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The Hidden Institute Paperback – March 1, 2011
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
About the Author
Brand Gamblin is a professional computer programmer. He shipped ten video games in as many years working for companies like Microprose, Acclaim, and Firaxis. In 2006, Brand became the producer of the internet show "Calls For Cthulhu" which has been seen over half a million times, was featured at the 2008 Lovecraft Film Festival, and is considered required viewing by many Lovecraft fans. Brand has written a new book every year since 2008. The first was a sci-fi adventure called "Tumbler" which is available for purchase at Amazon.com and as a free podiobook at podiobooks.com. His second book was a steampunk retelling of George Orwell's "1984", which is still in development.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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Will make you laugh and hoot.
It is the story of Cliffy
trying to go from rags to spiffy
Spoiler: Bear Polo what an event
helped Cliffy become a personel servant
I do not want tell you too much more
Just by it at the Kindle store
Either the Kindle or dead tree version
reading it is the perfect diversion
Mr. Gamblin writes a great book
and The Hidden Institute is well worth the look.
Mr. Gamblin has another about Libby Carter
It is called Tumbler and it was his starter.
Cliffy's world is a North America where, alas, the grand democratic experiment has failed. Economic forces have resulted in the return of monarchy and aristocracy. (Washington and Jefferson would be whirling in their crypts.) There's no middle class, only the lower class and the multilayered upper strata (which include the servants of the higher-ranking nobles). If you're in the lower, the distinctions of the upper mean nothing. If you're in the upper, the lower itself means nothing. It's Wells's Eloi and Morlock ancestors once again.
The boundary between the two seems ironclad, since the aristocracy guards its border jealously; to penetrate its ranks is a capital offense. (Know your place--or we'll kill you.) If you want to get ahead in life, you'd probably better forget it...but wait: there's a clandestine organization that, for a fee, will train you to pass as nobility. It's completely illegal, of course, but if you have the will and the nerve...
Brand Gamblin, who brought an asteroid-mining culture to life in TUMBLER, here tells the story of Cliffy, a street-rat vid-stringer for the global information network (the culture is an intriguing mix of macro-mechanical and micro-electronic, of steam- and cyberpunk) who is offered the rare chance to escape his lower-class "yobbo" life and consort with the "nobs." The tale moves swiftly and certainly, and along the way Gamblin slips in some telling observations about how a social hierarchy works (when Cliffy asks his no-nonsense robot manservant, "So who's the master here?" the latter replies, "The question you should be asking, sir, is who has the power"). This world's system isn't necessarily better than the American democratic republic, nor is it worse. It's simply different, and from a general perspective it works; its people, moreover, are the same sort of people we find in our own world. And as he grows in his knowledge of how to function as a nobleman (and worries about how to elude those who would expose him as a pretender), Cliffy demonstrates an understanding that those born to the upper crust seem to have lost: namely, "noblesse oblige."
Whether you approach the novel as a satire on American haves and have-nots, a reflection on illegal immigration in pursuit of a better life, or simply an "Oliver Twist meets My Fair Lady" comedy of manners, check out THE HIDDEN INSTITUTE. It's a school that wouldn't dare apply for accreditation--but it can help the dedicated find the way to their future.
I am mere chapters away from finishing the book and already sad it's going to be over. This is a world I would read 15 books in.