Electric Review

Culture & Criticism Since 2003

Hot Summer Reads

THE BOOST. Stephen Baker. Tor.


Cover art courtesy of Tor.

This book is a picture-perfect snapshot of the future, illuminating that twisted, nefarious path born from our insatiable thirst for more technology. Look close, and it’s hard to know if Stephen Baker is writing fiction here or looking at some secret blueprint of where this world of smart phones and mechanical brains is heading. In The Boost, the populace has been voluntarily imprisoned by super computers embedded in the mind of each individual. The core of the story is found in what happens when a software engineer opposes the watchful eye of the global-government and loses his connection, suddenly pushed back over the line into the wild world left behind. One doesn’t have to work too hard to catch a glimpse of Edward Snowden and the NSA in the shadows of the outskirts, there in the soul of a novel that is as timely as it is compelling. Baker (whose resume includes a position at BusinessWeek as a senior technology writer), does a masterful job at straddling the fence that separates fiction and reality. In the end, that fence is so blurred that we’re left to collectively ask: “When is this really going to happen?”

by John Aiello


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This entry was posted on June 3, 2014 by in 2014, In the Spotlight, June 2014, Rat On Fiction & Nonfiction and tagged , , .
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