Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book "Cyberlife" by W.H.Buxton

About the Book: The year is 2069 and Jim Murphy thinks he has the world pretty much figured out, as a Knowledge Management Consultant (whatever that is!) muddling through various technology consulting jobs. That is, until his company, SciPop Inc., assigns him to work a particularly unusual project involving the acquisition of a small backpacking and hiking services business owned by techno-hater Laura Meyers. Jim, however, never works alone. He, like everyone else in the world, is armed with the ultimate technology super-support tool: a personalized, artificially intelligent, holographic Virtual Life form, more commonly known as a Vertal, named Jasper. Just as Jim lives, works and socializes in the physical world; Jasper lives, works, and socializes in the Cybersphere, coexisting and coordinating on behalf of Jim with other Vertals as both navigate the world of the Cybersphere; a 24/7 on-line computer world connecting everyone to everything. Everyone uses it, but in order to use it, you need a Vertal. Somehow, Laura Meyers has learned to exist in the Cybersphere without a Vertal, unfathomable to Jim, Jasper or anyone else at SciPop. But as Jim works the project, he soon discovers there is much more going on in the Cybersphere than SciPop's acquisition of this small, unassuming business when Jasper suddenly goes missing. Jim discovers SciPop has a much bigger and darker plan for "Laura's Hikes" than just a simple acquisition of one of the few non-technical companies left in existence. Much more. Welcome to CyberLife: A weeklong initiation into the cybercentric universe of techno-biologic symbiosis which is considered by all to be perfectly organized, functional, efficient, and effective. As long as Jim, Laura and Jasper follow the rules and regulations of SciPop. Which, so far, they have tended not to do very well.

Read the Excerpt!

I must be dreaming. At least I think I’m dreaming.
Nope. I’m aware of myself lying in bed, so I must be somewhat awake. I glance
over at Clock—0247. I guess that’s good news since I have enough time left to actually
go back to sleep before my usual 0600 go time.
Drifting in and out of sleep can be aggravating. But drifting in and out of real and
dreamlike virtual experiences seems normal to me. Over the past twenty-one years
I’ve become comfortable with my mental and virtual wanderings, and if Clock is
right I have plenty of time to transition back and forth this morning before I activate
my internal motivation gene that will enable me to get up and earn my paycheck.
This little bit of personalized power is enough to keep me satisfied for the moment.
I don’t know if it’s normal, but I can, at least to some degree, orchestrate my
dreams when I’m in this twilight state of mind. I can’t control what my dreams are
about when I’m fully and completely asleep; no one can. But as I lie here in a quasi-
comatose meditative state enjoying a temporary unplugging, I take advantage of my
awesome talent and force the direction that my future dream may take when I do
eventually fall back asleep. Call it a gift .
Thinking of gifts: Lying here in my technology-saturated apartment, I begin to
think of something simple and happy—before I acquired all this character-building
life experience. I guess that’s a gift unto itself, but not something I want to think
about now while looking fuzzily at my darkened ceiling through half-opened eyelids.
I want to think of something better. As I have done many times before, I think
back to my eighteenth birthday, before I was hardwired in to the full-time 24-7-365
business world. Just before I got the gift of all gift s.
Engaging dream control. Disengage fact checking. Memory systems nominal.
Happy birthday, Jimmy.

About the Author: Winslow Buxton is a retired Navy Commander and helicopter pilot who received his Masters of Science in Information Technology and Management from the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. After retiring from the Navy, he worked as a Knowledge Systems Architect Consultant, helping multiple Navy and Air Force Commands initiate and develop their Knowledge Management Programs. He currently resides in Gulf Breeze, Florida with his wife, Bonnie. CyberLife is his first novel.

My review: I love science fiction. I really do. This book did not disappoint me at all. It is a great book, brilliantly written. The story develops on 2069, when we find a world controlled by what is called Cybersphere, a virtual layer of information that everyone is connected into it through an entity called Vertal, or Virtual version of yourself. In this world all appliances have their own different personalities and interact with their owners.
Our hero is a guy named Jim Murphy that works for a company named SciPop. His mission is to convince a small business owner named Laura to sell her business to SciPop. But she is not just an ordinary person in this world. She does not have a Vertal and she does not want to be connected to Cybersphere. The author was very competent creating all the environment for a great humorous story. Jim's co-workers are very well described and the appliances interfering on the selection of the menu for Jim's meals is hilarious. His dialog with Mirror, Toilet,  Clock, Boozemaster and Jasper (his Vertal) are hysterically funny. In some moments this story reminded me of 1984 from George Orwell in the sense that the author describes a world where everything is controlled (by the Cybersphere) and you cannot make any movement without being observed. This book is well worth reading. It is an easy reading an took me about 9 hours to finish it. It is one of the best books I have read in the last 12 months! There is a promised sequel to this book and it will be called CyberSapien, that I will definitely read as soon as it becomes available.

I recommend this book to any science fiction lover. This book has all ingredients to become a classic in the science fiction genre.

This book was written by W.H.Buxton and it was published in October 2011 by Bennett & Hastings Publishing. The author was kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. The novel begins a little slow as the author develops the intricate and technical world of 2069. However, Buxton's creative world is well worth the wait. He builds a humorous cast of office coworkers and nearly sentient appliances managed by Jim's vertal, Jasper. In fact, the appliances are a brilliant addition to the story! Each appliance has a distinct personality and their chaotic interactions with each other in their attempt to serve Jim's domestic needs--from Toilet's determination to set Jim's dinner menu to Mr. Closet's disapproval of Jim's questionable fashion sense--left me laughing late into the night.