“Auxiliary: London, 2039” by Jon Richter

At first, it seems that this novel is merely a Dystopian Fantasy with great setting descriptions and well-described action. It takes a second reading to realize how well the parts of the story fit together in one cohesive whole.

This is a tale about the real-life feelings of a human in a world going increasingly hi tech. Everything in the setting seethes with virtual reality, and the dividing line between his world and the cyber world blurs. What start out as flashes of artistic setting description gradually turn into an all-encompassing mosaic that expands to encapsulate the whole story. This environment engulfs the reader in the same way that the artificial world of futuristic technology overwhelms the main character. This comprehensive stimulation of all our senses comes as close as the written word can get to virtual reality.

Adding to this is the characterization. The personalities and creatures (the distinctions crumble here, too) that populate the book are imaginative and well described, though barely realistic. In contrast, the main character is overly down to earth, realistic, and sympathetic, despite (or perhaps because of) his constant referring to himself in negative terms.

A great blend of modern concepts and good, old-fashioned prose.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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