Trices Group Forum

Book Review Journal and Software Designs


Infinity Born – Book Review

Author: Douglas E. Richards
Published by: Paragon Press (
Copyright: 2017
Reviewd by: Lynard Barnes, 19 November 2017 (AMAZON Book Review)

Summary: Worth reading for the stimulation speculation.

The hot topic of the moment is artificial intelligence. The topic is hot because cognitive science has arrived at a crossroads of sorts. There are those experts who draw a distinction between artificial intelligence (or AI) and artificial general intelligence (AGI or ASI–where the “s” stands for sentient). It has taken cognitive science roughly twenty years to get here and it may take another twenty years before they refine the distinction even farther between passive intelligence–fact and figures, reduction and synthesis–and active intelligence, the latter being simply emotions acting upon passive intelligence.

In INFINITTY BORN, Douglas Richards constructs a near future world in which one brilliant scientist speeds through the cross road and arrives at real ASI. The consequences are disastrous and we spend the remainder of the book learning how he makes amends.

The entire premise of the book is thoroughly engaging and informative. In the aptly named “Author Notes & Bonus Content”, Richards discusses the research, providing sources, he did in putting the story together. It is the putting-together of the story that I ran into a problem.

In a later chapter in the book, after devoting three immediately preceding paragraphs describing how one of the main characters is attempting to sneak past a group of bad guys, we encounter the sentence: “He spotted the three Russians nearing the house, but he made sure to stay out of sight”. I highlight this sentence because it exemplifies a pattern of wordy redundancy which I find very annoying. The scene has already been perfectly set by the preceding three paragraphs. This excessive wordiness occurs throughout the book.

Another annoyance I have with the novel, not as serious believe-it-or-not, is that there are some events which are just plainly discordant with the flow of the story. Depending on the ability to suspend belief, inconceivable events like a seasoned federal agent being overpowered by a twenty-something year old untrained woman is passable as fiction.

Despite the annoyances with the story, overall it is well worth the time to read and intellectually digest. Just the research and issues raised makes INFINITY BORN a valuable contribution to any discussion of intelligence and human consciousness.



Killer of the Flower Moon – Book Review

Author: David GrannAuthor:

David GrannPublisher: Doubleday, Penguin Random House LLC

Copyright: 2017, ISBN: 0385542487

Cover: John Fontana

Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, August 27, 2017

Summary: Approach this book with a question. Why should we care about the murder of some American Indians in Oklahoma almost a hundred years ago? The answer is here. While this book reads like an historical crime thriller, it is really a sociological study exposing the darkest side of human nature.

Before reading KILLER OF THE FLOWER MOON, if asked when the modern Federal Bureau of Investigation got its start, I would have answered 1934. It was in 1934 that FBI agents were allowed to carry firearms. (Perhaps a better answer would be 1972 when women regained the right to become agents after being banned from the service for forty or so years). As explained in Grann’s absorbing focus on the events in 1924 Oklahoma, a far better answer to the question is in fact 1924. John Edgar Hoover was appointed the sixth Director of what became known as the FBI and immediately put his dubious imprint on the organization. The imprint involved more than just a law enforcement culture. It also molded a public relations style. Law enforcement moved beyond being a mere service. Law enforcement became a profession. Substance morphed into style and substance. Some would say more style than substance, but that’s debatable.

Read More


Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms – Book Review

Author: David Kessler
Publisher: Hay House, Inc.
Copyright: 2010, ISBN 1401925437
Cover: Nick C. Welch
Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, June 5, 2017



Summary: Anecdotal stories of people revolving around the death of loved ones. Territory covered before but very well organized with a thoughtful Afterword.

Coming into a state of spiritual awareness can happen as a result of an instantaneous revelation or the slow accumulation of experience. Most arrive at a belief in something higher than themselves through life experiences. Experiences like those described in VISIONS, TRIPS, AND CROWDED ROOMS are part of life experiences that many people undergo.

Only those with little experience and committed to the philosophy of science can conceive of a world without unknowns. In VISIONS, TRIPS, AND CROWDED ROOMS, David Kessler (along with co-authors) presents a few death bed experiences for which there is no scientific explanation. There is nothing particularly new in these episodes. The cumulative effect however is enlightening.

Read More


The Lost City of the Monkey God – Book Review

Author: Douglas Preston
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group
Copyright: 2017, ISBN: 1455540020
Cover: Flag and Herman Estevez
Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, May 7, 2017


Summary: On the northeast coast of Honduras in a region called La Mosquitia is what the author calls “some of the last unexplored places on earth”. This book gives us a peek into the area. Bonus stuff: archaeology is a competitive, backstabbing business; parasitologists deserve greater recognition; avoid fer-de-lance snakes and sand flies.

