13 Mar 2018, 4:11am


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BASH BASH Revolution

BASH BASH Revolution

Night Shade Books

by Douglas Lain

Hardcover: 300 pages

ISBN-10: 1597809160 Trade Paper 14.99

ISBN-13: 978-1597809160 ebook 11.99

Booklist-Starred Review

Philip K Dick Award nominee, Lain presents an ominous, cautionary, AI dystopia that has much in common with Dick’s own Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It is 2017. Trump is President, Russia and North Korea are very real threats, and Matthew’s Dad has suddenly returned. He has been gone for a decade, working for the NSA on perfecting an AI known as Bucky; however, both the AI and the real world are unravelling, quickly. Matthew is recruited by his father to teach him the video game BASH BASH Revolution, as a way to work on perfecting Bucky. Told mostly in flashbacks, Matthew DMs his girlfriend [with a few unsettling interruptions from Bucky’s point of view], calmly explaining how the world has become what Matthew describes as a zombie movie but with gamers in VR goggles who are the undead. It is an intensely urgent, and terrifying story with a complex plot, but Matthew sucks readers in and pulls them along briskly, easily relating the hyper technical details while entertainingly unraveling the plot. It is a fun read, that is, until you close the book and start thinking about the implications of what you just experienced. Not only will you think twice before opening a game app on your phone after completing Lain’s novel, but you may also start wondering if we are already living as pawns to a superintelligent machine. This is not a cartoonish sketch, it is a realistic and bleak look at the post-singularity world. An easy suggestion for fans of current, accessible science fiction that thoughtfully contemplates AI such as Ready Player One or Sea of Rust, but it is also a great choice for those who enjoy John Scalzi’s narrative style.

YA Statement: Teens will be lured in to the novel by the video game frame, the artificial intelligence and government conspiracy details as well as the hyper current events, but they will stay for Matthew’s moral and philosophical journey as he tries to resist the AI takeover of humanity.