He tried to breathe deeply and found that nothing happened; he could not even feel the movement of air into his lungs or the physical expansion of his chest. It was as though nothing was there. He was a disembodied entity, floating in gelatinous womb.

Am I dead?

He tried to move his hands and feet but could feel no sensation in his entire body, save for a thickening in the back of his throat. What had happened to him? The memory of falling and the recollection of his own screaming voice came rushing back.

Something to his left caught his eye. A vaguely familiar shape, pyramidal in form, glided toward him, its motion as smooth as a puck on ice. It had a single mechanical arm. Where had he seen it before? Attached to the end of the arm was the largest hypodermic needle he had ever seen. It was at least eight inches long. Harry’s eyes widened in terror and he tried to scream, but his vocal cords, like the rest of his body, would not respond. He felt the contact of the needle at the base of his neck penetrate upward toward his head. Time seemed to stretch into eternity before he slipped into merciful oblivion.

Comments are closed.