Yeah, Indiana Jones comes up once in this book. I believe it is in reference to his Fedora. In any event, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is a real life archaeology adventure with some real life history. The problem of course is that the book is about real life archaeology in ancient America. Prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus, ancient archaeology is primarily the Maya and Inca civilizations. Both civilizations just seemingly popped up out of the jungles of Central and South America. This book does not alter that impression. You would think it would. But then your realize that the author is all about the adventure, not the archaeology. This turns out to be a very good thing.

Read More


The Gene: An Intimate History – Book Review

Author: Siddhartha Mukherjee
Publisher: SCRIBNER, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Copyright: 2016, ISBN: 1476733500
Cover: Jaya Micelli
Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, April 3, 2017




Summary: Incredible reading adventure into the emergence of genetics as a science. The history, the methods, the people.

Author Siddhartha Mukherjee starts THE GENE with a description of his 2012 trip to Calcutta to visit his cousin Moni. He describes the circumstances surrounding the eventual diagnosis of his uncle, Rajesh, with bipolar disorder. Throughout the book, Mukherjee continues the saga of his extended family and his uncle. By the end of the book we understand why he started where he started and why he ended the book the way he did. Between the beginning and, there is a lucid, informative and clear discussion of the history of genetics. When you really ponder that history, when you work through all the twists and turns of how biology and physics converged surrounding the subject of genes, the book is more a history of humankind’s attitude toward itself.

For a discussion thread regarding genetics in your everyday life, an excellent starting place is an equally riveting though short saga of the website 23andMe. 23andMe once provided an individual’s complete genome along with probability or chance estimates of gene expression. This was a mistake.

Read More


Dark Money – Book Review

Author: Jane Mayer
Publisher: Doubleday, Penguin Random House LLC, New York
Copyright: 2016, ISBN: 0385535595
Cover: George Nazlis/ Alamy
Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, March 3, 2017



Summary: Is it really money in politics or politics in money? From the Koch bothers to George Soros, the first impression you get of these people is that you would not want them to marry your sister.

What can be more boring than the subject of money in politics? Well, a partisan Democratic or Republican Party discussion about money in politics would be boring. Republican Party money in politics and Democratic Party money in politics should be the same subject. Excessively boring if the party is yours. A completely fair discussion of the subject would concede the guilt of both parties. The discussion would go on to examine exactly why the subject should be discussed in the first place. DARK MONEY comes close to achieving this. Close but not perfect.

The chronicles how David and Charles Koch infused themselves into the American political system. They were by no means the first. As Mayer points out, John D. Rockefeller became a concerned citizen philanthropist in the early 1900s in order to hold onto his wealth. Rockefeller and the other multi-millionaires setting up philanthropic trusts did not immerse themselves in the political process. The Koch brothers, Frank more so than David, pioneered the way for others of their wealth to steer the political system. The book ends up being coincidentally an indictment of the Republican party through no real fault of the party. The party was susceptible to the influence of Libertarian ideas. More importantly, like its counterpart the Democratic Party, the Republican Party was and is in constant need of money. The entire exploration could be boring just based on this mundaneness alone. Then however you run across tidbits of biographical information on the millionaires and billionaires. This nuance makes things get interesting real fast and there is more to the story than just money.

Read More


Lord Of The World – Book Review with Nostradamus Connection

Author: Robert Hugh Benson, Introduction by Mark Bosco, S.J.
Publisher: Ave Mari Press, Inc, P.O. Box 428, Notre Dame, IN
Copyright: 2016, ISBN: 0870612985
Cover: Katherine Ross, Andy Wagoner
Review: Lynard Barnes, February 3, 2017



Summary: In 1917, the world gives up on capitalism and essentially gives up on Christianity in the 1920s. Seventy years later, the world is ready for a humanist leader and he appears when East and West are on the verge of war. In this 1907 apocalyptic novel, the emphasis is not on events but on spirit. It soars in a way even the author probably did not realize. You might want to read the book before reading this extended review about current conditions in America.

Reputedly the first dystopian novel published in the twentieth century, LORD OF THE WORLD comes with a few caveats. First, it is a novel by a Roman Catholic of England written with Roman Catholics in mind. This undoubtedly is why, in 2015, Pope Francis advised reading it. Second, it was written when panoramic scenes were conveyed in words, not images. Hence, the writing flows along with scenic descriptions reducing the pace of the story to a crawl.

Despite the caveats the book is a work of uncanny insight. It is also a work of uncanny failure. Any book about the end of the world, or at least the end of a historical era, is bound to miss something. Usually it is something big. LORD OF THE WORLD misses something big.

