Government sci-fi literature is alive and well in Benoit Blanchard’s Cyberbrain: Guardian Angel and other recently published books.
Jennifer Government by Max Barry
Jennifer Government is a 2002 satirical novel by Max Barry. It centers on globalization and marketing hype. In a world where taxation has been abolished, and the government privatized, every employee is a slave to the company they worked for. It’s a corporate world, and everyone is struggling to survive. In the middle of all this is a lowly Merchandising Officer named Hack Nike who finds himself in big trouble and trapped into building street cred for a new line of $2500 sneakers by shooting customers. Enter the Jennifer Government, stressed-out single mom, corporate watchdog, and government agent. Nike is in her sights and what follows is a funny riot of corporate greed and consumerism. It’s a subtle reflection of the reality unfolding before our eyes.
Cyberbrain: Guardian Angel
Cyberbrain: Guardian Angel is a sci-fi corporate thriller and sequel to Benoit Blanchard’s debut novel, Cyberbrain. Set in the mid21st century United States, the book follows the main protagonist Max Wilson, a former medical student who discovered his cyber implant. This electronic device can change the thought patterns of people. With the help of Dr. Warren Alston, an ethical doctor who is teaching other surgeons how to remove cybers, Max is determined to thwart a sinister plan by Patrick Kobayashi. Kobayashi, the inventor of the cyber, is working with a maverick politician intent on introducing the cyber into Canada. With the aid of a ruthless assassin codenamed Guardian Angel, Kobayashi is hellbent on destroying everyone and anyone standing in the way of his evil plan.
Persona by Genevieve Valentine
Persona is Genevieve Valentine’s third novel that blends international diplomacy and celebrity. It’s a fast-paced, high-octane read that features an unlikely partnership between Suyana, the face of the United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation, and a runaway boy-turned paparazzo named Daniel. While meeting with Ethan, a potential ally for her struggling country, Suyana finds herself the target of an assassination attempt. Witnessing the first shot, Daniel decides to jump into the action for the scoop’s sake. Now the two must evade their killers while uncovering a vast complex conspiracy that will bring potential ecological catastrophes. Persona is a near-future political thriller that makes you think about our current political setup and how corporations control governments.
The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara
The Immortal King Rao is the latest book by Vauhini Vara. The book begins in an Indian Village in the 1950s. A boy wonder is born into a family of coconut farmers. He rises to become the world’s most successful tech CEO. King Rao eventually becomes the leader of a global corporate-led government. His daughter Athena has access to his memories and his gifts. Athena decides to reveal the truth to the world’s Shareholders- about King’s childhood on a South Indian coconut plantation; his migration to the U.S. to study engineering in a world transformed by globalization; his marriage to the ambitious artist with whom he changed the world; and, ultimately, his invention, under self-exile, of the most ambitious creation of his life―Athena herself. The Immortal King Rao is a part of speculative fiction, history, and dystopia that bravely takes on the issues of our times, including climate change, technological capitalism, and the future of humanity.