Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book Review: Reality 36

From the publisher Angry Robot comes the debut novel Reality 36 from a British science fiction writer named Guy Haley. Set in the 22nd Century, an investigative duo is hired to locate a missing Artificial Intelligence Rights activist. Their mission takes them into the digital realm known as Reality 36 and through the Great Firewall of China. But there is more to this mission than meets the eye. And that’s good because there is more to these two investigators as well: Richards is a Level 5 Artificial Intelligence himself while Klein is an ex-military special ops cyborg.

While I’ve always been a science fiction fan, the grim cyberpunk type settings have not always been a favorite of mine. Sure, I enjoyed Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? back when I was in high school in the 1980’s, but I never made this sub-genre a regular stop on my reading list.

However, I have to hand it to Guy Haley. His way of delivering this story is done in such a manner where the plot and the characters are the primary focus, with background details and exposition sprinkled in as needed. He does not talk down to the reader; he presents the technological terms and acronyms as if they were part of our everyday language, allowing the reader to decipher them within the context of the story. He basically drops the reader into the world as if it were some place they are already familiar. I like that approach.

The story moves along at a fast pace too. Within a few hours I already had found myself over a quarter of the way through the story, something that never happens when I read. I was engrossed by the adventure and kept turning the pages. Reading the book in an electronic format on my iPad made it all the more fitting as well - a hi-tech sci-fi story on a hi-tech modern device.

If you like engaging futuristic tales with lots of action and interesting characters, you just might want to give Guy Haley’s book a try. Released on August 30 of 2011, it can be found where ever you might pick up paperback or e-books.

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