In nine interwoven tales, Mosley paints a keen, if fictional, portrait of what the future could hold if the political climate continues. From Ptolemy Bent, the child genius whose act of mercy lands him in prison, to Fera Jones, a heavyweight champ who gives up the ring for a political career, characters appear and reappear in different storylines ...
In nine interwoven tales, Mosley paints a keen, if fictional, portrait of what the future could hold if the political climate continues. From Ptolemy Bent, the child genius whose act of mercy lands him in prison, to Fera Jones, a heavyweight champ who gives up the ring for a political career, characters appear and reappear in different storylines as everyone tries to survive a fast and furious "Futureland."
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-02-04 Although Allen brings a distinctly human touch to a cold world of computers and corporations, his relaxed style seems ill suited for these nine interconnected stories set in the near future. The frenetic material should be bristling with tension, but here it comes off as leaden. Agreeing with the sci-fi theme, the recording makes use of some effects, like giving Allen's voice a distant, tinny sound for a radio advertisement or a stentorian echoing effect for a ringside announcer. But even more would have been appropriate, such as background noise or music woven into the segues to heighten drama. While distracting in some recordings, such effects seem to be missing here amid the high-tech hullabaloo, especially given Allen's deadpan delivery. The stories themselves are intriguing and notable within science fiction for their focus on marginalized and underprivileged characters. But Allen's approach is simply too languid for the subject matter, and the dialogue in particular comes off as stilted and awkward. Simultaneous release with the Warner hardcover (Forecasts, Sept. 10, 2001). (Nov. 28, 2001) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2001-09-10 After the qualified success of his first science fiction novel, Blue Light (1998), Mosley (best known for such mystery fiction as the Easy Rawlins series) returns with nine linked short stories set in a grim, cyberpunkish near-future. Unfortunately, heavy-handed plotting and unconvincing extrapolation weaken the collection's earnest social message. "Whispers in the Dark" introduces prodigy Ptolemy Bent, who will grow to be the smartest man in the world in spite of his poverty-ridden childhood. Ptolemy reappears in "Doctor Kismet" as an adviser to assassins trying to kill the richest, most corrupt man in the world and as the brains behind a series of global plots to overthrow the status quo in "En Masse" and "The Nig in Me." Champion boxer and much-hyped female role model Fera Jones steps away from the ring to take hands-on responsibility for the influence she wields in "The Greatest." With its easily befuddled talking computer justice system, "Little Brother" is more Star Trek than high-tech cyberpunk. In more familiar territory for Mosley, PI Folio Johnson investigates a series of murders linked to Doctor Kismet in "The Electric Eye." Although packaged as SF, this book is likely to disappoint readers of that genre who've already seen Mosley's themes of racial and economic rebellion more convincingly handled by authors like Octavia Butler. Mystery fans, on the other hand, are far more likely to embrace this latest example of Mosley's SF vision, with its comfortably familiar noirish tone and characters, than they did Blue Light. (Nov. 12) Forecast: With a five-city author tour and national print advertising, both mainstream and genre, this title book should be slated for solid sales. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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