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Influx Hardcover – February 20, 2014


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Influx + Kill Decision + The Martian: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition first Printing edition (February 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525953183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525953180
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (335 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Jon Grady, a mostly self-taught particle physicist, is on the verge of perfecting an invention that will change the world when a group of radical terrorists break into his lab, destroy the place, and kill everyone within—except not really. Grady isn’t killed; instead he’s spirited off to the top-secret headquarters of the Bureau of Technology Control (BTC), a clandestine U.S. government department devoted to identifying and controlling new technologies. The BTC offers Grady the opportunity to work for them, developing his ideas for the benefit of the BTC, but Grady refuses—and is promptly whisked away to a BTC prison, where an artificial-intelligence inquisitor inflicts a variety of tortures on him, trying to force his cooperation. And that’s just the beginning, the set-up, really, of this high-flying (literally) sf adventure. Further story developments should probably be left to the author to reveal—let’s just say readers familiar with The Count of Monte Cristo will spot some key thematic similarities, and the book’s denouement involves some of the most imaginative plot contrivances you’re likely to encounter. But it is safe to say that the book is extremely well crafted. The characters (even the not-strictly-human ones) are vivid, the pacing is perfect, the villain is capital-E evil, and the author’s near-future world is so well developed that you completely buy even his wildest speculations. A tour de force of speculative fiction. --David Pitt

Review

Praise for Influx

"You'll hear a lot of reviewers compare Suarez to [Michael] Crichton, including me for his previous book Kill Decision. And Suarez deserved the honor in the truest sense...he had achieved a truly Crichton-level of storytelling. But with Influx, Suarez becomes the master, and Crichton is the one who is honored by the comparison." - Stephen L. Macknik, Scientific American
 
"[Influx is] done with the dazzling sophistication, the play of ideas, the hints of a new understanding almost within our grasp that characterize sci-fi in the cybertronic age." - The Wall Street Journal

“With this terrifying thriller, Suarez provides further support for the proposition that he’s a worthy successor to the late Michael Crichton… Suarez once again mixes science and fiction perfectly.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The characters (even the not-strictly-human ones) are vivid, the pacing is perfect, the villain is capital-E evil, and the author’s near-future world is so well developed that you completely buy even his wildest speculations. A magnificent tour de force.”
Booklist

"Influx is dark...it's fun...and it's a thinker. Just what I've come to expect from Daniel Suarez." - Geek Dad

"Influx as a whole is riveting. Fans of science fiction and thrillers will enjoy this engrossing combination of both genres." - ShelfAwareness

"It's a delicate balance, but one that Suarez manages with the skill and audacity of Philippe Petit. Don't know that name? Petit is the only tightrope walker ever to cross between the Twin Towers. Like the daring Frenchman, Suarez goes higher and takes bigger risks than many of his contemporaries or predecessors. It's a technique which allows and enables his work to stand out." - SF Site


Praise for Daniel Suarez:

“This is the kind of mind-expanding novel that uses entertainment to make powerful, important points about alarming current trends; the novel as cautionary tale has rarely been better executed. . . . Highly recommended.”
—Tim O’Reilly on Kill Decision

“Perfectly blending nail-biting suspense with accessible science, bestseller Suarez (Daemon) establishes himself as a legitimate heir to Michael Crichton with this gripping present-day thriller.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Kill Decision

“Greatest. Techno-thriller. Period. Experts have long feared the Internet doomsday scenario. Daemon is arguably more terrifying.”
—William O’Brien, former White House director of Cybersecurity and Communications Policy, on Daemon

Daemon does for surfing the web what Jaws did for swimming in the ocean.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Suarez’s fiction is closer to reality than most people think.”
—Chris Anderson, author and editor-in-chief of Wired, on Kill Decision

More About the Author

DANIEL SUAREZ is the author of the New York Times bestseller Daemon, Freedom™, Kill Decision, and Influx. A former systems consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, he has designed and developed software for the defense, finance, and entertainment industries. With a lifelong interest in both IT systems and creative writing, his high-tech and sci-fi thrillers focus on technology-driven change. Suarez is a past speaker at TED Global, MIT Media Lab, NASA Ames, the Long Now Foundation, and the headquarters of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon -- among many others. Self-taught in software development, he is a graduate from the University of Delaware with a BA in English Literature. An avid PC and console gamer, his own world-building skills were bolstered through years as a pen & paper role-playing game moderator. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

Very good story with great characters.
Michael Struik
Furthermore, the futuristic tech he described was also plausible and well conceived because he had a grasp on where today's technology is headed.
Steve Manke
Great book for sci fi, tech thriller and all fiction fans.
PB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 80 people found the following review helpful By H. J. Spivack VINE VOICE on January 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have had experience with Mr. Suarez' novels before. I read Daemon and Freedom and thought both were excellent reads, full of fantastic ideas and executions that went deeper and further than I had any reason to expect. Kill Decision was not one of my favorites, but I was hopeful for Influx.

