professornana (professornana) wrote,

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the other side of Chris Lynch

I am a huge fan of Chris Lynch. He has one of the widest ranges of anyone working in the YA field, IMHO, ranging from the stunning INEXCUSABLE and FREEWILL to the insanely funny SLOT MACHINE to the chilling ICEMAN and SINS OF OUR FATHERS. So, despite the young-ish looking cover for his latest, I brought it home to read as soon as it arrived. Due out later in the year (November) from Scholastic, CYBERIA tells the story of Zane, a young man wired for the convenience of his parents. NewsMama and Father appear on vid screens and via text messages, but they have little contact in his life. A new electronic gizmo (called GIZZARD) connects him to the thoughts of the animals he sees including his own dog, Hugo. It seems that many animals are now microchipped. Initially it seemed a good idea. It's a good way to keep track of the whereabouts of your pet and all. However, the crazed vet Dr Gristle is taking microchipping just a tad too far and using the chips to force greyhounds to run faster and control other behaviors in other species as well.

It is good to see something a bit dystopic for younger readers. In this future, technology has become more and more intrusive and humanity seems to have withdrawn more and more. This novel is funny, very funny in places. It is also scary since the future it envisions is quite possibly already here. This story ends abruptly with the promise of more to come. It will be interesting to see Lynch take on this interesting combination of social commentary and futuristic speculation. Tie this one to THE SKY INSIDE and perhaps "The Last Dog", a short story in Michael Cart's collection TOMORROWLAND.


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