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Month: November 2017

The Rules of Ragatanga

For boys Ricky’s age, the forty yard swim to the north bank wasn’t something to fear. For one, there was no danger of drowning since the depth of the river was only four feet at its lowest. Secondly, they would only have to swim half the distance before reaching the barrier, at which point they would join the rocks in limbo for a short time before resetting to a spawn point. They would lose their inventory—the river would wash it away—and their experience points, but for the most part they would be unharmed. There was no shame in being reset, at least not when it was intentional.

A Cry in the MESH

Mornings in the store were quiet, with only one or two locals dropping by to fill up deisel drums for their ancient combines and tractors. Mid-day, Nelson rotated the stock in the coolers, tossing out the milk that had gone more than three weeks past its expiration date. He spent time cleaning the spotless floor, wiping down the untouched glass doors, and rearranging the undisturbed bags of chips. In the afternoon, when the sun was low enough to bounce off the 277’s blacktop, Nelson retreated to the back office to dial-up to the handful of Bulletin Board Systems he frequented. He read news stories, played a few games, and downloaded the latest celebrity nudes, all while keeping a watchful eye on the security cameras.

The Coker Job

Tanzy placed her hands on the floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out over the Atlantic City boardwalk. From the 78th floor of the White Dragon Resort and Casino, the people below were mere specks on a thin band of polluted sand. Choppy water filled most of the view, stretching out into the distance under a blanket of twinkling stars. She pressed her forehead against the glass and tried to look down the building.

Recent Reviews

Pleasantly surprised non-techie. Let me begin by conceding that I do not often read hi-tech science fiction novels. I do enjoy a wide variety of fiction, including fantasy, so I hope my input will be helpful nevertheless. I received an advance copy of this book, and did not know what to expect. As a newbie to this genre, I was pleasantly surprised. Though I wasn’t familiar with many of the “hi-tech” terms, the author did an excellent job interweaving his explanations within his text without slowing down the flow of the book. His characters are engaging and they caught my interest enough that the deeper philosophical/social issues the author delves into completely blindsided me. It was a positive effect. I won’t spoil anything, but he uses a story about synthetic humans and computer augmentations to question larger ethical issues in media reporting, government control, and technological warfare (e.g. Drones, weapons of mass destruction, etc.). These issues do not weigh down the text, and the author uses a fair share of snide humor to keep the interpersonal relationships from being overshadowed. There’s even a little love for all of us romantics out there. All in all, The only thing I found lacking from the text was a cogent reason why someone would want to undergo technological augmentations on themselves when it leaves a person so susceptible to someone else controlling those augmentations. That might be an issue he deals with in one of his other books though (which I’ve since learned all are set in the same “universe”). The book is entertaining and worth a read.

Sarah Buhidma – Perion Synthetics

Great sci-fi book set in a world not far from our own Perion Synthetics is a gripping story that combines a lot of the best of alternative/cyberpunk-esque worlds while touching on subjects that aren’t too far from current events. There are business moguls making bad (far-reaching) decisions, government mandated corporate medical procedures, journalists scrambling to get some sort of story out however they can, and groups trying to restore the sanity they believe has been lost through the years. Add in some questions about how things will be handled in a post-singularity world, explosions and synthetic creations that are far beyond the uncanny valley, and you’ve got a great read. Easily my favorite sci-fi work by the author so far.

James Winborn – Perion Synthetics
© 2018 Daniel Verastiqui