Get ready for a glimpse of our 'tech-morphed' future. It makes our current world of selfies and social media look positively secretive!
Imagine an immersive new technology, 'Informed Light', that infiltrates all areas where light penetrates, allowing entire lives to be visible to all, recorded in every detail on the 'Grand Archive', a technological miracle designed by the antagonist, Dr. Mamon. The protagonist, Ben, takes the reader on a personal journey, from his life-changing 'accident', to a myriad of experiences, real and surreal, as he tries to come to terms with the past.
Bulb's fascinating themes alone, held my attention enough to even forgive the intermittent slow moving sections, as I wondered what corner of this psychedelic world I'd be taken to next. Pity about the pacing though, for Wind's descriptive prose and creative vision soared at times. The story will challenge, baffle, anger, humor and excite, all at the same time, as you 'prepare yourself for full exposure'.
It will also challenge you to think more about what's happening in today's world. Should we pay more attention to unchecked technology? We can already see the price of not, with political populist movements using the power of social media to challenge mainstream media as the preeminent source of informative news.
In Bulb, immersive technology develops exponentially, allowing your entire life to be reviewed. How will a future society with no privacy boundaries be impacted? Descriptive prose and quirky characters such as the twins, Ed and Francis, and Ben's friends, Laurel and Lenny, allow the reader a foothold into the writer's psychedelic world, as seemingly normal events are turned into mind-blowing experiences. Futuristic technology, ranging from computer hover screens to 'whigs' containing life memories, makes for convincing world building, as does infrastructure settings such as shopping mall homes and cities built in the sky.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this unique story and recommend it to all sci-fi fans. Dive into the deep end of Bulb and immerse yourself in the flora and fauna inhabiting this imaginative world bound by 'Informed Light'. Thoughtful speculative fiction, for fans of cyberpunk novels like William Gibson's Neuromancer.
Imagine your entire life is available for review. Imagine each day any event can be watched over and over again - your birth, your first kiss, your recent shower, that private itch - all replayable from any angle. Now imagine these can be viewed by anyone at any time.
In a world where there is far less ego, little crime, and even the smallest moments are recorded and available publicly through the 'Grand Archive' a Utopia or Dystopia? Traumatised by memories he does not want to recall, artist Ben Tinthawin is recruited by the enigmatic Grand Archive creator, Dr. Mamon, who seeks help for his nextgen designs to enhance the world. Ben stumbles across a secret revealing the doctor's true scheme in all its surreal splendour and questions whether the doctor really is the benevolent soul he claims to be. As the path of the paths of the broken man and a revolutionary cross, the world shifts and cracks start to appear. Even our most fundamental codes can be encrypted - or corrupted. If the wrong information is discovered, more than Ben's life will be in danger of total shutdown.
Prepare yourself for full exposure.
"There must have been some of that freakweather going on here. There's a whole damn forest on the highway. Take the next exit, or I will."
"Bah, it's only threatening to rain. Why does everyone have to be freakweather? A few branches won't kill us," Dad said.
This was more than a few branches. Something ahead looked like piles of dirt as if there had been a small rockslide off to the side. The streetlamp shone directly above it, and when we got closer, you could see it was two little dead deer. They faced each other heads to tails like some kind of strange yin-yang symbol.
"Oh, look at those poor baby deer," Mom said with her fingers pressed to the window. Their eyes, glazed and open, appeared almost alive.
A considerable deer herd speckled the hillside, small points of yellow glowing eyes reflected the headlights. In the past, our family made deer spotting a competition. Dad liked to say this region was "infested" with them. I watched his face in the rearview mirror, a smile on his lips from his big score with the deer game, but it melted away as the rain started hitting the windshield. The fading grin was the second last thing I saw before it happened. The fear in the profile of Mom's face was the last.
Mom shouted something unrecognizable as our headlights brought the deer standing in the road to bright view. The first deer looked like an albino, all white from the side - head turned to us, eyes blank and SLAM! And thwunk, another! Soft and solid at the same time, you barely felt the crunch of bone. Chwunn! Another.
Author Bio and Links
Bradley Wind was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He is a prolific visual artist whose work is exhibited in the 20th century wing of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
He worked as a toy designer for K'nex Industries, a manager of IT for Pearl S Buck International and is currently a director of IT for a child focused non-profit. He raises chickens and two lovely girls with his wife in Chester County, Pennsylvania. BULB is his latest novel.
Author Website: http://www.bradleywind.com
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