Friday, January 20, 2017

The Forbidden Thoughts Anthology

(Ok, so I've never reviewed an anthology before. This ought to be interesting. Wish me luck. Here I go!)

So it's Triggering Day. Whiny millennials are shitting their pants and cuddling their blankies all over the United States (and maybe even the world) and I felt like writing a book review. There are a bunch of books on my phone, a paper books in my room, a bunch more on my Nook and a library down the street but only one seems to fit on a day like today. The Forbidden Thoughts anthology seems to be the only fitting book to review on a day like today. Seriously. There is literally (and no, I don't mean "figuratively" I literally mean literally) no better SF/F book to review on the day Trump gets inaugurated than the one with an introduction by Milo Yiannopoulos. Milo was his biggest celebrity endorser right? And, of course, Trump IS the candidate who said all they things we're not allowed to say, so Forbidden Thoughts on Inauguration Day it is.

The book starts with the aforementioned introduction by Milo and I have to say something here. Milo comes out with ideas for a number of stories. This irks me to no end. Hey Milo, here's a suggestion. If you want to see a particular story idea come to life WRITE THE DAMN THING!! Bro, you write like a champion. I'm not the world's biggest Breitbart fan but I've read some of your stuff. So just do us all a favor: Bring Milo's take on fiction into the world for all to see. It'll sell. You'll make money. We'll all enjoy it. And hey, the Left won't let you speak. They'd rather riot than allow someone with a different belief system appear in public. You've got time to write fiction when your appearances get cancelled. He does bring up some interesting points about the state of science fiction and fantasy as well. I'm really not doing him justice here. It annoyed me though.

Following the introduction is a "The Razor Blade of Approval" by Ben Zwycky. I won't spend much time here. It's a decent poem but it's rather short and I'm not really a poetry guy. It get its point across and it's like maybe three hundred words long. I'm not really sure how to review something that short.

"Safe Space Suit" is the next story. It brings up a point that would surely get Nick Cole branded as a horrible person by the left if he hadn't been branded as such already after he published CTRL, ALT Revolt! Cole tells a thoroughly entertaining tale from the point of view of a mission commander who just killed his crew by putting the wrong person in charge of piloting a spacecraft because REPRESENTATION!!!! Watching this guy sweat as his career falls apart around him is epic and also does a lot to highlight the way SJWs eat their own when the mood strikes. I enjoyed this one a lot. Cole creates wonderful characters and this is one story that definitely did not disappoint in that regard.

The spacesuit in "Safe Space Suit"is also a treat as it likes to whisper politically correct sweet nothings in you ear while you're in trouble and possibly dying. It's like a constant hashtag stream read out loud to characters in need of emotional support liberal style. I was laughing my ass off.

"Auto America" is the story of a man who gets stopped by a malfunctioning police robot on the way to work. You can feel the MC's frustration at dealing with a situation that he shouldn't have to. This one is really short, but it's a treat.

"A Place for Everyone" shows the folly of "balanced representation" while simultaneously highlighting government corruption. It's as awesome as it is funny... and frustrating. The ending is epic. Seriously. This one was worth the price of the anthology all by itself.

Up next was "The Code". This one was every bit as horrifying as anything else I've seen. Laws have been passed that regulate contact on a date to the point where a man has to speak a specific script to his date (and have her agree in another script) to avoid rape charges if he accidentally touches her. Women abound who love to trap man into touching them before they agree just so to see the men hauled off by the police. Our hero spends his date sweating about what's going to happen to him. The amount of tension Matthew Ward manages to build in a story this short is staggering. Kudos to him.

What happens when history has "progressed" to the point where the truth can be hidden? What happens when everyone is forced to hide their own chosen "genders" because it might offend someone else by causing them to consider their own? Oh, and what happens when a weapon wielding barbarian wanders into town to read the true history? That's a good question. Joshua Young answers it in "History of the World Gone By."  He does a damn good job too.

"The Social Construct" is the story of a child that was created as a toy and had several sex changes to suit the tastes of his parents. It makes sense, right? Change the plumbing, raise the kid to be an >insert gender here< and you're all set. If you change your mind while the child is still a baby just change the environment and the gender will change, right? It's an interesting question and given the fact that there are already cases of people getting sex changes for their young children it's topical. It's also a horrifying look into a possible future. Read at your own risk. You'll enjoy the story, but you might feel a little twitchy afterward. I know I did.

