Sci-Fi Book Review
By Katie Pope
Good Science-Fiction is not hard to come by. The breadth of the genre is vast and there’s really no bad place to start if you’re a new to it. Whether you like the more serious, epic stories like Dune, the tongue-in-cheek whimsy of Douglas Adams, or the philosophical exploration by the minds of writers like Philip K Dick or Neil Stephenson, the genre has something for everyone.
Recently, I crowd-sourced for some fresh reading. I’d been on a bender of contemporary Sci-Fi that hasn’t made it to the Popular and Well-Known category. If Ridley Scott or JJ Abrahams was scheduled to fill a screen adaptation with lens flares or Charleze Theron, I was going to skip it. I got some really good leads, but the one that I followed came from an inbox message from an online friend. He sent me a copy of his novel, an Indie story about 230 pages long, called The Lightcap, by Dan Marshall. It’s available on Amazon.
The Lightcap follows programmer Adam Redmon who is leading a team of gifted people in designing the next version of the Mind Drive, a device controlled entirely by the power of thought. (I can’t help but look askance at my Smartphone and wonder how close this kind of technology really is). The v-5 model was designed and adapted in a world where free-market capitalism has brought astounding technological growth with some very profound compromises to society. Adam and his team are tasked with testing the v-6 model, a much rumored instrument called Lightcap that will supposedly take human productivity to the next level, allowing the device to interact with the brain in ways unheard of before. After months of testing and Lightcap selectively erasing his workday from his memory (to clamp down on corporate espionage and to allow users to leave their
work at work when they go home), his desire to find out more about Lightcap and it’s elusive manufacturer, Brain Sync, leads him down a dangerous and deadly path.
The book reads extremely well. Dan Marshall is talented with words and knows how to weave them without profusion. The pacing caught me before I realized it had reeled me in and I found myself reading at two in the morning, following Adam through the maze of conspiracy and ambition behind Lightcap’s genesis. The characters are from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, which is always a welcome and refreshing experience in fiction.
Dan Marshall makes his home in Portland, Oregon.
- By Katie Pope
For a hard copy & more sci-fi related content check out the full Sci-fi issue here!