Absolute Knowledge by Drew Cordell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This science fiction borrows from many dystopian mega-city traditions, but it begins and it finishes with a rather awesome focus on Thoughts.
No, no, not like the thought police, although there *is* a bit of that going on, but on the interesting concretization of thoughts becoming actionable and even becoming possessions that people can trade for basic living expenses in the slums. Let's hook you up and scan you, son. Any original thoughts? No? Oh well, you can get your basic living allowance as long as you tow the line.
Eeek. Not only timely and eerily like what we've already got now, the author takes it to new levels and lets the elite and the big computer that runs the society do some really interesting things... such as the pursuit of Absolute Knowledge... which, you should know, is pretty much a euphemism. :)
This is a dystopia with lots of clandestine and thrilling counter-culture elements, after all, and I can name at least 3 major and pretty awesome plot twists that I'm not going to spoil for your reading pleasure, but rest assured that the story is quite solid and interesting throughout, not just a pretty idea, but a character-driven thriller as well.
The book delivers. Are you looking for some clever SF with cyberpunk elements and a Hard-SF dystopia with a good MC that struggles, strives, against the machine? Look no further. :)
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