12

Meteors have hit some cities in Southern California. (I can't remember if they were large like San Diego, or Los Angeles, or if they were smaller cities like Bakersfield or Fresno). The protagonist (High School? age at the time) who was out of town at the time, has lost all his family and friends.

Now 5-10 years later he is working in a electronic repair shop. Someone brings in an old broken game system (like Nintendo or Sega) that he had in the garage that his kids want to play, to see if he can fix it. But he was not expecting much as it was in pretty bad shape. The protagonist repairs the circuit board, rebuilding part of it and re-encoding the operating system chips (flashing the ROMs with rebuilt codes that he wrote).

The guy is amazed, and brings him some other tech parts to see if he can get them working, or figure out what they do. The protagonist eventually concludes that something is very strange about the tech parts he brings in. He figures out what they should be for, but they can't possibly work as designed, something is missing in the circuits. He concludes they must be alien or future tech.

Two special things I remember about the Protagonist.

  1. He had mental health issues. (Maybe from the breakdown from losing his family? or he is bi-polar, or schizophrenic). His long time psych doctor has had him on various meds and he definitely has episodes during the story, requiring changes in his meds which don't appear to be working as well anymore.

  2. Because his home town and all his family and friends and ID records were wiped out by the meteors, (he was too young to have an ID at the time) doing background checks is VERY difficult. The man bringing him the tech wants him on the team trying to crack the function of the devices, but there is problems getting him clearance.

If I recall correctly, this is only the beginning of the book, 5-6 chapters, certainly less than half the book, I don't recall what happens in the rest of the story.

The tech devices were strange, like one might have been a storage device with an input rate of 10 terabits/second but the storage volume was only 1 meg. It was like trying to fill a drinking glass from Niagara Falls. What's the point. I think it was eventually concluded that the "storage volume" was actually a portal to somewhere else. (More like a Stargate as opposed to another dimension).

6

The Quantum Connection by Travis S Taylor - It's the sequel to Warp Speed

Warp Speed

  1. Warp Speed (2004)

  2. The Quantum Connection (2005)

Steven Montana, computer whiz and hacker extraordinaire, was attending college in Ohio when his world fell apart. A swarm of huge meteors fell all over the world, on Europe, on the United States, and in particular on Steven's home town in California. In an instant, his family and all his friends were gone. Suffering fits of deep depression, he dropped out of college and ended up working as a repairman in a video games store, where he did an brilliant job of repairing a 30-year-old video game. That caught the attention of the game's owner in, who happened to be in a position to get Steven a government job, cracking computer codes, and reverse engineering unusual hardware. When he was given a tiny piece of hardware to examine as a "test," he worked out its functions so well that he and his boss were called to Washington for a top secret meeting. They asked him countless questions, yet declined to answer his; but he would soon learn all the answers. The "meteor" onslaught that had orphaned him had actually been a brief and still secret war between the U.S and its enemies (as told in Warp Speed) using a new warp drive technology that was more secret than top secret. Another secret was that U.S. had been sending faster-than-light ships to other star systems. Most secret of all was that unfriendly aliens were observing the Earth, and while U.S. spaceships were not quite in a war with the unknown aliens, they were shooting at the intruders. Whether any of these answers would do Steven any good was an open question because he learned them only after his was abducted by those very same aliens and was held prisoner on one of their ships orbiting Saturn. At first, he was one of three human prisoners, but he had just seen the aliens completely dissect one of the three, and it looked like either Steven, or the Russian girl who was his fellow prisoner, were scheduled to be the next alien lab experiment. . . .

  • Yes tha'ts it!! I even looked at Warp Speed, but that was not it, and did not look at its sequel as I thought it was probably the first book in a series. – NJohnny Oct 15 '18 at 1:51

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