Have you heard of Post Birth Abortion? A.M. Freeman has and, in "At the Edge of Detachment" she spins a tale of an injured child who isn't sure if he'll see tomorrow because he's an inconvenience to his mother and she can legally have him euthanized since he hasn't reached the age of thirteen, at which he would be considered an actual human being with rights. PBA has seriously been suggested by a pair of bio-ethicists. They claim they weren't really trying to propose an actual law to allow this when they suggested it. That may or may not be true. What is true is that I was late getting back to my lunch at work because I couldn't put this story down. Speaking of may or not be true; there are unconfirmed reports that someone put "The Social Construct" and "At the Edge of Detachment" did it deliberately to cause nightmares. Granted, they're mainly unconfirmed because I just made them up, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Up next is "A History of Sad Puppies" by Larry Correia and "Whence Puppydom?" by Brad Torgersen. They create a break from the fiction and give us a chance to read some of Larry Correia's blog posts. The guy is an epic blogger, so if you can only read one blog, read mine. But if you can only read two blogs read his...right after you read mine. Torgersen's addition is a reaction to the No Awarding of several categories.

Ray Blank follows this and his "If You Were a Hamburger My Love" had me in stitches. I was once ordered to read If You Were a Dinosaur My Love for penance after a misstep in a Facebook group I am part of and it was terrible. Blank's parody is actually entertaining though, mainly because Dinosaur was not. Some lighthearted fun was precisely what was needed at this point.

"Imagine" is a story based on the song of the same title by John Lennon and the Left's current attitude toward Christianity. I've read a bunch of these types of stories lately and they all register as eerie and way too possible. Pierce Oka does a good job with this one.

"Graduation Day" is the story of a man who is watching his daughter by sperm donation graduate and get her job assignment. It turns out that he has also been charged with raping her mother by impregnating her - with sperm that have been donated to a sperm bank- without asking her permission first. This one was well written but seemed just a bit too "out there" for me.  I couldn't quite suspend disbelief far enough to overcome the reaction that a woman would press charges for rape over sperm she had paid for. YMMV.

Speaking of Brad Torgersen his story comes next. "Hymns of the Mothers" is chilling and haunting. It's an awesome story though and someone very dear to me points out that there needs to be a follow up novel to this. She's right. (Don't tell her I admitted that in public. There is no reason to give her a swelled head.) In a world where lytes (women) hate and use trogs (men) for reproductive purposes and heavy lifting one lyte finds herself interested in a trog as a *GASP* actual person. She also finds out where babies come from and what lytes and trogs do when they think no one is watching. So here's the deal if you read this Mr Torgersen: Write the book. I'll guarantee you that I'll buy two copies; one for me and one for her. See! You're practically rich already!

John C Wright's "By His Cockle Hat and Staff" is epic but it's TOO DAMN SHORT. Ok, I'll grant you that it's one of the longer entries of the anthology but this is too good of a story with too rich of an environment and too much backstory to be confined to a short. Seriously. This one story could easily have been a novel. There is potential here for a never ending series of books. The story itself is about a society of leftists who discover alternate timelines and decide to turn all other timelines into their own perfect version of history. Seriously, take this idea and these two characters fighting against it and the battles would be awesome dipped in awesome sauce on a stick. And yes, I know it's a story in an anthology and he was probably limited as to how much space he could take up but dammit, it's my bloggie and I'll whine if I want to.

Tom Kratman's "The Rules of Racism" came next. It's not a story. It's not entertainment. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to talk racial politics in the United States in the twenty-first century. 'Nuff said.

"World Ablaze" by Jane Lebak explores a world where being a Christian can get a person in trouble with the law and showing Christian charity is a good way to give yourself away to the police. A world where Bishops have to take their oaths of service in dark alleys and some Christians are sick of it. They want to fight. Their elders aren't so sure. Since it's possible to put patterns of saints onto the brains of believers, should they use peacemakers or militants? There are some interesting questions here and the story is very entertaining.

"Amazon Gambit" by Vox Day is the story of an all female military unit forced to fight on a low tech world using low tech weapons. The method they use to accomplish their mission is every bit as inventive as it would be offensive to the left. Awesome job here. Oh, and just because I can... VOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Elegy for the Locust" is the ultimate in identity politics. Our "hero" has a personality transfer with a rich man and assumes his privilege. Merely being poor is enough to justify kidnapping and massive theft. I really didn't get into this one as much as some of the others.

