In the near future, the world has hardened.Opportunities are scarce and dwindling. Society has increasingly changed, and not for the better. Every day robots and machines replace humans in the workforce, not just in the most menial jobs, but also throughout the cubicles of the corporations that dominate the cities.
Peter Harkness is one of the few humans lucky enough to still have a job, but automatons have infiltrated his workforce. How long will his own job last? What did his roommate tell him? Oh yeah:
"Nothing is ever not possible," Brutus said. "We're making processors smaller and smaller. Code is becoming intensely complex and powerful. The sheer bulk of those executable shells can shed strands of isomer code fragments. Even if something seems not possible now, it will certainly be possible in the future. I see no reason why code can't seek its own level, form its own connections, relays."
What secrets do the roofs of the city have waiting for Peter? He is left wondering who his allies truly are in this near-futuristic dystopian world, reminiscent of Asimov, Heinlein and the goldenage of science fiction.
And yet, there may be hope.
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How do you run from a giant?
Now' do you run from a giant?"
This is a wonderful book.
Narrated by the gentle voiced James Foster, with perfect pacing, understanding and modulation, he is Peter Harkness, a 'code' man, one of the fortunate few still to have a job in a world more frequently run by automatons, both grunt work types and, increasingly, the more intelligent AIs. They are replacing the human import in the great corporations and only the owners can still feel secure in their positions of power and wealth. After his brilliant work mate disappears, Peter knows that for him, too, no matter how valuable he seems to be, it is only a matter of time.
Perhaps this very spare introduction makes this story sound depressing. it is not. Quite the contrary, in fact. Beautifully written in the first person, the reader is right inside Peter's head, with his rambling ideas, the humour inherent in his situation and the simply delightful other characters, especially one of the robots who delivers packages necessary for his work. The book is short but filled to the brim, insightful in many ways, calling to the reader's inner being. For obvious reasons, more of this delightful story cannot here be rehearsed. Just to say buy it, enjoy the excellent meld of text and voice - then tell all of your friends. It will not disappoint.
- Norma Miles