Read More


Death on Mars – Book Review

Author: John E. Brandenburg, Ph.D.
Publisher: Adventures Unlimited Press
Copyright: 2015, ISBN: 1939149381
Review by: Lynard Barnes, 24 December 2016

Summary: And you thought the face on Mars was a case of pareidolia. According to Dr. Brandenburg the face on Mars is indication of life on Mars that arose during the same time as life on Earth. He makes a very strong though fanciful circumstantial case.


The last book I read about the rock formation on Mars which some saw as a humanoid face was Stanley V. McDaniel and Monica Rix’s CASE FOR THE FACE: SCIENTISTS EXAMINE THE EVIDENCE FOR THE ALIEN ARTIFACTS ON MARS. Written in 1998, the book was based on the 1976 VIKING 1 orbiter imaging of the Mars Cydonia region. DEATH ON MARS takes the story forward with photo examinations from more high-resolution cameras like the MARS GLOBAL OBSERVER. These later images convinced most that the face was an optical illusion, simply a play of light upon rocks. Most were convinced, but not all.

Brandenburg rips into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory–JPL, the robotic exploration people–and the National Space Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contractor, Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS). After the original VIKING 1 photos, the subsequent high-resolution images of the Cydonia region were taken at oblique angles, grossly distorting the overhead images derived from the originals taken by VIKING 1. The results were pictures of featureless rocks setting in a desolate landscape. Dr. Brandenburg however cites the work of Mark Carlotto’s enhancement of the images to confirm the original conclusion based on the VIKING images. Thus, he successfully resurrects the case for a face on Mars. Proving the case for the face on Mars is only on aspect of this book however.

Read More


Fiction Trilogies and other Good Deeds – Comments


Stephen King

mrmercedes finderskeepers endofwatch






Mr Mercedes, Gallery Book, Simon & Schuster, ISBN: 1476754475*
Finders Keepers, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, ISBN: 1501100123*
End of Watch, SCRIBNER, ISBN: 501129742


Ransom Riggs

missperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildre hollowcitymissperegrines libraryofsouls







Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Quirk Books, ISBN: 1594746031
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children – Hollow City, Quirk Books, ISBN: 1594747359
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children – Library of Souls

Justin Cronin

passageanovelpassageanove twelvebooktwoofthepassagetrilogyan thecityofmirror






The Passage, Ballatine Books, Random House, Penguin Books, ISBN: 0345528174
The Twelve, Alfred A. Knopf, Random House, ISBN: 0345504984
The City of Mirrors, Ballantine Books, Random House, ISBN: 0345505002

A. G. Riddle

atlantisgene atlantisplague atlantisworld







The Atlantis Gene,, ISBN: 1940026016
The Atlantis Plague,, ISBN: 1940026032
The Atlantis World,, ISBN: 1940026067

Summary: Story telling is always about the human condition. Fiction bundled into a trilogy should be just an extension of an examination of the human condition. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it is merely mediocrity padded into boredom. Sometimes however, it is really great stuff.

A series in fictional literature is when an author has found the goose laying the golden egg and continues to twirl it around until it becomes powder blowing in the wind. (Yeah, you have to think about that one). A sequel in literature is when an author has uncovered an errant thought deemed worthy of fitting into the straight jacket of a previous story. A trilogy is born when an author has an idea so expansive that it cannot fit into any reasonably legible typesetting requiring less than five hundred pages. In short, this is the attitude that most forms of extended fiction is simply a waste of time. There are exceptions. Which brings us to King, Riggs, Cronin and Riddle. We could add to this the rather exceptional Dennis Koontz who is in a class by himself.

Read More


Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates – Book Review

thomasjefferrsontripolipiratesAuthor: Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger
Publisher: SENTINEL, Penguin Random House LLC
Copyright: 2015, ISBN: 1591848066
Cover: Jim Tierney
Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, September 16, 2016

Summary: “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli . .”: stanza in the Marine Corp hymn. This book explains the part about Tripoli. In the infancy of its existence, America faced the prospect of going along with the rest of the world and paying tribute to extortionists on the northern coast of Africa, or taking a stand. President Jefferson opted to take a stand. This book is an overview of how it happened.


I had a professor in college who warned me to be careful of history books published in South America. Just that. A warning to be careful.

Unless you have been living under the proverbial rock, you are aware that the news media is not always impartial and objective. Sometimes, the news media is not even about news. This may have something to do with attempting to be “balanced”. For the news media, presenting a balanced perspective may mean comparing the effects of a cavity to a frontal lobotomy. It is called the false-equivalency syndrome. With any information coming out of the media, I take my professors advice. Be careful.

Brian Kilmeade, one of the authors of THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES, is a co-host on the Fox News network show, Fox & Friends. Along with Don Yaeger, the duo have managed to write an informative snippet of history that has striking parallels to current events. This obviously is no accident. That they have managed to present a superficial treatment of an incident in American history as a taut, action-filled and exciting adventure is amazing.

Read More

%d bloggers like this: