Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: The Bridge Chronicles by Gary Ballard

eBook, 849 KB
Published June 11th 2011
Source: Author, for the purposes of an honest review
Genre: Sci-Fi (cyber)
Series: The Bridge Chronicles #1-3
Stars: 4

The Bridge Chronicles is insanely different from anything I typically read. This is 100% sci-fi that takes place in a vastly different future with a technologically advanced cyber world known as the GlobalNet. People enter the NetRooms using a NetBody. The world is a bleak America where there has been a complete failure of the government and now a localized governing system that is owned by money hungry corporations has filled in the gaps and their making the laws, collecting the taxes and policing the streets. Readers are given a world that takes place both in a real world and a cyber-world.

Artemis Bridge is not a man you like nor one you would call friend. He is however a man you want to know and have his services available to you if you were to need something that is not easily or legally acquired. You see Bridge knows a man, actually he knows lots of mans. He is your bridge to that individual. He doesn’t ask questions nor does he want any details on his customers wants. He just collects a fee and bridges the gap. I loved this anti-hero. His scruples are all out of whack. He helps people get what they want, he keeps his coffers filled, he keeps his a vast know network, all while on occasion helping someone, but never for the good of others, always for himself first. Thus Bridge assisting someone is a byproduct of him looking out for only himself. I loved this about the main character.

The secondary characters are just as interesting. Readers are given a political science studying footballer who can no longer play the sport turned muscle for hire, turned ganger, turned gang leader, along with a highly intelligent philosophical body guard, the god of all GlobalNet hackers and technomancers which are in essence scientists with a highly secretive technology that allows them to manipulate everything and just simply label it as magic.      

I liked the author’s commentary. In between the books and the short stories he explains how Bridge came to be a character, how the book grew from serial blog posts to books and the book of all the books. He also goes into some detail about just how detrimentally bad a governing body owned by corporations would be. Sometimes when I read a book I find myself thinking about what was the author thinking. Ballard has taken the time and put some of his thoughts into this book. I really enjoyed that feature of The Bridge Chronicles.

As a whole book, The Bridge Chronicles is great. The reader gets three novellas: Under the Amoral Bridge, The Know Circuit, and if [tribe] = and two short stories The Feed Autonomy, and Elegant Solutions to Complex Hostility. All of this is bundled into one book that includes the author’s personal thoughts. The three books total to 552 pages, with the added short stories and authors thoughts this is easily a 600 page book. 

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