Friday, December 2, 2016

The Beginning of a New End

As many of you know, I LOVE Cyberpunk. William Gibson, Wintermute, The Ghost in the Shell, The Matrix (only the first one!), all of it. I love the concept of "high tech/low life" and that we are honestly not that far away from such a world. As of now, our very lives are on a small thin device that can not only take phone calls but also tell you the weather, play songs, and even read stories to you. More and more people are getting body parts replaced with machines, possibly leading to far more extreme surgeries and enhancements.

Take Shelly, the main character in the book Cybergenesis, for example. Although she looks and acts human, she is a cyborg who is also a Diver. Divers are those who "use cybernetics to immerse themselves in computer programs", and Shelly and her crew are experts in the field. It may be a thankless job, but it is quite the exciting and sometimes frightening job to take. Shelly and her team, Beau (husband), Sophie (the new recruit), and Collin, receive a mission that will clear their debt and cut them loose from their obligation to their employer, the corporation Cyberize. However, their last mission proves to be their most dangerous and strangely enough, enlightening, one they've ever had. As for Shelly, it becomes the chance of a lifetime that may literally never die.

I first met author Amanda McCarter at GlitchCon and, after having several really cool conversations with her, I knew that I was going to enjoy her work. Needless to say, I LOVED this book! Cybergenesis has the right mixture of mystery and humour wrapped in a Cyberpunk frame, with a nice and believable dash of human limitation. When Shelly and her team reach the space station to conduct their last mission, they are met with hostile and bigoted people who want nothing to do with the cyborgs. The station residents see themselves as fully human and therefore right in the image of God. Anyone or thing who adds to God's design is seen as a freak, yet I found myself shaking my head in shock when the residents' secret is revealed. What makes one "human"? Thought, emotions, love, fear? The fact that one can eat or drink, or perhaps that one believes themselves to be alive? McCarter presents several interesting concepts in Cybergenesis regarding Life and Death, especially Life. This book will not only entertain you but also enlighten you.

There is a second book and if I were you, I'd order both so as not to get frustrated when you fly through the first one.


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