"Test of the Prophet" by L. Jagi Lamplighter explores the reasons behind Radical Islamic Terrorism from a fantasy/metaphysical perspective. Oddly enough, it's one that both Christians and Muslims could get behind. Her solution though...ummm...yeah. It makes sense to me, but I'm a Christian. The main character's character arc is pretty awesome as well. This is probably the best story in the entire anthology.

Sarah Hoyt had the final entry. "Flight to Egypt" is the story of a couple that wants to emigrate from Earth to Mars and the problems it causes. It takes a good look at racism, perceived racism and the way things work in human hearts and minds. The struggle is real for this couple and their child. Good stuff.

Some quick thoughts about Forbidden Thoughts overall: This is an all star lineup. I really enjoyed getting a chance to read so many of my favorite authors in one volume. The additional authors were awesome as well and really were additions to the book. The addition of a bit of nonfiction added to the work as well, giving a break when necessary to let the emotions catch up to where I was in the book. It was a good time and a good investment. There is one issue with FT though.

Granted, I know this was the point of Forbidden Thoughts, but there is a lot of message fiction here. It's pretty hamfisted in most cases. I didn't mind it because I agreed with it but exposure to this book may cause cranial explosions in Leftists. I approve. I'd actually like to see a few lefties read Forbidden Thoughts because there is a chance, however slight, that one might actually have the self awareness to finally realize why we hate all of their message fiction. Really.

Bottom Line: 4.5 out of 5 Offended Liberals.

Forbidden Thoughts
Milo Yiannopoulos et al
Superversive Press, 2017

Forbidden Thoughts is available at the link below:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Science Fiction, the Seldon Plan, The Mule and American Politics

 (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!! Well, sort of. I mean, the most recent of the books I'm talking about was published over twenty years ago and the oldest was published over seventy years ago, but there's some stuff in here from the books that you won't know about if you haven't read them.)

I'm not sure why, but Isaac Asimov seems to be the least respected of the grandmasters of science fiction. He's been one of my favorite writers since I picked up a used copy of Foundation and Earth at a rummage sale in the gym of a local high school. The gentleman who sold it to me warned me that it was heavy reading. Easy for him to say. It wasn't his budget that had to expand to try to get the Foundation series or the Robots series. I enjoyed FAE for what it was but it took a lot of reading other things to make it make sense in many ways. I'll never get why a man that could conceive a world so rich in history (granted, all of it made up) with characters so vibrant wasn't seen as a master. I think I get it now though.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that most of the people I talk books with are conservative. I have to wonder if the opinions of Asimov are less based on his writing and more on his political leanings. It makes sense that a rightist would be a little annoyed by ideas he didn't agree with. We're not leftists who want to ban everything we disagree with as "hate speech" but some things are out of our comfort zone. They're just not as entertaining to us. Probably the biggest reason I love Asimov when a lot of others like me don't is because I read the books before I was really old enough to make the comparisons a lot of others make. I was eleven or twelve when I got the first one and not much older when I'd worked my way through all of them. I see what they think now, but I'll always remember the joy of reading through those books the first time. Somewhere out there, someone isn't getting this. Let me break it down a bit.

The Foundation in the novels was a product of Hari Seldon and his science of Psychohistory. Seldon, and those who came after him, were the shapers and molders of all of human history from that point on. Their purpose was a better life for all humanity. This was to be achieved by following "The Seldon Plan." The plan adapted to changes in humanity but at the end of the day it was all about following the teachings of one man and his scientific model of humanity. There's more to it overall, the idea filled several novels, but that's it in a nutshell.

The Seldon Plan then, is essentially Marxism writ on a galactic scale. It is the so-called "scientific" way of achieving utopia for all humanity. A way of managing all people so that the greatest outcome is achieved for everyone. A goal worth striving for regardless of the cost because it will benefit all in the end. It is a philosophy of trusting the government to solve all of society's problems, Yes, Asimov was a Marxist and so was Seldon. I have to wonder how many modern-day social scientists, politicians and historians have read his work. I really do.

