Read Paintwork by Tim Maughan Online


Augmented reality street artist 3Cube wants to break into the mainstream, and as one of the best in the graffiti mecca of Bristol he stands a real chance. Except that someone, some unseen rival, seems set on using even the most old-fashioned of methods to stop him from succeeding.John Smith was successful once, if only for a fleeting moment. Now the documentary film makerAugmented reality street artist 3Cube wants to break into the mainstream, and as one of the best in the graffiti mecca of Bristol he stands a real chance. Except that someone, some unseen rival, seems set on using even the most old-fashioned of methods to stop him from succeeding.John Smith was successful once, if only for a fleeting moment. Now the documentary film maker is broke and jobless, and finds himself putting his life on the line as one of the new-breed of paparazzi – snapping celebrity video gamers in virtual worlds.And on the sun-bleached streets of Havana two young Cubans find themselves locked in a fierce struggle with one of the world’s most powerful organisations, as a seemingly innocent video game tournament becomes a fight for both personal and national pride.Paintwork is a collection of three stories from our imminent future by British science fiction author Tim Maughan, including the 2010 BSFA Short Fiction Award nominated ‘Havana Augmented’....

Title : Paintwork
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 11905499
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 108 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Paintwork Reviews

  • Jo
    2019-05-06 21:17

    Three solid and occasionally very smartly-pitched cyberpunk stories, all set in the same near-future universe. “Some old new shit that you ain’t never never never heard before” (Kool Keith). Like a few other reviewers I felt “Paintwork” – the first story, about the augmented reality / QR code graffiti artist 3Cube – was the most fully-realised of the three. Its protagonist has some substance, & the tale is efficiently composed; the standard (hard)boiler-plate cyberpunk voice is all about shifting between terse, minimalist grace, and dense, brand-studded and globe-encompassing spikiness (whilst provocatively denying the reality of those shifts: almost like, “What? I had to mention what brand of Korean trainers; it was an indivisible fundamental particle of narrativium. WHAT?”), and “Paintwork” does that well. But there are also more moments of lyrical wit here – e.g. the toothpaste thumbprint, or the three Adidas stripes unrolling back through time across the arms and legs of generations of dodgy geezers. I remember hearing that the architects of classic cyberpunk used to compete over who could cram the most information into a sentence (true, @Cadigan, @GreatDismal?). Perhaps one of the formal resources cyberpunk also affords is the capacity to play with what *counts* as information. It’s often through the joke, the clinamen, the unaccountable collocation, the pointless, aptly-chosen and never-properly-explained detail, the figure of speech (I liked “red carpet designer arrogance”) or the slightly whimsical and superfluous conceit (like those shelly three-stripes) that cyberpunk’s intelligence really comes squirting out. (Incidentally, it’s probably out of this stuff that the most strollably-cartilaginous ligatures form with quasi-cyberpunks like Murakumi, Pynchon, Aylett).The last two stories are more closely linked by the appearance of celebrity gamer Leo Kim. There are shades here of Gibson & Swanwick’s “Dogfight” (collected in *Burning Chrome*). “Paparazzi” felt a bit off-balance; after a fairly elaborate set-up, we go in-game, & I expected to be solicited to invest myself in a bit of semi-gratuitous swords & sorcery excitement. Instead the in-game events get summarised (they seem to have been narrative-lite hack & slash anyway), & the story rapidly winds itself up, with a sort of zipping-slurping sound, like a blind you’re trying to get to stay pulled down. Frankly I kinda enjoyed that aspect, but I suspect it would have been more delectable if I’d also just been treated to a smidge of overt quest. (& maybe Claire could thereby have been linked, ever-so-subtly, into the denouement somehow? She's a bit vanishy). It needn’t have been a full bonus level like The Murder of Gonzago is in Hamlet, but having a messenger rush on stage and cry, “I’faith, your psionic myrmidon gains / 12,008 creds, 14,320 XP / & the UnHoly FallHeavily debuff!” maybe goes too far the other way. That said, it’s also nice Maughan slips in this thin pasta ribbon to soak up the juices of the meatier layers. And possibly he had the rationale of not pre-empting “Havana Augmented,” which *does* rely on in-game events for a lot of its drama. In “Dogfight,” and books like Iain M. Banks’s *Player of Games* or Orson Scott Card’s *Ender’s Game*, the comparatively immersive games permit the player’s progress to map quite neatly onto the reader’s progress (or jouissance). Of course when the game concludes, there’s the chance it may suddenly seem a Very Bad Idea to have won it (a bit ablest or genocide-y or something, e.g.). But that shifting