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Strange Future: A 23rd Century Guide for the 21st Century Cynic Paperback – June 17, 2009
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Josh Smith is a college student in Fort Wayne, Indiana majoring in Computer Science. He enjoys writing, programming, and generally being a nerd in his spare time. He is not on fire. In summary: Josh is just this guy, you know?
Top customer reviews
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The plot had a very intriguing premise. Using cryogenic freezing as a vehicle for time travel into the future showed true promise.
The author avoided any scientific descriptions or explanations for both the freezing and the innovations of the future by having a protagonist that was not only disinterested, but almost a technophobe. As much as I don't enjoy long, drawn out scientific explanations, I would have liked at least a little information to make the story more believable and realistic.
The future world was imaginatively done. Not only that, it was definitely believable. While there were a lot of gadgets that had been invented, the world had not been taken over by self-aware robots or anything like that. I found the information regarding the future government to be a bit too sparse.
The novel was told mostly from the viewpoint of Thomas. However, the author would occasionally slip in other people's thoughts. This was disorienting and unnecessary.
The two people from the future who `wake' Thomas and his friends are just completely unbelievable. Even though one teaches history, she not only seems to know anything about the time period her charges came from, she doesn't even seem to care. The two are completely unsympathetic to Thomas and his friends, even to the point of getting annoyed with them when they question things too much.
Character Development: 1 Star
Thomas: You would think that with the novel told from his viewpoint that he would be a well developed character, but that is not the case. The reader is treated to his actions and most of his thoughts. However, these are related in a very distracted and shallow manner, never really allowing any empathy for the character.
Vera & Doug: Both of these were shallow and uninteresting characters. Sure, they tell Thomas all about their lives and why they want to be frozen, but it is done in a clinical and formal way that evokes no feelings. Throughout, even when they begin to show a little personality, Thomas is so self centered that he doesn't appear to really care about the only friends he has.
The other characters were equally as shallow and boring as these. Even when Thomas supposedly falls in love, there is no real 'spark' or feeling involved.
Writing Style: 3 Stars
The author does manage to inject some good humor into the work. I enjoyed his analogies and descriptions, too.
Unfortunately, he gets bogged down in the details of minutia that do not forward the storyline. For example, at one point, Thomas is looking for a business card; instead of having him just take it out of his wallet, Thomas looks over here, looks over there, looks in pockets, then finally sees it under there.
The dialogue is very boring and too formal. Every character speaks the same. Even their new friends in the future seem to have no new vernacular, new terms, yes, but no new slang. Imagine suddenly getting to meet someone from Colonial times. Wouldn't there be a major communication gap?
Overall, the writing style is stilted with staccato like sentences that just do not flow well.
Editing/Formatting: 4 Stars
The editing was of professional quality.
The formatting was really bad in places with entire chapters having lines break off into the next line in the middle. This was very distracting.