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Sunday, March 30, 2014
INFLUX by Daniel Suarez
Published in 2014 by Dutton Adult (Penguin Group)
Have you heard the stories of the engineer that invented the engine that gets 200 miles per gallon and the oil companies put a stop to it? Or, of the Japanese inventor that created the car that burns hydrogen from water but he suddenly disappeared? Or, the story that cold fusion really was invented but the energy companies nixed it?
Well, that is the premise behind Influx by Daniel Suarez. The Bureau of Technology Control (BTC) is a secret government agency that was established to identify and isolate "disruptive" technologies - technologies that would seriously de-stabilize the world economy and/or the current social order. The inventors are imprisoned or, if they are willing to cooperate, allowed to develop their technologies for the good of the BTC.
Now, imagine if the BTC's lead on technology kept on growing and the BTC started to disdain the government that it was supposed to report to (think about our own news and imagine an NSA that started to turn on its own leaders with its listening program). That's where the story starts.
Jon Grady is a physicist who has just invented a gravity mirror - it reflects gravity. The BTC has determined that this will be very disruptive and kidnaps Grady and imprisons him. But, Grady won't make it easy on his captors...
No one currently writing does near-future sci-fi better than Daniel Suarez and this book keeps that trend going with an interesting story line and a true David vs. Goliath story. He has picked up where Michael Crichton left off.
I rate this novel 5 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on March 30, 2014.