Centricity: A Sci-Fi Espionage Thriller presumed published, copyright and written by Nathaniel Henderson.
Briefly, the plot follows the activities of several individualistic ‘loners’ who are attempting to function in a dystopian society that is highly compartmentalized but open to subcontractors and overseen by a CIA- or FBI-like central body that is able to discern their actions and thought patterns through various implants and take drastic action if anything contrary to the government’s interest is suspected. Past wars and resultant chaotic results are mentioned as is the occurrence of N-81 a mutating, airborne virus highly contagious during its incubation that wreaked havoc.
Discussion: From this reviewer’s perspective, nothing more can be offered with respect to this book without an explanation of the book’s basics. Specifically, it is a tale in the apparently quite rapidly growing sub-genre of sci-fi called Cyberpunk – succinctly described by Lawrence Person in Wikipedia as “Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystrophic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous data sphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.”
The book opens with a preface by the author thanking the reader ‘for plugging into the first instalment of the Centricity Cycle and an explanation of how his interest in this particular thrust for sci-fi stories occurred so that he felt compelled to combine this type of ‘techno-baroque world with his love of James Bond and thriller masters such as Tom Clancy to present his own type of tales’. He has done exactly this with a beautifully written, well-paced story complete with interesting characters. For readers new to this new phase of the psi-fi genre, quite fortunately, at the end of the book he provides an explanation of the rather extensive list of principle characters of the Naion Government, its Military and Corporate members in order of importance followed by those of Cheyvata’s Empire and a schematic of the Naion Hierarchy. Regrettably, a slight oversight caused a delay in explanations of certain of the terms being offered until after they had been used for a time; e.g. a good explanation of nimphs – “Neuronal Interface Multi-Process Hubs – not quite proper but often referred to all brainware including peripherals, software and synt assistants that managed them. They “allowed for the mental control of bodytech, including implants and wearables, but had limitations in trouble-shooting since they relied on local control programs to inform. If the local programs were missing the point, so would the nymph.” This explanation did not appear until Chapter 10.
5* Well-written/-paced/-characterized cyberpunk thriller; strong caveat for pragmatists.