evaluation still manifests as a reversal, a twist. Whereas in some other stuff – Larry Niven & Steven Barnes’s Dream Park series, maybe? – it’s all a bit more interpenetrating. The gameplay is sporadically and/or selectively immersive. Sometimes the reader may be simultaneously absorbed in in-game desiderata, and also the larger system which incorporates, complicates and even contradicts those desiderata. Quasi-in-game objects may feel like they have dual or complex values. The reader may even get the trippy triple-take, “Whoa, I just forgot that’s not real! Whoa, I just forgot it’s not real that that’s not real!” I felt that “Havana Augmented,” even though it doesn't go on long enough for that stuff to really get going, still belongs more with this second camp.I’m really not even familiar enough with the clichés about Cuba to judge how well the country is evoked as a locale, but I did detect a slightly hammy ponderousness in some of the dialogue – especially in the early info dump scene with the two state officials. “Josef here will drive you back now” – I’m just not 100% behind that ‘here.’ This story was still my second-favourite though.So how is writing proper cyberpunk different in 2011/2012 from, say, 1982? For one thing, the archetypal cyberpunk characters – outcasts, hackers, petty criminals, dissenters – have a somewhat conflicted relationship with cool. Corporate money is suspect, but so are hipsters. These characters often realise that mainstream culture routinely looks to the margins to refresh itself, and that the romanticised ideal of the outcast is solidly middle-of-the-road. Conversely, celebrity is not necessarily a symptom of selling out.Also, the future is closer! QR codes, Google Goggles, Google Streetview, air-typing, face recognition, targeted advertising, augmented reality, reality TV, constructed reality, silent discos, tecchy top-of-the-mountain type kit, LARP, GPS, BCI, AI – this stuff is already here. Some of it has been around for decades. Maughan’s ingenuity is in imagining how tech which is roughly familiar, in a proof-of-principle sense, might be embedded in products, marketing, distribution, access, in the attitudes and culture of users, and in a broader social setting, and how these various lived-in techs might interact together. To be an eensy bit sloganish: the soft social sf which contradistinguished cyberpunk when cyberpunk was emerging in the 1980s is now how you DO cyberpunk.PS: OK, cosplay cosmetic surgery aside, we’re not all chockablock with invasive augmentations, but Maughan’s world reaffirms the sense that technology doesn’t have to be inside the body to drastically change the body. Smartphones are enough. Compare Donna Haraway’s old saw about how contact lenses make us cyborgs; eating cooked food makes us cyborgs, etc.What I really liked across the triptych was the sense of people inhabiting different superimposed worlds, whilst still interacting with each other. You see different phantasmic billboards depending on who holds what data on you, and what they can afford to bid for your attention. You see something different from the person next to you. You might be oblivious to the epic mecha street brawl which that person is witnessing. You might be waiting for the bus at a bus stop, while the person next to you is waiting for the bus at a massive rave. Most of the rest of the presences at her rave might be AI, or people scattered across the globe, or pre-recorded restligeists, or syntheses thereof. I’m very interested in the partial & contested disembodiment implied by populating the shared sensuous landscape with bespoke phantoms, manifestations which may be the unpredictable outcomes of corporate strategies, mass online trends, and also individual user filters and remediations. What might it mean for labour? What might it mean for getting safely from A to B? It’s bad enough getting mowed down every time you try to listen to a bit of Ivor Cutler on your iPod on your way to the Co-op. What might it mean for sex? What might it mean for malicious code? For IT support? Emergency services? Crowd / traffic control? Celebrity? If Maughan keeps writing in this universe, I hope he keeps pushing this kind of line, and is able to discover more & more variety there.PPS: There are some minor formatting mistakes – stuff like an extra space or inverted commas facing the wrong way. The convention for punctuating direct speech is logical (indeed close to what’s sometimes called the “logical quotation” style) and consistent, but pretty non-standard, & distracting for a nit-picker like me. & yet I can get over those Irish dashes or Jane Austen bunging in “was her reply” inside the same inverted commas as the reply, so maybe I should get over it. I like 3Cube’s offhand reference to “a gushing thousand-word review or a sarcastic hundred and forty-character tweet,” as though he recognises the tweet as a perfectly valid genre, & a well-judged tweet far more important than a TLDR review like this one.PPPS: Just came across this BBC article about Microsoft's patent for circumambient gaming imagery and Sony's Spex-like VR headset, both still in their respective enclaves of the works.

