Influx by Daniel Suarez

Influx, published this year, is Daniel Suarez’s fourth novel. It deals with a shadowy and overlooked federal government organization: the Bureau of Technology Control. The Bureau was long ago tasked to suppress disruptive technologies, for the sake of the status quo. Lax oversight has allowed the Bureau not only to suppress, but also to further develop and utilize these technologies for its own sinister purposes.

An unconventional physicist comes up with a way to alter gravity. As you can imagine, this might disrupt both the air travel and shipping industries. On the eve of the invention’s debut, there is a disastrous explosion right after the inventor is abducted by the Bureau.

The physicist finds himself in a matrix like prison, subjected to various tortures undertaken to gain his cooperation. Slowly he makes contact with other prisoners who have invented many of the hoped for scientific breakthroughs society has yet to see. Working together, these inventors are able to help the physicist escape so he can expose the Bureau and rescue them.

Suarez is a former technology consultant to big business and government. He knows his science. Suarez has developed into a writer that not only can present technological issues through his storytelling but also turns out a crackling page-turner that readers won’t want to put down.

I’ve since read Suarez’s three other novels in their published order. Out of the blocks, Suarez proved himself a capable writer. His first book, Daemon is about a computer game let loose in the real world that slowly begins to change how the world works. In Daemon’s sequel, Freedom, the Daemon is overcome. His third book, Kill Decision is about militarized autonomous drones that have the ability to kill people without a decision being made by a human.

Ultimately, two things made me decide to read Daniel Suarez’s books. The first was a cover blurb by my trusted guide Stewart Brand, a Merry Prankster and creator of the Whole Earth Catalog. The blurb reads, “Daemon is better than early Tom Clancy…The tech is invoked with inside knowledge, the writing is better, and deeper issues are explored with greater imagination.” The second is that Suarez’s blogroll includes Homestar Runner.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

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