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Timothy Thomas – Perion Synthetics

Robotic Aspirations

I’ve read all of the books in the Vinestead Universe and Perion Synthetics is definitely my favorite. Verastiqui’s books inhabit the same universe, but stand alone and can be read in any order. I’d recommend starting with this one.

In Perion Synthetics we get a very fast paced sci-fi story stuffed with action. The enigmatic head of synthetic human development company is rumored to have cancer and be unwilling to be treated. Several news reporters get into Perion’s massive beta test. A huge utopic city populated by androids living with humans. Cooking their food, picking up their garbage, and raising their children. There are multiple people within and without the city looking to exploit the founder’s illness for their own ends.

Explosions, gun fights, and heads being ripped off make for a very quick read. But as with his previous books, the ideas behind that action are also fascinating. We start out with fairly simple ideas of robots as servants, and the rights of robots, but move quickly into human aspirations. Robots as augmentation. Robots as immortality. Robots as warrior saviors.

All of this takes place in a world saturated and motivated by media. With implanted streams that go right into our brains. It takes place in more or less the present day in some alternate universe and even though some of the tech feels like it’s a few years out, it seems very plausible. This feels like speculative fiction.

I definitely recommend taking a chance on this one.

Recent Reviews

Don’t Trust a Veneer. I’m not actually sure if I like this book or not… it’s not all happy endings and good triumphs. Actually, it’s…. rather violent and painful and downright crappy at times. That being said, it was incredibly *readable*. I finished it in one sitting. If you’re looking for a sweet, empowering tale, move on. But, if you’re looking for gritty and under the surface, this is the book for you. Related

Marlena P. Norman – Veneer

Incredible futuristic cautionary tale. I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads: First Reads. I really enjoyed Veneer quite a bit. It was very original and Daniel Verastiqui has created a realistic and very futuristic setting for the story. The characters really came alive due to Verastiqui’s eloquent writing and apparent insight into the minds of teenagers. The book isn’t a casual read but it’s well worth learning the lingo used in the book because it’s a very compelling story. As a cautionary tale for what might come in our future, it’s chilling—but also hopeful since having the Veneer technology would be really wonderful–and dangerous in the wrong hands. Technology often presents a double edged sword. There’s violence in this book and it’s a testament to Verastiqui’s skills that you feel so bad for the victims. The violent scenes are used to demonstrate the dangers of this future world and it works. You really wonder whether it’s better to buy-in or scram and go back to nature. This is an incredible book, and the paperback version has an amazing cover. I love the graphic design. It’s a true work of art. Related

David Ketelsen – Veneer
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