  • Kate Sherrod
    2019-04-25 21:14

    Set in a tantalizingly attainable urban world of the near-future, the three somewhat related stories in Tim Maughan's Paintwork shimmer with the retinally-rendered pixels of a less dystopian cyberpunk.And yes, I did say "tantalizing" -- to read "Paintwork" and "Paparazzi" and "Havana Augmented" is to all but ache to play the games,* see the sights, watch the action (especially, if one has predilections like mine, that of the robotic beetles who generate and maintain billboard QR codes by secreting weirdly indelible nano-pigments "in both colors", ink-jet style. I mean, who wouldn't want to watch that?), hang out with the graffiti writers, pro gamer stalkers and digital-culture heroes of Maughan's world."Paintwork" is a sci-fi/mystery genre mash of a tale of an Augmented Reality graffiti writer of rising reputation who is fending off a weird series of attacks on his work, attacks that don't obliterate it (just hours after it goes up) so much as riff on it in a viciously warped way. As an introduction to a world of Google glass-esque experiences of "consensual hallucination" that turn ordinary urban landscapes into overwhelming three-dimensional marketing sense-bombs, it's first rate. 3Cube isn't just a guy with a spray can in the night; he's a guy with a spray can and a QR code stencil that hijacks dumb marketing art and turns it into stunningly detailed pop art with lessons about his city's past and its potential. However one may feel about graffiti and street culture, a reader is likely to share his puzzlement and outrage when he discovers someone else is hijacking his hijacking.In "Paparazzi" a post-post-postmodern filmmaker who specializes in turning hours and hours of recordings of immersive in-game experience into memorable and usually critical documentaries is seduced into trying his hand at celebrity stalking. A world-famous professional gamer is beta testing new content for the world's most popular MMORPG; John Smith's mission is to infiltrate the playtest sessions and catch in-game footage of the master at "work." Maughan has here not only imagined a highly plausible new artform for a new fully-immersive digital age, but has already imagined a way its finest practitioners can be induced to whore out their talent.And in "Havana Augmented" two young residents of the world's last Communist regime find themselves at the forefront of Cuba's half-assed attempts at developing its economy beyond that of a tourist haven, via exploiting the pair's intricate and exciting hack of yet another popular game. Our heroes, pretty much cut off from global gaming culture by their country's policies and firewalls, have nonetheless managed to take a run-of-the-mill giant robot battling game and scale it up and make it mobile, the better turn it loose on the streets of the capital city. When word leaks out on how these guys and their friends are duking it out, mecha-style, in the actual virtual streets of Havana, corporate/gaming culture comes calling, and Cuba welcomes its promise of economic development -- though the government is ignorant of what these powers will do to Havana's virtual landscape and thus to its newly "spex" toting citizenry. Hard to indoctrinate people to hate the free markets of global capitalism when they're busy admiring the latest city-dominating Coca Cola ad via their augmented reality glasses. The resulting conflict finally and more effectively than I've ever seen realizes the idea that video games can be more than just video games. Take that, Last Starfighter.Author Tim Maughan is also a quality follow on Twitter, funny, urbane and an entertaining speculator on where our technology is taking us. He is thus definitely someone to watch, if this debut book is any indicator. And I think it is.Just the right mix of thought-provoking and fun.*And this coming from someone who sucks at video games and who avoids MMORPGs like the time-stealing plague.

