The more things change, the faster they change. At no time in our history was that more true than in the years between 2018 and 2026 when America and most of the civilized world was almost brought to a technological standstill by a group of hackers who valued privacy over regulation and freedom over democratically elected control. This is the story of how the Margate MESH brought us to the brink and how the men and women of this great country brought us back.
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. The writing was not remarkable, but the story was fast-paced and the characters were believable. I found myself being sucked in despite the fact that Verastiqui’s writing style wasn’t my favorite, and that takes a certain type of talent. If you are a sci-fi fan, you will love this book. I myself thought it was okay.
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.