Jennifer Pelland lives outside Boston with an Andy, three cats, an impractical amount of books, and an ever-growing collection of belly dance gear and radio theater scripts. She’s garnered two Nebula nominations, and many of her short stories were collected in Unwelcome Bodies, put out by Apex in 2008. Her debut novel, Machine has just been published.
Back in 2004, I started work on a novel that I jokingly pitched as my “Google on your glasses” novel. After years of rewriting and shopping it around, Machine finally came out earlier this year. Now I hear that Google is talking about doing just that — putting your browser right in front of your face. Damn, I should have patented the idea back when I had the chance.
Seriously, though, this is an idea that we should have all seen coming. I already walk around every day with a hand-sized device that makes phone calls, takes pictures and video, plays games, and lets me connect to the internet to look up any damned thing I please. Long gone are the days of drawn-out arguments in the car over who’s right about some obnoxious fact. All the passenger needs to do is whip out her phone, look the obnoxious fact up, and crow over her victory (why yes, I’m the passenger in this scenario). Of course the next step is to turn this same device into something more wearable and omnipresent. And, of course, it’ll bring about some interesting societal changes along with it.
Did I say “interesting”? I probably meant to say “disturbing.” Or maybe I meant equal parts of both. Because while it will be awfully cool to have instant access to a literal world of data, it also means the death of privacy.
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BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In the world of tomorrow, every man, woman and child is infected with the potential to rise from the dead, but it is still a world ruled by political agenda that will stop at nothing. A sister and brother blogging team seek the truth and a little zombie action, in an ever-descending downward spiral.
PROS: Snarky and cutting wit; excellent future prognosis in a well realized zombie world.
CONS: First-person narrative lacked some of the descriptive exposition to better reveal the physical world; main antagonist is revealed a little late and is a tad obvious.
BOTTOM LINE: With a narrative that speaks to the reader you are drawn into a world of the future that seems so plausible it may have you looking up Doctor Kellis and checking the existence of the filovirus Marburg EX19, just to make sure you don’t need to stock up on ammo and blood testing units. It’s zombies, bloggers, politics, technology and medical revolutions all mixed into a bloody cocktail and poured for your enjoyment. Beware of snarky dialogue that will make you smirk.