I’m adding book reviews to my blog, since I love reading fiction in addition to writing it. I want to share the books I’ve enjoyed reading and talk about them here. I plan on reviewing self-published authors and traditionally published ones.
Today, the reviews are all about cyberpunk. Two books by Tanweer Dar that bring the reader into a society that’s heavy with technology and neon. But not all is fun and sparkling in those lights.
In the blurb for this book, there’s the phrase: “What could possibly go wrong?” Well, lots of things. And this book tells stories of what could go wrong with technology. It gives us fuel for the nightmare of rats that become resistant to a virus engineered to wipe them out. And the nightmare of a robotic pet dog that isn’t cuddly. And the nightmare in Neon Dreams, a nightclub where you’re supposed to dance the night away — not dance to your death. These are just a few of the 13 stories in this book. When someone says a smart apartment would be so convenient, that you could tell the system to dim the lights, change the music, change the temperature, etc. Yes, that would be convenient. But Tanweer Dar is here to tell us those conveniences have dark sides, too.
The Man with No Name
Tan expands the cyberpunk vibe into a longer story with this novella. It’s dark and gritty and full of action.
The man with no name is the loner type of hero, similar to Western movies. He’s got a gasoline-powered muscle car instead of a horse (people in the city travel in electric vehicles). Flashbacks allow the reader to understand why he has no name and add depth to his character.
The environment is vibrantly described, so I could easily imagine the city of skyscrapers, rife with advertisements, as the characters zipped from one area to another — all the characters with individual agendas.
And when those agendas intersect, there’s a lot of action. Some characters want to keep control, some want to regain control, some want escape. Tan keeps them rushing toward those goals. Hold on to your seat or reading device or paperback book: this story is a fast-paced ride.