  • Madeline Ashby
    2019-05-02 20:35

    At its best, reading the stories in this collection feels like reading a continuation of Gibson's Burning Chrome collection. The stories have a great deal in common: bleeding edge tech; single men down on their luck; urban environments; a global pop-cosmopolitan sensibility; a suspicion of power and authority. All of the stories reflect the same story-world, and common characters and elements arise in each of them. Read in quick succession, you get a real sense of place and context. Read separately, they all still work, and you'll definitely catch yourself thinking about them as you watch your next race or examine your next QR code. But the collection's greatest strength -- its singular focus -- is also its greatest weakness. This is a brief collection, with four stories in total. They're wonderful stories, but the whole collection took me only two hours to read. I found myself wanting to see Maughan stretch. I wanted a greater diversity in types of characters, in environments, in cultures, in futures near and far. I felt like that would be more representative of Maughan's gifts and talents than the narrowly-focused, tiny collection we see here. Selfishly, I hope to see another collection soon that not only takes bigger risks, but gives us more time to spend in Maughan's head.

  • Scribe
    2019-04-29 19:31

    3 loosely-tied-together short stories from Bristol-based writer Tim Maughan, set in a believable (and often already come-to-pass since the stories were published?) future.I enjoyed the first and last stories the most, with the first delving into a futuristic graffiti scene, and the last picking up on augmented reality gaming in a world in which celebrity gamers are global powermongers.But the thread I picked up throughout, which is ironically very real, is about the blurring of boundaries between just how real virtual worlds are. In here, there's a celebration of the onslaught of technology, but alongside it a lust for lost reality alongside.They stories are careful not to take sides in this - essential when the reader in the modern world is equally confused.Definitely worth picking up.

  • Chad
    2019-05-04 23:37

    The titular story is the best of the trio, in fact some of the best near future scifi I've read in quite a while. Havana Augmented is quite good too. The middle offering left me a bit cold, but 2/3 ain't a bad ratio for a short story collection. I'll be keeping an eye out for more from this guy.

  • Simon Logan
    2019-05-22 21:25

    A dazzling slice of near-future scifi, Maughn, like William Gibson, bases his stories in the very next moment of our present, making them more relevant and resonant than its far-future cousins.Of the three stories featured I would put the titular "Paintwork" as my favourite, perhaps purely because as a non-gamer I found it easier to connect with a story whose plot was based around graffiti artists rather than online gaming. With that said "Havana Augmented" was brilliantly realised and described - I could easily see a movie coming out of that one.A shining and energetic voice, can't wait for what's next...

  • Tac Anderson
    2019-04-24 19:33

    This was an excellent collection of futuristic short stories. Want to understand how technologies like the coming computer goggles are going to impact our daily life? Read this collection. For the Kindle price, you can't go wrong. Great light reading.

  • Steen Ledet
    2019-05-05 20:15

    Three great short stories about our augmented future. The most impressive about Maughan's stories is the way he weaves five-seconds-into-the-future technology seamlessly into the narrative, making it completely natural rather than estranging.

  • Tim
    2019-05-07 23:25

    A strong trio of near-future SF short stories, well worth the price of admission.

