Category: Dystopian

Book Review: Babouc’s Vision by Glenn Searfoss

“Babouc’s Vision” is a fascinating look at a futuristic dystopian society. At its most basic, this is the story of Harl Babouc, who is chosen by supernatural beings to evaluate a nearby city to see if there was anything there worth saving. If a deeper look is given, it’s actually a great deal more.

The story is told in a series of slice-of-life vignettes about moments in the lives of various city residents. There is occasional overlap, and occasional returns to previously-mentioned characters. For the most part, however, each section stands alone. I found each chapter intriguing, as I learned more about life in this society. I enjoyed reading about the various citizens, what their lives were like, and the challenges they faced in navigating the day-to-day business of living. I found it particularly gratifying when connections were made between the stories.

It doesn’t take long for the reader to realize that this is NOT a future society to which we should aspire. I think it’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t want to live there. What truly invites contemplation is that the world depicted in this book is NOT overwhelmingly far-fetched. Author Glenn Searfoss invites the reader to think hard about our own society, and draw potential parallels. There is a lot to consider in terms of our world verses this fictional one, and in decisions humanity might need to face sooner rather than later.

In the end, does Babouc find anything in the city worthy of redemption? Is the city saved or doomed by his observations? Of course, I’m not going to reveal that….please do yourself a favor and read the book to find the answers for yourselves!

Five out of five wedges of yummy blue cheese!

Book Review: JoinWith.Me by Mike Meier

“JoinWith.Me” is a fascinating book….part near-future realistic dystopia, part cautionary tale, and part plain old great storytelling. It explores themes like humanity’s increasing dependence on technology, how technology can evolve and learn, and the resilience (or lack thereof) of the human spirit. In case that makes it sound like you’re being asked to read a philosophy textbook, let me reassure you: these themes are woven into the plot so seamlessly they’ll take a backseat to the action of the story. The reader will follow Sam, a disconnected and discontented young man, as he navigates his society, his personal issues, and interactions with an increasingly worrisome AI. I enjoyed following Sam’s progress, and witnessing his emotional and personal growth as he responded to the challenges he faced. Sam is an intriguing character, as he is simultaneously becoming aware of his flaws, and moving deeper into a scenario that makes it harder for him to change things for the better.

For me, the main take-away was a lot to think about in terms of the future possibilities for some of the technology that is common in today’s world. For anyone who has read “The Arc of a Scythe”…..plenty to ponder in terms of this book’s AI vs. The Thunderhead.

I highly recommend this book for those looking for a unique, fast-paced dystopian read, as well as for book discussion groups. Trust me: there will PLENTY to talk about after you read this one!

As an added bonus, QR codes (both on the cover and in the text) link to videos from a short film based on the novel.

Five out of five chunks of colby jack!