Part of what irks so many conservatives about  Asimov's work is the (unspoken in the books) assumption that there are right and wrong sides of history. To the left, their march to triumph is inevitable. All who oppose it are evil and will be crushed underfoot. History will remember anyone who spoke out against them as racist, evil Capitalists. Anyone who does not conform will be left behind on the ash heap of history and reviled throughout eternity by all right thinking people and, after the triumph of the Left, all will agree what proper thought is. In the books, no one seriously opposes the plan. The whole galaxy lines up behind Seldon and his Foundation and marches forward into the future fighting to maintain his plan. Well, until the Mule shows up and ruins everything anyway.

The Mule, you see, is from outside the system. What's worse, he stands in opposition to it. He has powers of mind control that he uses to cause others to deviate from the plan. He causes the entire Seldon Plan to begin unraveling. Everything begins to come apart at the seams. Human civilization goes completely off the rails and misses a war they were supposed to fight to correct some problems in their society. The people only find this out because of a recording left by Hari Seldon that details what was supposed to happen. The world is saved through the romantic tendencies of Arkady Darell and her love of intrigue, along with some help from a few others who follow her advice. Here's the thing though: To the Left, Trump is the Mule and they don't have an Arkady Darell lined up to save things after Trump destroys "progress."

Looked at from this point of view it's no wonder that they're all crapping their pants. Trump represents the abolition of all they hold dear, the upset of all of their plans. They've gone from a black president back to a Straight White Male who is also a CAPITALIST!!! The chosen one was not anointed  president. We've moved backwards. The Plan is off the rails and we're all headed for destruction. Doom and destruction are assured if we step off the path that was laid out for us by Karl Marx. The world is ending. Trumps evil mind-control rays made us all racist and misogynist and probably some other kind of -ist as well.  I guess they could be right, but let's just say I'm not convinced.

I didn't support Trump. I told everyone I knew that I was going to lose my shit regardless of which asshole won the election. I delivered. I've voted in every election I've been eligible to vote in since the day I turned eighteen. I voted for myself in 2012, not because I thought I'd make a GOOD president but because I thought I'd make a better president than either one of the candidates that year. Having said that, I'd still vote for Romney before I'd vote for Trump or Clinton.  At the end of the day though, Trump will be the president come Friday and I'll give him a chance even if I do expect him to blow it. The only really qualification Trump has shown so far is an ability to talk shit. We'll see if there's anything underneath.

For what it's worth though, I don't think Trump is The Mule. I never subscribed to the Seldon Plan but I don't think he is deliberately out to destroy anything or to become a dictator. He has enough money that he could have bought himself and island and ruled it if that's what he wanted. I'm not convinced he'll be a good president but I don't see him as the next Obama or Carter so he probably won't be the worst. We'll see. In the meantime I'll be watching them all freak out endlessly. It's going to be a fun four years watching them, even if Trump is as bad as I think he'll be.

Some Foundation books are available at the links below:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Nick Cole's CTRL, ALT Revolt!

Once upon a time your friendly neighborhood blogmaster was not really a near future Science Fiction fan. I lived my alternate lives in universes either full of starships and proton torpedoes or mages and goblins. With a couple of exceptions (Robotech and Shadowrun are the only ones that come to mind) the nearest future I wanted to talk about started in 2265 and was filled with guys named Kirk, Spock and McCoy. I spent my time on Arrakis and in Middle Earth. If I wanted to know what happened on little old Earth, I read about it in history class or the history section at the book store. The near future? Who cared? But then something weird happened: I started a blog and people started sending me near future SF.

I quickly learned that some of the best SF is near term. It's also some of the most believable. Humanoid robots with a grudge attempting to wipe out the entire human race can be scary. A knight with a spear on the battlements waiting for a female dragon rider to show up and kill him will stick with you for the rest of your life. The stuff that really makes a guy like me twitch though? It's the fantastic story that's just far enough in the future that we haven't quite gotten to the technology yet and close enough that I might live to see it.

Sure, I'd love to see Alpha Orions IV up close and personal. That would be a dream come true. I am an online gamer though. I know people who spend real world money on in game merchandise. I know others who use real world money to buy tokens that they sell to others for in game money. Why does that matter? Because we're moving closer to the world as it appears in Nick Cole's Dragon Award winning CTRL, ALT Revolt! This one has had me up a few nights already.

