The Forever Watch is a work by David Ramirez.
Earth was destroyed by an unknown disaster. All that remains of humanity are the crew and inhabitants of the Noah, a Generation Ship sailing through the stars at near-c towards the world of Canaan, where mankind may be able to rebuild.
Hana Dempsey is a City Planning Administrator, a gifted psychic, and a peerless economist and bureaucrat. She is considered Mission Critical, a small but important part of the structure that keeps the Noah functioning at peak capacity. But when she is recruited by policeman Leonard Barrens to investigate his mentor's mysterious and gruesome death, she finds herself increasingly captivated by both the mission and him.
She has no idea that the secrets she will uncover will upend everything she thought she knew..
The Forever Watch provides examples of the following tropes: (WARNING: UNMARKED SPOILERS!!)
- Black Box: The Noah was built by a Higher-Tech Species, whose work humanity still barely understands. When she stumbles across a hidden scrap of information about the Builders, one of the main reasons Hana accepts their existence is because it explains why humanity has not progressed technologically in all the years since the Noah was launched.
- Body Horror: Everything about the "Mincemeat" disease.
- Conspiracy Thriller: A rare example of one that features a Benevolent Conspiracy, though it doesn't appear that way at first.
- Fantastic Drug: Psyn. It was initially created as an experiment into boosting psi powers, but abandoned when it was discovered to cause increasing irrationality and dementia in most users. It's practically the only thing on the Noah that's actually illegal (while you can't get cocaine or heroin, you can get memories of what it feels like to use them).
- Mars Needs Women: The G1s must be kept alive, despite how powerful and dangerous they are, because only they can give birth to new G0s to run the Noah.
- Mystical Plague: "Mincemeat", a highly contagious disease that seems to have been released from the wreckage of the Noah when it first landed on Earth. It's so alien that even after centuries of study humanity has no idea how it works, and has different symptoms with each generation of sufferers.
- G0 infectees are (at least at first) physically indistinguishable from uninfected humans. But their children will all be G1 infectees, and after a random length of time their bodies start breaking down on the cellular level, causing them to melt into a mess of blood and tissue.
- G1 infectees, born from G0s, are little more than beasts, horribly twisted monstrosities, large and stronger than G0s, and with amplified psychic powers. They in their turn give birth to new G0s.
- No Place for Me There: The final and deepest secret: Not one of the Noah's crew, or any of their descendants, will ever set foot on Canaan. Strapped to the Noah's hull is a module containing the last few thousand uninfected humans in suspended animation, and all the supplies they will need to rebuild mankind. When the Noah finally reaches Canaan, it will drop that module off, and then incinerate itself and its crew in Canaan's sun, ending the threat of Mincemeat forever.
- Psychic Powers: Every member of the Noah's crew has some level of psychic talent. Known classes include:
- Touch talents can telekinetically manipulate objects, including reshaping the omnipresent plastech.
- Bruiser talents enhance their physical abilities: strength, toughness, senses, and more.
- Reading talents can detect others' thoughts and emotions, while writing talents can implant thoughts and emotions in other people's heads.