Sphere

Thrust into my hand as a book “mind-blowing for a 16-year-old boy,” I read this as I walked to and from work, sometimes to just churn through it, sometimes because I knew that walking would distract me from the horrible writing. Yet Crichton excels at moving a plot along, sprinkled with scientific bits. It was a welcome reset button from the headier stuff I’ve been reading, but not recommended. A team of scientists descends into the Pacific to assist the Navy in opening a sphere found on a spacecraft from the future that crashlanded at least 300 years in the past (time travel!). The crew narrows down to three after various deaths, then power struggle once everyone has been inside the sphere and acquired the ability to think things to make them true. The psychologist almost takes off in the submarine without the other two, but recognizes his “shadow” self has overtaken rational thought. Eventually the three surface, keeping mum until the decompression tank, where they talk over events, decide to use their power one last time to forget this happened, plant a false memory.