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New Pacific

Author: G. Miki Hayden
Genre: Science Fiction
Reviewed by Kevin Tipple

"A society that depended on companies for its daily sustenance could not mandate restrictions in those companies." (Page 28)
12010401Years ago, when I was a teenager and thought I knew it all, a certain domestic car company produced a car that they knew would detonate and kill passengers when struck from behind during an accident. That a certain number of people would die was considered acceptable by this company as a cost of doing business. Such a concept is the theme behind this highly disturbing, yet very enjoyable novel penned by G. Miki Hayden.

In this not too distant future, the NEW WORLD ORDER has actually come to pass. Along with the effects of a steadily increasing population and global warming, large monolithic corporations have completely replaced governments. National boundaries and interests no longer exist, and instead, corporations ensure peace and stability worldwide while taking care of all. Those that die, beyond those that die from natural aging, do so due to accidental technology glitches and the survivors are well paid. The world is a controlled safe place but dissent and freedom still simmer in mankind.

For Tanizaki Takashi, those issues do not exist, as he is a small part of the huge corporation known as Moritomo, and he is acutely aware of his place in it. Summoned to Singapore by his supervisor, Najita, he goes and follows rigid protocol. His role is what it is and Najita reminds him of that repeatedly before assigning him the task of finding a missing scientist, Dr. Sato. Dr. Sato has created a living weapon system that could be targeted to a number of variables, including a person's age, gender, race, etc. Dr. Sato may have taken a part of it with him and they want their property, both Dr. Sato and his weapon system, returned to them.

Takashi begins the hunt, which will lead him to the Moon and Moritomo's lunar colony. In so doing and while coming to terms with the realization that he is an expendable pawn in a high stakes power game, he begins to question his own life and reason for existence. When the pawn becomes self aware, it ceases to be a pawn and becomes something more.

Filled with social commentary about a world that may be coming, this intriguing science fiction mystery presents a dark tale that does not seem that far fetched at all. As the book moves forward, the levels of corporate deception become more complex as do the possibilities for escape. Ripped from his place in the world where he had become all too complacent, Takashi looks deeply into the abyss in search of himself. The question becomes: can he survive long enough to find the answers he seeks?

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December 1, 2004 in Science Fiction | Permalink

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