CTRL+S by Andy Briggs (book review).

December 1, 2019 | By | Reply More

In many respects, Andy Briggs’ book, ‘CTRL+S’, is an extension and a possible future of our reality. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to out the correct name to various things we see today. What Briggs has done is do the standard SF practice of taking it to extreme. The major difference is human society is sorting out its environmental problems and coping with climate change. No easy remedies here. Flat roof-tops are used for insect populations, like bees.

Work conditions are poor and many people live in immersive realities computer games. It’s more amazing any real work is carried out except there is one flaw. This is also taken to extreme and there is also a three hour limit to how long you do it daily or risk a brain haemorrhage. You would think there would be health and standards in the future or at least medical checks to ensure you are fit to play such games.

Theo Wilson belongs to a small team of student-age players who are only moderately successful with a variety of talents playing the game of SPACE. Wilson is the only one working while the others are at university. He discovers his mother, Ella, is vastly in debt to a loan company who are not only wanting her but willing to do physical damage to him and she’s gone missing. Wilson has to depend on the help of his friends to track her down.

Much of this story is discovering what Ella really is and her rescue. Along the way, Theo and his friends are wanted by the police, where they discover corruption is rife there as well. There is a lot which would be regarded as spoiler. The end is more of a major battle and I couldn’t tell which was in normal reality and SPACE.

The book cover says that people are being exploited for their emotional make-up although if that is the core of the plot it doesn’t make much of an impression. The ending is quite normal battles than fast thinking. Briggs will keep your attention and the characters work well. He doesn’t satirise our present given the opportunity so it’s more an adventure story with all the right tropes if you play computer games.

GF Willmetts

November 2019

(pub: Orion. 404 page enlarged paperback. Price: £14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-40091-8464-5)

check out website: www.orionbooks.co.uk

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Category: Books, Scifi

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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