Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Daniel Suarez: "Daemon" and "Freedom"

Title: "Daemon" and "Freedom"

Date: 08/2014

Author: Daniel Suarez

Duration: 27 hrs and 44 mins

Review: Superfun, near future, techno-dystopia. I really enjoyed the ideas in these books.  The dialogue is wooden, and the characters are cardboard cutouts; the writing, in general, is pretty weak. But, the ideas are amazing. The gist: a genius programmer/game designer with the engineering capability of 10,000 Googles creates a distributed program to replace a government that's been taken over by corporate interests.  In the world of this story, much like our own, corporations have government in their pockets.  Unlike our own world however, corporate power, in the world of the book, is completely unchecked, used to achieve uniformly selfish and myopic ends, and is in short, always evil.

The corporations, first with the aid of government, and then on their own, battle this program for control of the masses.  Aside from the very detailed and realistic illustrations of the  risks posed by the hyper-connected, insufficiently diverse, overly complex, brittle systems on which we depend for our survival, the book also attempts to weave through consequences of the fragility of these systems to democracy, meritocracy, and individual and collective agency.

I loved it!