The premise of the story is a bit complicated, but I'll try to describe it: There is a reality TV show. It's not called The Bachelorette, but that's what it is. During the last episode, a self-aware supercomputer watches as the bachelorette decides to abort a child she conceived during taping. It surmises that a species that could so easily kill one of its own young as an inconvenience could easily destroy it. The computer does what it thinks it needs to: It sets out to destroy humanity as a form of self protection. Insanity ensues.

I don't want to give too much away. I'm almost bothered by what I've give away already. That's not my style. I err... don't know how to get around giving up at least a little bit more though. I'll do what I can and try to avoid overt spoilers, but really, so much of what made this book good has to do with the way Cole wove the story together. The review just won't work otherwise. So. Semi spoilerish things alert! Proceed at your own risk!

The amazing part about this book is how it goes back and forth between cyberspace and meat-space. Money is now comprised of "make-coins" spendable both in cyberspace and for things like rent, food and clothing in the real world. There are professional gamers in the real world now, but this is something different. Professional gamers in 2016 make money from streaming and advertising, or from corporate sponsorships. In CTRL ALT Revolt! the "make coins" are as real as real gets. Let's put it this way: I play World of Warcraft. I'm not sure how much gold I have for sure but I'd ballpark it between three hundred thousand and half a million. That gold is worthless outside of the game. There are even some in-game perks that it won't purchase. If those were make coins I'd buy myself a house and a car with no loans and have enough left over for a vacation with the kids, followed by one with my girlfriend.

Along the same lines, information is of huge value and is available both on- and off- line. Much of the fighting in CAR (and there is a metric buttload of it) takes place online. Much of it takes place offline. The online combat is meant to obtain information and spread a virus that will effect the real world. Some of the people online don't even know why they're fighting, they just know THAT they're fighting. It gets a little wild, but that's where the fun comes from. Of course the Artificial Intelligence wants access to information that is contained in a computer that is not connected to the internet.. and things spiral out of control.

I've seen some gaming related titles before but this thing takes the cake. The two worlds are so tightly woven together that sometimes you wonder if the characters can tell them apart. When one of the characters is leading a fight against a much more powerful adversary in an online game to make money to buy things she can use in meatspace and her opponent is an actor in an online gaming/streaming drama...well... damn. It's well done but the lines are effectively blurred here. It flashes back and forth so quickly and I got so wrapped up in I mean that. Wow.

The characters in CAR are believable and awesome. Cole plays with some archetypes here and a few of his most important characters are not really leading character type. The socially awkward nerd that leads a starship crew ends up in the thick of the fight to save the world. The game designer who never goes out fights on the same side, completely unaware of her. The corporate leader is not the evil genius, he's the one preserving the information the world needs to beat the AI. The list gets longer. A lot of thought went into these characters and it shows.

This is a blog that has never shied away from mentioning political content and I'm not going to start now. CTRL, ALT Revolt! is heavy on political content and it's not just in the first chapter. There is political content throughout the work. If I caught the heavily conservative bent of this book as a die-hard conservative there's no way any liberal that reads this could hope to avoid it. The idea that a computer can feel threatened by abortion is one that any liberal is going to have problems with and that's just the beginning. Nick Cole has publicly stated that he had a contract to publish this book and that his publisher cancelled it because of this anti-abortion stance. I wasn't there so I can't speak to what actually happened but I have to wonder if that was a totally accurate statement. Most publishing houses are run by liberals so I have no doubt that his premise offensive. I just wonder if that's the only thing the publisher had a problem with. I was trained to read for an agenda as part of my degree so it may not be as obvious to other conservatives but I couldn't miss it. That's really the only problematic part of the book and it increased my enjoyment rather than diminishing it.

Bottom Line: 5.0 out of 5 Make Coins. This book deserved the Dragon Award. That's why I voted to give it one.

CTRL, ALT Revolt!
Nick Cole
Castalia House, 2016

CTRL, ALT Revolt! is available for purchase at the link below:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Marina Fontaine's Chasing Freedom

(First off, my apologies to many people. I haven't really been myself lately and my reading/reviewing has been effected. My only excuse is that I had a roommate that kept up at night like a newborn baby and I couldn't concentrate hard enough to read or write. Follow that up with a thousand mile move, a job search, trying to learn a new job in a field I'm almost totally unfamiliar with and a reunion with my young children that  hadn't seen in more than a year and well... It happens. The good news is that I have sufficiently put my brain back together enough to be able to read more that two or three pages at a time. If you're reading this and I owe you a review IT IS COMING. Life has just been crazy lately. I apologize. Now, on with the review.)