  • Lori
    2019-05-10 23:17

    A collection of three longer stories that explore the digital culture permeating modern life.

  • Stuart
    2019-04-25 03:18

    Great post-cyberpunk short stories. Captures the gritty feel of original cyberpunk but with updated technology. Great ideas, well executed.

  • Scott
    2019-05-20 22:33

    A very plausible near-future world, compellingly presented. I never thought about the graffiti implications of QR codes before. Some neat ideas here!

  • Juliette Weiss
    2019-05-12 02:20

    Three fantastic short stories - a must read for anyone interested in the VR/MR field

  • Joanne Hall
    2019-05-21 21:16

    “Paintwork” is a slender collection of three short stories by Bristol SF writer Tim Maughan. The collection includes the BSFA Award nominated “Havana Augmented”, the title story, and “Paparazzi”, and all three stories are loosely linked, crossover references and characters showing that they are part of the same near-future hi-tech cyber-world.In “Paintwork”, Bristol graffiti artist 3Cube uses QR codes to subvert advertising and create his own art, only to find it sabotaged by a mysterious rival using far more old-fashioned methods. Anyone who has spent any time in Bristol or has an interest in street art will know that the city is a mecca for graffiti artists and spray-can warriors, and the story makes good use of the cityscape off the beaten track. 3Cube himself cuts an affable, optimistic figure in his outsized Adidas and his too-small custom Nikes, a little guy trying to make a name for himself by striking a blow against the system, only to find his work subverted and betrayed.In “Paparazzi”, out-of-fashion documentary maker John Smith is recruited by a powerful gaming guild operating in popular MMORPG A Wind of Blades to spy on and damage the reputation of Leo Kim, a celebrity player in a rival guild. Augmented reality, the grey area between the real and the virtual, is a theme that links all these stories, from 3Cube’s hyper-real billboards to the playground of the Havana streets, and to the lush jungles and temples of A Wind of Blades, a gaming environment that becomes, at least for John, a little too real.Leo Kim turns up again in BSFA Short Fiction Award nominated short “Havana Augmented”. Paul is a gamer, and with his hacker friend Marcus has created an augmented reality video game, where giant virtual robots battle on the real playing field of the city streets. But when the Guilds start to take an interest and send a team of their own, headed by Kim, to Cuba to take on Paul and Marcus, suddenly it becomes much more than just a game. Maughan draws subtle parallels between the barrios of Havana and the grinding poverty of the estates of inner-city Bristol, and the pride in their home town, even in the face of this desperation, shown by both 3Cube with his spraycans, painting meadows and sunlight over the tower blocks of Barton Hill, and Marcus and Paul, fighting for the honour of their city.It’s a strong debut collection, influenced by cyberpunk, crammed with near-future technology, but with a warm human core. By the very nature of near-future SF, these stories will probably feel pretty dated in five years time, so grab a copy now while they’re still fresh.

  • Sara
    2019-05-03 19:21

    Four stars for the title story, but there is an enormous amount of info dumping and bland exposition in the rest. Maughan name drops Japanese weaponry, mythology, and pop culture like a second rate (and rather retrograde) WilliamGibson. Unlike Gibson, who has knowledge of Japan beyond anime and video games, he produces little more than ho-hum cyberpunkery and cultural stereotypes. And oh does it get worse when there are women in the mix. Take this description of Mako, a Japanese gamer. "The ice maiden...hiding under a parasol...wearing either a bondage bikini or lolicon cosplay. She's the archetypical spoilt Japanese princess. Comes from pure zaibatsu stock." Or a line up of sexist stereotypes with an anime twist? A few pages later she's bearing down on our hero in a "Hello Kitty-festooned raptor class mech." Yawn.But poor Mako gets off easier than the other women in the story. "A group of bikini wearing, shrill voiced but vacant looking air hostesses that had been allowed in for some much needed female presence."One wonders if Maughan himself felt the story needed some female presence, but burdened with the voice and perspective of a self-glorifying adolescent male, couldn't quite figure out how to characterize them beyond bouncing boobies or "crafty little witch(es)." Even more irksome, as another reviewer has pointed out, is the writer's need to make his heroes better, more "authentic"--always a lodestar for white male hipsters -- and as predicted, the result is a self-conscious display of tolerance that winds up being less tolerant than the writer might assume."He always found the-quasi religious fixation with perma-death -- the mortal wounding of an avatar in a way or location that didn't permit any resuscitation- somewhat laughable. Perhaps it was because he'd watched dozens of Muslim teenagers use their own beloved, lovingly self-crafted alter egos as sacrificial weapons, apparently without ever a second of hesitation; Their own personal beliefs transcending concerns of finance or ranking." That's right, Maughan's hero is "down" with his own very limited view of how Muslim teens might think; he "gets it" or at the very least, how to reveal his own essentialist notions about them. Other cultures don't fare much better. In Cuba, "Local bands (play) salsa beats while hustlers (work) selling cigars, mojitos and pork sandwiches." A description ripped from a hastily designed travel brochure? It sure is gaudy--like Leo Kim's place.

  • Sunny
    2019-05-19 00:40

    Tim shows a world that's the future but yet, its not. His three short stories combine what is already relevant to our daily life in regards to social media in the present day and show them in their evolved state. It seems apparent that the author takes his loves and creates stories with them using themes that revolve around graffiti, Twitter, and computer games. His first story introduces you to 3Cube and although the ending was not surprising; it still left me with questions. 3Cube seems to be trying to make the world a beautiful place through his art work which is realistic landscapes but someone keeps destroying it in an obvious diss. The tension mounts as the reader wonders who is doing such a thing. I felt the ending of this story was a bit rushed and would love to read more about 3Cube; his character fascinated me. Paparazzi was my least favorite of the bunch but it was still endearing and I thought this was where I saw the author's dark humor the most especially when he was detailing the gamer lifestyle. I could not stop laughing. Imagine a world where your career is based off being a great gamer and creating great games. Competition is fierce between guilds to the point where one can be forced into slave labor inside a game. This story was a bit fast-paced so it left me a bit confused at times and I felt there wasn't enough interaction between characters in the game and outside of the games. Now the last story, Havana Augmented is the best of them all. Maughan definitely saved the best for last with this one. What I particularly liked about this one is that he tied in characters from the previous story into this one which was not expected. He also explored, albeit on the surface the political climate of Cuba in a non-judgmental tone and he did it with relative ease. This story was definitely more animated and action-packed, battles between mechas, and I could only imagine seeing huge mechas fighting it out virtually with Cuba as a backdrop...beautiful. I actually found this story to be quite heart-warming while the others were mostly dark and dripping with cynicism, this showed human courage and that sometimes the small ones can win. I look forward to reading more works by Tim Maughan. This was a quick read and if you're interested in sci-fi that's not over the top, this is for you.

  • David Hebblethwaite
    2019-05-22 21:37

    Paintwork is a collection of three stories set in a near future where the online space has become thoroughly integrated with individuals’ sensorial. Tim Maughan’s tales explore issues of control and authenticity in that world.The story ‘Paintwork’ itself concerns 3Cube, a guerrilla artist whose speciality is replacing QR codes on billboards with his own, to give people artistic vistas rather than commercial messages. But the artist finds that his latest work is being vandalised, faster than should be possible. Subsequent events 3Cube to question whether he’s behind the times, with his romanticism and insistence on old-fashioned methods (such as hand-cut stencils) – and to question how much he’s in charge of his own work.Similar considerations emerge in ‘Havana Augmented’, whose young protagonists have created an augmented-reality version of a popular fighting game. Business, government, and a major gaming clan all take an interest, and a game on the streets of Havana becomes a fight for something deeper. Perhaps this story isn’t as complex as ‘Paintwork’ in its examination of issues, but it is engaging nonetheless.The structural similarities of Paintwork’s stories can make individual aspects of them less satisfactory – the beginning of ‘Paparazzi’ (a piece in which a journalist is sent into an MMORPG to investigate a prominent gamer) is a little heavy on exposition in comparison to the other two, though the sting-in-the-tale ending may be the best in the book. But the overall impression left by Maughan’s collection impresses most – the strong sense of tackling issues of a kind that might face us just around the corner.

  • Jacobmartin
    2019-05-19 01:44

    When I first read this I didn't know it was a collection of stories, so when the focus shifted to a mech battle in Cuba I was reminded of Bad Boys II's double ending by accident.But it's a solid work with several good ideas in near future sci Fi which I am really unfamiliar with as a genre, especially in written form. I got back from seeing the movie Looper tonight and was reminded of this book by the future jumbling the past into ironic fashions and retro trends that seem baffling to everybody involved, like the scene with the billboard of the Asian cowboy in this book reminds me of how weird it was seeing a 2012 movie where the future looks more like a retro cafe's idea of the past rather than a future full of the dreams we were "promised".I'm 22 and didn't read a lot of sci Fi growing up so I am unsure if I was "promised" the same world generations before me lament didn't give them jet packs, but iPods were a pretty big deal when I was a kid, I know that much.

  • Michael Burnam-Fink
    2019-05-13 22:32

    Paintwerk is a trio of linked cyberpunk stories strongly reminiscent of Bruce Sterling ("Deep Eddy", "Bicycle Repairman" and "Taklamakan"). The key technologies here are spex and augmented reality, the themes about art and authentic creation and selling out to some massive corporate cloud that can only parasitize off the raw energy of The Street.The first story, about graffiti artists in Bristol, is by far the best, with an appropriately weird cast of characters and a wry askance glance at a future where Banksy is as respected as Picasso, yet local taggers still get nabbed and ABSO'ed by the cops. The others, which go into gaming and virtual colonization, are more style over substance but still a lot of fun.Good quick read, which even five years later has some of that near-future gloss on it.

  • Andrewcharles420
    2019-05-11 21:30

    Price was right--3 short stories for $3--so it certainly filled the gap I was looking for. I liked the topics and enjoyed the ideas: futuristic without being too far-fetched. But the writing style... I don't think I could have managed reading much more. The sentences were typically short and simple, [much like this review,] which isn't always the most engaging. And my general dislike of short stories leaves me wanting each tale to last longer, or develop more in each of the endings. I bought the ebook through iTunes, and the resulting epub was difficult to reformat (and iBooks app sucks! Stanza, where did you go?!), but I can't say it wasn't convenient. Fun for a quick read!

  • Darren
    2019-05-18 02:31

    A collection of enjoyable, easy to read short stories. Often, I read cyberpunk and technology stories that are out of date and so they are more kitsch then they should be. These stories (with the possible exception of some aspects of the first) are measured logical extensions of current technology and do not seem fanciful or unrealistic.

  • Jonathan
    2019-05-07 19:40

    The first of the three stories is the most effective. Sadly, by the last the quality has dropped: at times it feels that it hasn't been properly edited, with lazy writing and some very clunky errors.

  • Chris Ingram
    2019-05-03 02:38

    3 solid novellas / short stories set in the same future world. A bit cyberpunk maybe but non-dystopian; AR (augmented reality) featured prominently. Pretty good, I will be looking for more from the author.

  • Carl
    2019-05-13 20:22

    Fun story about VR gaming in Cuba and the challenges of being in the outside of the connected world.

  • Opal Trelore
    2019-05-15 20:37

    Not bad. I enjoyed the world description, though the story was so brief it was hard to get invested in the characters.

  • William
    2019-05-13 21:32

    Really enjoyed it - good, gritty cyberpunk. Its a collection of stories but all well written and fun.