September 2197 is the definition of a Brave New World. The story begins in the future as a young man named Shuta is listening to the story of the savior named Jack Harrison. Jack Harrison’s story enfolds 101 years before when Jack ends up with a laboring crew who are plotting escape from their current prison. The world is far different than it was in the early 21st century. A nuclear attack in 2024 has rendered certain parts of the world uninhabitable and depleted the population. There is a newly aligned order in the world, with statuses such as topgridder, bellygridder, cokes, and clones. Amerab is the language spoken, and ancient history is largely forgotten. Screx is a way to achieve release in a sexual way, though those on the lower order still engage in the flesh version. Clone brothels also serve as entertainment. Nitro is a drug that enhances the sexual stimuli. The crewmembers of the ship that Jack has joined don’t know if they can trust him–they consider him a space case. But Jack has been imbued with brilliance that can seemly guide the crew out of any immediate peril. He quickly earns the trust of the crew leader, Han, in their travels. Their ship is being sought by the authorities, so the crew has to ditch their ship, and Jack soon engages in violence to keep the police off their tracks. The crew heads off to the remains of Las Vegas, where the sin is still omnipresent. The entertainment consists of gambling on vicious fights, people being injected with creatures that literally bond with their hosts…Jack is almost overwhelmed by the stimuli. Han is impatient to get to their next destination, keeping from Jack his ultimate goals. The crew must deal with the perils of organized gangs that control entire cities as well as each other. Who will survive?
Riters is an innovative and interesting vision of a dystopian future. The characters are creatively carved and unveiled at a leisurely pace. The plot starts up fast and moves gracefully, with the nuances and idiosyncrasies of the alien culture soon taking over. The sexual olympics engaged in by the various characters can often be confusing but don’t take precedence over the evolving relationship between Jack and Han. The flashforwards are interesting and not distracting. Riters is a new type of sci-fi tale that combines aspects of Neuromancer and Mad Max with a little bit of eroticism thrown in. A good read!
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|Science Fiction & Fantasy