America as we know it is dead. All of our freedoms, from the freedom to worship to the freedom to own guns and even the right to eat what we want have been taken from us. People have been forced to live in cities for "environmentalist" reasons. America is a place where cell phone time is rationed and children born with birth defects are immediately put death. Well, at least in Marina Fontaine's Chasing Freedom it is. The crazy part of the story is that it all seems so possible.

The story here, though, is not one of downtrodden people with a boot on their neck sitting quietly. There is a reason Fontaine has work published by Superversive Press.  This is the story of a fight from the shadows against an unforgiving government. It is a story of cyber warfare and sometimes outright violence. It is the story of people fighting the only way they can against a government that has them outnumbered and outgunned. It is, in its way, the story of the plucky underdog. It is also a story of sacrificing safety and wealth for freedom. Chasing Freedom also asks a question that pops up again and again in literature and in history: Was it all worth it? I won't reveal Fontaine's answer, but at the end of the day, I agree with it.

It's easy to see why Chasing Freedom was nominated for a Dragon Award for Best Apocalyptic Novel. It really moves. The characters live and breathe. I couldn't put this thing down. I read it in a day and was left wanting more. That's not to say that the ending wasn't satisfying. It was. It also made sense and was realistic which is something you don't often see in fiction anymore. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Fontaine's work.

You know that whole "Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental" disclaimer that comes at the front of most works of fiction? It's there, right on page three. I just quoted it directly out of the book. I am totally not rude enough to up and call bullshit here. Nor will I make comparisons between the self-righteous absolutist attitudes expressed by politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton because then I might be tempted to point out the possibility that such things had been intentionally included and I am far too polite to ever utter such a sentiment. Of course, if someone else were to read the book and make such statements I would probably find myself unable to manufacture an argument to dispute them with, but such is life.

The characters in Chasing Freedom are amazingly well done and believable. From fighting a war, to falling in love, to having children they do what most people do. The leaders of the movement understand their roles and do what they must but never quite feel right in the role. The role players play their roles. Pretty much anyone involved in the movement suffers, some worse than others. Fontaine's cast is made up of not just characters but people. Seriously. If only he existed, I would totally sit down with Randy over a beer. Well, if I could get him away from Julie (his wife) for long enough I would.

The part that I enjoyed most about the book is not its dystopian setting, but the hope and resolve of the characters. They're face with a world where it would be easiest to go along to get along. The United States of Chasing Freedom is not the type of place to engender hope for a brighter future. The fact remains that they do. They don't give up. Nothing stops them and the horrors just pile up. Julie and Randy are forced to leave their oldest child to be raised by someone else to protect him. Another character loses a hand. KGB style torture is in common use by the US government and some break, but most don't. Friends die. Bases are destroyed. The fight continues. The characters in the work are people we could all learn a lesson from.

Fontaine's villains have motivations that, from their point of view, make sense even if, from my point of view, they don't excuse their actions. A man that participates in torture in order to provide a good living for his family is not someone I'd hang out with on a Saturday night. That much being said, men have always done whatever they needed to do to get by and torture and murder are not exceptions, even if they are despicable. The key to writing believable villains is, in my mind, providing them with not just an evil act to commit but an understandable reason for doing so. Fontaine nails it. I can somewhat sympathize with one particular villain while still considering his actions to be deplorable. It may be possible to write a villain better than that. If so, I have yet to see it happen.

I do have one complaint about the tome. We see a lot of government agents at the sharp end of the stick, but almost none at the top. Something I've always enjoyed in fiction is the Big Bad. The concept is not totally missing from CF but is really underdeveloped. The president is (appropriately) set up as the over-arching nemesis but has no "screen time" that I remember. She's just kind of out there somewhere fuming offscreen and appointing evil people. Nor do we get to spend much time with the members of the cabinet that coordinate the battle against the good guys. This is far from a fatal flaw but it does irk me just a bit. Having stated that I really did love the book. Oh, and I just bought an e-copy even though one was given to me for free. I will undoubtedly read it again at some point so it's worth it. It really is that good.

Bottom Line: 4.5 out of 5 exploding flash drives

Chasing Freedom
Marina Fontaine
Self Published, 2015

Chasing Freedom is available at the link below: