WetWeb by Robert R. Haney

WetWeb by Robert R. Haney


  • novel
  • thriller
  • adventure
  • documentary
  • science fiction
  • futuristic

Fecha

20/05/2012

Autor

Webmaster


WetWeb is one of those novels that become a story within a story within a story. It begins as an attempt by its protagonist, Franklin Tempo, to find an alternate way to increase his monthly income. To write a content feature rather than one of pulp. What was to be his entry into a new market becomes a nightmarish revelation of where human ingenuity is taking us.

There is something gripping and engaging in the way the story is told by Robert R. Haney. At times the style can be a little confusing but that doesn't diminish the attractiveness of what is going on, of what the different characters go through, what they did, what they do, and what the protagonist himself is living, what he is learning and understanding.

One very interesting element of Haney's work is that it can be extrapolated and mapped to our current technological evolution (among other contexts). How we are moving ahead almost blindly, letting the moment, letting marketing, letting technology (and the gadgets through which it manifests), letting fads push us, pull us, basically, take us forward without second thoughts.

We absorb new gadgets, new functionality, without even bothering to make sure we need them. Without taking into account what they do to how we live. What they do to how culture, ethics and morality cope with an ever "evolving" scenario that changes and rehashes itself faster than they can adapt. Things move ahead so fast that we don't even get to properly understand the problems, the drawbacks, the ever growing layer of errors on top of which the next generation of something is being built.

There is an abyss in front of us, we know about it, but we still move forward, not because we are pushed or pulled, but because everyone else is going. We are like the rats in the famous Pied Piper of Hamelin legend (fable, tale) but while in it it was his music that lead them to their doom, we are just going ahead singing, humming, to our own tune.

Haney's work is a great thriller, a good adventure that starts as an interview with one of the creators of what in a not too distant future has become known as the WetWeb, Anand Ramasubramanian. A high-speed network of networks that brings not only the chance to experience adventures (called Pulp) and history as if actually being there, but the chance to become someone else, control someone else, let someone else control you.

The essence of WetWeb follows concepts explored in movies like I, Robot (2004, with Will Smith and Bridget Moynahan), Gamer (2009, with Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall), The Thirteenth Floor (1999, with Craig Bierko, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Gretchen Mol), Fido (2006, with Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly and Kesun Loder) and Surrogates (2009, with Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell and James Cromwell) but gives it a unique twist. A very dark and macabre turn of events.

Page by page, meeting by meeting, as the facts unfold to the protagonist, so does the reality that surrounds him. Little by little there is a change of perception and understanding that make him truly open his eyes, for the first time, and when he does, there isn't much to like about where he finds himself in.

Alas, the work is not without it's little problems as far as writing, spelling and flow go, but everything else is very much worth reading. I don't remember any moment in which the drawbacks made me put the book down, there were a few in which I had to go back a bit, or reread something, but stop? No. Another reason that makes it very readable, at least it was for me, is what can be found between the lines, the insinuation, the wink, the warning?.

WetWeb by Robert R. Haney

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