Off Speed Press
May 28, 2018
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis
A new novelette is coming your way from Channing Whitaker and Off Speed Press! Existence Augmented is a dystopian science fiction thriller that creeps up on little cat feet, then crashes into action in a way that is both frightening and oddly comforting. In future times, the world is a frigid wasteland unfit for human habitation. If you don’t have smarts and the right equipment, you’re likely going to die.
Alden is one of the fortunate people who has a nice place that is almost a miniature world. There’s a large growing area for all the food he needs, the house pod he lives in is climate controlled and run by a computer that Alden communicates with easily. It seems pretty posh, but it’s lonely on this island out in the middle of nowhere! Luckily he has his wife Laurel for company, or does he?
Not everything is as it seems in this synthetic world. A visit from his sister, Sloan, brings a bitter reality pill that Alden doesn’t want to swallow. Instead, he points out all the reasons why it isn’t necessary to do so. If they are forced to create their own world, why not make it to their liking? But their bickering is interrupted by a power shortage, an issue that is becoming increasingly common.
Not only that, but someone or something has gained access to Alden’s growing area! How did they get in? What do they want? Are they just there to cause damage? There’s only one way to find out. Alden rushes to attack the horrible thing, only to find something much different than he expected. Alden is unsure what to do next. Should he kill the intruder or let it get away?
Once again, the power dips and goes out. This causes a bunch more confusion (a good thing) in the readers’ minds and leaves us wondering just what the heck we saw back there. Existence Augmented is a cool read and I give it two thumbs up! Not only is this a good story, but it gives us heart that humans will never die out completely. Really good stuff! The novelettes in this series from Off Speed Press are all well designed and boast cool covers too. Check these beauties out! You’ll be glad that you did.