It’s a beautiful night for writing. Jack is in the Coke, treason is in the air, my fingers are in the mood to fly, and also Jack is in the Coke.
Verastiqui has outdone himself In short, Perion Synthetics is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Verastiqui paints a not-too-distant future where your smart phone is embedded in your wrist, the word “feed” has become a transitive technoverb, and synthetic humanoids indistinguishable from you and I roam freely. Typical sci-fi tropes? On the surface, perhaps, but Verastiqui delves deeper into technological and political issues that you’ll find a little too familiar with what modern media is becoming. The story centers on the titular company and a cast of characters that weave a story of deceit, espionage, death, and other fast-paced plot elements I’ll leave tacit as not to spoil anything. To describe this book as a “page turner” would be a grave understatement. Curious if the author will address what will inevitably happen “behind closed doors” between fallible humans and synthetic beings of the opposite sex? The only answer you’re going to get from me is “you’re just going to have to read it for yourself.” If you’re familiar with the Verastiqui oeuvre, his storytelling elements in this book are omnipresent yet surprisingly fresh: wry humor, unapologetic grittiness, remarkable depth of character writing, loss of love and its ersatz replacement, rampant technology, and the megacorporation therein that may-or-may-not control all the information. If Perion Synthetics were to be compared to a film, it would be Blade Runner – written by Lars von Trier and directed by Sam Peckinpah. A by-the-book sci-fi story this is not; Verastiqui is a master of the cyber-punk genre and I dare anyone that knows Asimov from Orwell to disagree.
Another great book by Verastiqui. If you like science fiction to be the kind that seems truly possible, then read this book. A world where wars are fought by robots and where an expiring physical body can be exchanged for a semi-immortal ‘sleeve’ make this book truly thought provoking. The author does a great job combing drama, action, and philosophical questions, and his characters have flaws that bring out their humanity. There are many unpredictable plot twists that keep the surprises coming.