REVIEW: "Viral Times", Ron Seybold
- BKVRLTMS.RVW 20130107
"Viral Times", Ron Seybold, 2011, 978-0-9850067-0-9, U$12.99
%A Ron Seybold ron@...
%C 11702 Buckingham Road, Austin, TX, USA 78759
%G 978-0-9850067-0-9 0-9850067-0-6
%I Workshop Writer Press
%O U$12.99 workshopwriter.com 512-331-0075 ron@...
%O Audience n- Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 270 p.
%T "Viral Times"
This book is a novel. The basic plot is that AIDS Ultra (a new-and-
improved form of AIDS) and HIVE-5 (a disease that sounds way too much
like "High five!" for anyone to take seriously) have made unprotected
sex just too dangerous. Instead of waiting for the inevitable to
happen and the population to reduce to those few who *do* take their
marriage vows seriously, someone invents SimSuits and SexNet. (Of
Jenny Nation (whose name sounds too much like temperance leader Carrie
Nation for anyone to take seriously) invents a computer virus to
infect the SexNet. But it's also supposed to infect (and kill) the
people who use SexNet. So, one would assume, we have the standard
canard of the computer virus that infects people (made so famous by
the Weekly World News).
However, this book gets into this (review) series by actually
addressing this problem! The SimSuits are, of course, supposed to be
full sensation virtual reality interfaces to the SexNet. Instead of
assuming electrical or electro-mechanical interfaces, Seybold
postulates a kind of yeast-based pseudo-organism as the interface.
Therefore, the computer virus can force the organic interface to
create disease agents.
(The reviewer must pause, at this point, to wonder how many people
would find wrapping themselves into a slime-lined suit a preferable
alternative to abstinence and/or dying, and to speculate on the
incidence of normal yeast infections that such a setup would cause.
But I digress.)
The book also postulates that a) drug companies sell nothing but
useless nostrums, b) modern medicine is a fraud, and c) that
homeopathic, naturopathic, and other alternative treatments are the
only effective solutions. If you have sympathy with that perspective
you might like the book, because otherwise it is rather confusing with
an unsatisfying ending (unless you also assume that the author is
planning a sequel).
copyright, Robert M. Slade 2013 BKVRLTMS.RVW 20130107
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The one thing that is certain is that anyone who uses the phrase
'outside the box' is as deeply inside the box as a person can be.
- Michael Lewis