Influx has a lot of big ideas. At its core, and as in his previous novels, the notion that technology advances can be disruptive and destructive prevails. In the novel, Influx, the BTC (Bureau of Technology Control) keeps a firm hand on new, distruptive technologies. When a new technology is discovered, its inventor (along with us, the readers as witnesses) is pulled into the BTC's orbit. These are not spoilers, there is nothing here that is not revealed on the back of the book. But there are intricacies within the plot and the same kinds of twists and turns as in Daemon and Freedom.

There are some great ideas at the heart of the novel, but the execution could use work. Some of the dialogue contains some howlers (the use of 'my dear,' probably sounded patronizing when it was in common usage (which was when, exactly?) but there is a character that uses this many times. I lost count at 12 and then another character started doing it too). To me, the test for dialogue is to read it out loud. If you can make it fit in your mouth and sound good, it works. One author that really gets it right is Stephen Gould with his Jumper series, real emotions, real dialogue, real characters. And he makes the villians work too.

The comparison on the cover between Suarez and Crichton is probably worthy, but Suarez' novels suffer from the same problems as Crichton's. The villians are wooden, moustache twirlers, the heros are clueless until they're not and then they are cardboard cutouts.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Silea TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the kind of book that keeps you up half the night turning pages until you finish it, but the next day you've mostly forgotten it. It's a pretty good techno-thriller, but it relies pretty heavily on the tropes of the genre. There's the brilliant-but-different scientist, the evil head of a government organization that wants to use him, the smokin' hot young female assistant, mysterious agents trying to aid the scientist who may or may not be working toward their own ends, etc etc.

The action is tense, the descriptions of combat detailed enough that i had a sense of what was going on without it getting dreadfully technical or wallowing in the carnage.

Oddly, the technology was somewhat under-described. The effects got their share of ink, but the devices were often mentioned only in passing. And given the premise of it being way beyond what we consider 'modern', the only thing that makes this Science Fiction instead of Fantasy is that the narrative insists that it's scientifically derived. Plenty of 'modern fantasy' books have nearly the same results, but instead of turning on a deflector machine that miraculously protects the wearer from bullets, in the Fantasy version they wave a wand or recite a spell.

But that's not the point, really. It's a David vs Goliath affair, our differently brilliant scientist going up against technology decades or centuries beyond him. And while the means by which the story progresses did surprise me a few times, the overall arc of the story was a copy of many others in the genre.

So four stars for being a good, engaging read. I enjoyed it. I might even recommend it. But it's entertaining the way an action movie is, you just shut your brain off and go for a ride.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By I Teach Typing on January 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The core ideas of this techno-thriller are brilliant but its flaws get in the way. At its best, the actions of the villains bring to life masterful images that are a hybrid of Clive Barker and Orwell. But those great scenes are interrupted with descriptions of science and technology that are so far off the mark they pull the reader back to reality. It is not so much the future tech that breaks the spell but the descriptions of things like the parts of the brain that are so very 1980s or modern pseudo-science. Unfortunately the characters are stereotypical and lack depth but ultimately I found myself cheering on the hero(s). The dialog usually works but it is nothing special. Even with the flaws this is a page turner, with very good action scenes, which begs to be turned into a big budget movie. So, if you are looking for a techno-thriller this is not a bad buy.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Greenbaum VINE VOICE on February 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Influx" is a smart, fast-paces thoughtful techno-thriller with large doses of science fiction and enough action to feel like a movie. The premise is simple - for 50+ years a secret extra-government agency (think S.H.I.E.L.D. crossed with Men In Black) has acted to control advanced technology by kidnapping geniuses and putting them to work in secrecy - or eliminating them. Originally charged with preventing social disruption from advanced tech, this agency, the Bureau of Technology Control (BTC) has mutated into a bunch of self-absorbed "gods" who live up high and exist only to perpetuate themselves while enjoying the advanced tech (fusion, immortality, etc.).

Into this comes Jon Grady, a physicist who is kidnapped after developing some advanced technology that can control gravity. Rather then work for the BTC he resists, and is imprisoned and tortured. And, I must stop to avoid any spoilers, but suffice to say, you, the reader, will enjoy some rousing action sequences, daring escapes, awesome high-tech toys that would make Tony Stark jealous, an excellent villain, and some thoughtful ruminations on the nature of innovation and its role in society...plus a few set pieces that I cannot wait to see in the inevitable movie version.

A fun, fast read and highly recommended.
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