But Thomas Aiken Is Dead deals with a lot of ideas, all of them fascinating. The story is written two ways: first, as an interrogation transcript from the future; second, as a diary written by a distraught father in the present-day.
It is deliciously trippy finding out how these two documents are related.
Atia is a sort of futuristic archaeologist, looking back on our time with increasing fascination. She and her species is much more than just robots, but I’ll let you read the book to discover that for yourself. She is feisty and opinionated in the face of her arrest, unabashed about her desire to be more ‘human’ (though that’s not what she calls us).
As the story unfolds, so does the lore, and it is FASCINATING. I’m fully geeking out about this because it’s pretty high-concept but it’s presented in a way that I can understand. This RARELY HAPPENS! Shit usually goes over my head but Alex McKechnie has managed to explain it in layman’s terms without making the future sound any less amazingly complex.
Think Matrix 2, but the ending makes sense.
I cannot wait for part 2. This is right up my alley. Highly recommended.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
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But Thomas Aiken Is Dead (Part 1), by Alex McKechnie
Book Length: 70 pages
Speculative Fiction (Adult Fiction)
According to the Blurb:
“Sometimes blunt tools construct beautiful objects.”
Two lovers are divided by seven hundred years; one living just a few steps from the end of history, the other already long dead. Present day, Thomas Aiken has little else left to live for but his journalist daughter. When she disappears without warning, he devotes himself to securing her return. He abandons life as an architect in exchange for obsessively collecting evidence and, in the evenings, writes her letters which he will deliver on her safe return.
Seven hundred years later, Atia – a conscious AI entity, discovers Aiken’s letters. She understands Aiken’s grief well enough, she’s lost a child herself. More than that, the Cadence, her home, is falling into anarchy. Pining for a time when life was imperfect and fragile, she insists on presenting as an original biological human. Fuelled by long-dead Aiken’s search for his daughter, she incites a rebellion that will alter life’s course on Earth forever.