I have become a FitBit. The most important thing in my life right now is counting the number of steps El Matador takes each day. Some days that number is two, or zero, or like the other day, seven. I can’t express how exciting this seemingly mundane task is to me. I know one day he’ll be running circles around me, but right now, this is amazing to watch, and honestly, I had no clue it would be.
Honest, well-conceived science fiction. First, I’d like to say that I was worried about Veneer because it’s a self-published title. Perhaps I’m being a bit crass, but I find that most self-published books I’ve attempted to read are poorly written, or have awful (non-existent?) plots, or thin plastic characters. Quite often it’s all of these. Veneer, however, is quite a good book. It could have used a bit of an editor’s red ink but otherwise I found it to be highly entertaining and unpredictable. There were times when I got through a portion of a chapter and thought “Why the heck did that happen? Is the author just filling pages?” but then was surprised to find a real reason, one that relates to the plot or character development. My low expectations were often confounded this way. If I were forced to give an idea of the flavor of this book, I’d say there’s a little of both The Giver and Brave New World, with a tiny splash of The Matrix. The ending was a bit confusing, though that did not diminish my level of post-climax satisfaction (yikes, did I just write that?) If you’re on the fence about this book, give the author a chance. Being self-published is not easy. If you find that you don’t like the book after reading this review, feel free to berate me.
Exciting and unpredictable Daniel Verastiqui has an obsession with giving his characters great big heaping gobs of amazing technology, and then watching them screw themselves with it. Perion Synthetics takes that to a new level. James Perion, the Steve Jobsian titan of business and technology that built the world’s most innovative producer of synthetic humanoids from the ground up, is dying. And his life’s work is not yet done. The people closest to him all jockey for position while reporters from the world’s largest media houses each find different means to infiltrate the ultra-secret Perion City so they can find out just how far this dying man has gone toward the creation of truly synthetic life. It’s an exciting and unpredictable story with a large cast of characters, human and otherwise, that brings us back to the Vinestead universe of Daniel Verastiqui’s previous works. Check it out.