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Influx    by Daniel Suarez order for
by Daniel Suarez
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's great entertainment for the conspiracy theorist, Influx by Daniel Suarez, who also wrote Daemon. In his new feat of imagination, he postulates a world in which a BTC (Bureau of Technology Control) (secret even from the governments in whose countries they operate) has long been keeping major technological advances - including immortality, a cure for cancer and true artificial intelligence - out of the public eye, in order to avoid the social upheaval that tends to come with them.

Protagonist Jon Grady is a particle physicist who has just invented a gravity mirror, a revolutionary development for physics, with huge potential in many fields. Unfortunately for Grady, the BTC have been watching his work closely and immediately send in a team of harvesters, who have access to all the advanced technology the organization has kept to itself for decades. The world is led to believe that the Lord's Winnower, antitech terrorist Richard Cotton, blew up Jon's lab and all inside it. And BTC head honcho Graham Hedrick offers our hero the opportunity to continue his research for that organization.

When Jon refuses vehemently, his nightmare begins in Hibernity, the BTC's high tech 'prison for wayward geniuses', where he is tortured by an AI whose sole purpose is to find out how his brain works - along the way, it erases selective memories. Fortunately for Jon the 'Badass Einsteins' who have been in Hibernity for decades have developed ways to subvert the prison's machines. They make his life inside much more tolerable, while organizing an escape. Once outside, he seeks ways to make the BTC's existence - and the technologies they have long guarded - known to the world, and to free his fellow prisoners.

One man against an organization equipped with so many advanced technologies? Impossible, you say. Luckily, Jon finds himself with two unlikely allies, a master thief and a beautiful BTC insider who was shocked to learn what actually went on inside Hibernity. But as Hedrick starts to feel cornered, he decides to implement draconian measures. Will Jon and his allies save the world from disaster? Read Influx to find out; it's a wild and woolly thrill ride through a future kept hidden from humanity.

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