Another review

Another review – this one by sbrKaye – reprinted with the kind permission of the author.

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First of all, let me say that I’m not, generally speaking, a big Science Fiction fan. However, I decided to read “Even Peons Are People” after it was enthusiastically recommended by a good friend who knows my tastes very well. And I have to say, I’m rather glad I stepped out of my comfort zone, because despite being set in a dystopic future universe, in which rich, spoiled young men race around asteroids on their rocketRiders, and mindSpeak with their friends rather than send text messages, where paparazzi (known as “svengalis”) use invisibility attire (or stealthwear) to stalk their celebrity prey and acquire information by hacking other people’s open brainWaves, and where lawbreaking is punished by a stretch in a timeOut Center, this book is, basically, a very good detective story/legal drama.

I can easily envisage this story transferred to the Big Screen. The action starts from the very beginning, with an exciting asteroidSlalom which ends in sudden death. From there, we have all the twists and turns that one would expect from a political thriller, in which nothing is what it seems. More deaths follow and it is a while before the connection between them becomes clear. I don’t want to say too much, as I don’t want to give away the plot.

And no – asteroidSlalom is not a proofreading error (in the language of the book itself, I should probably say “proofReading”). One of the charms of this book for me was the way the author has created a whole new language, partly based (so my techie friends tell me) on the practices of computer programmers. Thus, the book’s hero, the young and idealistic Thiery Wallace, is not a Defence Counsel, but a defenderAdvocate, judges (or adjudicators, as they are called in this strange, new world) are addressed as “Your Seriousness” and time is measured in units as small as mibiNeuts.

Even the author’s name, D Pak, recalls beloved icons of Science Fiction, such as the Vulcans T’Pol and T’Pring in Gene Roddenberry’s popular TV franchise.

And a word about the title: “Even Peons Are People”. A peon is an unskilled labourer, or serf – and, at first glance, one would assume that it refers to the fact that Thiery’s client is a poor spaceHobo (or indigentItinerant). But the word “peon” also sounds like the word “pawn”, and, as such, points up the sorry fact that, in D Pak’s dystopic universe, even in the 41st century, the poor, the powerless, those without the right connections, are still pawns in the dirty games played by the rich, the powerful and the politically connected.

So, whether you are a Science Fiction fan, or prefer legal dramas, detective stories or political thrillers, I think you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

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